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July 30, 2012

The facts, ma’am, just the facts. Here they are in a nutshell. Of course, there’s so much more behind the facts!

Mom fell down in her kitchen about a month ago. She cracked her head open, which at the time was the worst of her worries. She pushed her “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button, and was taken to the hospital. According to her friend Lucy, who rode in the ambulance with her, she was in good spirits: when the EMT asked how old she was, she looked at him and said, “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

At the hospital, she couldn’t get off the gurney. Turned out she fractured her pelvis. Oy. They stapled her head shut, and admitted her. A week or so later, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehab. At that point, she was unable to get up, stand or walk. A broken pelvis is one of the hardest breaks for an elderly person, worse to recuperate from than a broken hip.

Nursing homes.  A whole ‘nother post. For now, I’ll stick to the facts.

Three weeks or so later, she’s now able to walk 50 feet with a walker and someone standing by. She’s getting therapy twice a day, occupational first and then physical. Her prior limited range of motion has gotten somewhat better. She’s made great strides in the past two weeks!

Mom gave me the okay to pack up some of the things in her apartment while I was there last week. Despite this seeming acceptance of moving, she’ll say in the next breath that she’s so looking forward to going back to her apartment. There’s a bit of a disconnect, obviously. I spoke with her OT, and she believes it’s unlikely that they’ll discharge her to live independently. So I’ve now wrangled the therapists and the social worker to start telling her that she’s not likely going back to her apartment. Once she gets used to that idea, then we can start discussions about whether she’ll move to a facility in the Syracuse area or to one here in Richmond close to me.

Just when things seem to be looking up, there’s another wrinkle. Mom’s been getting a monthly infusion for her rheumatoid arthritis for several years. It’s an expensive infusion, around $3,000 or $5,000 a pop. She was due for it last week, and the nursing home was going to transport her to the doctor’s office for it, but it turns out that insurance won’t cover it as long as she’s inpatient in a facility. So now her normal, everyday RA pain is going to get worse. I’ve spoken with the nurse manager, the nurse practitioner and the social worker to make sure they’re all aware of the upcoming need to manage her pain better.

Transitions. Transitions stink.

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