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Old 04-16-2016, 11:55 AM
 
Location: New York Area
13,432 posts, read 5,220,611 times
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The three relatives in question in question are, and I'll use initials:

RB - My mother;
JA - My mother-in-law;
GB - My stepmother-in-law; and



They are, collectively, the tale of what has gone wrong with modern medicine, and why, no matter what Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, John Kasich or Donald Trump say, we're heading into a brick wall. All (with the limited exceptions of EB and SB) are examples of egregious and largely spending on health care. All except JA, who has suffered from multiple sclerosis for about 45 years developed their illnesses after they turned 75. And even JA's most expensive health crises have developed starting just before she turned 75.

RB – Exhibit “A” for my point. Her situation is the biggest illustration of futility. My mother died in 2014 at age 82. She barely knew a sick day in her life until 2007, when she began experiencing vaginal discharges. The cause was not diagnosed until the summer of 2008 when she had a hysterectomy. The doctors knew that there had been some spread so she went through a tough battery of chemo and x-ray treatments. Those weakened her ankle sufficiently that she experienced a severe break, and after surgery for that, a few weeks of rehabilitation.

During late 2011 she experienced a colon blockage. After the proctoscope examination, where the probe could not be completed because of blockage I asked the doctor if the cause could be metastasis from the earlier uterine cancer. Before I finished my sentence he said “no.” She emerged from surgery with dementia, which waned and then waxed again. She also had another round of chemo. She went on 24 hour home care from fall of 2013 until her death in 2014. Her long-term care insurance paid for this.

The toll on me was severe. I wound up losing my job, partially over the distractions involved. And my wife was diverted from helping her own parents, whose condition was worsening. So, about six and a half not very good years, and lots of money down the drain.

JA – My mother-in-law has been fighting MS for about 45 years, give or take. She was ambulatory till about 1995, and then has been wheelchair bound.

The other health problems began with a leg infection a bit more than three years ago, which ended in the amputation of one of her legs. Last fall, she suffered another infection and hospitalization, which caused some serious depression last fall. After a brief recovery, she was back in the hospital in early April, for e-coli and other infections. During this hospitalization she had a kidney stone removed and a urinary stent installed. She’s recovering now but about the only thing that moves are her lips, digestive tract and lungs.


GB – Almost 79 years old. Around the first half of Marh my wife's stepmother had a fall and felt dizzy in her second home, a Florida apartment. My father-in-law and my wife's stepmother normally live in New York City. She has been having bouts of dizziness and seizures in the last three or so years. For rest of story Great Train Escape - Or Getting Relative Out of Crooked Rehab Facility. She also has had other seizures and now recurrent melanoma.

The overall theme of this is lots of medical care, almost no quality of life. There is nothing any politician is going to do, whether with a return to pre-Obamacare conditions or a single-payer system, that will resolve any of this.

Does anyone else see a solution?
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:05 PM
 
18,862 posts, read 6,167,967 times
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My personal solution is do all I can to take care of my health and not go to doctors. This is possible BUT most don't take care of themselves. True, stuff happens and we need the intervention of medical world, but PREVENTION is the best route. My very close relative is dying with MS and she did not take care of herself ENOUGH. Long story which I won't go into. My grandkids dad died young from cigs/alcohol.

Also, today's medical "industry" is driven by more drugs, more tests and NOT by helping people to heal without all these money driven tactics.

I think of my own parents who lived into their 90's and didn't run to doctors with every little pain etc. It was a different world in their lives. They ate everything but didn't smoke.

There is so much info today to help ourselves to have better health...and so many drugs cause more issues for so many. Talk about drug interactions. Read the stats on that one.

One more thought from me, for every dread health condition a person MIGHT come down with and may need to take a drug(s), there are supplements/foods to help that condition improve. I deal with bodywide OA and took a drug years ago and ended up with an ulcer and that was my turningpoint on the drugs. I take supps for OA and some help and some don't, but no side effects.

Hey OP, read your profile and nice to "know" a little about the ones we talk to.

Last edited by jaminhealth; 04-16-2016 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:49 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,432 posts, read 5,220,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
My very close relative is dying with MS and she did not take care of herself ENOUGH. Long story which I won't go into.
My mother-in-law very definitely benefited from medical care over the first 25 or so years of her condition, when she was largely functional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
Also, today's medical "industry" is driven by more drugs, more tests and NOT by helping people to heal without all these money driven tactics.

I think of my own parents who lived into their 90's and didn't run to doctors with every little pain etc. It was a different world in their lives. They ate everything but didn't smoke.
My problem isn't with medical care. It's with the hyper-expensive care when "recovery" will not be to a poin where life is worth living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
Hey OP, read your profile and nice to "know" a little about the ones we talk to.
Specifically what was interesting?
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:06 PM
 
18,862 posts, read 6,167,967 times
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Just nice to read about people. So few mention anything about themselves. Often don't know if we're talking to a male or female. I have many jewish friends. One in particular taught me so much about life and she's gone now, but she helped me change so much of my thoughts on life. I was the "token" working for an orthodox company years ago...very interesting 9 yrs.

