Thursday, November 4, 2010
I’m a little upset here and I don’t know how upset I really should be. At 6am yesterday I called the nursing home to find out how my mom did overnight. "Oh, she slept really well…" "Still waiting on the UA results, though" Ok.
Then at 4pm I called again, and was told that they still didn’t have the results, but that my mom ate lunch and went to her exercise class, so they thought she was ok.
At 7pm, I got to the nursing home, and my mom was crying and telling me about how her two sisters (she actually has only ever had one, and that one passed on a long time ago) were trying to kill her and knocked her out because they don’t want her to be prettier than them. One of the sisters was hiding and waiting to kill me, DH and a host of other family members. She told me that one of the "helpers" had to call the police and they took the sister away and locked her up and now she won’t ever get out.
I went to talk to the nurse, who told me that although she hadn’t sat down to talk with my mom, she "seemed fine". I repeated what my mom was saying and all of a sudden she got alarmed and went to find the nurse practitioner, who, amazingly, was still at work (at 8pm!) The NP (who knows me and likes me (and my mom)) went with me to talk with my mom and got the same story about the sisters…..and she was alarmed. So she ordered the nurse to call the hospital asap to get the test results.
Sure enough, it’s a UTI. The NP wrote orders up, so they were going to start treating it right away. Thank goodness. Although UTI’s in elderly folks can be deadly sometimes, they’re still mostly curable. That’s a relief.
I’m concerned, though, about the times I was told that she is/was "fine" or "seems ok". I know nurses and aides in nursing homes are way overworked and don’t have nearly enough time to spend with the patients, but it seems to me (and I’m trying hard to just see this from "any person"’s standpoint and not the standpoint of "my mom is sick") that if a patient was noticeably confused on Tuesday, that on Wednesday everyone should be alerted to that and keep an eye out to see what’s going on. But again, this is the only nursing home experience I’ve ever had, so I just don’t know if I’m being unreasonable. I know that staff changes frequently and people call in/trade shifts at the last minute….but it seems to me like there might need to be better communication.
Also, though, I don’t want to "rock the boat" and become a pain-in-the-you-know-what to the aides and nurses—I like them all and I know that they like my mom, too, and I don’t want even the most subtle of retaliation(s).
Anyhow….I’m still deciding who I’m going to ask about that…and I’m glad I was able to be there and advocate for my mom—if I hadn’t been there, she might’ve had to wait an entire extra day for treatment (because medicines are delivered at night).
If you have had any similar nursing home experiences, please share--it might help me know how upset I can justifiably be.
Cross your fingers that the problem resolves itself quickly!