Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why is there not a modern phone for patients at the VA Hospital?

I want to know why patients that live outside Louisville Metro Area can not even call their family? I have a phone that I can call California and I won't have even one more dime to pay on my bill. But if you are a patient 50 miles from your home you not only can not call your family, but your family can not call you after 8 pm. You feel isolated. And when they are treating you badly that isolation makes the problems much much worse to deal with. I don't think they want people telling anyone about the conditions at this Hospital. And, when I called Mrs. O'bannon this week I was told I need to just get over this and let them give me better care from now on. I say NO NO NO NO NO NO NO................. I WILL NOT SHUT UP........ I will see to it that everyone I can tell, I will tell my story to.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Is there and Angel in Hell?

I told my story. I can't even read it without shaking and crying. But, I've complained enough. I want to tell you about the Angel that graces the 6th floor of Louisville's VA Hospital. I want to tell you about the Love and Devotion of a sweet nurse named Ms Mary McCall. Unlike the rest of the nurses, Ms Mary worked! She worked HARD and non stop. She never once gave me a harsh look or nasty remark. She was kind and sweet yet very obviously busy as a bee. Ms. Mary always grabbed as much of the trash as she seen whenever she came and went. She made sure I was comfortable and she smiled. Ms. Mary didn't slam down the water when you asked for it. Instead, she thought ahead and gave you a couple extra straws and a paper cup. She even got me some tissue paper when I started coughing up stuff. She took the time to look in my eyes and let me know that she cared. I felt safe in her hands. I bet she physically does 6 of those other women's jobs on her one shift. Ms. Mary deserves a raise. She deserves a crown in heaven.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You have to go, NOW!

About 9 am, Robin Sullivan, 802-287-5599, from Discharge Planning showed up at the door. She exuberantly asked me if I was ready to go home. I SURE WAS!! Well, She is going to have me discharged and out of there in an hour! What the heck? I came here in an ambulance. My home is over an hours drive from the hospital. My family has not even been contacted (which is another story.) My family works odd shifts and I personally live alone. My elderly Mother can no longer drive. Both my sisters have jobs during the day. One Sister could not come, PERIOD. The other Sister, would not be able to come until early evening at best. My son was my best bet for a ride. He works second shift and his wife works first shift. They have two small children. One is in Preschool until noon and it is Daddy's job to pick her up. The other is a baby that would have to be dressed and fed and taken to a sitter since the VA Hospital does not allow children. We have a very small envelope of time. Robin was off to call my Sister and my Son. I had only been up out of the bed onceand that was that morning for my bath and a short walk in the hall. But I wanted to get my stuff together and be ready to get out of there as soon as someone showed up. So I get up and start to gather my things. I found that in my severe state of illness someone sent two pair of underwear with me. I began to sob and cry. I could have been wearing normal sanitary products this entire time! I can not help but weep. I was bleeding quite profusely for a week. The chux pads and my bedding had only been changed twice in the entire week. Ladies, How many of you have ever only changed your sanitary products twice in a week? I was having profuse bright red bleeding accompanied by loads of clots and was only changed once every two and a half days! How does this happen to patients in America? I have my cry and I dry up once I realized that they would not have changed the pads either. So, I begin to look for the five rings that were removed in the surgery unit. They are no where to be found. Ok, now, I am LIVID! I call the nurse and I'm not a happy camper... someone better find my rings. I had just bought one two weeks before to celibrate the purchase of my home. My PTSD has kicked in again. I'm out of control. I want answers! They finally found my rings in one of the nurse's areas. Hum, who was hoping I'd forget them? Needless to say, I was discharged with two boxes of stuff incase I had lice, I had my rings and they had an earfull of how dirty, disgusting, and disgraceful this place really was/is. I've contacted a Lawyer (I actually called my Lawyer from the hospital room.) I'm safe at home now. I'm doing great, too. You will never get me near the VA without a fully charged cell phone and a digital camera to document everything. It is a shame because I am 100% disabled veteran that has to depend upon the VA for my care. My Mother asked me if I was scared to do all this whistle blowing because of repercussions. I absolutely AM NOT SCARED. The only thing they could do to me, worse than they have, is to murder me. THESE ARE MY CAREGIVERS. Who are yours?

Who is Linda?

