Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mary's Desk, October 20, 2009

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Ms. Daughter: "Yeah, I need to make an appointment for my Mom, she has Alzheimer's disease".

Mary: "Okay, what about Wednesday at 2:00?"

Ms. Daughter: "No, I need all day Thursday".

Mary: "All day?"

Ms. Daughter: "Yeah, I mean, it's not really an appointment. I've got to drive to Southern City for a business meeting, and need someone to watch my Mom."

Mary: "Uh, we don't do that."

Ms. Daughter: "Come on. The nursing homes charge a fortune for adult day care. Can't I just leave her there for a few hours and you can bill Medicare for an appointment? I'll be back by 4:00, and I'll supply her lunch and insulin."

Mary: "Ummm..., ma'am, we really aren't an adult day care service or care home."

Ms. Daughter: "You won't do this, either? Great. I've tried almost every damn doctor in the area. What is wrong with you people?! Don't any of you care anymore?"

(hangs up)


vanity press said...

"What is wrong with you people?! Don't you even care anymore?"

People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed


Mr. Condescending said...

Too bad Rick Hoffman, Medical Meth-head wasn't there!

"Bella" said...

geeze she is sounding pretty desperate, and desperate people do desperate things...

poor Mom...wonder where she will leave her on Thursday?

C. said...

Get a baby sitter.

Vegan Epicurean said...

What, you won't take part in a little Medicare fraud? "What is wrong with you people?"

Unreal. Somehow she thinks the problem is everyone else. There are no other words for this.

S3XinthePantry said...

This reminds me of the parents who leave their kids at the library or fast food joints during summer break (oh, wait...I hope she doesn't read this and get any ideas!)

Anonymous said...

Ah, Cmon Mary....Don't you need a greeter or mascot or something? She could help file charts or something....Maybe feed the fish? I thought it was pretty generous that the daughter was going to provide the lunch AND the insulin, too! (Of course, who knows about the diapers or other things....)

I hope my kids just dump me off on the side of the road and drive away when I am old and demented...

Lilorfnannie said...

I think of this song whenever I see stuff like that, that just drives me nuts- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmkgowjWm_I

Which is pretty darn frequently, it has become somewhat of an anthem of mine....

Sarah said...

Ten bucks says an ambulance is called on Thursday for "increased confusion" and she ends up in the ER for the day.

The Vinsl Man said...

Time to start trying the local veterinarians...

Anonymous said...

I feel so sorry for the woman who called. I took care of my 93-y.o. grandmother who also had Alzheimer's for about a year. There are no days off. At the time, there were no daycares for the elderly. I hired a babysitter for her 3 nights a week so I could take a night course at the university, but Grandma was afraid of the babysitter (a very nice, gentle black woman with whom I had worked at one of the local hospitals), so I had to drop the class. Although we had some relatives in the same town, only one cousin would come to visit Grandma and would sometimes take Grandma for a Sunday for dinner. That cousin deserves an especially wonderful place in heaven when she dies!

This woman is probably at the end of her rope and probably about to tie a noose, either for herself or for her mother. And you're all laughing at her -- insert here sounds of disgust! -- couldn't you have given her some helpful suggestions? Mary, I thought you were better than this!

Dana said...

THIS is why I told my husband to put me in a home if I get Alzheimer's. I want a decent one, but still, I want to be in a home.

Her poor mother... I hope the mother is in a very safe place on Thursday.

(My verification was lother... there are so many ways that fits this.)

Anonymous said...

I'm also laying bets on no insulin given+ a bag of Milano cookies with a Dr Pepper chaser for an ER visit, too.

This half wit had the brass balls to call. How many people just dump and run at the hospital lobby with Grandma?

At our big lobby, I could see someone wheel up Grandma by the lounge, and park her there for a few hours. Especially if Grandma is quiet.

Take me out Old Yeller style if this is the sh*t that will get pulled on me when my brain is shot.

2 caps to the head, please.

LD50 Rat

ERP said...

Jezus F Christ.

Kimbra Kasch said...

I think it's sad.

I hate to come off as Debbie Downer but I wish there were more places for people to turn "in times of trouble".

My Dad died from Alzheimer's disease and I know how tired a person can get giving 24X7 care. Plus, Dad was big - it was physically exhausting.

Over my rant. Signing off.


CrownedwithVictory said...

Wow. And to think she could have found a CNA off of Craigslist with much less effort!

Lipstick said...

Well....it's never a dull day at the Dr. Grumpy Headquarters.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

Amazing. Sure it's exhausting caring for an Alzheimer's patient, but asking a medical provider to babysit AND defraud Medicare is just a little much. Makes me worry about the other shortcuts Ms. Daughter uses..

Madeleine said...

