How did Gram find herself moving into assisted living?
For that story, we will have to go back about 5 years. And it all starts with a small abdominal hernia that had reached a stage of discomfort for Gram. She simply could not deal with it any longer. They only reason she put it off so long, is she had done the mesh application before to the same area. Sadly, it had failed to do what it was intended to do and slipped out of place.
Please note this is a first hand account of the whole situation. Not hearsay, not second or third person. But, in fact me (Neall).
We made an appointment to see Dr. Philip Scott about performing the surgery to repair the hernia. It was a relatively normal appointment. But, Gram made it clear that there was no way that she would do it if they did another laparoscopy on her; she would just live with the hernia; rather than go through that nightmare again. Dr. Scott assured her and I that there would be no laparoscopy and that only one small incision would be made. An even better, she would be home in time for evening tea; since it was outpatient surgery.
A little over a week passes.
So the big day arrived. I took her to Memorial Hospital of York. Did the normal paperwork and had my phone number written ot the top of the chart. I went into the prep room to give her a kiss and hug and told her that I will see her in a few hours. She gave me a hug back and said the same to me. They wheeled her out of the room and off to finish prepping. I then left the hospital to go home. I was only a little over 4 miles away. Not the wait begins.
And I waited and waited. Hours and hours went by. I called Memorial Hospital of York and all they kept saying was she was still in surgery. I kept asking why. They would say nothing more. So at hour 8 of surgery, I was getting ready to go out the door. When they called and said she was out of surgery and it would be best if I came by tomorrow. Right. So off I went to see her. I discovered she was in ICU, unconscious. I found out she was in an induced coma. I was looking around for who to talk to. All I can say is for an ICU, it was very lacking in personnel. I did finally get someone’s attention, she appeared to be a nurse. I said whan the hell is going on with my grandmother. This was outpatient surgery. She paged Dr. Scott and he arrived relatively promptly. I looked at him not very happy. What is going on with Gram. Then he told me. There was complications. There was a few punctures to her bowel and intestines from the laparoscopy. I just looked at him. What are you talking about, you said one incision and home by evening tea. He then said that he changed his mind about what surgery he was going to do. And I reminded him that Gram forbade that surgery. He ignored me completely and said she is fighting infections right now and they inducted a coma. And we need to wait to see what will happen next.
Well, a week has now passed with Gram still in an induced coma and ICU. I went in to see her. And low and behold Dr. Scott was there. He said they need to go back in and physically see what is going on. I paused and took a deep breath. And looked him straight in the face. You punctured something else didn’t you. He was started to stumble over his words. I then asked who would be doing the surgery. He actually friggin smiled and said that he would be. And that there was no one else to do the surgery.
Well, they took her back into surgery. They found the other puncture that had been leaking out for over a week into her body. It was right where the small intestine meets the large intestine. Well, that surgery was another mess and over 8 hours long. They had to resuscitate her 5 times while in surgery and to this day, I could never get the records of that last surgery. They mysteriously vanished. But, she was back in ICU and still in an induced coma. Only this time on machines to breath and live. Not a pleasant sight at all. It was another almost full week until they decided it was time to see if she could breath on her own. And she was starting to. They woke her up. Oh my. She was heavily drugged and glad she could not recall what had happened. So another week passes. (three weeks now) She is still in ICU and I came to visit her and as I was rounding the corner I saw her drop to the floor with a nurse standing beside her. I ran over and a nurse stopped me. You cannot go in there she tell me. She has MRSA. And directs me to these gowns and gloves. I looked up at Gram and was getting even more annoyed, because she was crying from pain. Also, wondering why there were some nurses in the room without gowns and gloves and walking freely in and out. But, finally dressed I went in. First thing I asked is how does an ICU patient find herself on the floor. They said she need to walk. I agreed, but, you did read her chart. She has absolutely no feeling in her legs right now. I said get her into her bed and get out. I went to Gram and asked as many questions as I could think of about what happened. All she kept saying was that everything hurts so bad dear. I told her to rest and stood there for a while. Then I spotted something that made my blood boil. You see, Gram was a Jehovah Witness and has this no blood belief. Which I might add the hospital has known forever. But, there is was, a Label of Human Albumin. Bottle number 3 that I could tell from the trash can. I walked straight out to the nurses station. Saying a bit loudly, can I have the head nurse now please. She came over and I said could you get her chart please. Suprise. You didn’t even have to open it and right there on the top. in huge capital letters. NO BLOOD PRODUCTS. Then I pointed to the big bold letters and asked why is she receiving blood products. She said Dr. Scott ordered it. I said you can can find something else right now and get her off that. They did eventually. A few more days have passed. It is actually day 19 in ICU. She was looking worse and as pale as a ghost. It then dawned on me. I had not seen in her chart anything about nourishment. And I was right. Gram had not been given a single ounce of nourishment in 19 days. I brought this to there attention. Oddly, before I left there was a bag of the milky nutritious feeding through an IV. Day 26 ICU, so she has been on this milky bag of goodness for 7 day. She was actually getting some color back. What a surprise. After my normal visit that day with Gram. I was walking out and one of the Head Administrators stopped me. She was holding a bag of the nourishment, that Gram was using to feel better. She said to me in a very gruff tone, that Gram cannot stay on this much longer (as she was shaking the bag towards me). She also said it is a thousand dollars a bag. I said not batting an eye. Good thing she has some awesome medical and Tricare for life. And I walked away.
We are at the 30ish day mark. She has been out of ICU for a few days. Oh, did I mentioned they had dropped her another time in ICU. Which a nurse actually called me about. But, moving forward. She is in a private room now. And I am home, she calls me. She is having a full blown hallucination of being left outside in the hospital parking lot with hedgehogs trying to get into her bed. I went straight to the hospital. It is about 1or 1:30 AM. The wonderful nurse at the emergency room entrance was going to try and deny me access to see her. I pulled out my POA papers. And said you can walk me there right. She did, begrudgingly. First thing I did was stop at the nurses station and check to see what pills she was on. I gasped. I said do you see this list here of her allergies to medications. You are giving her three of them. She was like oh well, that was what the doctor ordered. I corrected her and told her no, she will not be giving these to her. And that it needs corrected immediately. Then I asked about her morphine and hallucinations. We also, discovered her dosage was extremely high for the Morphine. I later spoke to a Pharmacist friend of mine. If she had stayed on that high level much longer, her heart would have stopped.
Now there was some other incidents during her stay; another fall, more medication issues. But, I am going to round this up. After she left Memorial Hospital of York. She went to Manor Care – Kingston Court. Where the MRSA was continuing to be treated. Oh that was so gross on so many levels. But, worse for her because of the pain. But, That is when I discovered. Her memory had taken a huge hit. not the least of which was her mathematical skills. She used to be able to multiply, divide like a calculator strings of 9 plus digits in her head. She could barely remember Teacup, apple, book, car. She just could not repeat four items back. So that was one of the prelims if you will of her heading to assisted living. Perhaps if Dr. Scott and Memorial Hospital of York had done their job properly. Gram might have had more time. Who knows.
As a side note. Yes, we did try to pursue damages. We had several lawyers (jaws dropping at the list of things that happened) and saying they will represent us. And oddly, a couple weeks after, with no explanation. They simply said they could no longer represent us. Attorney after Attorney, this went on for two years. So Dr. Philip Scott and Memorial Hospital of York got away with harming a sweet little grandmother. Mind you, they got their money. Memorial Hospital of York was paid by Medicare alone $534, 000 dollars for her stay.
So if there a lesson here. I would say that be vigil and if you need an attorney. Get one that cannot be bought off.
Love You Gram