Unfounded! Thanks for Clearing that Up.

The first thing I need to make clear is I really have no problem with Adult Protective Services. They were called by the hospital and had to follow through.

The doctor’s concerns were unfounded. Really? Who would have guessed. Still, I’ll just wait until I get something in writing before I meet with the hospital (tentatively set-up for next Tuesday). I actually believe I now have an ally in Protective Services.  No problem there. Here’s my problem…

I am shocked and scared of the system and the power it holds. Who would ever imagine parents are one bad decision (or instinct) away from losing custody of their children? Think about it… scared now? If you’re not, I suspect you work for the government.

In speaking with Protective Services earlier today there was one topic that really had me steaming mad. It was the nurse’s (Valerie’s) response to the investigation. I pointed out that Ryan should have been given a full clinical assessment, head to toe, while in the ER. Apparently, Valerie claimed this happened. Lie! She was asked if Ryan had any other areas of trauma or bruising. She said “no”. Wrong!

Ryan has plenty of bruising, mostly at the hands of ICU several weeks ago. In fact, he has a prominent bruise on his left arm where the PICC line was. The same arm that was broken! How in the world can that be missed? He has bruising on his stomach from getting a shot each morning. You decide for yourself if Valerie gave him the once-over. Oh, and I was with Ryan the entire time and can assure you she did not.

So, when asked by Protective Services why she called them she began her back-tracking. She must have known she was wrong to do so, but the damage was already done. She tells them, according to Protective Services, that she is worried about me being under so much pressure. ME? She’s worried about me? Hey, Valerie, not your job. Your job is to care for the guy on the stretcher in obvious pain. Do you think calling Protective Services might cause me just a tad bit of stress? Just like a blonde’s way of rationalizing (my apology to the two blondes who will be offended). Let’s play it out…”You look a bit stressed, Dad. Let me call Protective Services on you. That should help”.

Anyhow, this was not the explanation Valerie gave me for calling. She told me she called because she “could lose her license”. Honest, yes. I buy this reason. Oh, yes I do. It’s spot on. But, I ask her, what does she see in Ryan that would make her call?

“I’m following protocol”, she says.

“Isn’t this protocol somehow based on on ‘suspicion'”, I ask.

Ahhhhhh, the bliss of silence.

“I hope you understand why I did it”, she says.

“Actually, no. I don’t. Please elaborate. You’ll have to excuse my ignorance of being wrongfully suspected”.

…more bliss.

“I’m sorry you feel that way”, is the best she can muster.

“I’m sorry I feel this way too. My question is still unanswered”.

…and it remains that way.

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kdiviney@ryansrally.org
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20 Responses to Unfounded! Thanks for Clearing that Up.

  1. Jo Hobbs says:

    Good news that you have an ally at APS! It is a concern that this kind of thing could ever happen again, so at least APS now knows the situation. Still here with hope for a miracle for Ryan and much love for all!

  2. Paula Yocom says:

    It sounds like Valerie has put herself into a pickle — clearly she did not fully evaluate Ryan, and you know this because you were there. Valerie knows that you know she did not perform a thorough assessment. She chose to call APS based on her insufficient observations, and is now trying to gaslight you by saying she did it because she thinks you’re under stress. Valerie, we’re ALL under stress, and making every effort to handle our particular situations. For Valerie to blame you, Ken, for her mistake is — a cop out. Valerie, if you’re reading this, the truth sets you free, and there’s no need to further cloud this situation. The most important thing to gain here is clarity about how this unfortunate scenario happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. The staff of the hospital need to be on their game, but not by jumping the gun and making false assumptions. Clear and open communciation would have prevented APS from being called, and it would have allowed for Ryan to promptly receive the care he needed. Of course I am upset about the additional stress this situation produced for the Diviney family, and for that, I feel Valerie and the hospital staff owe you, Ken, and your wife an apology. Apologies are simple to do, and when they are genuine, they set the groundwork for improved relationships. I hope Inova Loudoun will step up and do this for you, because you deserve it.

  3. Rita says:

    It’s lazy and unprofessional for a health care worker to abuse an important service like CPS/APS just to cover their own inadequacies in caring for a patient, but it’s down-right unethical and inexcusable to then lie about the facts and try to cast blame on the patient’s true caregiver. I hope there’s some videotape to prove what really happened in that exam room so Nurse Valerie can be appropriately reprimanded by her supervisors at the hospital. (And here we were all hoping you’d run into your last “bad nurse”, Ken.) How sad that we as parents must always have our guard up in looking out for our kids’ best interests, even when we turn to professionals for help. Ryan is so blessed to have you and Sue as his strong, vocal advocates in all things!

  4. Debb Brooks says:

    Really, a nurse has the potential to make such a call? That is something to think about… I have four boys, and I can’t tell you how many times we have been in the emergency room for a broken bone, stitches, etc. I have even had nurses refuse to treat my son, due to Chicken Pox, they had never been exposed to such a disease (imagine that!) Not hating on nurses, but when did doctors start letting nurses make such a call? I’m so sorry that your family had to be subjected to such nonsense. At least the APS can see that you are a loving family and only want whats best. I pray that Ryan will soon wake up and be his own voice, until then, Keep on Ken, you got this!!!!

    • A doctor, nurse, technician, therapist, or just about any personnel can call.

    • Deb O'Kane says:

      Anyone can call actually and it si quite the tatic in some circles when your neighbor pisses your off. I work in child placement/adoption/foster and am alwasy surprised by the system … Bear in mind you have to be practiclaly killing your kid for them to be removed – a few beatings, no food, crack as dinner while pregnant – no big deal – take your kid home – we’ll be watching (every few months since their case load is usually over 50-75) and just do better next time.

