Friday, May 10, 2013

Prayers for grandma

Yesterday was somewhat eventful. Mom and I took grandma to urgent care because she was looking a bit yellow, and eventually they sent grandma off to a hospital. She got to ride in an ambulance with a couple of cute paramedics, and I came along for the ride while mom took the car.

We don't know what's going on yet. We know grandma has a cyst or tumor, and her liver is messed up. So are a few of the organs around her liver. And with her history of colon cancer, it's easy to jump to conclusions. Even grandma, despite her dementia, was asking if it was the cancer coming back. I had been hoping she wouldn't think to ask that question.

Thoughts and prayers for grandma would be greatly appreciated. It doesn't look good, though I keep reminding myself that it might be something easily fixed that just looks bad at first.

At least she's comfortable, and feels fine. That's one thing to be thankful for.

Nurses Uniform by Karen Arnold

There is one thing, unrelated to grandma, that I want to discuss. It is, however, related to last night, which is why I'm not writing it in a separate post.

It took us hours of waiting at urgent care before grandma was sent on to the hospital. They took some time to move her even after it was obvious where she would need to go.

The cause of the long wait was probably (at least partially) the ultra sound. The one before grandma's took ages, for whatever reason. The nurse who worked with us, Sallye, seemed to be of the opinion that grandma should be able to get the ultra sound at the hospital. I agreed with her on that, but the head doctor wanted the ultra sound done at urgent care. No idea why this was important to him, but that's how he wanted it, so that's how it was. Incidentally, we never met the doctor. And although Sallye seemed perfectly competent, she still had to go along with what he said.

Despite the long wait, the people there took care of grandma (and mom and myself) as best they could. They offered to bring a second chair for mom or me to sit in, and did their best to make grandma comfortable. Someone even brought her a warmed blanket, though she didn't want it. And when Sallye showed me where the food was, she gave a snack to a kid wandering by who said she was hungry. That seemed pretty sweet to me.

They took care of us.

Sometime after the ultra sound, after they had told us their findings and finally called the ambulance to come get grandma, Sallye apologized for how long everything was taking. She seemed tired and stressed, and kept apologizing even after mom told her it was ok. She seemed to expect us to be angry. So I told her, "We know it can take a while. So long as you're trying, and are sympathetic about the wait, we're not going to yell at you."

"Why not? Everyone else has."

Everyone else has.

Just, wow.

I might have been yelling if circumstances were different. For example, if grandma had been in pain and they were ignoring her. I would have been furious then. If I had met the head doctor who delayed things for an ultra sound that could have easily been done at the hospital, I might have asked him why. And who knows, he might have had a good reason.

But the people I met were doing the best they could, and made sure we were comfortable. Heck, they even fed mom and me. (Not grandma, though. Grandma wasn't supposed to eat anything.) There would be no point in yelling at these people when they were already doing their best. Besides which, it just seems mean to take your anger out on those who are helping you.

That nurse -- and probably everyone else there -- needs a hug and a medal for putting up with crap from people they're taking care of.

...and maybe I'm trying to distract myself from what's going on with grandma by writing Part II of this post. But I do think it's something that needs to be said.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

First of all, best wishes for your Grandma and I hope it is nothing serious. At least she's not upset or in pain -- that's big. And second, I'm sure your patience was out of the ordinary too. People figure everything should happen in 5 minutes and get very upset when there is delay. But that's not how it happens in health care, does it? More people should be like you and your Mom.

Sarita Rucker said...

Thanks. And yeah, I'm glad she's feeling good, at least.

This was a long time to wait, even compared to my own previous experiences with urgent care. Still, you never know if there might have been serious emergencies that were slowing things down some.

Jeanne Womack said...

Thanks for sharing! We're praying for everybody.

Sarita Rucker said...