Good Stuff, The Dad Deal & How Hospital Security Came a Lookin’ For Me..

By Posted in - Featured Post on June 22nd, 2011

Wow. Where did May go?

And April for that matter? I blinked and both months were *poof* gone, over, kaput, cooked. June is fast on it’s way too.

Before I get into the story of what has been going on in my life the past couple of months I wanted to list some of the great things that have also happened during this time. Because believe it or not on the flip side of all this craziness, some pretty amazing things have been going on behind the scenes at Beers & Beans and I wanted to take some time to share them with you all.

1. Getting Out of Auto

I’m writing a photo Ebook! I am so excited about this! I’m partnering with Christine from AlmostFearless and I’m really excited to be working with her! The book is almost done and I can’t wait to get it out there. It’s all about getting out of the auto mode and learning to use your camera to it’s full potential. It’s got all sorts of special goodies in it from basics of expsoure to tips & tricks of the trade. I’ve put a lot of effort into it and I really hope it helps a lot of people. It’s for SLR and point & shoot users. This has been a great project and I’m so over the moon about it! It’s gonna be awesome when it’s finished! It’s going launch somewhere around the 2nd week of July so stay tuned for more info about it!

2. I’m a Photo Webinar Presenter

Well to be honest, I am really nervous about this one! I’m not into public speaking but at least this one is over the computer. 🙂 I couldn’t turn down the invitation from Michael at the Art of Backpacking and the Art of Travel Blogging to speak about a subject that is very dear to my heart. Chris Christensen from Amateur Traveler will also be presenting and our topic is Photography 101. We’ll be focusing on the fundamentals of photography and it’s going to be a great informative session with plenty of time for Q & A. Did I mention it’s also free?  If you want to learn more about it or sign up please click here. I’d love to ‘meet’ some of you and answer your photo questions.

3. We have a Facebook Page

We’ve already got 460 fans and we’d love it if you wanted to become 461! Technically we’ve had the page for at least a couple of months but we never formally announced it. I’m realizing that Facebook interaction is very different from that of Twitter and we’re going to be working hard at engaging with our FB fans in totally new, fun ways. We’re thinking photo tips, travel tips, big time fellow blogger shout outs and hopefully lots of totally random, fun facts that we find interesting or humorous. Please check out our FB page if you want to be friends!

4. We have an Etsy shop!

The shop name is Nariko’s Nest and I have actually had the shop for a few years but previously I sold mostly crotchet hats & scarves on there. Truth is I never really put the amount of time into it that it deserves. My sister has been extremely successful on Etsy and has convinced me I really need to work a bit harder on it. My mother & Randy have decided to go in on it with me and mom will be handling all the deliveries while we are on the road. I’d love it if you wanted to check out the shop and pass along the info to anyone who might be interested. If you want to check out my sisters killer shop you can find her here – Earmark Invitations. Oh yeah – if you’re on Etsy as well please leave your shop name in the comments so we can become friends!

5. We’re syndicated!

Yup, we’ve teamed up with the Guinness Beer blog and USA Today! Our posts are being syndicated on both sites. The Guinness one is up and running and the USA Today one should take effect next week. We are really excited about the possibilities of working with both sites. Syndication wasn’t something we had necessarily planned for but we’re going to work on it for a while and see how it all goes.

The other good news is that my father is recovering from his hospital stays – yah! If you would like to read a bit about what’s been going on at the home front for me and why I’ve been a little out of the loop continue reading below. All the photos included here were taken in the hospital with an Iphone.

Last I knew we were supposed to be planning the second leg of our journey for March as soon as I was done with previously booked weddings. But sometimes life has other plans.

Instead just as I was finishing up the weddings, my father started getting ill and spent two weeks during April in the hospital. Then he had a severe setback and spent 7 more weeks in the hospital in May/June – completely out of it and gravely ill. He is now on week 8 and currently in a rehab hospital learning how to walk again after losing a 1/4 of his foot to a raging MRSA infection. He is doing much, much better and even though he still has a long road ahead of him, his recovery has truly been nothing short of a miracle. We are very, very lucky.

Long story short, his kidneys started giving out and were ‘insulted’, as the doctors put it, by a fierce MRSA infection that spread into his blood. A fierce MRSA infection that started due to the fact that the nurses let him walk around the hospital room without a sock or bandage on while he had an open wound the size of a half dollar on the bottom of his foot. This incident happened during his first hospitalization in April which was for a separate ailment. It’s hard to believe this happened but sadly, it’s true.

The good foot.

I certainly don’t want of offend any of our readers that work in the medical field but attention to detail is something that is seriously lacking in most hospitals, nurses & doctors. It seems everyone just does the minimum and then they move on. I’m sure they’ve been beaten down by the system and are overworked but it’s sad. Lack of attention to the small things is what causes serious injury and even death to patients. It almost caused the death of my father on more than one occasion.

