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TAH - don't forget your fan! TAH - don't forget your fan!

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Unread 08-29-2004, 01:58 AM
don't forget your fan!

I'm back, and all is well. I had a TAH and partial tummy tuck on the 26th. I put a patch on the day before going in, but of course had some "flashing" anyway. I had DH bring me one of those small hand held fans & it was just the thing! My Dr. gave me prescriptions ahead of time, & I'm glad I had the pain meds with me. The care I received was minimal, and communication amongst staff was really poor. I'm so glad I spent time here gathering information ahead of time so I knew what was going on.

Things weren't too bad while I was on an IV, catheter, & pain drip, as all I needed from time to time was more ice & the occasional shot of antiinflammatory/antibiotic combo. I had surgery at 7 a.m., but had to remind someone by evening that I hadn't been up yet, and wasn't that supposed to be happening by then? Things started running down my leg within a few feet of the room, so that was far enough. After 3 trips to the pot, (alone) I finally started dumping the collection container and recording the amount on the board, as it was full & nobody had been in to check it (seeing a trend here?).

The next day I had to ask for my Synthroid & Wellbutrin (Dr. had ordered it ahead of time), & the catheter was removed about 3 hours after somebody said they were going to do it. I was left with a basin & what-not on a tray for a sponge bath & reached what I could. I continued walking myself around, recording pee & going out to the desk when I needed more ice (waiting for the first fart). Finally by 6:00, I could request a liquid meal & it took 45 minutes for jello, a popsicle, coffee & broth. By this time my IV hand was pretty swollen & I got the nurse to loosen the tape, which didn't help (there was some muttering about perhaps it being bad & having to do a new one).

The next shift came on and by 9:00 my ID band had been exceeded so I went to ask for help (I was one of 5 patients for my nurse). She hadn't been into introduce herself or put her name on the board, so I didn't know who I was looking for. Another woman said she'd tell her, but after a half hour I went out to the desk again to find out who I needed to see & she said nobody had told her. She decided the IV was bad and removed it, but said her supervisor would have to do another one. I should've jumped on that, but instead, said I could probably do without as long as I had oral pain meds.

It took till after 11:00 to get that organized & I was glad I had my own stash to use while waiting. This a.m. at 5:30 they started with vitals & I had to ask for pain meds. When I woke up around 8:00, I had to ask for my dailies again, & asked if they would bring the next pain meds when they were due. That nurse couldn't find when I got the last ones, so wasn't sure about giving me anymore (back to stash). The aide thought it would be a good idea for me to shower, but didn't know what I should do about the drain, binder & such while in. I managed to get that done & then buzzed for help to put the binder back on, as I can't manage it from my angle. The aide came back and was surprised I had showered. I told her I needed help with the binder and more pads, and I never saw her again till after lunch.

After laying in bed half dressed for 1/2 hour, I took the binder out to the desk to ask just what the problem was that as much as I was doing for myself, I couldn't get help with the few things I asked for. I ended up throwing a crying fit in front of a Dr. because nobody seemed to know what was going on or to care. I did finally get help dressing & my husband came in about the time I was laying there sobbing getting strapped in. He thought I was in pain rather than totally frustrated.

Every time I'd go walking or out to ask for ice, there were people at the nurse's station, and there were plenty of empty rooms, lights on and nobody responding. I could not get out of there fast enough once the Dr. came by! I'm so grateful I'm able enough to make it at home. I totally hate having to depend on someone else, and then to have a bunch that was so minimally responsive just blew me away. The housekeepers and one of the aides were very nice - one of the housekeepers confided that she didn't like working that floor for the same reason & had helped patients when the nursing staff ignored them. I will absolutely be contacting management!
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