“They told me to take off my wedding ring…”

Wedding Ring Amongst The Miscellany

Day 26 — During the time that I was in Oysterville, “they” adjusted Nyel’s pain meds once again.  He had been in misery on Day 24 mostly, we think, because the the nurses are SO inconsistent about giving him his meds on time.  If they are late and he experiences break-through pain, it takes several (on-time) dosages to get him normalized.  Some nurses are timely.  Some are not.

The ones that are not always have excuses — “I was busy with another patient” is the most common and hard to argue with.  My personal favorite (NOT!) is the “He didn’t ask for it so I didn’t think he needed it.”  I think I might have raised my voice just a tad:  “He’s on a scheduled dosage!!!”


In response to that particular go-round, “they” added yet another pain med.  Sometimes the two were being given together.  “No, no, no” said yesterday’s nurse.  You have to wait at least a half hour.  Those drugs are not good together.  Why is he on THAT schedule?”  I think her question was rhetoricaL… but it’s hard to tell with these Providence nurses.

When I walked in this morning Nyel said, “Those people are talking to me again.”  The “people” come to him when he is dozing.  He knows they are not real but, apparently, that doesn’t help matters.  “They told me to take off my wedding ring.”  And so he did.  “It’s right here on the table by my glasses.”  After I retrieved it and put it safely in my purse I asked, “And if they asked you to pull out your IVs, would you??”  “Probably,” was the answer.  YIKES!

Nyel’s White Board

So I ratted him out to Jon, his new nurse-of-the-day.  “He shouldn’t be given these pain two meds together — not even if they are given a half hour or hour separately.  One or the other.  Not both!” and Jon has crossed off one of the pain meds completely.  I didn’t know he could do that without a doctor’s order.  But I actually know very little…

The Tall and The Short Of It

The last time Nyel hallucinated it was in the ICU after his big “clean out the hardware” surgery early this month.  On that occasion he was an amoeba with millions of other amoebae.  They were racing for their lives in a game for which there were no rules.  Nyel said he lost and was then going down a ramp to the next game, also with no rules.  When he told the ICU nurse about it, she said, “Oh yes!  That’s called an ICU delirium and often happens after you’ve had anesthesia.  There have been a lot of studies about them.”  I looked online…  Wish I hadn’t.

As usual, my every instinct is to bust him outta here… where are Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman when we need them?


5 Responses to ““They told me to take off my wedding ring…””

  1. Bonnie says:

    Sydney – I have no words. I’m just heartbroken, angry and so frustrated that you two are going through this . . . and on and on. I know you are the best advocate Nyel could have, but also worry about the toll this is taking on you. I know there is nothing I can do, but know that I’m thinking of you both.

  2. Rae says:

    I echo what Bonnie wrote. I am going to ask my prayer group to storm the gates of heaven with prayer for you and Nyel. I cannot be there but I can and will pray for you both for strength and healing and that the team caring for him get on the same page and get Nyel on the road out of there.

  3. Sydney- if Nyel is on consistent dosage of pain meds, why isn’t he on a pain pump so he can self administer and reduce his dependence on RNs being there when needed?If you would like to file a complaint with the Medicare contracting organization handling our region, I can give you the contact information. It could facilitate a CMS audit of the hospital. I highly recommend doing it. You can get it on the Medicare.gov site but I’m happy to assist. Your blogs would provide detailed information for an investigation. We are thinking of the two of you a lot. ? So sorry this is happening.

  4. Susan Haynes says:

    All of this is extremely scary. As the former communications director of the largest physician-owned professional liability insurance company (i.e. medical malpractice) in the USA, I foresee a lawsuit here. The risk management policies of Nyel’s hospital seem to be nil.

  5. sydney says:

    Thanks Susan. The problem seems to be that this 1500-bed hospital is part of the Providence Medical Group, a HUGE corporation and the corporate mentality permeates all. We aren’t too interested in getting anything “fixed” here — just in getting Nyel out in the best possible condition and as fast as possible!
    We have thought about ryou and Bob a lot lately. Hope you are both doing well! Would love to see you both!

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