#Healthcare – ‘Lost in the Shuffle’

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Tuesday April 19th arrived. I was beyond anger with no word yet from the hospital as I waited for them to schedule the paracenteses to drain the fluid from my husband. This requisition with the added note of ‘ASAP’ was sent out last Wednesday.

 

In spite of my fury, I put on my best optimistic looking face and took hub to the naturopath’s for his next I.V. therapy treatment. Just as we finished treatment and getting ready to leave, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it in anticipation, and was elated to see the call displaying the hospital number.

 

Here’s how that call went:

 

Receptionist:  “Hello Mrs. Gies, this is xxxxxx Hospital calling from the imaging department. I’m calling to schedule your husband’s ultra sound for one week this coming Friday.”

Me:  “Excuse me? You must be mistaken. First of all, he’s not having an ultra sound, he’s already had that. He’s been waiting a week for an ASAP request for a paracenteses. And please, don’t even tell me he has to wait another 10 days!”

Receptionist:  “Oh my, this requisition must have come to the wrong department.”

Me:  “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!”

Receptionist:  “I’m so sorry. Let me get this req over to radiology and I’ll call you back.”

Me:  “Thank you! May I ask if there is a number I can have for that department in case I ever run into this problem again or miss your call?”

Receptionist:  “Sure Mrs Gies, here it is . . .”

Me:  “Thank you sooooo much.”

 

Getting that phone number was like striking gold. Previously, Dr. Eric and I were searching around the hospital website to try and find a contact number for the radiology department so we could try and find out what the delay was. But there was no number listed. Understandably, hospital departments don’t want people calling there randomly.

As hub and I were walking to the car, my phone rang again within minutes. I fumbled in my purse to get my phone as my hands were full of bags of new remedies and paperwork. Before I could retrieve it, my phone stopped ringing and went to voice mail.

 

I was so angry I missed THE call. I threw everything on the ground and screamed out loud, “Shit, shit, shit”. And then I proceeded to fish out the piece of paper with the number the receptionist had minutes before just given me. I dialed it and prayed to God that someone would pick up, no voice mail.

 

I was grateful when a woman answered upon the first ring. After her greeting, informing that I’ve reached the radiology department, I told her who I was and that I was sure she had just called me. She confirmed that she had. She then asked me if I could have my husband there the next day at noon. I could have kissed her.

Ironically, we had another appointment with Dr. B at his office the same day as the procedure, in the afternoon, 5 minutes away from the hospital, so that worked out well.

 

 Wednesday April 20th, I took hub for the draining, and Dr. B had authorized that they could drain up to 6 liters of fluid max. He and I both knew there had to be closer to 10 liters of fluid in my husband’s abdomen, but there’s a limit to how much can be drained at one time.

I once again managed to finagle my way into the procedure room so I could be with my husband and listen to the goings on. But I became a bit disappointed when all the radiologist could extract was 4 liters (8 pounds). I’ve heard a few horror stories about some patients whom the doctors couldn’t get any fluids out of, so I was glad for what did come out, although still concerned about the remaining fluid.

 

After the procedure, we dashed over to Dr. B’s office. Hub was sore and exhausted, but feeling some of the pressure off his breathing. Dr. B ordered more blood work to be taken in a few days to test the various levels in his body after the fluid removal. I voiced my concern to him about the mix up with the requisition, and asked him how we were to proceed if and when my husband needed this procedure done again, without long delays waiting. Dr. B told me to monitor hub’s weight. He said he hopes he doesn’t gain it back, but cautioned me that hub may have to have more procedures, but time will tell. Dr. B said if I feel we need another draining done before our next visit, just let his secretary know and he’d push through the requisition himself at the hospital. He also said that if my husband turns out to be that patient who will occasionally need a drainage, he would authorize it so we could then call the hospital direct and make an appointment with them.

 

I’m hanging onto that radiology department’s phone number with dear life!

 

It’s now Thursday April 21st, The Queen’s birthday, my beautiful niece’s birthday, and my husband’s weight hasn’t gone up since the draining yesterday. I am grateful for good days. Tomorrow he goes for an unpleasant test (cystoscopy), booked over a month ago by his urologist. I asked my hub if he wanted to postpone it until he feels stronger, but he wants to get it over with, so I just hope everything goes smoothly and he can rest comfortably on the weekend without any medical drama or added fluid retention. This could possibly be the first weekend since our return from Arizona that he may feel well.

 

This post is a follow up to last week’s https://dgkayewriter.com/waiting-kill-healthcare/

 

I’d like to once again thank you all for your wonderful kindness and support through this difficult time. You all know I’m a great believer in positivity, angels, and the law of attraction, so I know all of your good wishes and prayers are being heard because I can certainly feel them.

