Saturday, March 9, 2013
So this is how you pass the buck....
Friday morning I woke up around 5:30 am, unable to sleep. My cough is getting better, but I know there are three issues I must address' today and until they are done I won't rest, physically or emotionally. I was so glad Zack had a peaceful night. He knows we will go home today (or really really hopes we do) and that has brought an end to this two week hospital stay.
With him still asleep at 8 am, I step out into the hall and am greeted by the same nurse that took care of him yesterday. I am not smiling, I am uncomfortable that I must confront her as I am more than willing to do so, but not eager to. I ask who dropped the ball yesterday with regards to the chemo being four hours late. She said the pharmacy, I asked what time he will get it today and she said, it's "scheduled" for 9:30 am, but it is up to the pharmacy to get it here in time. I asked what I could do to help make this happen. She said "nothing" the order is in and they "should" have it ready. I mentioned that the "order was in yesterday as well and we know how that turned out!" She continued "I called this morning and said it was very important for them to get it up here in time." I thank her and remind her that I will be more than happy to go down to pharmacy or do whatever I need to do to help.
I head over to the Cancer Center to meet with Karen, who is not expecting me. I called ahead, but by the time I arrived, she was being told I was on my way. (the center is right across the street from the Hospital). Karen and I go into her office and I share yesterday's events with her. What I love about Karen is, if, for some reason she feels I was expecting too much, she would tell me, in this case, she said "you expected everyone involved to do their job!" I am emotional, I am tired, no exhausted and she can tell. She is concerned about me and says she hasn't seen me in this shape. We address each issue, one at a time. "playing devils advocate" she tells me "some may ask why did you have a stranger who claims to be a doctor call about your son?" She knows me "you would NEVER hand your phone to anyone you know let alone a total stranger" I told her THAT is how exhausted I am! I tried everything and that was the last resort. She said "some may see it as you trying to "trick" them", my response? I didn't but what if I did? The bottom line is, they gave out information when they should not have! She agrees.
Karen calls in one of the doctors to make sure it is safe for Zack to now start at 9:30 am, since he received it so late. We later find out the doctor on call ordered it for 12 noon, because it would not have been safe. We then work out for me to meet the head nurse back at the hospital. I don't want to drive back there and find parking, so I get on the shuttle which goes between the two buildings.
I arrive and meet with the head nurse, Kim. She is the type of person that can laugh and smile and yet you feel there is a knife close to your back. NOT my favorite personality! We are the ones on trial here, NOT the staff and that doesn't fly with me. To gain the upper hand I let her know that "I'm a whistle blower, and have already had the ER investigated by the Joint Commission, so I will do whatever I must to get the job done properly, safely and in a timely manner." She questions who this "Dr" was that called and I tell her the story, she asks for her name and says "well, we have a Dr. that has the same last name and sounds like a woman." BULLSHIT!!!! was all that came out of her mouth from that moment on! She insinuates that I was at fault for having her call. I told her I regretted NOTHING of what I did, I would do it all again, because I was not getting answers from anywhere!!! Zack's Dr. later came in and "scolded" me for doing the same and said I should have called them... I DID!!!! was my response!!! enough said!!! I asked them if they have ever seen the movie Terms of Endearment with Shirley McClain... they all had, I said "well from now on, MY warning phrase will be "Don't make me go Shirley McClain on your ass!!!" and you will know I mean business!! (in the movie Shirley's daughter, played by Debra Winger is in pain from cancer and she is grabbing staff in the hall to get her daughter pain medicine, she was terrifying actually, but any good mother would do the same). I wanted my son to get his treatment so he could get the hell out of there!! He was DONE.. with being there! We left it with Kim promising a print out of the timeline with regards to the chemo, so we could see who had it when. Dr. B said she was NOT going to make the pharmacy rush to get the chemo because human error could happen and that was not worth it!! I agreed!!! I just needed someone to communicate with me what was going on!!! She then offered the biggest slap in the face "YOU WEREN'T HERE!!!!" "Oh no.. you didn't go there!!!" I didn't dignify THAT with an answer!!!! I am exhausted and emotional and at this point , tired of talking in circles!!!
