Thursday, April 30, 2009

Backburning your own care as you care give

It is very important to take care of yourself while you advocate and care give.

Unfortunately, I have not taken my own advise. I cannot recall when I last saw my oncologist (I completed treatment in 2007) and I have had no scans or x-rays for 2 years.

But I do not trust the Duke doctors long enough to leave for my own medical care.

Duke Medical has been ignoring my dad's foot infection and need for orthopedic surgery. And the delays continue.

Perhaps in hopes that the cancer will worsen and there will be no need for orthopedic surgery, dad will now wait more than 2 weeks for an appointment with the Duke orthopedic surgeon to "determine a plan." This is the same Duke orthopedic surgeon that just required that dad undergo CT scans and obtain a "clearance" from the Duke oncologist.

The Duke oncologist rushed to get dad into radiology and into the clinic so that dad could obtain the "clearance." The oncologist stated that he never had such a request from orthopedics and he supposed that the Duke orthopedic surgeon "did not want to schedule surgery for tomorrow if dad died today."

Despite the rush to get dad's cancer status in check, Duke orthopedics is in no rush to get the infection resolved. And, recall, this is an infection that was overlooked by the Duke University Hospital's Hospitalists during the August 2008 hospitalization. That Hospitalist flatly refused to contact dad's treating Duke physicians.

If the DUH Hospitalist had contacted dad's treating Duke physicians then she would have spoken with the Duke orthopedic surgeon. That conversation presumably would have divulged the fact that dad had metal in his foot and therefore infection treatments should be administered accordingly.

Dad has been in pain since the oozing infection from August 2008 and the resultant 4 orthopedic surgeries and 3 week hospitalization in November 2008.

Dad suffers. Dad cannot receive chemotherapy until the foot is fixed (chemotherapy can prevent bone healing).

I have to remain in North Carolina and cannot obtain follow-up cancer care with my doctors in Chicago. I also cannot obtain orthopedic care from my doctors in Chicago.

It is very hard to care for an elderly person who is struggling. It is even harder when I am injured.

But I cannot leave dad alone in North Carolina.

I cannot leave dad alone even long enough to have my cancer treated.

I do not trust Duke Medical (specifically Duke orthopedics and DUH) with my dad.

God help us please.

No comments:

Post a Comment