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WideEyed's Journal of Gaian Goodness
Miscellaneous Meanderings, Muddled Musings, and Awesome Arts.... Comments are welcome and appreciated. :)
A Trip to the Hospital...
So, about this time last Saturday, I got a call from the home where my step-father lives, saying that he had fallen and they were taking him to the hospital.
Shortly afterwards, it was discovered that he had broken his hip rather badly, and would need surgery in order to repair it.
The surgery was performed last Sunday, after which, the doctor told us it had gone well, and that he was in Post-op sleeping off the sedation.
Figuring that he would be out for several hours, and having been at the hospital for hours already ourselves, we went home for dinner, but I wasn't home five minutes before I got a call from the hospital, saying that he was having a bad reaction to his sedation and I should come back to the hospital.
I returned to find him completely delusional and agitated, and restrained to his bed. He had no idea what was going on, and was fighting with the staff in Post-op.

It turns out, that the sedative used for the surgery was of the benzodazepine family, a drug to which he tends to have an adverse, paradoxical reaction, and something that the home where he lives has been made aware of, and should have told the hospital when his records were sent over.

The next day, he was no better, and when I inquired about what they were giving him, I found that they had administered even more sedatives from the benzo family, in an attempt to deal with his demented state, despite our informing them of his sensitivity, and this pattern continued until Wednesday when I finally got rather harsh with some of the staff, and demanded that they stop giving him benzo family sedatives, and update his records.

Sure enough, by Thursday, after 24 hours of none of these particular meds, he was getting back to his normal state of mind, and the hallucinations and paranoia were gone, and the staff was able to begin dealing with his injury, rather than his dementia.

He is still in pretty bad shape, and I have grave concerns as to whether or not he will ever really recover from the fracture, but at least now that he's no longer considered to be a crazy and violent old man, perhaps we can start working on getting him back on his feet.

I guess the purpose of this Journal Entry, is to provide a warning to anybody who may find themselves in the situation of caring for someone who can't care for themselves.
Don't trust the people "in charge" to have have their act together.

The home knew of my step-father's issues with benzodiazepines, yet failed to inform the hospital of this extremely important fact, and the hospital staff, despite having been repeatedly told of this by myself and my sister, continued administering the drugs until I got somewhat aggressive with them.
And this is not the first time we have run into this sort of thing with him.
When this happened the first time, it was actually my sister and I who figured out what was going on by researching the drugs he was being given at the hospital, and discovering the paradoxical reactions that some sedatives can have.
I honestly believe that if we had not been involved that first time, they would have kept giving him those drugs, and believeing that he was crazy until his condition became fatal.
So what this entry comes down to is this...if you have someone under care in the medical system and things don't seem right, don't just take the doctor's word for it.
Be informed.
Make them tell you what they are doing and what drugs they are administering, and do your research.
Information is extremely easy to come by these days, and doctors are only human, not the supreme, perfect beings that so many of them would like us to treat them as.
Sometimes they get it wrong.
And sometimes, it's up to us to look over their shoulders and question their decisions.

User Comments: [3] [add]
Community Member
commentCommented on: Sun Jul 01, 2012 @ 07:36am

I've been meaning to ask you how he is doing. The thing about reading this, it kind of made me wake up. I've seen someone in the hospital who was given morphine or something and had reactions like this. She was tied to the bed, hallucinating, carrying full conversations on with herself, completely unaware of her surroundings, tied down. The doctors acted like they just had no idea. It seems to be more common somehow, now though.

Anyway, I hope things are improving.

commentCommented on: Sun Jul 01, 2012 @ 03:40pm
Hi Spiff! blaugh

Thanks for asking. heart
He's doing much better, thanks, but he still has a very long and painful way to go.
His serious dementia cleared by the fourth day after surgery; once the meds had cleared his system, but there have been at least two inexplicable bouts of alterred mental state since then, both separated by a few days, so I'm still kind of concerned about that.
The big issue is going to be getting him back on his feet though.
The breaks were severe enough that they don't want him to do any load bearing whatsoever for at least four to six weeks, and with his pre-existing issues around walking, and his weight issues (he's a big guy), I have serious concerns about him ever walking again.
Only time is going to tell.

Re: your observations of demented patients being restrained in hospital... while there's always cause for concern when someone displays uncharacteristic behavour, especially when there's medication involved, sometimes what we see, is what it is, if you get my meaning.
My mom suffered through dementia for the final year of her life, and during that time had to be hospitalised when she fell ill with pneumonia.
She of course, didn't understand what was happening, and had to be restrained in order to stop her from removing her feeding tube and intravenous.
It has horrible to see her like that (it haunts me to this day) but we understood that it had to be done.

All I can say is that, while we have to trust the medical staff to do the best they can, they are only human, and often over-worked.
Sometimes patients can be mis-diagnosed, or symptoms can be misinterpreted.
An engaged, and informed family member is perhaps the best thing they can have in their corner.

Community Member
Community Member
commentCommented on: Thu Jul 05, 2012 @ 07:07am
Aye, that!

Doctors can only do so much (has a sister who is one). And overbearing (and overly demanding and sometimes unreasonable) patients don't make it any easier for the overworked and very over stressed doctors. (she rants so often about these things sweatdrop ) It really helps to have helping hands and minds coming from all over: from the relatives, from the staff, even from the patient himself (if he is able).

Also, doctors have a limited arsenal and are very dependent on what drugs are available. My sister told me that there's actually no safe drug. All of them have side effects and that they affect people differently. There are just times when some people are more affected than others. And sometimes, there are rarely any alternatives (or really expensive alternatives)... sad

I remember my sister saying to be cautious of reading stuff in the internet without talking it out with their doctor. She says that there are places in the internet which are misinformed or the people tend to misinterpret/misunderstand the articles. She told me of a patient once who had a hard time understanding diabetes and that she spent almost 2 hours just explaining what a pancreas is and what insulin is for fear that this patient won't be diligent with his medications...(she tried explaining it to me too, but even after 30 minutes, she lost me xd she was using such simple metaphors too...but i think i understand it better...a bit...i think... sweatdrop )

My sister sends her regards to your step-father. She says that hip surgery is one of the hardest to do and to get better from. We have an uncle who had hip surgery (twice because he fell again) a year ago. He seems very depressed about not being able to do sports. He can presently nudge along with the aid of a somewhat modified cane of sorts. My sister said that long term diligence, patience, and perseverance with physical therapy after the surgery will be needed if ever the patient will want to walk/dance/play sports again...

User Comments: [3] [add]
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