I need to cool off and Zack, who was present for this entire conversation, didn't need to hear the crap anymore. I leave, take the shuttle back to the center and go to the office supply store for much needed paper, etc.... I am in a fog, I drive to Steinmart thinking "girly" stuff will cheer me up. As I walk around the store changing between talking to Mom and Nancy, I walk out empty handed. I was a zombie just trying to process the past two days. I want to be home, but at the same time worry Zack will have a relapse once back home. He is totally healed, but yet the fear is still there. I convince myself that I'm a crazy lady right now and just need to return to the Hospital and rest. While talking to Nancy I find out a young man who is close to us all was brutally assaulted this morning, having his head bashed into the concrete ground twice, fracturing his skull. He is in the same hospital as us in Neuro ICU. "What the hell is happening to our kids?" is all Nancy and I can say... Zack, these two girls from our schools and now John? This isn't supposed to be this way, they are supposed to be kids, have fun, be innocent!
While in touch with Zack, I learn his chemo did come in time and we will be able to go home around 9 pm tonight. I return, start to pack after eating lunch and carry a couple of loads to the car. This way when we leave we just walk out the door and on our way. After one of the loads I head to the ICU to see the family of the young man, John, who was injured. They don't know me, but John worked with Frank and his best friend is Nancy's son, so I can introduce myself that way. I meet his mother, brother and sister and her husband. They are angry and wondering how this could happen. My only comfort is to remind them that by all rights Allie should never have survived and look how amazing she is now! John will be okay, and has amazing friends and family for love and support. As I leave, his mother asks me to please get prayers going wherever I can, so as soon as I return to the room, I post on FB and the prayers are still going strong!
I return to the room, which is not the same, no foot stools, no lamps, no extra little comforts. It looks just like what it is, a hospital room, bland, cold and now full of negative energy from and the crap we had going on. I want out! Zack wants out! We want to be home where there is love, positive energy and our own beds!! Zack asks about John, then asks how I am. He has been asking me that a lot. He knows I'm not feeling well and wants me to take it easy. We order hot wings to be delivered, he devours his and I can barely eat mine. He is so amazing!! He has just finished five days of chemo, had pneumonia and is now sitting in the chair making jokes about how much faster he can devour his meal than I.
I find out from Nancy that her son, who is on his way home for Spring break, is going to come by to see John, who is now sitting up in a chair recognizes people, but is still in danger. He has a shunt to keep his brain from swelling. I call him and he is on the 1st floor. I ask if I can come down and give my "other" kid a hug!! So we meet in the hall about ten minutes later. He looks at me and says "Brie, we have to stop meeting in Hospitals!" "So true, is my response!!" He has seen a lot, first with his sister and her accident and now with his best friend. He is a strong, sensitive young man and as Nancy and I joke about, a fellow Taurus!!! He tells me how he is trying to help his friend and I remind his that he is the"grounder" he keeps everyone grounded. He smiles and says "well Brie, you are the rock!" I laugh and say, "well right now, I'm a rolling rock ... all over the place and not knowing where I'm going." We give each other a big hug and promise to give his regards to Zack.
We spend the next couple of hours watching TV, and once Rhonda arrives to pick up her pillow and comforter we are discharged. I offend her when she tries to find out what happened the past two days and tell her to "read the blog". It was never my intention to do so, and every the diplomat Zack steps in and within two minutes, tells the entire story. With an apology and a great big hug, we part ways. Zack is on the phone getting his friends to meet us when we return. As we pull into the drive, there is Drake, Donald and Frank eagerly awaiting. I left everything in the car, hug everyone and crawl into bed. Within an hour I am sound asleep!! I wake up about three hours later and get out of bed to check on Zack, who is still up, talking to Donald (who has again moved in) and remind him how crucial it is to drink water!! "I know Mom, I've already had three big glasses!" With that, I kiss Frank again, and am back asleep.
Today, Saturday was spent in bed most of the day. I am not feeling well again and know the only way I'm going to get over this "cold" is to rest. It's hard, but I managed to rest most of the day. I did change the sheets, made the bed and now am getting ready to crawl back into it for another peaceful night. Zack, on the other hand, was feeling great and as a surprise to his Meme, stopped by to see her, then went with Leah and Donald into the Forest (at my suggestion for fresh air!). Mom said he looked so good and it just melted her heart to see him. I was surprise, as I had no idea he was going to do that. I was so glad he went to see her. It's the little things that bring so much joy, to everyone involved!!
The drama of the past two days is gone. The journey continues with a little bump in the road, but nothing we didn't survive. Prayers continue for John as we know he too will have a new journey to his own recovery. But, just like us, his support system is amazing and as we well know, with friends and family, we can handle anything!!!