Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hell of a week... And it's only Tuesday

Good Lord. What a week this has been.

Saturday - My trusty Cozmo pump starts alarming as I'm showering in preparation for the Jack and Jill party Bob and I were partially responsible for planning and implementing on Saturday. "No Delivery - Blockage Detected" screeches said pump. I look for a blockage - none to be found. So, I try to load new cartridge. Pushrod will not move forward - I try to prime the tubing "No Delivery - Blockage Detected" insists the pump. At this point, I am officially freaking. out. It is 4:15 - we are due to be in Lowell at 6:00 - Lowell is 1 hour and 45 minutes away. I have a rapidly climbing bloodsugar that is at this moment 270... I give an injected bolus and call Smith's Medical and my doc's office. Two hours later, A) I have been told my pump is "not fixable" and that I won't have my new one until Tuesday B) I have talked to the Endo's office, gotten a prescription for Lantus and begun my MDI holdover plan and C) We're off to Lowell. We are late. I don't care.

Sunday - I start looking over new pump options. Not that I don't care for my Cozmo anymore. It's just that I'm longing for something new and exciting and I've seen some features on the Animas I like - including its very compact size... (That's a hint - and there will be more on this when I'm feeling more up to it.)

Monday - My 96 year old neighbor calls me to tell me she is not feeling well. Really, she's not technically my neighbor anymore. When we moved from Seekonk in September - we had to leave Gertrude. It was difficult because she is 96 and she is pretty much alone. Bob and I adopted her when we lived in Seekonk - I took care of her pills every week, drove her to doctors visits, took care of her bills and mail, did her laundry, and an assortment of other small things. I get over to Seekonk once a week now and still do most of the things I used to do. But when she gets sick, it is difficult - because I'm not right there anymore.

At any rate, since she really wasn't feeling well and she doesn't usually complain, I asked the woman from the local Elder Service plan to head over there and check on her. When she arrived, she thought it best if Gert went to the local ER. So, off Gert went. I got a call around 3:30 asking if I could come get her and bring her home. I told them, of course I could, at 5:30 when I got out of work. I pulled up to the ER at 6:00 - it was a zoo - and Gert was sitting in the middle of the madness in a wheelchair. She had obviously not had a good day. She was pale, she told me she was nervous and wanted to go home, and she stunk to high heaven as she had (brace yourself) shit herself and the people in the ER told her she'd have to use a maxi pad until she got home. I got her home, gave her a sponge bath, put her in PJs, gave her some stomach relief medicine, and sat with her until she'd calmed down and gone to sleep.

On my way home, I cried because I was so upset for her, so angry for her, and really just plain tired.

I called the hospital today to put in a number of complaints. Not the least of which were that she was covered in excrement (some of it dried to her legs) when I picked her up and that her home care instructions included NOTHING. The name of the doctor who treated her wasn't even listed. They have yet to call me back. Perhaps my utter disgust showed through in my message...

Today - The biggest blow saved itself for last (at least I hope it's last.) Bob's grandad died this morning. Our hearts are broken. He was a wonderful, accomplished, clever, and spunky soul and he will be so sorely missed. Among other things, Vic was a WWII PT Boat Soldier, Unionized Sheet Metal Worker, Engineer, and Motorcyle Enthusiast - but moreover he was a proud father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather who cared a great deal for his family, his country, and his community. Truly one of the good guys.

We could really use your positive thoughts (and/or prayers) during this difficult time.


Kelsey said...

Wow Nicole, that sounds like an overwhelming week!

You and Bob are definitely in my prayers!

Penny said...


What a crappy few days.

Sorry about your pump. Riley has an Animas pump and I like it just fine. I think they have pretty good customer service too.

It just infuriates me what they did to your friend, Gert. But,knowing what I know about you, I'm sure whoever got your message at the hospital got an ear full.

And, tell Bob I'm so sorry about his granddad.

Here's to better days ahead!


Rachel said...

Lots of hugs and thoughts for both of you!

(Don't get me started on care for the elderly...)

Melissa said...

I was exhausted just reading about your week! You will be in my thoughts. Hang in there

Nina said...

