Thursday, April 30, 2015

Seven Week Update on Rob and Another Move

WARNING: This is a long post about a very bad experience. If you are looking for a great travel adventure, don't read it. 

Late last week Rob was deemed well enough to be moved out of the hospital and into a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). After a lot of paperwork and negotiation the SNF and our insurance company have come to an agreement and Rob was moved yesterday. 

The beginning of his stay there didn't go well. I hate to sound like a malcontent but what an awful place. We arrived around 4:00 PM and he was moved to a double room which is so small you can barely move around the bed. The paint on the walls in his room is peeling and there is a huge patched area that has yet to be painted after a (hopefully) recent repair. It was also very hot in the room. It was pretty depressing from the start but those are thing we can deal with for a short time. 

What was really unsettling is the lack of assistance we experienced. We tried to get a bedside commode for two hours and I had to go into the hall and insist that someone get one. I did that twice and after another 20 minutes someone finally brought one in. All the while Rob's anxiety level rose to the point where his breathing was getting labored. We asked for medication for his anxiety around 5:30 PM. The response we got was "I'll tell the nurse". An hour later we had heard nothing about getting his medication so we asked again. The response was "I'll tell the nurse". Around 7 PM the admission coordinator came in to check on us. He said he was here to make sure Rob got what he needed and was there anything he could do for us. We told him about our concerns and the medication and he went to check on the status. When he returned he assured us Rob would have his medication "very soon". 

I finally left to go home at about 8:00 PM because visiting hours were over. I have never felt so guilty in my life as I did leaving him there alone. To add insult to injury when I tried to leave there was a police car parked behind the truck and I had to go back inside to ask them to move so I could get out. The young officer was quite rude, sarcastically asked if he was in my space and wanted to know which car was mine. I pointed and said, "that big dually over there." He moved, I left. 

When I got home and was going into the Little RV, I stepped on our freestanding step that we keep at the bottom of the outside steps and a leg broke off. Sure glad that didn't happen when Rob was using it.

Rob called me at 10:30 PM to tell me he still didn't have his medication and most of his night medications had to be ordered from a pharmacy so who knows when they will arrive. When I left the admissions coordinator gave me his card and told me to call his cell number at any time if we needed help with something or had concerns. I called, left a message and never heard back. 

Today I will put on my big girl panties, paste a smile on my face and go back to that awful place and cheer my husband on so we can get him out of there as soon as humanly possible. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Six Week Update on Rob From the Little RV

This week we passed the six week mark in Rob's illness and recovery. After four weeks in the hospital and two weeks in a high acuity rehabilitation hospital he is improving slowly. He is able to get in and out of bed with minimal assistance and he can walk about 35 feet with a walker. I was able to take him outside the other day and he soaked up some sunshine. 

Last weekend we managed to get him showered, shaved, a haircut, nail trim and he looks more like himself. He is also eating some of his meals in the chair rather than in bed.  
Yesterday we got the news yesterday that he will most likely be moved to a skilled nursing facility next week. 

The case manager has to check in weekly with our insurance company and get continuing authorization for his stay. His condition no longer requires the level of care provided by his current digs so (in order to save $$$) the insurance company wants him moved to a less expensive facility. 

I think Rob was expecting to go home from his current facility and is feeling a little depressed about the move. 

I have really mixed feelings about the move.  The new facility is further away from Benson, where the Little RV is parked. On the bright side, I have been having an ongoing battle with his current facility over the sodium content in his food. Sodium is the enemy for those with congestive heart failure and kidney disease. I am hopeful the food at the new facility will be better for his dietary requirements. 

In order for him to come home he needs to be able to get himself around better and up and down stairs so he can get inside the Little RV (4 steps) and up to the bedroom (2 steps). Additionally he is on high flow oxygen which is greater than most facilities and home oxygen equipment can produce. His oxygen requirement has fluctuated between 5 and 11 liters but this needs to be much more stable before he can come home. 

The other day Rob commented how much he misses my cooking and how he's love some meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Tomorrow is our 17th wedding anniversary so I plan to take him meatloaf and mashed potatoes...not from a box... cooked with antibiotic free, organic ground beef, real potatoes and no added sodium.

Thursday I paid for our RV site through May. The rate here goes down in the summer because it is their slow season. I can't wait until he can come home and recuperate here in his own home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Springtime in the Desert and a Rob Update in the Little RV

After 34 days in our campground I finally took a walk around today with my camera. The temperatures are in the mid 80s and the park is getting pretty empty because the season is over. I like empty.
We're up on a hill with great views.

         We're parked smack in the middle of this photo.

The pool looks inviting... 

Rob and I will make good use of this pool when he finally gets to come home. Rob is improving slowly. He finally was able to get out of bed for the second time today. He sat up in a chair for about 20 minutes. He is eating a bit better and staying awake for longer periods of time. If we can get him into a wheel chair tomorrow I am going to take him outside so he can feel the sun on his face. That should be a treat.

It's spring here in the desert and everything is in bloom.
Love the color and texture in this photo.

Oh Hello Mickey!

Go ahead, I dare ya!

Love the symmetry of these. 

Hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rehabin' With Rob (not) in the Little RV

Rob's hospital stay continues but now he is in the rehabilitation hospital. He is still in the ICU but I can see small improvements every day. 

They started his physical therapy yesterday and he was able to sit up on the edge of the bed a couple of times. His speech and thoughts become more clear daily and he seems more and more like himself.

In fact, today his nurse and I got him into a shower chair and whisked him down the hall to the shower. I got him scrubbed up as clean as possible while sitting in a chair but he felt almost human (if not extremely tired) after that shower. 

The food is much better in the new hospital. That is a bonus for both of us!

Today he wanted to hear the whole story of what he has been through in the last month so I told him. Fortunately, he doesn't remember anything. But, he has been struggling to understand why he is having to spend time in rehabilitation rather than at home. I think the trip to the shower and the extreme exhaustion afterward showed him that he needs some help getting on his feet again. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hospitals and Therapy Dogs, an Update on Rob

So much has happened since the last time I posted. The short story is Rob has improved little by little and day by day. 
Preparing for the ambulance ride to the new hospital
Yesterday Rob was transferred from the hospital where he spent 27 days to a different hospital that will focus on his rehabilitation. He is in their ICU because he is still on a heart monitor, oxygen and hasn't been out of bed yet. They are also having a very difficult time regulating his blood sugar and there are a couple of other lingering problems. 

The new hospital is very small, only 38 beds and while they are a fully accredited hospital they specialize in complex rehabilitation. Their average stay is 25 days. It is also in Tucson so the drive is only about 5 miles shorter.  

The move seems to have been good for him. He got to go outside for a few minutes while being loaded into the ambulance and now has a new room to look at and new staff to interact with. 

I went to see him this morning and was only there for a couple of hours when he sent me home. He was tired and wanted to sleep and I guess he didn't want me watching him. I used the opportunity to clean the dirty Little RV. It was a mess in here and there was stuff everywhere. It's much better now and I feel like I have accomplished something. 

While Rob was in the previous hospital he had visits from 4 different therapy dogs. What a great program. They come for a visit and most of them get right up on the bed with him. It really lifts his spirits. These are three of the dogs who visited. The last one, Mama, who visited yesterday was a beautiful girl. She is a Goldendoodle. I didn't get a picture of her but Mama promised to come for a visit to the new hospital.

Cody with Rob


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Another Update on Rob's Condition

For those of you who don't follow us on Facebook I'm adding the updates I have been sending out to family and friends. Thank you for your kind comments and support. - Juley