Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This is Exactly Why We Hate Hospitals!

I am absolutely livid. Our heart echo and CT scan were scheduled for 9:00 this morning. What time did we all get home? Yeah. 4:30.

The plan was that we'd zip in, they'd put Niko under general anesthesia, and all would be well. I even called, not once, but twice to make sure that was what was going to happen. And did it?

No, not at all. We show up and they're like, "Okay, we're going to put this nasal anesthesia up his nose and..." And what? I was so angry that I was near tears. Niko started crying the second that we got into the office, and Nina was upset because Niko was upset. I said no. I said he's too big for a nasal, and it's too traumatizing, as we discovered the last three or four times that they used it. I said that we had talked about this, that the last cardiologist had written in his file that he was to be put under. Again, I brought up the last three years and that, not once, has their dopey little weak anesthesia been successful. The nurse fled, and I was wiping at Niko's, Nina's, and my eyes with a tissue. Were they flippin' serious?!

Another nurse and the doctor came in. He listened to Niko's heart (through his frantic screams) and says, "Yes, he'll definitely need to be sedated." (Really?!) He apologized on behalf of the whole office for the miscommunication. He remembered me from shouting the place down six months ago...when they wanted to give Niko a nasal. Hey, nobody listens to me, but at least I'm consistent.

So they're going to try and get us into the hospital that day. Niko hasn't eaten, Nina's in pieces, and I'm trying to hold them together. We sit in a supply room for and hour and a half ("I'm sorry, kids." "Let's sing songs!" "Don't touch that, please." "Kill me now!") and finally go in and get everybody registered. While I'm doing the paperwork, people are cooing at Nina, and glaring at my disturbing, sobbing son. I want to kill them, but I don't. This is to my credit.

At 12:30 we take Niko into surgery prep. He's freaking out INSANELY by now, but we have a caring nurse and an arrogant anesthesiologist, who, after Niko finally falls into an exhausted sleep, has me wake him up so that we can give him some type of kiddie Valium, so that he'll go back to sleep before they use gas on him. This man is loud, bossy, and pushy. I finally tell him to back off because he's freaking Niko out. Then I worry because they spend almost an hour doing the echo and CT scan instead of the 15 minutes they told me. I worry if I have said something to put Niko in a bad position. Then I think that I'm paranoid. Then I think back to the things that I have seen, and I start to worry again.

When they finally call us to recovery, Niko is, of course, wailing. He's exhausted. He's starving. He's confused and extremely frightened, and he's in pain. The recovery nurse is all, "Use your words," and I finally say, "He's nonverbal. He's significantly delayed. It's all in that paper." She never received the report. So here are the women that are helping him come to, and they don't even know his basic information. He's trying to yank out his IV, and another nurse says, "I'll take it out! Wait, wait!" Then she gets extremely firm, grabs his frickin' IV hand, and yanks on it!!! "NO," she says meanly. I mean, she is so frustrated. "DON'T DO THAT!" And Niko starts screaming like the demons of Hell are on his tail.

I'm standing at the foot of his bed. I mean, I'm right there, and she has her hand on his needle, and is yanking his arm out of its socket. I say, "Hey." That's all I say, this cool, "Hey," but I can feel my face, and I can feel the expression that is on it, and I'm realizing that I'm being so incredibly calm because otherwise, I would rip this woman apart. She looks at me, and the kinder nurse kind of gives her a "calm down" look. She would dare hurt my son? In front of me? By grabbing his IV hand? I saw her fingers go down on that needle. That area of his hand is so incredibly swollen now. I could just...there aren't words. There are, but I'm trying not to think of them. I'm trying to be gracious and believe in humanity. Then she turns to a crying Nina and says, "Did your brother scare you? Can he not control himself, and he's scaring you? Stop crying, you're scaring your sister!"