I returned to my bed on 6th floor south from surgery into the care of an LPN named Linda. Linda was nasty and made many contamination mistakes. When she tried to attach an IV line back onto my IV site after laying it open ended on the bed without even trying to wipe it off with alcohol... I stopped her cold and made her wipe it off. I had these horrible visions of flesh eating hospital bacteria munching on my wrist. Linda had me to know that I was on the Cardiac ward and she was a cardiac nurse and not a post op nurse. All news to me.... all very concerning news too. Gee... why am I in the cardiac ward? When did nurses (especially LPNs) start getting specialties? And don't cardiac nurses care about contaminating their patients? I start itching. I feel creepy crawly. I'm on oxygen post op and when I put the Tube around my ears I notice white flakes. Oh god! I bet I got Lice from that nasty ER. My PTSD kicks in. I complain for three shifts that I think I have lice and want someone to look and see. Do a scrape and look under a microscope! No one looks for me...... No one EVER looks for me. To this moment, NO ONE EVEN CARED TO LOOK AND EASE MY MIND. When they finally bring a lice treament box (three shifts later) it is missing the main ingredient.... Lice shampoo. But, it had the cream rinse and the little comb and I can atleast get cleaned up again. It was Friday morning and and I had layed in bloody chux pads since Wednesday that were never changed. I was smelling pretty bad again. Last time they washed me up was Wednesday morning before the surgery. The room stank. Sour smelling, very nasty and musty. A very nice lady named Yvonne and her aide helped me get all cleaned up. Afterwards, the room still stank. I asked why does this room stink. Yvonne don't know either but she discribes the same kind of odor I smell. I asked her "Do you think it could possibly be the stuff still hanging on the wall that they pumped from my stomach 2 1/2 or 3 days ago?????" It began to smell better after Yvonne removed the medical waste from my room. But, I start looking at my room. I mean really looking. There is blood on the seat of the plastic chair they sat me in on Wednesday while they changed my bed. There was someone else's body fluids running down the portable heater in the corner. There was brown fuzzy dirt in the cracks, crevaces and controls on my bed. Someone is going to die in there.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Who Cleans the Patients at the VA Hospital?

I wake up on Wednesday morning. The antibiotics are working and I am feeling alittle better. My first question.... Why have I been here several days and no one has given me a bath? I smell BAD.... REAL BAD. No one has even bothered to change the chux pads under me and I have two days of blood and blood clots stuck all over me. My hair is matted to my head and the body odor is just nasty. I demand a bath. Could I have clean, blood free bedding, PLEASE? A nursing student was sent in. She was a loving and caring young oriental woman who did such a wonderful job. I was extemely humiliated at the extent of my deplorable condition and embarrased beyond imagination and I felt like it was somehow my fault I was in this shape. But when she was done, I felt clean and refreshed and ready to face the rest of this day, or so I thought. When the doctors make thier rounds they inform me that I have been scheduled for surgery today. I am so glad that it is almost over! Better news, it will be removed laproscopically! So, within an hour or so I was on my way to surgery. The first thing that happened when I got there was that a woman that seemed to be in charge of the anesthesiologist students immediately decided that my IV was too small and she herself made two attempts to insert a new one and was failing miserably and painfully. I was shocked. I have veins that a blind man could hit. A very enthusiastic student piped up and said to please let him try and if she would sign off on his paper. On his second failed attempt I FIGURED IT OUT. There was no tourniquet to pumping up my vein!!!These FOOLS were just trying to push IV's in my bare unpumped veins!! I went off!! I lost it. I screamed what kind of idiots are you people? I have NEVER heard of trying to shove IVs in people's veins without a tourniquet!! No spigmomanometer either, which is sometimes used. So, I'm screaming like crazy about this crap. They choose another student to try on the same hand the other IV is in. I'm not ready for that yet. A guy walks by and says my five rings must come off. I take a break from IV torture and remove my rings to a denture cup with a lid. And the second student applied a tourniquet and I made a fist and slippity slide it was in easily as normal. BUT, that teacher actually signed the student who failed's ticket saying he passed! How could she refuse? She showed him how to do it wrong!!! He might as well pass too. Can't get worse ... right? So then, the young man that had me remove my rings came back and gave me a shot of versed and left. Almost immediately, I was taken into the operating room. These people started shoving tubes down my throat without the medication even having time to take an effect. I was litterally fighting for my life. They were choking me to death. That was the last thing I remember before I woke up in recovery.

Why the Filthy conditions at the VA Hospital?

