This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dad Rushed To Hospital Today...

The past two days, I don't venture too far from the bathroom...either I have the flu, or this antibiotic is way too strong...my stomach is really messed up and cramping. 

At 1:30 pm today, my husband woke me up to give me the phone... It was the nursing home.  Dad was taken 911 by ambulance for low blood pressure.  Apparently, his pressure dropped on Monday too.  The nurse referenced my being notified on Monday and I told her I WAS NOT NOTIFIED!!  This is the FIRST TIME I heard anything about Dad's blood pressure dropping. Apparently, after lunch he was weak and pale and his BP dropped to 80/40.  They called paramedics.  The paramedic took it and it was 80/60.  Then they called me and told me they were sending Dad to the hospital. 

I quickly shot out of bed and began calling my Mom, brothers and sister.  My Mom was volunteering at her church, but called me after I spoke with my younger brother.  He has his own business and was working in Walnut. He told me he would leave for the hospital immediately.  Mom called and she was on her way too...My second to the oldest brother was boarding a bus to take his soccer team to a game.  My second to the youngest brother was on his way to work the night shift.  My sister was at work. I text my oldest brother in Ohio, who was also at work.

I called the nurse back at the nursing home and wanted to know which nurse marked Dad's chart, I was called.  I ask her to have him call me as soon as he comes in for his shift today...and asked her more on what happened on Monday and today.  She told me Dad's blood pressure was 80/90 on Monday.  They called Dad's doctor and he decreased his Coreg and Digoxin and ordered Dad to be "monitored".  Tuesday, Dad's BP was 100/60.  (I was having a cough spasm attack, so I told her I would call back...)

Yesterday I spoke with the nursing home because Dad was suppose to have a Care Conference and no one called me.  When I called Mom, she didn't even know about it.  Mom and I usually get noticed as she attends in person and I attend via the phone.  The gal whose name was on the notice, knew nothing of the meeting and told me she would have to speak to the social worker.  I asked her to ask the social worker to call Mom and arrange a new date for the conference.  I told her what days were good for me.  She never returned my call.  I left messages again today for the social worker....still no returned call.

If we did have the conference yesterday, we (hopefully) would have found out about Dad's low blood pressure...

Late October, early November, the Director of Nursing left for another job.  She stayed on top of the conferences.  They went a couple weeks without a DON, only a nurse filling in.  The new one was to start after Thanksgiving.  I imagine she is up to her neck in learning about her new position, so I am almost certain it might be how Dad's conference fell through the cracks...

The nurse who "supposedly called me to notify me about Dad" phoned me and apologised. He wrote it down and intended to call but got side tracked.  I ask him to correct the records.  He told me he would.  He told me Dad had been up and down about 5 or 6 times Monday night, setting off his alarm.  He told me the doctor had decreased the dosage of Dad's Coreg and Digoxin on Monday, ordering Dad to be monitored..  I asked about the lower dosage because it struck me as odd when the previous nurse had told me... He told me both had been decreased by half.  So after we hung up, I checked my list of Dad's medications and it is the same dosage as Dad has been on since 2009!

If the doctor had increased the dosage from 2009, why wasn't I informed?   I will be calling the same male nurse back at 6 pm after he finishes dispensing medication, to ask when the dosage was increased!!!

When my youngest brother left, he told me the ER nurse was discussing a CT Scan.  I called her and told her about Dad's fall last May and the subsequent CT Scan after the one in the hospital.  I asked if Dad could NOT be sedated.  She told me he was sleeping so the CT Scan would not be a problem.  I gave her some more history and hung up. 

I can't reach Mom.  Understandably, her cell won't get reception in the hospital and they ask to turn it off.  I hope Dad is OK and does not have to spend the night in the hospital.  Mom has had a long day, and if they kept Dad, no doubt Mom will stay there with him...  I just have to be patient...

Update: 7pm.  I found out Dad has been taking twice the dosage since he returned last May from his fall.  Why the doctor reduced his medication on Monday when his blood pressure had dropped is a mystery to me.  Maybe it was mentioned at one of conferences and I missed it... Can any of you nurses out there explain why the doc would decrease the Coreg and Digoxin by half when Dad's blood pressure dropped?

I spoke to the ER nurse again, telling her Dad might be up since he has been sleeping all day.  I told the nurse I did not want Mom to stay there all night.  She suggested getting a sitter to sit with Dad and I thanked her profusely.

Talked to Mom.  She is exhausted and freezing to death.  Dad is going to be admitted.  I told her to go home and assured her the nurse would get a sitter for Dad... Please keep him in your prayers....

11 comments:

Jeanie said...

Oh my goodness, Donna. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all of this while you are sick. I will keep your dad in my prayers.

Mari said...

Oh Donna - I'm so sorry. This whole thing sounds like a nightmare.
Coreg is a med that lowers blood pressure, so if his pressure was low, it needed to be reduced. Digoxin is a heart med that can also lower blood pressure, so I think the Dr did the right thing.
It sounds like those meds were increased while he was in the hospital, which is probably why you didn't hear about it.
Did they explain why they wanted to do another CT Scan?
I'm praying for your Dad - and also for the rest of the family (including your health!)

Donna B said...

Jeanie: Thank you so much for your prayers. This dang cough...I will be surprised if I can keep my eyeballs in their sockets!

Mari: Thank you for the explaanation. They wanted to do the CT Scan to check for a stroke since he has been so unresponsive all day. Mom said he snored like a buzzsaw all day. His cough sounds horrible, but he has no temp. He does have a bladder infection. Mom said they put in a foley catheter.

Thank you for your prayers.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm praying for him, Donna. Hope that he's able to be released out of the hospital soon. It's got to be confusing for him being there.

Thisisme. said...

Donna, please know that you and your family are in my prayers. What an horrendous time you had of it, and with you feeling so poorly as well. I hope that he will soon be out of hospital and back in the surroundings that he is familiar with. You look after yourself. Big (((Hugs))) to you.

Wander to the Wayside said...

This sounds like what I went thru with my dad, being shuffled to the hospital for either low blood pressure or blatter infection. One thing after the other, always confusing him, and always would have been treatable at the nursing home and not needing all the tests. I finally requested that they treat him at the nursing home with the staff doctor's supervision as it was all just too much for my dad. They - and actually the doctor who treated him at the hospital - agreed that this was the better option in most circumstances. Anyway, each case is different, and I hope your dad makes a quick recovery and gets back to the nursing home.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Will keep your father in my prayers. Damn, sounds so frustrating!

Chatty Crone said...

I hope you start feeling better and that you get things in control with your dad. sandie

mickeydee said...

I will pray that both of you feel better.

Donna said...

So sorry to hear of all that is going on with your Dad, especailly with you being sick. Sure hope that things get better soon for you and your Dad. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Ugh! Scary.