As I type, Richard is probably under the influence of anaesthetic drugs and the robotic arm at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas USA. He will spend 6-10 hours on the operating room table with a six armed robot surgery machine named Da Vinci. As most of you already know he just completed a month of chemotherapy, a month of radiation therapy, and a month trying to recover from the therapies. He has stage three esophageal cancer, a virulent, returning, and spreading form of cancer. I have been thinking about him most of the night, wishing and hoping like crazy he will do well.
Richard has done more globally than any other person with dementia to lift the lid on stigma and discrimination, and in giving a loud clear voice to people with dementia. I feel proud to call him my friend.
He has had a new battle of late, and wrote: ‘My attempts to get someone(s) in the medical community to address my fears, the research into delirium and dementia completed, the new ideas, aids, techniques, types of anesthesia, supporting mediation – all of which seek to lessen the impact of anesthesia on someone already living with dementia – have fallen onwell intended but ignorant ears. The current trend to hire gas for hire anesthesiologists has produced totally uncoordinated staff, staffing, procedures, and interest in the impact on their gasses and drips on people living with the symptoms of dementia. Most depend on after the fact identification of delirium by nurses in critical care units. The fact are they are usually assigned early in the morning by a spin of the wheel assures there are no real considered consults between patients and their gas passers. Couple this with the fact the actual MD is serving five or six OR patients at the SAME TIME through the reports of a non MD and you can see why I fear the process as much as I fear the cancer and its possible return. ‘
Why is it always such a fight to get the medical community to listen to a viewpoint other than their own? I am still searching for the answer to my question, and wonder why is it not until you are dying that doctors and nurses simply show their care for the person, rather than the disease and their own opinion of how to treat it.
Go well Richard Taylor… we are all thinking of you and sending healing thoughts and wishes.