Don't leave her at the mercy of barbaric 20th-century medicine!

OK. So.

My wife is currently in a rehab facility learning to walk again on two broken legs and a broken hand after a murder attempt.

Despite the attack and her long painful recovery, she has kept up a positive attitude. But being trapped in medical facilities for a month has been tough; she has so little control over her circumstances.

She’s been happy about each little step on the return to independence. One if the big ones was being able to use a handy plastic personal urinal to urinate unassisted. The thing hangs on her bedframe and is her companion and a trophy of progress. It touches her hands and skin, but it’s rinsed after each use and she’s not too worried about its cleanliness, urine being essentially sterile.

Today the nursing assistant dumped it out and returned it dripping wet to her tray table. If you haven’t spent a lot of time off your feet lately, you need to understand the tray table is her personal universe…she eats, writes, entertains, makes calls, stores her glasses and toothbrush there…everything that happens while she’s in bed happens on the tray table.

And she didn’t hear a sink run.

Hesitant to jump to conclusions, she waited until the next time the urinal was emptied (same staff member). Pour, flush, returned rinsed and dripping wet…no sink. “How did you do that so fast?” she asked.

He told her – he poured it into the toilet, flushed, then immersed it in the toilet bowl and swished it around.

Okay, so here’s the Pit part you’ve been waiting for. WHAT THE ACTUAL TYPHOID MARY FUCK! It’s 20-goddamned-17, and medical professionals are swirling her personal care equipment in a nursing home toilet?

Double check me on this – it’s not phobic to be horrified something dipped in a medical facility’s toilet was placed, dripping, on your lunch table? On your bed? Jesus H. Cholera, people! Things can go INTO the toilet, but nothing comes back out and touches all your stuff! Don’t put people’s shit in the toilet! Well, put their shit in there, but not their “shit” shit, shithead! Shit!

She called me in tears. If this is what they’re comfortable admitting, what else might be happening?

Glad to her she’s recovering but…
How long has she been walking on that hand? :smiley:

EEK! I just so… Wow. Damn. It’s…gawd… eek!


Is it possible its just that one guy? I’d make a report.

Yes, should certainly be reported. Call the friggen health department if the hospital doesn’t give a shit.
So glad to hear that she will recover from this madness!!

The people cleaning up aren’t medical professionals. Buy some dish detergent and sponges and leave them instructions on how to clean (kinda ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’).

That seems beyond the pale to me. I’d love to hear from some of our resident nurses and docs about their opinion of this.

And glad to hear she’s on the road to recovery. Best wishes to you both.

Not funny. :mad:

Sailboat, I’m so sorry you and the Mrs are going through this. I’d get in contact with the head nurse AND the administrator of the facility and inquire into this very very nicely and very very civilly. You can’t afford to make enemies on the staff, but you can ask questions with blue-eyed innocence in your eyes and steely resolve in your heart.

I’ve been the companion of many, many hospitalized people, and honest-to-gawd, you have to watch everything like a hawk. Yeah, they’re busy, they have a lot of people to look after, they have a tremendous responsibility, whatever. One of the biggest dangers of being in a hospital or rehab facility for a long period of time is picking up an infection of some kind THERE. Infection control and hygiene procedures must be followed fanatically.

Just be sure you are calm, kind, and non-accusatory when you talk to the highest-up person you can find. I"m not saying I could be. I’ve had more than one charge nurse ream me out for standing up for my late husband’s rights… but then no one likes an uppity, righteous woman. I wish you better luck.

You are no doubt right about tiptoeing on eggshells when dealing with this lest things get worse Thelma, but damn, listen to how that sounds. This is why I don’t want to live 10 extra years being abused and neglected in some nursing home. Once the state of your well being becomes another unpleasant task in the workday of someone else’s job, you’re pretty much screwed.

I’m still waiting to hear what happened to Laszlo Molnar and his chain of nursing homes. As far as I can google, nothing, and it’s been almost three years.

I would talk to a ombudsman or patient advocate… every hospital should have them… that was Not Cool.
PS : PM Me her Address if you’d be willing, I’d like to send a card.

Pretty much this. Thankfully your wife is aware enough to notice these things, and that she has you to advocate for her care. Just remember, as has already been said, that you need to be tactful and polite in dealing with the people there.

It’s hard to tell what sort of facility your wife is in from what you wrote, but nursing home aides (and other types of nursing assistants as well) are typically paid jack-shit, so many of these types of facilities are chronically short-handed and the aides are overworked on top of having a low-prestige but highly demanding job. Interacting with the ones you see and getting to know them is a good strategy, for both your wife and you. If they like you and feel they know you, it’s going to help improve her care - they’ll care more and be willing to do more if asked directly.

An email to the head nurse, the home administrator, the corporation’s CEO*, and my brother the lawyer**, detailing every last detail cleanly and thoroughly***, can do wonders. Magic happened in the three hours between hitting Send and my arrival at the home. You don’t need to actually threaten a lawsuit. Or a call to a local TV station. A hint is plenty.

    • Why would a muckety-muck put his email online? Didn’t he know that a 12-yr-old, or a poor, feeble, old man, can find it and make his assistant’s assistant’s life a living hell?

** - Actual lawyer brother not needed. Before she married into a pack of them Wife would cc the firm of Nirvana, Nirvana, and Fromage with similar results.

*** - If forced, I can assemble a coherent, digression-free, litany of grievances.

Not "tiptoeing on eggshells,’ but being civil and calm. If you start ranting and raving (which I have been known to do in the past) you damage your own credibility (voice of experience speaking) and no one will listen to you. A smile on your lips and steel in your heart is not tiptoeing on eggshells. You have to get them to LISTEN and take you seriously. Go through channels and go all the way to the top administrator if you have to, but be gracious and smooth as glass the whole time.

If there is an ombudsman, by all means, take that route.

My mother is in assisted living, and the care she gets is EXCELLENT. I’m there twice a week, and I’ve made it a point to learn the names of and get to know all of the nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, cleaners, office staff, and top administrators. I make friends with everyone.

One day my mother told me that one of the CNAs was rough with her. I called the nurse on duty and he immediately came and talked to Mama and took down the information. He notified his boss and she notified the state board that oversees nursing homes–this is required by law. The CNA in question (the only one I’ve even known to be a problem) was sent home for the rest of the week and then had to take a bunch of retraining/remedial classes. If I had gone raging up to the front desk, this wouldn’t have been handled so smoothly.

You’re in a hard spot, my friend.
ETA. MY point is that I wouldn’t START here…(even if you eventually get here)

It was after a series of polite verbal complaints by Wife that went unheeded. She was nice and very ill and didn’t want to make a fuss. But you know about the squeaky wheel. I didn’t scream and rant–note my family of lawyers–I just laid out a list of possible torts.

Wishing the best for your wife, Sailboat.

And yes, this is inexcusable. Urinals *never *go on the bedside table, rinsed or not. Speak to the nurse manager (not ‘head nurse’) and ask him or her to follow up with you after it has been addressed.

Also, lawsuit talk labels you as an amateur. Anyone who has been in healthcare for any length of time has heard it many, many times before.

Not second guessing your sitch. I meant I wouldn’t advise Sailboat to start here.

The staff WILL hold it against you and your wife…get tough…talk to her immediate care physician…when a doctor bellows at the nursing staff…they will listen…most nurses aides get paid minimum wages…they just don’t give a crap

Yeah, TALK does. Hints, OTOH. :wink:

My wife’s home had, it turned out, a history. :eek: I took her elsewhere.

Yep…move her if you have to…we hired a daily care worker to sit with my MIL…while we were working…one of the kids were on call or with her at night…The home hated it…of course she wasn’t rehab-ing…It was a brief stopover before hospice care…Seriously talk to her Doctor…