Death By A Thousand Administrative Paper Cuts @ 06:55 pm
Having a local advocate for my grandmother is A Good Thing. However, it can get interesting at times because she is very hyper-sensitive to nursing home issues, and I am utterly numb to it. (There may be a touch of residual caregiver fatigue. Just a little.) With these sensitivities at the opposite ends of the spectrum, there are bound to be times where we view things a little differently.
The care center where my grandmother resides is certainly good enough, but they do have some left hand/right hand issues on the administrative side, which annoys me to no end, but they have not impacted my grandmother’s care, so I pick my battles. As long as she gets her meds on time, it’s all good – and trust me, it is in their best interest to get her the meds on time. You don’t want to be around her if she hasn’t gotten her Xanax.
So, this weekend she sustained a minor injury to her arm, including a small cut that someone mended with a couple little butterfly bandages. Unfortunately, there was no corresponding paperwork, so all we know is that the band-aid fairy came around. When Sharyn called me last night about it, she was seriously spooled up about it, and frankly it sounded more like my grandmother had managed to get into a fight with a weed-whacker. When she gets spooled up, then I get spooled up, because I’m thinking, “Crap, now I have to go all MPOA militant granddaughter on them, and that isn’t going to solve anything either.” Fortunately, I have a rule: If it isn’t life threatening, I ignore the situation for 6 to 18 hours so I can cool off before calling and asking, “OK, what’s the story?” knowing it will end up being somewhere in between what I’ve already heard and what they tell me.
So today I call the charge nurse – she still has no info on what happened, but the butterfly bandages are already off and the cut is closed up and it was in fact, a very minor injury. The Assistant DoN is investigating to see why no incident report was done, and I’ll call her back in a day or two to get the details. I have my own suspicions that my grandmother likely whacked her arm on the night table, someone came in and patched it up and then got caught up with another resident and flat out forgot the paperwork, or it’s in someone else’s chart. (I’ll not comment on the fact that there are only 9 people on her wing over the course of a weekend and it shouldn’t take that long to make 9 calls of, “Did you bandage Vynne’s arm?”)
But this is the type of stuff that is just going to be the death of me. I’m going to be out there next month for a couple days and I am going to have to have a Very Serious conversation with them that will pretty much only consist of this: Stop pissing off the advocate. Seriously, she gets pissed off, I get an earful and am left feeling like yet again, I am not quite measuring up to the herculean task that is being my grandmother’s granddaughter in her declining years.
Additionally, Phase II of “Cindy gets her life back” (yes, it’s just like Stella & her groove) is kicking off once I get back home, and I am going to be incredibly busy for the foreseeable future, not even remotely as instantly available as I have been, and certainly not at all inclined to have to be the voice of reason over administrative cock-ups. I cannot put my life back on hold again. I made that mistake for 3 years, and I will not repeat it.