4.09.2010

Please Shoot Me NOW

It has been a little over 2 weeks since mom had her total knee replacement (tkr) surgery. The knee seems to be healing fine. She is able to walk ok, well with a huge amount of pain but other than that ok. She has other health problems so we knew the recovery time would be a bit longer than most. She also has COPD . So unfortunately she also has to wear oxygen 24/7. The past year had been tough because of all of the pain she had been in with her knee, so we were really hoping, wishing, praying that once she got her knee fixed her breathing would ease up a bit. She wouldn’t be in so much pain and it wouldn’t be such an extra stress.



So the last 2 days (today (4/9) being day 3) she has been having an EXTREMELY difficult time breathing. She is ok while she is still but as soon as she starts to move, she can’t catch her breath. She is exhausted and gasping for air. The thoughts of my father flashed before my eyes. I remembered how he struggled for his breaths, at times even when he was not moving. I thought to myself this is not supposed to be happening. Mom is supposed to be getting better. She is not supposed to be suffering from this now. I called to see if I could get her in to see her pulmonary doctor, well he is out of the office until her scheduled appt (15th), so I tried her primary care physician, guess what, he is out of the office too. I am not doing very well here. I figure here physical therapist is suppose to come by today (4/8) and I am hoping that she will take a listen and hopefully I am just making it out to be worse than what it is. She sounds very congested and I just want to make sure she doesn’t end up with an infection or pneumonia or bronchitis, especially with her having just had the surgery and all.


So Nancy (PT) arrives and I tell her how she has been doing. Nancy does exercises with her and when she is done she comes to see me as usual. She asks me why have I let this go on for so long? This is day 2 of her breathing problems. I was floored. She said I should get her in to see her M.D. right away. I explained to her that I had tried and was not successful. So she then tells me that if something does happen to please remember to call 911.


PLEASE SHOOT ME RIGHT NOW!!

Could she have made me feel any worse? Can I just say she did a damn good job whether she was trying or not.


This morning mom had her appointment with her orthopedic. The staples were to be removed. They were and her knee looks really good. I have pictures that I will show on another post. So he asks if we have seen her primary care doctor. I explain to him that I was unable to get an appointment with her pulmonary or primary care doctor. He asks why I haven’t taken her to Urgent Care. I explain to him that Urgent Care (Kaiser) is no longer a walk-in facility; you need an appointment and I was hoping that since we were here to see you, that maybe you would check her out and see what you could do if anything. He proceeded to tell me that he is NOT a medical doctor but an orthopedic SURGEON. He also told me that he doesn’t know where I got my information from but that it was WRONG. Urgent care is open and is a WALK-IN facility. He then says, I thought you were a good care-taker, what happened? You need to take her to the walk in clinic right now and get this taken care. I thought you of all people would understand how serious this is.


PLEASE SHOOT ME RIGHT NOW!!


He says he will have his nurse call the walk in clinic and call ahead for us to be able to come over right now if that is what we want. Guess what??? You CAN’T do that. You can only make SAME DAY APPOINTMENTS. There is no WALK IN clinic so to speak. Well, if you want to wait till 5:30 pm there is. Ok... so at least I didn’t have that messed up.


So on our way home, I called our local office (SCV) to see if there was something that could be done. They were able to do a same day appointment with a Dr. Azimi. We went right over there. They took us and started to check her out. Her oxygen saturation levels were at 82%!! Even though she is on oxygen she is normally around 96%. Needless to say they were a bit worried. They started working on her like crazy and then Dr. Azimi decided they were going to call an ambulance to transport her to the Kaiser Panorama Hospital. Mom is all “I am not going to the Hospital”. God love her. I get she doesn’t like the hospital. I get that every time she goes in she is in longer than what is expected. However, she needs to go in this time. Then as they are doing more tests, the Dr. decides they are calling 911 as she feels they can’t wait for the Kaiser ambulance to get here and transport to the valley. She wants her in the hospital (even though it will be an out of network hospital as that is the closest one) now. The Doctor then tells me that if this ever happens again don’t wait like I did this time and call 911 right away!!

PLEASE SHOOT ME RIGHT NOW!!


The EMT, Paramedics, Firemen arrive. So they start asking all of the usual questions. I just about know them by heart (sad but true). They asked how long this had been going on, what meds is she on, blah blah blah. Then not to leave them out… they had to ask me why did I let this go on for 3 days? What was I trying to do? I am a smart ass at heart. However by this time I was pretty well beat up. I was pretty convinced that they were/are all right… I obviously haven’t been taking good care of mom. So even though I thought of several smart ass come backs, I barely managed a smile and said not one fucking word.


They took her to the ER. I climbed in my car and for the first time ever I did NOT follow her to ER. I went home. I sobbed the entire way home. I have had 4 healthcare professionals tell me in less than a 24 hour time period that basically I have NOT been a good care taker. This kills me in ways no one will ever understand or get.


PLEASE SHOOT ME RIGHT NOW!!

5 comments:

  1. Hang in there Tammy. You were doing your best.

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  2. aww, hang in there.

    *hugs*

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  3. Oh. My. Gosh. I want to strangle that surgeon on your behalf. Ignore them. They don't know what you're going through. I watched my mom have meltdown after meltdown when she was taking care of my ailing grandma. Caretakers certainly earn rubies in their heavenly crowns!!

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  4. HEY TAM...YOU HAVE DONE EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO TAKE CARE OF UR MOM,THOSE ASSHOLES DONT KNOW YOU..I WISH ID BEEN THERE AND IF THEY HAD SAID THAT I WOULD HAD LAID THEM OUT WERE THEY STOOD..IM SURE THEY WILL DO EVERYTHING TO MAKE UR MOM BETTER BABE,JUST HAVE SOME FAITH AND JUST KEEP TRYING TO HAVE GOOD THOUGHTS ABOUT IT,,YOUR IN MY THOUGHTS AND I WILL PRAY FOR YOUR MOM SWEETS...XOXO.........PAUL

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  5. Hey cuz, don't worry about them, they're idiots spouting bullshit. You have been your moms caregivers for how long now? Obviously you have been there for her and know what you're doing.

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