Message From Hell

Let’s say your son has been discharged from a major teaching hospital after four weeks in the ICU, and transferred to a convalescent hospital.   Let’s say you hate narratives that are written in the second person but that’s all you can handle.

Your son had been in the new place for 4 days. There, they have barely managed to turn him over in his bed once a day, never mind about physical therapy. He can’t put weight on his legs for several weeks.   His right clavicle is broken, meaning he can’t put much weight on his aright arm. He can’t sit or turn without help.

You break your hip in the middle of this but on day 4, you hear that he is doing poorly. He is trembling and disoriented. You think, SHIT, and your nephew takes you to the new place, where techs wander about yelling “Cuz!” or just lumber right past you.

In your son’s room, you see he is shaking and agitated. His stomach is so distended he looks 9 months pregnant. He can’t shit or pee. He is jerking his arms around and talking on imaginary telephones.

You go to ask for a doctor. A nurse comes and actually listens to you! It’s a miracle. Back in the room, your son starts to vomit. It is thick and dark, like blood. We all hope it’s the prune juice that his dad brought him on the previous night. You remember the withdrawal nightmare at the major teaching hospital. You ask the nice nurse to look at his records. Maybe they’ve suddenly taken him off lorazepam.

YES, she finds no lorazepam ordered for him. She give him 2 mg. His trembling subsides in intensity but continues. You hold his hand and he tries pulling off your fingers: He thinks they are some kind of cables.

The nurse calls the attending physician, a woman who saw him yesterday and asked, “Can you walk to the bathroom?” Haha, doctor, your patient cannot walk at all, try reading his records sometime.

After several hours, you get a ride home, in order to raise your swollen leg, aka Biggie. You leave instructions with his father, his uncle, his cousin and his aunt: Do not leave him alone tonight. Do not let them kill him! They promise to take turns staying in his room. A little while later, he pulls out his IV.

Back home, you make frantic phone-calls. Somebody somewhere must be able to help. This is America, we even have health insurance! A person in a good position to know these things suggests getting your son to an emergency room but first the people at the convalescent hospital have to call an ambulance.   As it turns out, they don’t want to call an ambulance.

In the morning, Allah willing, you will go back there and begin again. This is not about health reform, this is about WHAT THE FUCK! Any advice, send it.   Otherwise, keep your loved ones and yourself safe from harm, with all my sincerest blessings.

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34 Responses to Message From Hell

  1. dust says:

    I hate, I hate, I hate!!!!!!!!
    None of this is surprising, all hypocrites!
    Negligent, ignorant bastards.
    And I can’t help you!
    I can only love you…..

  2. Karla Koffee says:

    Can’t u show up the next time with a lawyer?
    Seriously, I don’t understand the American health care system, but as his mother shouldn’t you be able to get him transferred to another place?

    best wishes for you and your son, whish I could do more but pray for you!

  3. Sarah.p says:

    This nearly reduced me to tears of rage. I’m sort of speechless. Thank god your son has you to fight for him, but how appalling that you need to fight at all. Blessings to you all and curses on incompetent hospitals all over. Wish we could all do more than be furious. X x x x

  4. Terrible. I’m thinking of you, Sister Wolf.

  5. TobiLynne says:

    Seriously. Lawyer. Geez, Sister, I’m so sorry.

  6. Moda says:

    Fuck that’s terrible. Go in all guns blazing and the be the most annoying most demanding mum ever, they’ll hate you but they’ll fear you and oddly enough then you get better service. Get all your family to be bolshy too. Ask everyone’s name, write it down in front of them – tell them it’s in case you need the details for legal reasons. It works for me, I regularly have to be a total bitch in the doctor’s/hospital for my daughter. Once you’re out of the bad place then you can be nice. Once they know you’re a complainer they don’t really want to upset you. Go for it Sister Wolf they fuckin deserve it. I’m sending you major love and strength.

    Also, I agree about the lawyer. It can’t hurt.

  7. annemarie says:

    What’s the name of the place he is in? Name and shame! When all this gets better and Max is fine again (which he will be. HE WILL BE. I’m praying for you and for him) you have to sue these fuckers.

    It’s amazing that Americans think that the federal government could possibly do a worse job than this.

