Mum’s health and mental state continued to fluctuate. She now had a major problem with her legs – they were leaking – Chronic Venous Insufficiency… Not only were they constantly wet and cold – it set off infection again in the leg.
The management of bandaging her legs was the responsibility of the registered nurses, ie. Laurel and Hardy – plus fortunately other nurses who were rostered on. They were meant to be changed every time they were wet – but of course so often I would arrive to find her legs soaking wet and she was freezing.
The day I ‘lost it’ in there was the day when I found her trying to fix her legs herself. I marched out with Mum – I was sobbing – why was no one looking after her – where was the nurse? Finally I found the Deputy Manager who assured me the nurse was coming straight away. I told them Mum was trying to fix them herself and it just wasn’t good enough.
They once again assured me it would be attended to – and it was – for a few days – until things started going downhill again… What was it like for the ones who had no family to constantly hassle the staff? I hate to think….
I noticed that Mum’s leg was red – I was concerned. It was the same one that had been infected previously. Stan’s sidekick Ollie was on duty and I asked him to look at it. He told me it was fine and didn’t need attention. I wasn’t convinced… Several days later I asked Emma to have a look. As an RN herself she would have a good idea.
It was late in the day and I was back at home. Emma rang me to say she was now at Emergency with Nanna – she had taken one look and was horrified. She had had an argument with Stan Laurel – she informed him she was taking her to the hospital and he said he wouldn’t allow it. She told him he’d have to stop her and took off with Nanna – out the door – leaving him yelling at her.
At the ED they agreed that it had been left way too long. They immediately started some IV antibiotics and sent a swab off for testing. It came back with our worst fears – golden staph – MRSA. The hospital arranged for Mum to be treated at the nursing home with a Nurse Practitioner – in Australia these nurses can treat many problems that a GP would treat.
We had no idea a nurse practitioner did the rounds of the nursing homes when required. What a great resource – but why did the nursing home never suggest it? Because they didn’t like ‘outsiders’. These ‘outsiders’ may report what is happening in the home. And that’s why they were reluctant to send patients to the hospital when they needed it. The hospital would criticise – or worse – report them for their lack of care. So I felt the mentality in the nursing home was – ignore the problem – and then we won’t be in trouble.
The following day when I visited the nursing home I was told that my daughter shouldn’t have ‘just taken her’….. What????? The concern from upper management was solely for their reputation. I was furious – I responded with how can I possibly trust the judgement of the nurses – well Laurel and Hardy who ran the show – when it was obvious they had no intention of even contacting her doctor!!!!
Ahhh – Dr Ego – where was he in all of this. Well, he would occasionally waltz in with his efficient nurse and waffle on about something – and to be fair if he didn’t receive a phone call from the home, he would assume all was okay.
The upper management looked very alarmed that the nurse practitioner was going to visit…. Hmmm – I wondered why… and then I met her – I finally had an ally – someone who would fight with me…
Enter – Super Nurse!!!
COMING UP – SUPER NURSE TO THE RESCUE!!
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