After decades of disease 'experts' need to listen

April 21, 2015



Guest Column


 By Staci Gass


For about four years now, my mother has been losing her eyesight.


 It is now to the point where it is completely gone.


 She went through the surgeries to try and save what sight she had, but sadly it did not work.


 This issue, combined with her depression, has made it very hard for her.


 There are days she doesn’t want to do anything and others where she is so agitated that she will take anything anyone says as an attack.


 It had gotten to a point where she felt she needed to enter hospitalization to get treatment.  


We hoped this would be a jumpstart to a new way of life for her.


 My father and I were supportive and just wanted the best for her.


 As she entered into the program, we explained to the staff that she is blind and a severe diabetic.  


We gave them her specifications for dosage.


 My mother, being a diabetic for over 20 years, knows her dosage.


 As she entered their care, they adjusted her insulin to what they felt she should be on.


Disregarding her years of knowledge and self-medicating techniques.


 This caused her sugar levels to rise and she began to complain to the staff at the behavioral hospital.


She would call me and tell me that her level was high and she needed more insulin.


 I would then contact the center, let them know, and they would assure me that she would be taken care of.


“Taken care of” is the saddest term here.


They would just sedate her and leave her in the corner for hours.


 When we would go visit her, she was so lethargic she could barely stay awake. 


 When we asked about this, the staff would tell us we will speak to the doctors.


 By day five she was rushed to the medical hospital where her sugar level was so high that it didn’t register on the blood glucose tester at the center.


As soon as they dropped her off, they were done with her.


 This angered my father and me.


 For the next three days she had to go without solid foods because they thought she had an intestinal problem, only to find out she was fine.


 My mother was fit to be tied.  


It was so frustrating to know that the one place you depended on to help her out of her depression, would only worsen the situation further.


 It is just a wake-up call to those who need behavioral hospitalization, to be careful of level of care one may receive.  

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