Monday, March 3, 2008

Update on Friday's events

Our regular IV nurse told us on Thursday that she had Friday off. No big deal, home health would send over a replacement bright and early - or so we thought...

Ron had an appointment with our family doctor scheduled for 11:20 Friday morning. I purposely made it for the middle of the day so the IV nurse would have time to come and take care of the infusion. It takes about an hour and she's usually there by 9:30. That gives plenty of time in case she's running a bit late or something happens to make the appointment run long.

I left work at 10:30 to go pick him up and it takes about 20-25 minutes to get there. On the way home he called and said a nurse never showed up to do his morning IV. He had fallen asleep so had not noticed the time until the replacement nurse called to ask him what time he was usually scheduled. She was planning on heading over right then. He explained to her that he was leaving at any time for an appointment with the physician and would have me call her.

I was very upset. He has to have a minimum of 11 hours between doses of this medication. I knew the earliest we would get home from the doctor was 1:00 PM and the nurse would probably not arrive until the 1-1:30 time-frame. I called home health and explained how upset I was as I should have received a phone call at 8:00 when they opened to find out a good time. I knew that the nurse coming in the afternoon would put me up until very late at night doing the medication and that wasn't going to work out.

To make matters even worse, we didn't even get into a room to see the doctor until after 1:00. I called the nurse back (she felt very bad for the mix-up) and told her to go ahead and see her next patient and just come back to Ron when she was done. She said she didn't want to put us any farther behind and would wait on us.

She called again at 2:15 for an update but since I was in the process of getting Ron back in the car, it went to voice mail. Luckily, we passed her leaving our street as we were coming in and although we'd never met, she figured out it was us so she turned around. She was very sorry for the mix-up and said she was just the fill-in nurse and didn't even start work until 10:00 in the morning. She agreed that we should have been notified when the office opened but the culprit was our regular nurse, who neglected to put the time to be seen on the paperwork.

I was going to go back to work but with the stress of the long doctor's appointment and the nurse confusion, I missed lunch and ended up with a low blood sugar. By the time I got food into my system and felt like functioning again it was after 3:30 and going back to work would have been pointless. So I went to bed instead.

On the good side, our family doctor was pleased with how Ron looked. She had some blood drawn to see how things are going and did suggest that he medically retire at this point. I asked her if we could wait to see what the kidney specialist says before we make a final decision. If he's healthy enough overall that going to work and sitting in the scooter won't cause him any other issues, then I think he should try to work. Otherwise, he'll not get out and around because he'll be spending too much time in bed. That wouldn't be good for him either. But, if his kidneys are causing him health problems overall then he needs to stay home and retire. We'll deal with the financial aspects as they arise. The most important issue is Ron's health and well-being.

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