Pain – Entry 3

Dear Diary:

It’s been a couple of weeks since the team started meeting with Hattie to help her control her pain and keep her moving. They’ve done many quick tests of change and Hattie is improving. The scheduled acetaminophen is helping greatly. The nurses check with her to assure she’s getting relief and not having breakthrough pain. She’s getting a 20-minute rest with an ice pack on her hip after therapy in the morning and again in the afternoon. Her therapy schedule needed to be changed. She seemed to have more pain in the afternoon, so therapy was changed to the morning. She is able to work on her strength and endurance for the whole session and she and the therapist are pleased with her progress.

They also changed her shower from the morning to bedtime. Hattie prefers a shower and the warm water seems to relax her and help her sleep better. She’s requested a shower three evenings a week and doesn’t take the acetaminophen before going to sleep on those evenings. The bed positioning that the therapist was trying with pillows didn’t seem to be helping. She had a conversation with Hattie and Carol and then asked me if they could try another mattress. Apparently, Hattie was used to sleeping on a softer bed at home. We had one, so we gave it a try and it seems to have helped. Carol also brought in two body pillows. Between the mattress and pillows, Hattie says she sleeps great. She’s walking to all meals now and the nursing assistants are taking her for additional walks on their shifts. They always have a lot to talk about and it’s so good to see Hattie enjoy that time with the staff.

The team has been boosted by their success with Hattie. They’re definitely using more individualized approaches with residents, and the residents and their families are noticing the difference! Now, how can I spread this change to a more person-directed culture to our other neighborhoods?

Signed, Donna

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