Sunday, 28 July 2013

Update on Advocate (like no-one is watching, and until someone does!)

Last weekend I told you about the health challenges my parents were facing, and specifically the problems with Mom's fingers and pressure ulcers.

I am grateful to be able to report that Dad is on the mend, and while he is taking it easy - it takes weeks to recover fully from a bout of pneumonia, especially when your body is 80 years old! - and only working half-days right now, I am so relieved that he is healing, and should be back to normal in another week or two.

And then there is Mom...the Wound Clinic had prescribed topical and oral treatments for the paronychia (infected fingers) and the pressure ulcer (bedsore).  Cristy, her caregiver, continued to soak her fingers in Epsom salts, tilt her wheelchair every hour as directed, and keep her pressure ulcer wound clean and dry.

I kept calling and hounding Mom's unit clerk to find out when the follow up appointment was scheduled for, but nothing had been posted or sent to him.  On Wednesday he started to search the computer systems for me to see if he could find an appointment - in fairness, most patients do not have family members accompany them to these follow ups, so I guess advanced notice to the unit was not considered a priority.

He found that the appointment was set for the following day.  Perfect!  I let Cristy know, and made arrangements for Dad and Sara to keep the office going while I slipped out to the appointment.  (Remember, Dad can only comfortably manage about 4 hours before he is tuckered out and needs to rest, so we had to co-ordinate that he came in later that morning).

I made it to the clinic on time, and we met with the doctor.  Everything is healing!!!  Very slowly, but the redness is down in the fingers, and the infection is going away.  Her pressure ulcer is also healing, albeit slowly.  Some recommendations were made in terms of bandaging, etc., and the doctor graciously agreed to note even the simpler changes (bandages to be used, etc), on the report upstairs, because it is clear that Cristy and I have no voice there right now.

We went upstairs and I was all smiles, so relieved that things were improving.  As the porter wheeled Mom into the unit, the nurse passed us (remember, I was all smiles), and curtly nodded as she quickly walked by on her way to a patient's room, avoiding eye contact with me.  And it was then that I realized it just doesn't matter anymore.  I am modifying my approach, and ensuring that I am there for all appointments.  I will wait and see how things progress before I take this to the unit supervisor...there is no rush.  It is clear that she has been told of my concerns and unofficial complaint, and as long as quality care is provided, I can let the rest go...for now.

The important thing is that everyone is on the mend, and now life can slow down a bit, just in time for Becca's birthday, the girls' back to school preparations and Yom Tov menu planning (Rosh Hashana is the beginning of September this year!).  Better still, this means that I can get back to baking and discovering new recipes!

Whatever you're doing this lovely sunny summer Sunday, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, friends, fun and fantastic food.  B'Tayavon and Buon Appetito!