Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Definition of Insanity......

They say that insanity is defined by doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.  We seem to be caught in that loop with my mom.

Two weeks ago she entered the hospital with extremely elevated blood pressure, fluid overload and congestive heart failure.  She was admitted, discharged after three days with a small increase in one of her blood pressure medications and a restriction on her sodium intake (nothing new, and nothing she's likely to actually follow) and a restriction on her fluid intake (which no one told any of us about and she forgot about so she never did that either).

Sunday she was readmitted with exactly the same problems, only worse enough to land in the ICU.  Yesterday I tried to convince them of the risks of fluid restriction (hard on her failing kidneys!) and that they should let her drink and find a way to treat the resulting fluid overload.  Today they called me at work at 10 AM and told me she was all ready for discharge, and don't worry about the fluid restriction. 

So my sister-in-law went to the hospital, listened for an hour as they described the diet Mom is supposed to follow, received information about her follow-up appointments, and brought her home.  After work I went over to see what they had changed with regard to her medication schedule. 

Nothing.  They changed nothing. 

Well, okay, they suggested that she take her vitamins at noon instead of with her morning medications so they wouldn't upset her stomach (they don't, and she takes her 'morning' meds at lunchtime which is when I'm free to call and remind her anyway).  But there wasn't a single indication of and change in any dose of any medication AT ALL.

So, let me see if I understand this correctly:

Two weeks ago you treated her for fluid overload by giving her an in-hospital fluid restriction and then sent her home on exactly these meds with a fluid restriction she knew nothing about and did not follow, with the result that she took exactly two weeks to return to you in worse condition than she arrived in last time.  Today, after treating her fluid overload with an in-hospital fluid restriction, you sent her home on exactly these meds without a fluid restriction.   So somehow THIS time she's supposed to just be fine two weeks from now?


And what's the upgrade from ICU next time?  As we so rudely put it in medical school, "Discharged to Heaven"?

And there is no way I can attend her doctors' appointment tomorrow.  I'll have to see about the one next week. 




  1. Not exactly encouraging as to the level of care. It's not like she went to Yahoo Hospital. How does a cardiologist feel? Judy

    1. I have NO idea. She sees him next week.