March 13, 2018


Three weeks ago, my mother fell at home, twice within a couple of days. She complained of severe groin, hip and leg pain. My sister took her to her doctor. Mom walked into doctor's office, in severe pain but she walked.

She asked if she could have x-rays. Her physician (using this title lightly) told her xrays weren't necessary because she walked in. "You wouldn't be able to walk if your hip was broken." He told her to go home and take Ibuprofen.

Her pain has been out of this world. Saturday as she was walking through the house, her legs just gave out and she fell again. Dad called about 10:00 PM and said Mom fell, he can't get her up. He has Parkinson's and doesn't have body strength to pick her up.

We hauled ass to get to them. We got her in bed, she refused to let us take her to hospital because she said her doctor says its just some sore ligaments. We spent the night with them but Mom did not sleep, screamed out most of night. Early Sunday morning I took her to hospital.

Mom is in excruciating pain with any movement, transferring, walking or laying down but sitting down she is more comfortable. The doctor comes in, moves her legs, asks her a couple of questions. I tell him her feet are extremely swollen, purple and edema 6+. She had her socks on because she is always freezing. He glances at her socks and answers, "yeah, there's a little swelling." He doesn't take off her socks, he doesn't actually see her feet and not one nurse or dr checks her lower extremities for edema. When I was in nursing that was always a routine part of vitals, especially with elderly patients with hip and leg pain.

Doctor says he doesn't think she has a broken hip because of the way he could move her legs. They take x-rays and he comes back with diagnosis of hairline fx (fracture) of superior pubis bone. Nothing can be done, he said but just wait for it to heal. I ask if she can have Rx for pain. He refuses. States that at her age any pain pills would make falling more risky and may cause some confusion or dementia. Again, she is advised to take Ibuprofen. They ship her out in spite of BP of 189/102 and swollen purple feet and extreme pain.

She cries out in pain as they are getting her into my car. She cries out in pain as we get her out. She doesn't sleep for another 24 hours, crying out in pain at every move. Yesterday we call ambulance. Pain is just over the top. 

They take additional x-rays, this time of the pelvis and spine. She has three additional Fx. Two in right pelvic bone and one in back.

What is wrong with physicians? What is this need to shuffle our elderly around without listening to them or looking at all the details.

She is in hospital on a morphine drip. She is emotionally relieved that the pain wasn't in her head and that she was not being a 'pansy' for hurting so much from some bruised or strained ligaments.

My sister and I are fuming!

I called her regular doctor and let him know that he let Mom suffer for three weeks by refusing to order x-rays when she first complained.

There is no way to explain the emotional trauma of these past couple of on everyone but especially Mom and Dad. It is hard enough being frail and 89 but to have your own physician dismiss you is unacceptable.



  1. You have every right to be fuming. Your mother should not have had to suffer like that. -Jenn

  2. I am so sorry. Yes, you could sue for the out of pocket expenses and suffering I suppose. Never ever listen to one doctors opinion. I have learned that lesson the hard way. They are not God, they are humans and make many mistakes. You can walk with anything broken, even I know that much. I hope you change doctors. Your poor mom. I hope she gets a Rx and begins to heal quickly.
    "they" say that you don't break something from the fall, but elders break something and then the fall happens due to the break or fracture. Interesting huh? God Speed

  3. Hi Toni - all I can say is I hope that your mother will improve ... and that someone will acknowledge things were not dealt with properly. Take care and all the best - cheers Hilary

  4. I don't know if you would want to do this but I would be talking to an attorney about malpractice lawsuit of her doctor and /or the hospital ER doctor if that was my mom.
    I do hope your mom recovers well from all this.

  5. I am so sorry for her suffering as well as the rest of you,, totally unacceptable. Hopefully she will make a speedy recovery but the emotional trauma will be lasting!!!!

  6. So sorry your mother had to suffer so much because of that bad physician. Good that she has you. All the best for you all. Hugs, Valerie

  7. I'm sorry about your mom. How awful to suffer needlessly like that.

  8. Years ago my mom warned me that the degree of care given to the elderly is not the same they would give to those who are 20 years younger. People are written off. My mom died because of inattentive nurses and doctors. She was expendable.

  9. My heart aches for you. I am 75, and have to deal with what I call "old lady medicine". It's pretty much what your mom is receiving, but I can fight back and get what I need. Your parents have you to do the fighting, and I hope you can keep it up. Or, find a good care facility.

  10. OMG, so sorry about all these. What's wrong with Drs? They start playing god now.

  11. Wow Toni, that is horrible. I would expect that here, our health care system in Quebec sucks with a capital S. How awful. I hope you can switch doctors for your parents, that "doctor" doesn't deserve to be paid. We have a medical organization here called "College des Medecins" and ANY time I come across a quack, I write them a detailed letter. I had one doctor tell me once to "shut up" when I was telling him about the pain I was feeling. I left that office crying and wrote my letter immediately.

  12. I am so sorry she is in pain. NO excuse for the doctors who just don't seem to give a crap. Completely infuriating!

  13. I am sorry to hear about your mother. There is a big need for patient advocacy everywhere I turn. For having a generally good level of care in this country there are some really weak areas and medical professionals.


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