everything old is new again

Saturday Update: Anger Rears its Head

December 21, 2008
Saturday Update: Anger Rears its Head

As folks following my status feed today were reading, this was the day that wouldn’t end. Let me start with the beginning on Kim’s side so you can truly understand how angry I am right now.

Two nights ago, Kim had a fever overnight which tylenol took care of, apparently. Late yesterday, we noticed her incision was looking all red so we called the nurse who called her doctor. He came in and got her on an IV drip of antibiotics, scheduled for every four hours. This was at 6 PM. The pharmacy finally got the bag’o’antibiotics upstairs around 10 PM or so.

The second bag showed up on time, but the male nurse fucked up — he forgot to put the fucking drip in her shunt, so it started pooling on the floor. Strike one.

When Kim got his attention again, the bag was probably half gone. He tried to cover it up, as did someone else on staff. Strike two.

Dr. Holcomb showed up in the morning and wasn’t happy about it when Kim told him about it. But that’s when the troubles of the day began. As you probably noticed, my status was changing repeatedly to, “she’s coming home, she’s not, she is…” and this is why:

Her infection got bad. He had to take out some of the staples and use swabs to clean out the infection, then pour saline on it to flush it out. In the process, gunk got all over her robe, so I had to take another one in for her. She thought it was all over the bed, too, so didn’t go back into it for a couple hours until I showed up and the nurse got it changed.

But then began the wait to change rooms. Why? The ward she was in closes every weekend if the hospital isn’t busy. As it turns out, I wish the hospital had been packed because she was in the luxury area. This floor is used by visiting princes when they have to stay, and the whole ward is shut down for them. The staff tend to be the best — night nurse notwithstanding — and it’s truly a remarkable place to stay for a hospital. But they were closing it down and Kim was being moved to the Greenburg Pavilion, 8th floor.

Well. They finally moved her at 6:30 PM. We get down to the new floor and it’s night and day. Baker 15 was clean, quiet and a place of healing. Greenburg 8? Not so much. First, there was no dinner for Kim. They actually took us to the leftovers cart so we could scavenge something edible — this ended up being bread and peanut butter. I kid you not. Strike three.

So we go in search of a kitchen to make Kim some tea. Well, the kitchen was unbelievably filthy, with mold next to the counter on the floor. The fridge had a foul stench coming from it, and the patient lounge was a disgrace. The family members in there were rude, giving us looks that basically said, “Who the fuck are you?” and one woman made Kim feel threatened by her attitude when I stepped out to make tea. Strikes four, five and six.

We finally retreated to Kim’s room, which she was sharing with a woman who just had a double mastectomy — she’d also been moved from the floor Kim had been on, and had paid for a private room where her SO could stay. Well, he couldn’t stay easily in the new room — no cot can be added there, so she was fuming as well. We all sort of bonded over that and I gave her my business card for when she files complaints.

Then the on-call doctor came in to change her dressing and this is where I wanted to fucking kill someone. After she had re-packing the incision and covered it with pads, she was leaning over Kim’s belly as she cut the tape to keep it on. When the tape cut, her hand went down, punching Kim in the belly. Kim’s body arched as she yelled in pain. It passed quickly, and Kim had to tell her that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to cut the tape over her. The doctor felt bad, but still — isn’t this in Patient Care 101??? Strike seven.

Fortunately, the night nurse was better, and taking care of Kim with the antibiotics.

In the morning, Kim gets seen again. She’s going to cut loose with her doctor about the horrid state of this floor. It’s a nightmare. There’s filth on the floors of kitchens and lounges, and she has an infection. Tell me, how is this supposed to promote good health?

The plan as of earlier today was to release her tomorrow and have a visiting nurse come on Monday to dress the wound again. If they aren’t going to release her tomorrow, she’s probably going to go AMA (against medical advice) and come home. There’s no good in her remaining there after tonight. If she was still in Baker, that would be a different story, but she’s not.

I’m drained. This is simply unacceptable and once out of there, we’re going to be filing complaints with the city over the state of the floor she’s on. Really, as I said, how is this conducive to good health?

Simple — it’s not.

One Response to Saturday Update: Anger Rears its Head

  • Damn. A procedure gone from routine to bad. I hope Kim’s recovery from this turn is swift and she gets home.

    Hope you used your blackberry to get some snapshots of hell’s kitchen.

Leave a Reply