Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Thoughts Are With Gramma

Wow! Hard to believe October is just about gone! These miniature roses came from my yard, and for whatever reason, are blooming like crazy right now. Our high was just 54 degrees today, our low is to be 39 tonight, so I thought I'd better get out there and get these shots before they're gone for the season.


So much has been going on lately, I don't know where to start. My grandmother is at the top of my list. She hurt her back and was taken to the hospital three weeks ago. Her stay with the hospital went well, but she was in need of rehabilitation before she could return to her home in an assisted living facility.

Gramma was transferred to a skilled facility from the hospital, and that's where things have gone down hill. This skilled facility came highly recommended by a social worker and my administrator I work with. I work in a hospital and felt confident in their recommendation. So, I have to be honest here, I'm feeling terribly guilty that this stay became a total nightmare. I was unaware of the facility's maintenance problems and unprofessionalism of some of their employees.

My Gramma cannot get around very well on her own. Her knees have been a problem for years. Her back was injured a few weeks ago at her assisted living facility when they were conducting a fire drill. In the haste of getting everyone safely outside, she was transferred into a wheelchair in an inappropriate manner, fracturing a vertebrae in her back. Afterwards, she was kept doped up on pain meds and in her room for all meals in hopes her pain would subside. After a week or so of this, she was sent to the hospital.

Again, the hospital seemed to be good for Gramma, she was doing much better, but she needed rehab before she would be able to go back to her home at the assisted living. The recommended facility turned out to be a disaster, and unfortunately, my Gramma is paying the price.

The call lights did not work in Gramma's room. My parents complained for days, six days to be exact, before Gramma was moved to another room with a working call light. During the time she was in the room without a call light, they gave her a dinner bell on her bedside table, one of those heavy brass bells. Her fingers are so crippled with arthritis, she could barely pick it up, let alone ring the bell without dropping it out of her hands. Not to mention, the facility is so big, no one could hear the bell even if she was able to ring it!

Add to all this, they gave her two different types of narcotics to manage her pain, at the same time. Yes, they were doctor ordered. The problem came when Gramma had adverse reactions to the meds. She started seeing things and people that were not there. She also became mean, striking out at others, something she's never done before. She called 911 from her room because a man was cutting through her door with a chainsaw. Terrifying!

The next day, my mother, recovering from her own chemo and radiation treatments, insisted on stopping the meds. Gramma was balancing her own checkbook just the week before. Now, she's totally out of it, having drug induced psychotic behaviors . Evidently, the nurse went ahead and discontinued the drugs causing the behaviors, but never followed up with the doctor to have the orders changed. The nurse incharge of my Gramma's care... well, I won't even go there! She was incompetent, rude and insensitive, to say the least.

What this facility did not know is, my mother is a Registered Nurse and knew exactly what was going on, or not going on. Gramma was starting to come down off the meds, back to her normal self. It took four days. My parents had my Gramma transferred as soon as they could. She had been there a week.

Gramma was transferred to a brand new Rehab center. All was going well. When a patient is admitted to any skilled facility, the admitting facility always does a full body check to note any abnormalities such as bruises, skin tears, etc. In doing this at the new facility, they found two, I say, TWO, of the narcotic patches on her body! The new facility also administered the oral narcotic meds as directed on the "transfer orders" from the first facility! Again, the nurse at the first facility did not follow up with a doctor to have the med order changed or removed! This was last Monday.

Gramma has been in HELL since! By Tuesday, Gramma was seeing things again. As the initial doses of these meds were not totally out of her system, these new doses through her into a deeper psychotic mode. Doctors were called immediately, meds were stopped again. Orders were documented this time!

My parents and I have been with Gramma around the clock, hiring a sitter for the late nights. Last night, she recognized me for the first time since last Monday when she was admitted to this latest facility. She was in and out. The drug used to counter act the narcotics started working and Gramma finally fell into a restless sleep last night. She hadn't slept in 48 hours. Today, she was doing a little better.

The nurse last night told me the drugs will take time to leave her system. Once she's back to normal she can start her rehab so she can go home. The way she's been the past couple of weeks, I didn't think she would ever go home again. Still not out of the woods, I pray she continues to come around. I'll stay with her again tomorrow, after work.

15 comments:

mkolasa101 said...

So sorry to hear about your grammy and the alful mishandling of her and her situation. Sounds like you all have it under control now. Can you imagine what happens to those that have no one to make sure they get proper care?

Blessing to you, your in my thoughts and prayers.

