Went to visit James at the hospital today to bring him his Valentines day present. Nothing major, just a card and a DVD to watch on his laptop.
I got there and he was laying in bed, gray and so weak he was unable to sit up.
I immediately went into alarm mode.
You see, this morning he was supposed to have a CT scan done. Last night they put him on a fast at midnight. No food, no water.
That's fine if you are having your scan in the morning. it was nearly 3pm at this point.
I talked to james for a few minutes to calm down and assess the situation. I was unsure of what I should do. In the states I would know EXACTLY what do it. but in Ireland, the healthcare system is different and the hospitals are run differently.
I went to the nurses station and asked them why he hadn't had his scan yet. Of course no one knew anything. They said that there was a line for the machine and that he was waiting. Well no, thats not true. Another man in his room was scheduled for a CT that morning, had already had his fast and his scan. James's paperwork was put in last night- should have had his first thing this morning.
So they called radiology. I waited. I asked if he could at least have a little water, he was so dehydrated.
They said no, not before his scan.
Nurse finally comes in. Said that someone lost his paperwork after they filed it last night for his scan. That radiology didn't even KNOW he was supposed to get a scan today. She said that they were going to send his paper work again for his CT. No apologies of course.
So I ask if he can have water. They say no. So then I say well then is he going for the scan now?? or is he going to be bumped up in line?? They say no. He has to wait.
I began to get very scared and very angry. Holding back tears I call his mother. I tell her what was going on- she flips out and is screaming down the phone, F*&$% incompetence all around she screams- she screams that he better get some F*%^& water and is just as upset and feels just as helpless as I did.
James has only had toast once in four days. That does not a meal make. His body has been put through the wringer and obviously is not coping with the fast. At this point it had been 16 hours with no food or water.
I go back out in the hall to plead his case with the nurses. As I walked out in the hall I saw a friend of ours Shane. I had completely forgotten that he was a nurse and that he worked at the hospital there. I nearly broke down in tears when I saw him. He was shocked to see me- He had no clue James was there and was so ill. He immediately dropped what he was doing and came with me to James room. He checked his vitals and agreed with me- James wasn't doing so well and his nurse was a dumbass and needed either his scan or some water and food immediately.
He left to go raise hell and I went to plead for water again. Finally another male nurse agreed to give him some swabs soaked in water to put in his mouth to comfort him. Shane was able to get James nurse to give him an IV for dehydration.
( I am nearly in tears writing this...it was such a ridiculous situation)
James began to feel better with the swabs and the IV. No water or food yet. I had been there nearly two hours. I went to speak with the head nurse of the floor. I explained what was going on and my displeasure and was told that it was a hospital and that people are treated by priority. I told her that wasn't the case- that HER PEOPLE had messed up, made a mistake and that my husband was suffering as a result. I asked her WHY no one had thought to question why he was STILL on a fast all day when he wasn't scheduled for the procedure he was fasting for?? How they could let an ill person who has had basically no nutrition in 4 days starve for at this point 17 hours?? No explanations and no apologies.
After Shane pushing our case some more and after several more calls to radiology they decide that he wasn't going to have the scan today. (obviously it was nearly 5pm at this point) They tentatively scheduled him for the exam Tuesday and said ok he could eat. I had raised hell with about every nurse on the floor and they were finally paying my husband attention.
They got him food and let him drink. I sat down and started to cry. Even though the problem was sorted for the moment, I was so angry and upset that this situation was even allowed to happen. He was forgotten in the corner. No one would accept blame for the situation and no one really seemed to care all too much.
My husband is so quiet and he was feeling so ill he would have never raised hell like I would.
Now not only do I have to worry about his illness and what that means for us now and in the coming days and weeks, but that he isn't being cared for in the hospital. I can only visit twice a day and there are long periods where I don't have access to him. I SHOULDN'T have this concern. And I'm so pissed that now i do.
The nurses won't tell me for sure if he will have his scan tomorrow or not. If he doesn't I'm going to ask that he be released and sent home. The only reason why he is still in that hell hole of a hospital is for the scan. I would rather him be at home where i can keep an eye on him and KNOW he is taken care of. They can do it as an outpatient procedure. I have to work the next several nights and won't be able to see him at all until the weekend if he isn't released tomorrow and I'm too worried that something else like this may crop up.
I don't want to take any more chances on playing with his health.
And its days like this, that I really want to be home.