Update on my Father

Hello All!

I’m glad to report that my father is on the mend.

So here’s the story:

(A little background history first.) My father has had numerous health problems over the years. Among them was prostate cancer.

At the time that they found it, it had progressed to the point that they had to remove the majority of his prostate.

As a result, he has had problems with passing urine since then. (There may have been other contributing factors to this, but, I don’t recall the specifics.)

At any rate, a year or so ago, it got to the point where he needed to start using a catheter in order to properly empty his bladder.

This is not a fun procedure. And he usually had to do it about four times a day.

Recently it had gotten to the point where it was becoming too difficult for him to do this. So it was decided to have a permanent catheter installed.

This has caused nothing but problems.

He has had numerous bladder infections as a result of this, and every time he goes to his doctor to have it checked out, they end up hurting him “down there”.

Which brings us to this past Monday.

When my mother got up Monday morning, my father stayed in bed.

He had not been sleeping well for the last couple of nights, and she thought that he was coming down with a flu bug that had been going around.

So she let him sleep, checking in on him from time to time.

But by 4PM he still hadn’t gotten up. My mother tried to rouse him, but, couldn’t get a response.

It was then that she noticed that his catheter’s “drainage bag” was practically empty. It should have been full by that time of day!

She called 911 and asked them to send an ambulance.

(This next part is unbelievable. I hope that you are all sitting down for this!)

Twenty minutes went by with no ambulance.

 They live in a relatively small town. It doesn’t take twenty minutes to go anywhere there, much less by ambulance!

She called 911 again, and ended up speaking to the same dispatcher.

When she asked where the ambulance was, the dispatcher gasped and said “Oh my God! I never sent it!”

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!!!

Thank goodness my father wasn’t having a heart attack because he would probably have died and the town would have a massive lawsuit on it’s hands!

When the ambulance finally arrived my mother told this to the EMTs and they said that this wasn’t the first time that this dispatcher had screwed something up, and that they would report it when they got back to the station. They also advised my mother to call the Fire Department Chief and talk to him about it. (We’re letting my younger sister, whom we affectionately call “Little Hitler” handle this. Trust me, that dispatcher will not be working there for much longer…) But, I digress.

The EMTs brought my father to the local hospital, where they determined that there was a blood clot in the catheter that was causing the urine to back up into my father’s body, and he had blood poisoning as a result of it!

They cleared the blockage and administered antibiotics in order to start fighting the infection, but it didn’t appear that his kidneys were functioning and they were surrounded by fluid. They weren’t equipped to handle someone with these health issues, so they located the nearest hospital that could handle it with an open bed in their Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which happened to be in Worcester (about an hour’s drive away) and took him there.

We drove there, arriving at about Midnight, and stayed with him in the Emergency Room until about 4AM. We were told at that point that they had stabilized him and were going to transfer him to their ICU area, but, that they wouldn’t know anymore until he had been seen by the specialists later that morning.

At that point Little Hitler (“LH”) and I took took our mother home to get some sleep while my other sister (who is employed as the Controller for the first hospital that my father went to, so she knows how to pull strings and light fires under sluggish hospital administrators) and her husband stayed to make sure that our father was taken care of in the timeliest manner.

Since then I’ve been driving my mother down to Worcester each day to see my father, and to check on how he’s doing. I’m glad to say that he’s been improving every day and looks like his old self again.

Although, he will still need to have a short stay in a rehab facility ( a week or two) in order to get his strength back, as this knocked him for a loop and he is 80 years old!

He’s supposed to be transferred today to a rehab facility in this area, so that will cut down on the drive time for us as well. Once he gets his strength back we will have to re-address the issue with the catheter. I only hope that there is an answer for that…

One final note: you will never know how much all of your thoughts and prayers meant to me!

I would log on after I got back home each night to try to do some work on-line and I would quickly check this blog, and it really warmed my heart to see how many friends that I have out there! You guys are the best!!

Talk to you soon! 🙂

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10 Comments

  1. Lemuel said,

    February 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    It’s absolutely great to read that your dad is on the mend!!!

    Your family is fortunate to have LH and the Controller to act as advocates for your father. Think how many people suffer because of incompetence, neglect, and bureaucracy! My one SIL has been a similar LH for her mother (my MIL).

    Yes, I think it is long overdue for the 911 dispatcher to hit the bread lines herself.

    Best wishes to you all for continued healing for your father. May he receive the care and help in the rehab to speed him along to health! HUGS!

  2. Greg C said,

    February 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I’m glad your Father’s doing better. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will figure out what to do about the catheter.

  3. Mel said,

    February 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Glad to hear that he’s improving. The body has such a hard time bouncing back as it ages.

    And yes, that dispatcher has no business being in that position. Seems to me there ought to be legal consequences for them for gross negligence.

  4. Ultra Dave said,

    February 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I’m glad to hear the good news. I can relate to the problems with both my father and grandfather. I hope they can find a solution that works for him.

  5. Steven said,

    February 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Glad to hear that your father is on the mends and I hope the recuperation time is a speedy one. Remember to keep yourself in mind so that you don’t get run down and sick. ((((HUGS))))

  6. urspo said,

    February 13, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you for the updates

    I remember dissuading one of my patients from becoming a dispatcher. She was quite space ghost, easily overwhelmed. I shuddered to think her in charge.
    Apparently she move to NE and is working never the less!

  7. AZ said,

    February 15, 2009 at 2:25 am

    What a mess. I’m so glad he’s on the upswing.

  8. theportablehobbit said,

    February 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Oh, honey. What drama! But I’m glad he’s getting better. My thoughts are with you!

  9. Doug said,

    February 16, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I am so glad he is feeling better. I was thinking about you. I hope that LH can resolve the issue with the dispatcher! What a crock! I hope your father has a comfortable stay where he is and gets home soon.

  10. Patti said,

    February 17, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Sending continued healing vibes to your dear Father!

    I am still shaking my head on “Oh my God I never sent it”.


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