Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coming home.

I typed this while waiting for the nurse to come show me how to attend my mother's drains, because today she got booted from the hospital.

Mom is being released from the hospital today.   On one hand I am pissed that she’s being forced out, when she clearly needs 24 hour care, but on the other hand at least I will KNOW she is being taken care of at home (by me and a few of her very good friends).  

Got to her room this morning to find her drugged out of her mind, alone, and trying to change into her clothes.  She has three drains from her wounds, to manage them, they safety-pinned them into her hospital gown.  Had I been just a minute later she would have yanked all three of them out of her body.  Gag.  I’ve been here over an hour, and the only staff I have seen is the damn lunch lady.  I am extremely pissed, but it would do me no good, so I will save my energy for a scathing letter to the hospital letting them know I find their services lacking.  I confirmed my slide into old-lady-hood last year when I became a letter-writer.  Correction: angry letter writer.

Getting Mom dressed was a piece of cake compared to getting the rat’s nest that is her hair under control.  It’s just past shoulder length, and evidently has not been taken care of by the fantastic nursing staff here.  I am most assuredly NOT a girly-girl, so standing for 25 minutes trying to get the knots out of my drugged mother’s hair without having her yelp in pain WHILE having her pepper me with nonsensical questions was a challenge.  I gave up completely when it was time to use accessories to pull it back.   Soon as I was down brushing, she snapped back to reality to get the hair done, then asked if I’d let the cat back out.  Um, okay.   And no, she does not, and has never had, a cat.

Back to real time.  It's now, thankfully, Thursday night.  I have had time to reflect on the day, and am appalled at a new low in cell phone use:  nurses attending one patient (MY MOTHER!!) while attending to another’s needs over the phone.  There is no way that can be safe.  Or ethical.  Or good CUSTOMER SERVICE.

So while the nurse was trying to show me how to clean my mother's drains (something I won't burden y'all with), that fucking phone rang three times.  Three times that nurse stopped what we were doing to talk about another patient.  Not once did that nurse apologize for being so damn rude.  Seriously: how can you be focused on your patient when you are talking about another??  That letter to the hospital is just getting longer, and longer.

I am just so happy she is home, and safely tucked in her bed.  Her very dear friend of 30 + years is on duty right now.  If you can, I highly recommend befriending an LPN who also happens to be a retired Colonel in the Air Force, because they rock.  As I was leaving this afternoon she had threatened my mother with no more pain meds til she ate, and I know she meant it.  Unfortunately for her, the Valium that Mom had taken 20 minutes earlier had kicked in, so her threats fell flat as my mother wondered why she needed to know what venue Jimmy Buffett was playing.  That was my cue to leave to get some time in with Cam and Rob.  I go back at 2100 for night duty.

Valuable lesson I learned today: don't leave the Valium and Oxycodone where the patient can easily find them, because they really aren't the best judge of time and consumption.  "Really.  Grandpa, you need to get in know what will happen if you don't..."  

I'd really like to know what would happen to poor Grandpa.

1 comment:

  1. hahahahah!!! Glad to hear your mom is home and boo on that hospital! I look forward to hearing what your letter has to say.... trust me I write them too! ack so does that mean by next year at 25 I'll be in a walker with 800 cats? lol!