Tag Archives: Fountain Valley

Watching My Grandma, Feeling “SiCKO”

My grandmother was just released from the hospital this morning. She nearly collapsed in the bathroom on Wednesday morning, and she’s had to spend the last two days in the hospital. She was severely dehydrated. She had diarrhea. She couldn’t eat. She was extremely weak. Basically, this is what happens to a ninety-two year old diabetic woman all too often.

So we had to drive Grandma to the hospital. We got a bed for her in the emergency room pretty quickly, but then we had to wait forever in the emergency room until the hospital finally had a room ready for her. Grandma finally got her room, she was able to sleep, and she was able to recover over the next 36 hours.

Thank goodness we caught Grandma in time, before she lost consciousness. Thank goodness Grandma’s feeling better. And thank goodness she has good health insurance. What would have happened if things weren’t as good for us?

Follow me after the flip for more…

My aunt and I stayed with Grandma overnight on Wednesday. We just couldn’t bare the thought of having her stay in the hospital alone. She doesn’t like sleeping in a strange bed in a strange location, so we didn’t want Grandma to be alone. She was able to fall asleep, though we couldn’t (we had to “sleep” on cheap, uncomfortable chairs). We were there withe Grandma, she didn’t have to be alone, and she was at ease.

Earlier in the day, my dad paid the hospital $50 so that Grandma could stay in the hospital. Her insurance covered the rest. I guess I should consider my family lucky. Other seniors go into debt to cover their health care costs. I don’t imagine how they could ever be at ease.

Yesterday, Grandma was starting to feel better. She was starting to eat again. She was hydrated again. But we had something scarier to worry about. The hospital wanted to send a therapist in to help Grandma walk again! Ahhh! Scary! Another $300 tacked onto our bill! No!

OK, so we also really didn’t need the therapist. We can help Grandma walk. My dad used to work in a hospital, after all. But what if we did actually need the therapist? And what if we really didn’t have the money to pay for the physical therapy? Why should we have to turn that down for Grandma, just because we couldn’t afford it?

Many seniors in California face exactly that problem every day. They must go without the prescription drugs that they need. Yep, over one-third of California seniors have no prescription drug coverage. They have to worry about being “burdens” to their children. As more and more people become caregivers for their elderly parents, they don’t get the support they need to afford the financial burden of being a caregiver. To be honest, that’s what my family DOES have to worry about right now.

As soon as we got to the hospital this morning, we had some frightening news waiting for us. Grandma’s blood sugar was down, so I suddenly began to worry. Will she have to stay in the hospital longer? Is her condition worsening? What will happen next?

Well, I got some reassurance from the doctor. The doctor said that Grandma should be released today. And after a few more hours, a couple more blood tests, and another hospital meal, we were finally able to take Grandma home. We’re back at the house now, and Grandma is so happy to be home.

However, my dad isn’t happy that he has to go to the pharmacy to get Grandma’s new prescriptions. She has a new pill to take for her Diabetes, and another pill to take for her diarrhea. We’re not quite happy about another trip to the pharmacy for more drugs with more co-payments. However, I guess we should be happy that Grandma’s not one of those people who can’t even afford her prescription drugs.

Now that I’ve seen a little more of our crazy health care system in person at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, maybe I need to learn some more about our dysfunctional health care system and what we can do about it. I know Michael Moore’s new documentary, “SiCKO“, is opening tonight. Maybe I should see that this weekend. I know that SB 840 will be voted on in the Assembly soon. Maybe I should contact my Assembly Member soon, and ask my Assembly Member to vote for real universal health care that covers not just all our seniors, but all Californians.

These past two days, I’ve been in an emotional inferno as I’ve been monitoring Grandma’s condition. However, I know that many more families undergo much worse every day as they worry over whether their elderly relatives get ANY care. This is just another reason why we need real action on health care, and why we need it now.