Ok, So I finally got my butt to safety. The worst is behind me now. Atleast, I thought it was. Now, I've got to spend a couple of days calming down this extremely infected gallbladder and ready myself for surgery. They continued to suction my stomach to control the emesis and put me on IV antibiotics, and morphine. I had been bleeding vaginally since I arrived and for some reason I was using Chux bed pads instead of feminine products. I had a foley Catheter inserted so I thought that was the reason we were not using conventional methods. I spent most of my time sleeping during these two days. But, I started noticing how dirty the place was. The nurses' common practices were to leave trash in my bed, floor and tray table from finger sticks and sticks for blood tests and bloody cotton balls and tips from suringes and plastics that they removed from IV fluid bags and pieces of used tape. I was disturbed by the sheer craziness of it. How simple to tape a brown lunch bag on each side of the bed to discard this trivial trash in. I was too sick to concern myself with it. Do these people trash their homes like this?

What is going on in the ER at the VA Hospital?

Easter Sunday I had an emergency from a gallbladder attack. I was in terrible shape. I was in such bad shape that when I called my family to please come help me.... they decided that 50 miles to the ER at the VA Hospital was just too far to go. They took me to Kings Daughter's Hospital (KDH) in Madison Indiana to be stabilized and transported by ambulance to the ER at the Louisville Veteran's Hospital on Zorn Ave. KDH took very good care of me. My nurse was a loving angel that doted over me, helped me with my severe pain and nausea and was a constant comfort in my misery. She covered me in warm blankets and wiped my forehead and lips. The attendents in the ambulance on the way to the VA ER were great guys that even worried about bumps in the road. Once at the VA it all changed. I arrived and was put on a gurney in a room with a sliding door in plain site of the nurses desk. There was no human contact at all from that point until after the "day shift" arrived. Soon, the pain medication and and the medication to control my vomiting began to wear off. I began to sweat and have the chills at the same time. I had no blanket. They wouldn't come bring me one. I didn't understand. I began to vomit again. I had nothing to vomit in. They (the four men at the nurses station) didn't bring me anything. I didn't understand. I asked again. PLEASE HELP ME! Just throw up in the floor ... that is what mops are for is what I got as a response. So, I had to roll to my side on that little gurney (I'm a 300 pound girl) and throw up repeatedly into the floor of the room I was captive in. This caused another problem. I had to bend the elbow that the IV was in to maintain myself on my side on that horrible gurney. Now, the IV pump is beeping and beeping and no one is coming to turn it off. I'm writhing in pain and throwing up in the floor and I'm freezing and sweating and I just can not believe this is actually happening to me. I CAME HERE FOR HELP. PLEASE, HELP ME. I hear a man in another room asking for help because he is urinating all over the floor! I hear them saying just piss in the floor that is what mops are for. Ok, I thought I was being treated like this because I was a female veteran. I freaked out now. What kind of a place am I in? Can this really happen in America? How nasty can a place get? Mops are for accidents not for things that are on purpose. I'm so upset that I'm puking up gall almost constantly. I began to scream and scream HELP ME, HELP ME! I wasn't going to shut up because I could have felt better at home in my comfortable bed doing nothing for myself. So, they came bringing it all at once. A blanket, a shot for vomiting and to shut off that incessant beeping (which started right back up again.) I throw up in the floor a few more times before the finally got me a wash pan and to turn off the beeping again. It dons on me.... they are not trying to help me... they are trying to make it look better in there before "day shift" arrived. Once the shift changed, so did my care. I got a tube inserted to pump my stomach and stop the vomiting. And they ordered some tests and got the ball rolling. I went up to X-ray for a cat scan and was admitted to a hospital bed #9 Room A612a on 6th Floor South wing. I reported the ER situation to the Patient Advocate almost immediately. Her name was Gail O'bannon 502-287-5325 ext. 55325, 1st floor rm A113 Louisville Veteran's Hospital 800 Zorn Ave.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just released from Veteran's Hospital

Travisty of healthcare in Veteran's Hospital in Louisville Kentucky's 800 Zorn Ave location. I was treated worse than any human this week at a Veteran's Hospital. I am a 100% disabled female veteran with PTSD and a leg/hip injury. I had a gall bladder attack on Easter Sunday. I had to be transported to the veteran's Hospital in Louisville KY about 50 miles from my home. Watch this blog this week and I will tell the world about how HORRIBLE my experience was in this hospital. So HORRIBLE that I can not believe it myself! I can not believe this stuff could even happen in these days and times in America. All Americans should be ashamed of this crap happeneing in America. So please, I just had surgery and can not sit here to tell my tell all at once. Please follow my blog!! I want America to know what happened to me the last 6 days at the hands of people that are supposed to be my CAREGIVERS.