Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pining For Work

I really miss not being able to work.

Most people reading this probably think, "What? Is he nuts? Why would anyone be unhappy about being able to sit around, collect a paycheck, watch all the mindless television that he wants, and in general just enjoy the peace and quiet?" Well, I can answer a bunch of that as I write this. First, those of you who know me are aware that I am not a passive person. I have a tendency to be pretty active, and I like to be out and about. Second, I really, truly enjoy my work and I miss not being able to do it or talk about it. Third, the money I collect through Workers Compensation insurance is about 60% of my gross income. After taxes and deductions, I am still losing income, and I have no way of recovering it.

I know - that sounds like I'm bitching and whining. I'm not; I'm just frustrated with my circumstances right now.

All of that said, after I post this I have to go to my Mom's. She injured her left arm yesterday and has an appointment to see her primary care doc this afternoon. My brother and I are going with her - well, more accurately, we're taking her. I initially wasn't going to go, but I truthfully do not like or trust her doc as I have found her to be rather inept on the two other occasions that I've encountered her. And my Mom feels secure with my being there as she believes she'll get better answers to her questions and maybe a little bit more attention. I'm inclined to think that's true; the last time I went with her, she had separated her right shoulder, and while Mom was describing what she was experiencing for symptoms, it was pretty clear to me that the doc was only minimally interested in her complaint. When the doc started to do her thing, I started asking questions. The doc didn't quite know what to make of me because of the way I was talking - I had the "work voice" in use. She answered my questions, ordered X-rays of Mom's shoulder, then asked me what my background is and "how I know what questions to ask." When I told her, she got a little nervous and was much more respectful after that.

When the X-rays came back, she handed them to me when we walked into the room even before she said anything to us. It was pretty apparent that her shoulder was separated, so there wasn't much more to do other than send Mom to the ED for treatment. When we got there, it was the typical triage-and-wait situation, and when she finally got into a room, the ED physician who assessed her put her shoulder back into place without benefit of sedation or pain medication. Mom had some obvious pain with that, and when the ED doc was done I followed her out of the room and tore her a new one for not doing anything about dealing with her pain.

Word of that incident got back to Mom's doc, and now she is intimidated by my presence. I'm glad because I intend to use that to Mom's advantage should it be necessary. And it shouldn't be; the doc should know her business and do it right. But if I have to advocate for Mom, I will, as will my brother. After all, someone's got to look out for her.....

4 comments:

crehan724 said...

*hugs* We miss you in Boston, Walter! Saturdays just aren't the same--Greg needs someone to balance him out. ;~)

Don't try climbing too many walls, my friend. I have a funny feeling that would impede your recovery.

Prayers for you, as always, and *hugs* again.

~Beth

Laura said...

she is lucky to have you, Walt. and your brother too, of course. It is says a lot about you as a family. My daughter-in-law is a reg.nurse who works in Boston at Beth Israel, and my son is a Paramedic. I can't get away with anything. Hope your doing better. Enjoy your rest, before rushing back. You deserve it.

Walt Trachim said...

Your daughter works at the BI? Where??

As for you, Beth, I know - I miss you all, too..... :-) Keep our young Mr. Priest in line for me, willya?

TOTWTYTR said...

I've run into this same thing with my mother. I shudder to imagine what people who don't have a medical professional in their family go through. When my mother had an MI a few years ago, I was the advocate, especially in the first few hours. Then I was the interpreter between the doctors and the rest of the family.

Then I was the advocate again a the rehab hospital. It's amazing what the phrases, "plan of correction", "fall prevention plan" and "should I call DPH Health Care Quality to report this?" can bring about in the way of attitude correction by administrators.

Since that time I've really wondered if there is a niche industry of "medical advocacy" to be filled.