Monday, August 6, 2007

6 days, 3 boxes & 46 emails...

i have not fallen off the face of the earth...
my little '3 day' trip to the states with my family turned into 6 days.
i will try to just give you the highlites...
first day was great.
got to thief river falls, checked in to the seven clans waterpark and casino hotel, did a quick run to the new walmart in town for some water bottles and a li'l looksie and headed back for an evening in the waterpark with the kids. grandma and grandpa even came down and sat in some comfy loungers poolside to take it all in...
second day, after checking out and trying to load us all up into the van, i turned my head to find courtney and tyler scaling the brick wall along the side of the hotel!!!

once i quickly snapped a picture of my little daredevils, and proceeded to hold my breath til they got to the top as coming down from where they were by the sounds of their screaching mother didn't look like a very good idea...i gave the lecture to tyler that 'rock climbing' in his SANDALS wasn't very safe. ya think?

...on we went for breakfast in town and then on to grand forks. we went out for a nice family dinner here...

...where i indulged myself in a not-so-great order of steak and shrimp...but the company was most enjoyable! the next day was grandma and grandpa's 66th wedding anniversary so since we were to come home the next day, we decided to go out for a nice meal on our last night in the states together!
...OR SO WE THOUGHT...

on the thrid day, also G & G's anniversary, we checked out and headed over to the walmart supercentre to do a bit of shopping. i dropped everyone off right at the door, as i always did to make my grandpa's walking distance as little as possible, and went to park the car.

when i returned into the store, i found a small crowd of staff and shoppers surrounding my grandpa while he sat in a chair....right in between the entrace doors...not even in the store yet...

i bit my lip and hurried over to see what happended and a very frightened courtney run to inform me that grandpa had fallen down. he hurt his back, which was already a main source of his daily discomfort. he said he didn't feel right and that it felt like lightening in his back. we decided we better take him to the hospital to have him examined. he could barely walk and every little supported step he took made him cry out in pain.

it was so awful to see him like that and i felt so helpless.

...upon examination in the hospital we were informed that he had a compression fracture on one of his vertabrae....and a few other concerns that would include more testing. he was admitted and immediately put on a morphine IV to ease his pain. we made our arrangements to stay in another hotel for an undetermined amount of nights as we were in a wishy-washy whirlwind with the hospital news...
i was dealing with all the doctors and trying to offer as much support and comfort to my frantic grandma and make the best of our situation. i spent many hours in the hospital and the kids were back and forth to the hotel and hospital too.
after working all day on friday, mike drove out to the states to come and take the kids home to help ease our stress load. after a quick hour visit, including a stop at the hospital to see grandpa, he packed up the kids and went back home the same night.
some crummy anniversary day for my poor grandparents.



...i know my grandparents love each other like crazy (and drive each other just as crazy) and fact is that my grandma has definately been the 'doting wife' to him for many years now as his health is not as good as hers.
but being first hand at my grandparents side during this adventure and dealing with the medical staff, insurance company and hotel arrangements so they didn't need to worry about anything but getting better...i saw the utmost test of dedicated love and compassion my grandma has for my grandpa. i of course have always known it was there, i've seen it before, but this time is different.
he was hospitalized, medicated, helpless and dependant.
and she was terrified for him.
aside from having to leave to sleep and eat something, she was right there at his side from the moment she woke up to late in the evening when i would make her leave to come back to the hotel to sleep.

i have several pictures of this ordeal to 'scrapbook' but i have MANY pictures in my heart and mind that cannot be scrapbooked except from my own memory...
the hospial itself and the medical staff therein exceeded our expectations for his treatment.
i cannot say enough good about the care he received during his stay and the nursing staff and their extremely patient and caring attention they gave will always be most appreciated and respected. i was amazed by the helpful team of support and care, and quick and efficient way of help we were given through those 4 days there.
amazing.
we will be forever grateful to the american staff at ALTRU HOSPITAL!!!

...dr. sanjay...



...L nurse maggie and R nurse judy...
(i think grandpa's favorites...)

...august 5, coming home in my own transformed 'ambulance' for grandpa...
thank you AMERICA...


...when we arrived in winnipeg last night, i immediately took him to his choice hospital for his continued stay and care. once i handed over his copied chart i was given in the states, they had him admitted and he is now in his very own room, comfortable, ( as he can be ) and waiting to start some physio therapy tomorrow and possibly undergo a few more tests...
we will also be meeting with homecare for after he is released from the hospital.
...i HATE our health care system even more now that i have something to really compare it to.
they made him wait in agony sitting in a wheelchair for one hour in the waiting room before taking him in for an assesment. i told them we had just driven 4 hours ( inluding the border stop) with severe discomfort for him and that he was advised from the american hospital to have continued 24hour hospital care...
an hour later, he was finally assesed by the doctor and she looked at his chart she was given from the states and admitted him. 3 hours later, grandma and i left him sleeping comfortably in his own room in the EMERGENCY ward....no room for him in the ward yet! unbelievable.
he had 4 neighbors outside his room, all on beds lined up against the wall in the hallway...
we had one nurse who tried her busiest best to help us out, everyone else couldn't care a less and they sure showed it. rude. ignorant. and miserable. i wish i was a nurse to i could take care of him myself.
i didn't expect the same professional and out-of-their-way care he received in the states, but i sure didn't expect the poor, poor treatment he was given last night in our own hometown hospital. my grandma was once again a nervous wreck.
but he is now up in a comfortabe bed in his own room on the 3rd floor...i am about to go see him and 'check out' the care he is being given there....
whew...that's the update...and i guess i have to say 'so much for trying to be brief...'
in other news...
i came home to 46 emails (WOW) that i have also finished reading and also 3 boxes of new scrapbooking supplies for my shop!!! WAIT til you see....
i will snap a few pic's for you and post 'em tomorrow...gotta go up to visit grandpa right now and then have a quiet family night at home since we've been apart so much these last 6 days...
i CAN hint to you that i got some new LOVE, ELSIE stock in (love it) and lots of other fun, fun stuff...
...i'm off...
:O)









4 comments:

AsYouWishGreetings said...

My Goodness, what a trip! That's horrible about our healthcare. I would think that healthcare in the States would have been worse.....guess not. I'm glad your Grandpa is home, safe and sound. Along with everyone else. He's on the mend with an abundance of love and support from his family.

Can't wait to see your new stuff along with the Elsie stuff, Leigh-ann is going to faint! :P

xoxo
Manda

Kim said...

thank you amanda for your warm thoughts!!
:O)

Tara said...

Oh my gosh Kim! I just sent you an email asking what happened but then I just read this. I am so glad to hear your Gramps is doing better. Please give my love to them and your Mom and of course, TO YOU!

Back to work today so I'm super busy buy I'll email you the first chance I get.

Tara

Debb said...

Wow! Your vacation was way more exciting than mine. I hope your Grandpa heals quickly and whole. I know all about our silly healthcare system so I hope he is not hospitalized for long.