Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Angry - Rant

Ok...I admit it...I'm really angry.  I try not to always post "deep emotion" especially not negative emotion but today I'm angry and I have to write about it.  (And lately there's been more negative emotion then anything - I'm sorry.  I hope to eventually do better in that area but...not today)

Why am I angry and who am I angry at?  The why is easy - it's watching my father in law Dad K deal with medical stuff that just shouldn't be happening.  It's carelessness at best and outright negligence possibly.  Who am I angry at - that question is more difficult to answer.  And to even begin to answer it the back story must be written out.

One late Sunday evening 5 weeks or so ago Dad K wasn't feeling well again.  He'd had just a couple weeks before finished a long treatment for a UTI and had been catheter free for just a few days.  But that Sunday evening he was alternately hot and cold, in back pain and just not feeling well.  He went to bed early only to have us receive a phone call for B to go over and help him up as he'd fallen trying to get to the bathroom.  B and Dipstick rushed over and decided he needed to go to our local ER.  So B drove him in - he was quickly cathed and it was determined he had another UTI.  The doctor on duty was going to send him home with more antibiotics and the tube to be followed up later.  Mom K prayed as she knew going home wasn't an option - he'd been complaining of back pain at home and the on-duty ER doc wasn't listening to her.  Dad K's fever went up then his pain level in his back increased and an MRI was ordered and it was decided he would be admitted.  However this took so much time it was 6:30 in the morning before he was moved to a room.  When his regular doctor came in on rounds roughly an hour or so later he said Dad K needed transferred to "the city" to a bigger hospital who could care for him.  By the time he arrived at the bigger hospital he was septic and in septic shock.  To make a long story short he was in ICU there for 9 days, on multiple IV medications and we originally weren't sure he would be able to fight this off.  He spent a couple of days in a regular room and then was transferred to a rehab facility a couple miles away.  He was weak as a baby and could do basically nothing without assistance.

He's been in the rehab facility for 3 1/2 weeks now and has regained quite a bit of strength.  He is able to walk with a walker (and support), stand some, feed himself regular food without assistance, think and speak clearly...Due to his pulmonary fibrosis he still tires extremely easily but that has been an ongoing issue.  He has already outlived predictions for that...  We were just waiting for him to be strong enough to have the kidney stones "blasted" so we could then start thinking about bringing him home.  That procedure has been delayed once already due to lack of communication between the doctor's office and the facility on his medications.  It is currently scheduled for Dec. 16th.

Yesterday morning he was not feeling well when Mom K and I arrived.  (Mom K goes over there 6-7 days a week, I'm there 3-4)  He didn't eat much breakfast, hadn't slept and was complaining of pain in his side.  The nurse on duty was concerned that there was a bowel blockage of some sort and requested an x-ray stat.  This was about 9:00 am.  I left shortly before 1:00 pm to run an errand and go do my bus route.  Found out later that the x-ray was finally done at 3:15 and there were no results by 5.  Sometime between that and 6 pm I found out he was being transferred to the ER by ambulance for a ct scan.  B went in after 8 pm so that he could bring Mom K home.  Long story short - the ct scan was apparently never done.  The ER changed his catheter out, had some junk released and Dad K started feeling better and was able to eat.  They tested him and have determined he's got another UTI.  They tried to get B to take him back to the rehab facility - that was an argument until it was determined that B had no oxygen for him so he had to wait for ambulance transport.

Apparently the catheter should have been changed at minimum once a month - with his history likely more often.  So who was responsible for making sure that happened???  And who should be the "correct" recipient of my anger? The urology doctor who saw him a couple weeks ago and is to be doing the "blasting"?  He at the very least should have done that when Dad K was in the office.  He should have also made sure that was in release orders from the hospital.  The rehab home who are administering his meds and caring for him??  I think they would have an out because they have to follow doctor's orders.  But on the other hand - surely they should know it does need changed!

I am definitely angry with myself for not questioning that aspect of his care.  I thought about it several weeks ago and brought it up once.  I don't remember what I was told - I know I was told the kidney drain would be fine and did not need to be changed out.  But as just the daughter in law who is not medical and who has pushed on other issues and possibly stepped on toes I didn't push.  Some of my anger is definitely directed at myself.

Today Dad K is "perky" and feeling much better.  I'm thankful for that.  BUT this should not have happened in the first place.  


Needled Mom said...

What a disaster! The battles are bad enough, but the suffering of the patient is even worse. I hope they get it all sorted out soon.

Edith said...

Thank you so much!

Karen said...

I totally hear your rant. Obviously the ball got dropped. Part of our advocating is learning from their(the medical people) mistakes, and keeping track so the ball doesn't get dropped again.

You have to forgive yourself for not knowing. You are not expected to know--but you can learn from what happened, and keep track yourself so it doesn't happen again.

Edith said...

Surgeon today told us to get a binder with dividers and keep notes and records from each doctor in them. Mom K wasn't sure but I'm all for it.