Marlene-PurelyPoetry

http://journals.aol.com/mkolasa101/PurelyPoetry
Comment from mkolasa101 - 10/30/05 11:00 PM

psychfun said...

See & this is why we should not have laws limiting the amount one can sue for damages! I just can't believe this!!!! I would be suing their AS**S! How do people get away with this! I'm sooooo sorry you all are going through this! You will all be in my prayers!
Comment from psychfun - 10/30/05 11:51 PM

naturegirlfromny said...

How terrible, the facility by law should have the number to the local abuse hotline for nursing homes. If not, ask for it and they have to give it to them. I would have them reported! They could of caused serious damage to your Grandma. Linda
Comment from naturegirlfromny - 10/31/05 4:19 AM

helen said...

Beautiful roses. Hope your grandma soon makes a full recovery and can go home. Helen
http://journals.aol.com/madcobug/MyEverydayLife/
Comment from madcobug - 10/31/05 4:53 AM

susan said...

She's so lucky to have you guys paying attention. I've had 3 people in my family in rehab (nursing home) facilities... they are all incredibly negligent. I promised my folks they'd never end up in one and was able to keep that promise. I've told my kids to kill me before I had to go to one... and the one that takes care of me in my old age will get the house...lol. I hope she recovers and can leave soon. ~Susan
Comment from sieblonde - 10/31/05 5:54 AM

Ari said...

Oh hon, that's terrible. I hope she gets better fast, so she can get back to her home. Thank goodness you are there for her. Poor dear. Bless her heart.

Ari
Comment from mechants - 10/31/05 6:31 AM

lici0uslatin22 said...

Trick Or Treat

http://journals.aol.com/lici0uslatin22/WesuredontKnowwhattomorrowmaybri/
Comment from lici0uslatin22 - 10/31/05 7:48 AM

sunflowerkat321 said...

What a nightmare of incompetence and complacency. Your poor dear grandmother....and all the rest of you. Hopefully, now things will be straightened out and she'll be in her own home soon.
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Comment from sunflowerkat321 - 10/31/05 12:52 PM

val said...

I am hoping your Grandma gets well soon. My father in law who suffered from Alzheimers was placed in an assistant living facility 2 miles from his home. The woman that run it was known to the family and everyone was comforted by the fact that he was just moments from them. He was severly beaten and robbed by the womans son who was looking for money to buy drugs. Needless to say he was moved from there immediately after he was released from the hospital. You can never judge. Best thing to do is be present often. If the staff knows you are frequent, it seems as though they take better care of the residents. I know that isn't true for all facilities, but it never hurts to be extra careful. I too work in a hospital and have had family members treated wonderful and some treated horrible. Which is shameful. Blessings to Grandma~
http://journals.aol.com/levi1023/StrumminAlongToTheTuneOfLife/
Comment from levi1023 - 10/31/05 9:08 PM

bookncoffee said...

Oh my....I'm so sorry she has been thru so much. Bless her heart. This is a nightmare isn't it. It bothers me that these facilities are so careless.
Sonya
Comment from bookncoffee - 11/1/05 8:17 PM

tess said...

Your roses are beautiful and so is Grandma! I sure hope she does better. When things like this happen, it's so hard to meet the elderlys' needs. Life and its quality become so fragile.
Tess
Comment from tc01hm - 11/2/05 6:46 AM

becky said...

Your poor Grams! And wow...I thought my great-aunts' hands were bad. Ouch! I hope the new rehab does a better job for her.
Comment from ryanagi - 11/4/05 9:09 AM

dee said...

(((((((((BL))))))))))So sorry to hear of your Gramma's ordeal! It's a shame; I know everyone needs to pick their battles and let go of most of the crap that happens in life, but surely you know there are grounds to sue here in this story. My partner is an activites director at one of the Sunrise facilities; I hear so much that makes me cry...Well, on a lighter note, I'm glsd she's doing better. Your Mom sounds like a force to be reckoned with ;-)! The roses are so lovely. Take care and God Bless all of you! xox Sassy

http://jouranls.aol.com/SassyDee50/SassysEYE
Comment from sassydee50 - 11/4/05 10:31 PM

chris said...

You are so sweet! She is lucky to have you.


Chris
http://journals.aol.com/swibirun/Inanethoughtsandinsaneramblings
http://www.bigoven.com/~swibirun
Comment from swibirun - 11/5/05 7:29 AM

derek said...

good thoughts and wishes going out to Gramma! She beautiful!

Derek
Comment from deveil - 11/12/05 9:14 PM