Thursday, December 29, 2011

Going From Bad to Worse with the Perfect Ending

It is hard for me to ask for help on big things.  Day to day things, sure.  And even then I hate it.  But big things?  People say to call any time if I need something, but do they mean it?  I know I mean it.  I won't say something unless I absolutely mean it.  So, I won't usually call.  I will accept help if offered, a lot of the time, but not always, but I will rarely ask for it.  Why?  Because I just don't want to be disappointed anymore.  I have reached out for help before and usually been disappointed.  So, I just stopped.  My sister never disappoints.  I can always count on her.  I can usually count on my close friends, but I don't usually ask for much.  I will ask for little things.  Big things?  Nope.  I will do it myself and stand on my own.  It takes a lot for me to reach out.  Today was one of those days, and I was disappointed again.

Today was a horrible day.  There were good points.  It wasn't all bad.  But when you weigh the good with the bad, the bad definitely outweighs.  Most days are not like that.  I don't like to concentate on the negative, but I'm done today.

I walked in this morning to Derek pinching the bridge his nose in frustration.  A trainee was trying to do something and screwing up.  She was being an idiot.  I understand everyone has to learn, but why wasn't someone in there showing her what to do?  Why does the patient have to suffer?

I then asked the corpsman to go over the labs with me.  I like to keep track of certain labs, like phosphate, magnesium, potassium, etc., about which the doctors have had concerns.  I usually ask what they were on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the days labs are supposed to be drawn.

Today, for the first time in a month, the corpsman opened the lab screen in the room and I got to see the screeen.  I found out today that on December 8th labs were changed to twice a week.  I thought it was changed to three times a week.  It had been every day.  There were real concerns about Derek's labs, and they were very screwy.  We never would have been okay with only twice a week if we have known.  I saw that so many of the labs were "abnormal," either too high or too low, and I asked for a doctor who knows Derek to come and talk to us about it because I needed them all explained to me, especially how and why it was changed to three times a week without any of us knowing.  You might be wonderful how Derek didn't know?  They draw from his PICC at around 0430 when he is sound asleep.

In walks a doctor who has been on Derek's service for the past almost two months, and who I complained about two weeks ago for lack of communation.   His panties must still be in a bunch.  If not for a bed and a pregnant nurse between us, there would be a doctor sized hole in our wall.  The bottom line of the conversation was, "You are lucky I talk to you.  I don't have to.  I am the doctor.  I make all the decisions."   Whatever happened to informed consent?  Whatever happened to giving the patient all the information so that he could make an information decision about his care?  I guess this MDeity doesn't believe in that.  Thank God this little resident has ended his rotation.  Six months in a civilian hospital should straighten him out if my answer and the complaints I filed didn't do it.  I spoke to two of his "bosses" today, and I really hope they took care of it.  Will follow up tomorrow.

Then Derek left for the Matc and I stayed to clean the room.  A friend of mine drove down from Jersey with cookies specially made for Derek that meet his diet restrictions.  She also wanted to see three other families she knew as well as do good by delivering cookies for other wounded warriors.  I do not know exactly what happened on this end, because someone from the hospital who said they would come and talk to me didn't show up, but when she arrived, her packages were taken and she was told to leave.  When she said she wanted to see me, she was told it wouldn't be a good idea.  Since when were my visitors restricted?  At 4 pm I still hadn't seen the cookies or gift, so I started calling.  Still no answers.  Will have to follow up tomorrow.    I understand wanting to be careful with packages for the wounded, but we get care packages all the time.  Three of the packages were specially labeled for three families she knew.  And why let her come if they were not going to distribute her baked goods?  We will see what tomorrow brings.

A good part of the day is Derek had an awesome workout in the Matc!  His brother Sean helped him with his workout, and it is wonderful to see the boys spending time together.  Derek's transfers from the chair to the PT mat, which is the same level as the chair, are becoming easier.  Derek had an EMG today, and he transferred himself to and from the table for the test.  It was wonderful.

A maybe good note is the EMG.  This is a test of the nerves in the hand and arm.  We won't know for sure until the surgeons get in there and look, but it appears the radial nerve is just contused, the medial (?) nerve is slightly damaged and the ulna nerve is severed.  We shall see.

When we returned to the room, I had been asking for a doctor to come and explain the labs, the reason for the labs, etc. to me.  I have so many concerns and questions and I need them answered.  With this one this morning telling me that he barely looked at the results, I am really worried.  What if there was something really troubling in them?  Has someone else looked at them?  Was he just being an ass when he said that?  I really need answers and the doctor who said I would get answers never came back.  Then the other one who said I could call any time was too busy when I actually called.  He said he would be around tomorrow.  We'll see.  The main doctor on Derek's service won't be back until Tuesday, and I don't know if I can wait until then.

I just need someone to sit down and go over the labs with me.  I need to understand the how, why, what, etc.  I am really upset by the things this jerk said to me.  I need to know that everything is going to be okay.  I know today's labs "look really good," but, I'm sorry, the trust is gone.  Why would so many be listed as too high or too low if they are "really good?"  I need this answered. 

I just need communication.  The one thing I have been screaming about for weeks.

Then tonight, to put the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae, Sean made my night.  Not.  Sean has been spending the night with Derek since he arrived last Friday.  Before I left, Sean ran to another floor to get a drink.  He had not returned before I left.  I returned to the room and saw a post on my facebook from Derek and his status set as, "The fire department just rescued my little brother from the elevator!"  

Really?  Imagine my surprise.  I called the nurses' station for a report, and Janea got Sean on the phone.  Yes, he was stuck.  They pulled him out through the top of the elevator and he saw the inside of the shaft.  Yes, it was cool.  For him.  For Mom..... it's bedtime.

Good night.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.  Hopefully, 2012 will be better than 2011.

That mountain was really rocky today.  Climb to glory.


  1. Wow! You really got hammered today with stuff. I am so sorry. I have a feeling some doctors will be having their heads handed to them on platters soon. They deserve it for not communicating effectively about the labs.
    I am glad that Sean is okay. At least he and Derek had fun with the situation! ;)
    Hope you get those cookies tomorrow.

  2. oh my... yes, you deserve to throw whatever fit you deem necessary!!! and I am so glad that Sean is fine! Praying for a good nights sleep!!! Blessings...

  3. All of these things are terrible and I hope you can get these things straightened out...but can't help but be thankful that you all have each other. You have family and Derek has someone who loves him so very much and wants to spend the rest of her life with him...another wounded warrior found out today that his wife wants a divorce. It's so very heartbreaking!
    Stopping by to let you know I'm still here praying!
    Psalms 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
    Prayer Bears
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