Monday, November 10, 2008

Frustrating, yet again...

So, the surgery team stops by & shakes my wife awake by grabbing her leg. She's irritated about this, but it doesn't particularly surprise me. She can be really, really difficult to wake up, and the less sleep she has, the deeper the sleep. Earlier that same evening, I called her name in a classroom-teacher voice four or five times before she woke up and came to help me with The Boy. It is more than possible that they called her name out and tapped her on the shoulder several times before resorting to more aggressive means.

Anyway, they told us that the drain bulb would be removed yesterday. Then, as per usual, they competely forgot about us for the rest of the day. In the early afternoon, my wife noticed that there was some leaking around the edges of the drain tube, so she had a surgical resident paged. The guy came, looked at it, and told us that that problem would be solved when the bulb was removed later in the day. When I arrived at 7:30, the drain was still in.

I flipped out in the direction of our nurse - not at him, because that's mean, but in his general direction - and told him to get a surgical team doctor down here or get me a solid reason why before I hunt one down myself... and I'm likely to be less polite about it if I have to do it. The surgeon was there within a half hour, which is - by far - the best response time of our stay in Philly. He told us that the bulb was still working, the leakage was a weird thing that had explanation or recurrance, and while the bulb was still working, the drain tube wouldn't be removed. Okay, I understand that.

My next question was: why did we have to find out by "accident" that The Boy had a CT scan scheduled for Tuesday - and that there was no way that he would be released before then? The doctor (this same guy) had let it slip out in conversation with my wife earlier in the afternoon. This procedure is standard and was scheduled at the same time as the surgery - but, nobody told us. Not that we expected The Boy to be coming home quickly (particularly considering the pain he was in as late as Friday night), but it would have made our lives a LOT easier at the beginning of our stay to know that it would at least last through Tuesday evening.

This seems to be standard operating procedure at CHoP: no communication, slow response time and vague, imprecise answers. It's frustrating as heck.

Interesting note: yes, my sister-in-law works at St. Barnabas in the accounting section. But, two to four times per day, a patient advocate comes in and asks us about our needs. At CHoP, we've been there for seven days now and never once spoken to a patient advocate - and this was after I sent that scathing e-mail to them earlier this month.

Be careful where you send your kids, folks. This place has a great reputation, for sure. And, there are some wonderfully talented doctors and nurses here. For the most part, we have seen laziness (our nurse Saturday afternoon came into our room twice in her 8 hour shift - the rest of the time she spent chatting and reading the internet at the nurses' station), sloppiness (the lack of attention to the NG tube), lack of communication and basic unprofessionalism and lack of consideration for the patients.


the mol said...

It's an ultrasound, not a CT, on Tuesday. Significant, because The Boy has proven that he can lie still for an ultrasound provided that he is being held by me. He had an ultrasound of his nuts, and if he can hold still for that, he's good for anything.

A CT would require sedation, which would require more fasting, and this would be right after getting him to eat. Wouldn't put it past them, but it's not happening.

Sarah R said...

I am SO frustrated for you and your family! I have never heard of such care at a hospital--and a children's hospital at that. I'm sorry, but they should have come in by now and talked to you guys.