Mixed Blessings–Medical Care??

I haven’t been writing as much as I would like–not only on my blog, but on my third Kiko and Maggie Perez Mystery.  The book is nearly finished.  I am not satisfied with the ending; so why don’t I sit down and finish it?  Life keeps intruding on my little corner of peace and tranquility. My ninety year old mother-in-law had a bad fall, broke her arm and wrist.  We spent three or four days in Phoenix while she was in the hospital, then selected a rehab facility we have used before that we knew and trusted.  Unfortunately the quality of the facility has decreased markedly.  Instead of physical therapy my mother-in-law contracted C-Dis, a very contagious bacterial infection and she was placed in quarantine.  No one bothered to call.  Every time I called I was given the same information:  Your mother-in-law is doing well, but we don’t have a release date yet. No one mentioned an infection. 
Imagine my surprise when after ten days I made the drive back to Phoenix and discovered my mother-in-law laying in a dark room wearing nothing but a hospital gown and a thin blanket.  When I asked how she was feeling she replied, “I sure wish I had some underwear.”  I found a few of her clothes in a room down the hall and eventually found the rest piled on the floor of the closet mixed in with diarrhea covered underwear.  

No one at the Center knew how such a thing had happened.  It was all someone else’s fault.  We got her moved back home,(another trip to Phoenix) where because of her weakened condition she was moved to a higher level of care and assigned hospice.  Unfortunately the rehab center did not forward the Rx for her C-Dis medicine and the infection came back.  Fortunately she is in a place where people care about her and she has reasonable care.  Because of the bacterial infection she spent part of a day back in the hospital, we drove up to Phoenix again and spoke to the doctor who agreed she would be better off back in familiar surroundings. He released her that day.  
She is doing better.  She can stand by herself–this is a woman who took a mile walk every day before she fell and broke her arm–and she is regaining her appetite.

So, the good with the bad.  My mother-in-law now has better care and Hospice Care. And after so many trips in just a few weeks with all the costs of staying in hotels, we decided to buy a place in Phoenix. We found the perfect place at the perfect price for us. I worried whether we would qualify, but everything fell into place.  I am actually excited about having our own place in town.  

In the meantime I made reservations on Coronado Island to celebrate my husband’s 65th birthday.  We drove over to the beach, but the drive was too much for him.  All of his bizarre symptoms which his primary care doctor can’t explain were back.  He could not walk, he had pain all over his body, and he broke two ribs when our son helped lift him so that he could stand.  (Does that sound normal to you?)  Still it was nice to be in San Diego, to visit our niece and her family, and to look out at the ocean and the seals at La Jolla.  The day we got back I had to leave for New York. I did write on my novel during the flights! Now I am anxious to go back to the doctor and ask to see a specialist.

Medical care???  Sometimes it is more like Medical Don’t Care!!


About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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