Roller coaster rides belong in amusement parks.
I'm scared of roller coasters and
I just prayed!
infection again? I guess not. Working through moms obvious pain, I got her dressed and we were back home again by late afternoon.
By morning we would have to call for the ambulance again as mom couldn't hardly move. Her blood pressure was elevated and her pain had reached new levels.
Her pain level is what got their attention this time. They drew more blood. And, then they drew some more blood - a LOT more blood. The drew enough blood for the tests and the cultures necessary to determine if the staph had returned. The results of those cultures take several days. They admitted her and started IV antibiotics again as they waited for the cultures. Sure enough, her blood stream was once again infected with staph.
She responded quite quickly to the antibiotics this time. Another few days in the hospital before I was once again approached by the Discharge Planner.
I explained to her that the plan was that I would be taking mom home with me. She said she didn't think that was possible because of the IV meds that she would now need to be on for another 6-8 weeks. "How about Acute Rehab here at the hospital" I was ready this time as she was handing me the familiar list of Skilled Nursing Facilities to choose from. At least I thought I was ready. She smiled sympathetically (or maybe it was more of a condescending smile, not that I think about it) as she told me that wasn't going to be an option this time because mom was not going to need as intensive of therapy as she had the first time. Besides that, they were full.
Well, at least I knew now that they wouldn't discharge her until they had one of our signatures on their Medicare release form. It was a form that we had been asked to sign each time before her discharge, one that I had paid little attention to. I had finally taken the time to actually read that form after realizing that each time we had been asked to sign it, discharge seemed to happen a little too quick. They couldn't or wouldn't begin the discharge process until we signed.
Well, then, I guess she's staying right here because "I am not signing that form". Clearly frustrated with my lack of cooperation, she told me she would have the infectious disease doctor come talk to me, maybe they could change her to an oral antibiotic that I would be able to take her home with. So, I waited and I waited and I waited some more.
I decided the cafeteria was the best option right then and would take the least time. Any other option would involve leaving the hospital and I didn't want to test my theory that bad! I spent 10 minutes trying to find someone to tell that I was leaving for a few minutes and asked if the doctor came in to please let him know I would be right back - 15 minutes tops. Of course the cafeteria was crowded, so taking enough time to actually get food was out of the question. When had I last eaten? I couldn't remember.
I grabbed a soda and headed back to moms room as quickly as I could. I probably checked the time three times as the elevator stopped at each floor to deliver other people to their destinations. Not bad. 13 minutes........14 minutes, I got this! Perfect, I was only gone 15 minutes. Better yet, the doctor I needed to see was sitting at the nurses station. He was on a phone call and had moms file up on the computer. I made eye contact with the nurse to let her know I was there (she already knew I had been waiting for hours to talk to the doctor) and went in to let mom know the doctor was on the floor and we would surely see him soon.
"He's already been in", she told me. WHAT? What had he said? She couldn't quite remember except that he would be back in tomorrow. I was just getting ready to run out to catch the doctor, but mom was still talking. The nurse had also been in. Oh, and that "other" lady.
Then I heard her say, "There's a copy of that form they needed signed", and my heart sank. STAY CALM! "Which form mom", although I already knew in my gut which form it was. I didn't wait for her to answer, I could see what it was and I could see it was signed. "Gonna try to catch the doctor", and I was out the door. I was trying to decide if I should catch the doctor or look for that "other" woman about the form. The doctor, I decided. After all, the form was already signed and I couldn't un-sign it.
Good! The doctor was still there. I stood just out of ear shot and waited for him to finish his conversation with the nurse. I don't know if it was in his plan or time schedule, maybe it was because I was in his path to leave (he was clearly done for the night and heading out), but he did stop to talk to me.
He was very cordial and listened politely & sympathetically as I asked a LOT of questions. Most of them he didn't have an answer to. He knew she was really sick. He knew she had a staph infection and he knew she would have to be on IV antibiotics for 6-8 weeks.
He didn't know how soon they were planning on discharging her, "but she would need to go to a Skilled Nursing facility". Then I remembered something that nurse a few months ago had told me. "What about the infusion clinic?" was my next question. That would depend on which antibiotic and how many times a day was the explanation. "We need another day of growth on the culture before we know which antibiotic it will respond to" I was told.
In our area the infusion clinic is not open except during the day, so if it was to be given 2 or more times a day the infusion clinic wasn't an option. "But in a SNF they can do the infusions", the doctor reasoned.
I reminded him that she had almost died there before because that infection came back so quickly and it took so long to get help. She needed to be at home where we could make those critical decisions or she needed to be somewhere that had a doctor on staff 24/7. She needed to be somewhere that could understand the complexity of her health. It wasn't just the infection. It was her whole host of other afflictions too.
We agreed that we would decide "tomorrow". He was gone before I thought to ask if he had any idea what time tomorrow. Looks like I'll just have to wait it out......AGAIN!
I must be tired.
Did I just willingly agree to wait some more?
Oh, boy, here we go again.
What are we going to do now?
I hope you will visit another day to find out!