Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Just Another Day

The patient is doing well. He was up a lot yesterday, sitting and watching TV and listening to an audiobook. He is back in the bed more today, so he was probably up too much. However, this afternoon finds him at his own computer, looking at whatever he looks at.

He is now fetching some of his own items. Bottled water, diet Dr. Pepper, his cans of snuff that I am reluctant to give him in the first place. We are finding our new routine, which basically means that my day doesn't start until after 11 a.m., after I get him bathed and fed and all of that.

It is very tiring for him to have an unusable foot. Everything takes a little thought and more time. That goes for both of us.

He watched me carry out the trash yesterday. The bag had grown heavier than I thought (I try to keep them light), so I walked a few feet, felt the pain in my abdomen, stopped, set the bag down briefly, let the pain subside, picked up the bag, walked a few feet, etc., until I reached the outbuilding where the outside trash cans are.

Doable. A little slow, but I am managing. He didn't like it that it took me so long, that I was in the cold that long, that I had to do it at all, really. But it's better out there than stinking up the garage. And it's how I've learned to manage, after 6 years of dealing with my own tiring health issues. I think this has been enlightening for him, to watch me work through my days, getting the laundry done, the dishes cleaned up, still managing the household as best I can.

We have put up a small 3-foot tree that we bought at Walmart. It has no decorations because I can't lift the boxes to get to the decorations. At least it gives off a little holiday light.

My husband packs up boxes as full as he can, and puts things where he can reach them. So the Christmas things are heavy and up high. He is 6' 2" tall and I'm 5' 1' tall. I have a bad back and bad ab muscles, and can't lift much over 10 pounds or so. I could stand on a stool and unpack the boxes from on high, I guess, but I don't see the point. If I decide I simply must have decorations on this tiny little tree, it would be easier to go to the dollar store and buy something cheap to throw on there than to dig out the boxes.

Carilion Transgressions

I was going to write a blog post about my wait at Carilion, but too much time has passed. I think I will, though, leave a list of transgressions here so I can come back to it when I sit down to write a letter to somebody at that facility.

1. The pre-op people said to bring an overnight bag with you. They said it would be placed on the gurney, taken with my husband into surgery, and then it would be there with him when he was sent to his recovery room. But they don't do that anymore. I had to walk the entire length of the hospital, led there by a volunteer, so I could pick up the things he took with him, plus the clothing he had on. Just his shoes are heavy (size 13 feet). So I was stuck with all of this stuff that if the pre-op instructions had been accurate would have been left in the car. They have a disconnect between what actually happens and the instructions. This should be fixed.

2. The PT people need to see the patient prior to surgery to go over ways to maneuver and figure out the best assistance device before the surgery. He saw a PT immediately after who helped him figure out he needed a walker (not something we'd considered), and then for whatever reason Carilion Home Health sent a PT down on Monday to see him. He can't do PT now. That was a waste of money.

3. The occupational therapist needs to see the patient prior to surgery, too, and probably again immediately thereafter. The occupational therapist did the most good when she came to the house.

4. The damn doctor never came to the waiting room to tell me what he did to my husband. He never called or anything. I complained to the nurse after I got to my husband's room and she tracked down an assistant who'd helped with the surgery. I didn't want to talk to an assistant. I wanted to talk to the damn doctor. I still haven't talked to the damn doctor. The damn doctor did talk to my husband but he was just coming out from anesthesia and can't remember anything he said. Not helpful.

5. The valet parking people were rude. I accept some responsibility for this, as we'd given them the extra key fob to the car to park it. We asked for a handicapped spot and apparently those are all in front of the hospital. I didn't realize they were going to place it in a line until they could find a handicapped space for it in front of the hospital. After the volunteer gave me all of my husband's clothing and bags, etc., I decided I'd go put the stuff in the car rather than try to keep up with it. I assumed the car would be parked but it was in a line waiting to be parked when a space emptied out. When I asked where the car was, one of the men handed me the key fob and I went to the car. The key fob was acting funny, I could tell, but I had other things on my mind. I put my husband's clothing in the back seat and couldn't get the key fob to lock the doors. Since I had the other key fob in my pocketbook I thought one was messing up the other. I left the doors unlocked - if anyone wanted his big shoes they could have them - and handed the key fob back to the valet fellow. About an hour later one of the men called me and said my car wouldn't start and he accused me of switching key fobs when I went down before. I did not do that, of course. I went back down to the front of the hospital and found the man, who dared me to start the car with that key fob. I did, because I read the owner's manual to my car and I know that if you put the key fob against the electric start if the fob battery is dead, it will start the car anyway. He basically accused me of witchcraft even after I explained to him how to start a car with a dead key fob, which you would think someone who is working as a car valet would know. Certainly that can't be the first time a key fob for an electric start vehicle has gone dead. Anyway, the man parked my car then tore my paperwork off my key fob and threw at me, after again accusing me of switching key fobs on him (why would I even do that?). It was a dead battery and certainly nothing intentional on my part, good grief. The man was very rude. (It is also possible the damn doctor came out to the waiting room while I was dealing with the rude valet people, but even so, the woman at the waiting room desk had my cell number and knew where I was and he could have called.)

6. We called the hospital on Tuesday, November 26, about pain medication. Carilion called yesterday, December 2, to tell my husband he had pain medication ready at the Riverside pharmacy and we could come and pick it up. A week later. I know there was a holiday in there, but really? We told them to keep their drugs as he no longer needed them.

7. I had called my husband's doctor two weeks before his surgery and told the nurse I wanted help with bathing him while he was doped up on pain killers. We got a PT, RN visits every couple of days, and an OT. How was this helpful, really? What if I had been really, really disabled, like in a wheelchair or something myself? Is this how they deal with this kind of family concern? This makes no sense. The RN visits I am tolerating but he is not running a fever or exhibiting any signs of any problems whatsoever. His pain level is next to nothing. I've had a higher pain level than he has during most of this. Somebody was not listening.




1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, since I've been working at the nursing home I've been discovering just how insensitive and rude those in health care can be. I know what goes on at the home I work at and it is one of the better facilities in the state. That scares the poop out of me and I tell my husband that if it comes down to me needing to go to a nursing home, to please, PLEASE, just take me out back and put me out of my misery. There are good people in health care, I know that, but for far too many it's just a job and as with any other field these days, people just don't care. They're as self-centered as most of their peers. Part of our changing (and not for the better) culture, I guess.

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