Saturday, January 19, 2008

January 19th, 2008

Kinnick has made it all day on 1/2 lt and still satting upper 90's to 100%. I put Carver on 1/8 lt and he has also satted upper 90's to 100%.

My home health care agency has been a bit disappointing. I have really only had 1 nurse that is reliable, faithful, loving, and loyal. I'm not sure what I expected. I thought that since we qualified for 16hr/day of care that an agency would take complete advantage of the hours and send as much help as possible. It's all paid by medicaid. Instead, I'm told there is a nursing shortage and the nurses make all the calls on when they will or will not work. Also, they are quick to let me know that they get paid the same whether they watch my two babies or sit all day in front of a TV and watch 1 child that is pretty self sufficient. So, if they come to my house and have to work to earn their paycheck, many say it's too much and don't want to come back. I'm not asking them to do anything special. I don't criticize. I rarely leave the house, so I'm here all day helping them. We live in a nice neighborhood and have a new home that we keep clean and comfortable. They are having a hard time with the demands of two babies. The demands that I'm talking about are the same demands a normal healthy baby(ies) would have. Out of 100+ hrs that we get a week, we were given 9 hrs of help the week before we went to Detroit. For a business that is like throwing money out the window. The hours are there and just need filled. It's crazy! So, I've hired a second agency. The hope is that if one agency can't fill my hours, the other can. We'll see how it goes.

Kinnick has really had a hard time with her G-tube (mic-key button). She got her mic-key button in October. It is now January and it has been pulled out 4 times. Twice in the hospital and twice at home. Kinnick pulled it out both times in the hospital after I told the nurses to take the extension off after every feed and to hide the extension while she was feeding. They never listened. Each time, the extension was attached and the feed was complete. At home, it is accidentally being pulled out by my nurse. Unfortunately, my crib rail does not come down. My nurse isn't very tall and when she lifts kinnick over the rail to put her in the crib, the extension gets caught between the nurse and the rail and gets pulled out. I know my nurse is always careful, but it still happens. It just stinks for poor Kinnick. Her G-tube leaks all of the time and causes her a lot of discomfort. I can't wait until she is able to take feeds orally so we can get rid of it. She was doing really good before her eye surgery. She was taking an ounce consistently at each daytime feed. Since surgery, she has refused her bottle. We'll have to start over again. I love my nurse at home and know she feels terrible each time this happens. It's just something that happens with these mic-key buttons.

Kinnick's eyes look really good. We won't know how successful the surgeries were for at least another 3 months.

Oh, and Carver found his thumb this week. Hopefully, this will help when he is crabby. He still isn't able to hold his pacifier in his mouth.


23wktwins'mommy said...

A couple of things about home care from where I'm from...Massachusetts. Maybe some is the same...I hope.
There appears to be a nursing shortage, although 9 hours per week is outrageous for what you are approved for. Keep pushing the agency and even with the nursing shortage, do what your gut tells you...demand quality nurses.
Also, our nurses get paid more because there are twins. Obviously watching two children is harder than watching one. See if any agency pays a higher rate for twins...ours does.
I don't know if you have family or friends who'd be able to help, but we are approved for PCA care. Under this, my mother is able to be paid (not as much as a nurse but still it's something) for helping me watch the kids. Technically PCAs are not suppose to watch the children without you being there. SO if you're home and you'd like someone to help you watch the kiddos while you shower, cook, clean up, or take a nap, ask about getting PCAs. We are allowed to hire anyone we want and call them a PCA (my mom who has no nursing experience but who's awesome with the kids) or hire a PCA from an agency. They get the "leftover" hours that nursing isn't covering. We are approved for 70 hours per week and have nursing to cover less than half those hours. The rest are given to my mom.
I hope you have this option. Email me if you have any questions about nursing...we've been through it for a year now and it does have its ups and downs.
Look into that if the nursing continues to be a problem.
I hope Kinnick's belly feels better soon, and PO feeds resume again! I hope both their eyes are healing and you see results in 3 months!

Sammy'smommy said...

I am actually a private duty nurse, and I was just wondering if you have the equivalent of MassHealth or something along that line in your state. I am currently working for an agency, but prior to that worked through MassHealth, which is just the state insurance for Massachusetts. Anyways sometimes nurses don't wnat to work for an agency because the agency takes so much of the pay for the care, whereas working for the state insurnace you are getting paid directly from medicaid etc. There are some things to consider: because there is no agency boss, there is no required documentation, there is no one to talk to with problems, there is no back up person if your nurse gets sick. The positive thing is that you are totally able to chose your nurses, you interview them, let them know what is expected, let them know the hours you want or need, and then decide if the nurse is a good fit for your home.
I am sorry you are having such a hard time finding nursing coverage. Every case I have ever been on, has not had all their hours filled because there aren't enough people out there to fill them.
I have been following your blog for quite a while, I will continue to pray for your beautiful little ones, and now for some wonderful nurses to come your way:)