“One Flew over a Cuckoos Nest”

Is it Ground Hog Day? I keep thinking this because it seems like I am caught in a spin cycle of a washing machine and i can’t get out. One week ago, I was discharged from the hospital, on my way to “home sweet home” to recover. Now, I’m in a Nursing Home across the street from a place called Rossmoor.  Rossmoor, if you don’t know, is a Large Retirement Community; I have called it God’s waiting room since I was a kid.
On Tuesday of this week, I was transported by ambulance to the hospital surgery center for a check up after recovering at home for a week.
The Surgeon was to inspect my progress on my Double Flap and how it was healing. When I say I was transported by Ambulance, I mean, I have to be rolled onto a Gurney onto my stomach, face down and travel this way every time that i leave the house. It’s an interesting way of traveling in an ambulance. If this doesn’t kill me, the ambulance co-payments will. When we met with my Surgeon, he simply said, you are not out of the woods. If you are doing everything right at home on your “Dolphin” bed, (special sort of fluid mattress) then it’s not working. The horrific scar that now looks like a football, traced on my buttocks is not healing like he would like. A 14 by 8 inch football scar with an unlimited amount of stitches has decided – it is pissed off. It doesn’t like the bed that cost me a small fortune every month but it wants to be on a Clinitron bed (only available in Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities, aka SNF) Now, the Clinitron bed starts at $51k, nothing we could go out to buy nor would they even rent one for residential use.
My only option was to go to a nursing home, get on one of these beds, and hope for the best. When the Doc said this, I wanted to die. The tears started rolling down Anneliese’s face and I’m trying to keep it together with nurses and EMT personnel in the room. They immediately started looking for a SNF for me. I asked, do I have one more night home before I go? They didn’t know until they made their calls. Thankfully, they allowed us to go home until we would receive the call letting us know where I was going for the next month or so. We spent our last night hanging out together as a family, watching the CMA’s, painfully not discussing what lied ahead of us – laying still on this bed, not moving, raising my head only 15 degrees for 4 more weeks.
They located a place called “Kindred” in Walnut Creek. I immediately knew I was screwed. Kindred means, “ones family and relations.” I am very familiar with this place, my mom was here earlier this year after a hip replacement surgery.  Let’s just say for a guy my age, this place is beyond awful.  At 46 years of age, I am the youngest person, I believe, here by at least 30 years – or so I feel.  The arrival was a Cluster.  I arrived at 10:30, when they were expecting me.  I was rolled in, they told my 3 EMT’s, Room 211, down the hallway through the doors on the left.  We headed down there.  Anneliese peaked in the room, no one in the room but a standard hospital bed and our special, ” GP motorcycle” of a bed.  No sheets, no nothing.  I sat in the hallway on my stomach, Anneliese paced the hallways ready to scream at anyone who would listen.  She finally wrestled up someone to put a sheet over the bed, after them telling her, no sheet needed.  She explained, this bed absolutely needs a sheet!   She knew from the hospital  – but even the instructions at the foot of the bed instructs one fitted sheet.  After the EMT’s rolled me on the bed, and thankfully, left me with a blanket we were now here.  We waited for 45 minutes for our nurse to come in and tell us her name and she would be back to assess me.  3 hours later, after Anneliese got me lunch and something to drink, we had action.  The action started when the power went out in the whole facility.  The frantic running around looking for extension cords, for those few, on special beds was amazing.  Anneliese started taking videos,  but after a bit was instructed to shut it down by the Director of the Facility. Anneliese responded to her, really?  I’ve requested  someone from management to come speak to me hours ago about our treatment –  the Directors response, sorry we are busy and now we have a blackout emergency.  Never did we hear back from her or did she ever come back to discuss our issues with the lack of care.  The power eventually came back on hours later.  I had to call Anneliese because the settings were all screwed up on the bed.    I took a pic, she walked my nurse through what she was told the settings are supposed to be.  As the evening approached, a lot of screaming from the patients down the hallways.  I have to say,  you become numb to it all – I believe I screamed as well at some point!    Anneliese says, I screamed, Halloween was on MONDAY!  See, we all get a bit “nutty” in here.  Thanks Berts for the sony headphones, they will come in handy.

