Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What would you do without me?

I'm not being egotistical, I really want to know HOW someone who hasn't had as much medical experience as me or who doesn't have a mother who is an RN handle major medical situations with lack of instructions???

I'm helping a friend after surgery. Issues so far:
  • Follow up with specialist (one was called into OR): We get told new patients can't be seen for a month, yet there is something that needs treated in a week. It gets resolved and appt. in a week.
  • Discharge instructions state if you have XYZ contact Dr. Green. XYZ occurs but no one knows who Dr. Green is, there is no phone number provided. I looked on hospital's website and no Dr. Green in that specialty. So we called the Dr. to whom we have an appointment with and are told...since you haven't been seen yet, you need to call whoever treated you in OR...HELLO, friend was unconscious in OR so we don't KNOW who was there!!!! Called mom and was told XYZ is normal don't worry. Also called PCP and got a new specialist.
  • No instructions regarding changing bandages, no how to, or how often. Luckily, I've been through this myself and I've watched how my mom cared for me, so I know what to do. I had to call and ask how often, I was asked "how often are you doing it now"...I replied "we haven't because we were waiting to call you".
  • No instructions as to bathing. Typically, instructions state either yes or no.
  • Sent home with binder that does not much for wearing it to reduce swelling.
Once after one of my own surgeries I had to find a medical supply vendor who took my insurance, even with the help of a nurse case manager it was difficult. I called every DME nearby, I refused to send my mom out searching any further than 10 miles. Finally, the nurse found a mail order vendor. But then the NURSE asked me, "wow, how would others be able to do this, elderly aren't as internet savvy as you are."

EXACTLY...what do other people do???

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