Sunday, April 25, 2010

I feel like I'm in..

the Twilight zone these days.

After a 3 week period (back in March) of Hubby feeling increasingly weak and sick, I called an ambulance to take him to hospital. It was supposed to be for a couple of days only. A few tests, treatments, some medication and hopefully back home.
No way.
He's been in hospital ever since.
We're going on 18 days now.

What a nightmare. First the emergency ward. A horrible place to be for a night, never mind two. Hubby was put on wall oxygen using a "rebreather mask". In other words, a very high amount of oxygen and one we cannot duplicate at home.

The nightmare began when nurses decided to adjust his oxygen. No rhyme or reason, just felt they should turn it down. Definitely not good. Poor Hubby nearly passed out several times. On one occasion, somebody turned it off because it was too noisy.
I shrieked.
Tore open the curtain in the next cubicle (where hubby's oxygen was located), turned it back up and yelled "WHO TURNED OFF THE OXYGEN!??"
There was only the poor patient lying in bed and (get ready........) a cardiologist. Now I have no proof that it was this doctor who inadvertently turned the oxygen off, but there was nobody else there.

I marched up to the head nurse. Told her what happened. Told her I was not going to file an "incident report", but she should know what is happening in the E.R. Magically, hubby was moved to "overflow" the same day.

Overflow is a holding unit for patients awaiting admission. There was a little more privacy. More space to put things.
However - once again, the nurses took it upon themselves to "wean" hubby off his high power, what is supposed to be short term, oxygen consumption.

Nurse #1 took off this specialized mask and gave him the "prongs" (same kind we use at home). He then proceeded to turn the oxygen setting down from 15 to 6.
Once again I shrieked like a banshee!
"M'am, I know COPD. Don't worry."
"M'am, calm down, this is doctor's orders."
"WHICH DOCTOR?" I knew nobody had given him any such order.
No answer.
Still no answer.
"I know what I'm doing."

Poor Hubby's oxygen sats descended like a stone. Before I could punch this nurse out, he realized he was doing something wrong. So he removed the prongs and put back the re-breather mask. Respiratory therapy arrived soon afterwards and I told the therapist what happened. She marched right over to this nurse and gave him "sh....".

The next day, Nurse #2 decided to do the same thing.
'NO WAY!" I bellowed at him.
He was more amenable - just turned his back and went on to another patient.
By this time I was beside myself. I felt I could not leave hubby for even an instant. The next day his respirologist came in and I told her what had been going on with the nurses. She was angry and wrote a note in the chart that NOBODY was to touch his oxygen. Finally!

There were a few more incidents, but I'm too tired to recount them. Now Hubby is moved to a ward and his care is much better.

My days are spent at the hospital. I do come home to sleep, even if it is fitful. Today I had to take a half a day off. I came home after lunch and slept the afternoon away. This evening I will go over bills and other paperwork that has been neglected.

Hubby is awaiting placement at Mount Sinai Hospital here in Montreal. If he comes home it will be a miracle. I keep hoping and praying, but the chances are slim.

Spring is in full bloom here. Leaves are coming to life. My garden is blooming. I brought Hubby some daffodils to put by his bedside.


mxtodis123 said...

Oh gosh, Wendy...What you have been going through!!! I am so, so sorry. I'm sending prayers and positive energy your way. Hope you are taking care of yourself...eating, sleeping. Know that my thoughts are with you.

Hilary said...

Oh Wendy, I'm so very sorry about your husband's health problems. I'm sending healing thoughts his way. Hugs to you.. be strong.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

so sorry to hear of your husband's illness and even more of your poor experiences with the health care facilities... I truly do hope things improve on all accounts... blessings to both of you

Beverly said...

What a nightmare you are going through! I am so sorry. i hope he gets into the hospital there in Montreal. Hang in there. i know that's easy to say. It must be so hard to see him in such bad shape and have such terrible help from the nurses.

joanne said...

Oh Wendy, I'm so sorry that you are both having such a difficult time. Thank God you have been there to advocate for him. I will hold you both close in prayer...get some well needed rest. take care.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wendy, I can only repeat what Joanne has said--it is such a blessing that Hubby has you there to fight for him. I know you are tired and worn out. It is so exhausting to be going back and forth to the hospital every day. It's like a whole other artifical world. I am glad that you are able to see the blooms and leaves as they pop out.

I will say a prayer for you both.

Hugs filled with love,

Cheryl said...

Dear are living a nightmare. Hubby is so lucky to have you to fight his corner.
I think of you each day and pray for your continuing strength....I also hold hubby in my thoughts and prayers.

Please let there be better days ahead Wendy .......

Maggie May said...

Wendy, I am so sorry that you are going through this Hell.
The hospital are behaving in an appalling way and you must feel you cannot trust them with your husband.
I really hope that now they have got a definite *Do not switch oxygen off * notice, that you will feel that you can leave him without too much worry.
I know that visiting and sitting about in hospitals is so exhausting and you have my empathy about that, you really do.
Wishing you better days...... Maggie X

Nuts in May

amelia said...

Oh Wendy, how awful for you and hubby!! I can't imagine trying to cope with what you are having to do.
It's also hard to believe the ignorance of hospital staff who shouldn't be ignorant!! Why didn't the respirologist write on his chart to begin with???? Maybe you should make a big 'DO NOT TOUCH' sign and hang it by his bed!!
This is probably the toughest journey you will make in your life. I hope you can make it without getting too totally exhausted...

Rose said...

Dear Wendy, I don't know what to say except that I feel so badly for you and your husband. There are so many caring hospital personnel, and yet there is so much bureaucracy in hospitals and a shortage of staff that you wonder sometimes if they even read the charts of a patient and know what they're supposed to do. Hubby is so lucky to have you there to watch out for him. I hope that you have some support as well.

Thanks for updating us; I have been worried how things were going with you. I will be keeping the two of you in my thoughts and prayers, Wendy.

Beth Niquette said...

Oh, Wendy! I have a feeling if you could prove what happened, you could sue the pants off that hospital and have in home oxygen paid in full...I am just amazed that this was allowed to happen.

I can't imagine what it must be like to find it impossible to trust those given the responsibility to take care of your husband.

Awful, awful.

I will be praying for you and your dear husband.

Oh, my dear. May God give you strength to get through this time. ((hugs))

Ruth said...

It is so important for a patient to have an advocate at the hospital. You seem to be the only person in this role and it must be exhausting. Take care of yourself and I wish the best for your husband.

Ruth said...

It is so important for a patient to have an advocate at the hospital. You seem to be the only person in this role and it must be exhausting. Take care of yourself and I wish the best for your husband.

beckie said...

Wendy, dear friend-My thoughts and prayers are with you both.I cannot imagine the pain and frustration you must be feeling. Is there a COPD support group near you? Maybe the hospital social workers know of one or of a hospice group. I ask only because I think you need moral as well as physical support.

I would file a complaint against the nurses in both incidents. It will make you feel better and perhaps improve the care of the next patients that have those nurses.

I know you understand the importance of taking care of yourself during this time, but please, please remember to do it!

May God give you strength and peace. Hugs to you and Hubby.