What every hospital patient needs to know...
HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR ‘CARE’
The most dangerous part of any hospital stay isn’t when they wheel you in with an oxygen mask over your face as docs and paramedics scream things in code.
No, the real danger comes when they send you home!
I’ve seen corpses that look better than living patients discharged after a week or two in a hospital——and if you don’t believe me, just look at the numbers.
One in five hospital patients——20 percent!——end up right back in the joint in 30 days or less, according to Yale University researchers.
Maybe they should just put a revolving door in the ER.
The Yale researchers call it post-hospital syndrome, and it covers everything from physical problems like stomach issues, nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, falls and more to mental disorders including hallucinations, delusions, depression and delirium.
But hospitals have tried to BS it away for years, claiming that sick today is sick tomorrow——that hospital patients are unhealthier in the first place and more likely to get sick again anyway.
They’ve claimed these new illnesses are just coincidental.
The Yale study confirming that these conditions are CAUSED by hospital “care” hasn’t changed their tune by a single note. Many mainstream experts still claim that post-hospital syndrome isn’t even real——and those that do accept it refuse to blame the miserable Third-World conditions that exist at most U.S. public hospitals.
No, they’re going after their favorite targets instead:
THEY’RE BLAMING THE PATIENTS!
“The problem is not poor hospital care or medical mistakes, but the routine difficulties of being a patient,” a report last year in USA Today reads.
Gee, I wonder why it’s so “difficult” being a patient.
Could it be the fact that the moment you walk in, they hook you up to an IV drip and pump everything in the pharmacy into your veins?
Could it be that they give you enough sedatives to knock out an elephant, but still won’t let you sleep?
Could it be the fact that once you do drift off, they wake you up for some poking, prodding and even more meds?
Could it be the nasty garbage that passes for “food,” worse than anything served in prisons?
Could it be the smells that would make you vomit if you actually had anything in your stomach?
Could it be the filthy surfaces, covered in disease-causing germs——and docs and nurses who don’t wash their hands properly?
Could it be all the screaming, the beeping, the constant inaudible announcements and the rest of the noise, noise, noise, noise?
Yes, yes, yes and yes——it’s all that, and more.
It’s so bad that sometimes, no matter how sick you are, the LAST PLACE you want to go is the hospital.
But the reality is you may have to go in anyway. If you’ve suffered a heart attack or stroke, if you’re battling pneumonia, if you’ve fallen and you can’t get up or if you’re suffering from the nasty side effects of some bogus new med your doc swore up and down was perfectly safe, odds are you’re going in.
Maybe kicking and screaming... but you’re still going in.
So let me give you a fighting chance. Let me tell you how to not only survive your hospital stay, but also thrive after it.
And you can start with my...
SIX WAYS TO AVOID READMISSION
#1: Just Say No: Hospitals often take a drug ‘em all approach——if they want you to sleep, they’ll drug you. If your BP spikes a little (perfectly normal in a hospital), they’ll drug you. Any time you open your mouth, they pop another pill in it (and if you don’t, they slip this junk into your IV).
Those drugs can lead to side effects that last for weeks——leaving you dizzy, nauseous, weak and unsteady.
And they can scramble your brain like an egg, which is why meds are a major cause of mental health problems, especially the delirium that strikes so many seniors during and after hospitalization.
The solution is to have someone in your corner who knows what you need and what you don’t: a naturopathic physician who can monitor your care and ensure you’re not given anything unnecessary.
#2: Arm Yourself: No, I don’t mean with a gun (although that’s not a bad idea, especially of you’re going into a public hospital). Arm your gut with probiotic bacteria.
These are the friendly bugs your body needs to aid digestion, improve your immune system, boost your mental health and more——but a few days of hospital food and meds will kill off whatever’s in your belly right now.
Take a probiotic supplement. Along with replacing what you’ve lost, these healthy germs can fight the drug-resistant bacteria responsible for 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections every year.
In some cases, they’re the ONLY things that can fight off those infections.
#3: Double Ds: You know how I feel about vitamin D. It’s critical to your overall health and wellbeing——but unless you live someplace with “BEACH” in the name and spend most of your time outside (and without sunscreen), you almost certainly need a supplement even when you’re home and healthy.
And since you won’t get a drop of sun from behind the shades of a hospital window, boost your dose anytime you’ve been admitted.
#4: ACEs Up: Some hospitals have ACE units, aka Acute Care for Elders units. In general, they are quieter and more comfortable——and in most cases, seniors are put one to a room so you won’t have to put up with some lunatic screaming in the next bed.
But you may not get into it automatically, even if you’re a senior, so ask. Demand if you have to. And if the hospital doesn’t have an ACE unit, at least get yourself a private room if you can swing the extra cost.
#5: Speak Up: Don’t like the food? SAY SOMETHING! Not getting enough sleep because of all the interruptions? SAY SOMETHING! Want to get up and walk around the ward so your legs don’t turn to jelly? SAY SOMETHING!
Yes, good care should be automatic. But the sad truth is that it’s not——so if you want to get some grease, be the squeaky wheel.
#6: Get Smart: Once you’re back home, don’t expect to get back into your routine right away.
Falls are a major cause of readmission for post-hospital syndrome, and it’s because a few days or weeks in a hospital bed——and on hospital meds——will leave you unsteady on your feet.
I’m not saying you need to lay around like a cripple; just take it easy and don’t be too proud to ask for help or avoid the stairs until you’re ready.
Finally, remember this is a group effort. Talk to your spouse. Talk to your family. Talk to your friends. Talk to them now and make sure they know all this——because when you’re laid up in the hospital, you may not be able to speak for yourself. You’ll need their help to get into that ACE unit, get off the meds you don’t need and get the care and attention you deserve.
And you’re definitely going to need their help when you get home.