Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Yesterday Mom had dental work done at her facility. The dentists (a father and son team who insisted on receiving their $1300 fee ahead of time) came to Mom's unit and got her. We all walked downstairs and outside to their cozy van where they proceeded to pull one tooth, replace a crown and salvage another tooth. I waited in the lobby while the procedure was done and then returned to pick her up and take her back to her unit with one of the dentists accompanying us. She did great. (She loves the attention of all doctors.) The problem was a series of mishaps that came later and resulted in a total meltdown by me. The dentist failed to send a fax describing post-visit needs. The occupational therapist, I'm told came to take Mom for her session without any knowledge that she'd been to the dentist. The second shift at the unit received no information that Mom had had work done. A cryptic note by the "lead" from the morning shift said she needed a prescription for acetaphamine (over the counter generic that is also Tylenol.) At the grocery store where I'm shopping for my father, I get a call from one of the unit caregivers asking for the name of the dentist. I don't have it with me and can't remember if it's in the car. When I get back to the car, I find the number. When I call back, I get a different caregiver who insists that it's fine if I give her the number. She is the current "lead." Why wasn't the number on the instructions? Well, it seems there were no instructions faxed. I'm somewhat leary of this because they knew about the acetaphamine. And besides if the "lead" from the first shift hadn't received the instructions she had been notified were coming, why didn't she call me to find out why they hadn't come yet or better yet call the dentist who is the retirement facility's on premises dentist? Everyone is trying to cover their backs and I'm just plain livid. This has happened before. The caregiver unit tells the dental office to call me to explain what's going on and they also make excuses. "You know," the receptionist says, "these homes are all the same. There's constant turnover." I don't care that there's constant turnover. I want the instructions sent and permission for whoever to give my mother Tylenol. I go downstairs and tell the "Health and Wellness" director. She nods blandly and says it sounds like a lack of communication, but she doesn't really sound very remorseful. I take a deep breath and decide to let them duke it out while I go home and get a glass of wine. As my husband says, I've learned my lesson. If I don't watch every move it won't get done. And there are a lot of moves!