Sometimes I need to speak up

Sunday I saw my brother after more than a week. His radiated neck was open, oozing and raw. I casually asked him -“hey, what’s going on?” He said-“no, big deal, it’s better than it was…”

Really? He went on to say that he was told the red, burned skin I saw a week ago would slough off but the way the trach ties a rubbing his raw skin was just not right to me. He clearly had blood dribbling down his chest at some time.

Pain? He has complained about pain to me, in fact I gave him all the Norco I got (and didn’t take) after my surgery. Thinking this through I regretted that decision. A cancer patient with mets to their liver should not be doubling up on acetaminophen. When I broached this subject though I was confronted with excuses and misconceptions.

Monday morning I reached out to my brothers medical team via a nurse (love nurses) call center. They listened to my concerns, asked appropriate questions and sent out a message to ALL his caregivers- oncology, radiation and ENT. They all called me back with a high level of concern. They defaulted to his primary care doctor to see him today and call in the others as needed.

In my head i was thinking about all the patients I have cared for with huge gaping wounds from radiated tissue which just crumbles apart and carotid arteries which spontaneously rupture….

PAUSE::::This is where is have to say the VA has been awesome and exceptional !!!

So this afternoon I text my brother to say “so did they sort you out today?”

All I got back was “A OK”

In my current state of incapacity that will just have to do for now.

One thought on “Sometimes I need to speak up

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