Friday, June 8, 2012
Express to Unhappy Valley
The operative phrase in the paragraph above is "was retired". These meetings were the first of my new job; one that goes 24/7, is demanding, frustrating, constantly second-guessed and the pay is zilch.
When I was bopping about the shiny scrubbed floor of the hospital trying to find someone who really knew my mother's condition, I was met late in my searching by Ms Bubbly. Ms Bubbly was a Social Worker and the Case Worker for the floor. She introduced herself with a wide assuring smile. She told me she would be with me every step of the way. I had little to do, it was in her hands. She told me of a list and gave me a hug.
I'm not a hugger. I am uncomfortable with this touchy-feely approach to causal relationships. That was the second hug I got that day, which was two too many. The first had been at my dad's when a friend of his gave me one.
The magic list was laying on the tray table by my mother's bed. It was a list of 18 Nursing Homes. Ms Bubbly had told me my mother would be sent to a Rehab Center eventually, but she, Ms Bubbly, would handle all the details and the transition. All she needed from us were three preferred homes. She suggested I should go visit these homes and see which ones I liked.
Eighteen Homes sounded like a lot to visit, but it really was less than that. First of all several had been crossed off by Ms Bubbly because they wouldn't accept my mother's insurance. (My parent's had made a bad choice in the insurance they choose, but more of that later.)
Then I asked my Ma if she had any preference.
"Yes," she said, "either Mushmouth Manor or Garden Green at Deep Pond." She waved a finger on the hand that worked. "Stay away from here and here and here and here and over there."
So okay, with the one's my mother very insistently told me to stay away from and the one's crossed off because of the insurance issue, our list was down to eight and five of those were far down south in the county. I figured she would want to stay up in the region nearer her home so her friends could visit. My list of 18 was pared down to three: Mushmouth Manor, Garden Green at Deep Pond and Sunset City.
Okay, just in case somebody's a little asleep reading this, none of these names are the real ones. Believe me, no Old Age Ho...(sorry)...no Retirement Home, Frail-Care Center or Skilled Nursing Facility would ever use Sunset as a name; Sunrise yes, but never anything too smacking of the truth.
On Monday I contacted Sunset City and made an appointment to visit and take the tour. I also left a message (it is incredibly hard to ever contact an actual human being at any of these places, in fact, any where anymore) that I would be in the area on Wednesday and would like to stop by and see Mushmouth Manor. I didn't call Garden Green yet, it could wait until I saw the other two.
On Tuesday I got the call that Mom was getting a feeding tube plugged in on Wednesday.
Things were speeding up here.
Wednesday morning I made the trip north to This City for my appointment at Sunset City. When I drove about the building and parked I could see it was an older facility. It wasn't fancy, like some you see and certainly not opulent. The reception lobby was small, about the size of a large living room. The receptionist was friendly and the Admission Director was as well. She was very nice and she explained the place and took me on a tour.
Again, nothing lavish, but everything was clean. There was a clutter of broken down bodies in wheelchair here and about, a standard in such places I was to learn. She showed me the dining area and the large Rehab Center and a typical room. There were three beds in each of the Skilled Nursing rooms. Each bed faced a bureau and there were TVs on these bureaus for each bed.
It seemed a decent place, although you could see age on more than the residents.
My meeting was over by around 11:30 and since the hospital was nearby, I did stop up to see my mom. When I got to her floor I found her asleep, so I sat down on a chair and waited. After a few minutes a nurse came in to tend to mother in some way and woke her up.
After this person did her thing and moved from the bed into the bathroom, I said to my mother, "She did what I didn't want to do, wake you up."
"It's my job," said this nurse as she now departed the room.
I told mom where I had been and that it looked decent. The people were very nice. She then asked about Mushmouth Manor. "I'm going there next," I told her.
About then a nurse came in and said they were taking my mom down to surgery. I said I was told she was going at 1:00, but they said it was moved up. They preceded to get my mom on a gurney and wheel her away. I left and headed for Mushmouth Manor.
I thought they placed mom on a gurney. Actually it was to be on the express to Unhappy Valley. (And no, I haven't forgotten what I quoted Grandmother as always saying in my last post.)