Sunday, January 13, 2013

Broken - Part 2

I woke up early yesterday (Saturday) morning. It was a long night and it all just didn't sit right with me. I knew I needed to get my mom out of there no matter what. I  called to check in with her and asked how she was doing. She said bad. She felt absolutely horrible. She had been throwing up all night and morning and was never given any of her anti-nausea meds. I was so furious - I quickly got ready and headed over to Robbinsdale Rehab.

I got there and rushed directly to mom's room. She was sitting up. I asked her why she wasn't lying down and she said she had chest pain again and couldn't breathe and only sitting seemed to help at all. She'd been sitting waiting for me for several hours and didn't get any sleep the night before. I could tell that her overall condition had worsened just in one night too. She was throwing up, had nosebleeds all night and the breathing was becoming an issue. I went directly to the nurses station and explained what was going on. The nurse indicated that mom looked fine to her when she checked in on her. I got snippy with her and said that I've managed her care for the past 8 months and this was not normal and that I was planning to take her to the ER. Coincidentally while driving over to the rehab facility I had paged the on-call oncologist and explained the problem. They told me to bring her into the ER to be safe. So I had that going for me!

The nurse came back to the room and examined mom. She got her stethoscope and checked mom's breathing and indicated she didn't think mom's lungs were filled with fluid. I told her that I wanted to be sure and that I was taking her into the ER. Her response to me was "Well, I suppose we can't force you to stay." and went onto say "We can manage her care here". I asked her what they gave mom since she's been throwing up...she told me nothing. I told her mom usually takes zofran or ativan for the nausea and they were suppose to have it there. She went to go look and then came back and told me that I was correct and she'd get mom an ativan. I then told her mom's been having nosebleeds which was rather out of the ordinary for her. She said it was caused by the oxygen tank...but then paused and saw that there was no water in the container that was hooked up to the tank. At this point I was livid and becoming quite irate. I held it together and just focused on getting mom out of there and to the ER as soon as I could.

I got mom's things together including her discharge form, into her wheel chair and hooked up her oxygen to her portable tank.  I told her the nurse I would need assistance in helping mom to my car and that I'd pull up to the front entrance. I got to the front of the building but saw no one. I went inside and mom was still in the same spot where I left her. I looked around for help and no one was to be found. I then took it upon myself to get my mom the hell outta there. I slung her bags over my shoulder, pushed her wheelchair with my right hand and had her oxygen tank in my left hand and wheeled it along side of me. The hallways seemed forever and the doors sucked getting through with all that I was carrying. I stepped outside and it was so cold and windy.  As I desperately struggled to get mom in my car, I felt like just bawling. I felt so lonely in that instant...the worse feeling of loneliness I've experienced so far. It felt like mom and I were in this alone...this lonely sad path. I cried inside because it saddened me greatly to know that the one time I did reach out for help, it all just crumbled away.

Where were we going to go now? She's so weak that she needs 24 hour care until she can feel a bit better to come back and live with me. Yet, my hands are tied. I have to keep working. I honestly don't know what will happen once she gets discharged from the hospital...we have no where to go or no one to help us.

P.S. Forgot to mention this too..but mom said the nurse came into her room that night and ate her food when she thought mom was sleeping.


  1. I have no idea where to tell you to go, because I do not know your insurance and just recently started to read the blog. someone who has worked in healthcare for a very long time I will say that for all the bad places (and there are a lot!) there is 3 good ones! and please call the state ombudsman and report this facility!! Hugs to you all!!

  2. I have been keeping up with your blog and I am constantly motivated by your strength and dedication as a caretaker. That whole ordeal sounds like a terrible experience that makes me thankful that you and your mom have Dr. A. Wishing for strength for you and your mom.

  3. Good lord ! I would certainly report that facility and some of those nurses. That is just plain negligence. Your mom is so lucky that she has you to protect her and speak out for her. Isn't it ashame that you have to fight so hard just to get some decent care for someone in their last stages of life ? I knew someone whose insurance also did not cover hospice but did cover an in-home nurse to come to the house to take care of the patient. She chose to live her last days at home and an in-home nurse came to the house and took care of her. Check with Dr. A to see if that may be an option. Stay strong and take care of yourself.