While I was having breakfast this morning, around quarter past six, I received a phone call from Woodland Terrace. It was Sherri Spillman, the Administrator of the facility. She apologized for calling me so early in the morning, but said that she was calling because she was talking to mom and she specifically asked to talk to me. She handed mom the phone and I said, “Hello?”
Mom said, “Hi, David,” and then she just started making softly weeping. She wouldn’t respond to anything I said; I asked, “Why are you crying, mom? What’s going on?”
She said, “Because,” but that was all. Sherri took the phone away from her and started to talk, and I heard mom in the background say, “Tell him that.”
Sherri asked her, “Tell him what, Kathie?” but she didn’t reply.
Sherri tried to reassure me that she actually did ask for me. She said that my mom clearly said, “I’m trying to participate,” when Sherri went to visit her this morning. (“Participate” would be the word with most syllables she’s said in months.) Sherri asked her if she wanted to talk to her son and she said, “Yes.” She said, “His name is David,” and mom said, “Yes.” Sherri said, “He lives in California,” and mom said, “Los Angeles.”
Then she and I started talking about how mom was before all this happened last year. I started explaining to her about how I was concerned about the prescription she’d been on for Zyprexa and the many mistakes I feel were made by Dr. Caliendo. Sherri said she wasn’t qualified to speak about medications and handed the phone to Jessica, who she said was the Unit Manager.
I quickly gave Jessica the five-minute synopsis of mom’s issues — I’ve gotten to the point where I can summarize the relevant details of sixty years into a five-minute monologue now — and then she listed the medications mom is receiving right now:
- daily 325mg Aspirin, which seems like a good idea
- 220mg of Zinc sulfate each day for the next fourteen days, which is apparently supposed to help with bed sores, skin irritation
- lots of Vitamin C and a multivitamin, which seems like another harmless, good idea
- protonix, which is supposed to be for acid reflux but which Jessica said was for treating colitis; I suppose those are the same thing
- mesasalamine, which is another drug used to treat colitis
- Sulfasalazine, which is yet another drug to treat colitis
- Megace, which is an appetite stimulant, because I take it she hasn’t really been eating well
- levothyroxine, which is used to treat hyperthyroidism
- 100mg daily of Zoloft, an anti-depressant
- lisinopril, which is used to treat high blood pressure
- metaprolol, which is a generic for Lopressor, another medication to treat high blood pressure
- Ativan, as needed for severe anxiety
When Jessica was listing these drugs, I interrupted her when she got to the levothyroxine, because I had never heard of it and nobody has ever told me that mom has hyperthyroidism. Understand that I have been talking to nurses and doctors twice each day, almost every single day, for nine months now; and that almost every time I ask to be informed of any change to her medications or diagnosis. So to suddenly randomly hear that she is being given a new medication for a new diagnosis was surprising.
Jessica said that Dr. Peele, the house doctor at Woodland Terrace, saw mom on Tuesday, July 10th and prescribed the levothyroxine. I told Jessica that I wanted the levothyroxine stopped until Dr. Peele called me and explained what led him to diagnose hyperthyroidism, since nobody told me anything about any tests being performed. And, obviously, I said that under no circumstances should she be given any medications beyond aspirin and Tylenol without my prior consent.
She said she understood completely, and that Dr. Peele is one of her favorite doctors (even though she said they aren’t supposed to have favorites, which I thought was a little silly). Jessica told me that he visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but that she would call him and give him my number and ask him to call me as soon as possible.