Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sidelined

I didn’t really think it was a big deal when I woke up yesterday feeling as though my hip was out of joint. I’ve felt that before, stretched and was able to relieve it and go about my day. Not this time. I was already in bed due to a HUGE case of acid indigestion, thinking I was going to vomit although I had nothing for breakfast. Whoo hoo, what a way to start the day!

At any rate, as the day wore on the pain increased. I slept for hours on end and that completely surprised me, I thought it all well and good, take a day off from family stuff. No big deal.

By evening I started to think maybe this is more than a minor inconvenience. The fact I hadn’t felt better by then had me a little concerned, I still thought it could correct itself…until I went to answer the phone. I was moving pretty slow at that point but when I tried to hurry my shuffling feet my hip gave out and I would have fallen had I not caught the counter.

I heard something snap or crack and felt an immense amount of pain enough to make me want to cry. Richard came over and asked me where I wanted to go and I couldn’t go anywhere. I got really scared and the barrage of questions like “What did I do to myself?” rolled in. As if I could have prevented it! The self-berating talk was cut short, I needed to move somewhere. We tried to walk me over to the kitchen chair but I couldn’t do it. Instead, Richard brought the kitchen chair to me and there I sat wondering ‘Now what?! Here I sit in the middle of the kitchen…’

In a few minutes Richard brought me the rolling desk chair from the office, moved carpets and I was able to roll the chair on the hardwood floor by furniture surfing. Yippee, movement!

Last night I decided to look online for symptoms of a dislocated hip. What I was experiencing was pretty doggone close to what the Mayo Clinic stated. Wow. I need to see the doctor first thing in the morning, so I did. I could barely walk in the door, holy cow!

I told the staff I felt I’d dislocated my hip, they poked me, tried to get me to move certain ways (ouch!) took x-rays (which showed no break), gave me a prescription for pain meds and referred me to Orthopedic docs in the ‘big city’ 60+ miles away. Since my pain was that debilitating the Ortho docs were able to fit me in if we came in after 1:00 pm.

Long story short, this doctor told me it is impossible to dislocate your hip, it might feel like you have, but it’s too solid a joint to come apart. Hmmm…of course I didn’t remember what I’d read on the Mayo Clinic’s website. More poking and prodding and oh my gosh how painful it was to lie on the uninjured side. Wow! He asked me to press my injured left leg back toward his hand on the back of my calf. I couldn’t do it. That frightened me!

We decided since he thought it was a pulled ligament that if we numb the area then we can see if that resolves the problem. If so, he’d shoot steroids in there and I could walk away pain free. Oh yeah! No pain, I almost did a happy dance! It didn’t work. I took a few steps delighted I was out of some pain, but couldn’t get my left leg to function. It did that sort of collapse thing it did last night. Drats. I really do hate the time they leave you in the exam room to think about things and get scared. What in the world did I do to myself? Would this mean surgery? What would this mean long-term. I’m only 45!

He returned hoping the numbing worked and suggested a steroid shot but I’d had enough of the needles. I can’t tell you how terribly painful that was and I felt sick right away. He told the nurse to make sure I stayed lying down; she offered me water and put a cool cloth on my forehead. I was thinking I never hurt like this even after the accidents. The doctor mentioned on his way out it’s not uncommon for people to PASS OUT! He said if people stay lying down it’s virtually impossible to pass out. Thank God he was right on that one. I think passing out or having been sedated would have made it bearable.

I opted for an anti-inflammatory steroid prescription, part of my hip may be numb but there’s no way I’m going to visit that hell again anytime soon! Oh my gosh they have to go deep into the hip. Bleck! He said we could do an emergency MRI but he feels its calcification of the bones or a pulled tendon. So, I’ll take the meds for five days and call the office to let them know how I’m doing. If I’m not better hopefully then an MRI might show something like a fracture. We’ll see.

Richard felt bad I kept looking at him for help with questions the doctor asked me. I wasn’t able to tell him then but all the information really was coming too fast. He said he understood I didn’t mean to put him on the spot; I just had trouble with decision making and processing.

This is a part of medicine I really do hate. Was the doctor’s ego getting in the way of a complete and thorough diagnosis because he thought he was right? I heard the nurse discussing my case with him and he said he may be barking up the wrong tree but wanted to see if this worked, which it didn’t.

So there we have it, sports fans, an entire day for two doctor appointments and travel. Wow! I have crutches in the meantime which have been very, very helpful already. The doctor gave them to me this morning and wow, what a difference. As long as I use them the feelings of spasms/seizing up are at bay. More shall be revealed. :)

Dad and Assisted Living

Having just called our referral agent on Monday with more details of Dad’s finances, she hit the ground running and by that afternoon she had two assisted living communities for my Step-Mom and brother to look at on Tuesday.

They really liked one of the two feeling it was a good fit for my Dad, my brother said he’d like to show it to Dad.  Yesterday Dad went willingly and liked it from the moment they drove in.  They looked around, viewed a studio apartment and ones a little larger than a studio.  He said he only needed a studio; he liked it so much there he put down a deposit on a studio apartment!  He even wrote his own check.  The apartment he had looked at already had a deposit on it but was canceled yesterday.

As of yesterday Dad has two weeks left at rehab, so I am grateful he has a place to look forward to.

But, I’m still having difficulty accepting my Step-Mom would not allow him back in the house unless he could take care of himself.  She adamantly refused having in-home care.  She told me on the phone last night she’d said to her granddaughter that she felt she was burying him and how difficult a decision this is for her.  I did not know what to say.

