Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hospital Hell

Audrey's surgery went very well and she is recovering great! She had a little trouble with pain while in immediate recovery but is on a good schedule of pain medications now and is comfortable. She has a stent (small tube attached to the ureter to help drain urine) that will stay in for a few weeks and a foley catheter that will be removed before we go home. Today she has been on a wagon ride around the floor and has drank a few ounces of breastmilk. We're very hopeful she can go home tomorrow!

Since my husband and I both have a hatred of hospitals, and I like venting (aka complaining), here's a short list of things that have been unsatisfactory so far:

1) We were unable to get a room before her surgery despite knowing she would stay a few nights. So we had to drag all our stuff to the waiting room, drag it into the small post operative recovery room, and then drag it up to her hospital room. Pretty annoying when we're trying to focus on Audrey.

2) Speaking of the post operative experience, the post-op nurse wasn't the greatest. We were stuck in there for almost 2 hours because she couldn't time the transfer right (Audrey was on a narcotic that only lasted 15 minutes and it kept wearing off every time the nurse was 'ready' to move us. So Audrey would get another dose and would have to stay another 15 minutes before we could think about transferring to our room. Since it was a narcotic they needed to monitor her in the post-op room until it wore off). Then when we finally transferred she kept bumping the crib into walls and doors which made Audrey cry in pain!

3) The nurse for our room last night didn't think the bandage on her surgical site needed changing, even though it was soaked through. Really??

4) There wasn't clear communication to us or the post operative nurses about what she could and couldn't eat/drink after surgery. We were told different things by different nurses and doctors and they kept changing their minds. She ended up being NPO (nothing by mouth) for the rest of the day and night but they said she could have ice chips. (Which is stupid, what 1 year old can eat ice chips safely?)

5) Nurses, doctors, child life specialists, etc. are constantly coming and going. They are all very friendly but verge on the side of being too helpful. All we want is to relax and try to help Audrey rest and the constant activity and "helpfulness" isn't helping!

6) The hospital protocols, fear of liability, and general way of doing things may be productive for them as an institution but it certainly isn't the greatest for individuals. For instance, right now she needs a suppository as the medications have a constipating effect. We've been waiting a few hours for it but it's delayed for some reason. We had many instances of this happen during our first hospital stay. One situation ended in her being woken at 1 am for an ultrasound scan of her arm with a technician who obviously wasn't good at working with children. He couldn't seem to understand why she was crying and wasn't lying still...

I'm remembering why I couldn't wait to escape from this place last December.

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