Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I was having a great day until Mike called and told me he had had a dizzy spell. It happened right after lunch, he said, in the therapy room. He was tossing a beach ball with the PT, got tired and had to lie down. They let him rest, then he tried to get up again and got dizzy. When they took his blood pressure it was low, his oxygen count was low and his speech was slurred. They walked him back to his room and hooked him up to oxygen. A couple of hours later, he called me, and told me what happened and said he felt fine. No one from the nursing home ever called, and I'm thinking they should have.

By the time I got there, the day nurse was gone, the night nurse was on and she didn't know anything about this episode. The doctor, who had been making rounds but got called back to the hospital for an emergency, had not seen him. When the nurse called the doctor, he said Mike needed to go to the ER, but they didn't offer to call an ambulance, and they looked to me to persuade him to go. I guess they expected me to carry him in my car. He refused to go.

His BP was okay when they checked it, the oxygen count was a little low, so they put the oxygen back on him, but his speech was not slurred and he insisted he felt fine. I'm really not qualified to diagnose his symptoms, but it sounded like a TIA to me. The nurse did all the checks for a stroke, but since he already has had a stroke, that's pretty much useless. I stayed with him for over an hour, and he was talking and joking, so I left for choir rehearsal. I don't know anything else I could have done, except call 911 myself and insist they take him. With him refusing to go, I'm not sure they would have.

I really believe the nursing home mishandled this. I've got to talk to them in the morning to find out what their policy is in cases like this. If he is their patient, aren't they supposed to be making decisions for him in his best interest? There may not have been any harm done, but if something like this happens again, I want him carried to the ER, whether he agrees to go or not.

And this makes me even more nervous about bringing him home.

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