Things can be going well and, then….”
Posted on June 30, 2017
Two days ago, Mom was scheduled to come home on Monday! Yesterday, when I talked to her on the phone, she had this deep chest cough.
I was going in for a visit this morning, and Dad wanted to go with me. Dave said he had just gone next door and found him sound asleep in his chair. Thinking that he might be awake, I checked on him a few minutes later. He was completely zonked, snoring.
He seemed really tired when I first saw him outside early this morning. I handed him the seeds he had requested, horticultural (October) beans, and told him I had left Mom a message and she hadn’t yet called me back. I wanted to make sure she’d be in her room when we chose to visit, told him I’d let him know what time we’d go to visit as soon as she called.
I gathered the cherry tomatoes and checked the half-runner green beans, which I will have to pick this afternoon. Then I went back inside and tried to call Mom again. No answer.
I got a voice mail alert on my phone and listened to the message. “This is Henrietta Haygood, the nurse practitioner at Woodcrest at The Blakeford. [I made up that name.] I wanted to let you know that there was a mistake made regarding Mrs. Blair’s PICC line, the IV tube that delivers the antibiotics. Someone looked at the date to pull the line and thought it said June 29 when, in reality, she will need the IV through July 29. So we sent her over to the hospital this morning about 9:30 to have that PICC line re-inserted. She isn’t back yet, but she will be back here before the day is over. And this was our mistake….” She said more and ended with, “If you have any questions, please give me a call. Or you can speak with Joy, the nurse on her floor today.”
I was quietly seething at my desk when Dave walked in. “Your dad says something’s wrong with the elevator.”
“Well, guess what? They pulled her tube/port thing that delivers her antibiotic for the infection in her knee. They thought it was supposed to stop June 29–instead of July 29, so they took her to the hospital at 9:30 to have that PICC line re-done.”
“And nobody called?”
“No, nobody called. And I’ve called Mom three times and she hasn’t called me back. Either she is feeling bad or she left her phone at the center. I am livid. I mean, I knew the date was July 29. Surely to God somebody there should have realized that.”
“Well, I told your dad to let one of us know when he wants to go back upstairs and we’ll go over to the apartment to make sure he gets back up on the lift. It must be that switch inside the elevator that’s not working right. You know, the switch you hold down.”
“So what good is it going to do for one of us to stand at the door of the lift in the apartment if he gets stuck?”
“Because the switch inside the apartment works. You can bring the lift back up with that switch.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything.
“Well, you better get dressed. You’re going somewhere in the next hour, whether it’s to the hospital or to Woodcrest. Which hospital did they take her to?”
“It better be St. Thomas.”
I called Henrietta [not her real name]. No, she wasn’t at her desk. She called back a few minutes later. We had a calm, if strained, conversation.
I learned that Henrietta had started Mom on a Z-pack for her “cold.” I did not ask if Mom is still coming home on Monday.