Update on Nan, In Which I Mention Stupid Doctors

I could have sworn I had a post about stupid doctors somewhere in my archives but for the life of me I can't find it.

It was important because this was going to be titled "Stupid Doctors, Part 2".

First, I must thank-you all for the many prayers and kind comments on yesterday's post. I kept reading them over and over all day today as we were sitting with my Nan in her hospital room (I went with my Mom, on my Mom's request for moral support, to Pittsburgh today).

And it turns out that it is not a worst-case scenario, thank God!

The red spot on her side turned out to be an infected abscess, and perhaps some cellulitis. Hence the pain and redness (and itchy eyes - also a sign of cellulitis).

Not cancer, praise God.

Not another bowl blockage, praise God.

Not another hernia, praise God.

BUT, and this is where the stupid doctors come into play, this redness was there when she was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. She asked no less than 3 doctors and 2 nurses about it and it was completely brushed off. They thought she had a broken rib (from osteoporosis) and blamed it on that....even when she asked them to look at it, they did not give it full attention, each time brushing it off as the broken rib (that it turns out she probably doesn't have).

So, because some stupid doctors (and nurses, they aren't off the hook here) felt that they didn't need to take an 84 year old woman seriously when she said she had a spot that was red and bothering her, she ended up in the ER (because her home-health nurse took one look at it and insisted that they call her regular doctor who sent them to the ER), my Nan is back in the hospital, for another 3 - 4 days. She had to have a procedure to put in a drain and went over 24 hours without eating because she couldn't eat before the procedure.

The same 84 year old woman who has been hospitalized twice in the last 2 months for intestinal blockages.

Oh, and did any of these doctors even seem to be aware of this? NO! I wanted to ask the one that asked "why?" when my mom asked him to make sure her diet was listed as low-residue/low-fiber (to prevent the blockages) if he had even bothered to read her chart!

I understand doctors are extremely busy. I understand they are most likely over worked and that the insurance companies have a lot more say in patient care than they should.

BUT, at some point, they need to care for their patient. For the PERSON sitting in front of them expressing a need.

Thank God for that home-health nurse and a good neighbor who took my Nan to the hospital.

Thank God for good strong antibiotics that started making a difference before the drain was inserted.

And, if nothing else, I am hoping that at least one doctor or nurse that my Nan has said "I tried to tell them" to (she's told everyone who walked into the room - I don't recommend pissing off an 84-year old Italian lady ;)), will remember this, learn from it, and treat someone else with more care than my Nan got.

For now, I am done venting, and I'm going to focus on the positive. Nan should be fine from this. Yes, I sense the end of her life is getting closer, it doesn't feel as close as it did this time last night, and for that I am grateful.

Thank-you again for all of you for your prayers, I am extremely grateful.


  1. Ahhh! I am very glad that she is well, but how incredibly frustrating to be put through all of this unnecessarily!

  2. I'm with Rae, so glad she's doing better! And don't get me started on docs right now. I went in the other day, and after my copay, they couldn't tell me a thing about what was wrong with me. They ruled out a few things that I was pretty convinced that it wasn't (which is still good, because I could have been wrong), but instead of paying attention to what I thought that it was, they dismissed that and didn't do the one thing that could have determined whether I was right. The best part? Their advice of what to do could actually make it worse if I'm right about what it is. So I'm annoyed already, but when I hear about them doing that to your Nan, especially several of them doing that, it makes me go over the top. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S GOOD AND HOLY, LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS!!

  3. This reminds me of when my mom complained about pain in the stomach while she was in the hospital. Stupid nurses and doctors brushed it off. The next day my mom DIED. Glad your Nan is getting the proper treatment.

  4. sooo happy to read she will be ok but ugh ugh ugh regarding the stupid drs.

  5. Yes, Drs. can be stupid! I am glad your Nan is doing better and that it is not as serious as first thought. Hopefully these Drs. and nurses will learn from it.

  6. I am behind on blogs but am glad to hear Nan is doing better. That's so frustrating. I would encourage you to express your concerns via a letter, esp. if you get sent a satisfaction survey. A lot of hospitals etc get reimbursed based on patient satisfaction, so they take complaints for improvement. Hope your Nan continues to heal.

    1. Thanks Ania - I hesitated because I know there are awesome nurses and doctors (and their spouses) who read here, like you!, and I know it's these not-so-awesome ones who give your profession a bad rap :(. Oh, and my Nan already said "I can't wait until I get my survey this time!" so she'll definitely be sharing her feedback. I'm thinking I might write a letter too, I just need to calm down a bit because I know a rational letter will have more impact for change than a letter written hastily.

  7. My mom is 95 and I feel like the doctors don't even SEE her anymore. They look at the pillow, out the window, and even at the chart, but almost never at her. And they are very unwilling to actually touch her for an exam. Why this I don't know. It's like the elderly have cooties or something. One time after a surgery my mom told the doctor she felt sores in her mouth, and they hurt. He pooh-poohed it, but I insisted he at least looked, and he saw the inside of her mouth covered in white pustule sores (thrush) and was shocked! Of course he got her antibiotics right away which cleared it up, but really, why not LOOK at what she is complaining about? You have to be ever vigilant and a real advocate for your elderly relative or else they will be ignored.

  8. Argh, the arrogance of doctors!!! What a relief that your Nan is going to recover!

    Continued prayers!!!

  9. Oh, so frustrating!!! Ugh! Like others have said, definitely fill out that survey! Continuing to pray for her recovery.

  10. So glad she is getting the care she needs and it was not more serious.

  11. Ugh, darn doctors!!! So glad for that home nurse. VERY relieved that she will be okay!!! Answered prayers.

  12. I am so VERY thankful for your Nan doing better - but I'm just sick over the "pat them on the head & they'll go away" approach some people have in the hospital/dr. office. You are exactly right - every PERSON needs to be taken seriously and LOOKED at! I'm just sick over what your Nan has had to suffer because of other people's unwillingness to look the area.