My wife Misty had her back surgery on November 30th at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She was supposed to have surgery one month earlier but decided to postpone due to death in family.
It turned into a nightmare than I expected – maybe I was expecting a lot less than I thought.
Her neurosurgeon doctor originally said it would take five to seven days before she can go home. The surgery itself took five hours long and it went very well. For some reason, the doctor was concerned about her because of lack of blood volume her body had, she was sent to ICU room for pain management and blood transfusion just for one night with her mother.
On Thursday, we finally moved upstairs on 8th floor next day. I agreed to stay overnight to keep her company and help whenever she need like drink or talk to nurse since she have hard time reading paper while she was on morphine. (Pain killer, antibiotics, etc.)
My sister in law agreed to stay overnight on Friday evening. I did stayed few hours during the day but spent all night with her rest of the week except last two days. My mother in law stayed during the day time so she can help communicate with nurses, doctors and another staffs.
It has become a concern because we didn’t want to leave our teenager girls and dogs alone at home too long. Misty understood and she had to deal herself alone overnight on her last day.
On 9th day, we were eagerly waiting for doctor’s decision to send her home or not. Due to difficult time with her bowel movements and left shoulder pain, she stayed longer than we expected. Social worker, therapist and doctor suggested her to move to next building for additional five days for more therapy – however after we had lengthily discussion with them, they agreed to sent her home. They will send someone to come over my house and help her with physical therapy and other things.
Other things… we did have interpreter from DAC of Dallas on 1st day but unfortunately, she wasn’t with us during pre-surgery preparation because she was in the wrong floor and one of the staff told her to wait / cannot see us because we were already inside pre-surgery room. It was rather a very disappointment.
After the surgery finished, our interpreter was able to stay and do her thing with Misty before she left at 4:00 PM. Lucky, a social worker who handle interpreter requests has an email address, I was able to get in touch with her and ask for interpreter again next day. Since it was a last minute, all they can get us is 3:00 to 5:00 PM. I am glad we get something out of it anyway. Social worker also brought us TTY in box – we laughed but said nothing. Of course, we did not use it at all. They don’t have any public Internet access anywhere – lucky I have my PDA with Bluetooth. I was able to get online with my laptop from time to time.
All those 9 days that I observed a lot of things going on in Misty’s room. As you realized that my father in law were staying at same hospital about one month ago before he died at home. My family is pretty familiar with that same hospital. I hate to say that but I’ve noticed many nurses are either lazy or not following doctor instruction in all shifts. Of course, most of the times, they did OK.
For example, our doctor instructed that Misty need to change her position every 2 hours to avoid bedsore and as well as leg massage pump – nurses or other assistance did not do it at all. Next day, doctor visited us again and he found out that nurses did not do it; he wasn’t too happy and instructed them again what need to be taken care of.
Hospital has a weird policy – Misty has few prescriptions that she has to take daily. Since she’s staying at hospital, she’s not allowed to take it. They will special order it for her everyday. Can you image how much it would cost our insurance for all small stuff including medicine?
With our insurance, they gave us portable potty chair, walker, shower chair and rental wheelchair. Apparently, our hospital has a contract with Walgreen and they delivered the goodies to us at Misty’s room before we went home. It’s very nice.
When we were leaving, they gave us few different prescription lists for home. We went straight to CVS store near my house to get those filled ASAP. Unfortunately, they can only fill out 4 out of 5 – one of them is for pain killer. They are out and it was really irritating me.
My mother in law quickly called another CVS store and found another store do have it in stock. At this point, I told 2nd CVS store that I had to come because another store ran out of this medicine and I already had to wait one and half hour for it. They said too bad, come back in an hour because they have too many people in line. Sigh… I did check Wal-mart pharmacy too see if they have it since nobody is in the line but they doesn’t have it in stock.
As of today, she’s managing okay – I know she’s very happy to be home again.
Grant W Laird, Jr.