Thursday, January 10, 2008

I've Got Rants in my Pants, and the F-Bomb, Too!

Didn't sleep last night, which sucks, because I really needed the shut eye. Having trouble focusing, everything seems dreamlike, hazy and disjointed. Christ, I'd be thrilled with at least five consecutive hours, but no doing. Been a long time since I last slept for more than three hours without waking -- not anomalous for me, as I'm a lifelong insomniac, but I usually manage to crash quite well after a couple of weeks sans sleep. Not lately, though.

I'm about to ramble on here, and I apologize for any run on sentences, grammar errors, or extreme boredom you may encounter.

My grandma called me last night with the news that my mother was rushed to the hospital via ambulance due to spiking fever. Not surprised. Why the docs let her go home in the first place is a mystery to me and everyone else concerned. I mean, here she is, over sixty, with refractory acute myeloid leukemia, just finished her THIRD try at chemotherapy, which, as with the other two tries, did nothing to stop the blast cells from furiously multiplying, and she's sick as hell, no immune system, and the dumbass doctors, instead of taking her straight to another hospital on Monday for last-ditch effort clinical trial treatment, as was planned (her decision -- emphatically decided upon, by the way), her oncology team suddenly throw their hands in the air and start talking gibberish. Babbling, useless, stupid idiots, the whole lot of them.

This is the same hospital where my Nic was treated, then died, October 28th. Without warning. Like, totally without warning. Sure, she had late stage breast cancer, and sure, she was nearing end stage, but...This is the same hospital that, two days before she died, when she went in emergency complaining of loss of sensation in her lower extremities and incontinence, kept her waiting, lying on a crappy ED bed for EIGHT HOURS before she was taken care of. Eight hours. No one bothered to even ask her if she needed to use the toilet until her seventh hour of waiting, and the person that asked her was...Me. She looked at me, cocked her head and said, "Uh, yeah, probably a good idea, that." So her daughter runs to get a nurse -- anybody -- to help take Nic to the bathroom. And we waited. Then waited some more.

Fucking dickwads finally sent someone over after her daughter LOUDLY protested while she and I attempted to carry/drag poor Nic to the bathroom ourselves.

But Nic, other than incontinence and inability to walk, was her old self, full of spunk, piss (pun!), and vinegar, and finally making her plans for palliative care. The last thing we discussed, the night before she passed, was our Halloween plan. We were planning our traditional Halloween night, my brother Rob included, where scary movies, Snickers bars, and potato chips with onion dip are de rigueur.

How could someone go from laughing and joking and anticipating a fun Halloween to death OVER NIGHT?

Oh, and I forgot to mention that right before my brother and I were leaving that night, Nic told me that she'd been left to sit in her own waste for a long time that day. Despite repeated beeps to the nurse's station. And the dildos KNEW she was incontinent...And when I confronted one of the nurses before I left, she said to me this: "Impossible. Waniece has trouble with time perception."

Yeah. Okay, sister.

It's always the patient's fault, isn't it?

Just like it's my mom's fault for WANTING TO FUCKING LIVE.

Look, I realize that hospitals are understaffed. I get that nurses and doctors are overwhelmed. I understand that successful treatments for cancer are WOEFULLY slim pickings. I get all of that. But I have absolutely NO faith whatsoever in the current medical establishment. None. It's all dictated to by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Hey, and I'll throw in government "intervention" as well.

See, If I were in charge of things, it would be mandatory that all cancer patients receive a box of fatties, unlimited pain meds of their choice (my mom, when she asked a nurse if she could have a Vicodin last weekend, was told she'd have to wait until the nurse "got permission" from some mysterious fuckwit or other -- strange, considering Mom's never had to go through secret channels before just to get a fucking VICODIN! -- so they sent in a couple of TYLENOL instead. Tylenol? That's like putting a cockwiping Band Aid on a broken leg!), and an advocate assigned to each and every patient. Yeah, I know the family is supposed to advocate, but, jeepers, fuck. We kind of HAVE OUR HEADS UP OUR ASSES AT THE MOMENT? We sort of AREN'T FUCKING DOCTORS who know WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? And we certainly have NO FUCKING CONTROL over mind-blowingly callous CUNT-FACED INSURANCE COMPANIES and their evil twins, the NOT-SO-FUNNY PHARMS!

Okay, breathe, Ms. Lori...Breathe...

All better.

Right, then. I'm off to get my boy ready for school. And then I've a nice, cold six pack to cuddle up to.

Screw everything until later. Today, for a while, I shall wallow. By the time the kids come home, I'll be right as rain, house will be spic 'n' span, dinner in the oven, my makeup did, my smile in place. Then it's off to visit my mother.

I'll be wearing my "Buck Fush" T-shirt.


At 5:59 PM, Blogger PICAdrienne said...

My step-dad referred to his tumor as a 'dirty rat bastard.' I know it sucked for us, and I know it was far worse for him. It was worth a 4 hour commute from the folks place to my office to be with him at the end.

I hope you are far from that. I believe my step-dad's attitude really helped, for a long while.

At 3:29 AM, Blogger Rabbitch said...

I wish I could come with you, sweetie. For that visit I'd even buy a rude T-Shirt (perhaps with my verification word on it, which today is "fluct").

I'm not scared of punching nurses.

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous twoblueday said...

I don't believe hospitals are understaffed, I believe they are, like every other business, full of lazy, incompetent, jerks. I bet a time/motion study would find these weasels don't actually work more than an hour or so on an 8 hour shift.

What a racket.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nici mentioned her hospital was bad, but it never clued in... if the woman who rarely complains starts to complain, then something is up.

I'm glad to hear your Mum's outta there.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Hey, thanks, everyone.

I was in a terrible mood when I wrote that (ya think?).

Yvonne, that hospital is one of the best in the country for heart-related stuff -- their cancer center, however, leaves so much to be desired, it's frightening.

I was telling my husband today that if, God forbid, someone else I know is diagnosed with cancer, I would tell them to steer clear of that hospital of doom.

At Strong, when I went to visit my Mom, I was struck by how PROPER everything was. The nurses stopped us before Lar and I went into my mom's room and demanded we wash our hands (there was a sink right next to her room). That never, ever happened at the other hospital. Also, they won't allow my mother to leave her room without a face mask -- again, didn't happen in the other hospital. Another thing: The docs have been testing my Mom, and testing some more. Another thing the other hospital neglected to do. And one of the nurses shaved her head today -- the other place just let it fall out all over the place.

Oh, and the other hospital stank. Badly.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous aphid said...

Hope things get better. Hate that I can't be of any use. I'm sorry. At least your mom's in a decent hospital now, glad that's working out.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Thanks, Aphid!

Mom seemed in good spirits last night. Haven't seen her this way in a long time...

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous aphid said...

Oh, well that's pretty awesome. From what you've said about her, she's a tough old broad. You can tell her someone from the internet wishes her luck.


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