The Good and the Bad in Spain

A  household with two people suffering a neurological brain condition…  I have witnessed  much.  I  realized  we must look again how we deal with old age and illness.  More importantly – we must stop the cruel practice of isolation.

I was told it is easier to do homecare in Spain because doctors here are old fashioned.  My answer is yes and no.

Dr.  Tolosa  was the head of neurology  at the  Hospital Clinic .  He had written a book about Parkinson’s.  The definitive book.

 One day the elevator in his private office was broken.  My mother could not keep her appointment.  His office was on the fifth floor.  I asked the  secretary if  a home visit was possible.  His office was close,  only a block away.    I did not expect much but what a surprise.  He did agree to come.

He arrived at 9 pm and stayed till midnight.  He sat next to mother,  holding her hand, observing her every move.   So sweet he was, so warm she was disarmed.    At the end of the visit he asked me.  Do you think Vera has  Parkinson’s?  I laughed.  The number one world expert on Parkinson’s asking an artist?

I have to stop now.  There is an apartment I have to see.  In the morning I saw  a nice one.   Lots of light and birds singing.  And a spectacular view of the Sagrada Familia .  Quite  small… I  count every centimeter   to make sure the hospital bed will fit.

5 pm  Another apartment.  I already knew the building.  A Tibetan doctor –  Dalei Lama’s,  in fact – used to live there.  I used to bring my mother  to him.   Shelly too.  A lovely man that doctor.   Your mother is  very lovable,  he used to tell me.   She was.  That was her new way of being after her fall.   She was  changed.  But  inside she was the same, with an  amazing inner life.  You could see it.

The apartment was a good size but too dark.   I had trouble being in that building.  My mother died four years ago and my grieving has not eased.

Try to find an apartment in Barcelona if you have  a wheelchair.  Most buildings are  old and have no elevators.  Some have stairs to elevators and no ramp.  Some elevators are  tiny.  A stroller would not fit.     I could go on.  But there is no end to what is wrong with these buildings.

Tip of the day

 Oximeter is a small device you slip on your finger. It  measures your oxygen blood saturation and pulse.  These two numbers are important.  This is what emergency doctors will check first.  The numbers tell the whole story.  Blood saturation above 90 is normal.  Pulse above 100  you have to watch.   It is important to know  what is normal for you.  Variations are allowed.   An oximeter in a household is  a good idea.  You will know when to call emergency.   You can get one  on amazon or ebay for less than 30 dollars.  It will   give you an accurate reading.     That´s all for today.

Thank you all.   Anna     For future blogs  see     Please feel free to pass it on.



Filed under Homecare

17 Responses to The Good and the Bad in Spain

  1. Gloria Montero

    Anna, so wonderful that you have decided to share not only the knowledge you have acquired through these years of care for Shelly and your mother, but also that you can talk of the tremendous life experience accumulated through life in different countrie and cultures. It is by sharing stories that we all learn —- about ourselves, the world… and about life itself.

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