For those of you who followed the last four posts know how I was going on about healthcare, or maybe I should say health “administration”. Apparently Island Health was reading as well. I did receive a pleasant note from Island Health suggesting I contact the Patient Care Quality Office which I have declined to do. I have dealt with that office before as well as the one in Alberta five years ago. I am sure they mean well but that meaning well and $2 may get you on public transportation.
CONFESSION – A person has a lot of time to think when you’re lying in a hospital bed especially without WiFi. It is becoming increasingly harder to reconcile a young thinking active mind with a failing body. Sixty-five years of living with a chronic condition takes its tole on a body. It’s like spending a lifetime keeping that Chrysler 426 Hemi finally tuned but maintaining the body with the occasional car wash and some inexpensive body filler.
I also realize it is pretty well the norm for many of the baby-boomers to live in denial of aging, I am one of them. However baby-boomers are really the first large demographic with parents still alive. To baby-boomers 90 is old but to the millennial their parents are old, us! We now live in a system that has been designed for 85 year olds, no disrespect meant.
The Assisted Living Federation of America reports that the average age of assisted living residents is 86.9 years (female average age, 87.3; male average age, 85.7). Female residents (73.6%) outnumber male residents by almost 3 to 1. The majority (76.6%) of assisted living residents are widowed, and just over 12% are still married or have a significant other.
While I’m lying in that hospital bed attempting to square the circle of this body/mind disconnect I’m also observing my two roommates. Both elderly gentleman awaiting a placement bed somewhere due to what I believe was dementia. Where these beds will be is uncertain but does raise some interesting question regarding my future needs.
I’m lying in a bed in a hospital so out-dated even the patient bathrooms were not accessible wondering how many more tax dollars will go into developing facilities for a demographic that is quickly dying off, again no disrespect meant but tax dollars can only go so far. Maybe it’s time at we examine how we managed the money rather than the service.
The graphics this type of thinking are creating in my mind are really upsetting. You’re reading an article by a guy whose thinking has been influence by things like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest so all I can think it that wherever they were going would not be a place for me. We may no longer lobotomize the outspoken but there are many ways to suppress someone once your are under their administration.
Six days of reflection and some acceptance combined with a week of IV antibiotics had me just about discharge ready. I am starting to identify areas where I may not be as physically “efficient”as I once was. That some loss of muscle tone over the years and decrease in activity are having an impact on my independent living. I am starting to recognize this and, to be honest, it is a little unsettling but life needs to keep moving.
I have reconciled myself with the fact that I could use some help, if not for health purposes, but for safety as well. Prior to leaving the hospital I was to discuss potential home services but after the discussion there really isn’t any. I’m one of those people who is balanced on the edge of a fence. I’m to “capable” for the programs that may benefit me and not “incapable” enough to access other programs. With that said these programs they speak of come from a norm-referencing perspective. That disadvantages a whole segment of seniors who grew up with chronic illnesses.
So it was with some internal concern that I was discharged. The problem with some forms of acceptance (like recognizing decreasing physical ability) is that they create new barriers, you start to lose faith in your current abilities. Your confidence begins to erode…
The discharge concern was manageable, my real trepidation lies in what will be available by the time I can no longer “safely” manage complete independence…
Just one mans’ opinion…