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 Doctors Make Me Crazy 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Doctors Make Me Crazy
Got my mother in law's pill planner back from the pharmacy on Thursday. Checked it today and found yet another error. This time the planner contained only one dose of her anti-seizure medicine as opposed to the usual two doses. Apparently the general physician countermanded the neurologist and changed the dosage. Explains why she has been acting out of it the past day or two. Had to make emergency calls and got it fixed, but why wasn't I informed by the doc that he was making a change? He never consulted the neurologist. It is so frustrating! Grrrrrrrrr. :x


Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:19 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3400
Location: Vermont
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Hi - do you have medical POA? If so, please remind the dr. of that, give them another copy if you need to and keep reminding them that you want to be informed/consulted if ANY changes are made to her medical care. I think we all have experienced this at one time or another. I try to make sure either I, my sister, or my dad's friend who would be the back-up POA if something happened to me or my sister go to every appt. with him. But sometimes things happen quickly and we can't get there or they just randomly change meds without any of us knowing until sometime later. It is extremely frustrating. Been there, done that, wanted to bang my head against a wall sometimes! Lynn


Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
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Spoke with the neurologist today and he is livid over the episode. First of all, she showed no signs of too much keppra in her symptoms, second, after a blood test you determine your next step. Third, if you need to go down in dosage you reduce one dose, not eliminate one dose. Glad I caught this in time, or she would have had another major seizure. I have now switched to a different GP. Phew! :) Put out another fire in the nick of time.


Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:13 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
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Been there, done that. Some GPs just don't want to relinquish any control to specialists. And there are some specialists who are not very good at communicating with the GP. Good job! :)

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:33 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
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Location: Vermont
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We advocates for our LOs have to stay on top of this stuff constantly. I feel sometimes like I should be in med school just so I know more and can ask the right questions! And, just when you think things are under control they can change very quickly.
I am sure your dedication is much appreciated, even if she can't express it. Lynn


Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:13 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:15 am
Posts: 44
Location: USA
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Keeping track of medication changes is a full time job. I have now written the nursing home and told them my dad and I as POA have the right to refuse any treatment and therefore they must tell me before changing or adding to his medications.

They still don't tell me. Half the time I don't even think the people handing out he meds pay attention to any changes the doctor makes. They just go by the sheets and hand it out.

It is very hard. Plus I see all those men there when I visit my dad and I wonder how many of them are like they are simply because there is no one to monitor changes when a drug is added.

Plus they add drugs and forget to take them away when the problem is resolved.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:22 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
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GraceGirl, you are so right! When I was a home health case manager I frequently phoned patients' physicians to ask if such and such drug might be discontinued because it was probably no longer needed or no longer effective. Most of the time, they agreed! But they seem never to think of eliminating medications, only adding new ones! :?

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:28 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3400
Location: Vermont
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Stephanie - is there one nurse at the VA whom you trust to tell you what's going on? I've felt so much more connected to my dad's medical issues since a new nurse started at his ALF a few months ago. She calls me whenever there's a change, and she tells the other nurse call me if something happens when she has the day off. Sometimes I even get 2 calls about the same thing when one thinks the other hasn't called me.
Interesting that the issues I was having for months with the ALF's head nurse were obviously being experienced by other families and staff. Just after the new director came on board and I met with her, the head nurse became head paper pusher. The nurse I have such a good relationship with has been promoted. If you are deligent, these places will make changes that are needed in staffing. Our LOs deserve GREAT care, not mediocre or poor care and we have to be very assertive to make that happen sometimes. Lynn


Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:37 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:15 am
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Location: USA
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I do talk with the nurses a lot more now. And the head nurse is aware of my concerns. I met with the doctor a few weeks ago and told him my concerns and anger over prescribing several things at once.

They do call me more now about changes in dad's condition.

I started requesting copies of his medication listings everytime I visit now. It shows each day of the month, the medication, and initials when and who gave it. It is very helpful.

I am having much better luck asking questions and getting answers now. They are very nice and I am sure they are trying to do a good job but they just expect these declines so they don't look for medication changes as causing them when it is obvious to me.

But yes communication is getting better. A lot of it was my fault for just not realizing there was a nursing home doctor who could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted without telling me. So I didn't know to ask for medication listings when things seemed weird.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:16 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
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Have changed doctors. First appointment is Thursday. Wish me luck. I am armed with POA, advanced directives, neurologist contact info, etc. Gotta do what you gotta do. Wish me luck. By the way, my MIL has been having delusions again. Ah, the joys of Lewy Bodies.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:38 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
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Location: Vermont
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This is one of those things where you don't even know what you are supposed to do unless you've been through it before or you have close contact with someone who's been there, done that.
I didn't know that I should ask for a list of meds till we had some weird situation a few months ago. Now they either hand me one when I get to MD once a month, or they've mailed it to me if there are changes.
I've asked all his drs. face to face to please call me if they are considering any changes. So far, so good.
I was talking with a friend today's whose mom has some type of dementia and is in a small ALF. The head nurse there told my friend NEVER to ask questions or give them advice about her mom (my friend and her sister are both RNs so they have as much knowledge as this nurse.) Then the nurse called the woman's drs. and told them not to give info. to the daughters! Can you believe it? She just got fired last week. Duh. I wonder why. But this is what happens sometimes and family members
must speak up and try to get this behavior changed with the admin. in these places.
Good luck tomorrow at the appt. Stephanie, Lynn


Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:45 pm
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