Mama’s Rent

Have you ever felt as if you were the only person on earth that feels a certain way about things?  Either I  have gone bonkers, or society is a few fries short of a happy meal! Let me explain.

I was approached in the hallway by one of the nurses. last week, who reported to me a conversation she had had with a family member earlier in the day. Evidently, the family wanted a detail account of every medication “mama” was taking including who ordered it, why it was being given, how often it is given and how much it cost.     The nurse explained all that was within her scope of practice….everything but the cost.  Apparently the family was very dissatisfied with this …..

” I know what you people are up to. You are just keeping mama alive so you can collect her rent money”, the,  family screamed through the phone.  The nurse, who was caught totally off guard by such a powerful accusation had no clue as to how to respond. Scrambling for an appropriate response, she stated, ” I follow the doctor’s orders. If you would like, I can connect you to the Administrator to discuss the financial side of things…..””      The family chose not to talk to me, but rather, they slammed the phone down.

The nurse began justifying to me the medication “mama” was taking…carefully explaining how the resident needed each of the pills…one for acid reflux, one for edema, one for pain, one for fluid build-up, an aspirin and  a B12 injection. Hmmm.

Let me get this straight. The family thinks we are intentionally keeping her mother alive so we can collect her “rent money.” Wow. I don’t think I have ever been accused of such!  

I decided to call the family myself and sort through her concerns. I certainly do not tolerate anyone screaming at my staff and am quick to state my opinion to those who do so.           Once on the phone with the family member, I could tell the conversation was not going to go well….

” Listen Jessi, I know you are doing the best you can over there, but look, I can’t keep paying these bills that come in, and the pharmacy bill is out of control. Some times I think you just keep half the people over that at your place alive just so you can make money off them. Admit it, you know so many of them would be better off if they died; put out of their misery, but that would affect your bottom line.”      Before I could stop myself, I switched from Administrator to all HUMAN……..

” Mrs, Simon, stop right there. I am not God. I do not control anyone’s fate; their life, nor their death. It is my duty to my profession and to my own  personal character to provide care  and to indeed keep everyone alive! But you are the daughter and Power of Attorney, so the choices you make control life and death.  Do not shift your responsiblity onto me or the staff.  Furthermore, how dare you insinuate that we keep people alive for a profit!! We not only care for every resident in our facility, but we also CARE about them as well……….”    I quickly regained the tone and volume of my voice, knowing I was treading a fine line of unprofessionalism.   Mrs. Simon seemed unmoved by my rant.

” Do you know how much I owe the pharmacy?”She asked.

Before I could answer… she ylelled ” 72 dollars and 94 cent. You may as say 73 dollars.”

I sat at my desk, holding the phone in my ear, speechless. The words I wanted to say, were far from appropriate.  Seriously? 73 dollars?money

What is wrong with people??????????????????  The world has stopped for Mrs. Simon over $72. 93 and it is the fault of the facility that her mother is still alive.    Just wow.      Let me say it again…..WOW.

If she felt so strongly about her mother not NEEDING to spend  $72.93, then why bother having her in a facility such as mine? Certainly there are much cheaper facilities, or why even bother with a facility at all. Why not drive her to an assisted suicide state and drop the hatchet?

People love to talk about their right to die……and they are right to do so. We all have an appointed time to die, BUT, we also have a right to live.

Just wow. 72 dollars and 93 cent.



11 thoughts on “Mama’s Rent

  1. As a pharmacist I can certainly see this scenario occurring. Heaven help momma if she should need a truly expensive medication. Some meds cost upward of fifty dollars per pill. I’m glad momma is in your hands and not theirs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen to that Lilka!!!! Meds are pricey…but so is comfort! I am seeing more and more families stop all “unnecessary” medications to cut costs……my question is: If the meds were unnecessary, why did he MD order them??????????

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The world is full of amazing people Jessie. My guess , the 73.00 dollars was about the equal to a weeks cigarettes. I have lived a devaluated life for decades, one thing I clearly see is that “Most” of the people I have had the misfortune to be close to have had similar life values as your patients daughter. 73 bucks? what a price tag for a human life!

    God have mercy on us if thats all we are or all we are worth.

    But it seems so to me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hubert, Our society has reached a whole new level of devaluation. When people choose the almighty dollar over the comfort of their loved one….well, what does that say about us????? I pray that my loved ones spare no cost in keeping me comfortable!


      • Jessi I am 55 And have suffered illness since childhood and Chronic Fibromyalgia with PTSD since 2002 I have lost everything my wife of then 23 years, my home and kids due to divorce (her idea not mine) my mind as well. Through the COLDNESS of what calls themselves the church and I could go on and on. Very often especially within the last year I find myself begging God to please spare me the shame of geriatrics age. Those golden years should be of grace, thanksgiving reflection on a long life and – some good things.
        I have begged him to just turn off the switch suddenly and hope fully bring me home. You can’t imagine a 55 year old man who Prays fervently to God like that I’m sure, but this hasn’t been a fun life for me, yes I have had some great times, Love the Lord, Write poetry for and to Him etc.etc
        My worst night mare is being in an institution with the kind of uncaring ‘love’? I have had a lifetime of.

        Some days I could just die with this disease and ah I’m left cold with the people in my life maybe there’s something we both are not seeing,
        That old Foreigner song “I want to know what love is” has had me crying like a baby more than once, and I recently found out that It had affected my favourite sister the same way. She died at 36/ 1998 from complications due to diabetes I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, and the new birth, but I sure don’t understand where I fit.


  3. So sad to know that the relationship with their mother is so shallow it boils down to dollars and cents….$73 at that. Staff should certainly not have to take that kind of nonsense …. It’s no wonder you’re left wondering what ‘some of the world’ is coming to… I say ‘some’ because these kind of people I think are still in the minority… at least I hope so. … Diane


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