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View Diary: KosAbility: Surviving a Hospital Stay (221 comments)

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  •  It's not like (40+ / 0-)

    on t.v., the dedicated, almost miraculous staff with the lazy or incompetent one the exception.

    I was in the hospital for several days, and the orders were to have me get out of bed and walk around asap.  They also had these pressure thingees to keep circulation in my legs.

    I had a relative who died from an embolism after "routine" hernia surgery (and his widow sued and won because they didn't make him get up and walk around), so I really wanted to get up and walk around.

    Finally I asked about it, and the nurse came and left the walker against the wall furthest from the bed.  I ended up getting up by myself to get to the walker.  The nurses sat on their asses as I walked up and down the hall completely unassisted and unaccompanied.

    On the afternoon after the surgery, a nurse came on duty and proceeded to bitch at me that it was her day off and she had been called back in.  I was sitting there in paid, stitches, catheter, stuck in the bed, listening to this idiot complain.  (She's the one who brought the walker.

    After the first day I was supposed to go from a liquid diet to barfy hospital food, but they kept bringing liquids.  When I complained, they took the liquid tray away - and didn't bring me any other food.  

    Finally the patient advocate showed up.  She made sure I got a meal relatively quickly, and assigned a really experienced and empathetic nurse for my care.

    Sadly, she was the exception - none of the other nurses gave a shit and were in fact irritated by the patients.  

    The person who came in to take my blood pressure, etc., every other minute (it seemed like) was also extremely nice.

    Another hospital stay - there were full urine containers (both male and female), as well as one of those "measure while you pee" trays in the toilet, complete with pee.

    Containers of pee were everywhere, including on the floor.

    So pee had not been emptied despite several patients having occupied the room over obviously several days.  


    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:42:36 PM PST

    •  Oh, (32+ / 0-)

      and I'm scheduled for another surgery this coming February.  Needless to say I'm not pleased.

      Fortunately I will have someone with me who will advocate, although I believe I may have to choose between advocacy while I'm in the hospital (3 days) and assistance for the first few days after I get home.

      I can't ask someone who is coming from out of state and will have a brand new grandchild to stay with me for an entire week.

      Another reason why being single is a total turd.

      Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

      by delphine on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:46:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My heart really goes out to you (22+ / 0-)

        I'm also single and in the same boat. The only relative is in S. Calif. (I'm in N. Calif.) and I'm not sure I'd trust her as an advocate. The only friend I'd want as an advocate is on the opposite coast. So I may be shit out of luck.

        The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

        by Mr Robert on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:31:08 PM PST

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        •  Someone at work (20+ / 0-)

          said I should go to hospice after the hospital to get cared for.

          Based on my experience, "hospice" to me means "last stop before the funeral home".

          Maybe she meant convalescent home?

          In any event, the last thing I need is to subject myself to people who, for the most part, care even less than hospital staff about my well being.

          I'm in SoCal and my "helper" lives in another state.  I'm lucky to have her for as many days as she is willing.

          Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

          by delphine on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:40:08 PM PST

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          •  Some Hospices (17+ / 0-)

            provide interim care for those who can't really be on their own yet.

            Eat, drink, and be fat and drunk.

            by Ref on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:59:22 PM PST

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          •  some larger SNFs (11+ / 0-)

            do both hospice and rehab admissions

            "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
            Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

            by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:17:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Possibly a rehab place... (5+ / 0-)

            There are two where I live, and the ortho wouldn't let me be home alone after I had knee replacement surgery (I am single, don't live with anyone), so I had to check in one of those rehab places.  Half of each facility has assisted living apartments for senior citizens who can mostly sort of be on their own but need help for certain things, the other half was for rehab patients who had had various surgeries: knee replacement, hip replacement, and the like, and down a couple of halls was a therapy room to practice walking or doing rehab exercises to have muscles get used to the new hardware.  [I detested one of the rehab people because she was a religious freak.  UGH!  My regular rehab person was nice, and she just discovered she was preggers with the third child while I was there.]

            After two weeks I was ready to climb the walls.  No lock on the door (I get that because med emergencies probably happen)..., BUT there was a senile old woman who roamed the halls talking to herself - she never went in the rooms, but still... it creeped me out and I had awful insomnia and rarely slept well, just cat-napped.

            The BEST thing I can say for the local hospital and each of the two rehab/nursing places is that each has free WiFi.  Without internet contact to the outside world from the laptop I brought with me, I'd have gone stark raving mad (emailing brother and relatives and friends - there was no phone in my rehab room!).

            The way the surgery schedule worked out, surgery was on a Friday, I was the only patient in the ortho wing when I had my knee replacement surgery, it was close to the nurse's station, so I got lots of attention whenever I rang.  The nursing and rehab staff who came daily were great, actually.  I did have one glitch.  Without underwear, I asked for something to wear for when I had to lift my leg off the chair for rehab exercises, and whatever was in that papery pair of underpants I was allergic to.  I don't recall they ever said what it was, but OMFG, the itching on every part of skin surface it had touched was unbearable and while I could get my belly and privates, I had to ask for nursing staff to wash my butt off with soap and water instead of that chemically-treated wash stuff in a packet and they applied a cream or lotion of some kind, but all they had was some crappy aloe + lotion in a tube which did very little toward relieving the itch, but it felt sort of soothing.  Ugh.  Just thinking about it makes me feel like I'm breaking out in that same instant rash.

