Ch.130 Pat’s Protectors Work Together to Help Her Heal
The first warning signs came from Pat’s attendants at The Refuge. Two days in a row, when I asked them how Pat was doing, they told me that she had open wounds on her buttocks and groin. That hadn’t happened before; instead, the staff here healed the wounds she came with from the assisted living facility.
Pat began complaining of pain, especially when she was sitting in her wheelchair. It was steadily becoming worse. Pat was progressing from discomfort to suffering.
Something needed to be done quickly. I called Cathy, her hospice nurse; I spoke with Betty, the nurse practitioner who is Pat’s primary medical person, when she came to The Refuge that day; I talked with her dermatologist’s call nurse; I consulted with Diane, the Refuge nurse; I asked them all to look at Pat’s body directly rather than just read staff reports; and, when I texted my children, my daughters Jenny and Cindy both got involved by asking relevant questions.
This time the medical caregivers were prepared to combat the effects of Pat’s auto immune disorder. Within hours Pat had a catheter emplaced to lessen urinary burning, her dose of prednisone (which stops the disorder at high enough levels) was increased and Pat was sedated just enough with morphine to relieve her pain. By the next morning her caregivers observed her wounds already beginning to heal. Pat stayed sleepy but coherent. Most importantly, she was no longer hurting.
It’s not often that medical people from four different organizations (hospice, memory care center, doctor’s office, and specialist clinic) and concerned family members all work together both seamlessly and effectively. This time we did so, along with the staff at The Refuge who administered the medications and monitored the situation.
Three days ago, I cried at home (getting needed emotional support from Levi the collie and Blackie the cat); my daughter Cindy said she also cried. Today as I write this essay, I feel greatly relieved. I also feel grateful for all the people who together provide such timely and competent care for my wife.
Pat’s comments on Pat’s Protectors Work Together to Help Her Heal:
Ron to Pat: “Do you feel like you’ve received good care?”
Pat: “Yeah. No complaints”
Ron to Pat: “Are you in any pain? “
Pat: “No. I’m getting too tired to answer any more questions.”