Tuesday, July 21, 2015

tale of two surgeries

A little over two weeks ago my daddy was taken to the local ER and found to have a strangulated hernia with bowel involvement.  It was very painful and he actually ASKED to be taken.  When he finally made it into the OR two days later, it was discovered that an old hernia repair site had infected mesh down really deep.  He was closed up and sent to a SNF for evacuation of the wound.  That went on until Thursday of last week and the treatment nurse said it appeared to be clearing up.  When we saw the doctor he removed the apparatus and found that the site was still infected and quite um...gross down deep.  His take on the situation was that it was too deep for the tubing to reach so he just bandaged it and said it would have to be surgically repaired on Tuesday.  I called on Friday to see if all the t's were crossed and there were no arrangements made.  Ditto for Monday.  That's when I went apeshit good daughter and called the substitute PCP for a hospital admit to get the ball rolling.  His partner had given report before he left the country.

A direct admit involves bypassing the ER and all the duplication of services that are involved with that route which is a good fit for those with recent health issues.  He was put in a room on our favorite floor and moved promptly front and center when the closer room was vacated.  As of this morning, nobody knew anything about a surgery that was supposed to happen today.  I notified the office that if there wasn't some kind of plan by the end of the day we would be doctor shopping.  Then (miraculously) all doctors involved began  to communicate and I negotiated with my favorite to get it on the schedule in the morning.  Their plan was to put it on the end of today's schedule after the surgeon had been in the office all day.  *Not.  That would mean hours of OR and recovery with everybody sitting on pins and needles waiting to see how it went.  Mom has a new best friend who is an honest to goodness taxi driver for seven bucks one way and I'm her ride home. Daddy got to eat and will be NPO after midnight like everybody else pre-op.  I just could not handle the thought of remotely or even in person doing one.more.night in that hospital after being there day in and day out.  I'll let y'all know how things go.  Prayers are welcomed and appreciated.

Lord help those who don't know what's going on with their healthcare or have an advocate who does.  The biggest barrier to quality care is lack of communication.  Had we known on Thursday that surgery would be Wednesday everybody could make plans accordingly.  I mean, I work there...imagine what it would be like to not know when you needed to take off from your job to be present for a loved one's surgery.  It's insane and why Medicare reimbursement is now based on patient satisfaction.  There are so many places in the chain where the ball can be dropped and nobody catches it or even realizes the impact that it has on the patient and family.  I did, however, see the surly housekeeper almost smile for the first time today.  She puts her cards out and trolls the halls looking for cleaning ops on the primo floor. I'll probably get dooced for all this but I could care less right now.  I am, as they say,  past all that.



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