After getting into the room (finally) - we settled our things about us. The nurses came and did their evaluation of Rick. We asked permission and went for a walk. It had been a ROUGH 24 hours and we just needed something to help us de-stress a little.
We got back to the room, and after getting Rick settled in bed, I walked down to the nurses station to check back in. Promptly got fussed at for not being in the room. ??? By the same nurse that gave us permission to take a walk. Sigh.
The kidney specialist came in around 6:30 p.m. Talked to us. Listened to us. She said that a big part of the problem was probably due to the Alka-Seltzer that Rick had been taking for 2 weeks, alternating it with the Tylenol Codeine. She wanted to get as much of the fluid off Rick as possible and then test his kidneys. Said she thought some of the damage to the kidneys (indicated by the BUN and Creatinine levels) would be reversed once all the sodium and swelling was taken care of. That was encouraging to both of us.
But after the night that followed at 4:30 a.m. the next morning, Rick had had all he could take. He ordered his own discharge. We were leaving the hospital around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Absolutely the worst hospital stay we have EVER had with anyone!!!
I will explain ...
The only complaint Rick has in all of this? Swelling from the belly button down. He is not throwing up. He is not even sick at his stomach. No headache. No confusion. No fever. No stomach cramping. No legs cramping even. His appetite is good. He is walking good. Not staggering. Not falling. No weakness. He is drinking good. He has a good and healthy stream when he pees. No burning. No pain when he pees.
*After being moved around so much, and poked with needles, making so many bathroom trips - Rick wanted a hot shower. Nurse approved. He took a long and hot shower. Got re-dressed. And with this bum shoulder, it is not an easy thing. 5 minutes later, the nurse came in to take his blood pressure. We told her that he had just had a hot shower, asking if she could wait about 20 minutes. No. She took it. Yes, it was higher than they wanted. Around 175/85.
She came back in an hour and re-took it. It had dropped to 150/79. Still a little high on top - but considering the amount of swelling still present, and Rick's stress level for the last 24 hours ...
An hour after the last reading, the night nurse came in to give Rick a shot in his IV. We asked what it was, nurse said it was for his high blood pressure. I asked what medication it was. A Beta-blocker. Rick and I both said "NO". A beta-blocker is NOT what a kidney patient needs! This night nurse started telling Rick that he would have to report Rick, and that the doctor would upgrade his status to more serious, and probably put him over into ICU. ???
*3 times the nurse came in with Lovenox shots. 3 times Rick refused them. 3 times she argued with him to take them - because he has "just had surgery and they help to reduce the risk of blood clots".
Now, he had surgery 3 WEEKS before this ... and we are very familiar with Lovenox - cause I had them for 28 days following my surgery. $2000 for a course of treatment (that his insurance would not cover because it was not related to the surgery, not prescribed by his surgeon). The kidney specialist at Mother Francis has already talked to Rick about the possibility of having to have surgery to put in a shunt if the lasix doesn't work. With taking Lovenox? No surgery allowed - too high a risk for bleeding.
When Rick refused to take the shots - the nurse became very indignant and tried to bully him. Didn't work. ???
*Because of me having had major cancer surgery a month ago, I am still sore, and my belly still hurts and swells. Rick asked if I could have a more comfortable chair than the hard chair available in the holding area. There was about 20 wheelchairs lined up in the hall, and a roll around desk chair behind some other equipment. We were told no - that I could either sit in the hard plastic one all night, or I could just go home. ???
*Rick has been on a renal diet since January. We are well aware of what he can and cannot have. Besides, they are giving him medication to lower the potassium in his blood counts.
Breakfast on Tuesday was French toast (ok), Bacon (ok), an orange slice (NO) and orange juice (NO). When I told them that he could not have oranges, the nurse became irate with us. ???
Lunch on Tuesday was a hamburger (ok - except for the tomatoes), a salad (ok - except for the tomatoes) and roasted new potatoes (NO). Again, when I told the nurse he could not have potatoes, it was round and round. I even called the office that puts the meals together - just to give them the info of Rick's diet. I was told that since I did not understand his diet that a dietitian would be up to counsel us. ???
*The only pain medication that Rick can safely take with his kidney disease is Tylenol with codeine. Which is what Dr. Devinney gave him after the shoulder surgery. Also what my oncologist gave me after my surgery. Both of our doctors prescribed the 10/325 Hydrocodone, with the instruction that rather than take 1 every 6 hours, break them in half and take 1/2 every 4. That way, we wouldn't be so sleepy, but the pain would be managed, and we could stay ahead of the pain. Works great by the way!
The hospital in Tyler would not allow Rick to take his own medications. Fine - as long as they are going to give him the same thing. Which is where the problem came in ...
They agreed on the blood pressure meds - Hydralazine.
They changed his diabetes meds to insulin. Fine - we understood that.
They allowed me to give him the parathyroid meds - guess they didn't want to pay the $400 for a script of it! LOL
They agreed on the stool softener that had been prescribed to help with the Hydrocodone.
They argued on the allergy medication. Even tho when Rick takes it, he very rarely throws up. He has a short gag reflex and if he ever gags twice, that's it. When he doesn't take his allergy meds - he will gag the next morning, because of the drainage. Nurse said that it was ok if he threw up (???), that they would just give him meds for the upset stomach and vomiting. ??? No. Rick and I both insisted strongly that he be allowed to take his allergy meds. They were approved by the doctor - so why the argument from the nurse???
And they refused to allow him the Hydrocodone (at first). Their doctor had prescribed morphine as the pain reliever. NOOOOOOOOO!!! Morphine does weird things to Rick! Not to mention it knocks him out - and how was he going to get up and go to the bathroom if he can't wake up? KWIM? ??? Rick and I went rounds and rounds with the nurses over this!!! Rick finally won :-). Hydrocodone was allowed - but not to be given by me. Fine. I only had 4 of the tablets with me anyway. And since we were taking the exact same thing - and the hospital was going to give him his, at least I would have some in case of pain, too.
*4 a.m. Wednesday - Nurse came in and demanded all of Rick's medications. ??? We were sound asleep when he came in. I had to get awake a little bit to even understand what he was saying, let alone to get his meds out of our suitcase. I gave him everything except the Hydrocodone - and they were mine. Oh, no. He demanded all of them! I asked him what if I was hurting? I wasn't the patient - so they wouldn't be administering medication to me??? He said I could keep them if I would just go home with them. ??? How can I go home? We are 70 miles from home, and I cannot drive due to the surgery??? When I finally got it all together, he took them and left. Said he was going to put them under lock in the pharmacy.
15 minutes later, he and 2 other nurses came back. Demanding the "rest of the meds"??? I gave them all to him. He said that no I didn't. He accused me of having some of the Hydrocodone in another bottle hidden away. ????? Said that was what I had told him. ????? I got so stressed out and upset just trying to explain that I didn't say that, and I didn't have any "hidden". Good grief. Rick finally took all he could take - and told them to go get what they had taken earlier, bring it back, take out the IV, and discharge him! We were going home!!! They argued. But Rick won! :-)
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here