Thursday, December 11, 2014

Short Medical Update re: Daughter's Leg of Woe

My sincere and lifelong belief in the excellence of medical care New York offers has been officially shattered. She was in the hospital 6 days and left in worse shape than she entered. We are now in Florida and tomorrow she will be having surgery not only to repair the original break but to correct the damage done by the previous medical team.

Details and updates will follow after this weekend.

In case you are wondering: my food sobriety is intact and I am taking care to take care of myself, too.

Thank you for the previous comments. I hope to answer the questions in my posts next week.



Vickie said...

Very glad you are in Florida with her. Everything will be easier. Write when you can.

Vickie said...

Can have a bad experience anywhere I suppose. My husband's brother was once saved by NY surgeon. (Brother lives in Denver). He was only one in the whole country willing to try (growth in spinal column). He has limitations but can ride a bike, drive, swim after many years of work. Has lived a very full life when he once thought there was little hope. I think that might have been as many as 16 years ago. He was extremely athletic prior to surgery, no extra weight, I think that helped. He was able to retrain even though his neck and arms and mobility are not the same. He swims with a snorkel because he can't turn his head to take a breath, uses hooks to help with buttons, etc.

It took me many month to recover one badly broken bone in my foot. This will be a slow process for your daughter, I suspect. I feel for her.

Karen said...

So, so glad you are remaining food sober and taking steps for yourself while you care for your family.

I salute you and am holding you and the fam in my thoughts often.

Onward and do share your experiences. I've always thought of being a patient care advocate for a future career- helping patients get the outcome they need, helping medical professionals hear, think, and communicate needs. I've been on both sides. (mis diagnoses, work in the health care, etc)

Vickie said...

Hope things went better today.

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie: Three hours in surgery - general anesthesia plus a nerve block for the right leg from mid thigh down. Screws connecting tib/fib and plate on fib plus repair to blown tendon. The cast is three times bigger than her leg. It is now 32 hours post surgery and she is alternating between agony and sleeping. She has to keep the leg higher than her nose at all times unless she is in the bathroom.

Vickie said...

I am picturing a rope system holding her leg up like one sees in the movies. . .

I hope they have her pain meds thru IV (not oral) so you do not get into vomiting/nausea cycle.

If they have not started them already, ask about Miralax, or the next thing is she will be constipated from anesthesia and pain meds.

I have them keep IV fluids going as long as possible which often requires talking. Sometimes the staff wants to take them out for whatever reason. Every extra bag you can get in her will help.

Going to the bathroom must be a major trip.

I had not thought about tendons, etc.

Did they find you something to sleep on? Hopefully she is in private room (if not, ask).

We use white noise box or fan in hospital room to help with hallway noise. It helps.

PJ Geek said...

nurse here...make sure she is taking pain meds as prescribed. So many people try to not take anything , so they 'won't get addicted'. Bone pain is the worst. When there is too much pain something might be wrong. Glad you are getting second opinions. There can always be problems at even the very 'best' of the best hospitals.

Vickie said...

Wondering how things are going? Hopefully a little more stable. Hopefully no infections. Two surgeries is tough.

Hope you have at least gotten a shower and have been able to sleep. If I would have been one more night at college town hospital I would have sent someone to buy an air mattress. Room was huge because it had been a double and was now a single. But no accommodations for family. They found me a recliner of sorts, but after two nights, it was tough on my back. And I would not leave her.

Vickie said...

Checking in, hoping things are better. At least she will be recouping somewhere she can get out with fresh air and sunshine (gray and rain here today).

Jane Cartelli said...

I am sorry I was not more exact. She was released from recovery after the 3 hour surgery directly into my care - no hospital stay, no IV drugs, no pulley system. While I was in recovery with her my husband was home building a ramp into the house and then when I got her home our fire department came and brought her into the house. My best friend is in the department and she insisted, saying that if Larry or I hurt our backs moving her who is going to take care of her AND us. She has a good point.

Jane Cartelli said...

Karen - thank you. I was very frustrated at the NYC hospital and in six days of requests NEVER got a visit from the patient advocate that is supposed to be assigned to each floor. It was a nightmare. I am fine being an advocate for my family member because I will do what needs to be done and to hell with what anyone thinks of me but I could not maintain that level of passion for advocating if I did not have a personal relationship with the patient.

Jane Cartelli said...

PJ Geek: I have total respect and appreciation for nurses and the amazing crap they have to deal with to do their jobs. I do not think I ever encountered that was not doing their job as best they could with the load given them and the orders doctors placed in their hands. Each and every mistake/poor decision/grievous error made in my daughter's care was at the hands of a doctor. (Off my soap box now).
She stayed on a 4 hr med cycle until she started sleeping through the night two nights ago. That is the only time she has missed any but she occasionally does wait an hour during the day just to test the level. She had only another 5 days of oxycodone and then she moves to Tylenol. She has an anti-nauseous med that she can take every 6 hours. She takes it twice a day only because she has felt fine.

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie: I finally got to wash my own hair after more than 7 days. That felt GREAT! I also kept my therapy appointment a day before surgery and then again today. My word for the rest of the month is self-care. It is my duty to work it in with Lauren's care. Happily my youngest has stepped up to help with her sister so I can attend meetings and even work tomorrow.

I do not know what will happen with her apartment down the line. For the next 12 weeks she is with us in Florida and after that it is up to her physical therapy and recovery.

Her job is letting her work from home and I will be writing more about that in my next post.

Vickie said...

Sounds like everything is going well, better than I pictured. Great you were able to bring her home. Everything is so much easier at home.

I blinked a little at the fire department, but that was really smart of your friend. Last thing any of you needs is more injuries.

So glad you posted, was wondering.

bbubblyb said...

You're a wonderful mom jane. So very sorry your daughter is going through all this. I know it will be a long recovery but I'm sure shes so grateful for her family. Glad to hear you're taking care of yourself. Sending your daughter pain free wishes.

Vickie said...

Tomorrow marks one week post surgery???

Settled into a routine?

Eligible for home health care? Visiting PT or OT or the like so you do not have to deal with transportation?

I am assuming she can't put any weight on it nor get it wet, so everything is complicated?

Jane Cartelli said...

Vickie: No weight on it for 8 weeks. Cannot get it wet. Going back to DR in one week for post op visit to include cast revision now that swelling is subsided. I can deal with transportation and will get a handicap access parking emblem for three months to be used when she is in the car. Physical therapy is in the near future. I do not know yet how much will be at home or at facilities.

How are you doing? How are the daughters? Is everyone getting well?

Vickie said...

Youngest is fine now that finals are over. Chest pain seems to be combination of cold weather and stress. Did not appear with spring finals. Second year with winter finals.

Middle, if you did not know, appears healthy. Not quite same energy or strength, but doing well on outside. Hopefully meds kick in for insides.