D.G. Kaye

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59 Comments

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  1. You are a warrior, trying to take on hospitals and winning. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your husband, as always.

    1. Thanks as always Adele. I’m pretty sure I’ll be lifting benches soon! 🙂

  2. Omg Deb what a nightmare. Fingers crossed that you both have a good weekend. I hope he feels better soon.

    1. Thanks so much Jo for following this journey. And for your concern and good wishes. Wishing you and yours a Happy Passover. xo <3

  3. I posted via my iPhone earlier this morning, but I don’t see my comment here. I read through the whole post but love most of all the hopeful ending: “This could possibly be the first weekend since our return from Arizona that he may feel well.” Holding you both in good thoughts and prayers.

    1. Thanks so much Marian. Thanks for your wishes and prayers, they sure do all add up. And although he had a painful procedure today and sleeping now, I feel optimistic about the weekend. It would certainly be lovely to know that every time we take two steps forward, we aren’t taking on back. This weekend will be a big test.
      And btw, I checked my spam, your comment wasn’t in there. Perhaps your other comment went wonky because you tried to post from your phone?

      1. Yes, I think posting from my phone was the problem. ‘Tis a mystery as I’ve done it successfully before. Have a great (more relaxing) weekend!

        1. Thanks Marian. You too. 🙂

  4. Fingers firmly crossed that this weekend will provide some much needed respite.. sending love and hugs X

    1. Thank you Sal. That’s all I’m hoping for. Although today he had a painful cystoscopy, I was grateful that his bladder and kidneys are fine. He’s having a lot of discomfort from that today. But two days in a row, he hasn’t gained back any fluid, so I’m praying it stays that way, and with the IV therapy from the naturopath, the aim is to build up hub’s albumen levels so they can hold the proteins better and start to push the fluids through the proper channels so he can eliminate his own fluids without them pooling inside him.
      Once again, it’s been a busy week, every single day at a doctor or hospital. I’m running on fumes, getting my best sleep at 8pm on the couch passing out cold for a few hours before going to bed and not sleeping much. Hence, my blog reading is suffering. Lol, reading is making me narcoleptic.
      I will be by this evening to catch up on your Irish adventures! Hugs back to you xoxo <3

      1. WordPress a bit slow tonight on replying.. fingers crossed for continued progress.. and lots of sleep and good food for you both to recover in the next couple of weeks. love and hugs

        1. Thanks for everything Sal. I’m grateful for your friendship and support, not just through this unpleasant time, but always for everything you give of your heart and time. Good food awaits at my sister’s this evening for the Passover. I thought I might take hub to our first social outing since back from Arizona, but I think he needs to rest up today. Yesterday’s cystoscopy was unpleasant and painful, so a little more relaxing is in order. I’m so looking forward to spending a few hours with my family, and sis only lives 10 minutes away if I need to dash back. This will be the first time I’m leaving him alone since the nightmare began, so I hope I can relax and enjoy. 🙂 xoox

          1. I am sure you will enjoy and your husband is safe and will no doubt look forward to your return.. XXS

          2. It was a welcome break Sal. And it worked out for both of us. Today is a good day! xoxo

  5. This is a little better than the last report, but still terrible enough. I remember those days when my whole life was calling doctors, waiting for them to call, and then getting to appointments. I went everywhere and saw everything because it was the only way I could keep the information straight. The best doctors had lots to do to deal with the complexity of the situation. I often wondered what sick people do when they don’t have an advocate like you or like me. Sending you more love and hope for a little peace, quiet, and healing.

    1. Thanks again Elaine for your words of encouragement. You know how exhausting and draining this process can be. The waiting is indeed difficult. But like you, I keep pushing through, and I’ve seen much more than I ever cared to see. I have to stay on top of every test, procedure and word, it’s what helps me put the pieces of the puzzle together. We all know that doctors are short on time and don’t always talk details. I’m a detail person. I have to know everything.
      I can’t remember how many times I’ve said to people I know, how important it is for a sick person to have an advocate, especially a senior who doesn’t comprehend everything.
      I was thinking about that mix up with paper work and if they’d spoken to my husband, calling for an appointment, he would have just waited and gone and found they were doing the wrong test. I can’t bear to think how many times that happens to unknowing people. This is why I’m sharing my journey here, not just because I’m blessed and get asked by so many friends here what’s going on and how my husband is doing, but for others who may someday have to face the healthcare system, and to pass on some experience for those who may have to encounter these situations.
      Thanks for the love and wishes, and I’m sending you the same. 🙂

  6. I know what a trying time you’re having. Sorry I’ve had my own (not medically serious like yours, just consciousness consuming) challenges so I haven’t been visiting your posts as often as I normally would. You will be victorious in the end, I am sure. You are indomitable.

