Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WHEN COMPLICATIONS SET IN...

My mom's hip surgery scheduled for yesterday afternoon had to be postponed when tests showed that she had suffered a heart attack earlier. She has no recollection of it at all. It could have been the cause of her fall. I'll have to find out more from her cardiologist, Dr Tiang Soon Wee. (Left: Xray of mom's hip fracture.)

So instead of the bipolar hemiarthoplasty of the hip, mom had an angioplasty done on her this morning. Several of her blood vessels were 60%-70% blocked. As her age was a factor, the doctor inserted a balloon in one of the more critical arteries to enable smoother blood flow. The whole procedure took just over an hour, and she was fully conscious throughout.

Dr Tiang pointing to one of Mom's blocked arteries.
She spent the night in ICU. This morning Dr Tiang informed me that she was doing fine and would be back in the general ward as soon as a bed was available. Once she is strong enough, orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Gan Eng Cheng, will proceed with the hip surgery, most likely in a few days.

A Google image of what bipolar hemiarthoplasty involves - a ball and socket prosthesis will be inserted to bridge the fracture.

Meanwhile the medical costs are mounting. When we registered her on admission Sunday evening, we had to pay a deposit of RM8000 before Xrays were taken. Just this evening, that's Wednesday, the hospital requested that I top up the initial deposit with another RM8000. And mom hasn't even had her hip surgery done yet!

Plenty of choice, but only if you can afford the rates. We opted for a 2-bed room for mom.
Already we are checking out options for home nursing care. Mom's mobility will be severely reduced during the healing process. She needs daily monitoring and care. It's good to know that home care service is readily available, and the charges seem quite reasonable. We will have a better idea of what sort of professional nursing service to engage after her surgery.

Pity the hospital doesn't offer help to source for a full-time live-in maid to help me look after my mom.
It was only by sheer luck that we discovered the hospital gives discounts to patients who are aged 55 and above. Most senior citizens do not have insurance coverage. My mom too. The receptionist at one of the clinics mentioned the discount to us as we were leaving the clinic. We immediately applied for a card for mom. There is a fee of RM5, and the card is valid for a year. Patients get a 20% discount on room charges, and 5% on medicine, and other incidental charges.

I doubt many people know about this discount card. There are no pamphlets or notices informing patients and their families about this. 
Mom is doing fine, and is her usual cheery self. Her appetite is excellent - there's no leftovers after her meals for hungry me! The doctors say she's in relatively good health for her age. It's probably due to decades of doing exercises and daily walks. Last night she was even attempting to do arm exercises lying in bed.

Occasionally she complains about pain when she tries to move her right leg, and is impatient to go home. She doesn't know the full extent of her injury. We think it best not to let her worry too much. 

She perks up whenever she has visitors, and has taken a fancy to Dr Tiang, calling him 'such a handsome young man', and flirting with him whenever he drops by at her bedside.

That's mom alright!  

2 comments:

foodbin said...

Hope she gets well soon.

el-f said...

Thanks for the concern.