I try hard to share all that I share with his dignity in mind ... but just a fair warning before you read farther.
So, this past Monday - has it only been 6 days? - I called the dialysis center, talked with Lisa. Told her the pain that Rick was in. She said to call Dr. Greenwell's office. I did. They wanted Rick to see a urologist. An emergency work in was arranged ... and off we flew to Paris. Got there, didn't have to wait too long - but the urologist said that the head of his penis felt hard, he was afraid that gangrene had already set in. And he said that he did not do that surgery. That Rick would need to be seen by a specialist in this - either Tyler or Dallas. We flew across town to Dr. Greenwell's office. Dr. Greenwell examined Rick - and he agreed with the urologist. So, Dr. Greenwell made the appointment with the specialist in Tyler, at ETMC. No time to wait. Transfer papers were sent ahead, and with me. We left Paris around 5 p.m. and drove straight to Tyler. Got here around 7'ish.
First went to the ER. They had no record of us. When our papers were taken and Rick was searched for in their system - they found him. Direct admit.
Room 2232 of the Dialysis unit/urology floor.
Dr. Dickson came in around 9 that night (Monday). He said that he would check with the OR - but surgery would most likely be on Tuesday morning. He said that an amputation would be necessary - just didn't know how extensive an amputation it would be until he could do the circumcision and see the penis.
Not a whole lot of sleep by either one of us that night ... lots of prayers, some tears, and more thoughts and worries than I care to consider now. Sigh.
Dr. Dickson called me as soon as surgery was over. It was dry gangrene, and it had gotten to a good part of his penis. So the amputation was about 1/2 - he said that he had to cut back until he got good blood flow, which showed him it was healthy tissues.
Rick came thru surgery and recovery with not a problem. But that was a long hour to wait out the recovery! It was sure good to see him come back to his room. He was awake, groggy, but awake. And he was HUNGRY! :)
I asked him if he wanted to know what the doctor had done - how the surgery had gone. He looked at me with tear filled eyes and said, No - I don't think I can handle it. I waited a few minutes. Loved on him. And then said - "It wasn't as bad as you were afraid of! You can still stand up to pee!" - The relief flooded his face, and the tears came. God love him!
and with me arguing with the nurses. The dialysis was not being done on time, not even done the same each time. I was having to press the nurses for pain pills, when they were written for "on call". Rick had some fluid overload - normal for post-surgery. Dialysis solution was adjusted by doctor, but then to get the nurses to follow those orders! Oh my!
Rick was in horrible pain because of constipation - bad enough for a dialysis patient, or a surgery patient ... but considering he was BOTH!
I asked for laxatives, for stool softeners, for a suppository, for an enema - for HELP!!!
He was given 1 laxative, 2 stool softeners, and 1 suppository. He was only able to have 2 very small BM's. And those were done with MUCH agony!
And sad to say - Friday was the worst day! His right hip and leg were in pain on top of everything else. Dr. Wells said that it sounded and looked like an inflammation of arthritis in that hip due to having been in bed so much. Dr. Abbasi said that he wanted to rule out a blood clot so a dopplar was ordered - which by the way, turned out ALL CLEAR!
But from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. - we sat in this room mostly by ourselves, with the nurse only coming in a couple of times - in spite of me asking for pain medication, laxatives, something to HELP my husband of 34 years not have to cry out to God that he could not stand the pain, with tears running down his face.
Rick got out of bed with what we thought was sciatic nerve pain. Walking did not relieve the pain. Pain medication has only slightly dulled it. First dr said it sounded like inflammed arthritis, no redness, not hot to the touch. Second dr comes in and listens to rick explain the pain. Is ordering a dopplar to check for a blood clot.
So now we wait and wonder and I worry. I don't mean to be hateful....BUT.... I am not impressed with the care -or lack thereof- by the nursing staff, especially today. Rick was due for dialysis at noon. It is 2 p.m. and still no dialysis.
He is 2 hrs past due on pain medication. I just sneaked a look at his orders, on the computer in the room....he was supposed to be getting a laxative EVERY DAY. He has gotten ONE. And he STILL has not had a decent BM since surgery.
I know that he is not the only patient. But each of these nurses have maybe 3 patients. I sit here thinking SERIOUSLY? THE MAN IS HURTING! SIGH.
PLEASE PRAY that Rick's pain will ease. That there is no blood clot. That he will begin to fill the catheter bag. That he will have a good BM. ...and that i will not totally lose it with these people!!!
Within 15 minutes, our daughter called and asked if "she" was in our room yet. ??? What are you talking about? She read what I wrote and she called the hospital! Talked to, I believe, the director of nursing? Mandy said, Momma - if she is not there by 3 pm, you call me, cause I am calling them back!
Just about 3 p.m. Anne walked in the room. She is the head nurse over all these nurses, even above the charge nurses. She took over Rick from the nurse of the day (who had done nothing). She listened to Rick and to me. She looked at his chart and his record. And she went into action!!!
This was the Facebook post first thing this morning --
What a difference an AWESOME nurse - 2 actually - makes!!!!!
Anne came yesterday afternoon (after a call from Sweet Home Alabama ... and she took over with Rick. He was given pain medications, laxatives, stool softeners, a dopplar was done on his legs (all clear!) ... and she was above and beyond KIND and treated him with so much dignity and respect! Made him laugh. Encouraged him to talk ... Talked him into getting up and walking ...
And then - Anne Beth! OH MY! She should be up for Nurse of the YEAR!!!
She had Rick all night - and she was so attentive, kind, caring, respectful!!!
His dialysis has been done on time, correct, and with laughter!!!
His pain has been held at bay with on time medications - and NO shots!!! (We can't leave if he is on the pain shots, cause we can't give them at home.)
He has had at least 3 GOOD BM's! Which makes him feel so much better! So much more of a real person!!! And which has taken a lot of his fluid overload off!!!
He slept last night - actually rested. Woke up at 6:30 -- did his breathing treatment (they want him to reach 2000 on the machine, and he did 2500!)
and wanted to go for a walk around the nurses station. Once he started walking - he made 3 trips around!!!
He is resting now ... breakfast has been ordered - including a guest tray for me (will be my first breakfast since being here).
The catheter is to be taken out this morning (pray for an easy removal, as well as the bladder to WAKE UP & PEE!!!) ... he said he wants to take a hot shower after the catheter is taken out.
Discharge has been discussed as being either tomorrow or Monday. Anne Beth said that they really like to keep watch for 8 - 10 hours after a catheter is removed - just to make sure everything is ok.
Thanking God for a daughter who decided that "enough was enough" and she got VERY involved!
I told her that I never really thought to call anyone but who was on this floor. She said - Momma, you have spent a lifetime fighting for others, you shouldn't have to do this for daddy and for yourself now!
This is what she wrote on Facebook last night -
My mama should not have to badger the nurses for his scheduled medication. She should not have to sit there and hear her husband literally cry in pain because the staff wasn't doing their job. When you go into a hospital there is a level of care EXPECTED. Mama is tired, stressed, worried. She shouldn't HAVE to ask for the things that should be given freely. Lack of staff is not the patients fault. That's the hospitals. I stepped in because I will not let anyone treat my family unfairly. Mama had said and done far more than she should've had to. Love you Margaret Mccoy. I'm just glad that he is getting the care he needs to be Now.
Absolutely melted my heart! Love my girl!!!
So, now - we wait on breakfast ... and think about from this day forward ... Lord will guide us and lead us!
Thank you all for your thoughts, your calls, your texts, your messages, your prayers!