I learned much today about the importance of kindness, experienced how signifigant oxygen truly is, was reminded everyone sets their own priorities, realized online reviews aren’t always accurate and gained a whole new appreciation for my gut (instinct).
I had a bad feeling when we walked into the rehab across the street from the hospital last night. After addressing many of the issues (without being that asshole relative who rolls in and upsets the apple cart) I left her about 9.
My cousin had to meet a train and left about 7:45.
At 6:30 this morning my phone rang.
“Mom called the police to take her back to the ER. Said she was sick and not being attended to. Police called me, asked if I have power of attorney. Said no, she makes her own decisions”
So they returned her to the ER. I found her in a state of near hysteria when I arrived about 80 minutes later. Morning traffic is legit up here.
Her pulse ox was in the high 70s when she arrived.
Her BP was lowwwww. And she’s hypertensive, so that’s a thing.
She didn’t recognize me. That’s a thing.
The social worker arrived for a consult and after a quick conversation she didn’t refer (she can’t) a new rehab but she gave me enough information to make a good choice and might’ve foot stomped.
She invited the liaison from the facility I chose to come in and speak with us. Dialed my cousin, had a conference call and it was settled by 11:00 am.
The transport was set up for Noon.
And they were punctual. She was in the throes of a wave of puking when they arrived. I love fluids.
They weren’t rushed (transport dude yesterday was rude and rushed) and got her settled and comfortable.
We were received like … royalty.
They have a relationship with a local nursing school so, unlike the two aides and LVN who bickered over who had to do the intake assessment last night? Aunt M was evaluated by a nursing instructor and three third year RN students.
She was assessed by the wing supervisor; another RN. The director (an MD who looked half my age) stopped in to pay a visit. She met the nurse assigned to her room for the shift, a home health aide and the facility concierge all in the first 90 minutes.
She had physical therapy with a capable, polite dude who confirmed my concerns re: she’s having trouble seeing on her left side. His supervisor evaluated her too. Notes were made. An eval was set up for the morning. Everyone who crossed paths with her today was polite, engaged, professional and sincere.
Over the course of the day as she got her strength back Aunt M revealed:
She complained repeatedly about trouble breathing last night. She was told to “stop worrying and go to sleep.” She left the hospital with 3 liters. They reset hers to 2. Something they confirmed indignantly when I called earlier today. Her O2 was low enough today that the new nursing team set it at 4.
She asked for help going to the restroom. She was told she wasn’t allowed out of bed without permission from PT despite being told repeatedly, in front of me, all she had to do was press the button and the aide assigned to her would help her to the toilet.
She asked for the light to be turned om last night; they said it was “too late for a light; go to sleep.”
She “didn’t want to live anymore if these were the conditions.”
The cop who picked her up said its not the first time someone called 9-1-1 to leave there.
When I left tonight at 9:30 she still couldn’t see on her left side. Not out of her left eye, but on the left side. She can’t see left of center. I hope that’s simply cortical blindness as a result of a night without adequate oxygen and that it resolves itself soon.
19 hours later, she’s settled into a first rate rehab facility and my soul hurts because I picked the crap hole we left her at last night.
The male orderly who gave her a shower (by the numbers) and washed her hair at 8:30 tonight on a nonshower day treated her with such dignity and respect, I cried.
She did too after she settled back in bed in her own pajamas, showered (with her own products) and teeth brushed for the first time in 6 days.
She stopped crying and said, “Go back there and get my shoes, Jenn. I don’t want them to have nothin’ of mine. And I don’t care if this place doesn’t have Maddow. Just means I have to be ready to go home sooner.”
Moxie, man. She’s got moxie.
And tomorrow we’re not talking about last night anymore. She agreed. My heart can’t keep hearing how awful it was. I picked a facility where they removed her independence, ignored her pleas for help, let her struggle to breathe for hours in a diaper in the dark. FML.
New day, fresh pajamas, fresh start. They have empty garden boxes in the patio. She and I have a project ahead of us.
You can be damned sure I’m stopping by that shithole on Madison Ave first thing in the morning to pick up her shoes and drop off a piece of my mind.
If you’re in or near Morris County, New Jersey and find yourself in need of a rehab or nursing facility?
Chatham Hills. Without question.