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!