When it comes to health, I feel like I’m having every important conversation “too late.” And today was no exception. My truly sweet-as-pie mother-in-law (aka “mommom”) tripped on the concrete outside their house today and not just broke, but splintered her humerus. As we get the text from the son that lives closest, the round of questioning from all six siblings begins. What hospital did you take her to – not that awful one we took dad to, right?? What do we know about that hospital and their surgical team?
As you might suspect, this back and forth was all just futile busywork, because she’s already about to go in for emergency surgery and we’re not going to move her. Thankfully, my husband’s family is really supportive of one another, so these questions come from fear, not from judgment.
The questions came from a legitimate concern as a result of the horrific experience we had with the hospital my father-in-law was taken to when he had his heart issues. All great questions – but, like I said, too late. Too late to have any impact on the decision and too late for any of us to have any sense of control over the path forward. I’m sure she’ll be okay – I pray she will. But no matter what happens, we’re not going to wait for “next time” to start this discussion all over again.
So, here’s our not festive, but very important, holiday conversation with the six siblings and significant others: What hospital should Mom and Dad go to in what situation? Dad will go to one hospital for heart issues and another for anything else. Mom will have a few on her list as well based upon where her related doctors practice. We’ll do some research beforehand to make sure we all agree that those are the best choices and then make sure everyone has access to those instructions by putting a Hospitals Topic in their profiles in Kith + Kin.
My father-in-law turns 90 next year, so I know this won’t be our last trip to the ER. We need the peace of mind that comes from knowing the right decision is being made from the start. It’s time to make the time.