Cali Solsma

Cali Solsma

Cali Solsma, BSN, RN

Ambulatory Surgery Unit
Covenant Medical Center
Waterloo, Iowa
United States
Cali was more than accommodating with meeting K's requests.

The entire team that took care of my daughter, K, deserves a pat on the back, a high five and a "Go Team"! A new software system is not an easy thing to implement and have it be seamless for your patients, but the team did a great job from our admission time all the way through to Post Op, which is where we met Cali.

This was my daughter's second surgery on her foot. We brought crutches, a knee scooter, correct clothing, we rearranged the seats of the van and had a lot of pillows and blankets. We thought we had our bases covered. We were mistaken! This surgery was not like her first surgery, it was much more involved and took longer to repair.

We opted for a different type of anesthesia this time, so she could skip PACU and come straight to Post-op - which was a positive as she had no nausea when she woke up. However, her pain this time was intolerable. Her orders were for oral medications, but she had so much pain that she could not take anything by mouth.

Cali went to bat for us and called the physician for IV pain medication - starting on the low end as K has some adverse reactions to some types of pain medications (forgetting to breathe), but this didn't touch it. Cali continued to monitor her pain, her reactions, and her vital signs. She knew K needed more medication and called the physician again.

K needed post-op x-rays, but Cali knew that would not be safe and requested that portable films be taken so she could continue to monitor her and do her best to keep her comfortable.

After consulting with the physician, stronger pain meds were given. Cali monitored her heart rate, O2 saturation, and BP. I don't joke about the forgetting to breathe part; K’s SATs dropped into the low 80's and she needed to be reminded to take a deep breath. A little O2 helped out as well. K was able to get some relief for a short time, but the pain returned again to intolerable levels. She was writhing in pain and doing her best to keep her foot still.

The podiatrist had made it crystal clear that we would need to stay on round-the-clock pain medications as this was a difficult procedure. If we couldn't get her pain under control in the hospital how were we going to do this at home? There was no way we were going home anytime soon at this rate and it was well after dinner time.

K said that with the last surgery she couldn't feel anything below her knee, which clued Cali into realizing that she'd probably had a block last time and paged for the on-call podiatrist. He arrived and after a brief discussion, he agreed a block was in order.

After the block, K was finally able to rest and relax and was thinking about trying to eat or drink something (this is about 7 pm at night and she had not had anything to eat or drink all day as her procedure was not until the afternoon). Cali was more than accommodating with meeting K's requests. Cali was very attentive to her and stayed in her room almost the entire time. If she did need to leave it was only into the hall to discuss an order and she was right back in.

As a mother you never want to see your child in pain and K has had several injuries ranging from falling off a bike, crashing mopeds, breaking bones and getting bucked off horses, but I never have I ever seen her in as much pain as I did for this post-op foot surgery and it's a terrible feeling when you can do nothing for them.

Cali never left. She was K’s voice, her advocate and made sure we were both okay. I think it was about 8 pm before we finally were able to make our way home. It was a long day for everyone and yet I never heard a complaint and never a grimace from Cali. She was a support and made sure we were good before getting on our way home.