  8. honeypants says:

    My heart is breaking for you SW. I agree, be a bitch record every detail. How can the doctor be so unaware of Max’s condition that she asked him if he could walk?! Get him out of there and back where people give a shit, if there is such a place 🙁

  9. jools says:

    Fucking hellish nightmare! If you want to call an ambulance FUCK THAT NURSING HOME! Call an ambulance! Tell your doctor what is going on, tell every doctor you know, and see if they have suggestions. Take a meeting today with the head of the convalescent home and tell him what happened and that he needs to inform the ENTIRE staff of how your son was mistreated and exactly the kind of care he needs. Also, if there is any $$ you can hire a nurse or lvn or just someone there that you think has the skills (ask the nice nurse)- to be his advocate-and turn him and help him with whatever until he is better. Someone in your family needs to be there with every staff change (day/night) to know WHO his nurse is and make sure they know his medical history-unlike that dumb fuck of a doctor.
    Sister I live in L.A., email me if you need me to drive you -sit with him-raise hell whatever- I mean it. xx

  10. Ann says:

    Tears of rage are flowing down my face at this. What the FUCK is wrong with people? That doctor should be drawn and quartered. Jools offers excellent advice. The only advice I have to give is neither feasible nor legal.

    My love and my hope and my wishes and my energy go to you and Max. I can’t even joke about Biggie. I’m way too fucking outraged.

    And AMEN to annemarie – it is UNTHINKABLE that Americans think that the federal government could possibly do a worse job than this.

  11. Soraya says:

    WTF?!?! This shit just pisses me off. Get your son out of there, fuck what they say!

    If they are refusing to call an ambulance, you then call 911. By law if the hospital is not giving appropriate level of care then you have the right as the parent to request a transfer for your son.

    Call your insurance company and tell them what is going on and what you are going to do/are doing, then call a lawyer and here is the number for the California Hospital Association at 800.494.2001, they will also be able to help you with your rights as a patient/parent of a patient and give you more information.

    Get names of everyone you speak to (or have someone do it), the amount of times you spoke to them, what you ask from them or spoke to them about and their response. Once they see you write that shit down and they know you are getting a lawyer involved they will start to act right. Keep on top of his chart and drive them crazy with questions.

    My prayers are with you guys. Everything will work out and he will get better.

  12. Soraya says:

    PS: Email me if you have any question, need help (I am not in California but I have access to a wealth of information and can make calls for you if you cannot) I used to work in the healthcare system and got out because of shit like this. Also, sorry about any misspellings/grammer too mad to care.

  13. K-Line says:

    Lord this is a misery. I don’t know what to say. You have had way more than your share of hard times lately and I’m so worried for you all. Nonetheless, I know that everyone is rooting for you – giving sincere thoughts and love and prayers. You will get through this and it will all work out. I’m confident.

  14. Deni says:

    Call the ambulance. Don’t be afraid of anyone or anything when it comes to your son! Call, scream, yell, take names, call the newspapers, call everyone you know to come support you. Make and take a stand if you feel they are not addressing the needs of your son, even if it’s at the top of your lungs. Let me know what I can do and I’ll do it! Get him back to emerg, they can’t deny you (I should know I’ve been there so many times . . . they have to monitor him for at least a few hours and do tests while in emerg: INSIST). Be the mother Wolf you are meant to be and be more ferocious since you are a wounded mother Wolf. Go full blazes!
    Hearts and prayers are with you!

  15. Alicia says:

    FUCK THAT! Go there and call the ambulance yourself. Tell them to bill the convalescent home. Tell the ambulance to take your son to Cedars Siani.

    Don’t curse the staff out. That will only make it worse for you son when you guys aren’t there monitoring things going on.

  16. Winter Bird says:

    I am so sorry you are going through all of this, but I agree that you should get Max out of there ASAP. After he is relocated and stable, call the attorney generals office in your state and file a formal grievance.
    I will say some Novena’s for all of you!

  17. Bevitron says:

    Yes, indeed, that IS from Hell — I’ve visited a different room in that same wing of Hell, only I didn’t have the wildly frustrating handicap of dealing with a recently broken hip. It sounds like everything everybody says is good advice, and I don’t know anything about anything, but I do like the lawyer idea. Is it possible to hire private duty nurses or sitters to be with him (sorry if that’s ludicrous – like I said, I’m ignorant regarding) to help keep him turned, cleaned, comfortable? In a world that made sense that wouldn’t be necessary, but…

    The squeaky wheel does get the grease and the squeaking tactic that worked best for me was to become, well, like a robot, programmed for one thing only – to seek good patient care. Workers in those places are so desensitized from dealing with anguished, exasperated relatives that they tend to hear real concern about genuinely lousy care as just more background racket. I’m wishing you the strength to deal with all that shit and your son the strength to heal up (you, too). As previously stated – point things out, question everything, take notes, demand explanations, get up in faces, seek alternatives.

