Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SO - - Where Do I Begin?

The past couple of months have been really difficult!

Dad’s surgery Sept. 12th was supposed to be a one-day, one hour procedure, to repair the artery in his arm. It turned into a FOUR HOUR procedure with an overnight stay in the hospital.

It seems the artery had an aneurysm so large, it was swelling his arm to the size of a baseball. The main nerve in his arm was stretched across the top of the swelling, and was stretched so thin, it was in danger of snapping. The damage to the artery was so bad that they had to dissect the artery to remove the aneurysm, and then graft a vein in to replace the damaged area that was removed.


They then released Dad into our care, with NO home health care, and minimal instructions as to what to do when. Except to tell us that he could not move that arm for the next 3 days. Well, it was in a cast all the way up to his shoulder, so there was no danger of THAT happening.

But then the real fun began . . . they took the cast off, and fitted a plastic splint on his arm that he would have to wear for three weeks. They said he could not remove the splint, because if he moved his arm the wrong way, the graft could snap, and he could quite possibly bleed to death before we could get help for him.

(No stress THERE . . . )

Well, they did not fit the splint right, and it was causing him extreme pain. Also, the cast had rubbed an area of the back of his arm totally raw, and the splint was causing it to bleed profusely. The damn thing was WAY too tight!

After another night of Dad not being able to sleep due to the extreme pain, we took the splint off and put his arm in a sling. We then piled pillows against that arm so that he would not roll over on it and possibly cause some damage.

The next day wee called the office and explained the problem. They told us he had to wear it. Period.

Well, we understood that, but we told them it did not fit right. They told us he had to wear it. Period.

We tried to tell them about the raw area on the back of his arm, and that we were becoming afraid of infection. They told us he had to wear it. Period.
We asked if there was anywhere in our city we could go and get the splint adjusted, and they said “No one we would trust.”

WTF is the deal here? We are asking for help, and we are getting ATTITUDE. Well, now I’m pissed.

Dear Hubby took the splint off, got it in my big roaster filled with hot water, and adjusted it himself. He then loaded it with padding to cushion Dad’s arm better.

I took Dad to the Doctor’s office for a recheck, and inform the doctors of my displeasure with the attitude we had been receiving. They immediately got us in to their therapist who makes the splints (NOT the same one who made it the first time, fortunately!). I explained to her what had been happening, and told her in great, vivid detail what we had been told by the OTHER therapist. Well, she was totally shocked, and very apologetic. And, that they DID work with a Doctor’s office in our city, and the other person should have referred us there for assistance. She promised to get the splint to fit and fit RIGHT.

And, she did. And, she apologized profusely. She also promised to get to the bottom of the situation, find out who we talked to, and get someone’s attitude ADJUSTED. Bless that woman.

A couple of weeks later, we went back to the Doctor, and Dad was told that the splint could now come off, and he could start his therapy. He has been going to his sessions three times a week for three weeks now, and doing a series of exercises at home three times a day, and has made a LOT of progress. The three fingers on his right hand are still pretty numb, and he still can’t grip a pen to write, but yesterday, for the first time since September, he was able to grip a fork and eat with his right hand! YAY DAD!!!

I took him back to Springfield for his recheck yesterday, and the Doctor was very pleased at how well he is doing! He doesn’t need to go back to the Doctor for six weeks, and his therapy sessions are now cut down to two times a week.

Tomorrow afternoon after his therapy session, he is moving back home.

However, he does have therapy sessions next Tuesday and Thursday, and a couple of medical tests on Wednesday, so he is coming back Monday evening, and staying with us until Thursday. Then, he will probably go back home and stay there for good. He’s happy about that, and we are happy for him also, but darn it - - I’m gonna miss having the old guy underfoot!

So, this is a lot of what has kept me off of here so long. I have a LOT of things to blog about, and hope to get to them now that I have a little extra time.

It’s good to be back!