---Alice Abrams

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm Moving On...

I've got to move on... I keep looking at this same page and know I need to move on and not keep stuck in the past.

We have a new little man in our family. He would be Robby's nephew so his sister is very happy to have his namesake (although I find it a bit confusing). He has a rare syndrome - Dutch Kentucky syndrome - that will require some surgery in the future, but nothing major. Some of the tendons do not stretch properly but retract. He currently has a cast on one leg. His dad and most of the male members of his dad's family have it also. But dad has done just fine, although he's a little shorter than he might have been... No biggie.

You all know I took a header off of my porch and fractured my hip. I fought tooth and toenail to come home when I was released from the hospital, but I was shoved into a nursing home for rehab. I found out that I was the only one there who had all of their faculties. It was, without a doubt, the most humbling and frightening experience I've ever had.

I was treated as though I was suffering from more than a fractured hip. One after noon two staff members came in to straighten up the bedclothes and informed me that it was time to get ready for bed. It was 6:00 pm! I said, "Oh no, I think not!". They were two little girls from India, and I still don't know if they understood me, but I made it perfectly clear I wasn't hitting the sack.

There were no TV's in the rooms but you could hobble or wheel yourself down to the TV room and watch what was on, along side the blank-eyes staring at the screen. Or you could go to the dining room and play bingo or trivia, the Alzheimer's editions. One of the staff chastised me for eating in my room and not going to the dining room. I was not being social. No, I wasn't. Not in the least. I did my walking up and down the hallway on my walker, but that did it for me. I tried to speak to some of the ladies but there was no one home. The woman in the room with me kept yelling at me - I ignored her. She kept setting off the emergency doors and the alarm she wore to let the nurses know if she fell. It drove me nuts!!! The alarms were loud, the first time I about had a heart attack. She was a real pill.

I asked when I could have a shower and was told twice a week, which meant I had one on Tuesday, after arriving on Sunday, but was told I had to wait until Saturday because Medicare had changed the rules - only two showers per week!

I crabbed to the social worker and the head nurse and got conflicting answers. The doctor told me I needed to stay for two weeks, and I told him flat-out that I was leaving on Friday whether or not I had to take a cab. Wally was afraid of me coming home too early, but I threatened him with the cab, too, and he finally got it.
I told the doctor that the lack of communication between the staff was horrible. I had to go before the department heads to assure them I was capable of returning home, and at that point I played my axes and told them that my daughter is a CNA and would be on call. In fact she played go-between the whole time I was there.

Again, I said if they didn't release me I would leave AMA if necessary.

You have to realize that I have ALWAYS been little Miss Submissive, and this was totally out do character for me to be so adamant about something.

I feel for each and everyone of those poor souls stuck there, I really do. Just finding myself in a place like that was like being sentenced to time in jail. And laying in bed thinking how horrible it would be to live out one's life warehoused like that. I was sent there under the guise of it being a nursing home and a separate rehab facility, which was not true. I feel that this was a way to bilk Medicare out of funds that could have been used more wisely. And I have Kaiser Senior Advantage!

Okay, I've told my tale.... I'm now getting around by a cane, the kind with the four prongs. I'm still wobbling and scared to death of falling again, really! If I'm ever in a dark place where my eyes cannot focus on the TV, and I am no longer myself, I'll be ready. But not until then....