Kitty (name changed) has been a member of the society since it came into being. Over the years Kitty has done her bit to raise money for the society by organising raffles in the sheltered home where she lives.
Kitty is an ex police officer and one of the old school – despite her advancing years she still takes care of herself. I know that the last time I spoke with her she told me that she had broken her hip in a fall – she has Osteoporitis. Kitty couldn’t be doing with nurses and so, for the past forty years she has been injecting herself, intramuscularly, with Hycroxocobalamin for which she received prescriptions from her doctor.
She left a message last week on the answerphone asking me to call her. Then she left another about four hours later, there had been nobody in the office to take her calls or to listen to the answer machine. I called her first thing on Thursday morning as she sounded so desperate. There was no answer. I called again in the early afternoon and she answered the phone sobbing.
“The nurse is here – please can you have a word with her? They’ve stopped my injections”, she was obviously in quite a state. I spoke to the nurse who told me that the Doctor had decided that she no longer needed the monthly injections and might be allowed on every three months. I asked if this was because of a recent blood test but was told no. I pleased with the nurse pointing out that she gave herself the injection and so was of no bother to the surgery but all that the nurse could do was to tell me she would put my points to the doctor. I asked to be put back on to Kitty who simply said “Bless You”. I promised to phone in a few days. The decision had been taken completely arbitarily and not on any scientific basis.
I spoke to her again yesterday – I was just about to telephone her when she called me. Again she was tearful and was obviously upset. I asked her if there was anyone who could help her, someone to try to arbitrate with the doctor on her behalf. Kitty has no relatives, and she doesn’t bother with any of the other people living in the accommodation. “They’re always going on cruises and they never want to bother with anyone else” she told me. She had just one friend who she saw every Sunday at church. After forty years of looking after herself she was now at a loss why anyone would take her medication away from her. Now it may be that Kitty, because of her advancing years, was not deemed capable of injecting herself any more. Maybe the nurse was unable to explain this because Kitty was within earshot and might have been offended by this explanation , but she doesn’t sound like she is incapable of anything. I tried to reassure Kitty and promised that I would go and visit her sooner rather than later. Maybe I could take her a little something. What would you do?