Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Monday morning drama

First off, I slept 9 1/2 hours last night and it was awesome. Billy Jo said that I was smart to go home because there was a lot of in & out nurses and stuff throughout the night and I'd never get to sleep. Her nausea is under control and they're keeping up on the pain meds so it's a bit better too.

Now for the drama.

I brought Wrigley back with me. She walked in the room and immediately took position on the bed at Billy Jo's side, and laid down. Where she belongs. Then the parade of door knocks began, and so did the barking. One was a knock for someone looking for a nurse's aid. There's cameras in the rooms! Look on the monitors for her!

The final knock was a very angry staffmember knocking and then storming in with a scowl on her face.

Her: "Do you have the rabies certificate for that dog?!?" Me: "y-" Her: "Did you fill out the pet form we require?!?!" Me: "yes I did last n-" Her: "she can't be barking!!!" Me: "she only barks when people knock and this place has been grand centr-" Her: "we don't allow them on the bed!!" Me: "fine. I'll take her home"

At this point I'm like, WTF do you even allow them for? Furthermore, why don't you give your home nurses the paperwork you require? When we got here last night is when we discovered that a rabies certificate was needed and paperwork needed to be filled out, which stated no overnight pet stays. Who the hell carries rabies certificates around with them??!?? Well, this geek does. I scan EVERYTHING into Evernote. So I emailed them a pdf of it from my phone. Otherwise I would have to go straight back home.

Now this today. Billy Jo was sad...I was furious.

I walked to the nurse station and stated to her that in the future they may want to consider making sure the home nurses know the pet rules, and that they carry the two sheets of paper with them, so families know in advance. Had I known in advance, I wouldn't have brought her last night, that's for sure. She replied "that's not possible." Excuse me? Not possible? Two extra pieces of paper isn't possible? Hell, I had to sign as Power of Attorney that we understood this stay couldn't be permanent. The home nurses have folders upon folders of stuff. Two additional measly pieces of paper "isn't possible" ?

She further told me that there are other guests to be considerate around. I told her I understood, and asked why the piece of paper taped to Billy Jo's door said "please knock" and why it couldn't be removed. She said "it is a courtesy." I said, "To whom?!? The patient is asking that people just walk in - it'll stop the barking" to which she replied, "what if your wife is disrobing?" Now she's just being a troublesome bitch, plain and simple.

"First, she'd be doing that in the bathroom. Second, after 17 years of hospitals even the guy vacuuming the halls has seen her naked. She doesn't care."

What finally shut her up was me explaining that after two weeks in the hospital, when they told Billy Jo she was going to go home on hospice, that there was nothing more medically they could do for her, the first thing she said was "yay I get to see my puppy". "And now you have her in there crying, the person who you claim to want to be comfortable." She shut up and another woman assured me that's not the case and she would figure it all out and they don't want Billy Jo to be upset. I was very thankful for that woman.

Next thing you know a "do not knock" sign was placed on the door and what do you know - the barking stopped.

I waited for the doctor to come and then took Wrigley home. Our neighbor is letting Wrigley out this afternoon and I'll be going home to sleep again tonight, as I won't get much here.

Final word about the drama..the one person who had a problem with Wrigley, the one person unwilling to even listen to my concerns, unwilling to take suggestions, the one person determined to piss me off?  She's the director of the entire place. This entire organization and every staff member we've come in contact with has been wonderful... except for this one.

I'm partially glad this happened because I could vent some anger on somebody that deserved it... it took my mind off of things.

OK enough of that.

The doctor came and evaluated Billy Jo. It is undetermined at this time if the swelling is Ascites or if it's tumor growth. I'm leaning to Ascites because if a tumor grew that fast overnight it would have burst out of her gut like Alien by now. She does not want to do the draining procedure yet. She wants to try some diuretics first and see if that helps.

She also is going to take her off the fentanyl patches and the oral dilaudid and switch her to IV dilaudid through a CADD (Continuous Ambulatory Delivery Device) - it's basically a portable pain pump, delivering a constant dose along with the ability to self-deliver more every 10 minutes. This will allow me to not have to wake myself and her up every two hours for pain meds. The only pain med orally now will be the methadone, once every six hours. She must be here for 24 hours so the right dosage for the CADD can be determined, and then we should be back home tomorrow afternoon, unless something changes.

Her nausea is better and they're working on the pain. The CADD was put in a little over an hour ago. Her abdomen remains very very swollen.

Billy Jo is about to nap, and so am I.

Here's a shot of the awful barking monster this morning, after the "please knock" sign was taken down.