You are such a wonderful person and Gert is lucky to have you as a friend. I'm so sorry about Bob's grandfather. It doesn't matter how old someone is and how great of a life they had - it still hurts when they pass.

On another note, I have an Animas pump and I love it. It's true that their customer service is fantastic and the pump itself is great. Good luck with choosing a new one!

julia said...

What a crap week.

I hope you follow up your phone calls to the hospital with some strongly worded letters, perhaps dropping hints that you are going to the local news media with the story. That should get some reaction. And really, contact the media. Why not? That's despicable, what they did to her.

I'm sorry to hear about Bob's grandfather. You'll both be in my thoughts.

cass said...

That sucks. I'm sorry. And Bob. You two hang in there. I'm sending you good thoughts from across the ocean.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Thinking of you and your family. Condolences on the loss of a loved one.

I hope that the rest of the week goes better for you.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Nicole , You are so sweet to care for Gert! It never rains it pours! Hope everything soon becomes sunny! My wishes!

Kassie said...

thoughts and prayers are yours for the taking. So sorry to hear about your loss.

Re the hospital, I am furious on your's and Gert's behalf. I would continue on and pursue a complaint with the hospital's risk manager, medical director, the Dept of Public Health and the board of registration in medicine. If it was that lovely attleboro hospital, visit their website and click on the patient rights icon for contact info.

And do it in writing. You will be exceptionally skilled at getting your point across.

Kerri. said...

Oh Nicole, I'm so sorry about Bob's grandfather. Chris and I send our thoughts and prayers your way.

And I agree with the others who said to voice your complaints about the POOR treatment Gert received. I can't think of anyone who can make their words resonate more than yours will.

Thinking of you.

Shannon said...

Oh Nicole, what a week. I am so sorry to hear about Bob's grandfather.

And you're a wonderful person for taking care of Gert. It's shameful the way the hospital treated her.

Lastly, I hope you get the pump you need and that all runs smoothly from here on out.

Everything happens in 3's, so it should be bright and sunny for you soon.

Kevin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.
And I hope Gert is feeling better soon too.

Nicole P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole P said...

Thanks guys. I really appreciate your kind thoughts and well wishes. Today was much better - and Bob and his family are inspiring - they are very positive and so damned strong.

More updates on pump-au courant next week, I hope!

Gert is feeling "pretty good" - she was up at crack of dawn this AM eating dry cornflakes and drinking tea - this update I got when I called her for morning check in. She is a trip - she said "I barely remember being sick..." 96 is a weird age, methinks.

The woman from the hospital ER services office called me back today and she got an earful. I let her know I'm planning to contact the Board of Health, Elder Services, and that I'm considering contacting the local media. She promised me a call back from someone in the President's office. We'll see what happens next. Rest assured, no call from the President's office is going to back me off the calls to the BOH and Elder Services.

Kassie - not Attleboro - in Pawtucket. But, you know what? The Attleboro hospital isn't much better these days. :)

Bernard said...


Sorry to hear about your horrible week. I'll say some prayers for you during the week.

I'd be interested in what you think of the Animas. I'm curious myself about the Omnipod. My Minimed 512 is almost 4 years old, and I've been less impressed with Minimed's commitment to new, usable, pumps for a while.

We must almost be neighbors. I work in Chelmsford. If you're off to Lowell we can't be too far away from one another. Small world.

Shannon said...

Jeff works in Dracut. Very small world indeed.

Nicole, I'd love to have you on my side any day. Gert is so lucky to have a friend like you :)

Vivian said...

As usual I am late to the conversation but I am sending prayers up for all of you. If I were closer I would help you fight for Gert. ;) You are always an inspiration, and you are definitely one of the good guys too.

Paige said...

Thinking of you, Nicole.

Johnboy said...

Nicole, I'm so sorry to hear about your week.

Hey, it's a brand new week, and it has to be better, right?

Nicole P said...

Thank you guys for your support. Boy, this week's been sad. Hoping April will usher in a bit more joy.

Nicole P said...

Cass - where did your blog go? Can't find it anymore...