Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Three Broken Ribs

Remember those x-rays G'ma took last week?  The ones that they were "sure will be no problem but we'll call you if there is something of note," the ones I stopped worrying about because I was leaving for BlogHer'12 and I'd heard nary a word?  The ones that we thought were unnecessary, perhaps overly cautious, but that she had, anyway, because the Nurse Practitioner thought it would be a good idea.

"Can I afford it?  Will Medicare pay?"  Assured that it wasn't going to be a financial burden, G'ma accepted the procedure with her usual, snarky attitude. "A little more radiation won't kill me, will it?"

Since I've promised to keep her alive at least through the kids' wedding in late September, I paid a little bit more attention to the answer instead of rolling my eyes.  She's decided she wants a new dress for the affair; I want to be sure she's there to wear it.  "You'll be fine," was the answer and we exchanged a look because we both know that she's not fine and won't be fine but the NP didn't need to share our moment so we grabbed the prescription and bolted.

Those x-rays were taken and I traveled and returned and the arnica kept G'ma's swelling and purpling to a minimum and I attributed the extra kvetching as she got into and out of my car to the bruising and swelling..... until the phone rang early Saturday morning.  It was the pod castle and they were wondering why I wasn't over there fussing over G'ma and her three broken ribs.

Three broken ribs?

Between dead cell phones and new offices and inexperienced secretaries any attempts to communicate with me went astray, they say.  I'm refusing to believe that they didn't want to tell me and made a conscious decision not to call.  Everyone from every side apologized.  I'm not wasting energy there, worrying that those entrusted with my mother's well-being are plotting against us.

They did tell me she fell.  They did acknowledge it was during a supervised activity.  I'm really not angry at all. 

Should someone have been spotting her as she finished her turn and went back to her chair?  Probably... until you've spent any time around her and have been treated to the venom spewing from her eyes when you've offered assistance.  "I'm fine!" and a snarl is what will come your way, just ask TBG or Big Cuter, each of whom tried to be gentlemanly and received the full treatment.  I understand my mother's need to be independent and do for herself those things which are still within her reach, and I know the staff does, too.

Accidents happen.  That's why they call them accidents. 

But still, three broken ribs?  I drove over to the pod castle and asked G'ma if she felt weird, having thre broken ribs.

"Broken ribs?  I broke my ribs?  On which side?  I don't feel anything broken.... should I?"

There's my mother, worrying that she's disappointed me by not being able to identify broken bones.  I hugged her and she laughed.  "I thought I had broken ribs.  Be careful with that hugging."  No, I hadn't hurt her.  Couldn't I take a joke?

It's hard to be furious about three broken ribs when the patient has already moved on. 

Everyone at the pod castle is very concerned - about reporting, about phone calls, about safety, about prevention.  Underlying it all is their very real fear that I'll sue.  I tried to reassure them.  I smiled and I hugged and I expressed delight that the injury had happened when she was participating in an activity, rather than rolling off her couch like the last one.

Because the truth is that there was a last one and there will be another one and there's nothing we can do but smile and try to be sure that the same mistake is not made twice. A law suit would solve nothing.  I have enough aggravation without adding to the pile.  She receives loving care day in and day out.  I couldn't ask for more.

Still, it's nice that they had the grace to worry.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! She's a trooper. She has three broken ribs and didn't realize it. Everyone I know who has had broken ribs say it hurts like Hell.

    I'm glad someone finally told you. And you are right. At least she was up and doing something and it wasn't just a fall and no one was there. I think that would have made it much worse--at least for me. She's still being active and accidents happen. I hope she feels better soon. Just thinking about it makes me hurt. :(

    Megan xxx


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