Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mom falls and I get no calls... guess what hit the fan..

Last week was pretty rough - in 2 calls, I learned that Mom's in a lot of pain; had 2 falls and no one's called to tell me what's going on.  I had to "put the bitch on" and demand that I get calls from now on.   I learned of these falls on Feb 8 when the transportation coordinator told me that Mom's doctor made an appointment for her the next day at 330pm.  "Why?" I ask.. "well, he just wants to check up on her.." is the vague reply.  Her regular check up is not until the end of February so I asked to speak with the nurse.  The nurse was also vague with details.  It was like playing 20 questions.  The nurse told me mom had an "assist to the floor" - it's basically where an aide has a hold of my mom but she still ends up on the floor.  The fact that she ended up on the floor is not the reason for the doctor visit.   The nurse finally said that she requested the doctors visit because Mom's "just not herself".   "What does that mean?"  I'm ticked now because I have to push for these details..  She tells me that Mom's had back pain, that she's not felt well enough to go to the dining room, that she's asking for pain pills in the morning before she gets up.

This is very distressing because  my mom has a high tolerance for pain.  She's not a baby, she's not a whiner; she doesn't do this for attention.  She's hurting and they've let it go on for nearly a month!  I called my sister in law to see if she or my brother could meet mom at the doctor and learned that Mom had 2 falls not 1.  The first was about Jan 10 and the second - the one the nurse told me about - was Jan 21.  Apparently the brakes on Mom's wheel chair failed and it rolled away from her as an aide was helping her to sit down - they both ended up on the floor.   It happened again two weeks later.  My brother went up to investigate and pointed out the bad brakes - they're fixed now but at what cost to my mom?   Sister in Law also told me that Mom has a bad bruise and open wound near her armpit  - no doubt a skin tear where the aide had a hold of my mom.  None of these details - requesting pain medication, refusing to go to meals, the would, the 2nd fall -were in the fax that the nursing home sent to the doctor.  I had to write a letter and fax it to him to ensure he gets the details.  I also feel it's necessary to point out to him that she's asking for pain medications - which she'd normally not do. I asked that he order an MRI or CAT scan - something to figure out if anything was broken or misaligned during these "assists to the floor".  ARGH!!

I have to visit the nursing home next week to discuss their failure to call me.  I was very pointed - nearly yelling -  when I spoke to the nurse - "CALL ME,  I HAVE MOM'S POWER OF ATTORNEY, I PAY THE BILLS.  MY LOCAL FAMILY DOES NOT COMMUNICATE WITH ME. YOU MUST CALL ME."  She wrote it on a post it and promised to put it in the file.   A lot of good that will do - post it's fall off, the glue goes bad.   She promised to tape it in place.  Right.  I'm not convinced.  I believe they'll blow it off - they'll blow ME off.   It really makes me distrust them and the kind of care they're giving to my mom.   I feel powerless to do anything - I need them to be good to my Mom.  I need them to keep her there or her doctor will insist she find another physician.  It's an awful situation and Mom suffers for all of it.  Hopefully, I can make it a little better during my visit next week.