I think most of my regular readers know that I keep a pretty cheerful disposition around this blog. For the most part, that's because I feel like I'm like that on a regular basis anyways. But it doesn't mean I don't have some times where I'm not so cheerful. Today is one of those times.
I need to vent a bit. I don't want anyone to take offense to what I have to say. This is a rather personal issue, and I'm being a bit more vulnerable about my emotions than what I usually care to do on the internet.
My grandpa has been sick for a while. I honestly can't even keep up with the list anymore of all the things he's been through. Brain tumors. Brain cancer. Throat cancer. Skin cancer. Strokes. Eye infections. Ear infections. Urinary tract infections (did you know that when older people get UTIs, they kind of freak out? I do.)
I don't want to sound like I'm being lighthearted when I say this, but my grandpa has lived through things that would have long since killed most people. He's 86, and each year we've wondered if it'd be the last birthday, the last Thanksgiving, or the last Christmas. For like the past 5 years.
I believe that our will power is ultimately a very powerful thing. I think that's why there are people who are told they'll never walk again that finish an Ironman. Along the same lines, I think that's why my grandpa is still alive. He hasn't been ready to go yet.
When I was in Chicago, my grandpa had to go back to the hospital. I think he was dehydrated or something, but from there he was sent to a rehab facility in hopes of getting him stronger so that he could continue to stay at home.
He's doing worse now than he was when he got there.
First, someone at the facility didn't put his bed rails up one night. This was careless, especially since it's on his chart that he's weak and likely to fall out of the bed. He did. He had to get stitches and staples in his head, and he broke something in his neck and they had to put him in a neck brace.
Next, the neck brace is way too big. My grandma and mom have repeatedly requested they get him a smaller one that actually fits to no avail.
On Sunday, we found out he had gone absolutely nuts. He was yelling, cussing and being incredibly mean and belligerent. We know for a fact that the only time he has ever behaved in this manner was when he had some sort of UTI or staph infection. So we asked them to consider his previous history and run a few tests to see if maybe it meant he had another infection.
We went down there last night, and they not only hadn't done any tests, they also tried to argue that no one in the family had called and asked for that.
So we ask them to do it while we're there. They tell us there's no medical reason to order the tests. We tell them that we know his previous history and know that his symptoms indicate some sort of infection.
I'll spare you all the nitty gritty, but ultimately one of the nurses told my mom she was being ridiculous. To her face.
Both of my parents were pretty upset by this point, so I stepped in and tried to articulate what they were too upset to say: We know him better than them, we know his previous medical history, and we know that the ONLY time he's ever behaved in this manner was when he'd had infections. We're asking that a test be done to rule out an infection simply because if we find out he has an infection and they opted to not do anything about it, they'll have bigger problems on their hands than us asking them to do their jobs and run a test.
I wanted to tell the women that SHE was being ridiculous because I didn't realize it was such an inconvenience to her to do her freaking job, but I kept that one to myself. I didn't want to play her game and be disrespectful to her.
Ultimately they ran the tests, I think mostly because they realized my mom wasn't going to leave until they did. I'm still not positive what they found out there...
Today, they left him UNATTENDED in a chair. Once again, they have it on his chart that he is weak and likely to fall. He can't keep himself up in a chair. Period. They know this. And if they don't, it's because they aren't doing their jobs and reading his info.
He fell out of the chair and busted his head open. My mom and dad were heading to the hospital to find out how serious it is... so I'm just waiting right now to hear what's going on.
Now listen... I'm not knocking the medial field in general. I'm not knocking nurses and doctors and other medical staff in general. I have good friends who I know are excellent nurses.
But the specific people who have been involved with caring for my grandpa at this specific facility? I am APPALLED.
Like, I didn't know it was so hard to do your job. What the hell are you getting paid for anyways? To be disrespectful to your patient's families? To walk away and leave your patients unattended when they're not in a secure position? To argue with us about someone whom we know way better than you do?
I mean, I wish I could have video-taped what happened when I was there. I feel like I'm just going to sound like someone who is upset because her grandpa is nearing the end. But that's not it. I'm angry because the people who have been entrusted with his care are straight up neglecting him.
My family has been through a lot with my grandpa. We know the end is near. That of course sucks. But our real issue is that it's one thing to pass away because it's your time to go... that will be sad, but it will be fine. But if he passes away because they neglected to give him proper care? Well - that's infuriating. To say the very least.
If he survives this fall, he's not going back to that facility. My mom had already called a lawyer this morning to get some help with getting him moved. (Did you know it's like going to war to get someone moved from one facility to another? Legally, they can't tell us we can't move him, but they can make it so difficult that you have to get a lawyer to step in to get it done. Now THAT'S ridiculous.)
The whole thing is just incredibly frustrating. You always kind of have this sense of trust that medical professionals know what they are doing and have your best interests in mind. I still believe that's true for a TON of them. But man, when you find the ones who don't seem to giving a flying flip? It's not a good situation.
I'm certain my readers know I'm not one to throw a pity party. I'm certainly not posting this because I'm looking for anything from you. I shared it mostly because I needed to vent about all the absurd things that have been going on and also because I just wanted to ask all of you to say a little prayer for my family if you would like and don't mind. It's already a difficult situation as it is, but all of this mess has kind of made it all even harder.