  5. Will says:

    I the mean time how is Ryan doing.

  6. Anna says:

    If I am correct Valerie would have been told by the doctor to call APS. If her claim is she assessed Ryan and did not and then charted on his chart, she would be falsifying his records. Might be a crime! Anyway she has no business working in the ER if she did not do a complete assessment on Ryan. How does she know if he would have any other “abusive” injuries?? A unresponsive patient, suspected of being “abused” and not taken care of, lets see if he has any other signs of abuse … How are his pupils? Any response to pain? Any skin breakdown..elbows, heels, back? What about any iv’s, bruising, rashes, skin turgor? lungs clear? abdominal sounds present….last BM? Feeding tube, site infected or dry? how about his heart rythmn? what about any drainage from his urine catheter…clear, cloudy, bloody? what about his feet… foot drop, heel or ankle sores, edema , toenails need cut? What about his oral cavity… teeth taken care of or is Ken letting them rot out, is his facial hair shaven or does he have a beard with food stuck/dried in it? How about his hair…. clean, combed, natty with lice? What other signs of abuse did she see and chart that made her suspect abuse? An abused child usually has more than one thing wrong in the picture.
    What an incompetent excuse for an ER nurse!!!!! Oh boy Ken I would love to be a fly on the wall for this one…have fun!

  7. Milissa Simonsen says:

    I can sympathize with you, Ken. One day, I took my ex-husband (the one with the TBI) to speech therapy. His regular therapist wasn’t there, so he had a substitute. While he was there with her, he told her that he saw our son shot two rounds out of a gun into my head (just 6 weeks before, I was told by the same therapy group-Lucerne in Orlando, FL- that he did not know the difference between reality and dream). Well, when I pick him up, everyone acts a little weird, but I really didn’t think much about it. The next day, DCF shows up. They interview my 3 younger children (who say “yes” their older brother is “mean” – he just took them to McDonald’s the day before), and so my 17 year old son has a report against him. I tell protective services to look at me since it is obvious that I have not been shot. They close the case “unfounded” in 30 days. I figured out from my ex-husband who he told the info. to and I go back and ask them why they called. The woman (she is an RN who is on the therapy floor) tells me she didn’t want to call, but had to since the therapist told her she had suspicions. They should have read his file. Anyway, it caused much stress for me and did not good to anyone. I’m telling you, people love to meddle (whether mandated reporters or not). In the 2 years I was the caregiver, so many unfair and stressful events happened to our family (including the man who caused the accident making accusations when he got mad that I said it was his fault). I guess we will all be judged in the end. Just do the best that you can. 🙂

  8. Kathryn Beggs Howlett says:

    I am a mandated reporter. It is NO FUN. By law we do not have to have “proof”, only suspicion. We are trained and trained and trained. Protective Services makes the judgement on whether a report is founded or unfounded. I am TRULY sorry you, your family and Ryan went through this. Of all the difficulties of my job, being mandated to report is the most difficult part.
    Hope Ryan’s arm is healing, and hope you all can have a “quiet” night. Blessings.

    • Milissa Simonsen says:

      I am also a mandated reporter (school teacher). We also had to go though lots and lots of training. Our state (FL) also does not encourage us to “think” when it comes to these situations. We can only report what is objective. So far, however, must abuse situations that I have come across in school have been very obvious and later “founded” by DCF. It sure is scary how much power DCF has, though. The worker that came to my home on the case that I described above was about 22 years old and spent the first 10 minutes bragging about how her first case ended in a murder. Scary!

      • Here’s my point. An individual coming into school with a broken arm is “suspicious” ALL the time. But, coming into the E.R. MIGHT be suspicious. Any broken arm could, by any stretch of the imagination, be suspicious. Why not cut through all the red tape and just staff Protective Services in the E.R.?

      • Deb O'Kane says:

        in some urban facilities, they are on site at hosptials

  9. Patrice says:

    but but but blah blah this that about Adult Protective Services, let’s not take our eyes off the ball people!!! Ryan was not attended to by competent medical staff and that is the worst part of this debacle! The bottom line is that Adult Protective Services should NOT have been called. Secondly, the nurse who did NOT DO HER JOB, i.e., failed to perform a thorough examination should be reprimanded/disciplined as should the Doctor WHO DID NOT DO HIS JOB competently. BOTH should be disciplined FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE. Another poiont, maybe I’ll call Adult Protective Services on the Doctor and Nurse that didn’t do a daman thing in essence for Ryan and his Dad except make their life more painful/difficult? Now THAT would be appropriate!

    • Paula Yocom says:

      You go, girl! I’m sick of people getting victimized by people in positions of power who should know better. Seriously.

  10. Gail Doyle says:

    Valerie (“the nurse”) should also work at some other job,like I said the dr should do…research or something) Should not work with patients …..Than to lie ,that’s inexcusable… Hope things work out Tues. Ken……Good luck. SHSP Give Ryan a big hug and tell him So many people care about him and all of you~~~

  11. Keith (Morgantown) says:

    Well they should have realized what Ryan has went through. And not just go and think suspicous. I hope that you get them all set straight! God Bless

  12. The Colangelis says:

    I hope Ryan’s arm is OK now and not in so much pain now. Don’t worry about the nurse who made the mistake; people make them and she most likely will learn from it. You did well to let people realize they did not follow procedures. Don’t let the episode pre-occupy your mind too much, just work to let it go.

    I wish you a good weekend, one where can stay bundled up from the cold weather. We are praying for Ryan everyday and I have faith in Gad that he will get better. God Bless You.

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