After care

The sore that had developed from my foot spasming in to the back of that cast was huge. It had become a fairly large wound, it was black, almost to the bone and it was now weeping onto my hospital bed but the pain continued and thus, so did my spasms, only increasing the size of the wound

The hospital couldn’t get my pain under control so they weren’t able to release me. They struggled with finding a pain reliever that would just make me comfortable and not sick.

My birthday was quickly approaching and I was stuck in the hospital, again but this time I was awake. Melissa, my younger sister didn’t want me to have to spend another birthday alone so the hospital brought her in a make-shift bed so she could be with me for my birthday.

However I wasn’t alone in the hospital room; there was an older woman in the bed next to me that just had back surgery and she was in a lot of pain. She continually moaned and would call the nurse for more pain medicine. My sister was so empathetic that the woman’s moans made her physically ill so in the wee hours of the morning she finally couldn’t take it anymore and she had to go home.

After twenty-one days they managed to control my pain so they were able to release me but they wouldn’t let me go home, because it was just my mom and I for most of the day alone in our house, if there were an emergency my mom would have no way to get me out of the house, because of the full leg cast so they would only release me to some kind of extended care facility and so the search began.

My parents didn’t have a lot of time to look for such a place but besides the obvious one, they must have kind staff,  there were only two criteria, #1 it must be clean and #2 it had to be close to home. They found the perfect place… or was it?

The place they found looked great, the caregivers seemed nice; they had a doctor that would come in about once a week and I had my own room with a bed close to the window. I had to take a medical transport van since I couldn’t bend my leg but I arrived safely in the early evening. All the paperwork for my admittance was being completed and I met a couple of my caregivers, they seemed nice enough. My older sister, Kim was hanging out with me while my parents finished tying up some last minute loose ends. At about 7:30 that night my parents came in and asked me what I had for dinner… Nothing. They went to ask why I wasn’t brought a meal. The reason was I was checking in during dinner time but they said that they would bring me a sandwich but after an hour and nothing, my dad just went and got me something to eat, so that was not a good start and this place was supposed to be the 5 star resort of care facilities. But we just figured it was just because of the circumstances and let it go. The next morning they brought me breakfast, which I think was cold so I barely ate it and but I just watched TV and napped for most of that day. My parents liked that there was going to be a doctor there in a few days because they didn’t like the way my heal was looking.  The next day they didn’t bring me lunch and same with the day after that. Later that day I took a nap and when I woke I had an  itchy arm and I mindlessly scratched it without looking but I noticed movement on my chest and looked down to see dozens of those little black Formica ants crawling on me. I was shocked, the ants were coming from the wall, they walked across the phone cord onto my bedrail and then onto me, fitting don’t you think.

The next morning the doctor was going to be there and my parents wanted him to look at my wound and maybe put me on antibiotics. The “doctor” comes in my room in the late morning, my parents tell him what happened and asked him to look at the wound, he looks at it looks at them and they say “what do you think”? Then he proceeds to tell them, “O I’m not a wound care doctor”.  Then he said that that facility doesn’t have a wound care doctor, my

Mom told them to cut off the cast then but of course they didn’t have a cast saw so my Parents with a lot of frustration said basically, “give me our meds and send Jennifer back to the hospital”. They said that they would need a doctor to sign for my meds because I had such powerful pain narcotics so my parents said fine, just send her back to the hospital and we will come back for them, hmm. When I got back to the hospital my parents made them cut off the leg cast and pull out all the other tubes. My mom questioned if that was the right thing to do; I wasn’t making her feel better about that decision because I threw up the entire way home

When I went into the hospital I was perfectly healthy and it was only supposed to be a three day ordeal but, while I was under the care of “health professionals”   I got a painful U.T.I , an infection not to mention the oozing ulcer on my heal.  But when they got every foreign tube out, it was like a miracle; everything cleared up and we quickly realized that it was the best decision for us; I had to go home to get back my health.

Later that same day my mom called up the facility to say she’d come pick up my pain meds now, they asked her to hang on when they came back to the phone they said, at first that they couldn’t find them, not acceptable! Then they said that they threw them in the trash, “to keep them safe and had forgotten and “accidently put them in the trash compactor and now they were gone”. again not acceptable, these were heavy narcotics that three different doctors had to sign off on. We were forced to file with the state board of drugs and the FDA but nothing really happened to them.

I was home and I was back to good health all we had to deal with now is

The wound on the back of my heal; we couldn’t imagine what a challenge that would become…

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2 thoughts on “After care

  1. joantav

    Jen, every time I think you are finally heading in the right direction, another setback happens. You are so strong…and so are your parents (who I saw today are celebrating their anniversary). What a family!!!

    Reply

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