March 8, 2009

What I learned this week (early edition)

Welcome to What I learned this week - The Early Edition... (I will link over on Tuesday)


I learned that even though they are well paid, well educated, well intended Dr's and Nurses in the ER are not that competent especially if they don't think you are priority number 1 when you are admitted.

I learned that once they realize that they were wrong as pertaining to what priority the patient should have been given - a team of 6 people will pack a room no larger than a gas station bathroom and rush around in a frenzy trying to make things better.

I learned how bad it stinks to see a parent in the hospital under any circumstances and how much worse it is when the people taking care of her

1. can't find what they need

2. don't know what it is the Dr is asking for

3. Lose 2 vials of blood, mislabel the next two and ultimately have to take blood 3 times from a bleeding patient that has already lost 2 1/2 pints of blood.

I learned that if you leave the hospital at 12am to move your car to the side of the hospital your mom has been admitted to - you will have to walk all the way around the building to re-enter through the ER entrance - you also will do this by yourself, in the dark, in the middle of the night, in chilly Colorado and inevitably you will not be wearing a coat because when you left you left your house to rush to your moms side at her house you were in your PJ's and slippers and did not realize what your night was going to turn into.

I also learned that things improve a bit when you get a rock solid nurse in the ICU who actually cares for the patient and even picks up on little subtleties and adds surprises to your room service order just to make you and your mom more comfortable.

I learned that my mom on Morphine (even at the lowest dose possible) is VERY loopy and she will even try to convince you that the machines in the room were talking to her in the middle of the night. Um mom, the machines don't talk - REALLY and NO they aren't talking right now either (24 hours after the last dose of morphine)

I also learned that I can rearrange the waiting room furniture to meet my needs at 5am when I am still locked out of the ICU and I want to work on my computer (comfortably)


I learned that life does go on around you even when you think it will come to a screeching halt - that your kids and your husband will be JUST FINE without you and that at some point they won't even run to hug you when you walk back in the door. (OK but that stunk too)

I learned that friends and family are AMAZING in crisis situations and even if the hospital is not terribly accommodating you can make sure someone is always with the patient because everyone helps! It is also wonderful to have a family member with a PHD and some experience dealing with Dr's to set people straight every now and then!

I also learned that even though I gave up coffee about 12 years ago their is nothing better than a hot cup of black tar coffee at 3am and 5am when you are cold and bored and waiting to get back into ICU to see your mom.

And Finally - I learned that if you have a nose bleed, not just any nose bleed a NOSE BLEED that doesn't seem to want to stop get your butt to the ER after just 20 minutes or all the above could happen to you too (actually, if you have one of those nose bleeds and do get the hospital in time, MOST of the above will still happen you will just lose a little less blood)

24 comments:

Kim H. said...

Oh Terra, your poor Mom -- and poor you. I don't understand why healthcare can be so frustrating -- and why does it have to be frustrating when you're scared and tired and concerned and just want someone to take care of your loved one. Isn't it supposed to be just go to the hospital and people will jump all over to take care of you?....

Okay, your Mom must have had one heck of a nose bleed if she lost 2 1/2 pints of blood and ended up in the ICU. The poor thing. I'll be praying for a quick recovery for her and I'm sure having you close by will be just what the doctor ordered.

jenjen said...

Wow - how scary Terra! I hope your mom is doing better now! And from a nose bleed??? My kids get those all the time. Did they tell you why it bled so much?

It's so good that you were able to be with your mom!

((hugs))
Jen

Courtney said...

Terra, I am so sorry to hear you had to go through all this... you and your mom. I do prayer she is getting well!

hang in there. I am thinking of you!

Allison said...

Gosh, what a weekend! I hope that it is going better now. All of you are in my continued prayers!

Sansanee said...

Dear Terra,
We heard about your mom from Gary Porter when he picked us up from DIA yesterday. We're sorry to hear about it and sorry about your bad experience at the hospital. Is she home yet? I don't want to call to bother her during her discovery time yet. I'm glad I remember about your blog and read more about it. We're back in Denver now. So please don't hesitate to call us any time for anything. Our thoughts are with you all. -Love

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh my gosh! How terrible. I hope your mom is doing better! Isn't it scary how dumb some doctors are?

Laura said...

I've learned those things too and I'm sorry we are learning them at the same time.
The blood vial thing is scary.
Here's a few more...
Pick a handful of people (nurses and nurse's assistants) and know their names. Compliment them until their face turns blue and put family pictures all around the room so that they can see the LIFE of the person in the bed.
We have a picture of my dad with Mother Teresa and we have it in the room with him along with pictures of him playing with his grandchildren and laughing and smiling.
The nurses start to ask questions about the pictures and then ask him about his life and I feel that they show more compassion as time goes on.
Of course now, everyone in the nursing home is in love with him because he's getting better and he is back to his entertaining storytelling self.
Bless you and again...like I said before- take your vitamins and get some sleep.

jen@odbt said...

Oh Terra - those are a lot of lessons learned in such a short period. What a nightmare. I hope your mom is doing better.

Lindsay said...

oo yikes! That was a long/rough night. I will be praying for a speedy recovery for your Mom! How is she doing now?

Bonnie said...

Terra, what a crazy few days you and your family have had. I hope your Mom is feeling better and you are getting some rest (fat chance) I would imagine but you should try! Please let me know if there is anything you need.

whoopsadasie said...

Terra,

I am SOO sorry you had to learn all this in one short weekend. You poor dear you!

How scary for you and your mom. I didn't know that having a nose bleed could do all that! How is she? Do they know what caused it? Is she home? So many questions...

If I were there...I would be there in a heartbeat. Sending prayer, ♥ and hugs...my friend!

whoopsadasie said...

I have a little award for you over on my page.

thecasualperfectionist.com said...

Yikes! I hope she's okay!!

Krape Family said...

It sounds like you were at Swedish. We learned the ER entrance thing while waiting for my sister to have her baby last Thursday night. Were we there at the same time?
Anyway, I am sorry you and your mom had to go through that and I hope she is feeling better.

Candi said...

Oh my goodness! What a disaster. I never have understood how an ER can be full of incompetent docs. I hope your mom is better and that this never ever happens again!

Jenni Jiggety said...

Oh Terra...I am thinking of you and your mom! Hang in there!

Melissa said...

How scary & sad! I am sorry to hear that you and you mom are gong through this! We have had a similiar situation last week with my grandmother.. My prayers are with you & your family

Jennifer said...

I am sorry to hear about your mom. Mine fell and broke her hip just before Christmas, out the back door, down the steps...home alone. She had to pull herself back inside using only her arms to call us for help. I know the feeling of panic trying to get to your mom.

I also can relate to being locked out of the hospital at night in the dark and cold. I was that person also in December.

There are times that I wonder "how on earth did these people get degrees to administer medical care to others?"

Praying your mom gets better soon.

Wendy said...

Having to go to the ER during the wee hours is never a good time! I'm sorry you and your mom had to go through all that! Is she doing okay now?

Paige said...

Terra,
I'm still here and ready to do whatever. (Figured this is the easiest way to communicate with you right now.)

JanMary said...

Oh hugs and prayers.

That is a lot to learn all at once, and under very stressful circumstances.

Hairline Fracture said...

What a difficult time for your family. I'll pray for strength for you and for your mom to get better very soon.

The Bailey Family said...

Oh Terra...I'm so sorry to hear about your mom...I hope she's ok now and recovering.

Musings of a Housewife said...

Sounds like you had one rough week. (((hug)))