  18. Kelly says:

    I am not far away. I will show up with my sword, shield, and ass-kicking abilities whenever and wherever needed. Feel free to call.

  19. WendyB says:

    Hospitals in general are hell. I believe the only way to come it alive is to have loving parents/relatives like you who can advocate for the patient. Your son is lucky to have a great family.

    Separately, give my love to Biggie.

  20. jen says:

    I second Soraya. I’m a mom of three (all babies/kids still) and that is the advice I’d follow. I’d go all momma bear on their asses, or if you can’t be there, hopefully you know someone you can trust that will.

    Similar thing happened to my grandmother. Her room was right. outside. the effing. nurses’ station and she was crying for ‘mommy’ when we showed up. You know what someone should never see? Their grandmother crying for mommy. Inexcusable, incompetent, bullshit.

  21. Dollybird says:

    Sweet Jesus, so sorry to read this latest post, I agree sometimes you have to bear down on the fuckers with rath to get proper care, sometimes you just have to go to the top, sometimes you need to ring 911 and get him out of there.
    You will know what is the right thing to do tomorrow but don’t be afraid to follow your gut instinct and tell your family the same.
    Love and prayers

  22. omggmab says:

    My first piece of advice is to ask your son’s primary care physician in what rehab facility would s(he) place their own mother or child. Then ask the doctor to arrange moving your son to that facility.

    Second, remember that you have the right to be on top of your son’s medical conditions and treatment modalities. In this situation you must be a wolf not the passive sheep they expect of you. Be certain you know as much as possible; leave no medical person unfettered by your inquiries!

    Your situation is heartwrenching, but one that I see frequently. The primary perpetrators of this absolute failure to provide adequate medical care in a humanitarian fashion are insurance companies. Imagine how much shittier things would be for an uninsured person.

    We are enduring “the cuckoo’s nest” – Nurse Ratchetts abound!
    And who says no reforms are necessary?
    It is an awful quagmire in which you find your family. I sincerely wish you good karma in the days ahead.

  23. Juri says:

    I’m not much of an expert on hospitals. In my youth I would either go there to have my numerous head injuries nursed or to steal drugs. After growing up I’ve tried to stay out of those places.
    That’s why I’d better not give any advice here.
    However, I do hope you don’t forget to rest and take care of yourself. Sleep, drink water,walk and have your bowel movements, please.
    Both you and your son are in my thoughts and what some might refer to as ‘prayers’.

  24. Oh my this is dreadful. I’m so sorry. I can’t believe the level of inhumanity.
    All I can offer is hope and my thoughts of love and care.

  25. geri says:

    Thanks for the perspective! Made me realize i have little to be angry myself about.

  26. arline says:

    Makes me cry for you. I am so sorry. I loathe hospitals!

  27. Constance says:

    I’m disgusted with your situation. There is nothing worse than a feeling of impotence specially when are loved ones are concerned.

    Best wishes

  28. Aja says:

    I know you probably feel helpless and sad. It is very difficult. Just remember your son is young and resilient. He will heal, just stay close to him and keep both your spirits high.

  29. IzzyMom says:

    Please send a link of this post to your congressman, senators, local papers and anyone else you can think of. It’s appalling that things like this happen in a supposedly civilized country.

  30. alittlelux says:

    it is incredibly frustrating to read this and feel so helpless. i’m so sorry. if you need anything call me please.

  31. home girl says:

    unimaginable horror, living hell, am sending all my love and hope for major improvements super pronto in all areas xx

  32. Susan says:

    First, I’m outraged at the lack of care at that facility for Max. And next, I’m concerned for you, my dear Sister. Your heart must be aching to get him well.

    Whether you get an atty or not, be sure to document the details and tell them and/or let them see what you’re doing. It’s a damn shame we have to threaten a lawsuit b4 we can get decent health care that we already pay out the ass for.

    You know what to do. You have many choices. If you DIDN’T have health care, your choices would be extremely limited.

    I hope by now that Max’s caretakers have their collective shit together and that he is healing swiftly and soon will be back to writing songs and playing guitar.

    Love & Blessings to all–

  33. Holy shit, this is horrifying, what terrifying incompetence. Listen, my mom is in town tomorrow and I’m finally home from work just waiting for baby. We can make some phone calls for you, I have an aunt who is hell on wheels on hospitals in CA, although she’s in N. Cal she may have a clue as to good convalescent hospitals in LA area. Am emailing you.

  34. Imelda Matt says:

    What the fuckity fuck…I might be a million miles away but I’m sending you all my love xxx

    ps I didn’t mean for those sentiments to sound like I was channeling Ms Diane Warren.

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