The past two months have been tough, May being almost unbearable. Honestly it really wasn’t looking good for quite a while and we were all living in fear that we were going to lose him. It was a very, very hard time for all of us.

To top it off my parents are self employed and this only added to the stress. Work came to a grinding halt while my sisters and I tried to pick up the pieces, hold things together and put on a tough face for hospital visits. My mother is nothing short of a rock. Nothing stops this woman – she has put up with all of our breakdowns, my fathers strange and disheartening delusions and a staggering amount of misdiagnoses and hospital errors. I don’t know how she does it.

We spent every day around the clock staying at the hospital, sleeping over – little watch guards making sure nothing went wrong. There were SEVERAL hospital errors which added to our immense stress and worry which was why we felt like we could never leave him there alone. He was completely out of it for most of his stay and couldn’t be counted on to make good decisions for himself. Although there were a couple of stand out, fantastic nurses, most of them sucked. As the days went on we learned that we just couldn’t really trust anyone there. We got very little sleep and each one of us got sick from being run down, sleeping in chairs and being in a hospital 24/7.

One night we were all exhausted and we thought things were going well (he was supposed to be released to rehab the next day) so we decided that we could all go home and sleep instead of one person staying at the hospital with him. That was a mistake because that night he ended up in the ICU, unconscious and on a breathing machine because they gave him a mediation he is allergic to.

My dad is allergic to Ativan and Propofol and we told at least 25 people that he could never have those drugs because the last time he did he flat-lined and had to be brought back to life. Then he ended up in a coma for several days. We told every doctor and every nurse that worked with him about this. We brought paperwork in to prove the problems he had with these drugs in the past – papers written by other doctors stating he should never be given these drugs. We were told the papers would be added to his file.

Imagine our surprise we would found out the night we didn’t stay that he ended up in ICU because they gave him Ativan. Why? Because the nurse said he was ‘agitated’. Yes, I’m serious. So instead of doing her job and taking care of her patient she decided to be lazy and instead pop him a pill that almost killed him so he wouldn’t bother her throughout the night. Then he stopped breathing and ended up on a breathing machine.

After that try to imagine my utter shock when I was in ICU looking at my unconscious father and while I was talking to the doctor to find out what happened I was also told that when he was admitted to ICU they gave him a dose of Propofol as well. Wow. Both drugs he is allergic to in less than 24 hours.

With my father being unconscious, my mother crying (she finally broke down) and the doctors telling me this information – well it wasn’t good.

“He’s a very, very sick man” they said and they were hoping for the best but it wasn’t looking good. Then the doctors had the nerve to tell me that they were doing what they could but that I needed to calm down (I was getting pretty fired up at this point) because they were the “advocates” for my father’s health. Funny huh? They think they are the advocates – HA! They put him in this situation. I laughed out loud at that one in all of their faces. Then I saw nothing but red.

It didn’t go well for the doctors after that.

Let’s just say hospital security got called – on me.

Honestly, they don’t know how lucky they were that security came quickly because they only witnessed a small portion of how upset I was. My mother was bawling and I was through the roof. Had we been in a private office I am almost 100% positive that fists would’ve started flying and they would’ve been mine. I have never been in a fight before but I was THAT angry. I am still THAT angry just thinking about it. Watching them try to kill my father with their laziness and horrible communication while trying to tell me they were the advocates for his health was more than I could bear. Even thinking about it now sends me to a bad place and raises my blood pressure. I still can’t truly believe it myself that so many people working at a hospital could be so truly inept and really just not care about the well being of their patients.

You should’ve seen the way people started running into the room one after another trying to calm me down before security arrived. Suddenly allergies were getting listed on my fathers chart and being shown to me as listed. Suddenly they were telling us everything about his statistics. Suddenly & finally things were getting done. It’s sad to say but if you want to get a doctor’s attention what you really have to do is flip out.

I’m not going to list all the other problems we had (the post would never end) but there were several – one which included discharging him (without telling us) and taking him off the MRSA IV antibiotics that he needs to be on for 8 weeks. Why? The doctor read the notes from his first hospitalization in April and said that he was ready to go. The doctor read notes from April and it never clicked for her that possibly he was in the hospital for something else – after all it was the END OF MAY at this point. Wouldn’t you think if it’s the end of May and he’s still in the hospital that there just might be more recent updated information in the computer since the early April admission? Instead of investigating further she simply read the April notes and then arranged for his discharge without knowing any of the facts from his current hospitalization. Unbeliavable.

