Friday, June 8, 2012

Goodbye Week. Hello Weekend. Lessons Learned: Take 50.

My son's take on Cubism - a self-portrait
Goodbye clean, clutter-free home; I'll see you in the Fall when school starts back up.
Goodbye finding the perfect frame for an odd-size piece of artwork from my Picasso-son; so fabulous.
Goodbye getting lucky and finding Downton Abbey: Season 2 in the Summer Sizzler section at the library that Super Hubby couldn't snag fast-enough (you know what we'll be watching every night).
Goodbye first baseball game of the Junior League season and cheering on the A's and crossing fingers each time my son is at bat.
Goodbye surprise visit from the cutest little one-year old on the planet and having fun cuddling that curious, little firecracker - gosh I'm in love with those eyes and cheeks.

Super Hubby got out the old Nintendo 64 last night and raced our son in MarioKart. You'll notice only my feet. What you don't see is the book in my hand. This is my preferred participation when it comes to video games: casual observer.
Hello strawberry-picking: one for the basket, one for my mouth, one for the basket, two...
Hello thinking about power-washing the deck.
Hello thinking about re-staining the deck.
Hello thinking about ordering mulch.
Hello choosing fun over work this weekend and waiting until Monday to tackle the To-Do list.

This week's lesson learned is one where talk becomes action and what's right replaces what's wrong. My mother is in a wheelchair, has been for more than half her life at this point. Yet, like you and me, she must get an annual exam at her gynecologist's office. Every year when she goes for this exam it is a complete struggle for her because the examination table is too tall for her to climb onto. Why? Because she can't climb, she can't even bear any weight at all. She cannot stand. Period. So, the nurses, who are trained in this kind of thing, maneuver her to the table with the help of my father. For the purpose of this post I find it necessary to point out my mother is NOT a heavy-set woman, so bear this in mind as you read on.


My father can no longer be the bearer of most of the work to get my mother to the table as age has caught-up, as it will for us all. So imagine when you step up to the examination table at your doctor's office. I know you don't think about it, but from a sitting position, it might as well be a mile in distance.


Last year my mother cancelled her annual exam because the doctor's office receptionist told her the nurses could not lift my mother to the table any longer. Mind you, this doctor's office is located inside a very large hospital. It's not a dinky little doctor's office sharing a building with a Subway and dry cleaners. No, this office is inside the hospital. Discouraged and a little embarrassed, I think, my mother cancelled the appointment last year.


This year, she had to get the annual exam so she called to confirm her appointment for June 18th. The receptionist said to my mother, "Our nurse has a bad back. Be sure to bring 2 people who can lift you onto the table." WHAT???? OK, I'm not an attorney but isn't that a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act? I only got this information after I coaxed it out of my mother yesterday. I called her and she sounded down so I kept poking to get it out of her and this is what she told me. My blood boiled. I asked for the office number and called to speak to the receptionist. She told me that is, indeed what she said! I responded with, "How is it our problem that their nurse has a bad back and can't lift my mother." She responded with something so unbelievable I won't even take the energy to type it here.


Long story short, I took this to the hospital's ombudsman and explained to her all the details. I also pointed out that my mother has been suggesting the doctor's office purchase a lifting examination table that goes up and down to various heights, similar to your dentist's chair. If the table could be lowered to the height of my mother's wheelchair, then she could transfer to the table all on her own by pivoting herself onto the table from the wheelchair using her arms. The office always responded with an explanation as to the outrageous expense that would be for the office. Well, not any more. The ombudsman took down all the information and stated she'd call me back after her examination. It only took 2 hours for her to get back to me, stating the lifting table has been ordered, will be fully installed by next Friday, and will be available by the day of my mother's appointment. Wow! I think I just lost out on some money;-) I think they figured purchasing the lifting table was cheaper than defending themselves in a court of law.


Just kidding about that last part (kind of) but now the situation has been righted. Now, my mother doesn't have to struggle to keep up with regular doctor's visits that help keep her healthy. My mother doesn't have to feel she's a burden to a staff of nurses who have forgotten this is part of their training. With such a huge aging population, I cannot believe this was even a battle to be fought.

Don't ever be afraid to speak out for what's right and take action to correct something that is just simply, blatantly wrong. And if that lifting table isn't in by June 18, they'll be hearing from me, again (and it won't be pretty). I'll keep you posted!


Thank you for reading my looong Lessons Learned this week and be sure to enjoy your lovely weekend!

3 comments:

Suzan Wood-Young said...

Good for you Lilly for advocating for your mom. I'm sure many people will benefit from your persistence.

G Luvlee said...

You are an inspiration! I wish I would have had the guts to take matters in hand in my own Mother's care. Please see my blog for a reference to you and your blog.

http://gluvlee.blogspot.com/

Michele said...

You are my hero, Lilly! I'm thinking of that quote that I'll totally mangle about how a few dedicated people change the world - indeed they are the only ones that do - that is you. Bravo.

Please let me know if you find a book series at the library like Downtown Abbey, I'm having DA withdrawal right along side you.

Have you seen the incredible new Sherlock Holmes series?? (it is on Netflix if that helps) Same thing, not enough episodes, but I'll have to check out the books and see if I can re-read the magic.

Thank you for your kindness and friendship - I'll be computer free for a few days - looking forward to visiting with you again next week.

xomichele

 

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