Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tough Love

A week off – sort of.
So that Monday after I talked to Scott, my boss, and he excused me and I went home for a week off of work! Woo hoo!!! I can get so much done now!!! Right? Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I literally non-stop ran errands and deep cleaned the house. I was exhausted.

That Sunday night my grandma Betty (my father’s mother) fell and went to the ER (again). She was admitted to the hospital and Wednesday I get a call to pick her up that she was being discharged.  I was really confused since she now how a boot on her foot and could not walk, go to the bathroom, or make herself food by herself. How was she going home?  So at 7pm I pick her up from the hospital. She signs herself out and she is so excited to go home! We get to my car at about 8pm and right after she gets in she starts to ball her eyes out.  WTH!! “Why am I going home I can’t take care of myself.” What!!! Why did you sign the papers – why did you want to go home!! OMG what am I going to do now.  So we get her home and it takes me and my sister to get her in the house.  So my mom offers to stay with her that night, and goes to get her puppy dog for me to watch. Then we get the phone call that the puppy was attacked and next thing I know we are on the way to the doggie hospital at 9:30pm. Puppy is in emergency surgery and would spend the next 12 days there. Come home and go back again. He just got back out that they think he will be ok. But in the middle of all this craziness my mom now could not help us and she was delegated as the power of attorney.  So all responsibility came down to my sister and me and I had to start my new new job in 5 days. What would we have done if I had to work that week?

A few months a go my grandma was rushed to the hospital for congestive heart failure. She literally almost died and it was because she did not take her medication for a week! So I immediately because much much more involved in her affairs and began trying to figure out what was going on in her life and why she was not taking her medication.

What I would discover was a lot of DRAMA. First I found out that my grandma pays a women about $100 a week to pay her handful of bills. For one thing the going rate for bill paying is not $100 and I would do it for free. But since the woman was a “friend” I knew that would be a fight. Then she pays another “friend” $100 to clean her house every Friday. This lady is there for about 8 hours and usually takes my grandma to get her hair done, get her groceries, and would eventually fill her medications for me (since I was not consistent on what days I could always visit – we would know what days grandma would miss if Kim filled it every Wednesday). So needless to say this woman was getting paid appropriately, if not underpaid.

Then it was figuring out who in the family can do what for her. My sister was already taking care of her cat stuff and offered to start to cut her grass and my mom took her to all her doctors’ appointments and offered to help me with the bills. My mom lives 5 housed down from her and my sister lives in the subdivision below her so they can easily stop by on a regular basis.

Back to Thursday:
I immediately called the social worker and ask how I can get grandma into a rehab facility since she told me since she spend 3 days at the hospital she was eligible to go and that is what the social worker was trying to do but my grandma insisted on going home. My grandma’s story was the exact opposite which I believed because I did not realize how bad her dementia was. The social worker walked me through what to do and I was off like a crazy lady to get all of this done.

First I had to check the facilities and see if they had availability. Then I had to get Doctors orders sent in. Then I had to pick up paperwork to have the hospital release her medical records and have my grandma sign them and return them to hospital. Then go to the rehab facility to fill out paperwork. And after 7 hours of phone calls and running around I get a horrible phone call. She is NOT ELIDGIBLE!!!???!!! What? How? Why? I was so confused and exhausted – I just started to cry! If my grandma would have let the social worker do all of this the day before the social worker would have realized that she had not technically been in the hospital for 3 days – she went to the ER at 8pm but was not admitted to a room until 2 am. So she went home 6 hours too early! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Is there anything we can do?? Apparently not! So what if we pay out of pocket for the care she should be getting for free but can’t because of a technicality – now it would be $200 a day! Not exactly what I would love to do but if we had to it would be an option since she desperately needed rehab and to be watched. I started to call anyone and everyone to ask what I could do but at this point they were already gone for the day.

Facebook has both good and bad qualities and Thursday it was literally a life saver! I posted on facebook my frustration about the hospital procedures failing me and how I was screwed. About 30 minutes later I get a phone call from a girl I went to grade school and high school with and she is a social worker at that hospital and wants to know if she can help! YES PLEASE! I told her the story and she called her boss and her boss’s boss and got my grandma an interview to see if she could go back to the hospital in the acute rehab center. No promise but it was a start and I was optimistic.

Friday the director came and evaluated and immediately got her permission to go to the acute rehab facility. That evening I took her and her bags and checked her into the hospital. I was so relieved and I was finally after a crazy week able to relax. For the next 11 days stayed about the same and almost everyday after work I would go a visit her for at least an hour. Then she started to press them about leaving again and telling them someone was going to live with her full time, all while lying to us and telling us the social worker was trying to release her. This time I was not to be fooled and called the social worker myself and got the real story.  I worked with him to get her into the original nursing rehab center and worked with Betty to make her believe she was under doctor orders that she had to go. In reality she could have left and messed up getting all this FREE help again. 

On Wednesday June 27 she moved there. Immediately she wanted out and everything was an emergency (literally my sister had to leaver her house to bring her tums because the nursing staff wasn’t quick enough for Ms. Betty) and she told us everyone was mean to her (they were very nice). But this was just a string of lies she started to try and get her way. When she didn’t her way we each became sort of like enemies and one by one she would try and manipulate us without realizing how crazy she had become we all believed her until we all started calling each other after each time we were with her.

So Friday June 29, my mom and I finally went to the lawyer to figure out what she changed and what we needed to do. He said her would resign as the new “Co-Power of Attorney” and my mom could defer to my sister and I and we all could make her decisions for her. He said the way it was stated we did not need a doctors orders but I would be a good idea to get them. My mom was suppose to do this and forgot because of her puppy’s problems.

In the mean time my mom called the “friend” that was paying her bills. I told mom to blame the lawyer and say the family is now taking care of them and that we are all advised by the doctors to now tell her we can stay with her unless we plan on moving in permanently. It worked and we finally have her “friend” on our side and not derailing us by agreeing with Ms. Betty all the time.

After 6 days at this center, July 2, she started trying to leave again. She told the center her friend would stay with her full time and she was ready to leave Friday. Her story was that they told her she was leaving Friday. OMG I can’t win at this point. Two steps forward – Three steps back everytime! So I called the nursing facility and they feel like they need the doctors orders for my mom to make the decisions and not let her check herself out. UGHHHHH… So then I started to call her main doctor – out of town for the 4th of July. Then the doctor she had at the hospital – couldn’t because she is no longer his patient. Then the nursing home doctor – also out of town. So until Thursday I am stuck praying she doesn’t so something detrimental.

Dementia is a B****! Seriously I will probably be hated by her until the day she dies by doing what is best for her. Truly this is the definition of tough love.

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