Yesterday my physician and I decided to change my drug schedule. At 10:00 p.m., instead of getting 7.5 mg. of the short-acting oxycodone, I would get a 10 mg. long-acting dose and then the 2:00 a.m. short-acting oxycodone would be discontinued.
The 10:00 p.m. medication that was given was one pill, not one and a half, and larger than usual, so I guessed it was the new dose. The nurse did not tell me. Nursing and I are having a few problems and some of the nurses react by being abrupt and non-communicative. Not good nursing behavior.
Then, at 2:00 a.m., another nurse tried to wake me for medicine. Believing that I should not have any, I resisted. She repeatedly grabbed my arm and shook me, and told me the medicine would be “wasted” unless I took it—a horrible justification for forcing medicine on a patient.
At 5:00 a.m., the charge nurse told me that the computer had generated “two sheets” and that one said yes to 2:00 a.m. medicine and the other said no. I went with what the physician said; the nurse went with the computer and would have overdosed me if I hadn’t resisted.
The last time the physician changed the drugging dose, I woke up at 9:15 a.m., expecting to have two clear functioning hours before my next medication at 11:00 a.m. Instead, the nurse came in and tried to give it to me at 9:15. She was insistent and I was resistant; I had just awakened and she was going to put me back to sleep.
Upon investigation, it turned out that the physician had been prescribing the oxycodone at 7:00, 11:00 and 3:00, which is every four hours. When he changed the dosage, he wrote it as “every four hours,” which the computer converted to the hospital’s usual “Q4” dosing schedule of 6:00, 10:00 and 2:00, hence my narcotic dose was moved forward an hour to 10:00 a.m.
Then the nurse moved it forward another hour. Some nurses do that; they start an hour ahead of schedule to administer drugs. I don’t think that’s a good idea when you’re administering narcotics. So my oxycodone got moved from 11:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. because of the computer and the nurse, never mind the physician and the patient.
Late last night I had a conversation with a nursing supervisor and learned that Crouse Hospital is keeping a dossier of all the things I do that they don’t like. They haven’t told me about it, which is to say that at the time of discord, e.g., three hospitalizations ago, nobody from the hospital came to me and asked what happened. They listened to one side of the story and then entered it in my permanent record. That’s sneaky, and a violation of my trust, not to mention my attempts to deal straightforwardly with Crouse.
The nursing supervisor says there are two issues involving roommates’ privacy; she only had some distant involvement in one of them. I’ve been working on my memory to pull up what happened.
In one case, my roommate was a middle-aged woman who’d had back surgery. The day after, she was talking on the phone to her husband, laughing and telling him how good she felt. Then the surgeon and his entourage arrived and she told them an entirely different story. She said she was in a great deal of pain and needed medication. I was shocked, naive little dumb-dumb that I am.
The physician was saying things like, “The site of the surgery isn’t red, so I don’t know why you’d be in such pain.” They went back and forth, with the patient trying harder to get drugs and the physician gradually giving in to her. What would you have done? Nothing or something? What kind of something?
I’ve spent the last five months shuttling back and forth between Crouse Hospital and Iroquois Nursing Home. I probably have been exposed to close to a thousand patients and staff. Now, I would keep my mouth shut; then, I attracted the attention of a member of the entourage and, in a few words, tried to let her know the patient was playing the physician.
Shortly thereafter, the patient was moved out of my room. I shrugged philosophically and said to myself, “I guess I made the wrong decision.” Nobody from the hospital ever talked to me about it. Nobody ever knew that the patient had told her husband that she was doing great; no need for pain medication. Except that, by the way, she complained a lot about her marriage, her home environment, and her general dissatisfaction with how her life was going. (To be continued.)