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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The downside of medical technology

This morning I am in a bit of a snit over something that started yesterday.  I ran into a friend and she asked about mom.  When I told her about mom, she told me to get a DNR (do not resuscitate) bracelet on mom ASAP because her mother-in-law was on Hospice at the Plaza, and was resuscitated by mistake.  Mom has a DNR on her chart and this has always been a hot button with her--if she's trying to leave, she damn sure doesn't want somebody trying to bring her back!  If she's told me this once, she's told me fifty times to just let her go, and that's my plan.  Getting the Plaza to put a bracelet on her is another story.

I understand the HIPPA laws and protecting mom's privacy.  But here's the kicker:  mom doesn't care who knows, and in fact would rather people know, than not know, so she doesn't get yanked back, while trying to exit this world.  We're so all over protecting people's privacy these days that we forget they have other rights as well.  The right to die with dignity, the right to NOT be someone else's "oops", the right to wear a bracelet or other signifying data so that they and their family can feel comforted that they've done everything possible to uphold the job they've been given in smoothing the way out of this world for a loved one, into the next.  I'm not suggesting we write DNR on mom's forehead with a black Marks-a-lot.  I'm talking about a bracelet, here, folks.

To say that I am pissed is an understatement.  I am now waiting (but not for long) for a call from the Administrator at the Plaza to hear what they are willing to do.  I will volunteer to have a legal document drawn up, signed and notarized, saying I will hold them harmless, if the do not resuscitate mom.  At this point, I have to say I don't have just worlds of fight left in me, so I'm having to pick and choose my battles.  But this one is a biggie with me.  This one I'm willing to go to. the. mat. over and I'll fight with anything and everything I've got (or can get), to see mom out of here the way she wants to go. 

Back before all the technology we have today, none of this was an issue or even a possibility.  When we were all limited to a death without technology, we still died, but at least we didn't have to worry about someone trying to snatch us back, to cover their own tail, legally.  Jeeze, louise....what a mess.

Lastly, here's what just came in a text,  Early morning, pre-school, yoga.  Avery, again, showing us her stuff.  I nearly choked on my coffee.  I don't know what I would do without those little would just not be near as much fun without them.  Just when you need a good laugh, there they are!



  1. Hi,
    I'm Joan, Adre's HS bud and nurse.(Dr Suess)
    I worked at Parkland in the ER long, long ago.
    We always laughed about tatooing DNR on our chests so if we ever got admitted to the trauma hallway, our intentions would be clear.
    Remember the old blue plastic cards, that we used to stamp ID/info for all forms, labs etc....we made necklaces for ourselves with DNR stamped on them. And then we pulled them out every time we resuscitated a gomer.
    Maybe some day we can catch lunch with Adre and meet.
    I enjoy your blog, so many similarities to my experiences. I had a nephew with severe head injury a few years ago, Parkland did a great job. And my mother had Alzheimers and nursing home care....not fun I know. Keep up the good work in doing what she would have wanted for her end of life years.

  2. Joan,
    I would LOVE to meet you and have lunch with you and Adre' sometime. She has mentioned you many times. Thank you for your kind words. I know I'm strong medicine for a lot of folks. And I screamed over the blue cards--I DO remember those!! How clever of you all to make necklaces--sounds just like Parkland staff--smart, funny, always up to something.