Thursday, August 21, 2014


Everything was looking pretty good a week ago Monday…the procedure for the pacemaker went well. Dad even looked better after the procedure.  Said he felt better.  Protocol was 24 hour observation.  So I left the hospital, met a new friend in Melbourne for dinner (thanks Tricia for dinner!) and grocery shopping for dad.

Told him I'd be back around 8 the next morning - he told me to sleep in and come at 9.  I was there at 8:30 and he said "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I'm ready to go!"  Nurse came in and said she was getting his discharge papers ready.  I had just enough time to book my flight home.  Got a somewhat reasonable flight for Saturday afternoon at 4.  Nurse came in, gave us the discharge papers and new med list, which included 2 new meds (not new to dad, but back on previous meds- one med taken off the list).  I told him I'd take him home, drop him off and go pick up the meds.  But he wanted to go with me.  Walgreen was on the way home, lets just stop.  So we did.  And of course he wanted to go in with me.  I remember thinking as we were walking in that his eyes looked glassy.  I asked him if he was ok and he said "yes".  He was a little slow, but that has been normal for him this summer.  I mean, he is 84…

So we get back to the pharmacy - dad sits down.  They say its going to be 20 min.  About 10 min later, they say it's ready.  I get up to pay, and dad comes up and stands next to me at the counter.  Next thing I know, dad's arms are buckling, his legs are buckling and he is going down.  I yell for help and the two  people behind the counter come out to help.  Dad insists that he is just tired and not to call paramedics.  But I insist that they call the paramedics.  They are there in about 5 minutes, take his blood pressure - and they say it's 66/37.  That explains the fall.  I think.  He's back to the hospital.

In ER from 10-4:30.  Not a very good experience.  In fact, a horrible experience.  I understand that dad's problem was not a priority.  But while he was in ER the only thing he asked for was water (which he never got-for six hours) and to go to the bathroom.  And the nurses acted like they didn't want to be bothered with him.  He didn't get anything to eat while he was there either - I got something from the vending machine for him.  So frustrating, and SO glad to get him into a room.

That was Tuesday.

Wednesday I was able to talk to a Case Manager at the hospital who was wonderful.  She looked up dad's records and saw that he had been admitted SIX times in two months.  She said "we're sending him home without figuring out what's wrong".  They were all from falls.  She ordered a Physical Therapy evaluation, and we talked about in-patient rehab.

That afternoon, the PT came in - the evaluation didn't go well.  The exercises while he was laying in the bed were ok - but as soon as he stoop up - his heart rate went up to 160.  She recommended in-patient therapy.  I went back to the Case Manager and she gave me a list of facilities to visit.  The first one I went to was perfect for dad (the staff was friendly, compassionate, efficient-it was clean and everyone there looked happy - staff and patients!), and just a block from the hospital.

Thursday the attending physician came in and said "we've adjusted his meds and he's ready to go home with physical therapy".  I was not happy.  "He is not going home with PT.  The PT recommended in-patient therapy and I've talked to the Case Manager and already picked a place for him to go".  The doctor then said "are you saying I'm lying?"  WTF?  "No.  I'm saying that the PT recommended in-patient therapy, and the Case Manager is already setting up in-patient rehab."  He turned around walked out of the room and in five minutes he was back.  "He's going Saturday for in-patient therapy".

Thank you.

So what happens to patients who don't have an advocate at their bedside?  Dad would have been sent home had I not been there.

Thankfully, he was moved to rehab on Saturday morning, in time for me to catch my flight home.

              Getting ready to go to rehab-HAPPY to be in real clothes finally!

His new home…temporarily!

getting comfortable...

This was the hard part…leaving.  

He is in good hands.  I really believe that.  From the housekeeper to the Case Manager and everyone in between (physical therapist, occupational therapist, nurses, speech therapist-hope I didn't miss anyone). I met several of them before I left.  I think they could tell that I was very emotional about leaving him. They promised me that they would take care of him.

Already had a conference call where I could ask questions.  I talk to him multiple times every day.
Sometimes he sounds tired - but he's getting 3 hours of therapy a day.  They are working to get him ready to go home.  I hope, and he hopes.  One day at a time…

I try to make all my posts related to Melissa because this is still HER blog.  It's easy to do that with this post.  Every time I go to Florida, dad asks for the FORT bracelets and her card (with her picture and the blog address).  Pretty much everyone at the VFW and City Limits has one.  Now he wants them for everyone that is working with him at Life Care Center.  In fact, when I was talking to him the other night, someone stopped in the room and asked for a bracelet!  I told him they were already in the mail.
He never stops talking about Melissa.    He misses her too.

 One of my favorite pictures of Melissa and Grandpa!

It will be a week Saturday.  Medicare will pay up to 100 days (100% first 21 days, 80% after).  I'm hoping that he will be strong enough to go home, because that is what he wants.  If not, we'll decide what to do then.  For now, I'm happy when he sounds good.  

Today is August 21.  On August 21, 1897, my grandma, Mildred Eilerman Rotert was born.  
Happy Birthday Grandma! (I'm sure she's celebrating in heaven!)


And of course, a post isn't a post without something about Andrew and Max.

Happy 5th Birthday MAXWELL IRVIN!!!

Yesterday, August 20, was Max's 5th birthday!  He started school August 19.  Incarnation, Early 5s.

Took the boys swimming at their neighborhood pool before the party!


Max is the man...

Andrew & GG


Missing you Melissa…today…tomorrow…ALWAYS!

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