Surgery and Hospital – Part Two

I was not really very happy with the inpatient rehab. It felt horribly restrictive, and part of the issue is that sometimes, people don’t get that I cannot hear them.

At one point, they attached a “nanny” to the wheelchair I was in. (it clips to the chair, and the back of my shirt) This was not comfortable nor explained.  I demanded it be removed and that they explain WHY it was placed. It was to “make sure I didn’t get up when I wasn’t supposed to.”. Well, no one EXPLAINED THAT to me. Why punish me like a 5 year old because I’m a high functioning deaf person?

Same issue cropped up this morning. I had to buzz a nurse, so someone was with me for everything. going to the bathroom, getting up, etc. I understood that this morning. Except a nurse comes in, follows me to the bathroom, and wraps a belt around me and straps me to the toilet. I was just pissed.

Communication is not very good. I made clear that morning I wanted to discuss my discharge for Saturday morning. First thing in the morning after this.  like 8am.They didn’t follow up with it until almost 3:45pm.

So I have one person from the Hospital telling me “you’re all set to be released Saturday” (name was Lynn) and another lady (Dr, did not get her name because I was fuming) comes in saying “oh, you aren’t set. If you leave early, your insurance will likely not cover anything.” I’m thinking “What? That makes no sense. If I leave on Saturday instead of Monday, my insurance saves thousands of dollars. ” They’re trying to make me stay over money? They backtracked and said “no, it’s about care.” but they’d already dropped the money bomb first. I was livid, really.

So anyhow, shortly thereafter, the original person (“paperwork and social services for discharge”, Lynn) comes back and clarifies what the others were saying: The insurance may not cover 100% either way. There’s no guarantee. I could get some big ass bills either way this goes, and if I stay thru Monday.. .it’s just more money gambled (i.e. over $1,000/day and this ain’t no fancy hotel and I won’t get a free jacuzzi suite if I spin 23 red.). She did feel comfortable saying she didn’t think billing would be affected either way, but she couldn’t give me a 100% answer either. She said if I want to go home, then I should.

Long story short, I would be going home Saturday morning, 6 days after surgery,  after my Dad and I goto “Family Therapy”, whereby they demonstrate safely supporting me up and down stairs and then we do a few things with my getting up and down the stairs on crutches.

The hospital, until now, has been great. the inpatient rehab wouldn’t have done anything on Sunday anyhow…

Compounding all: The person who suggested I try the inpatient rehab clearly told me: You’ll be there a few days, and home by weekend. Your insurance is 100% for up to 5 days. THEY SAID THIS TO ME. CLEARLY.They didn’t say “you’ll have to stay there for 5 days, regardless of how you feel.”. No, she told me “a few days, if you feel great, you’ll be home for the weekend” (which was never discussed on this floor at all). If they had told me ‘you’re going to be here for 5 days, and released on Monday” when they ‘sold’ me on this inpatient rehab, I may well have agreed to it, but with a better/more realistic outlook in hand. Instead, I was sold on the “few short days”. I feel great. So that’s what I’m demanding from them. I felt as if I’d been snookered by a salesperson. alas.

Hospital communication is a freaking nightmare. I can’t imagine working in this. The nurses upstairs (5th floor) were all wonderful. You could tell they communicated. They passed messages, and followed them. They wrote down that morphine was making me sick, and that I needed some crackers to take the pills. I’m sending them a card and flowers if I can.

Down here on the 3rd floor, it feels like the nurses (some, not all!) are here just for the payday. I feel like they’re annoyed with me, and I’m treated like a liability. That’s the process, maybe not them. Down here, it almost feels like they were going to hold me against my will (even after stating they wanted to make sure I would be safe.. .well… what difference would 2 half days make? Really? they couldn’t quantify it). I just don’t feel comfortable. That’s not gonna help me heal.

Anthony and Kyle (PCA’s) are two of the nurses here who’s been fairly cool. Anthony’s a football fan too, and with the draft, I’ve been keeping him updated on the Lions picks. Kyle seems to think I’m pretty funny.

The OT and PT people are fantastic tho, but it was woefully under done for me, I mean, they said “3 hrs a day” but they’re way over coddling…. I would go up some stairs, or lift my leg a few times, then “rest rest rest”. OMG. I’m 40!!! I broke my leg, not my heart.

They DO care, and express it. The OT person (Laura) had no issue with me heading home and even set up delivery of a knee walker and bathtub seat (which delivered at 5pm Friday), and the PT person (Heike) just wants to make sure I can get up and down the stairs safely (which we’ll go over with my dad tomorrow morning around 9am). But the general rules… are not for a 40 year old single guy. I’m more convinced than ever I’ll be just fine having been here. this is designed for 80-90 year olds with broken hips, not a 40 year old, intelligent man with no strength loss. They convinced me in very short time that I’m ready to go home with their rules (which they explained were for liability… if I fell, they’re responsible. Okay, so why didn’t you say that at the get go?!?!? CO-MUN-I-CA-TION. Try it. it works.)

When I come home, I was told that I would have to give myself shots as well. Thursday afternoon (with no real notification, again likely communication failure on their behalf) I was placed on a blood thinner that has to be administered via shots. This was only just explained to me the following day. They planned to demo that Saturday as well before I get released. I’ll have to give myself a shot tomorrow in the belly (didn’t hurt when they did it). Lynn checked to ensure my insurance covers it, and all is good. I understand that now (because they communicated it) but just not in timely manner.

They ended up NOT sending me home with the belly injctions. Apparently, I move around “too well” to need to injections. why would I have needed the injections? If  I stayed and had to spend every freaking minute of that weekend in an uncomfortable chair doing nothing at all except calling the nurses when i had to take a dump or piss. What a waste of a weekend that would be for all involved. First they want me NOT to leave… but then I’m doing so well, I don’t need the shots? I’m disappointed in the communication…

A home nursing visit will be arranged as well (to ensure I’m doing okay). Follow up appointments with Dr. Molli and Dr. Paul are being worked on as well. No more than 2 weeks from surgery date for Dr. Molli, as a ton of staples need be removed (I’m sure THAT will be fun). May 7th, perhaps. (ended up being on May 8th).

I just feel 100% sure I’ll be safe at home with my dad, and I want nothing more than to be home. I’m fatigued of the hospital, and dreaming of my mom way too much being in here. With all the issues she had with the hospital. I’m not dreaming about my ankle being broken or anything like that. I KNOW it will be okay, because the hospital MADE me okay. I’m dreaming of running around. That’s telling.

Maybe I’m projecting this wrong to them. It’s possible. I just know I’m not happy here and want to go home, and the last I was told, all paperwork, etc for my release tomorrow will be arranged and “if you change your mind, you can stay longer”. Meh. No.

Bottom Line: YOUR health care has YOU as the boss, and this boss said “I’m ready to go”. They vaciliated massively with poor communication on the third floor, included baseless threats about money, and then tried sugar coated it. They sold me on a rehab plan with false promises, and I should have just been a smarter boss. I learned. It won’t happen again. The plan they have here is NOT for me over long term. Some rotten apples, but they’re not all in the pie. The hospital HAS done me good. I am utterly amazed that I have very little if any pain right now. Mere discomfort. With what has happened to me, this is miraculous thus far. I slept damn near perfect last night. Extra pillow at my leg, and I was good to go. With all of this, I know the next step in healing is at home.

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