Thursday, May 9, 2013

In which Doris contemplates suing the hospital

Did I tell you guys that Doris fell while she was visiting Sly at the hospital and broke her wrist? I can't remember. Well, she did. I feel bad for her because she is in pain all the time. I don't wish pain on her. I just wish niceness. This situation is not what I want with my in-laws. What I want are nice, loving, welcoming in-laws whom I would like to spend time with. I have liked the families of almost every other boyfriend I have had. They've liked me. Why couldn't I get nice in-laws?

But I didn't. You get what you get and you make the best of it.

The best of it is that I just don't spend time with them. I don't need to be around toxic people. I wish Primo would divorce himself from them, but it's more complicated for him. They are his parents and he feels sorry for Doris, whom Sly abuses verbally. I don't think Primo will lift a finger for his dad once Doris is dead.

So Doris fell and she and Sly think it's the hospital's fault because she says she tripped on tubing by Sly's bed.

That may be the case, but I have spent plenty of time next to a sick person in a hospital bed with lines going everywhere and I never tripped.

My mom never tripped. My brother never tripped. My 90something grandmothers never tripped. My sister, who is a neo-natal nurse practitioner and who works in a hospital, has never tripped.

The key difference between my family and Doris is we are not drunks.

Doris wrote to Primo,

Dear Primo,

Dad is taking a short nap because he has been very busy today. I am still unable to provide much/any help.  The orthopaedic surgeon's PA told him that I should pursue the likelihood that I may have a compression fracture of a spinal vertebra that would cause my prolonged lower rib cage pain.  It could be diagnosed by a CTScan.

Ted's closest friend is a high-powered successful attorney who deals exclusively with law suits related to negligence by hospitals, insurers, doctors, etc.  He is coming here tomorrow to assess whether or not I have a "case" about the hose I tripped over in the hospital while visiting your father.

That fall has triggered 3 and 1/2 months of pain and suffering with questionable treatment pursuant to the fall.  The extent of my misery is hard to measure.  I don't think I will ever recover enough to lead a "normal" life.  We trust the lawyer because of everything we know about him and his impeccable credentials.  He offered to assist us in evaluating the hospital's role following my fall. 

The national and world news remain disheartening across the board.  Obama's outreach for major corporate donations to his Second Inaugural is totally disgusting.  

Love,
Ma  

I feel bad for Doris. I do, really. She is in pain and she lives with someone who is mean to her all the time and she has nowhere to go, unless she were to live with us, which would be very, very difficult. If Sly were actually beating her, we wouldn't have a choice. We would have to take her in.

But I just can't stomach the idea of letting her move in with us to get away from Sly, although I can understand why she would want to. He's mean enough he would cut her off financially. She's never handled the money. She doesn't know any of it. It would be a mess. 

No wonder she drinks herself into a stupor every day. It's the only way to escape.

But she drinks. And she takes narcotics for pain. Which is fine with me. I think doctors should prescribe whatever it takes to get rid of pain. The people who want to limit access to narcotics are, I am guessing, people who have never had a bad headache for three straight days. Or back pain. Or any kind of pain that can't be banished with an aspirin.

So what if someone in pain becomes an addict? What's worse? Constant pain that ruins your life - and it does - when you are in pain, you cannot think about anything else, or addiction? At least with the addiction you are not in pain.

But I would not want to open myself to the scrutiny that would arise should I sue a hospital. Especially if I were probably the one at fault.

1. Doris has fallen many times in her own house.
2. Doris drinks heavily.
3. Doris takes narcotics.

You know the hospital's lawyers will subpoena all of Doris' medical records, which will show some of her falls. (She has broken her ribs a few times.) The records will show her narcotics. The records will not show her alcohol consumption, but a quick visit to Sly and Doris' house will reveal the huge recycling bin of empty bourbon bottles.

This is not a fight I would want to take on.

6 comments:

  1. Hospitals are usually quite careful to keep all the patient's paraphernalia out of harm's way. But, if they failed to do so on even one occasion and it resulted in injury to Doris, then they have been negligent. Of course they could argue that Doris is guilty of contributory negligence, but that does not excuse them or free them from their obligations and duty of care to visitors to their premises. I feel sorry for Doris too, but I would not want her living with me either.

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    1. Yes, you are right. The hospital has a responsibility.

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  2. A very sad situation all around. It probably would not be difficult to show contributory negligence on her part, and so embarrassing to have her drinking and drug-taking brought out in court. I should think she would be loathe to do that, but she is probably not thinking well - for many reasons including the pain - and perhaps encouraged by the atty. However, he may hesitate to take the case if he perceives that it's risky.

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    1. I still don't know what's going on. They are still talking to the lawyer. Who knows what will happen?

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  3. It sounds like the wheels are really starting to fall off over there, and you have my sympathies...this is not an easy thing. As someone who works in a hospital, I have seen this time and again. The situation with the drinking and the abuse is likely the real problem, the falling is something that happened, as it has many times at home, in a public way and instead of dealing with the real issues that are causing it, suing seems like a great and distracting way to shift the accountability. YEs, there are sometimes tubes and lines and whatnot next to a patient's bed. Those things are keeping patient's alive, more often than not, and really, by trampling all over the stuff, she is lucky that she didn't cause the PATIENT harm. Oftentimes those lines are connected to central lines going into deep vessels in the body, and can cause damage if they get suddenly pulled-out. But someone with issues will make that about them, not about the potential harm that could have ben done to the patient....as is the case with Doris. I wish you luck. And I wish her luck. She is going to need it.

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    1. Yeah, I remember when my dad was in the hospital. I would have had to work pretty hard to trip over the lines and tubes attached to him, but then - I haven't been drunk since I was 26.

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