Ack! My Mother is "That patient"

  1. You know, one of those that you groan about. She's whiny and crabby and c/o pain all the time. Yes she has some psych issues too, She's dx with depression and anxiety and being hospitalized is just making it 10 times worse!

    She's a week post op for spinal surgery, she had several things done inclucing a discectomy. She is now in sub-acute rehab and driving us all nuts.

    I guess I'm just venting but have any of you had family members who "acted up" in the hospital? I used to work in this hospital and I'm a little red-faced by her behavior. I've told her to be nice and she swears she is but I know that she's a big baby too.
    I only feel a little bit mean. There's a lot more history here so no flaming please!

    How much kissing up should we do for the staff?:spin: I've already brought candy.
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Keep the candy and donuts coming.

    I'm sorry about your mom. Hope she gets better soon.
  4. by   GingerSue
    maybe they like donuts?
  5. by   CritterLover
    a well-written, thoughtful letter to the nurses' supervisor (one that could be placed in their files) thanking them for taking good care of your mom would be a nice gesture.

    [color=#483d8b]so often, the only letters that get written are negative ones. i do realize that some patients write positive letters, but most letters that supervisors get are so negative. if you could cite any specific examples of excellent care, it would be even better.

    [color=#483d8b]otherwise, just letting them know that you, at least apperciate them, and how difficult their job is, can go far.
    [color=#483d8b]
    [color=#483d8b]just to add: often, while the negative letters give tons of specific examples of rotten things that happen, the positive ones tend to be of the "she got great care" or "nurse x was so sweet and professional" general nature. that is all well and good, but giving more concrete examples of good care will help the nurses more at eval time.
    Last edit by CritterLover on May 17, '07
  6. by   margaretptz
    Just a thought
    When my husband was in the hospital, I kept a BIG bowl of candy in his room for the nursing staff, cleaning people and anyone who wandered in for a piece. It made him feel good to offer it to his caretakers and it made him feel he was getting extra attention too. Pretty much kept everyone in a good mood. I replenished it often with everyone's favorites.
    Hope your Mom is feeling better soon.
    Margaret
  7. by   nicuRN2007
    Well, this is a little different since this family member wasn't actually a patient, but she was "acting up" and I was quite embarrassed about it.

    My grandfather was in ICU. It was the middle of the night and he was near-death so many family members were present (the visitor policy only allows for two visitors at a time, but his nurse was kind enough to let us all back). My step-mother decided she wanted some coffee, so she asked my grandfather's (very busy) nurse to make some. Now if she had maybe said something like: "I know you're busy and it's not your job to make coffee for visitors, but if you get a minute, I would LOVE to have some," that might be OK, but unfortunately that's not how it came out. It was more like: "Can we have some coffee?" You have to understand, she is one of those people who is always finding something wrong with everything, so she had already found a few things to complain about that night. When she "placed her order" for coffee, I just cringed, because I knew she had already been bugging the nurse all night, and I just put myself in that nurse's shoes and thought "poor thing."

    Well, my stepmother waited 15 minutes for her coffee, and decided that the waitress...I mean nurse was taking too long so she decided to go to Dunkin' Donuts. So when the poor, sweet nurse came in with my stepmother's coffee, guess who got to tell her that we no longer wanted it. Me...because my stepmother was at Dunkin Donuts.
  8. by   diane123
    Quote from Cattitude
    You know, one of those that you groan about. She's whiny and crabby and c/o pain all the time. Yes she has some psych issues too, She's dx with depression and anxiety and being hospitalized is just making it 10 times worse!

    She's a week post op for spinal surgery, she had several things done inclucing a discectomy. She is now in sub-acute rehab and driving us all nuts.

    I guess I'm just venting but have any of you had family members who "acted up" in the hospital? I used to work in this hospital and I'm a little red-faced by her behavior. I've told her to be nice and she swears she is but I know that she's a big baby too.
    I only feel a little bit mean. There's a lot more history here so no flaming please!

