I finally got in touch with her doctor and expressed my concerns. He was at another dialysis center that day. I told him I was quite concerned that something was seriously wrong with Clara. I even commented if she had something like cancer, I would never want her to be burdened with that knowledge. I was a bit cautious about the possibility of opening a can of worms like that. However, I knew in my heart there was something going on with Clara that could not be ignored. The doctor said he didn’t think she had
cancer. I asked him if he thought she was dying and to my surprise and disappointment he laughed at my question and then said no. I reminded him that she had been on dialysis for over five and a half years now, asking if her body could be breaking down. He said no. I again emphasized I was certain something was seriously wrong. He replied that her last labs didn’t show anything significant. I commented that blood work doesn’t show everything (and they only ran labs relavent to her dialysis) and she has agreed to go to the hospital and that we needed to figure out if she had something treatable. Up to this conversation, I felt like I had a very good working relationship with Clara’s doctor. I was shocked when he said that the emergency room isn’t a place to dump my mother-in-law off and Medicare would not pay for endless unnecessary tests. I was offended at the suggestion this was not about my concern for my mother-in-law. I firmly assured him this was not a case of me trying to get my mother-in-law off my hands to give me a break. That I am involved in her daily care, and I’m saying something is very, very wrong with her. She was extremely weak, she had hardly any appetite, what she did eat caused diarrhea and she is too weak to get up and get to the bathroom. The doctor still seemed unconcerned, and a bit apathetic. This conversation took place on Monday, and he said he would be at her dialysis center on Wednesday, and he would talk with her and check on her then. I could not believe it, I left Clara at dialysis convinced going to the hospital was in her best interest, and I knew once I picked her up and took her home, that opportunity for her to agree to go to the hospital would be gone.
I was Clara’s full time caregiver for 8 years. I mentioned earlier in this blog that I am posting exerpts from my book, Life with Clara – One Caregiver’s Journey. My goal has always been that my experience and honesty could help others in this life changing role. My entire account is available at www.createspace.com/3469034