Friday, April 25, 2008

It Never Stops

I really do need to remember to update my blog more often. I took Donny for the endoscopy and we should get the results either the 5th or the 13th. I expect that all will be fine, but it's nice to have a doctor confirm it.

On Tuesday afternoon, as I was getting ready for Donny's appointment, my mom called me into the other room to talk to me. I go in and she tells me that she's having chest pains that radiate to her left. She wasn't sure if she needed to see a doctor. As I was working on convincing her to go to ER the nurse from her doctor's office called. After they talked to her doctor it was decided that she needed to go to ER. My uncle was getting ready to take my grandma to see her sister who's in the hospital, so I asked him to take my mom to the ER that she likes on his way out of town. I called my dad and arranged for him to meet her there since I couldn't go.

A few hours later I was waiting for Donny to finish his time in recovery so we could go home when my dad called to let me know what was going on. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with my mom so they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. She would need her CPAP machine and was not wanting my dad to drive all the way home, pick it up, and drive all the way back again. I agreed to take it to her once I got Donny home since I wanted to go by and check on her anyway.

I got there and my mom was still in ER waiting for a room. My father and I both decided to sit with her for awhile. For some reason the ER had not yet put an IV in her, so when it was time to get her ready for a transfer they had to do that. My dad and I are both squeamish around needles, but for my dad it's almost a phobia, so you can imagine what that was like for us. It sounded like the nurse was finishing so my dad looked over, just in time to see the nurse pull the needle out. From where he was standing it looked like she broke the needle in my mom's hand, and you could see the blood drain from my dad's face. He sat down and recovered some of his color and then he left to go home.

When it was time to take my mom upstairs she decided to go in her wheelchair, so the transport was a lot less dramatic than you usually see. We got to her room and the ER guy helped her into bed and then he left. We sat there and visited for about a half hour before a nurse came in and acknowledged that there was now a patient in the room. I know nurses are busy people, but it seems to me that somebody could have poked their head in the door and said hello before then. Even if all they said was that her nurse would be with her shortly, at least we would have known that somebody on the floor was aware of our presence.

The nurse came in to do her part of the admit and she seemed like a really nice person. She asked all the questions that we expected and seemed to really know what she was doing. She changed my mom's wristband from the one that ER had given her to one that looked like it was designed to last a little longer. That's when she noticed that my mom hadn't been given an allergy bracelet. Since my mom has several drug allergies that cause her throat to close this is an important item. She said that she'd bring it in later. When I left around 11:00 it still hadn't happened.

The next day I went back to the hospital to pick my mom up and was still rather unimpressed with the nursing staff. My mom was told by the doctor around 9:30 that he would be discharging her. Somewhere around 10:00 the nurse stopped in for a moment and said that she'd be back shortly to start the discharge. I got there around 11:30 and the nurse hadn't been back yet. We waited patiently and about 15 minutes later the nurse came in to check on my mom. When my mom asked about the discharge you would have thought the nurse had never heard about it from her reaction. She checked the paperwork and said that the order was in there, then she left.

Somewhere around 12:30 the nurse popped in for a minute and my mom asked about getting her IV and heart monitor removed so that she could take a shower. The nurse talked to her for a minute and they decided that after lunch she would be discharged. Then the nurse said that she needed to go get gauze so she could remove my mom's IV. We didn't see her again until after lunch.

When the nurse finally came in and removed the IV my mom repeated that she needed to shower and the nurse seemed a little put out at the 5 minute delay, but went and got her some towels. After my mom showered we finished packing her up and the nurse came back to finish discharging her. It wasn't until the nurse said something that I realized that my mom's allergy bracelet was still in her chart, rather than on her arm. I was glad that we were leaving, since I started getting really angry at this point. It seems to me that there's a reason that allergy bracelets are used, and it was rather risky not putting one on somebody who has a lot of severe allergies. All in all, I was really disappointed with the hospital on this visit.

Now that mom's home things are settling down again. Which is nice since I seem to be fighting off a flu bug. I'm really hoping for a few more days of calm.

1 comment:

Traci said...

Hope you, and your mom are feeling better, Jamie...