Thursday, April 1, 2010

"There trying to make me go to Rehab ,but I said NO, NO, NO"

Ok well not exactly, but that is what my mind was singing as the ambulance took me from Children's Hospital to the Rehab Hospital.  Dr M felt I wasn't in the condition to go home yet so he wanted me in a hospital setting where I also could get more Physical and Occupational Therapy for my transition home.  In the end it was the longest two weeks of my life.  I do understand in some ways it was needed, because I was in pretty rough shape, but unfortunately it just wasn't a good experience for many different reasons.  For this entry I think I will start w/ the good components and end w/ the bad and then put it in my past...closure baby!

I started the first few days w/ a roommate..a very sweet older woman who had ankle surgery (shout out to Barbara), but I think our age difference didn't make us ideal candidates as roommates, so after a few wild days together we each got our own room. My room that had a list of precautions a mile long, no walking on my own, no leaving my room, no going to the bathroom on my was like my own mini jail cell. Oh yeah I was suppose to start out w/ the

Below Picture of me and my room:
On right leg is my CPM machine to keep my hip joint open (was in that machine 8 hours a day for 2 weeks) On my left foot is a blue boot because spending all the time in bed gave me a bed sore on the heel of my "good" foot..  The 3 papers on the wall were my list of all the things I could NOT do. You can see how comfortable I was while I was "chillaxin".
Ok..for reals now... The Good:
1. Janet and Alan: The Dynamic Duo...My nursing team of Janet and Alan made 3:30-11:30 feel safe and bearable because they actually made me feel cared for (isn't that what everyone in this setting is suppose to do)  Thank You J and A for doing a great job w/ your job and for making me laugh during an unhappy time xo

2. Amanda my OT lady..was the only consistent person treating me while I was there which is always helpful. She was also the giver of Mrs Potato Head to match my Mr Potato Head gift (thanks Pete) which spawned the epic story of the Adventures of Mr and Mrs Potato Head...the story is on my personal FB page but hey you never know it may be a children's classic someday...keep and eye out for ;)

3. I got the Blood Transfusion I needed: If you want more of the "gory" you can see the post Blood Part 3 ;)

4.I have amazing people in my life who came  to the rehab hospital to keep me company, help me keep my mind off of pain, surprise me w/ non hospital food (which is a very special treat), brought me real coffee, held my hand when I needed it most, listen to me cry...Thank you Thank You Thank You

5. The chef after a few days realizing I couldn't eat the food they were giving me help me (after my dad spoke w/ them)  by providing me  w/ a daily gluten free (I have Celiac)/vegetarian menu..she even came and got my order personally every day.....ok that sounds a little high maintenance..but hey I wasn't going to turn it down ;) Thank You dad for helping me advocate my needs! XO

Ok now the parts that weren't as fabulous....

1. I was the youngest by 30 plus years there on my floor and because of that I was treated like I was a child...the nurse manager actually yelled at me on my 2nd to last day there at 3:30 in the afternoon for laughing to friend came by to congratulate me on breaking free and leaving the hospital after 3 WEEKS and I laughed, because my friend was trying to cheer me up w/ some St.Patrick's day gear and the Nurse manager was standing by my door and yelled at me to quite down while we were taking a I in grade school or am I in a hospital (a Hospital  that keeps me up ALL NIGHT w/ all sorts of loud noises) would think that she would have came in and said it is so nice to see you smiling after all you been through......

2. Ageism again... I was told by one of the nurses aids the reason it took over 25 minutes for someone to come and help me after I pushed my call button was that there are a lot of old people there and they have to tend to them first...what ..what....I didn't know there was a senority rule in the hospital...seriously....isn't the point of the call button is to be used if there is an emergency..especially someone like me who can not walk, is not allowed access to my crutches, and is on major pain meds that are causing major side effects.  Also the reason I pressed the call button was A. No one brought in my morning meds  B.No one brought me breakfast  C. I had to use the bathroom  D. I needed ice packs because the pain was very bad and I was way overdue for my forgotten pain meds.

3. I was told I would see a pain team when I arrived at the rehab hospital to get me off the morphine, because the morphine was making me very sick and it was causing me to be extremely dizzy and give me very blurry vision to the point I could read, or watch tv (the only forms of entertainment for me at the hospital were taken away from me because of the I did a lot of staring at a blurry ceiling) Plus blurry eyes and diziness do not equal safely walking w/ crutches.  I kept calling Children's Hospital for advice on my meds since I didn't seem to get any at the rehab place..I actually became my own Dr and decreased my morphine levels by request from the help of the people at CH....even on the lowest dose of morphine my side effects did not cease and I requested to see the pain team to every person who came into my room..including the nurse manager who PROMISED they would be in the day I spoke w/ her..which was a friday..they never showed so then I had to wait till Monday. On Monday my "doctor" at rehab..seriously I use that term loosely, because I only saw him 5 times during my 2 week stay (each time was roughly around 1 minute) ..the rest was either a covering Dr, a no-show, and even once a call- in by phone. So my Dr said I was to young for the pain team and I did not need them so he made the decision to not send them young for a pain team...first A. That does not make sense because #1. I am in pain I don't care how old or young I am  #2.I am on medicine that is making me sick and I have tons of allergies to meds so I can't just try anything and #3 I was promised that they were coming in every day that I was there...why were people promising something that I was to "young" for and was not allowed.  B. This is a hospital ..correct..why does my age factor into what kind of care I am my insurance company paying less money to you because I am younger so I am not allowed the same benefits..I don't think so.  C. At children's hospital and I had a pain team see me every day..and that was CHILDREN'S Hospital and trust me everyone is "young" there and I saw a pain team every day to deal w/ my medication. UGH!!!!!  To make an even longer story longer..just kidding..wrapping it the end through advocating for myself I got to meet on my 2nd to last day there a member of the pain team. Please remember that: no matter what.. you are the patient and you are paying for this treatment, and it is your right to get the proper care..and sometimes you need to fight for it!!

4. I was suppose to be there for PT/rehab and on 4 different days I did not receive any's like they just forgot about me.  I was in a rehab hospital ..right?????? I am not including my blood transfusion day either.

My sexy rehab hospital socks..LOL

The celebration of my last day that got me "yelled" at...due to this actual picture...shame on me for being happy!

Ambulance ride from Rehab to my 2 week Check-up..Another mishap..they booked the ambulance to pick me up a half hour before my Dr's drive to Boston during rush hour's like the rehab hospital never booked this kind of ride before??? Needless to say I was over an hour late for my apt!

I did get the unveiling of my "battle wound" in Rehab..which I was actually excited about.. hence why I took this picture during mid- unveiling.  My Surgeon did a GREAT job..everyone told me it was the best wound they have ever seen..awwwwwww ;)

 Nothing better to cheer you up than a family visit and "Shark Cards" lol ;)

Well I could go on and on about my 2 week stint at the Rehab Hospital but I think I have vented enough for one post.  Pretty much the one thing I want anyone who reads this to take from my experience is that you need to be your own ADVOCATE.. mistakes can happen in hospital settings, so the more informed you are the more help you can be to yourself and don't be afraid to speak up!  On that note...closure! xo


  1. So glad you're home now and feeling up to posting! I followed your story some on Hip Chicks. I'm one week post op RPAO, so I'll be cheering you on while I recover too!

  2. Thank You Amy ;)!! Definitely know I am starting to improve when I have the attention to write feels good! I love Hip Chicks...awesome site..fabulous people..great support! Congrats on getting to the other side..I truly feel waiting for surgery is the worst part...How are you feeling???? I will be cheering you on too!!! Happy Recovery to both of us!!!!! :)