Monday, November 23, 2009

On The Right Track

I think that we are finally on the right track! Ethan's CRP this morning went back down to 8 and his WBC's are still looking good. He still has not had any fevers and "the lump" is finally starting to get smaller (it's still bigger than when we were discharged to come home, but hey, progress is progress). His electrolytes are a little off. His potassium was 4.9 so we will decrease his Aldactone (that's the diuretic that spares potassium) to just twice a day. Also, his sodium was low at 2.1 so they said to have him eat some potato chips or other salty foods.

We weren't able to draw his Vancomycin level this morning because when I went to hook him up to his IV at midnight, his PICC line had clotted off. I have to say that having that happen was just not what I needed. Especially since the morning labs depended on me giving that medication on time (not to mention that they couldn't draw labs through it if it was clotted off).

Well, I was already in a bad mood when I called the on-call home health nurse. But when she told me that that there was nothing she could do about it, and then proceeded to tell me that "It wouldn't be the end of the world" if he missed a dose of his antibiotic (or had to get poked for his labs in the morning), well that was not what I needed to hear. Seriously, can you say FURIOUS! I was honesetly livid at this point. It could of been since I was tired and just wanted to be asleep, but honestly, this nurse was absolutely zero help and just kept giving me excuses as to why she couldn't help me when I would press further and ask questions on what the next step would be. She finally just told me to wait until the day nurse came and that she could take care of it (which by the way, she would not have had what she needed to help me since this nurse wasn't going to call her to let her know of the problem beforehand). Although frustrated, I accepted her answer and went to bed.

So to make a long story short. I called our "normal" home health care nurse before she came to let her know that his line was clotted and that he needed TPA to get it opened. She made an extra trip to her office, got a doctor's order for the TPA, and then came down. Luckily, the TPA did the trick and busted up the clot. She was able to get most of the labs and I was able to give him his morning dose of his Vancomycin.

Needless to say, I called and complained to the manager this morning, because this could have (and should have) been done last night with my first phone call. I can't stand to be left hanging, especially if it is your job to help me.

So, the plan now is to go to his scheduled clinic appointment Wednesday morning. Home health will come prior to his appointment to draw his labs (and check his antibiotic level this time) so that they will have the results when we get there.

Overall, I am feeling much better about how things are progressing. I just hope that it will continue to move in the right direction. As far as Ethan goes, he is also beginning to act more like himself (which means that he is unfortunately putting up more of a fuss with wearing his oxygen), but hey, feisty is good.

As always, thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. And to Liz and Todd, we got your care package today in the mail and the kids LOVE it (and I love the M & M's). You know our family well. Thank you SO much!

---Allison

7 comments:

Zaltana said...

It is so good to hear that Ethan is doing better! Also, way to go about making the complaint about that nurse! I fully agree. If your job is to help - then HELP! Don't complain about it!
Glad to hear that you all finally got what you needed.

Anyway - we love you guys - you are always in our prayers!!
~Wendy~

Tiffany said...

You are a good lady...I probably would have yelled or said something I'd later regret in my moment of frustration. You handled it perfectly! Hopefully, the rest of your nurses will be more cooperative. Hang in there...you're awesome!

Cortney and DeAnn said...

Who is your home care nurse? Are you with Intermountain? I'm sorry they gave you crap. That stinks! I'm glad things are looking better!

cici said...

I sure understand the frustration. I think these nurses say there is nothiing they can do when they do not know what to do.
It is sad when you come across people that are so uncaring and ignorant. Unfortunately I have seen this one too many times. Especially with the care of my elderly Mother.
Always stand up for what you know is right and use Mothers intuition when it doubt. It's never failed me once.
So happy Ethan is back to his feisty self and things are improving.
You are doing a good job Mom, pat yourself on the back! ;)

Staci said...

Obviously the night nurse has a different idea of the "end of the world". She probably has never been close to losing a child or else she never would have made such an ignorant comment. I am glad you notified the home health agency, they need to know. I great news on the CRP and the incredible shrinking lump. I will keep you in my prayers.

Staci (angel Bridger's mom)

Ty and Ber said...

Oh boy. I would be furious too if I were you. What a joke. I am glad that things are going well despite that though.

Quinn and/or Lauralee said...

I'm glad things are looking up and that the lump is getting smaller. Sorry about the horrible night and the non-helpful nurse. I would have been very frustrated as well. Please let me know if you and your family need anything. Good luck with everything. You are amazing!