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Monday, January 14, 2013

I’ve Got My Ice

Some people call them nursing homes, some call them rest homes, some call them skilled nursing centers, I called it hell. I am speaking of The Crescent which is owned by Cantex. I will get into some exact details as to why the place was hell in some future posts. Today, let me share with you a mere annoyance.

The main reason I was in the nursing home was to get my I.V. antibiotics and to receive wound care. One would think that a good way to heal would be to get rest. What I found is that this is not true. The Crescent has discovered that  it is highly dangerous for a body to remain asleep for more than one hour.
About 9 PM the nurse would come in and start my I.V. antibiotic. This was supposed to run 90 minutes. The bag said 250 ml infused over 90 minutes. Let’s see, it is 9 PM so 90 minutes from now should be, oh, 10:30 PM, give or take a few minutes.

Sometimes this I.V. would run for three or four hours even on the rare occasions that the nurse set the flow rate properly. It was only vancomycin, so no big deal. The worst thing that could happen if it is infused at the wrong rate would be I would die. I could also get what is known as Red Man Syndrome which is basically a total body allergic reaction. No big deal. In reality it is much better for it to go in too slow than to go in too fast.

Okay, so this medicine finishes about 1 AM. There is no reason for it because I double checked behind the nurse and he had it set at the proper flow rate. I think The Crescent is buying crappy flow meters because they never seem to take the proper amount of time.
Now I can go to sleep and not have to worry about my I.V. backing up blood into the bag again. The Crescent has not moved into the twentieth century yet, so they still use gravity fed I.V.s and don’t use the I.V. pumps that will alert the nurse when the bag is empty.
About 2 AM, a C.N.A. comes in to see if I need anything. No, I am fine, just getting to sleep.
About 3 AM, the C.N.A. comes in to take my vital signs. This is a good thing because I am in serious danger of falling asleep and we can’t have someone getting rest at the rest home.

It is now 3:45 AM. I am snuggled up with my pillow and drifting off and, of course, I am thinking, “I wonder if I will get any ice tonight?”  You know it is not possible for one to get a good night’s sleep unless they can hear the ice melting in their ice pitcher. Lo and behold, in walks the answer to my dilemma. My C.N.A. walks in and, just in case I am in any danger of sleeping though her visit, loudly announces, “I am coming to bring you some ice water.”
Thank goodness, now I can sleep. I don’t have to worry that the world has run out of ice. I can now hear for myself that wonderful reassuring sound of melting ice as I drift off to sleep.

It is now about 5 AM and I have had my 75 minutes of sleep. In comes my nurse with my 5 AM medicines. I wonder if it is a sleeping pill. The nurse asks if I am having any pain. I start to tell her about one in my neck, but I let it pass. So, now I have my pill I can get back to sleep.

Now it is just after 6 AM. The nurse comes in and tells me she has to check my blood sugar. No problem, I do it myself on my own meter, but this nurse did not get the memo. I go ahead and check the glucose level. She tells me that breakfast will be here soon.
You sure can get rested in a nursing home. They help you to keep from getting too much sleep. You know I am a bear if I haven’t gotten my 25 to 30 minutes at night. Later that day, my doctor comes in and I am in bed trying to get a cat nap. He warns me that I need to get back out of bed and not sleep all day. Too much sleep, he says, will make the body atrophy. 

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