We got a call from my dad that day saying they were releasing him in an hour – at first we were happy but then after 5 mins we were like WTF? He’s missing half his foot, can’t walk and is supposed to be on meds for the next 4 weeks PLUS he’s on dialysis now because the MRSA destroyed his kidneys! It’s shocking isn’t it? You are supposed to reasonably assume that most doctors are smart people with common sense yet let me tell you – so often that is not the case. If you are ever going to be hospitalized for a planned surgery you better be sure you have a family member or friend who is there to advocate for you if things go wrong. I am 100% sure if we were not there for my father around the clock he would be dead. The day we didn’t stay they almost did kill him.

In fact the day the ICU problem happened we were supposed to be having a family meeting with all the doctors and the hospital administrator to discuss the other issues because we were at our wits end. They cancelled that meeting lickity split after he was admitted to the ICU ward.

So my ICU freak out was a culmination of several weeks of errors and then topped off with the inexcusable, glaring, potential loss of life mistake they made.

The good news is that about 20 hours after the dose of Ativan my dad finally woke up! We all breathed a huge sigh of relief and I remember we all cried & smiled as we wrote little notes back and forth to him to answer his questions of why he was there and on a breathing machine. Last week we moved him to a hospital in Boston and things have been much better. Even though he isn’t out of the woods and may permanently be on dialysis I am counting our blessings and just being happy in the fact that he is mentally back to his normal self and making great strides in learning how to walk again.

On the blog I did the best I could. Randy picked up the slack and I did the bare minimum to keep things going but honestly if I wasn’t at the hospital (which I usually was) I was at home sleeping, exhausted and utterly sad. If you’ve ever had a family member in the hospital you know just how life altering it is. It completely flips your life upside down. It has been some of the longest 60+ days of my life.

Photos have been left unedited, posts backlogged, RSS feeds left unread and projects shelved. We relied on the generosity of guest posters to help us fill in the gaps and we are really thankful that we had so many great submissions.

Now that things are looking up and moving in the right direction I’m just catching up and I have to say it feels good! Last week I stayed up until about 3am working on a post and I was excited! I realized it was the first time in about two months that I was getting back into my normal routine. Yah! This week I plan on catching up on my RSS feed and I can’t wait!

After I started getting into the swing of things again I realized how much I had missed blogging & socializing. I missed my daily interactions with my online friends & co-workers. I missed connecting with our readers. I missed setting new goals and then trying to surpass them. I missed asking Randy what our stats were. I missed the new buzz of projects I was tackling. I missed making the daily, weekly & monthly to-do lists and I really missed the energy and excitement that I get from blogging. Being excited about life should never be underrated.

I never take for granted the awesome opportunity that BeersandBeans has given us. Knowing that each day I can work hard and try to make something fantastic out of something that didn’t even exist 4 years ago never ceases to amaze me. It blows me away when people write to me and ask questions or thank me. I love that on some level I can help someone even if they are a million miles away.

While our travel plans have been on hold the past couple of months we are getting excited because as my father’s health improves we are able to pick up a bit of where we left off. Hopefully in a few weeks, assuming everything goes well, we’ll be back in full planning mode, my father will be up and walking and we can get back on the road for the second jaunt. Although I know now I’m going to be spending a lot more of my downtime at home! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that contacted me to ask how my dad was doing and if they could help out. I really appreciate all your prayers and kind words. It helped out a great deal during a really tough time.

*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers & Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(25) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Eurotrip Tips -

    June 22, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Congratulations for the new eBook and the webinar and everything else! And I’m glad your dad feels better. 🙂

    • Bethany -

      June 22, 2011 at 6:16 am

      Thank you so much! I am excited about the ebook and webinar but mostly happy that my dad is doing better. @Eurotrip Tips,

  • Liv -

    June 22, 2011 at 5:34 am

    It sounds like your Dad is very lucky to have made it out of that hospital. It sounds horrifying. You mustn’t feel bad about neglecting your site for this time though. My Dad died last year. I spent every day of his final two months looking after him, whilst also trying to work from home. It was heart-breaking, but I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. Your loved ones should always come first. Hope he makes a good recovery and you can get back to normal soon.

    • Bethany -

      June 22, 2011 at 6:17 am

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss Liv. Thank you for your well wishes 🙂 @Liv,

  • Allison -

    June 22, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Wow. This sounds just awful. It’s amazing your dad is making it through – no small thanks to you and the rest of your family. All the best with your new ebook (I’m sure it will be amazing) and other projects while you get ready to get going again!
    xos from Toronto.

