Navigating the system – Mike


At some point you have to ruffle feathers. Mike went right back to the emergency department with his wife after she was discharged.


If you want your partner to get the best of care, you have to ruffle feathers. At some point in time, don’t be afraid to ruffle and say, “No, I don’t accept this. This is wrong. You’re doing it wrong.”

Where I got into this with my wife quite a few years ago, we had her in the hospital in horrendous pain; we didn’t know she had MS at the time. To make a long story short, they called me up to come down and take her home. And she’s worse than when I brought her in. I said, “What’s wrong with her?” and they said, “We don’t know. We’re sending her home.” I said, “She’s worse now than when I brought her in. Why would I want to take her home? She can’t even stand up, she’s bowled over in pain.” “You have to take her home she’s been discharged.” I took the wheelchair, turned it around and walked right back to the emergency room and said, “She’s yours!” and had an argument with the doctor. “What am I going to do, taking her home and she gets worse? Bring her back? I have 2 young children at home. I am not taking her home.” I turned around and walked away. It wasn’t easy, but I turned around and walked away.

And that’s what I’m getting at; as a caregiver you’ve got to know when to stand. And men tend—again I’m only giving a perspective here—men tend to stand up and say, “No. This isn’t the way it’s going to be.” And walk away. But your spouse or your partner has to know you’re not walking away and leaving them, you’re doing it because they need the help. And hopefully that answers your question.

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