Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WOW...What a Change When You Are Gone.

Well, I have been absent for some time.  Honestly, just haven't felt like emotionally dealing with everything that is going on.  Also, just have not had the time to be on the computer.  Blogger has sure made some changes to their lay out and design.

First of all, crocheting has come to a screeching halt.  I had to pack up my craft room and store it all so it could be turned back in to a bedroom.  OH HOW I AM MISSING my room.  Did not realize how much time I spent in there, how much peace I go from being in there.

Now for all the changes.  Will start with the most important.  

My sweet little mother has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and have been told she doesn't have long to live.  She got totally debilitated when they did an endoscope (the first attempt to do the biopsy) on her.  That was the last week of April.  The procedure left her so weak that she was practically bed ridden for the better part of 4 days.  My brother came to visit her and thankfully was a huge help as he stayed in the apartment with her.  Otherwise, she would not have been able to manage at all.  I still do not know why on earth that hospital sent her home in the state she was in.  At any rate, just as she had began to gain a little bit of strength back, then she ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, the following week actually. It became very clear to me that for financial reasons, and for her own safety, she would not be able to go back to living in her apartment again. 

From the hospital, she went to skilled nursing to get a little stronger.  Then we moved her in with us.  Hospice is taking care of here.  She has already made it longer than they had expected, she is just stubborn enough to make it quite some time yet I think.

Now for a few venting moments.

I am shocked that the retirement community that she was living in can get away with charging my mother for two places of residence at the same time.  She was obligated to pay the apartment, then pay for her skilled nursing as well.  Thankfully for her pocket, her insurance (medicare and a supplemental) paid for the skilled nursing part.  However, if she had elected to pay full private pay ($245 a day) then she would not have to pay her apartment.  Well, that would end up being three times the amount of the rent on the apartment.

Now, the vicious circle of policy for the apartment living.  She could not live in the apartment unless she could tend to her basic needs (feeding, dressing, bathing, bathroom) on her own.  Feeding could be taken  care of because the dining room offers to bring the meal to the apartment - at a cost of $4 per meal.  We can hire her help with the bathing - at a cost of $20 and hour, min of two hours a day.  Problem is that she is so weak, she would not be able to get from bed to chair, chair to table, or any where else on her own.  This is the safety issue.  If she should fall, no way to get help.  She went down with me and we ended up having to call the fire department for assistance getting her back in to bed.

So, we turned in notice of vacate.  Supposed to have a 60 day notice, have to pay for those 60 days, but it can be waived if transferring to a different building or for medical reasons.  We qualified for the medical reasons, but still had to pay for two weeks.  We had until June 13, to vacate.  I started packing up her apartment to put it all in storage, except the very little that was brought to my house.  I found out that they were already showing mom's apartment, also found out that since all staff members knew she was not there they were helping their self to her internet, and some jewelry, cash and credit cards.  Nothing was done about this and when I reported it, suddenly the administration didn't want to talk to me.

The facility is called Glenwood Gardens and is owned by Brookdale Senior Living. It has gone through so many changes in administration that the quality over all has really suffered.

The other complaint, kind of same complaint, is that you are told one thing only to find out that is not the case.  I will only mention the most recent.  The hospital discharged my mom to the skilled nursing.  I was informed that policy requires she be transported by ambulance.  However, now after the fact, we find out that medicare and insurance will not pay for her ambulance transport because the hospital discharged her as non essential transport.  I guess that is wonderful for our ambulance service (which happens to owned by our mayor) that can send us a past due notice for the entire bill (approx. $1,800.00) even though they never sent us bill to begin with. Oh well, just one of the many bills we will be appealing payment for.

I won't even get in to the hospital bill.  We are being charged for scans done for a biopsy that the doctor refused to do and wrote his report to show there was no tumor so he could justify his refusal to do the procedure (three times).

At any rate, a three room apartment has been boxed up and put in storage, my wonderful craft room hide away has been packed up and stored awa y as it is now a bedroom for my mom.  Hospice has been wonderful providing the medical equipment.  So, now we wait.  I have really mixed emotions about all of this.

She is so weak, that she has to have help walking to the bathroom, uses a walker to take her shower (which a really sweet hospice aid comes and helps her with) and each time it takes more out of her.  She moans and groans, gets this pained looked on her face, yet won't admit that anything is hurting.  She doesn't eat enough to keep a bird alive yet complains that I am giving her too much food.  Also, she is constantly cold.  Always wanting covers.  Out of a 24 hour day, sleeping is about 20 of those hours.  Bad as this sounds, I am praying that she goes quickly.  For one she is ready, so very ready to go.  I worry what will happen if she last the summer.

This is the selfish part of me coming out.  I have my daughter and her family (haven't seen since last June) coming out and here I will be having to stay at the house while hubby and them go do all the things I would love to see those two grand sons enjoying.  Also some other family members are planning to visit and it is the same situation.  Not to mention that I am also the primary care giver for my youngest grand son, so am worried how that will work out when youngest daughter (15) starts back to school. Like I said, it is the selfish part of me, I know, just like the part of me that misses my little hide away where I could sit and sew, quilt, crochet, or just read while watching tv.  The shows I like to watch.

The other thing, we have been hit hard financially.  Had to replace our air condition/heat unit to the tune of over $5,000. and we had promised to help pay for oldest daughter's trip out and now our youngest son isn't taking summer classes, so no financial aid which paid his rent.  He is looking for work, but will still need help to pay for rent until Sept. as well as food, gas, utilities and such.  Am really going to have to watch the budget like a hawk.  On the positive side, since I can't go anywhere, we can't eat out.  Only bad thing about that is that this family turns it nose up to left overs.  Which at the moment my fridge is full of and I am adopting an attitude of eat it or go hungry.  I know that some of my internet groups, specific to menu planning and budget mindedness, have members that make one night a week a C.O.R.N night, or Clean Out Refridge Night.  I try to cook cheap, but they don't like rice too much, don't like pasta at all, which really limits the offerings.  Not to mention that since I am tied down to the house with mom these days, what little time I get for shopping has to be maximized.  I make a list, attack the list and get home.  I can already tell I have to re-think my shopping strategy. 

Guess that is enough complaining for now.  I had planned on a quick trip to run errands, but since the nurse came and gave my mom something to help go to the bathroom, I will have to postpone that trip until tomorrow.  Seems that I am the only one that take her to the bathroom.  Oh well, that's the hand we are dealt and that's the hand will work with.  I know that God is with us every step of this Journey.

Thanks for stopping by.

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