hemodialysis starts

Last post I wrote: "We have to go back to the hospital Monday for dialysis... we hope. We have a name and number to call at 9am Monday to get it set up." As with most every aspect of that hospital, it turned out to be a complete disaster.

We were on phone from 9am-12pm non-stop sometimes on both cell phones. We spoke with hospital, Dr.'s office, and a many people at United Health care, but not the exact person in charge of the case. I was told it could be 24 hours before they call back even though they put the case in the computer as "life threatening". Bruce started to get pale, weak, vomiting, etc. So it was even more apparent how much he needed the dialysis. The hospital said he could not come back there and get it because they only do that for patients, but they were not supposed to release him without an appointment for dialysis somewhere. They did not get that because no one got through to insurance in time, but they still sent him home on sat. and now won't let him come back.

Eventually Dr. Burtch (surgeon) sent us to the ER and told us to tell them that Bruce needs emergency dialysis and call him in the OR if they had questions. We got to ER at 12:30. Someone told us that they were going to "admit" him instead of going through the ER. So here we go again..... Wheelchair!

We went to admitting, had to explain the story to person at desk ( this was after I explained it at least 8 times on the phone to various people), they send us to sign all papers and get bracelet and sent to an actual hospital room. Of course they wouldn't let me push the wheelchair because it's against hospital policy and the lady pushing wheelchair just would not let it go until she knew what we were doing there. Both of us tried short answers because we were so sick of talking about this huge mess and both were in total shock we were being sent another hospital room.

Right when we got to room, insurance calls me back and I tell them that they are paying for a hospital room and all of this instead of just getting approval and letting him go to a center. They got approval in less than 10 minutes and we got head of care services at hospital to make the whole thing disappear like he never was admitted (yes, something went right for once!)

The nurses on the floor thought we were nuts because as soon as they came in the room to start their routine, I said "wait! don't do anything! we might be leaving!" Of course we had to tell the story to them and one other person! And I pushed him out of there all the way back to the ER exit in the wheelchair. It's not that I enjoy pushing it, but when they let me do it without question, then freak out like it's a crime, it becomes a joke.

We made it to the center and they took him right away because they had opening. By the time I left there it was 3:30. Our entire day spent trying to get him dialysis all because of bureaucracy!

He had his second dialysis today at 3:30. He has a tv he can watch and he can read but can't talk on cell phone and they officially say no drinks or snacks but when he's there for 4 hours, that seems extreme. Dr. Russo was there today but he won't review Bruce's charts until the Friday visit.

Bruce is pale, weak, very sore, and tired most of the time. He says that he only remembers small parts of what went on last week in hospital which is probably best!


  1. Hey guys, hang in there. It really makes me upset that Bruce is having to go through all of this. Makes my future seem kind of bleak, I'm really not looking forward to going through all of that. Amy, I like the visual of you being a wheelchair bandit. Very funny. Just get yourself a mask and Bruce a little gun. You can run him through the halls. Funny.

    Hang in there, this has to get better. It just has to.

  2. This is one instance where I wish my predictions had been wrong. I envisioned just this kind of fiasco when I mentioned earlier that when Monday comes, no matter what, MAKE them give Bruce dialysis. From what you had said about the "confusion" about the appointment and the discharge I could foresee that this was exactly what would happen. Thank heaven you were firm Amy. It's funny how the insurance company doesn't get the importance of a 24 hr delay in a situation listed as "life threatening", but they can move mountains in 10 minutes when the words are "this is going to cost the company big bucks". Reality is that today health care is a business and the bottom line comes before patient welfare. Once you accept this you are better prepared to deal with reality. Amy, pointing out the financial cost was the smartest approach you could use with them.

  3. I feel for you and the phone calls mess.. I spent Mon and Tues all over the phone/email/texting... what a mess and I was so stressed that I had 2 breakdowns myself.. telling my hubby that I might be the one who doesn't survive HIS transplant! UGH... all that insurance crap is so political... none of it is easy. I'm def going to try your take of talking about money next time I have problems with something!!!! We are pushing so much to get our donors tested quickly so we don't have to go thru dialysis but they're not working as quickly as I'd like them to.. so I told him he needs to come to grips that it's more than likely going to happen. Hugs to you!