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Sunday, August 2, 2009

When it rains....

The Hub went to the hospital yesterday. It's a long story, but pretty much what happened is, his appendix was breakdancing in his belly and it got all hung up on some other internal organ and had to be surgically removed.

When he woke up from anesthesia I asked if it felt better now that it was out. "No," he said. "It feels like I've been stabbed." Well no shit honey. You pretty much were, in three different places.

He got very lucky though. At first they thought his appendix had ruptured because his white blood cell count was very, very high, which I guess is indicative of a bad infection, and so they thought it had burst. But when they got in there they found that it had not ruptured yet. That's great because if it had, he would be in the hospital for much longer, on IV antibiotics to avoid sepsis. He was on the antibiotics up until the time of surgery just in case. I don't know why his WBC's were so high.

I was very upset though. We got to the ER around 9am yesterday morning. They did all the tests and stuff and by 11:30 they knew his appendix needed to come out. They scheduled the surgery for 6pm.

Meanwhile he is getting sicker and sicker and by 4:30 his fever was like 104. No one came to check on him for many hours, not even when he would ring his nurse call button. Finally I went out to get a nurse and all the nurses were sitting at the nurse's station, laughing and talking and eating their dinner! I said "My husband's supposed to have surgery at 6," and his nurse sighed heavily, put down her sandwich, and grabbed his chart.

"No," she said. "he's having it tomorrow night."

Uh, no. I'm no doctor but I do know that when you think someone's appendix has ruptured, you need to get it taken care of stat. I asked the nurse if he could have some pain medication int he meantime and she got all nasty with me. Like she thought we were drug seekers or something. Hello, if we were drug seekers the friggen cat scan wouldn't have shown a freaky mass instead of a regular appendix, now would it?

So I called patient relations and told them the story. I was nice, because you don't want to be nasty to the people who are about to hack your husband open with sharp instruments. I told her the story and she was appalled, but said there wasn't much she could do about it. [I want to clarify that we were not at a trauma center. There weren't ambulances bringing in accident victims and such, so it's not like a more serious case came in that needed to be dealt with before The Hub.]

So I calmly asked to be transferred to patient records. You have to understand that by now its 9pm, and he is friggen sick. No one would check his fever but he was really really hot, and he was having trouble breathing from the pain, and he just laid there and cried. The nurse would not come unhook his IV from the wall so he could go to the bathroom, and they wouldn't bring him blankets or anything. They did nothing at all. It was like there were no nurses. Craziest thing was, there were no other patients on the floor at the time.

Anyway I asked for patient records, and the lady asked what I needed that for. I said I was going to call an ambulance and have him transferred to the big hospital in town, because he was very sick and no one would even come check on him or help him to the bathroom or anything. I tried really hard not to get bitchy, but it was a struggle.

The lady pretended to transfer me to records, but then came back and said she couldn't get ahold of them. I wasn't happy but what could I do?

Then, not more than five minutes later, an opening magically appeared in the operating room and they got his surgery done. The surgeon was in his street clothes and said they had called him to do the surgery around noon but kept stalling him, so he couldn't get into the operating room And then, the nurses were suddenly very attentive and spent lots of time making sure The Hub was comfortable and helping bring his fever down.

I'm not angry about it, but I do think someone higher up needs to know what's going on. And I'll be damned if I ever bring anyone to that hospital again. Sure, it's a brand new facility, and they have big screen plasma tv's in each room - but they don't take care of patients! He could have died in there and it would have been hours before anyone knew it. He wasn't on monitors or anything, just an IV that kept backing up and getting blood in it.

So that's the appendix saga. Now he gets two weeks (or more) off work because of the type of work he does. He is totally psyched about it - but I bet he won't be when he realizes his belly hurts every time he moves....


Lisa said...

That is really really odd. Are you sure that there were real nurses out there? Not just aides? Regardless you definitely need to complain. I'm glad he's OK now though. I've never had an experience like that in a hospital and hope I never do.

Buy Soma said...

That's really irresponsible of the staff. What good is a plasma TV if the patient is delirious with fever to enjoy watching it? And we're talking possible fatal infection here. Can't you report it to the local health authorities? Surely, there is something that can be done about this.