We bail. I grab my children to me and I take them from this bumbling trial of errors. We drive home, and I tuck them both into bed. I call Luke and I yell a little bit, and I cry a little bit, and then I just feel like giving up. What is it about my little boy? Why do people become so terrible around him? How could people treat children this way?

Then I think, "It's always going to be this way." It is. He's always being laughed at, he's always being tormented. He's always being treated like he's something subpar. I'm not always going to be there to defend him. And I am a very kind woman. I'm basically peaceful, and always try to give others the benefit of a doubt. But I'm tired of the meanness. There's so much pettiness and spite that has been coming through lately. I'm just weary of it. It hurts my heart, so much.

I suppose that's why I wanted to write it here. Most of you know what this feels like, in one way or another. It's just hard, and I'm tired. Things will be better tomorrow, I'm sure.


carly said...

What a terrible experience =( I'm sorry that happened to Niko (and you). Crazy what huge problems miscommunications cause, isn't it?

Rachel said...

Oh, my friend! I am so sorry. What an awful day. What a horrible, horrible nurse! If these people only knew ... you know? We love you! And we love Niko! I hope you sleep well tonight, and that tomorrow really is better.

jeavin blog said...

I've always admired what a strong woman that you are and how firmly you defend your children. At least Niko has parents who love him and treat him as they should, especially since most of the world doesn't seem to get it. I'm sorry that you all had to go through this.

Noel said...

I am so sorry that it went like that. It is horrible. AND that last paragraph is totally how I feel! That is part of the reason that I just don't have the nerve to send Abi to a public school...I am just scared of all the hatred, meanness, and lack of understanding. At least my thought is if I am there I can help to stop it....but I can't ever seem to stop all of it. It hurts on so many levels. I am the one who takes her to these horrible drs appointments and she looks to me to protect her, afterward I always feel like I have let her down. I always feel like I didn't protect her when I should have. It is very tough this WS!

Elise Jones said...

Mercedes - I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience. What a reminder to be thoughtful and caring in all our interactions with others; you never know the impact you can have, whether positive or terrorizing.

I'm sure you'll find an effective way to share your feedback with the hospital and hope that it will contribute to more productive interactions for you and others in the future.

Love and prayers coming your way.

Katie Aldrich said...

My heart is hurting for you. I just can't believe that people could be that oblivious and incompetent. You know how we're supposed to have angels around us, bearing us up when we're doing the Lord's work? I was just thinking that you and Niko must have some serious, hard-core angels. Your angels are probably decked out in riot gear. :)

Gene Corson said...

My name is Gene and I am a close friend of the Ketchison's (we moved into the apt after you guys). We have a handicapped daughter also. I am so sorry that you deal with this stuff. I cried as I read about your experience. When our daughter Cledi has tough experiences like this I just kills me too. I wonder if that is how how Heavenly Father must have felt as he watched his Son go through the atonement. I empathize completely with you. Sorry to drive-by-post on your blog but Belky had me look at this story and I couldn't help but respond. Heavenly Father loves Niko and you and these trials have a purpose (just wish I know what it was sometimes.)
Gene Corson

Jeff and Ali said...

I'm so sorry Sade! I hope you know that we pray for you guys so much and that we love you too! You are such a wonderful person and you deserve an award!! All of your hard work and patience will pay off. Niko is so special and we are so blessed to have him in our family! Hope we see you guys this weekend

Andrea, Mrs. said...

I wish, I wish, I wish I knew how to help. I wish I knew what words to say to you to put a bandage on your wounds. I wish I knew how to stop crap like that from happening. I admire you so much.

camille said...

OH MY WORD. That is insane. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. How miserable. Ugh, I'm so disgusted right now.

Teresa and Shawn said...

Mercedes - This is the first time I have read your blog, and I am burning in anger for you. I have definitely had those days, and you know the ups and downs. I just read your essay in the Cup of Comfort book and (as they say in text lingo) was LMAO. You are a gifted writer! One of those situations where you want to laugh and cry at the same time. We've had many!!