An Open Letter to My Loved One’s Doctor

Dear Doctor:

My loved one was brought to your hospital because of a fall. During the course of his examination you discovered that he had walking pneumonia and admitted him to the hospital. Because he has lewy Body Dementia he is easily confused and agitated and unable to speak for himself, although he certainly can talk.

I specifically told you he had sensitivity to certain medications and it is clearly indicated in his medical records none the less your first instinct was to reach for the Haldol. Thank goodness I was able to prevent this. It didn’t stop you from coming back and administering another equally as bad medication in a sneaky manner and before I could stop you. Did it?

Thanks to your actions, yes, this is specifically traceable back to those careless actions you took during those first few critical hours. my loved one, who only a few days ago was able to dress himself, feed himself, and care for his own personal hygiene is in hospice.

You tell me he is old and weak and not strong enough to fight any more. He was certainly strong enough to fight you off when you first tried to administer those drugs, wasn’t he?! At least he was until you increased the dosage to the point where he could no longer resist the drug’s effects. Not strong enough? Well, for some one so weak he sure put up a valiant effort didn’t he?

By the way, doctor, those same medications cause irregular heart beats and other medical complications as well undoubtedly you are treating him for those now too.

I am weak and weary and unable to fight you. I have no standing or power of attorney, only the heartache of seeing a life we both built together over 30 years come crashing down because of your arrogance and ineptitude.

I am writing this letter not to harass or indict you but as a warning to others. It is difficult enough to surrender the care of someone you love to strangers in an hour of need, but actions such as yours serve as a real threat and deterrent
to those who would seek medical help for their loved ones in an emergency. It’s always hard to make that decision but it’s made all the more difficult because of horror stories like mine

Do me a favor doctor and take down all those posters you have plastered all over the hospital. The ones that ask patients and their advocates to speak up if they have concerns about their care. Because of you and people like you, those posters are meaningless.

Epilogue: John entered the hospital on Monday, March 28th, 2011 He passed away on April 2nd, 2011. Because of my outburst on Monday I was forbidden from entering the hospital. He died alone.

Richard Mueller

Apr 02, 2011