    • Bethany -

      June 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks Allison – you are a sweetheart. 🙂 @Allison,

  • Bridgette -

    June 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Great write-up Beth! Normalcy can be so nice! 🙂 xoxo – Bridgette

  • Christy @ Ordinary Traveler -

    June 22, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I’m very happy to hear that your father is doing better and I’m super stoked for you about your new ebook launch, syndication and all that jazz. I had no idea you guys have had this site for 4 years. That’s amazing! Maybe we can partner up on a future photo ebook. That would be fun! Looking forward to reading about your new adventures.

  • jasmine jean -

    June 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Bethany! one of your best posts ever! thanks for sharing with us this incredibly personal experience. i felt you All the way through this one. as you know i’ve paid my dues in the medical system…on the patient side…so i Know how that feels. You and your family did an amazing job advocating for your father. what an incredibly vulnerable time. it’s good to hear that he is doing better. MRSA is a Bitch. i had it once awhile back, and i thought i was going to die. And, i didn’t even have it in my blood. it was unbelievably powerful. and, i found a new appreciation for bacteria. man, they are Strong buggers. Anyway, it’s great that you are finding time for yourself again…and i’m thinking….i should take your webinar…photography 101 (instead of sending you tons of questions!!). muchos abrazos chica! eres una mujer increible! 🙂


    • Bethany -

      June 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Oh thanks Jasmine – I’m glad you liked it! I wasn’t sure if I should have made it public so I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m sorry that you’ve had such a battle yourself. And don’t worry about the photo questions! Just ask away – but it would be fun if you were on the webinar too! @jasmine jean,

  • Annie -

    June 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Bethany, I am so glad to hear that you Dad is recovering and I’m happy to hear that it means you and your family are recovering as well.

    Congrats on all of your upcoming projects, you two have done such an amazing thing and it’s been an inspiration for me to get going as well! Good luck as everything starts to unfold!

    • Bethany -

      June 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

      Thank you Annie – I hope you are doing well too. 🙂 @Annie,

  • Mica -

    June 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    First off I am glad to read that your father is doing better. I admit I didn’t know but I can imagine how scary it all must have been. All my best wishes so that he gets much much better real soon. 🙂
    So happy to read about all of your other news: e-book, syndication…this is some amazing stuff you got going on. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read your book and I am checking out the webinar because your photos are stunning.

    • Bethany -

      June 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

      Thanks for your well wishes Mica and great compliments about the book and webinar! Hope to ‘see’ you there! @Mica,

  • Michael -

    June 23, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Wow. That is insane what happened to your father. I don’t know how you resisted not to punch him in the face. My temper can definitely get heated up quickly and moments like those would not go well (for the doctor). I’m glad your father is getting better and you’re back in the routine of things on the blog. Super glad to have you on the webinar. It’s going to be great 🙂

    • Bethany -

      June 24, 2011 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Michael – good to know I’m not the only one that can be hot headed. 🙂 I’m excited about eh webinar too! Thanks for having me. 🙂@Michael,

  • Erin -

    June 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    WOW about your father. That is intense. I’m really glad that the worst is over and things are getting better for him. I’ll keep him and your fam in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy stress-free recovery.

    And congrats on all the successes, 1 – 5!

    • Bethany -

      June 24, 2011 at 8:03 am

      Thank you Erin 🙂 @Erin,

  • Andrea -

    June 25, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Congrats on all your news but terribly sorry to hear about all the health problems your father has been having! Sending wishes for a speedy recovery – what a stressful and difficult time for you and your family. We had quite a few problems with doctors in Melbourne last year, causing irreparable damage to John’s arm and some medication problems for me – all due to sloppy oversights by GPs and specialists. I thought it was just Australia, but apparently it can happen anywhere. I know this doesn’t apply to every doctor everywhere, but it’s difficult for us to trust medical professionals now. Sad to hear you’ve had a similar experience.

    • Bethany -

      June 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

      HI Andrea,
      I’m so sorry to hear about the problems that you guys had as well. You really have to watch your back. I completely understand because I hardly trust doctors myself. Too many oversights. @Andrea,

  • Lorna – the roamantics -

    June 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    holy hell beth! my heart feels so heavy and i have tears in my eyes reading the second half of this. gosh, i understand the helplessness of dealing with those dealing with a sick parent (it’s them that’s often harder than dealing with the sick person, right?) my mom was in the neurological ICU and healing for 5 weeks and i’m so grateful i could be there for every minute of it, but talk about going through the wringer. i’m so glad that things are looking good now and that you have so many well-deserved projects in the works to brighten up your life. sending warm thoughts for continued and speedy recovery for your dad…and you! hope you treat yourself to some pampering- you deserve it 🙂

    • Bethany -

      June 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Thanks Lorna – I’m sorry to hear that you had a similar situation with your mom too. It’s so tough – like everything just stops. @Lorna – the roamantics,