    1. Hi John. Lovely to see you here and thanks as always for your words of encouragement. ‘Indomitable’, I love it!
      Please don’t ever apologize for not visiting. We all have our crosses to bear, and time seems to be short for all of us here. I know how hard it is keeping up with blogs, as my days are spent in doctors, hospitals and waiting rooms. By the time we get back and I get him all settled and make dinner I don’t always have the energy to open the computer and read. Mostly I’m passing out on the couch early, something I never used to do.
      I do hope you’re okay, even consciousness consuming can be stressful, so do take care of yourself. I don’t need any of my friends getting sick. 🙂

  7. I’m glad to hear things are looking hopeful. Keep your positive attitude and we keep on sending our positive thoughts and energy. He’s a lucky man to have someone as wonderful as you by his side – that should help the healing along anyway.
    Much love <3 <3 <3

    1. Thank you so much Christoph for your kind wishes and prayers. I’m truly grateful for my wonderful friends here offering prayers and encouragement. I know they are all helping. Wishing you a happy weekend my friend. xo <3

  8. I do hope that now it is the weekend that hubby is feeling better and maybe even watching his beloved old westerns, Debby. I hope you too are feeling that some of the pressure is off and that you can relax a little.
    My best wishes, and I’m sending you both some more virtual hugs from the UK. I have a never ending supply of them 😀
    xx

    1. You do make me smile Hugh. <3 I love your never ending supply of hugs, and that you remembered hub loves westerns. I have him at the naturopath's right now for a treatment. He's feeling a bit lethargic today, but he did have a quite painful procedure yesterday at the hospital by urologist. On the bright side, it's been 3 days so far without the fluid coming back, this is key. And this coming week will tell more of what to expect. My family is having a Passover dinner tonight, which I was hoping to bring him, but I don't think he'll be up to the challenge, as he will sleep a lot after today's treatment. But on a good note, I intend to go over to my sister's for a few hours. It will be my first social outing since I returned from Arizona, and I'm looking forward to being with family. It will do me good and she only lives 10 minutes away if I need to dash back, but I feel I can leave him for a few hours for the first time.
      Wishing you a beautiful weekend my friend. And thank you as always. xoxo <3

      1. Hope you enjoyed the time at your sister’s Debby and that hubby had a restful nights sleep.💤
        Take care.
        xx

        1. Thanks Hugh. All was well. <3

  9. I’ll be thinking of you all. Even when things go well (i.e. no errors) it’s very stressful to have to go through procedures like those, but when things go wrong and you aren’t feeling a hundred per cent, it’s the last thing you need.

    1. So true Olga. And thank you for your support and good wishes. <3

  10. Your post is a reminder of how frustrating and sad it must be for patients without someone with your wherewithal to advocate for them. Wishing both of you a peaceful and undramatic weekend. <3

    1. Thanks so much Carol. This is why I’m sharing the journey here, so others can take note. When looking after an ill loved one, or ourselves for that matter, it’s essential we stay on top of things because the system isn’t perfect and much isn’t explained. I make it a point to stick my nose in everywhere I can. One has to also remain calm and diplomatic because nagging doctors won’t help. A little bit of sugar goes a long way, which is becoming an art to remain patient and kind when I sometimes want to scream and shake someone, lol. <3

  11. I so hope your hubby has a good weekend, Debby, and that a return to good health is on the horizon. I can’t think of anyone I would rather have on my side than you. You’re an angel. Keep your spirits up. Sending much positive energy for a rapid recovery and a little sunshine to light the way. <3

    1. Thanks so much Diana. I certainly believe that all the wonderful wishes and prayers from so many kind friends like you are being heard.
      I’m relentless, and just keep on going. I’m very much looking forward to the light. <3

  12. Debbie, you’re a trooper. I’m so glad that he draining has had a positive effect on hub. I hope you manage to get some much-needed rest this weekend!

    1. Thanks so much Nicholas for dropping by and leaving your good wishes. It’s much appreciated. 🙂

  13. Debbie oh what a palaver, and I think I would have thrown everything down too had I missed that call.. How intuitive of you to ask for the Number.. Good thing you are quick thinking..
    I hope every thing goes well for your hubby and he manages to get some rest over the weekend..
    I will see you when I get back.. I have scheduled lots of little posts including some more of the story.. I read out loud LOL.. And corrected lots of errors.. I am sure my grammar is still not up to scratch..But it is readable.. 🙂

    Sending you Lots of Love and healing prayers and energy for your hubby.. Try resting up too.. Stress can really make us tired and low..

