Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Really bad news for a friend of mine

I am just so upset for her after she filled me in on her holiday today. I never in a million years would have expected the answer I got when I asked how her holiday was... (Names intentionally withheld for her privacy.)

Her husband is a diabetic and has been feeling ill for several months now. He's also a veteran so he has to go to the VA Hospital for his appointments. He had a doctor's appointment sometime before the holidays and the doctors decided to send him to a kidney specialist for some tests. Well they had the appointment at Christmas time and the news they got blew them both away. And me, when she told me. The specialists told her husband he is in the final stages of kidney failure and needs to be on kidney dialysis months ago. So he says "So does that mean I have 6 months to live or...?" The doctors said no it means you have 6-8 WEEKS to live! And that he should have been in there months ago to get prepared for dialysis. Apparently there is a lot of surgery involved to prepare people for dialysis. And he's now on the transplant list for a new kidney. He has been in progressing kidney failure for a year or so now. AND HIS DOCTORS NEVER CAUGHT THE FACT SOMETHING VERY SERIOUS WAS WRONG!

WTF?!?!? HIS doctors at the VA should have sent him to the specialist a long time ago. Especially knowing he's diabetic and that kidney failure is a result of long term diabetes. And my friend said when they did say to send him to the specialist they never even hinted that it was an emergency situation. She said the attitude they had made them both feel like it was just routine they had to go to the specialist. Her husband went on dialysis immediately after the holidays and he goes three days a week for about 4 hours each time. So she's been having to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get him to the clinic by 6:00 each morning he has to be there. Then she has to leave work to go pick him up and take him home. But she said he's been going to the VA and they are going to get him going to one closer to home. Once that happens, she'll still have to take him in the AM but many of their church members have stepped up and offered to pick him up so she doesn't have to leave work.

Presently her husband is only willing to accept a kidney from a cadaver. When she asked why he said it's because his health situation is his fault for not taking care of himself properly and he's not willing to let a healthy person give up a kidney because he didn't take care of himself. She's trying to convince him to change his mind to be willing to accept from a living donor. She said several people have offered to be tested but they are waiting for him to agree before they do it. I guess he is amazed so many people are helping out or willing to help out. To which she told him "You have a lot of friends and family who love you a great deal."

I guess he had wanted to postpone his appointment with the specialist until after the New Year since it fell right in the middle of holiday madness but my friend told him know they'd make it work for him to go. Thank heavens he didn't postpone it! Though it may only have been a difference of a few days, at this stage, those days could never have been afforded!

So she's just been in shock over everything as it hasn't had time to really sink in yet. I told her she needs to talk to one of the JAG about this situation. It's absolutely INEXCUSABLE that his doctors didn't catch this months ago. I said this has lawsuit written all over it and I'm not one of those people who thinks every indiscretion deserves a lawsuit. But the VA is government and there's this minor detail that you can't sue the federal government. I told her she needs to talk to the JAG anyhow and explain what happened and see what they say about it. Those doctors can be left without anything happening to them after letting such a severe case slip through without even having the foggiest idea something was very wrong.

So after my long winded story, the real meat of the message. Please keep my friend and her husband and their families in your thoughts and prayers. They need all the strength they can get right now after such horrible news.

The one good thing that came out of this is my friend said we all go through life thinking nothing bad can happen to us and we always assume tomorrow will come. So she's learned very abruptly to not take anything or anyone for granted. She makes a point now to not put off telling people how much they mean to her.

3 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Shelleen said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend and her DH. I think that it is wrong that you can't sue a federal government. What makes them so special? I would be mad as well. I hope that they can rectify this and that her DH changes his mind on a live kidney,

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Terri said...

That is horrible! And I really hope he changes his mind and lets his friends be tested.

Is there any recourse against the VA? Probably not huh?

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Kelley said...

thanks Terri and Shelleen. It's been really rough for her even though she does a pretty good job of hiding it. Except from the people who know her really well anyhow.

 

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