There are times when the nurse calls out that really can not be avoided. Like last night. On her way to work the hit a curb at a high speed and blew out her tire. Then, to her astonishment, there was no spare tire in her trunk. Now, I won’t let her off the hook for not having a spare but I can certainly understand how it could happen.
It’s just one of those things. It wouldn’t be fair to blame the nursing agency either. In fact, they’re really doing a great job making sure our shifts are covered. Still, they will be put to the test tonight and I’ll hold the accountable. The Saturday nurse resigned yesterday (from what I was told) to handle family issues and focus on her full-time job.
Unfortunately, last night was devastating to us. Sue was in New York City all of last week, returning yesterday evening. She little more than walked in the door before we received the news that we’d need to cover the night shift. Sue was tired from travel. I was exhausted from a week without a break. All we could do is laugh… and move on.
I doubt we’ll be laughing if we’re put through another night, back-to-back. In fact, I know I won’t be laughing. Or smiling. Or even a smirking. In this case, the agency has over twenty-four hours to resolve it.
So, Sue took the first part of the night. Really, she took almost the entire time after ten o’clock. I passed out on the bed next to Ryan. I was in and out of sleep until around midnight, then went up to bed. I came down around 4:30 to relieve Sue. She stayed up with me until six-thirty giving medications and getting Ryan ready for the day.
Sue said she was going to lay down after helping get Ryan in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (HBOT). I walked through the room about two minutes later and she was stone-cold out. I intend to let her sleep until she wakes on her own. At the time I’ll try to grab a nap to rest (as much as possible) for potentially covering the shift tonight.
I hate this. Sue doesn’t deserve it. Ryan certainly doesn’t. It’s a daunting life to live every
day second. Never a true physical or mental break. It beats us down every time we get back up. Yes, we always get back up despite this certainty. What else can we do?
I have a saying that is absurdly applicable, despite it’s seeming contradiction. “Decisions are easy when there’s no choice”.
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Andrea- Thomas' mom says
Oh man, we have been there and I know how frustrating it is. One time the nurse called off because the roads were too bad, so my husband drove to her house and picked her up. Unfortunately there is no backup plan with nursing agencies. Though I have found that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” or should I say that “the nagging parent gets the nurse”.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I get down so much from all of the frustration and pain, Thomas ALWAYS does something to bring me back up.
The Colangelis says
Thank God Sue came home the night the nurse was unavailable. Her support allowed you to get through the night. I’m sorry these thrings happen and pray to God for Ryan’s behalf as well his family. God bless you.
Gail Doyle says
Ken ,Like everyone else wish so badly I could help you all. I keep Ryan and your family in my thoughts and prayers constantly .May all get some kind of rest tonight and no ,it’s not fair to any of you .What a kind offer from Jennifer, Hope Sue can find an hour, Don’t really know what to say except we’re here…Hope it helps a tiny bit….Give Ryan a big hug from me Gail
Ann H Tearle says
These ‘glitches’ suck and they always happen when you are your most tired. My daily thoughts , prayers and love are with you. Still here…..I know you need physical help right now so you can catch a break…..i’ll pray for a back-up plan for when these things happen. Annie
I have been following Ryan’s story since the start of it. I went to WVU and my brother is now a senior there. I know that there is not much I can do to give you and your family more rest, but I would like to help Sue get a few minutes to herself and treat her to soemthing special!
I am the Customer Relationship/ Personal Stylist Manager for Nordstrom at the Dulles Town Center. I would love to have Sue come in so that I can have someone treat her to a makeover and some other “girly” things in the store! I know that it is not much, but i can make sure that she has an amazing hour or so where she can have other people take care of her. I will also make sure she walks out the door with some little gifts and maybe even something for you!!!
Please email me if you would like to set this up. I know your schedule is crazy, but we could arrange to do this whenever Sue has some time.
Yesssss that is awesome!! How kind of you!!!
Ann H Tearle says
I am also a WVU graduate — so proud to be a Mountaineer, especially when fellow Mountaineers step up and do such good things!! Way to go, Jennifer!
Carla Liberty says
I just completely ache for you and Sue, Kari and Ryan. On so many levels. I was up almost all night; couldn’t sleep, googling news coverage of Ryan, the lawsuit, etc. Checking your blog every hour… Now I know why I had this overwhelming sense of restlessness. You all were dealing with another setback. How I wish I was a nurse. On nights like these, I would have been able to help.
Question for you: Many of us have relatives and friends that are nurses. I don’t know the protocol, but do you have to go through an agency during emergencies like this? Could a friend who’s a nurse possibly volunteer or do this on the side? Are there any nurse blog readers out there in the area that you could call on as a back-up? With so many out there looking for jobs, maybe someone would be able to pick up an extra shift on an “on-call” basis? I’m sure you’ve probably thought of this or covered it on a blog entry that I may have missed. Sending extra hugs for all of you. <3 carla
It’s not fair at all, and it hurts us all to know how much you and your family are suffering, Ken. I pray the two of you will somehow be able to get at least some decent sleep this weekend. Covering you in prayer, as always. Please let us know how we can help. Love & hugs, Paula
Wish there was a way to have a back up stand-by plan to handle those last minute surprises. It seems like there is an awful lot of support that you have right there in the Ashburn area. Is there a way to get a team in place to cover last minute nursing care? Just a thought.
I know ‘if’ doesn’t help you any, and it certainly doesn’t relieve any stress, but IF I lived closed, I’d be more than willing to cover the nights that the nursing company couldn’t, for whatever reason.
Praying for Ryan and your family.