I actually slept OK the first night after some meds.  They woke me up at 6AM for a sponge bath.  Oh, hell no!  You can come back at 9 or 10AM.  I typically wake up early,  but have no desire to be awake for most of the day here.   God, how I hate the extra hour I get to spend here this weekend when our clocks turn back.

I will check in later after my next surgeon’s appointment and yet another costly ambulance ride.  I’m sure it will be entertaining!  Here’s to the next 4 weeks or so in here.  Hopefully I don’t lose my mind in here!



12 thoughts on ““One Flew over a Cuckoos Nest”

  1. Dude! I thought I had a rough day. Actually I did have a rough day, I’ll tell you about it when we do lunch next week…assuming you still wanna do it. Lemme know bro. “The beatings will continue until morale improves!”

  2. Oh my. Those places should be called Unskilled Nursing Facilities. I hope things get better soon. xoxo

  3. Damn Dave, not really the Hilton resort huh. Uggh tough guy you are just heal up quick and get out of there.. likely not the motivation one seeks but you have overcome so much.. hang tough!
    All the best from MX

  4. Sorry Dave to hear all about it. Talked with Anneliese on Thursday and she was so upset about the whole thing. I hope yo get bet soon so you can go home. Xoxo.

  5. That’s rough, Dave. I pray that you’ll heal up and get to go home soon. I spent enough time in the SNF with my Dad, I know those places are no fun. Just keep thinking about how nice it will be to get home and use that as motivation.

  6. Well…, that sucks! Thinking of you Dave, and Anneliese too. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Just remember, when you need something be squeaky! Praying for your speedy recovery!!!

  7. I spent a few months at that facility following my SCI while I healed from my other injuries. It’s scary to think about what kind of treatment the other residents put up with, especially those who don’t have an advocate. My wife also had to raise hell on a daily basis to make sure that I received adequate care, and that I didn’t end up getting hurt by the staff.

  8. Dave, Linda, Monica Guasch’s mom, just a note to say Hello, praying for you everyday and keeping good thoughts for you, Annie, and the facility’s staff to listen, hear, care and know they must give you the best they have. If there is anything we may do to assist, pickup, bring to you please allow us to contribute to your well being. Love you, your always smile, Anneliese, Jack, Allie and Eddie. God’s speed in your complete recovery.

  9. Hopefully your magical bed is doing the magical healing its supposed to. Sorry the place is so bad, I hope you find a nice nurse you can connect with.

  10. Dave, is there anything we can do for you? All the Blasquezs’ are behind you. Please let one of us know. Sending healing thoughts.

  11. Hi there old friend-

    I so hope that you are able to heal quickly and get back home as soon as possible. I wanted to share that when Doug was in his long term rehabilitation facility, I circulated his cell phone and asked friends to text frequently. It also gave them a way to reach him and ask if they could drop by when they found themselves nearby. It alleviated a lot of the daily monotony and quite a few people showed up impromtu. With tasty food, of course! I am not sure if you are up for that- just a thought. Anneliese could post the request on your FB page or here in an update? He was also a fan of audio books when his posture did not allow for reading. Who are your favorite authors? Hang in there. You will get home.

    Love and support to you and your awesome wife.

  12. To My friend Dave and your beautiful wife Anneliese – my thoughts and prayers are with you guys!! I’m sorry that I haven’t been in touch like I should have been but you are in my thoughts often. I had no idea things were this bad. I will pray for you every day. My twin is right there with you and we will help in any way we can Stien!! You have always been one of my favorite people in the whole world and you bring joy to all you touch. Now it’s our turn to be there for you and your family. Much love man! Hang in there…I know you can do this.

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