Sunday, October 12, 2014

Not a great day for medical news

America has its first Ebola case- that was contracted in the US. And it was a healthcare worker who knew the patient had Ebola and was using protective gear. This is not good. Too many healthcare workers are getting Ebola- here and abroad.

When I do inpatient I sometimes have to wear a gown and gloves. Once, when I was a student, I had to wear a mask as well because I was doing an eval on someone with TB. I was terrified. But really, if you think about it- gowns may not be enough. If someone has sneezed and there are droplets on the floor- you could get your shoes contaminated, etc. Any part of your body that is not covered with protective covering is at risk. So many ways that this could all go wrong. And apparently it has, at least for one nurse.

On a more personal level, I am wondering why the end of life has to be so hard. My grandmother broke one of her vertebrae- and things have been really bad ever since. Her pain is not under control- except when it is, and then she forgets she was in pain. The pain is making her more confused and agitated and more difficult. I don't know if they are going to be able to continue to keep her at home- but my mom has finally agreed to have someone come to the house- but they can't start until later next week.

Part of the problem is lack of continuity of care- my grandmother sees a gerontologist at a major university clinic- but the doctors keep leaving and the clinic keeps moving and reorganizing- so that there was no one they could call this weekend about pain medication because she is seeing a new doctor next week. And I'm not sure that there is anything that they could have called in, anyway, as they are all controlled substances.

I wonder if an antipsychotic would help her. I could send her some of my Zyprexa! Or maybe she will be better if her pain is managed better. Or maybe she just can't stay at home anymore. My mother really wants to take care of her mother at home- but it might be the behavioral aspect of things, rather than her declining health, that makes this not possible.

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