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Need to vent

Posted by Linda V on 10/23/04 at 15:47 (162028)

Just returned from visiting my folks in the nursing home. Dad is 79, Mom is 81. They are both quite frail healthwise. Mom just got finished a course of antibiotics for pneumonia. She lost 10 of her 112 lbs. Today, the nurses tell me they aren't even sure if anyone there will get the flu shot....although they have told me all along that the nursing home residents would get it. BOY does it irk me that prisoners have already received it. One politician said that its because 'it would cost the taxpayers more if the prisoners get the flu.' To me, that means that the value of these elders lives are less important. If they get sick and pass, its less the state of Massachusetts will have to kick in, as many of them are on public assistance. We have spent ALL of my parents money on their care, at $275.00 a day for each of them since January. Thats a whole lot of cash, and it killed me to see their life savings spent when they have always deprived themselves of any of lifes pleasures. Always worn the same clothes for years, drove an old car, etc. I'm just BOILING about the flu shots, and will be on the phone with our state rep first thing Monday morning. Sorry to ramble, but I had to vent before I go out and throttle someone. My smart hubby is staying out of my way today.

Re: Need to vent

Dorothy on 10/24/04 at 01:32 (162046)

This is terrible, Linda V. No wonder you are 'boiling'. I am boiling, too, reading about this. However, I am not boiling so much about the flu vaccine as I am about the arrogant, corrupt disregard for what is right and proper and sensible and decent. The whole flu vaccine debacle is just one of countless incidents that I hope people remember on November 2. For you and your family and many others, it may be the flu vaccine; for others, it may be having had to buy safety equipment for their soldier; for others it may be seeing $1 million given to each victim of the 9/11 attacks, while soldiers at Walter Reed received bills for their meals while in the hospital or rehab. from wounds and amputations. For some of us, it is having a pampered little play-cowboy and his profiteering masters tell us that everything is just fine and that the guy with the purple hearts didn't deserve them!(The pampered play-cowboy's daddy and mommy should have bought him some purple hearts!) And by the way, Bill Frist (Dr. Frist) is telling his fellow members of Congress that they should get the flu shot because 'they meet and shake hands with so many people'; I guess he must believe that the rest of America lives in isolated pods! While Dr. Frist is foisted on America by the Republicans and willing media-partners as some kind of Dr. Schweitzer, people should read and study the REAL history of Dr. Frist and his family business - which reportedly has an amazing history of corruption and malfeasance and exploitation of patients and government programs! This matters as increasingly Frist is discussed as a future candidate for the presidency! Yeah, I'm boiling right along with ya, Linda; there are lots of reasons to boil these days. For some REAL Texans, read/listen to Bill Moyers (Rev. Bill Moyers, by the way) or Jim Hightower. The current administration's playing upon, and promoting, people's fears is unconscienable and anyway, where is all of the much touted American courage and bravery, if those fears are so easily manipulated and exploited?! Are Americans really so delicate? We have attacks on one day in 2001 and we are supposedly willing to change everything in America henceforth? Those who are so fearful seem to be the same ones so willing to deride France, for example, a country that sustained relentless warfare on its soil in two wars - losing an entire generation of its males in the first world war alone. Not just one day of attacks in two incidents, but years' worth, day after day and night after night. Yet their democracy did not fold. It was not the French who destroyed their freedom and liberty; it was the fascist occupiers of their land that oppressed them, along with French collaborators.
Well, I apologize for using the opportunity of your anger and worry about your parents to spout off, because I truly am sorry and saddened to read about your parents' situation, but like you, I am venting - largely because my heart is breaking for what is happening to our country and I am feeling a lot of angst about it. I sincerely hope that your parents' health improves. Best wishes -

Re: Need to vent..clarification

Linda V on 10/24/04 at 22:52 (162072)

Since my previous post seems to have caused some turmoil, please allow me to clarify. I posted on this board because I was frustrated. After three long years of my brothers and I trying to provide care for my parents increasing health needs, we had to come to the hard reality that we could no longer keep them home safely and place them. Yesterday, Dad kept asking me when he could come home. My heart breaks every visit like that, although my head knows we have done the right thing. But do I get frustrated, and yes, even a little angry when I see that their needs are not being met? You betcha. And if I have to be a squeaky wheel to get them appropriate medical and personal care that I feel they are entitled to, so be it. Thats just being a good advocate for their care: its nothing to do with anger or hatred or politics.
I thought this board titled 'support' might bring a few kind words of enouragement when I so sorely needed it, since I feel I have 'met' so many nice people on this site.

