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Reply with quote  #1 
Good morning fine people   Figured I would give an update of Mom moving into the AL.  Let's just say this--I'm ready to change my name, move and flush my phone down the toilet.  ***Warning***--this teeters on a Russian epic.

She got discharged from the rehab last Friday (3/14).  All the signs for disaster were in my face.  Nothing packed, she's in her pajamas and lounging in bed at 12:30 pm, and she started yammering on about how she should just stay at this NH as a resident.  She was scoffing at the mere idea of having to get up and out of bed at 8 am in the AL in order to have breakfast.  Yeah, well, who wouldn't want to be served breakfast in bed every morning?

I just laid it on the line--"You are now discharged from this place.  If you want to go to their office downstairs and sign an agreement for paying $12,000/mo to live here, be my guest.  You don't need to be here.  People who are residents here need nursing care 24/7."

Soooo, I get her to the AL.  We go over everything with the admissions lady.  The rehab discharged Mom with a wheelchair (oy!).  Their reasoning being, she'll see her ortho surgeon on Monday and he'll have to make the decision about weight-bearing on her arm.  Seems to me that you use your arm a heck of a lot more with a wheelchair (manuveuring around, locking the wheels) than with a walker, but what do I know? 

We go over everything--call buttons for help in her room, aides are available all day/all night, meal times, activities and outings coming up, etc.  Oh, and we also went over security issues should a terrorist come into the AL.  I'm deadpan serious--that was one of Mom's concerns.   We even changed her primary care Dr (silly insurance co. never let us know that her regular one left the network while she was in rehab), to a Dr that comes to the AL and takes her insurance.

So the rest of the day is spent dragging stuff from my car and setting up her room.  One of the pigeons appeared (good gosh) and yammered on about how Mom could fit her couch here and her wall unit there (they do not allow people bringing in furniture--you get what you get and it's really nice, if you ask me).  Pigeon also tells Mom that she'll get her a cell phone (why does Mom need a cell phone???).  I tell pigeon that it must be an old folk cell phone--big buttons and easily understandable.

Next day pigeon swoops in early in the am to bring Mom a flip-phone that takes pictures.  Wowzers!  Unfortunately, Mom's tremors (she's always had them--now that I find out the nutjob Dr at the rehab increased her synthroid X3--they're out of whack; something else that's gotta be reviewed--her meds) makes it impossible to dial tiny buttons and she can barely open up the freaking phone, therefore, you can't get in touch with her.

Wow, this is getting long, but there's lots more!

The weekend goes by, I'm bringing more of her stuff, the kids are hanging out with her.  Biggest complaint--early mornings.  Help! 

We have an appointment to see her Ortho on Monday.  I get there and she tells me this tale of how she used the wheel chair (I had already put the walker in her room) to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  She fell out of the chair in the bathroom, banged up and skinned (?) her knees and her bad hand got hurt because she used it to get up.  (She's left-handed and the bad hand is the right). 

Well, she had me believing that when she fell, she rang the call bell, the aide came and did nothing, so Mom had to drag herself to medical to get a bandaid.  Upon further questioning; she fell, got up, went to bed, told the aide in the a.m. and the aide took her to medical.

We go see the ortho--he tells us that EMG and nerve-conduction tests reveal nerve damage and weak musclular activity.  Duh!  I should have a medical degree by now.  That's the end of the relationship with this guy--he doesn't take her insurance.  BTW--I'm constantly getting bills from his office upwards of $15,000, even though out-of-network is covered for an emergency which this was.  whee!

Next day goes by, la la la.  I get a call in the evening from a visiting nurse service that saw Mom to assess her (thanks for giving me a head's up).  Oh my--Mom's hand is swelled up and she needs more care, she's so frail; you need to hire a home health aide for her.  Then Medical from the AL calls--"Your Mom is down here with the PT from the VNS and she needs to get an xray on her hand."  Hm.  Her new Dr is unavailable, do I go to an ER for 15 hours or what?

I take her to the urgent care (where her old Dr was)--gets checked out and splinted.  Xray the next day.  Mom tells me she likes that Dr., let's change to him.  Okey-dokey.

VNS calls me again--Mom should get PT/OT/a social worker/and possible nursing care, BUT she has no benefits.  Say what?  Apparently when her case manager (whatever the heck that is) was called with the assessment, she tells them--well, Mrs. A changed her primary Dr and he doesn't take her insurance, therefore, she was dropped.  whoa.

Speaking to this "case manager" was like speaking to a pile of wood.  She made no sense.  I explained that he was in-network and that we've even changed over to another one, also in-network.  "Well, blah, blah, blah, you have to call  her insurance co and then we have to start the whole process over again."

I call her insurance co., and am told that Mom, indeed, did not lose any benefits, the woman is a nonsensical twit.  This wonderful, sweet and patient and helpful insurance rep made sure that all changes were made manually and there is no reason for any worries.


