Monday, October 6, 2008

One year ago

I walked into the room and asked her if she needed help getting up. She did. I helped her and her legs buckled under her. The day before, she had been walking fine. I was upset, of course, and called hospice for help.

By the time they arrived, Jane had come by. It was agonizing to fight with the hospice people. Marcie needed help, and they were insisting it was the progression of her disease.

I was suspicious. She had been fine the night before. She had also had a medication change.

Her diuretic, used to control her swelling in the arms from post-surgical edema, had been replaced by the hospice doctor with a powerful statin. I did not piece it together right away, but a few months after her death, I did.

They changed the drug that night while she slept at a nursing home. She never recovered.

There was no progression of her disease, her tumors had been retreating. I found this out a week later. She had, until that night, been recovering and gettign just a little stronger.

This will not stand. I think the statin did the damage, and her three-week downward spiral and death, losing function on one side of her body as she did, lies at the feet of the doctor whose care she was under.

On her birthday, last year, a mistake or something more sinister sent Marcie on a hellish journey to death.

I remembered her very good, sweet nature today as I went through my routine as best I could. I lit her candles and talked to her. Now that her special day has drawn to a close, I reflect on the injustice of it all.

Four decades of her grace, sweetness and beauty was not enough. She, and all of us deserved and had coming far more.

This will not stand.