    How much kissing up should we do for the staff?:spin: I've already brought candy.
    I think you should let the staff know that they're doing a great job. I don't think this is the first time they see "acted up" patient, and that you shouldn't feel bad about her behavior. Hope your mom is feeling better soon.
  9. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    Quote from ILoveScrubs
    Well, this is a little different since this family member wasn't actually a patient, but she was "acting up" and I was quite embarrassed about it.

    My grandfather was in ICU. It was the middle of the night and he was near-death so many family members were present (the visitor policy only allows for two visitors at a time, but his nurse was kind enough to let us all back). My step-mother decided she wanted some coffee, so she asked my grandfather's (very busy) nurse to make some. Now if she had maybe said something like: "I know you're busy and it's not your job to make coffee for visitors, but if you get a minute, I would LOVE to have some," that might be OK, but unfortunately that's not how it came out. It was more like: "Can we have some coffee?" You have to understand, she is one of those people who is always finding something wrong with everything, so she had already found a few things to complain about that night. When she "placed her order" for coffee, I just cringed, because I knew she had already been bugging the nurse all night, and I just put myself in that nurse's shoes and thought "poor thing."

    Well, my stepmother waited 15 minutes for her coffee, and decided that the waitress...I mean nurse was taking too long so she decided to go to Dunkin' Donuts. So when the poor, sweet nurse came in with my stepmother's coffee, guess who got to tell her that we no longer wanted it. Me...because my stepmother was at Dunkin Donuts.
    I would have taken the coffee, and gotten her some donuts.
  10. by   MelodyRNurse
    My mother was admitted to the ER in a hospital I used to work at. She has substance abuse issues. She was so combative and uncontrollable that they had to put her in restraints. She was awful to the staff. She would scream and curse as loud as she could. It was really really embarrasing even though what these people thought was not my biggest concern. She has been there several times since, they probably want to run for the hills when they here her name. Its just awful.
  11. by   traumagirll99
    Sadly I also went through a situation of my mother being in MY hospital and actually in the ICU where I was working at that time.
    To make long story short, I let my mother move in my house when her health started to go downhill. I lived about 3 hours away from all my family so I was pretty much on my own dealing with her and her "issues". Appartently there were several things going on in her life that I was unaware of when I relocated her to my home. One of which turned out to be the painkiller addiction she was hiding. She had only been with my about 2 weeks when after working 4 12hr days in a row I was awakened by my mother screaming that she was having chest pain. So I was a good daughter and nurse and got up to see what the problem was. Her heart rate was normal, her b/p was a little high otherwise she in my opionon was having a panic attack (which she had a h/o) Anyway I ended up taking her to our local sm er where I had once been the nursing supervisor. She then gave a oscar worthy appearance in the er that ended up getting her admited to my old icu there. Fast forward 2 days and suddenly she was in full blown lortab withdrawal. I had told the doctor what I knew about her painkiller intake but I was so far off base with the amount.. So for the next few days I watched my mother verbally abuse my old co workers because they wouldn't give her her lortabs. She got so bad that she ended up being restrained one night when I couldn't stay with her. I was so humilated by her behavior that I finally broke down outside ICU and several of my old nurse buddies told me in no uncertain words that I had nothing to be embarassed about that my mother had done this on her own.
    Anyway so to ramble but even though all of this took place 5 years ago I can still feel my face getting red thinking about her lying in that hospital be yelling at a friend of mine that she was an a******* and she needed so Lortabs!
  12. by   chadash
    If I have learned anything at all, and that the hard way, it is this. I am not my family, I am an independent separate adult. I am responsible for my behavior, and they are all responsible for theirs.
    I would not think anything if your mother was acting like that other than you must be a saint to have to deal with all this!
  13. by   Dolce
    Saying "thank you" goes a long way. When I have had family members in the hospital I make it a point to sincerely thank the staff for the care they provide. I agree that candy and donuts are nice, but for me the most meaningful thing a patients family can do is to offer verbal gratitude.
  14. by   msdobson
    [banana]How much kissing up should we do for the staff? I've already brought candy.[/banana]

    I'm thinking Plasma TV....
    Last edit by msdobson on May 18, '07

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