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December 9th, 2011

I’d make a lousy doctor @ 03:18 pm

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Cause I’m not keen on playing God.

My grandmother has pneumonia.  It does not surprise me that this happened, I have actually been expecting it.

I did not expect that the care center would put her on antibiotics for it.  They say it is pallative, but in an 88 year old woman with end-stage dementia and very clear advance directives, antibiotics are a curative measure.  There is a reason they call pneumonia “the old man’s friend.”

I really would have thought given everything else that managing it rather than trying to cure it would be a no-brainer.  Instead, I had to call the hospice nurse and tell her they need to find another truly pallative treatment for this and to pull the antibiotics.  (Fortunately they do have an absolute boatload of things they can do that will keep her comfortable.)

If my grandmother could have a lucid and rational moment and I told her, “Hey, you’ve got end-stage dementia, and a bout of pneumonia, but don’t worry, they’re gonna clear up the pneumonia so you can just have the dementia that much longer” she would sit up and punch me in the face.  (Advance directives are great, but it’s also good to be able to say I REALLY know what she wants, cause she made it crystal clear over the years.)

It would be one thing if clearing up the pneumonia would give her a normal life again, but it won’t.

Still feel like a bit of a schmuck, though.

Originally posted at CafeChatNoir.net.
 
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From:dantheserene
Date:December 9th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
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The Schmuck option is letting the doctors decide what *they* want to do.
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From:pisceandreamer
Date:December 9th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Very true. The house doc at the care center has been on my shit list for a while. Fortunately the hospice nurses have no issues with ratting her out to me when she does something stupid.

Feeling better also cause a friend just called and they did the antibiotic route once w/their Mom - he said it totally wasn't worth it.

Cafe Chat Noir

No fate but the fate you make for yourself...