Re: Need to vent..clarification

Dorothy on 10/24/04 at 23:58 (162075)

Your post did not 'cause some turmoil'. I think you have misunderstood. I was, and did, tell you my sincere feelings for you and your parents. My family and I have been where you are in many and, it seems, even more severe ways - and with several sets of parents. I regret that you appear to have reacted negatively to my words of venting about many of the ills in society that I perceive, those ills that affect the quality of life that we and our loved ones experience. I do not regret my words, however, as I am as free to vent my frustrations and anger about things that are happening as you are. However, in no way did I intend to cause you any feelings of upset, as it is clear you already are distressed about your parents, and that is completely understandable from anyone who has been in your shoes.
My own parents had many horrific experiences, and the family along with them, as we went through some truly desperate times with them; I know of no one's parental experiences that compare - so please understand that there is nothing you are going through that I cannot imagine; I - and my family - have lived it. Some of the experiences can make a missed flu shot seem pretty insignificant, can't it.
There are a million ways to express support and since I don't know you, I can only say that I am sorry for your and your parents difficulties. It is heartbreaking and very hard to go through these things with our parents. One way to express support for each other in this country is to evaluate SYSTEMS and how they work and don't work and how they help and hurt members of our society - and ideally, work for betterment for all. That is where my thoughts took me. Sorry you were apparently bothered by my words - as I said when I wrote them, I was sorry for 'ranting' some related to your parents and the flu shots.
I do hope you won't make more of this than it is. Unfortunately, even when we are in the midst of painful experiences in life and may not recognize it as such,even so, many aspects of them are political - and since you raised political points yourself, I had the idea that you were opening yourself to further discussion. You weren't; I misinterpreted your words and so I will not continue. I wish the best for you and your parents - as I said before - and I will not engage further with you on the related topics.

Re: Need to vent

Suzanne D. on 10/25/04 at 06:34 (162085)

Linda, I am sorry about the situation you are facing. I can understand how you would be upset about your parents perhaps being denied a flu shot! I thought that in their situation, they, of all people, would be able to have the vaccine. I cannot understand how they would not be considered 'high risk'.

I was initially upset that I would not be able to have the shot since I am with little children every day who so often get sick while at school. But I reconciled myself to not getting one so that people like your parents could! I hope you are successful in your attempt to provide them with this protection.

Here's hoping for a better day for you!
Suzanne :)

Re: Thanks Dorothy and Suzanne D.

Linda V on 10/25/04 at 07:39 (162087)

Suzanne, thanks for your support. Lets hope its a healthy winter for all. I do believe that frequent hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of any of the nasty bugs that go around.
Dorothy, I took no offense at your post and didn't have an inkling of a negative feeling about your response to me...appreciate your thoughts and support. It was elsewhere I realized someone else had misunderstood what I had written and was upset about it. Not you, honeybunch...so smile!

Re: Thanks Dorothy and Suzanne D.

marie on 10/25/04 at 11:02 (162095)


What an awful situation you're in. Very frustrating. Our seniors deserve so much more then this. After working a lifetime and paying taxes to support our nation and communities they at least deserve first dibs on flu shots. My heart goes out to you.


like you I come in contact with sick kids all day. Teachers are considered high risk and in the past I have gotten a shot. This year I won't be getting one. If I get the flu I'll just stay home and get well as I would advise others to do. The flu can only be spread if one comes in contact with others that are sick. So America if ya' get the flu stay home and get well for everyone's sake.

best wishes marie

Re: Thanks Dorothy and Suzanne D.

Richard, C.Ped on 10/25/04 at 11:48 (162101)

Don't worry one bit. The news likes to report 'dirty laundry'. There are tons of shots being made right now. People who want/need the shot will not go without. It's not even flu season yet.

It will be fine.

Re: Thanks Dorothy and Suzanne D.

Pauline on 10/25/04 at 13:19 (162107)

I hope people follow your advice about staying home if they get the flu or any other bad cough or cold. It never fails that typhoid Mary or Andrew always sit in back of me in church. Why they attend and cough repeatedly on others I have nooooooo idea, but it always seems to happen.

When I worked with senior citizens many would be walking around ill with pneumonia but they didn't want to stay at home. They had cabin fever and would hop that but just to get out and mix with others. Soon they all had it.

Another suggestion I'd add is keep sick grandchildren at home. Often times my friends picked up illnesses because they were asked to baby sit for their sick grandchildren. We love them, but thats one present we can do without. Come and visit grandma and grandpa when your well and for heavens sake don't take them to the nursing homes for any reason even if the choir they are in is singing at one.

If it's any consolation there was very little flu elsewhere this year, meaning places like Australia etc. According to their health authorties they had an extremely light season. Good for their population, but bad for physicians I guess. Hopefully we will follow the same course this year.

Re: spreading germs...

Suzanne D. on 10/25/04 at 14:40 (162114)

At school, such a big deal is made about good attendance that it encourages children to come when they are sick. Of course I believe attendance is important, obviously, but if a child is ill they cannot learn much, they feel miserable, and they only spread the germs to many other children.

Attendance is encouraged mostly, to be honest, because schools get money based on attendance.

And some parents want their children to get the perfect attendance awards at the end of the year, so they send them sick. Or they don't want to miss work to take care of them, so they send them. I couldn't tell you how many times I have had children come to school, fever down because they got a dose of Tylenol that morning, only to get very feverish and sick after lunch. By then they had spread the germs to the class.

I guess this really bothers me because my own two daughters seemed to always catch every illness that went through their classes. I knew that this often happened because other parents selfishly sent their children to school sick. Then I would miss work to take my children to the doctor and keep them home until they were well.

Every year at high school graduation I cringe when big plaques are given to those students who have perfect attendance for all 12 years. Some few are really lucky/healthy, but most came to school when they were sick.

Suzanne :)

Re: Thanks Dorothy and Suzanne D.

Dorothy on 10/25/04 at 15:30 (162126)

Good! I'm very glad.... I seem to sometimes blunder onto people's tender feelings without meaning to and I wouldn't want that to have happened with you.
Best wishes ~