Monday, November 7

Monday Madness

 For those that enjoy reading my sweet upbeat blog, this is not one of those posts.  I have had it and have decided to share the frustration.  You have been warned!

As you know, James was admitted on Friday after a follow up visit with his surgeon's PA.  He was admitted for:
  1. Lack of appetite
  2. Lack of bowel movement
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Slight fever
  5. Anemia
And so far this is what has been done to treat him:
  1. Lack of appetite - NOTHING
  2. Lack of bowel movement - over the counter laxatives and stool softeners
  3. Shortness of breath - chest x ray, the same antibiotics he was getting at home
  4. Slight fever - NOTHING
  5. Anemia - Blood transfusion on Friday
So why are we in the hospital???
To add to it, the shortness of breath and lung problems have become very painful.  What do we do for pain?  Oh yes, narcotics!  Narcotics that put you so far out of your mind sleep is impossible.  If he is still hurting, do we further search for the source of pain?  NO!  What do we do?  More narcotics!  I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV but it is my opinion that we should find and treat the problem.  Not the symptoms. 
I am frustrated.  I am sick of doctors saying one thing and doing another. 
Doc - "Well I think you should have a CT scan." 
Amy - "Hi nurse.  Do we know when James might have his CT scan?"
Nurse- "Oh the doctor didn't order one."
Amy - "So he's not having one?"
Nurse- "Well, I don't know but don't eat anything, just in case."
Seriously.  And how long is James not supposed to eat anything "just in case" they come get him for a scan the doctor didn't order?  See why I am frustrated?

Another instance...
Phlebotomist - "Mr. Abell, I am going to stick you for a blood draw. Ok?"
Mrs. Abell - "Will you please use his port?  His veins have just about had it."
Phlebotomist - "No, I can't use his port.  The nurse said to stick him, Mrs. Abell."
Mrs. Abell - "Do not stick him.  I will be right back."    To the nurse: "Why does she have to stick him?"
Lazy Nurse - "Oh he doesn't want to be stuck?"
Mrs. Abell - "No.  We had a surgical procedure to put in a port so he would not have to be stuck so often."
Lazy Nurse- "Oh well a nurse has to do all blood draws from the port."
Mrs. Abell - "He's in room P320 and I suggest you hook up to his port if you would like lab work."

Did she seriously question that he didn't want to be stuck?  Really?  Does anyone want to be stuck in the veins with a needle?  He has had so many IVs and blood draws in the past ten days that his arms are black and blue with bruises.  The crease in his arm at his elbow looks like a target and they are continually sticking a needle there.  And you are going to send someone in to poke him one more time, when it can be avoided if you weren't so busy sitting at the nurse's station watching YouTube.  Ugh.  Everyone says. Go home and get some rest.  Take some time for yourself.  Take a deep breath and calm down.  To that I say: No.  If I am not here, I don't know what's going on and how to properly care for James.  And more so than that, they don't know how to properly care for him.  If I am not here, do you think some one is going to get him ice water every hour?  No.  Do you think someone is going to walk and talk with him?  No.  Is someone going to make him coffee at 3 AM?  No.  I am here as long as he is here but I am at a breaking point this morning.  I have not slept in a bed for eleven nights.  I have watched my husband suffer.  I have seen people show up for a paycheck and nothing more.  I am just so over it.  The light we saw at the end of this tunnel  seems to be so far away now.


  1. James needs an advocate and you are it. Please take that deep breath but DON'T lose your cool.He needs you strong and in control. I am furious as I read this. I wish that I could come down and take over for you. I am stuck at the office with our Brazilian distributor rep.UGH!
    He will come through this but it will take time.
    I am praying for a slow,easy recovery.God bless you tiger !!!! Bill and Deb

  2. Hello my friend. I think you are exactly where you need to be. YOU are his voice and his only advocate for the best treatment possible.

    You know what you and I have talked about, and it is the sqeaky wheel that gets the oil. So keep pestering and bothering. This is your husband for crying out loud! He needs to feel good so that you can finally rest and feel good.

    I wish I could come down there as well. But then they would have two raging b*tches to deal with!! haha I hope you can grin at that!

    I love you both and I am hoping for some much better patient care today. And I want you to let Stan take over when you get home (I said home) so that you may go in your room and sleep for 12 hours straight. :-)

    Hang in there and call me if you need to vent!


  3. My Dear Amos,
    I am so sorry for the mess you are having to deal with, but hang in there, and continue to be James' voice. I pray for you throughout the day, and will continue to do so. God is still in control, and He has James in the palm of His mighty hand. I love you both, and pray you are home soon!~Aunt Donna

  4. We love you Amy and don't even know what to say. We are sorry you are going thru this. We are praying for your strength and James'. We pray for speedier answers to your needs. We love you - Aunt Mary & Uncle Ed

  5. Dear Amy,
    I read this blog this morning and had to walk away. I so wish this road was easier for both you & James. But we know it is not easy but we also Know & Trust God will see you through. I too know how frustrating it is not getting answers, not seeing relief, not having doctors/nurses showing much compassion, not understanding what is going on. But I think our real frustration is seeing our loved ones hurting and knowing we can not help!! It has been a while since I was there but I know we have talked and overall the care there at M.D. Anderson is good. Now with Ronnie we were at Methodist. But I too remember all the times others said go home and get some rest. I couldn't do it either. I was my husband & son's voice. But more than that I was where I wanted to be, by their side. Saying that though it is important to try to take care of yourself too. You are needed and will be needed as James' caretaker. Continue to talk with God and trust Him totally. If you get a chance take a walk and give Him your heart, journal your thoughts, whatever it takes to keep you focused..You are Abell because He is Able!! Call me if you need a shoulder or an ear. I love you guys!!
    Jesus hears our cries,
    Aunt Lou

  6. NO DOUBT God chose the PERFECT helpmeet for James! You tell 'em girlfriend! It's so unfortunate that you have to be an eagle eye on every little thing, but that's how it goes nowadays! I'm sure you've acquired more medical knowledge than you ever dreamed you would! That's a great thing, because James needs your expertise and heart to get him through this process! God Bless you both, and may He especially keep His Mighty Hand on you Amy dear!! Love you~