I’m sitting in Bo’s hospital room by myself while he is taken for a another x-ray. In the bed on the other side of the room is an old man who is having a truly terrible time. A doctor, the third one today, is there trying to ask him questions to which he has absolutely no answers. He doesn’t know where he is, can’t say what day it is, can’t name the days of the week. Can’t say his own name.

All night he was in distress —  calling, cursing, moaning. Nurses came in and out of the room constantly. He pulled off all of his clothes and called out, “Let me out of here!” every so often. He gets his legs caught between the side rails and doesn’t have the strength to get them back up.  He’s wearing hospital “boxing gloves” so he doesn’t pull out the IV’s.

And he’s hallucinating: “Mary, give me your hand, please.”

From what I’ve overheard, he has, among other things, a broken pelvis/hip. He’s in pain and is incontinent. He’s diabetic, has kidney disease and is on dialysis. And the nurses are confounded because he has an odor that they are unable to cure.

I’m sitting here thinking about what we do to our elderly people. And I ask myself why he is going for dialysis three times a week, and  why every measure is being taken to save his life. He has no life. No future.  None.

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8 Responses to WHY?

  1. Paula Kaye says:

    What a shame someone cannot decide that it is time to stop all of this.


  2. Thats a question i often Think about..WHY???

  3. That is a very tough question you asked and is something we don’t seem to have any good answers for…

  4. Arleen Mildred Stolzenberger says:

    I have same question – why? Sorry you have to see this. Staying in hospitals gives you too much education of what some of the elderly are put through. hopefully you and Bo will go home soon.

  5. traceysl says:

    This is why we all need advocates. Every person needs a healthcare proxy, POA & living will. The system in place errs on the side of preservation if there is no DNR on file. They can’t risk being sued for inaction. It’s terrible, but it’s real. People need to understand the need to make their wishes formally known and have someone to speak for them when they can’t speak for themselves.

  6. So true. The first things we did after his diagnosis were will, durable power of attorneys, living wills and DNR. I keep an emergency plan and the DNR posted inside our front door.

  7. In some states they now have P.O.L.S.T., practioners orders for life sustaining treatment, supposed to be a legal way to keep health care professionals and EMTs from prolonging pain and suffering in terminally ill patients. The Day Facility where my husband attends had a presentation on it, however NO Drs we’ve been to recently have even heard of it. My 75 yr old Alzheimer’s husband will be having same day surgery soon for a painful mass in his breast. Talk about bizarre experiences…taking him for a mammo and ultrasound, in a place geared towards females…everything pink and white fluffy robes, gourmet coffee. Having to explain what a UNISEX bathroom means. Thank God the surgeon is sensitive to general anesthesia affecting Alzheimer’s patients. His side of the family not being helpful or supportive. You’re blessed to have Jon and his family!! Best wishes.

  8. It is so hard for them to undergo anything of this kind.

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