Tuesday, March 27, 2007

And now a break from our regularly scheduled horse update

Kaswyn is still sound and doing well. More on him later.

Right now, I'm super angry. Here's why.

My grandfather, who is 93 years old, went into the hospital on Friday complaining of pain, intestinal discomfort, and general malaise. He had been living alone for several years, and while my mom, dad, and uncle had been keeping an eye (or several eyes) on him, the last few weeks has been a bit of a downward spiral. Finally on Friday he called an ambulance and was transported to the hospital.

My parents met him in the emergency room, where of course he sat for hours before being seen or treated in any way. Blood was drawn and he was given x-rays, a CAT scan, an ultrasound, and a CT scan. For some unknown reason fluid was accumulating around his lungs, which they felt was a result of some yet unknown problem. Eventually he was admitted and was transported upstairs to a room. We were told his doctor would see him that evening and would give us a report on Saturday based on his exam and the test results.

When no call came Saturday, my mother and I went to the hospital to get some answers. I spoke to the nurse, who was very nice but didn't have any information. She was a little vague about whether or not the doctor had been in to see my grandfather or not, but assured us that she would put a note on the chart with instructions to call my father after the doctor had done an examination.

Saturday passed, and then Sunday arrived. No call. Sunday afternoon my mom, dad, brother and his fiancee went to the hospital. My grandfather was feeling much better. Apparently they had a pulmonologist come in to assess the "fluid around the lungs" situation. As told by my grandfather, "The doctor came in, listened to my lungs, and asked how I felt. I told him I was having trouble breathing and had pain in my legs, and he said 'Well we're going to take care of that. Lean forward.' Then he stuck me with a big needle and drained a bunch of fluid out of me."

Nice. Really nice. This guy just walks in a starts jabbing my grandfather without explaining what's going on?

Anyhow, my father was told by the nurse (again, because no doctor has seen fit to call and inform us of anything, despite numerous phone messages and requests to do so) that Monday would involve many many tests and they probably would not know anything until Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon my uncle went to visit my grandfather, who was napping. He woke up, said to my uncle,"They found two spots in my chest that they don't like. I'm really tired, so I'm going back to sleep." And that he did. My father heard this and called the nurse (again!) to find out what was going on. She said she had no information and that she'd leave a note for the doctor to call him.

It's now Tuesday evening. We have no more information. We don't know the results of any of the tests. We don't know if the doctor(s) have any idea what's wrong with my grandfather, or what direction they are going in next. This infuriates me. I work with patients every day. When they call with questions, I'm expected to call them back promptly and answer them, or find someone who can. To have an ailing, ederly patient in the hospital and not communicate to the family is just plain wrong and totally unacceptable.

I Googled the hospital's patient advocacy department and gave my father the number. He'll be calling them in the morning. Hopefully they can help.

If not, I suspect I'll be angry again tomorrow.


Lil Kate said...

I'm glad that you're not letting them walk all over you and your family. They must understand that the family has to be informed - under any circumstance - so I'm curious what their excuse will be.

Rafaella said...

I hope your grandfather get a better treatment. =)

Rising Rainbow said...

How very frustrating. I can see why you're angry. I'd be angry too.Hope you get something worked out soon.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr