Snaps ‘n’ Crackles #3 – Best laid plans

August 8, 2015

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I had a plan for every day last week and this coming week leading up to Thursday when I go to the ProBlogger conference on the Gold Coast.  Just like those little grassy puffs in the image above lined up in neat little rows, I was feeling mega organised!  The universe, however, had something else in mind.

On Thursday my mother (74) had a fall on the steps in her front garden.  To cut a long story short, she has a badly broken wrist and was taken off in an ambulance to hospital.  She had surgery on Friday to insert a plate and screws to hold everything together.  She will be discharged from hospital on Sunday.  I spent most of Friday at the hospital and most of Friday evening waiting to hear how surgery went and hoping to receive some reassurance that all was ok.  It has been worrying and stressful!

Considering I was with my mother right up until they wheeled her off for surgery at 2pm in the afternoon, and she was in pretty good spirits, you might wonder why I spent Friday evening waiting for reassurance that surgery went well and that she was ok and why I was worried and stressed?

The nurse on ward when I was visiting had told me to phone the nurses station on ward at 5pm for an update on how surgery had gone.  I phoned at 5pm and was told that they had not received the call yet to collect her from recovery and that I should call back in 1 hour.  I called back in 1 hour at 6pm and got the same message except they took my number and assured me they would phone me the minute they received the call to collect her.  At 8pm having still not heard from them I phoned again.  The nurse was quite short with me saying there was a note on the phone to call me immediately when they get the call.  At 9:30pm I had had enough.  I phoned again and said that as it was now nearly 8 hours since my mother was wheeled off for surgery and the family had received no news whatsoever, I was not going to get off the phone until I could be reassured that surgery was finished and went well and that my mother was ok!!  The person who answered the phone went and got the nurse assigned to my mother.  That nurse told me they’d been busy with an emergency and hadn’t had time to call me (rubbish!).  She said she had got back on the ward at 8:30pm.  As you can imagine, I was not impressed!  A whole extended family was stressing over the welfare of Mum and messaging me for an update which I couldn’t provide.  My father is nearly 85 years of age and was beside himself with worry.  This was a private hospital in Brisbane that in the past was always so professionally run and we were always happy with them.  What has happened to change that?  But wait – there is more!

I spoke with my mother on Saturday morning (this morning).  After I had said goodbye and they wheeled her off to surgery she was parked in a pre-op area and left for over 2 hours – alone!  There was not a soul around.  She was in pain and needed pain relief.  She was pressing her buzzer but no-one came!  She was distressed and frightened!  When the surgeon finally appeared he got a piece of her mind!  And that my friends is the state that my mother was in when she finally went in for surgery – distressed, upset, angry, frightened, disillusioned!  She also told me that it was 9pm before she back in her room on the ward.

On a positive note, her surgery did go well and the doctor/surgeon was happy with how it all went.  The doctor has apologised for what happened prior to surgery and he has lodged an incident report.

Myself and my siblings are all going over to Mum and Dad’s house tomorrow to see what we can do to make life a little easier for them now that Mum will only have one arm for a while.  It’s also my sister’s birthday tomorrow.  I may be staying the night and spending Monday there also.  I have a day of appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday will be needed to prepare and pack for the ProBlogger conference.  Lucky that I have four siblings, though only three here in Brisbane!

So – things have been a little quiet from me on the social media front and will also become a bit that way here on the blog for a little while!  Though I’ve got a couple of posts ready for this coming week, I’ve not had the time I thought I would have to write some posts in advance for the week after that and I will be away from Thursday to Sunday next week.  During that time away though you will see lots from me on social media because I will be at #PBevent and #becausebloggers !!  I love that hashtag! 🙂

Do you agree that what happened with my mother is unacceptable?  Has something similar happened to you or one of your family?  Would you lodge a formal complaint to the hospital in addition to the incident report lodged by the doctor?  Are you going to #PBevent?

Ciao for now,

Min-Signature

Linking up with Karin at Calm to Conniption, Sam at The Annoyed Thyroid, Jess at A Little Part of the World and
Shannon at My2Morrows for #TheUltimateRabbitHole

&

Linking up with One Mother Hen for #OpenSlather

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid August 8, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Oh poor you and your mum! Being in hospital and having surgery is stressful enough without all the extra drama. If there was a genuine emergency in the hospital and they knew your mum went down late, all they had to do was say, it would have saved everyone a whole lot of worry. If that happened to my mum, I would be beside myself. I think the fact that it’s a private hospital is even worse, because you (or your health fund) are paying through the nose for a service that you didn’t receive. I would totally write a letter to the hospital, if for no other reason than this won’t happen to another family in the future. As for the blog posts, worry not, sometimes real life takes centre stage and blogging has to take a back seat. I’m looking forward to seeing you at ProBlogger!

    • Reply Min August 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks for such a lovely thoughtful comment Sammie! It’s been a terrible experience and there were many more problems and negligence thereafter! I will be writing a formal letter of complaint. There’s no way we can let this slide. Really looking forward to seeing you at PB too! 🙂 x

  • Reply Monique@The Urban Mum August 9, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Your poor, poor Mum and how upsetting for you…I have to say my experience of hospitals over the past few years is not brilliant…when I went to have my babies the nurses were horrific and totally left me to my own devices with a dreadfully unsettled baby…I found out later that it was because I had an elective caesarean (this was because I had Thyroid Cancer and the doctor recommended it for a variety of reasons, still I could have done it for any reason and it wasn’t the nurses business)…ditto some bad care my Mum recently had…hospitals are now run like businesses and sadly the care and concern of old is not there. Looking forward to seeing you at pro-blogger (I also haven’t got all the posts up I wanted to…lol) xx

    • Reply Min August 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Hi there Monique! How awful that nurses judged you on having an elective caesarean!! OMG! I had two of those (for good reason) but was lucky to still have excellent care. Mind you this was a while ago! I’m sad to hear your Mum has also had a bad hospital experience. We are in shock about the treatment Mum received. This hospital is usually excellent! There was more bad treatment and negligence that followed right up until we finally got her the hell out of there! Shocking! I look forward to meeting you at ProBlogger! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Ellen @ Potential Psychology Blog August 9, 2015 at 9:15 am

    That’s awful Min. I think hospital staff sometimes forget how stressful the experience of going into surgery is for those of us who don’t see/do it nearly as often as they experience it themselves. To them it might be routine. To us it is far from it.

    Funny too how the universe likes to throw a big cog in the wheel of our organisation 🙂

    Glad all is well.
    Ellen.

    • Reply Ellen @ Potential Psychology Blog August 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

      P.S. I’ll be at ProBlogger! See you there x

    • Reply Min August 9, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      It is awful Ellen and it continued to be awful right up until we finally got her out of there just before lunch time today. I am completely shocked at the negligence and lack of care. Look forward to seeing you at ProBlogger! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Amy @ Eat Pray Workout August 10, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Sorry to hear you and your Mum have had a rough time. It’s awful being sick and being stuffed around. When I broke my wrist and was scheduled for surgery, I sat for 12 hours in the hospital pre-admissions (cold and bored) only for it to get to the end of the day and to say that I wound’t have surgery because they couldn’t fit me in. I then had to fast overnight and go back the next day. So I know what it’s like to be frustrated with hospital service. But I think it’s important to look at the positives too – we need to be thankful that we have access to such care and the ability to pay for it.

    If you feel that it will help you get it off your chest, then you should write to the hospital. If however it is only going to have you giving energy to something that you can no longer control, I say it’s not worth it. You don’t want to continue to sit with those feelings of anger and disappointment, it’s just not good for you! I think it would be more beneficial for you to put that emotional energy and time into caring for your Mum now that she is with you and trust that the doctor’s apology was sincere and that he will lodge an incident report.

    I hope your Mum has a speedy recovery!! See you at PB. xx

    • Reply Min August 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Hi Amy – sorry to hear you’ve broken your wrist too! Mum had a long wait in emergency too and didn’t have surgery until the next day. I feel that I have looked at the positives in this post and we are of course grateful to live in a country where we have access to great medical services. However, the negligence which my mother suffered needs to be pointed out to the people who are running this hospital. It was not just the incident I have mentioned in this post but way more – lost tests (so she had to have tests done over and over again), nurses not responding to her buzzer on the ward (it was usually 1/2 hour at least before any one came), telling family that called she had been discharged when she hadn’t, huge issues around getting her discharged and much more! My father was a patient at this hospital a few years ago – different ward – and we could not have been happier. I believe it to be a problem with this particular ward – there is something very amiss with the team here. If you knew my back story you would know that I am very much aware of the perils of holding on to anger. The reason for writing to the hospital is not as a personal vendetta or revenge – it is because unless the people running the hospital are aware of problems and terrible patient and family experiences – they are powerless to do anything to rectify the problems. I don’t want other families going through what we have just been through! I intend to make sure they are aware of the problems on that ward. My mother was traumatised by whole experience and to a lesser extent so was the whole family. See you at PB! 🙂 x

  • Reply Ness August 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Sorry to hear about your Mum’s fall and the fiasco at the hospital. Hope she is feeling better and on the mend. It always seems to be when you are extra busy and have a lot of stuff going on that life decides to throw in something extra! I’m not going to ProBlogger, but hope you have a great time. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts and social media updates while there. Maybe I’ll be brave enough (and cashed up enough) to go next year. You never know!

    • Reply Min August 11, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Ness! She’s much better now that she is home and getting some good sleep in her own bed. She goes back to the doctor today to have her wrist checked. Shame I won’t see you at ProBlogger. I’m nervously but excitedly looking forward to going!! I’m not sure that I’ll get to another one (not unless I start earning some money!)!! I’ll probably put heaps on Instagram while there so keep a look out! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Leanda Michelle August 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Not a pleasant situation for your mum or any of the family members (including yourself Min)… happy to hear her op went well though. I won’t be attending the PB event, however I look forward to reading all you write about it ♥

    • Reply Min August 11, 2015 at 7:48 am

      It sure wasn’t pleasant Leanda. Interestingly, I found out last night that my husbands uncle had a similar experience at the same hospital. I’m pleased the surgery was successful and that she is home and away from the frustrations at the hospital. Shame I won’t see you at PB but you can be assured I will write about it after the event! 🙂 x

  • Reply shannon @my2morrows August 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Oh my gosh Min. That is terrible to hear. I would definitely lodge a formal complaint. That is completely unacceptable. So glad she’s ok and recovering now. See you at PB! Xx

    • Reply Min August 11, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Thanks Shannon – yep I will be putting in a complaint/feedback. They need to know what patients and families are experiencing so that they are aware of the problems and can take steps to rectify them! Look forward to meeting you at PB! 🙂 xo

  • Reply alicia August 10, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    That treatment is dreadful. I would be putting in a personal complaint! Can’t wait to see PB shared on social media. I hope you have a great time x

    • Reply Min August 11, 2015 at 7:50 am

      Thanks Alicia and yes I will be! I hope I have a great time at PB too. I’ll probably share on Instagram and Twitter so keep an eye out! 🙂 x

  • Reply Anne@GritandGiggles August 13, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    It always seems to go that way, when plans are made something else happens. I hope you Mum recovers well and it is very disappointing to hear about her hospital stay. I think sometimes it is just the day or staff you get but maybe there is more to it.

    • Reply Min August 17, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      It does seem to be the way doesn’t it Anne! Thankfully Mum is doing well and will hopefully recover well! I don’t think it was just the day because it was bad for the 3 days she was there. I do think that it is not a hospital wide problem but perhaps a problem within that ward.

  • Reply PatrickC September 6, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    That’s terrible treatment to your mum and indeed the whole family. My personal experiences have been good in hospital though on one occasion I came out of anaesthetic whilst the surgeon was slicing open my foot. My reflex kick broke the theatre nurses jaw as she had been leaning over me at the time. I don’t remember it but I had to go to what was then a workers compensation hearing for the poor nurse.

    However when my grand father was dying the care and treatment he was receiving was appalling. I stopped it and got it fixed by ringing the ABC radio talk back and going live on air telling the host what was happening. Within half an hour things got sorted. Sometimes these things need to be done. I rang because there were other patients also in pain not just my grandfather and they were not receiving any appropriate care.

    • Reply Min September 7, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      OMG what an awful experience to wake up while your foot is being sliced open and then through no fault of your own end up breaking a theatre nurses jaw! What a horrible incident all around! Also awful to hear that your grandfather had poor treatment in hospital during his final days. This is the first time I have ever known or experienced appalling neglect in the hospital system and it came as a shock. It’s totally unacceptable as their duty of care was breached on numerous occasions. I’m grateful it is in the past now but I worry for the next time!

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