Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looking for answers....

And all I get is medical jumbo. Yesterday I took momma for her 4 month check up with the lung Dr. (We have had to go several times before this visit, but this one was scheduled.) The last few times we have gone they have not handed us the form that you get to take up front to pay your bill and has your diagnoses on it. I just thought at 1st it was because momma has already paid her out of pocket. I would ask questions and would get; she looks good, or she is going to die! No real answers and I was getting a little ticked! (Frustrated) Even yesterday I would ask and they would beat around the bush. They could tell I was getting ill! Even when I asked about the wheel chair they tried to blow me off about talking about it, but said they was going to order it. Okay! What kind? Is it for just going places or all the time? And a 100 more I couldn't’t get an answer for. What even makes this more frustrating is momma has a lady through her insurance that talks to us and to the Dr to make sure she gets the best care. The Dr tells her way more than us. Momma kept telling me that the lady had the Dr wanted her to get a wheel chair to reserve her air and for she can get out more. I finally called the lady myself and made her all kind of uncomfortable! I guess she told the Dr because yesterday they gave me the sheet of paper that tells what the Dr’s diagnoses is. It had Chronic Respiratory failure and COPD. So, I came home and looked up Chronic Respiratory failure on the computer. All I got was all this medical JUMBO. (The article is below along with a website, which is more medical jumbo. What I have highlighted in red is what I understand the most and is what I have heard them say before.
All I ask is for the Dr to be a little more honest and explain to the family on their level!

Respiratory failure is a syndrome in which the respiratory system fails in one or both of its gas exchange functions: oxygenation and carbon dioxide elimination. In practice, respiratory failure is defined as a PaO2 value of less than 60 mm Hg while breathing air or a PaCO2 of more than 50 mm Hg. Furthermore, respiratory failure may be acute or chronic. While acute respiratory failure is characterized by life-threatening derangements in arterial blood gases and acid-base status, the manifestations of chronic respiratory failure are less dramatic and may not be as readily apparent.
Classification of respiratory failure
Respiratory failure may be classified as hypoxemic or hypercapnic and may be either acute or chronic.
Hypoxemic respiratory failure (type I) is characterized by a PaO2 of less than 60 mm Hg with a normal or low PaCO2. This is the most common form of respiratory failure, and it can be associated with virtually all acute diseases of the lung, which generally involve fluid filling or collapse of alveolar units. Some examples of type I respiratory failures are cardiogenic or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, pneumonia, and pulmonary hemorrhage.
1st link
2nd link
Respiratory failure occurs when the respiratory system fails in oxygenation and/or carbon dioxide elimination. Respiratory failure may be:1
Hypoxaemic respiratory failure (type I): PaO2 is less than 60 mmHg (8kPa) with a normal or low PaCO2. This is caused by ventilation-perfusion mismatch with either/both:
Under-ventilated alveoli (e.g. pulmonary oedema, pneumonia or acute asthma).
Venous blood bypasses ventilated alveoli (e.g. right to left cardiac shunts). Hyperventilation increases CO2 removal but does not increase oxygenation as blood leaving unaffected alveoli is almost fully saturated.
Hypercapnic respiratory failure (type II): PaCO2 is more than 50 mmHg (6.5kPa) and indicates inadequate alveolar ventilation. Any ventilation-perfusion mismatch will affect PaO2 and therefore hypoxaemia is also common.
Okay, if I have any medical people out there that can help explain this, I would be so ever grateful! Then again, I may already now and just not wanting to see.
What you think? I still think that Drs should be a little more honest and help the family understand what they are dealing with.


Jettie said...

OOHh dear..I feel so baad for oyu and your Mom!!! i don't understand either why on earth they can not tell you it all when it's you and your Mom's life!!And has to do with Your Mom!!! how frustrating!! i get lost also in that medical stuff and now adays it seems like to find a dr that gives a dam about you and your questions is very far and few between!!
I do so hope that changes for you & Your Mom and that someone out there can explain all that!! I was totally lost!! i will be thingking of you both and send my blessings!!

Not Jenny said...

I am so sorry your doctor is giving you the runaround. It is his job to make sure you understand your mom's condition. He is being a pompous jerk if he is not explaining it in a way that you can understand.

For what it's worth, I have looked after lots of patients who have COPD that have lived for years and years. They usually need supplemental oxygen at some point and have to alter lifestyles a bit (quit smoking, prop the head of the bed up, be careful with exercising) but don't think this is a death sentence. I hope you can find someone who can answer your questions for you.

here is a link to a website that explains COPD in plainer English.
I hope it helps a bit.

ChrisB said...

I often wonder why many doctors fail their patients and relatives by not explaining medical conditions simple english. I looked up a few sites which probably are similar to your links but these do give some info (I have a feeling that COPD may be the final diagnosis for my mother once all her tests are completed)

karisma said...

Poor Kitten! I guess this is why doctors told tell too much as we would not understand it all.

My interpretation is she can't breathe on her own and needs help! Im not much into doctors at all myself. I would be doing some deep breathing exercises to assist the lungs. I guess as people get older though that is not always the way!

Big big hugs to you, and much love to your mama too!

I got my pressie and have left a thankyou for you over at my place.

I love it and so does TC she is a naughty girl loves to drink coffee! I shall have to hide it from her!

A Spot of T said...

My sister had a lung disease so I can say with all honesty that's it's something your family should know everything you can. Not only will it help you to understand your mother's condition but it can help you in making her more comfortable as time goes on.

Sometimes the person who makes the most noise gets the most attention. No way would I be letting up on the doctor until him or someone else could sit with me and explain absolutely everything I wanted to know. Lots of hugs to you and your mom.

Anonymous said...

I (crossing fingers madly) have not had to deal with the medical system in any sort of serious way. But, when my sister was in her car accident, she had a case manager at the hospital that ran interference, so to speak, between her and the Dr. (who she saw, once, in the week she was at the hospital I think). Is there anything like that for your mom? Someone whose whole job is to speak english?

MOM #1 said...

I don't know if you know, but Baby Boy has several chronic medical conditions . . . you have to get over your southern belle upbringing and bring the HEAT with you when you go to the doctor.

Whenever anyone says anything you are unsure of . . . your response should be, "And what does that mean exactly?" Keep repeating this phrase until he breaks it down into plain English for you.

After three tries, if you still don't understand, ask him for a referral to a more patient friendly doctor because he doesn't seem to want to communicate with you on your own level.

Do all of this while staring straight into his eyes . . . don't blink. Only an icy cold stare will do.

Believe me . . . you'll get all the help you need and then some.

This is a tried and true method I've used for 15 years with Baby Boy. It works!

I'm praying for you, your mom, and your whole family. That doctor sounds like a real prick.

Not Jenny said...

Ok, I am a huge fan of Mom #1. Everything you said was perfect.

storyteller said...

I’m sorry to have missed your recent posts. On days I go to school, I don’t have much time for blog visits and tend to fall behind. Getting accurate medical information is challenging … I’m praying for your mom … and for you too.
Hugs and blessings,

dawn said...

That is terrible and certainly it would be nice if the doctors could just be up front with all of you. It does no one any favours when they don't let you know what you are dealing with. You are all in my prayers.