So, you folks that know Ericka know that she is a large woman. Very large. Obvious to anyone. When we went into the ER on Friday afternoon, the intake nurse noticed this immediately and very nicely arranged to get a regular hospital bed for her rather than the somewhat smaller ones they use in the ER. This worked surprisingly well. It was a little too narrow, but Ericka was comfortable and it was low enough to the ground that she could get out of it and back in relatively easily.
When the moved her to her room, they decided they needed to switch beds. The regular hospital bed isn't rated to handle someone of her weight. At her last stay, they had a fairly new bed available for her that was plenty wide, rated to handle her weight and then some, low to the ground and generally quite comfortable for her to be in. That style of bed was unavailable, so they went with another style that is rated for her weight. The downside is that it's harder for her to get in and out of. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal as they had her catheterized and she'd only have to get out of bed a couple of times a day. However, they put her on a new drug that has a side effect of diarrhea. So more in and out of bed is necessary. Plus, the style of bed she was in was too narrow and had some odd features that meant she was getting unnecessary pressure on her arms, legs and thighs.
So she asks about getting the other style of bed. Best they can offer is that someone who is in one of those beds is leaving the next day and they can give it to her then. She gets herself resigned to that. Then we try getting her in and out of the bed. One way of doing that (adjusting the bed into an almost-standing position) doesn't work because in getting back in, she nearly slips off the bed, which would leave her on the floor and probably injure a nursing person. Another way (going off the side) doesn't work because the bed is too far from the floor in its lowest position that she's making a little hop to get out and simply can't get back in that way.
At about 2:00 in the afternoon, one of the nurses aides suggests a solution, swapping beds with a fellow on the same floor who has one of the style of beds that work for Ericka. Oh no, can't do that. Some five hours later, after we've gone over and over other options, Ericka is getting cranky and I'm getting pissed. Ericka is the sweetest, most wonderful woman you'd ever want to meet and when in hospital is ever so nice to everyone, so much so they always hate to see her go. Me, I'm a pretty even-keeled person; it takes a lot to get me angry. My sweetie in danger for patently dumb reasons, however, will do it every time. So at 7:00 p.m., the nursing supervisor is paged.
She arrives, is friendly and helpful. She recognizes the problem and agrees that the situation is untenable. She asks us to give her an hour so she can see what she can do.
She comes back in 20 minutes with good news. Seems the fellow on the floor in the other style of bed is very uncomfortable in it. He'd be very happy if they would get him a new bed.
Big sigh. Sometimes you just need to get to the person that can make things happen.
The good news on Ericka's health front is that the doctor that saw her Saturday could think of no good reason to keep her in hospital and the two specialists that evaluated her thought she wasn't a good candidate for a long-term stay in a rehab facility. The wound on her side is worrisome and she's still somewhat weakened, so I was nervous about having her home without a better plan and convinced her to stay until Monday when a wound-care nurse can see her and we'll evaluate options then.
The doctor that saw her thought her current troubles were due simply to being worn down from the previous illness and that with some activity to increase her stamina she'd be doing well. To Ericka this meant that getting back to exercising in the warm pool at Courage Center would be ideal. So our plan is to get her there on Saturday mornings twice a month to start and to try find someone that can drive her and her helper there twice a week.
So now it's time for me to get some breakfast and head out to see her.
Michael D. Rocking in the Dail--Saw Doctors--Play it Again Sham