ICUsteps
2,895 members858 posts

Help I'm sinking

Hi, my name is Jason my dad is or was in ICU about 8 days ago. He had stepped on a nail while cleaning my grandmother's yard.My dad has bad neuropathy so he didn't feel the nail in his foot. So when you he got home he took off his shoe and noticed then because there was blood and my mom caught it when he was taking his shoe off. My dad is a diabetic he wasn't born with diabetes ,but he became diabetic in his late 50s he is now 65 years old. He has back problems from working so hard his whole life. He was a steel worker at the Colorado Fuel & Iron company for 33 years. He had to get his back fused together in more than one place and because of the back problems and the diabetes he has severe neuropathy in his feet and now he has heart problems. He had open heart surgery one time after a heart attack and recovered fairly quickly that was about two years ago after that surgery he died and they brought him back but still managed to recover quickly and took it like a champ. After this whole nail incident in his foot it ended up getting infected and they wanted to take his pinky toe so we took him in for surgery.They removed part of his toe not the whole thing and he was in recovery afterwards doing fine. Well we got a call about an hour later saying that they found my dad unresponsive and he had died ,but they brought him back. My dad is a DNR or was a DNR at that time ,but they brought him back anyway. After they brought him back they weren't sure if he was going to make it because he went into a coma. We went to go see him and he was on a ventilator and I guess a medically induced coma as well with Propofol. They were pumping cold water through his veins to cool him down just in case he may have gotten brain damage when he died. He was in a coma for 3 days and then woke up. We were all happy ,but then he stopped talking again after that for another five or six days and went back into a coma. We thought all hope was lost and then he woke up again started giving thumbs up squeezing hands and answering yes or no questions. The doctors figured because he was having kidney troubles from being in the coma and on the ventilator that the neuropathy medicine they gave him which was gabapentin and Lyrica did not leave his body fast enough.They think it was sitting in his kidneys and liver because they weren't working properly in cycling the toxins out fast enough. So after that they stopped all medicines and he woke up so the doctors came to the conclusion that he had no brain damage. They stopped cooling him down and they took away the Propofol and took out the breathing tube. Well for some reason he could not breathe on his own from being in the coma as long as he was and being on the ventilator . His CO2 levels were too high and he had gotten pneumonia in one of his lungs. 5 more days went by after that and they tried to wean him off one more time only he failed ,so they basically cornered us and convinced us into giving him a tracheostomy. They said it was basically the best thing for him and the only thing.After his tracheostomy he seemed happier because he didn't have that tube down his throat anymore and he was able to move around a little bit as much as he could because he was still weak and didn't have control over his limbs completely. Literally 3 days after the tracheostomy with pneumonia still in his lungs they decided he was stable enough that they were going to try to send him to rehab out of the hospital. Well we live in a small town called Pueblo Colorado and I do not trust the hospitals here they kill people. They wanted to send him back to Pueblo instead of let him recuperate and wean off the ventilator in the hospital. So we had no choice ,but to bring him back to Pueblo because that was the only place in Colorado besides Denver that had a ventilation unit. And we couldn't make the drive a 2-hour drive everyday to see him so we have no choice ,but to bring him back to our hometown and put him in a rehab / nursing home ventilator unit. I did not feel comfortable about that because I worked there for 11 years and I know what kind of crappy place it was. So now he's been in this nursing home for about 10 days he's gaining some strength back,he could stand a bit with support and he can move his limbs. He could even talk if they put the plug in his vent. He also just took a swallowing test and is now able Eat & drink. The problem is these people do not answer their call lights. Sometimes the call lights will go on for half an hour or 45 minutes before they answer them. When he has humidity that's building up in his tubes because they pump humid air through the tubes that are going into his lungs,the build-up causes a lot of condensation and instead of them emptying out in a clean Chuck or something like that they literally take the tube that's connected straight to his trach and pound it in the side of the trash can. A Trash Can that has trash in it. When we first got there they didn't even have the right equipment so they were taping things together and telling him not to move too much because the machine would fall over until they could find the right tubing. There is other patientsthere is other patients on that haul in fact almost all of them except for him and one or two other people are completely comatose and in a vegetable state he has to walk orwheele bythose people every day when they take him to exercise. there's also dementia patients that are wandering halls and pounding things against the walls and screaming almost 24 hours a day . Now for the last week they barely do their jobs. They don't communicate with each other and they don't tell each other during report what happened to him or what's going on with him from the shift before. we have to constantly monitor then and so me my mom and my brother have been taking shifts my mom takes morning my brother takes from noon till 6 and I stay from 6 until midnight . Then my mom comes back at midnight for a couple hours to make sure everything is good before she leaves for home and then comes back the next morning again around 7. They get offended when we tell them anything and they snap at us they're very defensive and I understand I've been in the medical field for 12 years but sometimes it just makes me wonder where these people's compassion is or if they have any at all. The thing I'm most scared about is now he's getting what it's called mucus plugs because his pneumonia never got taken care of at the hospital. They never did anything about it they transferred him with pneumonia and told the nursing home to give him Levaquin which is a antibiotic every 48 hours. Well two days after he went to the nursing home they pulled all his pick lines and all of his drips and started giving everything to him orally which means no antibiotic anymore. We've been asking them over and over to please treat the pneumonia ,but the doctor that watches over the patients in the nursing home refuses. He says they cannot treat unless there is severe symptoms. His pneumonia has went from the bottom of his left lung 2 now full blast in both lungs. They still will not give him an antibiotic the only thing they're doing is giving him breathing treatments. They forgot to plug in the machine one day and he went an hour just on the backup battery before we noticed. They have CNAs that are coughing everywhere and sound like they have Tb, but don't wear gloves half the time or masks even though we brought up to them before. He is so scared he's cried today and I've never seen my dad cry ever in my whole life. He's a very strong man and never really showed emotions like that, but he's scared and and he's tired. I haven't worked for over a month and I'm tired too we all are we just want him to get better . he broke my heart the other day because he asked me to hold his hand and he never says things like that so I held it . He then whispered something and I said what and I got closer and he said "I'm sorry" so I told him what are you sorry for and he said "I'm sorry that I'm here" . That just made me feel so bad and I try to stay upbeat because I've been through something like this before with my daughter. She was diagnosed with leukemia at 3 years old and it was a three-year battle before she finally beat it. We practically lived at Children's Hospital for those 3 years.up and down to Denver a 2-hour Drive every Tuesday ,thursday and saturday Plus week-long or two week-long stays when she would have pneumonia and temperatures of 105 + at times. Anyway he says they don't ever answer their call light and he's afraid he's going to get a mucus plug and they are going to find him dead later on. I keep on trying to be upbeat because I don't want him to be depressed and I want him to keep on trying to get off of the ventilator. So I tell him things like Dad you're doing so much better and don't quit now. For the most part all that stuff is true even the doctor said there's no reason why he should not be able to get off the ventilator everything is looking good, but that was the doctor in Colorado Springs. The doctor down here and the nurses down here are telling us different story saying that his bladder is what they call a dead bladder and he'll never be off of the Foley and maybe never the ventilator. I feel like they don't care that he is just another patients in a vegetative state in their mind and he is also a good candidate in their mind for long-term care so they're not even trying as hard as they should be. I guess my question is what should I do? Should I call the budsman and set up a meeting with the a budsman and administrator? and does anybody have any advice how to get rid of mucus plugs or at least stop them temporarily? I am so tired and so nervous all the time I cannot stop thinking about him I feel like I'm letting him down. like I should be there for him, but I can't be. I feel helpless and I want to help him so bad.