    Love Sue xxxx

    1. Hi Sue. Thanks so much again for your love and prayers. We’re still sitting on the ‘wait and watch’ to make sure things are going in a positive direction.
      I had to LOL when you told me you ‘read aloud’, now that’s a good student, lol! 🙂
      I’m glad you’re taking a time out, and I hope you enjoy every minute of it! I’m still awaiting my timeout, but I know it will come.
      And your writing is beautiful, so stop being so critical of yourself. Big hugs. xoxo <3 Deb

      1. Now listen who is talking LOL.. Big hugs back.. and hoping all goes well.. And so looking forward to my time out.. 🙂 xxx

        1. Go forth and enjoy! xoxo <3

  14. Dear Debby… It really is such a nightmare. So sorry for both of you to be going through it. I read through all the comments to find “progress reports.” I’m glad to know the following appointments went okay. I hope you were able to enjoy the lovely Passover meal with family.
    I have to tell you that you had me right there in the parking lot with you — screaming “Shit!”… Okay so the truth is, I would have been yelling a lot worse than shit. (And people make the big mistake of calling me “sweet.” [Which I absolutely hate, but that’s a story for another day.] If they only knew. 😉
    Wishing you both perfectly healthy, cured, and safe. Mega hugs.

    1. Lol Thank you Teagan for visiting, and taking some of your valuable time to even read through comments! You made me laugh about the parking lot. It was best as I could describe in that huge moment of frustration. And don’t think you aren’t sweet, lol. Even the sweetest and kindest people are entitled to their moments, and I’ve sure had my share of my own.
      It was so nice to be able to see my family and feel comfortable for the first time leaving hub at home to relax by himself.
      We’re on 2 good days in a row with hub, so this week will be telling with fluid build ups, his energy levels, and only 3 doctor appointments this week. I may get to go do my nails this week! Such a luxury of time.
      Oh, and I’m interested in your story one day about people who call you sweet, LOL!
      Thanks for your visit, company and hugs! xoxo <3 Mega hugs back!

  15. Hello Debby, I’m so sorry for the hard times you’re going through. Dealing with all these medical issues can be very taxing. I’m glad your hubby has had a couple of good days. I hope you both are enjoying the weekend. <3

    1. Hi Vashti. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your kind wishes. Hoping to be by your blog soon. <3

  16. Oh boy ! What else is there to say ? Sending you both healing thoughts. Ralph xx <3

    1. Thanks Ralphy. 🙂 Hugs <3

  17. Sorry to hear about your medical challenges. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Thanks Tess. Nice to see you back. 🙂

      1. Thank YOU, Debby. <3

  18. Such a difficult time for you. Over the last year and a half, I’ve made frequent long-distance trips to help my mother through health issues, so I know how frustrating it can be waiting to be called back and getting things scheduled. We really have to act as an advocate for our loved ones. I’ve been on both sides of the medical fence, and it isn’t easy on either side. But on the patient side, it’s too easy to feel powerless, and that’s never good.

    1. Thanks for reading and chiming in here Carrie. It’s easy to see how mistakes get made with so many cutbacks in the system, that’s why it’s up to us the patient, or caregiver, to stay on top of everything. It’s rough enough being sick, but bureaucracy could kill.

  19. Oh Debby, I know since you wrote this that hubby was beginning to feel better than he had done in two long months, and I so hope this is still the case now it’s Wednesday and I’m at last getting the chance to read in full here and comment. What a roller coaster for you both! But you persisted as you always do and how wonderful that you got the phone numbers you needed at last, phew! I felt your pain when you missed your call and saw myself in those kind of situations too many times…and let out more than a few expletives, lol!! How I hope and pray that hubby is now having a good, long repreive from medical investigations and you are both getting some time to rest and recover…and of course, sending love and hugs to you from me 🙂 <3 xoxoxo

    1. Thanks again Sherri, for your love and wishes. Yes, it’s been a very long road, and I intend to post a ‘happier’ update tomorrow or Saturday. There has been a marked improvement, but I wanted to give it a few days to see if it was real progress, as so many times it’s been one step forward and two back. But it seems for 5 days now we’re on a roll and I didn’t want to jinx it, lol. Stay tuned!!! xoxo <3 <3

      1. Just read your update…I’m so happy for you Deb, what a roll indeed! <3 <3 <3

        1. Thanks Sherri, for your support and friendship. xoxo 🙂 <3

          1. Always Deb…and likewise 🙂 <3 xoxo

          2. xo 🙂

  20. I am glad to read some of the details belatedly of your husband’s illness, Debby. I am embarrassed to have missed what set this off, glad they were able to drain part of this and pressure was taken off his chest. Hugs, Robin

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving kind words Robin. Yes, it’s been a very long road, but we are now seeing the light. 🙂 xo

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