7/12/05 9:58 am
Gosh it has been so busy this past month, I haven't had a chance to get y'all caught up. It started just after my last e-mail to you. Aunt Jay came. That went pretty well, her coming and all. Just as soon as we got Aunt Jay settled, we had to take Mom to the ER.
On a Tuesday, Liz told me that she had a spot of blood in her Depends. She told the home health nurse, Sonia, and she said that sometimes older may "spot" and to let her know if it occurred again. Then on Wed, Liz called (I was at WalMart picking up a few groceries with Anna) and she had more blood. I told her we would be home in a few minutes. We got there and Liz didn't change the Depends yet and all of a sudden she had a lot of blood oozing out. We didn't know if it was vaginal blood or blood in her urine. We called the doctor and she said to take her to the ER. So, at 4pm on a Wed, we got to the local ER. We sat in the waiting room for 3.5 hours before she got back into a room (the ER was packed to say the least). Then it took about 3 more hours till they decided that she had blood in her urine and she had a bladder infection. So at 12:15am on Thursday, she got to a room. Anna and I got back home about 1 to 1:30am that night.
They put Mom on some heavy duty antibiotics and boy did she perk up! She looked 1000% better within 24 hours. I had a appointment set up for her with the GI doctor to get her feeding tube evaluated the next day. So I had to cancel that appt. and told the dr. that she was in the hospital and could he try to see her there. Dr. D and the GI dr. decided to totally remove the feeding tube!!!!! YEA!! We have tried to get this done for about a year, but they wouldn't do it. The tube had turned totally black and it just looked so yucky! So low and behold they took out the feeding tube and sent Mom home that Saturday (July 1). She is doing so well.
I left that Friday am to go on a camping trip we had planned (with 3 other couples) and left Anna in charge. We had told Mom that they were taking out the tube and she smiled. Anna said that as soon as they brought her back to the hospital room, Mom lowered her blanket and sheet, pulled up her hospital gown and looked to see if the tube was gone, then Anna said she just had a huge smile on her face. I bet she was glad to get that thing gone. The GI dr. found that she as a ulcer under where the feeding tube was placed. So she must have been in a bunch of pain with that tube pressing on the ulcer. The dr. said the tube rubbed the spot raw and the ulcer formed. She is on some medication for a month to try to make the ulcer go away. Since the tube has been gone for about 2 weeks, Mom has really gotten stronger and hasn't had any bowel type issues. That tube must have been just loaded with bacteria and they nurses had to flush it 4 times a day, so 4 times a day, she was getting bad stuff in her belly.
During this time, we also had another crisis. Liz decided that we weren't paying her enought and decided to quit and put in a weeks notice. So during this hospital stay we were interviewing nursing staff to fill her spot. After a very intensive week of emotional ups and downs, Liz decided she wanted to stay with us. However, I had found a replacement. A male nurse! He sounded great, Anna and I just felt he would be great with all the folks, was willing to do the work and drive from the Hobby airport area, and he sounded very good. So I told him he had the job, pending his references.
Well, had a problem there. None of his references came back favorable. So, we were in a quandry, did we hire someone who had bad references, but looked and sounded good (well really, no) or did we keep Liz and put of with all her fussing about pay. So a very lovely lady here at work gave me some great advice. She said we had to look at how Liz took care of the folks, did they like her, was she dependable? She also had been in our position, taking care of her Mom, and she said you don't have to like the nurse, the important thing is the quality of care. The answer to all those were yes. She has what we are calling "premadonna" issues where she wants to be the top dog, so to speak, and make more money then the rest of the ladies. We just can't pay any more then we are paying the ladies. There just isn't enough money to do that. So we decided to keep Liz, but we set some guidelines, with one being that she committed to stay working with us for at least 3 months.
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