When life throws you a curve ball

The last two weeks have been such a roller coaster. And let me tell you, in typical situations like this, I would have eaten myself into oblivion. I didn’t. And for that, I am beyond proud. And the fact that it’s winter, extremely cold, and I haven’t put on the extra 10 pounds I did last year is another reason I am proud of myself right now. For the most part, I have stayed on track. Although, I could have used some more time running outside or on the treadmill (did I just say that?) or spinning at the YMCA, but for right now, I am okay/at peace with the amount of exercise I am getting. It hasn’t completely vanished and for that, I guess I am grateful.

So, let’s back up just a tad to a couple of weeks ago:

On Friday, December 13 (I guess we should have known better), my dad went in for a “simple” surgery on a ruptured ligament in his left ankle. The next thing we know, the doctor says he is NOT doing surgery because my dad’s ankle/lower leg is infected and he wants the infection gone before he will do surgery.

Here’s a pic of my dad waiting in the surgery room before the doctor finally came in. My dad’s surgery was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and the doctor’s first visit to the room was around 12:30 p.m. Yes, FOUR hours after he was supposed to have surgery.

So, to make an extremely LONG story shorter, my dad was admitted to the hospital, where he stayed from December 13 until December 20. He was then transferred to a nursing home, Knute Nelson, where as of today, December 27, he remains. And to be honest, we don’t even know for how long. (Communication has NOT been the greatest because of the holidays and his doctors not being available.) And then, to top it all off, he had to be brought to the emergency room twice since he moved into the nursing home. On his very first night, he fell (unfortunately, we will never know the real story as to what happened) and I had to demand he be brought to the hospital to get checked out. He was also having some complications with his IV line (pick line) and a nurse called my mom at 5:20 in the morning to let her know he would be going to the ER, although she really didn’t know exactly what time he would be going. But apparently, she thought she would call a nearly 80-year-old woman, who is already stressed to the max because of everything that has happened, and wake her up at 5:20 a.m. on Christmas Day no less, to tell her her husband was going to the ER. It should never have happened that way and let me tell you, that poor nurse who called my mom got the wrath of me. There have been several times the “poor” nurses at Knute Nelson have had to deal with me. I’m guessing they don’t much care for me at all. But…I. Don’t. Care. I really wanted to move my dad to a different nursing home, but it never happened. He will remain at Knute Nelson…for now. (There is TONS I have left out, but I will not bore you all with any more detail. If you want more, feel free to check me out on Facebook, where I have been posting almost daily updates.)

If/when my dad eventually has his surgery on his foot, I will guarantee you, he will do his rehab time at the other nursing home in town, Ecumen Bethany Nursing Home. He will NOT be going back to Knute if I have my way. I will note that not all the nurses have been terrible. There have been a couple that have warmed over my heart.

WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN GOING ON?

Again, I am grateful, happy, elated, proud and so much more that I have not turned to food this time to deal with all the stress. Although I am guessing, my poor husband wishes I would have. I think I might have taken all my stress out on him. And for that, I sincerely am sorry.

Here is a look at what else has been happening in my world:

For fun, my husband and I took out medals from the last three years and hung them on the tree as our ornaments. We only did this as a joke because I saw something on Facebook. We did take them off and decorate the tree with our real ornaments, but I may just do this next year…for real! There is a total of 66 medals, some just participant medals, others actual “winning” medals for age group categories and such.

Yes, when I said it’s been cold, I wasn’t lying. IT HAS BEEN FRIGID!

But at least it’s somewhat pretty.

Well, maybe it isn’t ALL that pretty. I guess it was pretty cold this particular day I decided to go for a four mile run. I really didn’t think it was that cold, but apparently sweat mixed with cold temperatures makes for some frosty conditions. Kind of scary, huh?

With our first big race (just a half-marathon) coming up in May, I thought I better get my training scheduled figured out. So far, I have January planned out, but that’s all the further I got. I will take some time soon and finished the rest of my schedule.

So, that about wraps it up. OH, WAIT…besides all the stress and stuff going on with my dad, I have my own medical stuff happening. First off, my heartburn has nearly faded…thank GOD!, but I have still been dealing with my shoulder pain. Read my last blog post to see what’s been happening.

So far, I have had two MRI’s done and a few X-rays. The first MRI was on my shoulder and then I saw an orthopedic doctor who decided that I should have another MRI done on my neck. He thinks I might have some kind of pinched nerve or something going on so he wanted to see pics of my neck. I had that MRI, but apparently I didn’t stay still enough, so on New Year’s Eve day, I get to have another MRI, but this time, I get to be sedated. Oh, joy! Hopefully after that, the ortho doc can figure out what’s going on. Until then, I will continue to deal with a very painful shoulder, tingling and numb arm and a shoulder blade area that likes to tingle, as well.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and you all have a very Happy New Year! I will try and continue to keep you all posted on my dad and on me.

8 thoughts on “When life throws you a curve ball

  1. I will keep this short and sweet. I took great offense in your “article,” aside from being boring as all get out. You seem to take great pride in giving a facility a bad name based one your one isolated experience. You boast of your rudeness to the nursing staff who literally are just the messengers carrying out the orders of the physician. Fun fact, your rudeness will likely lead to apprehension of some staff to want to enter your father’s room at all. Your actions directly effect the care your father receives. Your shortness and rudeness towards the nurses will not get him better care. One can be assertive and ask pertinent questions without being a thorn. It sounds to me that you don’t understand healthcare at all and want to mastermind the healthcare team as evidenced by your term “pick line.” It’s picc line, an acronym for peripherally inserted central catheter.
    Have fun on your next run. There just went 5 minutes of my life I won’t get back.
    I would love to write more but again, minutes wasted I won’t get back.