7 Replies
oldestnewest

That is unspeakably awful what you and your family are going through - I wish your father well and a miraculously speedy recovery to get him home & out of that hell. Could you raise your concerns with local politicians or town council? I know that any media comes with a double edged sword - but is it worth approaching local media outlets? Or putting his plight on social media linking press, health authorities and local politicians - are there lobbyists or pressure groups.....? I was dumbfounded when I first read your post & couldn’t process its awfulness. Best wishes.

Reply

Thank you for the kind words it's much appreciated with everything going on any kindness or hope goes a long way. Since I wrote the last things about my dad other events hmistook place. He is now very weak more then normal and the plugs are coming more often. He almost cored again yesterday and told the nurses all day he had another plug ,but they didnt listen until they found the plug when they were trying to help him breathe. They also took him off all meds again a sent him out to Parkview hospital because he is so weak and tired.The hospital gave him blood tests and found that he has very low on red blood cell counts it was at 5.8 So I have no idea what's going on now. It does explain why he is so tired and why the pneumonia is spreading. It also explains why he has blood in his tube when the suction him. I just dont know why his blood levels are low in the first place. It could be lots of things like internal bleeding or lymphoma idk. I know one thing at least for today I feel a little bit better just because at the hospital they at least take care of him and do their jobs unlike the hell hole he is in at that nursing home. I wish they would admit him for a while and wean him there or at least not send him back until they know what's wrong for sure. Because they are going to kill my dad at Rock Canyon nursing home or just let him wither away. Which is ridiculous because my dad is not a lost cause no one is.Nor should they ever be. Just 3 months ago he was walking g around talking and living his life with no problems, but now he is in this messed up situation and all because he stepped on a nail. I'm in the process of trying to work something out with adult protective services or the ombudsman to get better care for my dad, but im kind of stuck because there is no where else for him to go. Thankyou for the good words and please if you are a believer will you pray for my dad if you dont mind because I belive all prayers, help

1 like
Reply

Yea I will my friend.

Reply

I am so sorry that your Dad has to go through this. Is there any way you can refuse to have him moved from the hospital? If he can’t stay in the hospital, it might be better to send him to the other rehab home in Colorado, even though it is 2 hours away, as he would probably get better care than he gets at his current one. , which quite frankly sounds appalling. Praying your Dad makes a full recovery quickly so he can get out of there x

Reply

What an awful situation, I don't know what to say to help other than what sepsur and tessauk1 have suggested, but I will pray for you all. God bless.

Reply

What a heartbreaking story. All I can say is that he's lucky to have such a strong and loving son. Good luck, Jason.

Reply

Hello, I hope your dad gets better, tracheo seems to be a good decision if he was on respiratory help for a long time, my partner had a tracheo after being unable to breathe on his own for 3 times and it really helped to resolve his breathing issues. I am so sorry to hear about the facility treatment, I suggest to change the facility ASAP. And send a detailed review about this facility to the local council, and after you move him to another facility, write on their public pages about the experience. I feel you because in my country the public hospitals are like this. Hygiene level is zero. My partner was in septic shock with 50% of body in open wounds and they didnt even use gloves and kept windows opened so flies were all around the room. We freaked out and told the staff we are going to fill a complaint. Since then the conditions improved and some staff were changed, things are looking much better now and I sure hope your father's story will develop the same way. Its better to have him in a facility 5 hours away if you know he will get the attention he needs. You are in my prayers.

Reply

You may also like...