Having time to digest and sleep on that unsettling conversation, my first thought this morning was my Dad would NEVER do the same thing to her.  He would adapt and do what was best for her. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bank of "America"

Well, I'm not a poet, but this is what I just wrote..my brain is tired and I can't think of more words or phrases.  Any creative wordsmiths out there want to give a shot?!

I wish I could say how much I love you,
But I can't because it's not true

You screw your customers at every chance
In this crazy 'business' dance you do

In times of hardship and emotional trial
All you can offer is no and denial

You claim to be great money makers
Your customer ‘service’ is a deal breaker!

Okay, after taking one day off from this stuff (yesterday) and Bank of America never did call me back, I called today.  Oh joy.  Oh bliss.

I explained the situation, I live in Montana, my Dad has accounts in WA and I'm the Power of Attorney, I need to know the process of being added to Dad's accounts.  Simple?  That's what I thought.

In order to be placed on Dad's accounts I have to BE THERE IN PERSON to sign THEIR forms.  I asked if they could be mailed and told her once again I'M IN MONTANA, she said no.  Could I have a Notary here prove I am who I say I am?  No.  We HAVE 2-5 weeks to find Dad a place, she said she understood that.  Seriously?  NOT!  Wow.

Clearly no doubt in my mind I did the right thing by closing my accounts with BoA when I moved here.  It was good to go back and revisit:  http://resilientheart.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/back-to-the-beginning-bank-issues-posted-may-3-2010/

I have to tell you, this is one area that is raw and wide open in my heart.  I struggle to both grasp and accept this concept.  America.  Land of the free, home of the brave, corrupt, selfish, self-absorbed, greedy...

Money v. a person's life.  No contest, many choose money.  For being a materially rich nation, we are truly impoverished in heart and spirit.  That makes me tremendously sad, but it is not the first time I've been at this place looking at the blinding, putrid ugliness of "humanity."  Wow.

It is really heartbreaking to think my Dad served in WWII for an ungrateful nation.  Dad would go on to donate blood every year, volunteer at church, etc.  A life of service for what? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shhh…don’t tell anyone…


I’m taking a break from the family insanity and dysfunction.

Last week we had a big meeting with Dad at rehab, one Brother, Sister-in-Law and I all phoned in.  Dad’s therapists, the Social Worker, Step-Mom, the Brother who lives closest to Dad and the referral agency representative were there in person.  I wish the call quality had been better, but well…

As of last week, Dad has 3-6 weeks of rehab to go and then we have to find him an assisted living facility.  Okay, so this seems straightforward enough.  I signed the document so the referral agency could get started and all we need now is Dad’s finances.  Easy squeezy, right?

My Step-Mom didn’t feel comfortable handing Dad’s tax return over to the woman at the referral agency.  Hey, great, thanks a lot.  So, since Dad was lucid during our meeting the agency rep said I could have Dad call and get an update on his finances.  Oh sure.  No problem.  I called Dad the next day and he didn’t recall much of the meeting.  Oh joy, oh bliss.  He asked for my phone number since he didn’t have it there.  Okay…? 

I would call Dad again and again only to hear the same short conversation and get nowhere with the finances.  Oh yes, lets add in a storm that passed through this area knocking out power, cell service, everything.  And, problems with one of my email accounts and I ended up losing it all.  Yup, ‘tis true.  I’d imagine the files are on the backup drive, but have not found any yet.  Funny thing with Brain Injury, sometimes when you lose things you really have no idea what you’ve lost.  It’s weird!

I’ve had two calls from the woman at the referral agency asking about Dad’s finances.  How flipping stupid is this?  I’m in another state, one Brother is right there who is ALSO Power of Attorney, and I’m supposed to have Dad call…um, yeah, and no one has bothered to give me Dad’s account numbers, phone numbers, etc.

The referral agency woman told me it was clear to her my Power of Attorney Brother wanted no part in this.  I don’t give a flying Fig Newton!  Someone’s life is in our hands and what, we’re opting out?  Give me a flipping break.  So I called said Brother and got some account numbers and then called Step-Mom to get others.    

I’ve been waiting for the attorney to send me a copy of the Power of Attorney and I’ve received nothing.  I’ve emailed the CPA who has the new POA on file and asked him to send Dad’s tax return to me and to the woman at the referral agency.  I’ve heard nothing back.  Sigh. 

I also received a message from another Brother I’d called to inform about the family conference.  Um, yeah, he left a voicemail saying he’ll be at the meeting.  LOL, uh, dude, you’re a WEEK late!  He also said he didn’t know if I was flying or driving but if I hadn’t left yet he wanted me to make some Rice Krispy cookies for him.  Seriously?  OMG, I’m in my mid-40’s and he’s 18 months older than me. 

I don’t think I’ll be screaming, “Calgon, take me away!”  I think it’ll be more like, “People, grow up!”

As far as dealing with banks and lending institutions, two of three have been GREAT.  Fidelity and Boeing Employee Credit Union (BECU).  Both were very prompt with direction for me to take getting the Power of Attorney on file and other documentation needed, and, even offered empathy.  Bank of America?  Terrible.  They said they’d have to ask an associate since I live out of state, and, they’d call me back within 30 minutes.  Seriously, if you can’t keep your word, don’t go there, the 30-minuite promise did not materialize.  I have to call again. 

I hope this is all the ranting I will do, it changes nothing, really, and only increases suffering of everyone involved.  So, yes, I’m telling myself to grow up too!  :)I volunteered for this and in the big picture of life all this messy stuff?  It’s not that important.  And really, blathering on about this stuff sort of dampens the other good things of life which I will blog about as soon as I can.