Day two started at 6:30 AM when my phone rang. The caller ID showed the incoming call was from the base hospital. Stomach in throat, heart racing, I answered the phone. “Hello?”
“Is SSG Johnson available?”
“No, who is calling?”
“This is Dr. X. I was trying to locate SSG Johnson.”
“Um. . . I’m in South Dakota, he is on base in the medhold barracks.”
“Oh, yes. I will try to find him there.”
Ok, feeling extremely unsure of the situation now. Shouldn’t the Dr. be able to find the patient?
Later that day Sean went in for a meeting with Dr. X. During this appointment Dr. X looked up c-diff on his computer. Sean sat there as he reviewed the information on the screen and then said, “I can’t treat that.” Good to know.
Dr. X arranged an appointment in town with Dr. D, a GI doctor, who agreed to perform a one-time evaluation and then make recommendations to Dr. X on how to treat. Very reassuring.
Sean was sent to the ER to reclaim his medications that the staff had “found” overnight.
I was greatly concerned that there was no monitoring of fluids, medications, stools, or food intake. No one was scheduled to check on him throughout the day. He was given narcotics for pain, while in a depressed emotional state and sent to a room to spend most of the day alone. Sean said if he didn’t show up for formation in the morning, then someone would come to check on him.
I decided to locate the post chaplain and ask for some assitance. I visited with him, explained the situation, and asked him to please arrange for someone to check in with Sean periodically as he was sick, lonely, and depressed. The chaplain assured me that he would take care of it. No one ever came. Approximately two weeks later the chaplain made it up to Sean’s room to visit with him. He apologized for the delay, saying it was a big base and man-power was thin. Sean did like the chaplain and later made a few trips to his office and got some good reading material.