Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Should Have

At 11PM my phone roused me from a half slumber. I stretched my arm out and fumbled for the phone, flipped it open and heard my sister from her hospital room 1000 miles away whimpering in pain. At the sounds of her distress, I came instantly awake and asked her what was going on. She was hurting and the nurse told her she would be back in 2 hrs.
2hrs? She was going to lay there and be in pain for 2 hrs? NO! I told her to call the nurse and ask for something for pain. She wouldn't call because she had already been told by the nurse it would be 1AM. I insisted she give me the number of the hospital and from 1000 miles away  I rang that number.
My call was transferred to the nurse's station where I was put on hold. I'm livid. I'm on hold and listening to the canned music while my sister is laying in that room writhing in pain. While listening to that phone, I grabbed my cell phone and redialed the hospital. When the switchboard downstairs answered, I requested to speak to the nurse supervisor. I was put on hold for 30 seconds; then the nurse supervisor answered the phone. I'm sitting here with two phones connected to that hospital and I'm angry. The ortho floor nurse had now answered phone #1 and the supervisor was on phone #2.
I quickly told the nurse on 1 to go to my sisters room and give her something for pain. I know I didn't ask nicely; niceness was long gone. Meanwhile I moved to phone #2 and talked to the supervisor. I told her I didn't expect my sister to lay there in pain. There is a law against that; she has meds ordered!
Yes, they quickly went to her room and gave her 2 pills for pain. I'm sure they noticed when they got to the room that she was in severe pain. She basically had a leg amputated and then put back together again. A total knee replacement involves removing the damaged knee and then shaving off the bone from the end of the femur and the other end of the tibia and jamming that metal knee spike into each of those bones. Do you not think the after effects of this procedure would be painful?
My problem with their mode of medication is this. She has pain meds ordered P.O. (by mouth) every 4 hours routine. Every two hours she has Dilaudid IV PUSH ordered for breakthrough pain. If I walked into the room and had a patient in severe pain which med do you suppose I would select to administer?
IV medicine would have given her instant relief. They chose the medicine by mouth that was routine.
I'm back to "stupid" once again today. 

It is now within 30 minutes of the time she can get an IV push of Dilaudid for breakthrough pain. She asked the nurse and the nurse told her she would have to wait 30 more minutes. I was livid once again.
I called the nursing supervisor. She tried to get all huffy with me. She told me my sister had apologized earlier for the way I had talked to them. I told her there was no need for my sister to apologize and that she had asked for something for pain and was told she couldn't have it for two hours. I also told her that I wanted her to have her IV push now. She tried to tell me it wasn't due till 2:15. I then told her that any med on the MAR could be given 1/2 hr earlier then noted and done legally! She wasn't happy; she nastily said "you seem to know the law".......and to that I said..."yes, I do". She wasn't happy  but she said she would take care of it. I stayed on the phone with my sister till the nurse showed up with the IV  push. It didn't take long for her to get to the room. I wanted to stay on the phone to make sure they came right away.
I should have been there for her. I should have driven up there and stayed in the hospital with her. I should have and I didn't and for that I'm LIVID with myself!

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