Good grief. This morning at 7 AM my Aunt Dawn, the one who just had gallbladder surgery, rang the nurse to go tinkle . . . got no answer . . . the “call” got more urgent . . . rang again and no answer . . . you can imagine the drill as she started “leaking” and panicked (she has always been prim). WELL, she decided to get out of bed herself and hobble to the bathroom. Bad idea. She fell out of bed on her head (!) and cracked her skull (!!). The nursing staff heard that and came running. Turns out she has a fractured skull all the way from the top of her head down to the back near the neck, which they felt was dangerous.
We didn’t know this, as no one called us. CareFlight brought her from Sherman down here to Medical Center of Plano, which is a neuro trauma center for this area (I did not know this!) My uncle is too fragile to come with her, so his son Jay went along (the one who was just “visiting”). My uncle could not remember the name of the hospital and just said, “Dallas somewhere.” Finally I called the Sherman hospital around 2 PM (la la, I had no idea) and they told me where my aunt had been taken, and around 3 PM I got my cousin Jay on the cell phone. He says she’s being kept awake for 24 hours because of the concussion, and that they’re watching but there’s no sign of any hematoma now, which is good. I told him to sit tight and we’d be down there to take him to an early dinner and to pay a brief visit. You can only go into critical care for fifteen minutes out of every hour, and only one visitor at a time, so we won’t stay long, because she wants to see him and make sure he’s there.
Definitely a scary thing. A revoltin’ development.
Take careful note: always have a family member with any hospitalized patient whenever the patient is awake. I’ve pushed my mother AND my mother-in-law back down on the bed when they were trying to get up and shouldn’t have been, and I’ve been available to get things in the room so the nurse didn’t have to be beeped, and so forth. It is always MUCH safer if you are there to make sure the wrong meds are not given, that too much medication doesn’t get given (I’ve seen this happen often–the second dose arrives right after the first, and groggy patients take it without complaining, and yes I know it’s supposed to be ON THE CHART but sometimes these things happen), and so forth. Hospitals used to NOT let you stay 24 hours with patients, but this has changed as staffing has changed. And as they’ve realized how much it calms down a patient to have husband/wife or child/sister there in the room, just to BE there.
Would you believe that my uncle and cousin have not called Jen, my cousin’s twin sister? They “didn’t want to upset her.” I explained testily that she has the right to know that her mother is in danger, and that they’d better give me the phone number or call her themselves. I swear, this family puts the crazy into dysfunctional! They’d better have called her. She’s in Ft. Worth, but she’ll want to know, if not come herself!
Seriously . . . crap!