            The food was lousy at both places.  I don't know how they can ruin perfectly good food, but they do.  I have a long list of allergies (which I told them about), but they almost always managed to send something I couldn't or wouldn't eat because it smelled like garbage.  At both the hospital and rehab the head of the kitchens came to talk with me to see if they could send me something palatable, but dried potatoes with chemicals added and boiled meat that's been barely fried to try to fool me to get me to eat a pork chop I knew had been boiled or steamed was NOT how to get me to eat something.  I ended up eating a lot of fruits and puddings and oatmeal.  At the rehab place I twice called for pizza to be delivered.

            Bathing was not private at the rehab facility.  THAT got to me.  There was a huge room with various types of bathing facilities for wheelchair people, walking people, those who had to be put in slings and lowered into a tub, etc.  Gaaaaaaaaag!  I had to have my leg wrapped in clear plastic wrap to protect the incision part and use a wheelie chair (it had a bathroom seat for what was, I suppose, a way to wash people who couldn't manage to even wash their privates).  I have soap issues, so I had brought my own soap and shampoo and new washing sponge which I had in a clear plastic cosmetics case and my toothbrush and toothpaste were in there, too, in a separate plastic bag.

            I think there's a hospice place in town, too..., but it's not at the rehab and assisted living facilities.

            You might want to call each place where you live and see what they offer for patients.  Maybe someone is using the word 'hospice' in the old fashioned sense, as a place to rest and recuperate.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 06:15:41 AM PST

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      •  I would suggest (19+ / 0-)

        if you think a need for aftercare in a rehab is even a remote possibility do some research NOW before you go in. Find out which ones take your insurance, visit them, ask around. Then if it comes to you having to use one, you'll have that information on hand.

        As someone who used to work in them, and did my externships for OTA in them, not all rehab facilities are the same. Some have very caring and very good staff, some do not. Write down your top three picks and take that with you in case you need it. If it comes up, give that list (or a copy of it) to the social services worker who will be responsible for finding you a placement.

        This is important whether you are going for yourself or a loved one. The hospital usually only has a couple of days to decide on a placement and find a bed, and there won't always be one available in your first choice.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:12:29 PM PST

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      •  I think we need to find a way (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KelleyRN2, createpeace, SingleVoter

        to develop people like this in our lives. I am on my own as well, and very conscious of how far away most people who I know and trust are.

        In my case I approached a young woman at my co-op who I often talked to as she cashiered, and learned that she and her partner did housecleaning. I thought, that means they have a car (I don't), and so I asked what their per-hour was for cleaning. Then later on asked if I could call them in if I were to have surgery and needed a non-taxi ride home. They were very welcoming.

        I'm now far more determined to meet and get to know my neighbors and allow them to get a sense of who I am and at least feel friendly.

        I find people who have been in relatively secure relationships all their lives have absolutely no idea of what it means to be living by oneself.

        •  They really don't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote, KelleyRN2

          One suggested I ask my son.

          This will involve to some extent assistance to the bathroom and related stuff.

          While one day he might end up changing my diapers (heaven forbid), I am nowhere near the position where I would subject him to this.  So humiliating for both of us.

          Fortunately this relative has experience and a good deal of compassion.  She'll be great during those first few days.

          Although my brother said "what about after those three days"?

          I had no answer.  Of course, neither did he.

          Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

          by delphine on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:48:21 AM PST

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          •  Yes, we are in blue sky country - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a new era - along with quite a few others, I think.

            We need some new kind of bureau - to which one could look for people able to and interested in lending a hand, probably for compensation. One with insider knowledge of hospital craziness, yet also a great capacity for friendship.

    •  I'm so sorry that you had such a (20+ / 0-)

      miserable experience; those hospital conditions seem like that of third world countries instead of the USA.

      A few months ago a man in my extended family had several weeks' stay at Scripps Memorial Hospital LaJolla, the first in San Diego to be designated a Magnet Hospital by the American Nursing Association for excellence in patient care. The nursing care truly was excellent.

      He was then transferred to the VA hospital and the hospice there, where the nursing care did not meet the high standards of Scripps, but was still considered good care -- nothing like your experience.

      I hope the ACA measurements and standards will raise the quality of care by hospitals. Good luck on your coming surgery.

      The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

      by SoCalSal on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:06:58 PM PST

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      •  When it comes to (8+ / 0-)

        pee, there is one word:  Kaiser

        I hear Scripps is excellent.

        Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

        by delphine on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:09:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh great. (8+ / 0-)

          I'm on Kaiser's Senior Advantage program. I've heard and read the hospital is not rated well but thought it had improved last year.

          I almost dropped the plan for 2013 but have some ongoing tests in the Kaiser system. Kaiser has some good services but obviously some need improvement.

          Scripps is excellent; the hospital I'd choose if I could.

          The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

          by SoCalSal on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:38:33 PM PST

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          •  Some people love (8+ / 0-)

            Kaiser.  I think to some extent their experience is determined by the particular Kaiser location.

            I have to say that I changed from Kaiser as soon as I could.

            I'll refrain from further horror stories . . .

            Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

            by delphine on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:43:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Regarding Kaiser (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sb, FloridaSNMOM, Creosote, KelleyRN2

              My experiences with Kaiser in my area have been excellent so far.  I am a cancer patient and even my in patient experiences back in July were good.  The  Nurses (even the over night shift) were responsive to my needs and made sure I was involved in all medications dosings.  

              I live in Roseville near Sacramento and the Kaiser-Roseville Hospital has been good to me so far.  Granted I don't have a whole lot of experience with hospitals (only one 5 day stay this past July) but I am scheduled for Surgery in a few weeks so I will know more then, for sure.

              Life is not a problem to be solved but an adventure to be experienced.

              by DarkHawk98 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:16:31 AM PST

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