"Medical City Dallas Hospital offers an unparalleled breadth and depth of medical care in North Texas. If you have concerns for your health, that of a family member or even a friend, look here for the most relevant and thorough information possible right at your fingertips. Click on the links above in red for more information on a specific area of expertise.
"We hope that from the moment you walk through our doors, you notice the Medical City difference. Our staff is passionate about their work and your care. This has allowed Medical City to become a place where healing, compassion, humanity and simple kindness are celebrated daily."
My friend, Lori's mother is 99-years old. And while her body has deteriorated and her weight has dropped, making her nothing more than a spot of what she was on, say her 90th birthday, she still has 100% of her marbles.
She keeps up with current events, talks about things in both the present and past tenses, and muses about what the future might bring. She regularly plays bridge and other complicated card games, playing against those nowhere near her age, and slam-dunking frequent wins.
Her only enemy is that her body is wearing out.
Her bone mass has deteriorated, and she's now in excruciating pain. Almost immobile, even with the use of a walker or wheelchair. But she keeps on trucking.
She's only lived with her daughter for the past couple of months. Before that, she was completely on her own at a retirement community.
Early this week, she awoke in such pain that Lori knew she had to get her to the hospital. She called her mom's doctor, he told her he'd call the hospital with instructions and to take her there immediately. One of the doctor's instructions would be to administer an MRI immediately.
They arrived. Several hours past. Lori's mother had not been checked in or seen. She was in a semi-fetal position in a hard chair, trying to relieve as much of her discomfort as she could by leaning on the chair's arm. No amount of pleading from Lori brought help from the staff, and the room was loaded with others who needed quick attention.
Lori's mother seriously asked Lori to take her home and let her die.
The phone rang. Lori asked Patty if she could bring her mother a pillow to rest between her mom's arm and the chair's arm. It seems the hospital didn't want to provide her one. Patty left, and two hours later, called to tell me, "I totally lost it! I pitched such a fit that they called security to remove me. But they did get her a room." Patty said that in her opinion it fit the legal definition of elderly abuse.
Late into the evening, they hadn't done the MRI. Why? Lori asked. "The doctor didn't order one," the person said. It was then that Lori looked down and saw the order for the MRI on the person's desk. "Oh, I must have overlooked it," the hospital staff member said.
The two paragraphs that begin this blog are verbatim from the hospital's web site, and they are the beginning paragraphs.
No one in that admitting room with Lori's mother that day would agree with the hospital's written analysis of itself. Certainly Lori's mother wouldn't, and my psychotherapist wife, who has dealt with and in the medical world for more than 35 years, wouldn't either.
Until hospital licenses require third-party patient advocates cruising the admitting rooms, talking with patients, observing conditions and monitoring patient handling, and until those advocates have the authority to over-rule hospital staff decisions, conditions like those experienced by Lori's mother will continue to taint the care provided by many of America's medical facilities.
That would be a good place for Mr. Obama and his plan to begin their work.
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