Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's been 11 days since I've picked up my camera.

11 days.
No pics.

That, more than anything describes how I'm doing these days.

Hey, did you hear about the Code Orange at the hospital? I haven't been down to the ER since we left it last Monday, but it was a nightmarish hell hole then, I can't imagine how bad it must've been last night.

How does this overcrowding crisis impact the level of care my dad's been receiving?
Well, last Monday we were thrilled with the nurse's gentleness and professionalism. But, and I hate to be critical, that department has been understaffed for the past 10 days. Everyday I hear that 2 or 3 nurses didn't show up for their shifts, so those that do show up are overworked. What does that mean?

It means my dad has been in the hospital for 2 weeks and no one has helped him have a shower. It means that they bring him a food tray. And then take it away, not noticing that he hasn't eaten a bite.
It means that his pills are put on his bed table, but no one sees that his arms are too weak to hold the water bottle.
It means that when you press the call button, it can take up to 10 minutes for a nurse to come help him get to the bathroom. And by then? It's too late.
It means that when they ask him, "How are you?" and he says, "good", they don't probe further. They don't ask to see the arm that he keeps hidden under the covers that has ballooned up. They don't notice that his eyes are weapy and goopy and that he needs help cleaning them. They don't stay with him long enough to know that he repeats himself ninteen hundred times an hour ...

And it means that when you ask for some answers regarding his status, no one knows. His nurse didn't come in that day. And his doctor is on holidays.

So that's why Julie and I make sure we are each there, in that room, right beside him at least 8 hours a day. She does the hours around lunch. I do the hours around supper. We are spoonfeeding him food we've brought with us. We are putting the pills in his month and bringing the straw to his lips. We are wiping away his gummy eyes. We are washing his hands. And his face. And considering hiring a private nurse to get him into the shower.

Tonight was hard. His breathing is laboured and shallow, and he kept falling asleep on me.

And my mom?
Very, very weak.
Laurie, our nurse-angel, took her to the doctor's today. She is slowly recovering from the Norwalk virus, and is expected to be strong enough for her reversal surgery at the beginning of April.

When will I post a happy thought again?
Oy vey.

Thank you, internet, for caring.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Laurie, Jenn and Jared - all have offered to jump right back in. (They were our helpers during the November/December crisis.)
2. Janice - thanks for the tulips, Cream Egg and late night Facebook chats.
3. Hildegard, Lena, Hank, Jeff, Kevin, Sharon, Neil - for visiting dad this week.
4. Sandra - for giving Max some after-school work. Now he has money for A&W.
5. Everyone else who is praying. Bless you, friends. You are awesome.


1 comment:

Christine Lindsay said...

oh . . . I see. Your poor mum had the Norwalk virus. That explains why Max had it. I feel so sad for her. Hope and pray she's feeling better soon.