Runaround Sue

When a person has bilateral pneumonia (both lungs) and spends a week in the hospital and then two and half weeks in a skilled nursing facility, she needs breathing treatments after she goes home.
So when the skilled nursing facility nurse handed me the meds during my sister’s discharge, including a box of liquid albuterol vials, I asked if he was also going to give me the machine that turned the liquid into a breathable vapor.
“Oh, the home health nurse will have a machine,” he said.
But Sis had no home health nurse that day since he didn’t call.
Day one with no breathing treatment.
The next day the home health nurse called, and when I asked about the breathing machine, he said, “We don’t provide that.”
“So where do I get one?” I asked.
“Try a drugstore,” he said.
That evening I stopped at Rite Aid on my way to chorus.
“We don’t sell those,” an employee said. “You could try another drugstore.”
I called CVS and asked if they had a nebulizer.
The girl on the phone said, “Let me check,” and came back with, ”You need a prescription.”
Day two with no breathing treatment.
The next day we had an afternoon follow-up appointment with my sister’s primary care doctor, who wrote out the prescription. After I took my sis home and turned on the show Ellen for her, I ran to the drugstore and handed the prescription to the pharmacy worker.
“We don’t have these,” she said. “You have to go to a medical supply store.”
I called the medical supply place right then and there, the one where I’d bought the bedrail and a walker.
“We don’t carry those,” the clerk said.
By now I was ready to scream.
“Try Oxygen Plus,” he said.
“Would you happen to have that phone number?” I asked.
The clerk gave me the number. I called, right there in the middle of CVS, only to be told that Oxygen Plus was closing in ten minutes. It was too far up the freeway for me to get there on time.
Day three with no breathing treatment.
The next day I was able to buy the nebulous nebulizer from Oxygen Plus, but guess what? They didn’t include the mask, although it was indicated on the prescription.
I get to go back there on Monday, since my sis doesn’t like holding the mouthpiece in place for ten minutes. At least on the fourth day after being discharged from the skilled nursing facility, she finally got her breathing treatment.
The second home nurse told me today that he can hear residual fluid in my sister’s left lung.
Geesh! I wonder why.
Sometimes these blog posts just write themselves.

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