Saturday, February 20, 2010

Update on Mother (Written 2/18)

I’ve not blogged the “ugliness” of the Rehab center. I didn’t want to touch upon it. Suffice to say, they neglect my Mother. And, I honestly believe they missed a few dosages of Zofran, which helps with the nausea. I have no control over that and we’re not allowed to stay with her overnight.

Mom is also having constipation. This can be a result of her pain medications. Combine that with inactivity, you most likely will have a sure fire problem.

The past weekend started from okay and grew progressively worst. Sunday, they were short staffed. She ended up eating lunch lying flat with her head raised because “they were all in the cafeteria and couldn’t help” when she requested to be shifted. By the way, the cafeteria is where many of the residents/patients eat.

Monday, Mom was left on a bedpan for too long. She pressed the call button. 40 minutes later, they still hadn’t come. I had told someone earlier and they said they would tell someone. Nobody ever came. She was in pain – too much pain. I was in tears. I hated to see her like that. It was actually the physical therapists who took care of her. How pathetic is that? It’s not their job to do that – it’s the nurses’ job.

The one thing that bothers me is the response time once the call button is pressed. What if she was experiencing chest pains, heart attack or anything critical? They won’t get there in time.

Anyway, as a result of that episode, along with the fact that they apparently are NOT giving her baths, it was discovered that she developed a major awful rash. I found out she had one before; but, it spread to her backside and that it was horrid. She also developed a rash in the one fold of fat which indicated that she was not receiving proper bathing.

When I arrived at my usual time on Tuesday (8am), Mom was sick. Seriously sick. She was having major constipation issues and couldn’t go to the bathroom (on bedpan). She became majorly nauseous and constantly heaving. I was with her, standing by her side (she was facing the wall and there was no room for me between bed & wall to sit), the entire time because she begged me not to leave her. All I could do was talk to her, give her water at her request, help her with the puke bucket (she hardly puked up anything because she hadn’t eaten much of anything) and just watch her be miserable.

I told Judy (head nurse on duty) and texted Mike. I was in a state of panic and worry. Judy didn’t seem too concerned.

One other thing that bugged me was that one particular nurse would hand me Mother’s drugs to give to her. I felt uncomfortable about doing that. It is not my job. She just couldn’t be bothered. That is why I think they may have not given her Zofran when she needs it (at 6am).

I received Mother’s Zofran from the nurse late Tuesday morning and I tried to give it to her. But, she upchucked it right back up. It made me feel so bad because she really needed it. I told Michael about the situation and he was surprised that the nurse gave me the drugs to give to Mother. I refused to give Mother her drugs when they came around again early that afternoon. I don’t think the nurse was happy about it. I found out Thursday from Gina that it’s against the law when I told her about this particular nurse doing this. I was shocked upon hearing this.

Anyway, Judy arrived a little while later helped her a little; but, Mom still needed to go. By early afternoon, she finally went a little. She immediately stopped throwing up. However, she was very white and definitely not herself. Due to the fact that they couldn’t control the nausea, along with her not eating and drinking good, they were afraid of dehydration. So, off to St. Lukes she went.

At the hospital, they decided to admit her. All I gathered was that it seemed her “Labyrinthitis” issue was worse (developed in the other ear). And, she had a tiny bit of fluid in her lungs.

It was determined (Wednesday evening) that she does NOT have ”Labyrinthitis”. Instead, she has Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Due to the fact that she doesn’t have constant vertigo, it rules out Labryinthitis. This meant that her dizziness drugs were not helping her. The best thing for this condition is for her to acclimate to the short term vertigo and do “exercises” to help shift or eliminate those dislodged “crystals” in her ear. She will have difficulty doing the “exercise” due to her back pain. But, she has to try. She promised to try.

When I told Dan about the changed diagnosis via instant messenger using only the initials, he immediately knew what I was talking about. Apparently, he gets mild cases of it from time to time. I just know that he gets dizzy once in a blue moon. However, I never knew he had this condition. Interesting!

Anyway, Mom improved considerably and was discharged Thursday back into the Rehab facility she was in. I felt sick to my stomach and disappointed upon learning she would be going back to that place. Mom was scared and didn’t want to go back. But, she knew she had to because she couldn’t go home. My experience, and hers, was awful. I am already mentally blocking it all out.

I am a lot like my sweet Grandmother. I hate to have to twist people’s arms to do their jobs. I hate to see my Mother suffer unnecessarily. I hate the responsibility that seemed to have been heaped upon my shoulders. I have to admit that I thought I was only going to be there to keep her company and to help her out when she needs it. But, it turned out to be so much more.

Anyway, she is now in a different room in a different portion of the facility. When I arrived and discovered this, they were treating her well. She was given a thermos and filled it up with one of her own cans of Sprite Zero. And, she’s eating again. She really doesn’t have an appetite; but, she’s eating even though she doesn’t want to. I breathed a little easier and the stress loosened up a bit. Maybe, just maybe, things will be better this time around. I have a little hope now.

The key thing is to make sure she gets her drugs, especially Zofran, so that she can do her physical therapy. And, to make sure she eats and drinks plenty of fluids. We all want her to return home. As I mentioned before, the physical therapy part of the Rehab is fabulous. I really like the therapists themselves. We’ll see what the Rehab care is like this time around since she’s in a different place in the same facility. I hope it is better – much better.

Addendum (2/19): Friday was better. Mom is so much more herself. And, she was in a MOOD early afternoon. That is so typical of her. The staff is treating her better. There was one incident where the PCA left her on the bedpan after putting Mom on it. Mom was in pain due to the angle or something. Mom pressed the call button when she was done and it took the girl 18 minutes later to return. My personal feeling is that it should be within 15 minutes max. 10 minutes is better. I personally think it should not take that long (18 minutes). However, it is better than the 40 minutes, which was a nightmare.

Also, I have to tell you that Mother is improving in the physical therapy area. She is sitting and standing up quicker. I asked Alicia (The occupation therapist) outside Mother’s room if she was improving. She said yes, she’s is doing better. She is going to work with Mother today doing bed exercises to strengthen her upper body. I was relieved to hear that because two days of inactivity in that bed is not good for Mother. And, there is hope that mom will get off the bedpan soon, which will be good because she’s absolutely despises it.