Friday, March 17, 2017

Adventures in Health Care

I am back after a little over a month [it all started 2-14] in hospital and nursing home and I have even less faith in the medical institutions than ever.  I trust a few carefully selected doctors but other than that ... well, I seem to have been dealing with the half of the population that was deservedly ranked in the bottom half of their class.  It started out as severe edema, stemming from kidney disease, dominoing into congestive heart failure,IBSD and pneumonia.

Some of the highlights: 

After my first ultra-filtration dialysis, I had a series of low glucose readings culminating in a hypoglycemic episode during which my glucose numbers dropped to 39 at 3a.m.  It presented with all the classic symptoms of hypoglycemia: inability to move, to speak, perceiving the environment as through a darkened glass and people as moving shadows.  I thought I was having a stroke and was unable to call for help except by loud grunting and groaning.  The night nurse, who had known me for three days and knew me to be alert and in full command of my faculties as well as knew me to have had a series of low glucose readings,  came up with the brilliant diagnosis of "nightmares' and restrained me in bed with tightly tucked in blankets.  I was left in that state for three hours until the morning vitals check.  The PCA called the same nurse but luckily she was followed shortly by a more competent colleague who mobilized the rapid response team and brought my sugar numbers up with dextrose.

A nursing home nurse who tried to give me someone else's medicine's even after I pointed out that there were far too many pills in the cup and none of which resembled my pills.  He finally decided to check and lo and behold, came back with my medications and a story about how the pharmacy sometimes substituted one manufacturer's version of a drug for another ... as if trying to cover up the obvious differences in quantity and appearance between the first and second cup of pills.

Not one but two, dietitians who seemed to think beets, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots peas  and various kugels, kashas and varnishkas [often in pairs] were appropriate choices for a diabetic.

A nurse who tried to administer medication that had been given to me just a half hour previous ... does no one read charts anymore?

A dialysis clinic that was not equipped with blankets to keep patients warm as the procedure induced severe chills.  It gave me a whole new appreciation of the old acronym B.Y.O.B..

I came home to a house I  was ashamed to own as my own.  My husband views every flat surface as a shelf - this includes floors - and the place was littered with stuff he simply hadn't bothered to put away: opened and unopened mail, unfolded laundry, books, dishes [clean and soiled] and whatever happened to have been used in my absence.

Nature conspired with my husband by dumping 24inches of snow on us and creating temps so low that the rear window of one of our cars shattered into spider web cracks and we now have a leaking roof ... a flat roof and heavy snow are not a good combination.

So, that was my month.  I sincerely hope yours was ever so much better.


CalamityJr said...

I am so sorry you had to go through such a horrible month. Thank goodness that you are aware of your own health and what's happening around you and could speak for yourself, other than the hypoglycemic episode. I'm amazed they didn't find you passed out after being tucked in to protect you from "nightmares"! Welcome back - hope your healing is uneventful and you're back to feeling like yourself soon.

Ariadne said...

I am really sorry for all your misfortunes. You have definitely been very unlucky. Mind you others have suffered from various diseases and unlucky things lately, me included.So smile and go on. And remember things are bound to become better.AriadnefromGreece!

CathieJ said...

I am so sorry to hear about your health issues. I totally understand your mistrust of the healthcare system. I have been lucky to deal with mostly competent doctors and nurses, but there are always one or two who need more education. I hope that the rest of this month improves as does the rest of your year. Wishing you improved health and happiness.

suzanne said...

I'm glad you're back, and you survived the health care system! I was concerned about you when you had not blogged in awhile. You've been in my prayers.

Marilyn said...

What a terrible ordeal for you to go through.
I don't have faith in the health care system nowdays either.
It's like a poorly run business.
I hope you are feeling better, and that things get better for you.
Take care.

Stitchinowl said...

Glad to see you posting again. I can relate to your experiences as my mom (who passed away a few months ago) had been in a rehab facility a few times in the past four years. Each time I had to be very proactive because they had the wrong dosage for one of her medications. Most of the time I was able to get it cleared up within 24 hours. However, in one case, it took a week of being passed around from nurses to doctors to the pharmacy in the facility. Finally the pharmacist understood the way the prescription had been written (1 pill plus 1/2 of a second pill - not 1 pill!). It was amazing to me that the nurses and doctors on call couldn't understand the simple prescription as written. At least, you are of sound mind and were able to speak on your own behalf. Another time my mom was overmedicated with painkillers - we had to wean her off them after she was discharged because she became addicted. It wasn't a pleasant experience, to say the least. Glad you are home and feeling better.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Well, it would be difficult to have a much worse month! You do seem to have encountered every single incompetency possible. To add insult to injury they make you pay for it too! At least here the mistakes are free.

I do hope that things have turned around for you now and your luck improves along with the weather.

bjwalsh said...

You have been in my thoughts...
Best wishes in your recovery!

Julie said...

I hope Spring proves to be much better for you and you can enjoy your hobby and relaxation time feeling much brighter.

Cynthia said...

I am so sorry to hear of your past month and the incompetent medical professionals. I hope you are doing better and are on the mend. Hugs to you!!