Monday, June 15, 2009

Be your own advocate

My father was recently involved in an accident. Someone not paying attention took him out in a crosswalk. He was taken to the ER where his head was stitched up and he was then released. No MRI, no CT Scan, no tests whatsoever. 24 hours later after "falling asleep" in his own driveway and vomiting he was admitted to the hospital with pretty severe brain trauma.

What's the lesson here? Ask for things! Raise a stink! Demand attention! My father ended up being in the hospital for almost a month. He was given medication that was inappropriate and though I was told that someone was making him eat, shower, etc. I found out that some days that didn't happen. Long gone are the days when a nurse is going to take time to rub your shoulders, feed you your dinner and give you a hug.

We have to be our own advocates. Which can be very difficult when we are sick, unconscious or delusional. Have a family member or friend there with you. Ask questions such as "What are those medications you're giving me?" and "What's going into that IV?" Nurses are overworked and doctors are little more than drug dispensories. Health care has become sick care and unless we watch our own backs, it's going to get worse. I hate to say it folks, but it's scary out there! What little faith I had in the medical establishment has been deleted. Take control of your own health. Do things that are preventative and if you end up in the hospital with something that is out of your control....make sure you get the attention you need. It could save your life!