Monday, September 27, 2010

Second string

On the weekends we deal with subs - we don't have our A-team of nurses and doctors around.

This weekend we were visited by a nurse that's not only unfamiliar with our case but is new to hospice.
Let's just say it turned out to be a learning experience for everyone.

So I get a call from my sister-in-law on Sunday that this nurse is planning to call an ambulance and transfer my mother to the hospital.

I get on the phone with the hospice nurse --to explain how hospice works.

The conversation went something like this:
me: "If we transport her to the hospital what will they do there?"

nurse: "well ...there are procedures, surgery..blah blah."

me: "Um, we're on hospice - she is DNR. We don't want surgery or any invasive procedure."

nurse: "Well they can do tests to see what we are dealing with."

me: "First, we know what we are dealing with." duh.
"And why would we do tests when we are not going to do treatment."

nurse: "The doctor said based on [my examination and findings] that we need to transport her."

me: "What doctor?"

nurse: "Well, I couldn't reach her primary so its the on-call."

Great a non-hospice doctor, unfamiliar with our case.

This nonsense went on for awhile until we finally got a doctor we know on the phone who stopped the madness.

In the meantime - mom is sitting in her chair, the Patriots game is one, the whole family is milling around her, the nurse is shrilling on the phone with a doctor, and we are squirting liquid morphine into mom's mouth as quickly as she will let us.

A short time later we all breathe a sigh of relief...
The nurse had left. The Patriots had won. The morphine started to work. And mom starts her familiar babbling. [she basically talks endlessly when she is awake.]

Suddenly mom says:
"Hey, you know.. its been a pretty good day hasn't it?"

Yes. We all laughed... and of course, agreed with her.


e said...

You have to laugh. It's all you've got at this point.

Trish said...

lol...well, glad MOM thinks it's a good day!

we had the DNR problem with a was terminal, checked in with heart issues, cancer abounding. She was in a normal room & had been down for something less than 30 mins when a nurse found her & rushed a crash cart & brought her back. I had to fight with the on duty doc to turn off life support after 3 days---they were trying to save their tuchis'.

I am proud of your efforts with all this going on.

eb said...

I've never known anyone who was in hospice care, but even I, UPPERCASE LIZ, know what hospice care is.

Good thing New England won. Jesus most certainly would have developed bezoars had Buffalo beaten New England. It was kinda close. Buffalo? Really?

teeveezed said...

I have been through this twice, you've gotta laugh, or you slightly potty.

Kathleen said...

Catching up with your writing...

"Pretty good day."

Always on my mind. Love you so much.