The "B" is Back
I'm generally a nice person. (Honestly! Truly!) I'm no angel, but I would like to think that I'm easy to get along with. My personality is not "pushy" and I generally go with the flow.
But there is one area where you don't want to mess with me and that is family. I stand by my family; I will fight for my family. You DON'T mess with me!
Ever since my father got ill I've been keeping an eye on his care. I'm not unreasonable and I'm not demanding; I just want to make sure that my father is getting the care he needs to get better. I'm not going to complain about the food at the hospital or the rehab center; that's NOT what he's there for. (Does anyone expect the food at these places to be gourmet? Some days it's good, some days it's not. It's not unlike life.) I AM going to complain when he is not getting the quality of care that he needs and/or that we were promised when he was moved from the hospital to the care center.
The first time there was an issue, I went to the "local" level. I left a message for the care center's head of nursing. I realize that staff is often pushed to the limits especially when it comes to the weekends and I respect all of the hard working nurses, aides, etc. on staff. However, not everyone was up to par. Of course the issues came up on a Friday and nothing much could be done on a weekend (which made things even worse), but I did get some resolution on Monday. I was satisfied.
When issues arose again a week or so later, I realize I had to go to higher. I sat down and carefully thought out what I wanted to say. After I wrote my email, I had my husband review it. He made a few changes and then I sent it off to the facility's corporate headquarters with a cc to my husband and my father.
Less than 2 hours later I got a call from the head of nursing at the facility and my mother said she hadn't been in my father's room for more than 5 minutes when the head of nursing AND the head of admissions came by to talk about our concerns. Victory was mine!
Do I think my email to the corporate office had anything to do with it? Yes. Why do I think my email got the quick response it did? It wasn't because I contacted them, but it was because I took the time to think out the problems and respond not with my emotions (although it was tempting), but with reason. I also made sure to point out the good things that the facility had offered my father (particularly the physical therapy staff). While I couldn't name the employees who weren't up to par, I made sure that those who were exceptional at their jobs got a mention. I did not generalize; I wrote down specific incidents and issues. I got my point across; I am keeping an eye on my father's care and if you don't live up to your end of the bargain I'm going to call you on it.
I could see a change yesterday when I went to visit my father. Will I see a backslide over the weekend? Maybe. Some things I am willing to let go; the unimportant things. But my eyes are open and if there are more issues, I will make sure that they are brought to the attention of whoever I need to in order to rectify it.
You DON'T mess with my family. When it comes to family, it's not that the "b" is back; she never went away.