Welcome to the Patient's Voice

Discussing the good, bad and ugly experiences patients face in healthcare today.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where to begin?

The biggest challenge in starting this blog is where to start.  Start at the beginning (about 6 years ago) or what's happening now?  To better understand the complexity of this, here are a few more background details. 

Our mother was a strong, professional and very prideful person.  The last years of her life she endured many major health problems including cardiovascular and cancer.  She wasn't the easiest patient to deal with.  She demanded respect and expected all of her caregivers to provide excellent, TIMELY and effective care.  If you didn't meet her expectations, she had no problem letting you know.  Over a period of time, mom's health declined to the point that she no longer felt safe living alone.  Always at mom's beck and call, my sister Karyn and her daughter Chelsea moved in with her.  Living in another state, my ability to provide daily assistance wasn't an option.  Karyn became her primary caregiver until she passed away.  We developed a very close bond with nightly phone calls and visits as frequently as possible.  Being in healthcare, I frequently was the interpreter of all the medical gibberish.

After Mom's passing Karyn, Chelsea and I dealt with all of the usual issues with the estate and some very disfunctional family members.  This only served to bring us closer together.  Of course the majority of the estate concerns fell to Karyn.  As many of you know, this is a very stressful and emotional process.

Flash forward a few months, and I'll never forget the phone call.  "I'm having chest pains, trouble breathing and feel like I'm going to pass out...."

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