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Another Family Crisis

Daryl, Immediate Post Accident

Daryl, Immediately Post Accident

In case anyone’s noticed my recent absence from the world of bloggery, here’s the reason: once again my son Daryl is in crisis. Ten days ago he was hit by a pickup truck—his second collision with a moving vehicle in ten years—while crossing the street. It was going very slowly in a crowded area and ran over his feet, breaking the right ankle and fracturing the big toe on the left. It sounds minor, and compared to his 2003 accident, which resulted in TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury, it was—but when it comes to Daryl, nothing is ever minor. His poor body’s had too many run-ins, starting in utero, for a broken ankle to simply be set like anyone else’s would be and heal in a couple of months. No, with Daryl it’s always an impossible  melodrama.

Among the snafu’s there’s been a bureaucratic snarl the likes of which is fairly common nowadays, and while awaiting surgery the hospital shipped him off to a rehab center that turned out to be more of an old folks’ nursing home for the indigent. The place is overcrowded and so backed up that the initial “family meeting” to discuss treatment happens a full  two weeks after admission. My daughter came up from LA and told them this is unacceptable, we’ll have our family meeting today thank-you-very-much.  Now we’re awaiting authorization from so-and-so agency for so-and-so orthopedist to perform surgery on the ankle ASAP. Meanwhile he’s doing physical therapy daily and eating truckloads of atrocious canned and oversalted food against a soundtrack of raucous television, intermittent beeping of pagers, and moaning cries for help from other residents (I kid you not). He and I play endless rounds of 500-rummy, to which we’ve become addicted.

Today his sister is there with him, so I took a day off, the first one I haven’t spent with Daryl since it all began. His oldest bestest friend is coming from New York tomorrow, so I’ll have a whole luxurious weekend off as well. Maybe then I’ll post a blog about something other than my personal problems.scared 2

In the meantime, I suggest we all  start thinking about a plan for our aging generation; if we don’t develop a better solution than what’s available now, we’re going to find ourselves in a sad situation pretty soon.

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2 responses »

  1. Oh, Marcy, this is a terrible “story,” all the worse for being true, and happening to Daryl, who deserves so much better. I don’t know him at all, just from some Family shifts back in – probably – the ’80s. This is a cautionary tale for all of us. We need to gather together and make noise. When Tony was dying I, who was loved by the nurses and feared by a few of the doctors, could not get the type of care I wanted until a doctor, not on the case, pulled me over and said: Don’t say, I WANT. Say : WE WANT, and have a crowd of family (or family pretenders) to back you up. It worked. I can only wish you and Daryl Good Luck. I am so sorry it is this way.

  2. You’re so right, Nancy, or that doctor was: staff needs to know people are watching what they do, otherwise they figure they can ignore patients’ needs. I was having trouble getting a referral for myself recently, and it was only when my daughter called that they hopped to it.
    And I hate to think of Tony not getting the care he needed.

    Thanks for writing.

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