Hahaha. I feel bad for the woman and her situation, and of course it's a tragic disease, but this definitly proves that you do attract some "special" people alright.

ausduck said...

@ ERP - is that Jesus H's brother??? :)

This is sad on so many levels, as well as darned infuriating on so many levels. And goddammit we just don't care... enough to break the law so that a daughter doesn't have to fork out money for day care. *tongue-in-cheek*
Yep, I smell an ED granny-dump for Thursday. Happens here in Aus too, although most community day-care centres are state funded. But there can be a long waiting list.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope this woman, gets help for her mom. There should be help from the state. She is saving the state a lot of money, by taking care of her. All this woman needs is some respite. We should not be critizing her. Or putting her down. Sorry but until you are in her shoes, like so many of us are, please don't say unpleasant/hurtful things.

I am sorry however, that she had to bother doctors offices, to get help. It's just too bad that someone didn't have a few resources for her to call.

Have a nice day.


Fiz said...

I've told my kids to put a plastic bag over my head. "Life" like that isn't living.

Anonymous said...

"This woman is probably at the end of her rope and probably about to tie a noose, either for herself or for her mother. And you're all laughing at her -- insert here sounds of disgust! -- couldn't you have given her some helpful suggestions? Mary, I thought you were better than this!"

Ummmm did you miss the part of his post where the daughter mentioned adult day care? She is obviously aware of other options. This lady wanted Dr Grumpy to commit mediscare fraud.

What time Thursday morning should we be expecting her in the ED?


Anonymous said...

Hey ED RN:

NO, I did not miss the part about Medicare Fraud.

I personally think the woman wasn't thinking about committing Medicare Fraud. Only wanted a day to go take care of other business. She is probably very stressed out. And wanted people perhaps she knows or her mom knows taking care of her, for a few hours. (may not be comfortable with adult day care, or had it and was not pleased with how she was treated). just saying.

Now she will probably have to take her mom with her. I feel very bad for this woman. I am sure she has like most of us a thousand and one things to do.

I am not downing Mary or any other health care professionals. I was just saying, it's too bad, she wasn't given other resources, to help her out.

We could all use some kindness of others these days.


A Peach said...

I get that the daughter is in a tough situation with caring for her mom. But those of you chastizing the reactions, come ON! Who calls a DOCTOR'S OFFICE for a babysitter??

The daughter clearly knows there are other options, she just doesn't want to pay for it. Tough, yes, but if SHE doesn't want to fork over cash for day care for her mom, why should a doctor's office neglect other patients for free (or defraud medicare GAH!) to do it?

No, tough situation yes, but the daughter clearly isn't thinking about her mother.

Anonymous said...

All the people who feel sorry for this loon are amazing.

Had she rung up about dumping her autistic 3 year kid at someone's doctor's office, you'd all be howling CPS should be called.

This daughter is gaming the system. No one pulls "just bill Medicare." out of their ass in a moment of desperation.

Oh before I get the "you don't understand whine", yes I do. My sister and I took care of my bed-ridden quadriplegic mom for 15 years, with minimal help and no extra cash. That started when I was 21, so I know what a life style cramping, buzz kill experience it can be.

I'd do it all again in a heart beat. No regets here.

LD50 Rat.

Don Miller said...

The answer is Respite care.

The caregiver has to sign up in advance, but there are programs in almost every community for Respite care so that caregivers can get a day off.

Guess what, Medicare will even pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps she should have upped the ante: Lot of Diet Coke and some fresh tomatoes for Mrs Grumpy

AmyAnne said...

I'm clearly not using my pediatrician to his fullest potential.

ausduck said...

@LD50 Rat: in saying I found this sad on so many levels I have to qualify that I meant for the elderly mother. The infuriating on so many levels was aimed at the loving daughter.

Personally I think Mary handled the phone call quite well. I would have been a heck of a lot less than professional dealing with the daughter.

And yes, I too know how difficult it is providing care 24/7. But to ring around Doctor's surgeries hoping to find somewhere that 'day care' doesn't cost and holding out the carrot of medicare fraud is a tad reprehensible.

just sayin', all

Joanie said...


Cathy said...

Stop raggin on this woman so badly. At least she was making calls and asking for help. She wasn't just walking out the door and leaving her mom in a locked bedroom all day. Obviously she doesn't know about respite care (or) I have a feeling we don't know this whole story. I would like to know if this woman is a patient of your practice, and if you and daughter had talks about respite? If so, maybe the daughter didn't completely understand how it works, thinking maybe she needed to call your office to get it set up? I ask this because the way you tell this makes no sense that a stranger off the street would call any Dr. office and ask such a thing. However, if her mother was your patient and there had been certain discussions prior to this, then I think we aren't being told enough of the story.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Cathy- neither the woman who called, or her mother, were patients of my practice. We'd never heard of either of them prior to this call.

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