I'll never know how much my sister benefitted from the mega drugs she took for MS as she has declined and close to her end I hear from my brother in law.

My daughter is living with so many side effects from too many drugs, one sudden hearing loss. There are other issues, but so many drug interactions from the MD she went to years ago. She's doing a 360degree turn around but living with the issues from drugs.
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:44 PM
 
Location: New York Area
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What I was hping that hte thread would focus on is the over-treatment of final illnesses. In none of these three situations was/is there a real hope for a recovery to a normal life. My childrens' other three (including my own natural father who died in 1973 four) "grandparents" (and I am including the second spouses of all grandparents) are quite different.

My natural father died in early January 1973. His first operation for cancer in mid-1971 was ultimately unsuccessful but he didn't get sick again until September 1972. And even then he was working until through the first week of December 1972. My stepfather died at 94 after a one-year illness that was only slightly over-treated. Basically he died as his body shut down, and the fist part ot shut down was on e of his hands. There were too many trips to hand specialists but otherwise he was kept comfortable.

My father-in-law, age 82, has had health challenges but still goes to work every day. My stepfather-in-law had a bout of lymphoma a bit more than ten years ago. Despite some decline he is pretty healthy and approaching 83rd birthday.

So my piont is that once someone does get sick at these advanced ages there is way too much treatment. And no moving the dots around by politicians is going to change the fact that someone has to pay for the treatment.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:30 PM
 
18,862 posts, read 6,167,967 times
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I'm 78 this year and have been very healthy all my life and have dealt with advancing osteoarthritis and all is worse since the modern science hip replacement in 2010. I came out with results that I NEVER anticipated. I take many supplements and eat very well and hopefully I'll make it to my end with no horrific issues.

Hope you'll hear from others, I'm sure you will.

I got on a powerful antioxidant back in 1995 and at the time we were told it MAY prevent cancer(s). Well today many cancer research hospitals are using it in their cancer research. Life is so often, being at the right place at the right time. I've posted about it in the alternative groups above.

I enjoy my medicare, but don't use it that much as I don't go to doctors very much.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:53 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,275 posts, read 10,526,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
My problem isn't with medical care. It's with the hyper-expensive care when "recovery" will not be to a poin where life is worth living.
Today in medicine this is a decision that is ultimately left to the patient. Legally they can always say "enough."

Physicians lay out the risk/benefit ratio. It is painful for doctors to give out bad news. Police, firefighters and others know this as well. Individual patients with their individual personalities may or may not be able to face a terminal diagnosis. Some may cave in to the urgings of family or physician to 'keep fighting.' But some people know when to say no, and they do. Sorry to hear that your loved ones didn't, though.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:01 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,432 posts, read 5,220,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Today in medicine this is a decision that is ultimately left to the patient. Legally they can always say "enough."

Physicians lay out the risk/benefit ratio. It is painful for doctors to give out bad news. Police, firefighters and others know this as well. Individual patients with their individual personalities may or may not be able to face a terminal diagnosis. Some may cave in to the urgings of family or physician to 'keep fighting.' But some people know when to say no, and they do. Sorry to hear that your loved ones didn't, though.
With my mother and my stepfather, been there done that.

All I can say is that my mother was on hospice for ten months. She was demented. I held the health care proxy and power of attorney. Against my wishes she was given Ensure when she said she was thirsty. I was threatened that if I ordered a cessation of that life prolongation the hospice service, as a mandated reporter would file a complaint with Adult Protective Services. Finally, at my Rabbi's suggestion I convened a meeting with the hospice's ethics committee. Suffice to say while it didn't go well, less than a week later they requested permission to administer morphine to my mother.

With my stepfather my stepsister called me when she was requested to give consent for administration of morphine. I cautioned her that my views on avoiding heroic treatment were outspoken and well-known. With that I advised administration of morphine.

I loved both my mother and stepfather. Lingering deaths are just not my cup of tea.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
27,523 posts, read 17,660,829 times
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I suppose one could choose to forgo treatment when older and just die naturally with assistance as to comfort from the medical community.

My grandmother kinda did that. She was in her mid 80s and ready to go, so when she was diagnosed with cancer she told no one. No extended medical care or costs.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:15 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,432 posts, read 5,220,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
I suppose one could choose to forgo treatment when older and just die naturally with assistance as to comfort from the medical community.

My grandmother kinda did that. She was in her mid 80s and ready to go, so when she was diagnosed with cancer she told no one. No extended medical care or costs.
The problem is that is rare that others don't notice and get involved. Particularly when the person can't walk or take care of themselves.
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