Well insured

Today I was once again reminded how much my health insurance means to me. My mum is in hospital. She doesn’t have private health insurance.

To be fair when I took her in to the emergency department on Friday I couldn’t have asked for more. They took her 81 years and her bad asthma symptoms very seriously. A Social Worker who sees everyone in emergency over the age of 61 had a chat with me and told me about more support services available to her. She was admitted and is being looked after.

But she shared her room with another elderly woman who is in hospital because her granddaughter threw a heavy book at her as she wouldn’t give her money for drugs. And the blow on her hip has caused repercussions to her health that I don’t think she could ever have anticipated. This woman is also raising her granddaughter’s child.

While recovering from this injury her son, who is an alcoholic, has been visiting her demanding money from her. He got some yesterday, came back for more last night and then more again today. This after the lady asked the medical staff to not let her son out of the psych ward knowing full well he’d turn up at her bedside demanding more money.

When I visited my mum the lady was being moved to a different room so her son couldn’t find her so easily and she could have some peace.

I started thinking – how did this family become so dysfunctional? And not just one child but generations, and what future does the great grandchild have?

I understand addiction and the hold it can have on a person. From my experience, aside from the trauma that can be involved, it robs that person and their family of choice. Choices that involve where you live, who you live with and so on.

Perhaps this family didn’t have a someone to make their life normal, to give them other options & choices and it would seem that through the generations their chances are getting thinner.

I hope the lady gets some rest and to be brutally selfish, I hope the son doesn’t return to look for her because I hate to think of my mum being in a place where she should be safe and feeling scared.

That’s why I’ll always have private health insurance – at least I’ll have choice.


When 10 Minutes is Just Not Enough

I don’t know if this will be a regular post.  I can think of a few occasions when 10 minutes is just not enough.  For the kids it would be when I give them 10 minutes to finish playing a game.  For me it’s the 10 minutes I have to get ready before we have to get out of the house and off to school & work.

What’s playing on my mind though is something a little more serious.  10 minutes is just not enough time to see your GP when you need something other than a repeat prescription or medical certificate because you’ve got a cold and aren’t really sick enough to need to see a doctor but are too sick to go to work (doctors must hate that).

I have elderly parents (in their 80’s).  I’ve been going to the GP with my Mum lately.  10 minutes is long enough to take her blood pressure and modify her prescriptions to keep the blood pressure levels in check.  It’s not long enough to pursue why her specialist hasn’t got back to us on what her options for further investigations are; or start an ACAT assessment process; or argue that she really does need an ACROD sticker; or for the GP to really understand just how she is coping in her home and with her health.

Her GP doesn’t ‘do’ long bookings because the admin staff overbook him.  Tomorrow I’m going to see him by myself so I can get the message across in 10 minutes without him being distracted by her immediate needs.

I wonder if 10 minutes will be enough?