It’s been a long week. Actually, it’s been a long three weeks. This week I’ve been dealing with a “family emergency”. That’s how I’ve been describing it to all those clients and potential clients I’ve had to reschedule. Last week I was in Boston, attending a three-day conference. Week before that I was in Toronto, ostensibly for work, but mostly looking out for the Yarn Harlot.
So the details. Not that you need them, but I need to write them.
Just about a week ago my Dad was admitted to the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia. He’s 72 and diabetic – a man who loves to eat and does not follow his doctor’s instructions well at all. It’s been a week where I’ve learned just how broken our U.S. health care system is. (Who can help? McCain, Obama, anyone??)
I spent two days spent working out the details of signing his health care proxy form, designating me as his health care agent. A time during which not one hospital nurse, physicians’ assistant, or even orderly would give me the time of day. Apparently HIPAA regulations do not allow daughters to be informed of their parents’ health situations. I was fuming. Oddly, the HIPAA restrictions magically disappear when a patient is discharged. Days of no information culminated in reams of paperwork and chaotic instructions for care, upon my Dad’s release from the hospital.
This was soon followed by the pharmacy battle, wherein the daughter delivers prescriptions, Medicare refuses to pay, the patient’s primary care doctor disagrees with the hospital’s instructions, (at 4 PM on Halloween no less) and the daughter is left standing at CVS, confused, befuddled, and then ready to kill.
In the end, most of the prescription issues were resolved, and Dad is settled in his apartment happily eating sugar-free Jello with pineapple while watching Bargain Hunt on BBC America. Daughter is finally home, sipping red wine from a balloon sized glass, finally catching up on blogs and reading about knitting. A long week indeed.