I had the senior resident, Dr. Windy Wyatt, paged. When she finally made it up to the floor I asked her about the results. There are none. I asked her to put Kirsten on NPO (Nothing By Mouth) so that if they decided to do surgery we wouldn’t lose a day simply because Kirsten had eaten.
The care on R6 is pretty bad. The nurses are mostly kind, but they have lots of patients and little information about Kirsten’s specific needs. It’s frustrating, but that’s the current state of the US sickness industry.
Kirsten is enroute to Maine Molecular Imaging in Scarborough for another octreotide scan. I’m glad they are sending her to somewhere she can get a better scan, if that is the reason. It’s annoying that nobody seemed to know the scan was two parts, that they didn’t send her to Scarborough yesterday for the better scan, and that they didn’t know today that she was going and had to scramble to find a nurse to ride with her in the ambulance.
In addition to the problems we experienced this morning in her new room on R6, the nurse and CNA sat her up in bed and left her sitting on the edge. She’s not strong enough to arrest a fall and her right upper arm is paralyzed from the neck fracture. Add that to the documented fact that she’s prone to seizures. It was an unacceptable and unnecessary risk. Then, when they lowered her to a recumbent position, they did so without rotation (sideways) and with her neck completely unsupported. The physical therapist wasn’t there, but coincidentally entered the room after Kirsten was laying. Kirsten had a fat pillow behind her head, which was causing her neck to flex inside her collar. The physical therapist incorrectly stated that she would be fine because the collar is providing the stability her neck requires. This is a direct contradiction of the orders from the neurosurgeons.
EVERY single person who entered the room this morning to talk to Kirsten and me admitted to not reading the chart (medical records) because they are still in the SCU.
I don’t blame the nurses. The nurse to patient ratio on the floor is a function of money, not patient care. Insurance companies determine the quality of care, not doctors and patients as uninformed Republicans tell themselves and would like us to believe. Capitalism doesn’t work in health care, which is why we have the highest cost and the poorest results. I digress.
The CNA on the floor brought in a tub of soapy water, toothbrush, johnny that is way too large, a towel, and a washcloth. Then she walked out of the room. They seriously expected her to clean and dress herself. I was/am SO FUCKING PISSED OFF! As I lifted her johnny and began to wash her legs, Kirsten started crying. The biliousness of her condition combined with her sorrow for being a burden to me was more than she could take. I consoled her as best I could, then proceeded to wash her torso and left arm. After I had given Kirsten a not-so-awesome bath and she had brushed her teeth, the nurse came in to help put on a clean johnny Kirsten had in her belongings (the johnnys that fit Kirsten must be specially procured from pediatrics).
Flowers were delivered from her sister Amy, which was the only bright moment of the morning.
The room Kirsten was in by herself is for noisy crazy patients, so when Kirsten returns she will be in a different room and will have a roommate.
Kirsten called me this morning, which was nice itself simply because she can. She’s in a double room with a single bed. When she got in last night they did not put up the bed rails and would not let her elevate her head. The orders are for head elevation above 30º for aspiration prevention, and bed rails for seizure precautions. Those are pretty big fucking mistakes. I’m trying hard not to be angry.
A medical student came in and asked a bunch of questions during Kirsten’s breakfast. When she asked if she felt weak and wanted to look at her right arm, I asked her if she was in here for Kirsten or her own training, and to please leave until Kirsten had finished her breakfast.
Dr. Wyatt, the senior resident, whom we have worked with throughout this ordeal, came in and talked to us. She was very excited to see Kirsten in this improved condition. She hadn’t read the chart because Kirsten is officially a patient of the SCU, and they haven’t yet sent up the records.
Then Kirsten’s nurse, Paulette, came in to tell us they want to transfer Kirsten by ambulance to Scarborough for the second octreotide scan today. I’m frustrated that we’re just learning about this now. If they have a better machine, why didn’t we go there yesterday? They have to find a nurse to travel with Kirsten, and are scrambling to get one as they didn’t know of the transfer. Yes, I’m frustrated.
Shortly after Paulette left the room an endocrine resident came in to talk to us. She didn’t have anything new to tell us, and apologized for the deficiencies of care.
A per diem nurse has been called in to ride with Kirsten to Scarborough. They will go around 1100 and be gone for at least two hours.