So far, that's all I know.  The xray results are still not in; this is a STAT xray btw.  The nurse at the Dr's office says "no news is good news."  Crack me up.  Still nothing from the VNS.  Nothing about the good surgeon's ever increasing pile of bills.  And Mom found that she is able to open that phone when she calls me to complain.

Latest complaint:
Mom--I haven't had a shower since I got here.
Me----Did you ask one of the aides to help you with a shower?
Mom--Well, I mentioned that I would need help when I got here.
Me----There's nothing in the contract about mind-reading.  You have to tell them what you need.
Mom--Well, I ring the bell and no one comes.
Me----You should talk to the medical supervisor and make sure your bell works and give her a schedule of what you need done and when.
Mom--You don't even care about me. <click>

Wow.  My head hurts.  I suppose this is the adjustment period, huh?

Tomorrow's gonna be a trip.  Tomorrow is Easter--the mosy Holiest and Joyous day of the year and I'm not looking forward to it at all.  Only because I thought it would be a good idea to have everyone together--just for Mom; the pigeons and their families and Mom over my house.  I think I'll be clearing out a closet to hide in while they're here.

God bless you, if you've read this far!

Reply with quote  #2 
Whoops!  I almost forgot this---

Reply with quote  #3 
Joani, I feel blessed, I read the whole thing!

Actually, I think I've written posts much longer than that.

Holy cow...what a week. Or month, or whatever that was! Isn't all that doctor/insurance coverage stuff a pain in the tush?

My life with Mom (occassionally) is so much more peaceful compared to yours. I'm starting to think that when they move into AL or NH, it gets more complicated. Why? Because you have all these specialists running around -- nurses, aides, PTs, OTs, administrators, DONs, doctors, WHATEVER -- saying 'she needs this', 'she has to do that' blah blah blah. When they are at home, at least the elderly one and the unfortunate caregiver get to call the shots. But once they get "into the system", as my Mom calls it they are constantly badgered with all this stuff.

I hope it's just an adjustment phase, and I hope you can get some peace and quiet again in your life, if just for a little bit before the next big crisis! It's so stressful.

It is nice that you offered to do the Easter Sunday deal with everyone but in hindsight, maybe that's just a bit too much! I think you're going to need a vacation. Sounds like pigeon sis can help Mom through all her crisis-es for a time, maybe, after all you've done for Mom so far.

That "You don't even care about me." <click> would have ENDED it for me, after all that!! You're a good person. Better than me!

Reply with quote  #4 
I'm really glad the ALs have plans in place for terrorist attacks
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Joani,

You have a lot of crap to deal with.  I'd blow a gasket, if I were you! Take care of yourself and stay in the closet as much as you can tomorrow!

BTW, one of my dad's major complaints is the "lack of security" at the NH. He also believes that the NH will likely be a target of a terrorist attack in the near future! I thought I was the only one to hear that complaint!
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Joanie...
Wow, thanks for the Blessings, as I also read your whole post.
Is "pigeon" sister anything like "squirrel" sister?  Guess I need a refresher course.
What a week.  And I feel like I have a reason to complain?
You're very strong.
Blessings on you, as well.
~ K ~
Reply with quote  #7 
Joani.  I, too, read your entire post.
Bless your heart, you richly deserve "Closet time".  OMG!!!
I really, really don't know HOW you and many others what you do. 
Good thoughts your way...and big {{hugs}}.
Nancy (MN)
Reply with quote  #8 
     My gosh, it's amazing how much one person has to go through. I read your posting with a mixture of hum our/disbelief/sadness and finally great sympathy for you.   I often find that things I "worry to death" eventually turn out better that I ever thought possible.  Take it one day at a time!  I hope Easter will hold some blessings for you.  I will be checking to see how your weekend goes.
                       Nancy (MN)

billie jo
Reply with quote  #9 

joani, your novel has me waiting for the sequel. as far as clearing out a closet, not a good idea. relatives always look there and in the medicine chest first. i suggest going to the church santuary. it's quiet, safe [hence the word santuary] and give you a chance to have a nice, quiet talk with the ONE who will listen. let the relatives eat and clean up!!! just my opinion.

Reply with quote  #10 
Just horrible.
How are you still sane?
 However, your writing style gave me a chuckle due to recognizing the 'theater of the absurd' situations and your written response to them. The interjections were priceless.
Just the telephone situation...I had considered buying my mom a prepaid phone, but knew that mom couldn't figure it out. Now that your mom has figured it out enough to complain, I'm glad that I didn't get one. You beautifully described how that works with elderly moms.

Take it easy tomorrow. There will be complaints, but distract and redirect as much as possible. Tomorrow night after everyone leaves (I hope?), treat yourself to somehing soothing. Wine, beer, chocolate, Xanax?
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