I hate hospitals. Who doesn’t? But lately I have had to be in a few, too often. It was an education. What you are about to read could save your life…maybe. Bottom line, always bring someone in with you to be your advocate. (Preferably someone who can bust balls and ask questions.)
The world of cancer is one that was foreign to me until my mother was diagnosed with “Thymoma”. They found a tumor the size of a friggin’ grapefruit behind her heart. It certainly changes everyone’s lives when this monster is introduced to a family unit. (and friends). It’s like it has it’s own culture, and you don’t really know it until you are in it.
We found out back in December. I didn’t write about it. But the day mom was about to get her results to see if radiation did the trick (well, that and a huge open heart type surgery where they had to crack open her chest to get the alien out), I mentioned it on social media. The outcry of support was overwhelming in a good way. And then, we found out that she beat the mother fucker! Gone. 6 weeks of radiation. No Chemo! One of the happiest days of our lives.
Now back to the hospital -ity. The food sucks. I don’t get it. People spend a FORTUNE to be in a hospital. They need to eat healthily, if they have any appetite at all. After surgery, the slop looked worse than you would imagine prison food. We smuggled in some good stuff for Mom to eat. Shouldn’t putting healthy food in one’s body be a priority?!!!
In the middle of mom’s radiation treatments, she got pneumonia. She had to go back to the hospital. Same slop. She spent 5 days in, then they gave her steroids, and she got better.
After radiation was over, she came down with pneumonia again. Back to the slammer.
After 6 days, they took a cat scan because she was not improving. 6 days of getting stuck with IV’s and crap food again.
I went down with her for the scan. They didn’t even know down there that she had a tumor removed. They knew nothing of her recent history.
Then I called the doctor’s office who was to examine her results. I called and punched the option for doctors. I was able to speak with a human to pinpoint when the doc would see mom. Waiting sucks, right?
He showed up in the room, and said she had a worse pneumonia then last time. And he said “We should have a bioblablablascopy” done asap.
Me – “What’s that” I ask.
Doc – “Well, we go in and take a piece of tissue from the lung to figure out what kind of pneumonia it is.”
Me – “Does that require surgery?!”
Doc – “Yes.”
Me -“You mean, you put her under and cut her?”
Doc – “Just a small piece of tissue. She is out the same day”.
Me – “My mom has just gone through a huge surgery, 6 weeks of radiation, and two pneumonia episodes. Don’t you think her body has taken enough? Isn’t there a plan B?”
Doc – “Well, because we are not sure what kind of pneumonia she has, we don’t know what the right treatment would be until we determine what kind”.
Me – “Well, what kind could it be, and if so, what are the treatments?”
Doc – “Well, there’s a kind you can get from radiation damage”
Me – “And what is the treatment for that?”
Doc – “Steroids”
Me – “And the others?”
He names of a couple I can’t pronounce, but with the exception of a couple of types, the cure was steroids!
Me – “So, why wouldn’t we try the steroids first, and if that doesn’t work, then do this surgery?”
Doc – “We could do that.”
I sat there with my jaw dropped open. Me. Speechless….but not for long.
Me – “Well, why didn’t you suggest doing that in the first place?”
Doc – “Well, we could do either or, ummm, it’s not like I would suggest something that wasn’t the right thing to do.”
(Besides being defensive, he also seemed annoyed by my questions.)
I beg to differ. That’s what I thought. Sounds like a way to generate income. It actually blew my mind that he didn’t even mention it until I pushed. Why would that not have been the first thing he suggested?!!
Mom jumped in and opted for Plan B.
And even if I were not there, she would have done the same – questioning like I did.
But imagine if a patient was weaker, or less assertive, or less inquisitive?!
Mom started the steroids that day. She was home the next. And the steroids did the trick to the undetermined type of pneumonia she had.
And of course, the best news was that 2 weeks later, we found out she had beaten the cancer with radiation.
But again, what if….?
My mind is overwhelmed with so many what ifs. For every patient! I’m not insinuating all doctors are ass clowns at all. But how often do people go in for surgery when they don’t need it? It’s kind of like how we build tanks we don’t need, just because someone is making money.
It’s a war out there wherever you are! Just stand your ground, ask questions, and eat healthy!
P.S. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from cancer, and for those who loves someone who does.