My brothers and I are functioning as the de facto health care advocates for my Dad, and it’s a busy job. Every morning lately we check his status, check his medical record, rally others to perform any necessary on-site tasks (my in-state brothers are a tremendous help here), badger and beg the various MD offices and the assisted living facility staff to pay more attention to his declining health. Today we had to bring in the heavy artillery and send him to the ER for some procedures. I don’t think this is the way things should be, but it’s the way things are. For anyone who doesn’t have an active, aggressive advocate to shepherd them through our crazy healthcare system, good luck. The system is made of mostly caring people, but as a system it fails to put the puzzle pieces together and get the right thing done at the right time for seriously ill people. It’s hard to believe until you’ve experienced it.