kanld (kanld) wrote,

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Happy Birthday Lorelei...

I'm late, and I'll try to make a cartoon a little later, sorry sweetie.
I have good excuse:

Grmph! French medical system is maybe one of the best in the world, but if you're old it sometimes sucks!

Mom (83) has a stomach pouch, she can't be fed otherwise, plus diabetes and cancer and she's unable to walk, so she's home hospitalized. Yesterday I realized the probe of the pouch was leaking (by “probe” I mean the tube coming out, on which we plug other tubes from feeding bags, inject water and drugs with big syringes, etc). So I called the IR to send her to Henri-Mondor, the big hospital where the pouch was installed (through surgery, her oesophagus being constricted it couldn't be done another way). The ambulance took her around 1:30pm.

About two hours later, I had a call from the IR, saying, “That's nothing, you just have to ask for an appointment sooner than the one you already have.”
—Sorry M'am, the appointment is for her cancer, nothing to see with her pouch.
“You already signaled the problem in August, and I see in the file you had it fixed it by yourself.”
—Sorry, M'am, we said then the end of the tube had broadened and the plugs were slipping out. Okay, we found a way to make it work, but now the fucking probe is LEAKING!
“Oh?.... okay, I'm going to look at that."
Examining the file rather than the patient is perhaps a new way of making diagnosis.

At 8pm, I had a phone call from an ambulance, saying they were taking Mom home. “Her probe has been changed?”— “No idea, I'm just the driver-nurse, you know...”

I checked on Mom, they just had put some pieces of tape to keep the probe closer to the skin! The helper who usually comes to put her to bed, though she was already at home, came to help her. After debating together, we decided to put a feeding bag, with great caution. I had to come back at 11pm to take it off, it had gone all right. Remember, Mom has diabetes, she needs to be fed evenly to avoid dizziness.

On my way back, I met the grocer who explained me he saw the ambulance stop in the yard next to his shop, and they were taking Mom out. “Mme Harmant? But she doesn't live here, but there!” showing the end of the street. Then he had to run after them because they stopped in another yard, still not the good one... I profusely thanked Mr Mohamed.

This morning at 8:30am, I got a phone call from her morning nurse. The probe was leaking even more, she couldn't gave her the meds, the water kept running out... I went a short time later, and saw the helper who washes her in the morning had put a whole pack of compresses and the feeding bag in. It was leaking a good deal but at least she was fed a little. I let the compresses this way and added a bath towel to protect her.

Then started a round-table through phones; I eventually demanded from the IR they give me clear instructions. I was told Mom had to go to endoscopy service where this kind of probe was usually replaced. Why didn't they put her there yesterday? So with the help (and the weight) of HAD (home hospitalization service, very efficient and sympathetic), we had an ambulance that took her quickly to Henri-Mondor. Bis repetita placent.

A little later, phone call from the endoscopy service, saying they could do nothing because they weren't the ones who installed the pouch in February. They didn't know the model, and there was no information in the file that goes with Mom everywhere. I didn't know anything more, so I called the geriatric hospital where she dwelt when she had surgery. The secretary of the service that hosted her then made a full search of her file (very kind and helping lady too), and saw that Henri-Mondor never sent them a report after the surgery...!
All she could tell me was the dates and the pouch model (“14 French” if you ask).

I called again the endoscopy service with what I had gathered, and the doctor said she would do her best. Obviously she did, for she called me very soon after, to say she had been able to change the probe, gave me further instructions for tending and for the next change. She called an ambulance and 3/4 of an hour later, I took delivery of Mom at her's. I could gave her her “lunch”, and I came two hours later to take the bag off.

At last, everything is okay now.

Of course, during those two days, Paul had some tantrums— because I was leaving, because he didn't understand what was going on, because I didn't take time to eat properly, etc, etc. (I can't leave him alone for very long, that's why I couldn't go with Mom to the hospital.)
And Mom's cat, Pomponnet, who contrary to mine is very sensitive, was sick like a drunk Foxy, he puked everywhere several times. Auntie, can you wash? Thank you. Fortunately, today he seemed to realize things were better organized and he waited patiently on the bed.

The only thing I won't complain is the price, as our national health system covers everything. And most of all, people from the services who help us (association, HAD...) were really kind and understanding.
Tags: gastrostomy, health services, hospital

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