Weird week. Somehow I have free time on a Thursday afternoon to write this, which doesn’t seem possible, but here I am.
Crazy times. My father had surgery last Thursday—a pretty big surgery on his back/spine. I couldn’t tell you the name of it, but it had to do with disk compression, and they didn’t do a fusion, if that tells you anything. My mother is staying with me until he’s ready to go home.
He’s doing very well now, but I was really shocked at the poor communication and administration at Some Fancy Hospital in Boston. For me to be shocked is surprising in itself, because I’ve had so much exposure to such things in the, wow, 13 years (this week) since my son’s liver transplant at World Renowned Hospital with Giant Reputation in Boston. For my father, it started with lack of communication to the family about my father’s condition after the surgery. The surgeon called me at about 8 on Thursday night and told me it went fine and that my father was in Recovery and would be on the floor by midnight or so. The next morning, I called the nurses’ station on the floor my father was supposed to be on because I didn’t want to call his room and wake him; I was told he was awake, that the nurses were going in and out of his room. But I knew he wouldn’t be able to get to the phone, so rather than calling I told her to let him know we’d be there at around 10.
Since no family member had been with my father in Recovery or to greet him in his room, I felt it was imperative that we get to Boston as soon as possible. My brother was supposed to be at my house at 9 to go with my mother and me, and I was getting more frustrated by the minute as time ticked by and he wasn’t here. (He lives just 10 minutes from me.) When he finally showed up at 9:30, I greeted him snappishly, and he had the appropriate brotherly reaction, which involved the words “bitch” and “fuck you.” (Not really having any other criticism for him other than “You’re late,” I had to resort to, “Well fuck you, too.”)
In any case, I finally arrived at the hospital at around 10:45 (amazingly, not in the same car with my brother) to find that my father was still in Recovery. Nothing was seriously wrong, but geez, you think you might let the family know when an 80-year-old has to spend 12+ hours in Recovery rather than 2? You think the nurse might have known whether my father had been admitted to the floor yet? And then when we were at the hospital someone told my brother that my father would be on the floor in 15–20 minutes…without actually asking the nurse in Recovery when he would be up. (It was four hours later.)
If you’ll excuse me for slipping into the vernacular: totally fucked.
The chapter at Some Fancy Hospital in Boston ended thusly: My father had spent all day Friday, all day Saturday, and most of Sunday flat on his back due a tear that would have caused him to get a spinal headache. He was finally sitting up on Monday, had the drain and IV taken out, and stopped the PCA (patient-controlled analgesic—narcotic). Within minutes of getting him on his feet for the first time, they practically tossed him out the window. They decided he was ready for rehab, made the arrangements, and claimed he would be there by like 4:00—in time for his physical therapy. They instead got him there at 7:30 at night, a totally sucky time for an admission to this type of facility. He missed his physical therapy, they failed to send his medication list on the discharge order, and when they finally did supply his medication list, half of it was wrong. All but one of his meds were forgo-able, but that one was very important and they didn’t have it in the rehab facility. They had to order it from their pharmacy (about a half hour away) stat, and it would take a minimum of four hours for it to be delivered. (It arrived after midnight.) Unfuckinbelievable. That wasn’t the rehab’s fault—it was Some Fancy Hospital in Boston’s fault.
The rehab center has been wonderful, and my father is making remarkable progress. The staff is friendly and attentive, the place is clean, and things happen when they’re supposed to. What a difference between Rinky Dink Rehab Center and Some Fancy Hospital in Boston.
We have to hope that at least the surgeon at SFH was competent, which it appears he was, as my father is already noticing improvements in the problem that had left him all but crippled. It’s been an interesting time for the past week but—and this may surprise you—I have my limits as to what I’ll share. If it were just about me and what I was experiencing, you know it’d all be out there. But there is the little matter of the privacy of others, and I do have to respect that on occasion, especially as it concerns my parents.
Of course I’d sell them out if I were getting paid to write about them. Rest assured. Someday.
As far as the weekend goes, who knows what adventures it holds? A trip or two or three to Rinky Dink Rehab Center? Certainly. Baseball games? For sure, in farflung and dull places. Perhaps a little peace, some weeding, some witing, er, writing…a movie, most likely, with my friend Ron. Oh, and my son is forcing me to watch August Rush on Friday night, which I’m sure is a perfectly okay movie, but one I do not want to see. Whatever. My kids rule the roost—the mommy puppet will do what he wants.
A peaceful weekend to you…and thanks for reading. All two of you.
(Oh my God! She’s being flip!)