Friday, July 18, 2008

Me as a patient advocate for my elderly father

If you read the first few posts, you know that I have been the primary care-giver for my father (now Stage 4 Colon Cancer).

Dad went through six (6) weeks of chemotherapy and now he is in week 2 of his 2 week off. Dad restarts the six (6) week cycle next week. Dad has a phenomenal oncologist and oncology NP (Michael Morse, MD and Cindy Simonsen, respectively)

Dad seemed to being great until two (2) days ago. Now he is so lethagic that he cannot even go through the motions of taking down underwear to go to bed. He needs 24 hour a day supervision. I do my very best. But it is tough.

I am my dad's patient advocate in terms of working with insurance and billing and medical appointments.

To add insult to injury - my Chicago attorney tells me that caring for my terminally ill and mildly demented elderly father & helping in my family's business is a reflection of "financial irresponsibility" because I do not have a tradition 8 to 5 job. Evidentially the Illinois ARDC looks poorly on suspended attorneys who have been instructed to "rehabilitate themselves" to show they can resume to practice of law.

The IARDC apparently does not acknowledge that caring and advocating for a vulnerable and dying elderly parent is a reflection of the care-giver's strong character, strong moral integrity and strength to successfully advocate under stress.

My care-giver meant that my father did not move to nursing home. My dad gets to spend the final days of his life in his own home. My family never requested government assistance to take of dad. In addition, I have not applied for any government assistance as a care-giver.

My family has pulled ourselves together and helped one another, Neither my disciplinary attorney nor the IARDC seem to value my decisions. But I am proud of my "rehabilitation."

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