After mom had been in the hospital for nearly 3 weeks in VERY SERIOUS condition, we were told they would be releasing her soon. She wasn't doing great and still at about an 8-10 on the pain scale (even with some pretty heavy duty pain medicine), but my siblings & I had spent the past 3 weeks (when we weren't at the hospital) installing safety/grab bars; rearranging furniture; installing a "roll in" shower (just in case); and in general preparing to bring mom home in whatever condition she was in. It had been a number of years, but I had some health care experience; I have a daughter who is a critical care nurse whose brain I can pick; 2 sisters that have at least some health care experience. We were certain, that with the assistance of Home Health, we could and would provide care for her at home.
|Mom has RA in MOST of her joints|
and in her lungs. Actually, she has most
if not all of the symptoms in the definition.
BIG ROAD BLOCK!
|Hindsight, huh?! Don't make an appointment|
Just pop in! A surprise visit is more apt to be
an honest visit!
These people were NOT nice! Most were NOT engaged with residents! Why are 1/2 of the residents sleeping IN THEIR PLATES??!! Why is it taking SO long for my mothers pain medication? Why isn't anybody in the nice, big therapy room? No, this can't be happening........WAKE UP!!!!!
Each time I talked to someone they assured me that they would (or had) phoned the doctor and had to wait for his orders before they could do anything. The pain level in her back was still quite high and now her knee was so swollen it was starting to cut circulation off in her foot. I finally insisted they make an appointment and transport mom and myself to the orthopedic doctor even though he had already assured us that her knee was "fine".......it didn't look fine to me!
Several more days of waiting for doctors response "before anything can be done" and I have had enough. Well, I don't know about you, but I know if I think someone is dying I should call an ambulance instead of just "wait for the doctor". So, Monday morning, April 16, 2012, after almost 18 days after mom had been transferred to the SNF I asked them to call an ambulance and their response almost made me do things that would have probably landed me in jail!
"I'm sorry, we have to have a doctors order to call an ambulance" I was told by the administrator. Are you kidding me? This is crazy. I let them know that I didn't need a doctors order to call for the ambulance, to which they she replied "If you do, you will likely be responsibly for payment of not only our charges, but also any hospital charges". EXCUSE ME? My mother is dying and you think the almighty dollar is going to make me just take this? I replied (probably not very calmly and certainly VERY loudly) "You have 10 minutes to have an ambulance here" and simply walked back to my mothers room and my sister & I began getting her ready to get out of this place - ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN??!!!
10 minutes later as mom was being loaded in to the ambulance, my sister and I were removing all of her personal items from her room. She won't be back to this place. We are not certain of many things right now, but of that we are certain!
|2 of the 3+ vials of PUSS from moms knee|
(only 3 days after the first draining)
It took me some time to convince him that it really needed to be drained and cultured. I have never heard a doctor "gasp" like he did as he drew that fluid. It was obvious that it was filled with staph. It's also obvious that if they don't intervene somehow and fast, we are at the end. Of course nothing happens "fast".
As they prepared to admit her and started trying to obtain records from the first hospital somehow it was decided that it would be in her best interest to return to the hospital that had originally treated her. Another ambulance ride and several more hours in an emergency room and she was finally in a room. They had found another pocket of "fluid" around the L1 fracture when they had done an MRI at the first hospital of the day. Mom was going to have a dual procedure in which they again drained the back and performed what's called debridement of her artificial knee.
I just don't know that she can make it through more procedures in her current condition. I so wish I had insisted that she not be released the first time. I know I can't dwell on what might have been, but it's hard not to. It's hard to not second guess every decision you have made. It's hard to not think "if only". It's just plain hard! I'm so tired and so emotional I can't even think at this point.
Fortunately, the nurse mom had that night was awesome and I felt comfortable enough to go home and cry myself to sleep for a short time! It would be the first time I had been home since, well, I can't remember when!
Looking back, that nurse would ultimately change our course. He offered information and told us of resources that in the now nearly 6 weeks no one had even mentioned. He told us what mom would have to be able to accomplish to be considered for acute rehab. WHAT? I didn't even know what that was at the time. Why didn't we know that was even in the realm of possibilities before? What else was I missing? Why had I just blindly followed what they told me?
Well, the blinders are off! Watch out! I'm tired of being brushed off & ignored. I KNOW MY MOTHER and someone is going to start paying attention to her needs! I know her health is pretty complex on a good day and this isn't a good day. I don't have a problem with them not knowing how to treat her, but I do have a problem with them taking the attitude of "If we can't do it then no one can".
I want a second opinion.
I bet I still have to say that louder and more assertively before I get their attention!
I WANT a second opinion!
Where will this road go?