Monday, January 9, 2012

I Want The Truth


I got the call from the school nurse at 2:15pm Friday. They told me Jessica was on her way to the hospital in an ambulance. And here's the reason they gave me:

Jessica was late getting to school on Friday. Once there she was very, very, very sleepy - so sleepy that she fell asleep in the restroom, and started choking at lunch because she fell asleep while eating. The teacher had a rough time rousing her. During one of her awake periods, Jessica said she had gone to the dentist that morning and the dentist gave her medicine.

Thing is - Jessica did not have a dentist appointment, and to top it off, Jessica doesn't make up stories. Never has. Never tells a lie. Her brain is just not wired that way. Her teachers in elementary and middle school found it impossible for her to concoct a story for reading class even when she was given the start of the story. She has never engaged in imaginative play. She does, however, repeat verbatim things that people tell her.

I was told that Jessica's group home manager was following the ambulance to the hospital, and I told the school I was headed there also. Since I was at work downtown, it would take me about 20 minutes to get to the hospital. When I arrived, there was no group home staff anywhere to be found, and no one had been there.

Jessica was indeed sleepy. She barely opened her eyes to tell me hi and then she nodded off again. Usually a person that requires four strong men to hold her down for a blood draw, she didn't even whimper when the nurse stuck her. This definitely was not Jessica....

I continued to try tracking down the group home manager. We needed answers to questions about how Jessica's previous night had gone, what had happened before school, and if anyone else at the group home was sick. But I couldn't get her. Finally a strange man popped into the room and said he was a group home staff member. But, he had no answers to our questions.

The ER doc had a cat scan done. I was worried that Jessica's shunt may be failing, although her symptoms really didn't support that. The cat scan agreed - it was not a shunt issue. Fortunately, the ER doc astutely ordered a tox screen - a test to check just what Jessica may have been given or ingested.

Apparently, she was either given too much of her meds, or she was given meds that belonged to another group home resident. But the group home staff refused to accept that. They said she was fine and they had no idea what the doctor was talking about.

Jessica was finally discharged, and I have left a message for the director of the company to contact me. Although I am sure there is no written record of the extra meds, just the fact that someone told Jessica to say she went to the dentist convinces me that the person knew something wrong had occurred.

I'm not sure where all this is going to go, but I will keep you posted...

6 comments:

Just the Tip said...

I am SO angry for you right now! This is not OK! not OK!!!!!

If you need help beating anyone up let me know, i'm close enough that I can help!

jwg said...

Sheeesh! I don't know which is worse, the incident, the lies, or the stupidity of people who can't even lie effectively. Unleash the dogs and keep us posted.

Molly said...

oh my GOD. that is unacceptable. I've been thinking of you guys all day. NOT OK.

Anonymous said...

You're in VA... I'm in NYC. My son lives in a group home; the state requires extensive training for anyone dispensing meds... generally, people are very, very good. However, I recently noticed that one of his pills was markedly different (colour, size, shape). Researching, I discovered that, while it was the "correct" medication, the pharmacist had switched to a supplier in India - a company under investigation for quality issues. Concerned, I asked the nursing supervisor for the Agency if anyone ever did a visual check on meds... and was told that was the pharmacist's job. Not true, per the NY State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. My point: any Agency will respond defensively, and engage in CYA behaviour, when there's a problem with medication. My other point: be very careful with generics, the source can be a problem, and there can be unintended side-effects.
BTW: my son's home is very good - but I worry what will happen when there's no mad-dog mom keeping an eye on operations.

Ashley's Mom said...

Anonymous, I worry about that same thing myself....

MMC said...

Wow, scary! I will be anxiously awaiting the result of it all. I do have to agree with Anonymous though about generic meds - pharmacies do sometimes switch without warning and the results can be not good.