  2. as a nurse who has worked in nursing homes, I’m disturbed by your comments regarding the nurse who called your mother at 5:20 in the morning. It is the requirement of ALL facilities to keep families informed of changes in patient/resident condition and I feel a great deal of empathy for the nurse who faced “your wrath”. Perhaps you should learn to channel and vent your frustration in a different manner, rather than taking it out on people who are just trying to do their jobs.

  3. Janice…
    You are absolutely correct. I don’t understand healthcare and its terms, but I do understand that I want the BEST healthcare for my dad, just like anyone else would. And I do feel I have to clarify just a little. First off, my “rudeness” compared to others is quite mild. I am actually a super soft, nice person and I usually don’t lash out at people. I did keep plenty of facts from my blog post because I really didn’t want to come across as a complainer or what have you. I really truly have tried to remain calm in all of this. And, I have actually been assertive and not necessarily rude. I say this because I have not called anyone names, nor have I yelled at anyone. Truly, I haven’t. I just know that I have probably come across as bitchy. I did actually apologize to one of the nurses and told her that I realize it is not her fault but that she was just the one who was there when a certain instance happened. After re-reading my blog post, I realized I came across as this crotchy, bitchy woman, but I can guarantee you, I am quite mild in comparison. I guess I should have re-read it before I posted it. And, one other thing, my sister, who happens to work in a nursing home in another town, was quite upset as well with the care our father was given and was also wanting him moved. If she lived in the area, I can almost guarantee with certainty, he would have been moved. She’s just a wee bit pushier than I am. I am sorry to have offended you. Thank you for your response, though. It is sincerely appreciated.

  4. P. Burwick…

    I apologize for offending you and that you were disturbed by my comments. And, I apologize for leaving out some of the detail of my dad’s stay at the nursing home. As I commented on the previous post above, I should have re-read my blog post because I realize now that I came across as a crotchety, bitchy woman and I truly am not. I have yet to actual yell at any of the nurses and I have yet to call any of them names or the likes of that kind of stuff. I have been on the receiving end of such criticism and know that it does not get you anywhere. I always feel bad if I have to put the “wrath” on someone and I can absolutely 100 percent guarantee you that my wrath is actually nothing. I just always feel like I am being a total 100 percent bitch. I have talked assertively and maybe a tad loud or stern, but I never actually yelled. And, I have apologized to the one nurse that I talked loudly to and she completely understood and said she would have done the same thing. You see, you are right, there are policies in place to notify family members and I understand that. After talking with the charge nurse after the incident, she told me that her nurse didn’t quite follow procedures and that she felt bad for doing so. I was told that that incident should have never happened the way it did. Yes, she was supposed to call the family to inform them, it’s just that she was supposed to call me first, not my mom. And, she was supposed to call us once she had spoken to the doctors and the transporting company. The whole incident should have never happened the way it did and we were actually apologized to for the way it happened. And like I told the other commenter, my sister, who works in a nursing home herself (too bad it’s nearly four hours away), said our father was not receiving the care he should of been and she wanted him moved as much as I did. I do sincerely apologizing for offending you. Thank you though, for your response, it is greatly appreciated.

  5. As one who has faced illness with elderly parents I completely feel your frustration. Not all nurses or aides are perfect. There are some that are better than others. You are entitled to your opinion and to voice it on your own blog. My husband made special arrangements for the staff to call him instead of his 80-year-old dad when there was a problem with his mom. Even then it was hit and miss with some calling Grandpa and upsetting him terribly. Employees can like it or not but these things do happen and emotions run high among those worried about their beloved parent. To even begin to threaten that care night be compromised because a family member speaks out is beyond belief and shockingly unprofessional.. But I am sure that does happen. Don’t let that stifle or threaten you into silence. Continue to be your dad’s champion. I appreciate the fact that there are several hundred people in the facility but it is only the one WE love that matters to us at the time.

  6. Thanks so much, Patty! I appreciate your post more than you know. It really does mean a lot. I know working in the healthcare field isn’t easy, but the ones working in it made the choice. They chose that profession. I will definitely continue to be an advocate for my dad. I have to be, he’s the only dad I got! Thanks again!

  7. Thanks for clarifying Celeste. I know it’s difficult when a loved one is ill. I hope all goes well for your Dad as he continues on his road to recovery.

  8. Celeste, First and foremost I am so sorry to hear of the health complications going on in both your and your father’s lives. When a loved one isn’t feeling 100%, it is so difficult to always treat everyone involved with the grace and compassion they deserve. I’m sure you are under a tremendous amount of stress, and under different circumstances you could and would look at the situation without such a critical eye. Right?
    I read your article three times and I’ve thought about it for many hours before responding. You sound like you are afraid, understandably so, and you only do have one father. It is hard to accept that nurses have multiple patients and I’m sure it is frustrating to you and your family if you don’t feel he is receiving the care he deserves 100% of the time.
    I’m sending positive thoughts your way, and I hope your father continues to feel better and better.
    I’m sorry that Janice finds your blog to be boring and a waste of time. That’s the double edged sword of publishing your thoughts and feelings, people will never agree with you 100% of the time. And sometimes when you feel at your most vulnerable, people like to kick you when you’re down.
    Take care, and I will always enjoy reading what you have to say.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss