Stroke Update 8 – My Letter

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What follows is the openly frank, brutally honest document that I just sent to the award-winning rehab hospital’s survey company, as well as to a few of that same hospital’s executives. Due to mature subject matter, parental guidance is suggested:

“Name: xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
Released from xxxxxxxxxxx: January 18, 2018, after 3 weeks of care.

To summarize, the care provided was very uneven. Sometimes, I wound up with someone who cared, and sometimes, I wound up with someone who obviously didn’t care.

I never knew which one I was going to get. Over and over, I registered complaints to those in charge when they happened. They ALWAYS apologized profusely, but the level of disrespect never changed.

First of all, the speech therapists, Tina, and her assistant, Jackie, were professional, very proficient, and very caring. So were the physical therapist, Madelyn (Maddi) and occupational therapist, Amanda. Wonderful people, all of them. I couldn’t have wished for better therapists. Some GOOD nurses that I remember were Leslie, Melody, Jamieson, and Fran (from Switzerland). They were all caring, REAL HUMAN BEINGS, unlike many of their colleagues.

I wrote myself some notes of other experiences that I wanted to make sure you see, so they are as follows:

At first, I was put in the “front” side of a room, with a roommate who needed constant care in “the back” of the same room. For almost 2 weeks, until they moved me to a different room, most staff never turned off the lights (I had photophobia from my stroke) or closed the room door, despite being asked to do so, over and over, by me, and also by signs posted by my wife all over the room. They just ignored us and our many requests!

There was a fluorescent light on in the ceiling outside our shared room. It, and the bright light reflected from above my roommate’s bed, shone right in my face, despite me BEGGING the nurses to make it dark. I felt like I was “on display” to anyone who cared to see, every minute of every day, with the nurses NOT respecting my privacy or concerns. I didn’t get ANY SLEEP for several whole nights!

One time, a nurse came in, and I politely asked her to please close the room door (because of the bright light), and she snapped at me, “When I’m DONE,” and then spent several minutes taking care of my roommate, with the door open and the room lights blazing – she wasn’t even there for me!

In fact, TWO DIFFERENT TIMES, someone walked in on me, without knocking, while I was trying to go to the bathroom in the sharp-edged plastic bedside urinal. One time, it was one of my roommate’s many GUESTS, who just stood there and WATCHED ME.

One night, early on, a nurse was typing on a laptop, all night, right outside of my room. I asked her if she would PLEASE close the room door to make it darker. She snapped at me, “Why don’t you just masturbate?” and stormed out of the room. Didn’t she already know that my stroke had made me too weak to even rearrange my head on my pillow? Would she have liked it if I had talked to HER that way?

A few hours later, another nurse came in the room, and I heard the first one call out to her, “Oh, you don’t want to go into THAT room!” Just adding insult to injury. After that, several of the nurses were aloof and impersonal to me. What were they told about me? I told the head of nursing, I already feel small and useless enough, without having people who are supposed to empower me, instead treat me with such disrespect.

Speaking of going pee, one nurse refused to empty my plastic bedside urinal, promising that she’d send a technician to do it instead. She DID NOT send a technician. Ever. I finally took care of it myself, even though it was against their rules for me to get out of bed by myself.

Another time, I pushed the “call” button and told a nurse that I had to go to the bathroom right now. She told me that she’d be right back. Instead, she WENT HOME and didn’t tell anyone about me!

A whole HOUR LATER, a nurse came in for something else, and told me that the other nurse had gone home without telling anyone. I told her that, if she didn’t tell anyone that I had transferred from my bed to a wheelchair, gone in the bathroom BY MYSELF, and transferred back to my bed, ALL ALONE, then I wouldn’t tell anyone that they left me alone FOR A WHOLE HOUR when I had asked for help.

One time, in the bathroom, a female nurse said to me, “Tuck in YOUR THING, so you don’t get the floor wet.” That was very ignorant and DISRESPECTFUL of her! How would she like it if I talked to HER that way?

One time, a nurse who was impatient with me, told me, “I have 9 other people to take care of.” Another time, a different nurse told me, “At 11pm, I will be the only one, taking care of this whole floor.” I didn’t need to know either of those things. They made me feel bad.

I have spent my career helping people, and I can tell the difference between people who CARE, and people who are just collecting a paycheck. I think xxxxxxxxxx would do well to FIRE the latter and give raises to the former.

As I told the Director of Nursing at xxxxxxxxxx, you can train people to do a job, but you can’t train people to CARE.

Like I said, the whole experience was very uneven. Rehab was great, but hospitalization felt like a poorly-run warehouse.

After much time and trouble, and many, many corrections, I typed this myself. I really, really hope that it makes a difference for others.”

© 2018, ComputerBob. All Rights Reserved.

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2 Responses to Stroke Update 8 – My Letter

  1. LuAnne Grant says:

    What a nightmare that must have been! Your nurses took the Nurse Ratchet stereotype to an all new level of cruel negligence! I am so sorry you were treated so badly while in the hospital. There is no excuse for that type of behavior from supposed medical professionals!

  2. Vic Vida says:

    There is an Eternal Weight of Glory , that will heal and erase any memories of these” momentary light afflictions ” I don’t understand many of Our Father’s ways, when it involves suffering, crosses and the like but I trust His wisdom and sovereign power to use it all for our good , Praying that His warm embrace and healing Peace will redeem this entire episode in a life laid down for His Glory! Much Love to you, and so sorry about the experience you had. If they knew Him or Him in you they could not have acted so . In His grip ! Vicv

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