Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lessons Being Learned

Just short of a year ago my elderly mother broke her lower leg in two places and our lives haven't been the same since.  She's been through the wringer and I've been right behind her.  I'm her only child and the only family member who wants to take on the responsibility of seeing Mom is taken care of properly.

Lessons learned the hard way:

  1. If you don't trust your parent's doctor, see if there's a way you can intervene.
  2. Don't automatically trust the rehabilitation center or nursing home to do what's right.  You have to visit and make sure they're taking care of your family member correctly.  His or her life could be at stake, as my mother's was.
  3. Don't let the social worker bully you or shut you out. You are supposed to have periodic meetings with the social worker and you can ask them to accommodate you. If s/he gives you difficulty, speak to his/her superior.
  4. If your family member has to apply for Medicaid and is accepted, make sure you make someone tell you what is expected of your family member or you.  In three different facilities (two rehabilitation centers/nursing homes and one hospital), not one person told me the information I needed or gave me advice in any way. One other organization gave me very wrong information. Not getting the correct information can make life very difficult and make decision making and finances even worse.  Now I'm a stressed-out mess.
  5. You have the right to complain to the state (New York in my case) about a nursing home using the Nursing Home Complaint Form.  I made multiple complaints which were investigated and found to be true. I don't know what happened in the facility after that.  The nursing staff sent my mother to the emergency room because she was in shock and I refused to send her back there.
Now I've received a phone call that Mom isn't well.  I was trying to put off a visit due to lack of money, but I think I better go.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Life or Death Struggle in My Cubicle

This past Monday morning I came into work and discovered that there had been a life or death struggle in my cubicle.  I found a small glue trap which my company had been using for bugs.  Instead I found a ring of light and darker fur, several mouse droppings and a semi-circle chewed out of the trap, and also an orange bottle cap.  A mouse had been stuck to the trap and chewed its way out.  I was told that the company had already discovered the bug traps made good mouse traps as well.

I was relieved the mouse had escaped.  I had tried glue traps at one time because the old-fashioned trap didn't work.  The mice in my apartment were too smart.  The mouse I caught had been stuck by its underbelly in the trap and screamed and screamed.  It was the very last time I used a glue trap for mice.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Toe Socks

In early March my elderly mother broke her lower leg in two places.  The hospital put a heavy cast on it, leaving her toes sticking out, just like on tv.  The rehab center gave her two different crocheted toe socks for her, but Mom asked me to knit her one.  I used the cast sock pattern from Lion Yarns and added a strap to it.  I chose Cascade Pinwheel yarn in Petunia and got a little carried away playing with the colors.

In a small object, the colors didn't change quickly enough and I couldn't quite get the effect I wanted.  Mom was delighted with them, though.  As you can see, the sock fit snugly on her foot and she said it was much warmer than the crocheted toe sock that wasn't elastic.

The Elderly Mother and Rehabilitation Centers

Recently I've just gone through a very stressful time.  It would have been a little better if I knew one little piece of information: how to initiate changing the rehabilitation center your elderly mother is in. There was nothing on the web about it.  After two days of phone calls an admissions counselor of a rehab center told me I had to speak to my mother's social worker.  My efforts started rockily since the social worker didn't have good customer service skills.

The process takes longer when the patient is going from one rehab center to another.  The prospective center has to review the records from the hospital and the current rehab center.  Then I'm pretty sure it considers the patient's bank account.  The social worker contacted six centers and none of them in a month and a half had an opening.  My guess is that my mother's bank account didn't qualify for the for-profit rehab centers.

My mother ended up in a nursing home and rehabilitation center with small, pokey, dark rooms.  The facility is run rather slip-shod  and my mother hates the food. Both of her roommates have been odd and she herself got sick with two ailments at once. It's all because the social worker at the hospital left me a phone message after my mother was moved that since she hadn't seen me at the hospital, my mother was sent to that facility, not taking into consideration at all that the patient's only child lived an hour away.  When the urgent care center called me about my mother's leg, she asked if Mom should be sent to the local hospital or a larger one much closer to me.  Mom and I have agreed that if there is a next time she'll be sent to the one near me.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Better ME

I'm a fan of both the Bones and NCIS TV series.  I've been catching up on the Bones episodes recently.  I think the way Bones treated the death of Dr. Lance Sweets was absolutely horrible, having the team reduce the handsome, engaging psychiatrist and friend to a pile of bones. 

My mind got to thinking.  Dr. Mallard and his team always find the cause of death without reducing the body to a pile of bones.  Dr. Brennan and her team always have to reduce the body to bones to find the cause of death.  (I do know that's the whole point of the series.) From what I've learned from reading and watching countless numbers of these shows, I'm pretty sure Dr. Sweets' autopsy could have solved without reducing him to a pile of bones.  That was very disrespectful of Bones fans.  In my mind right now, Dr. Mallard is the better medical examiner. It 's a good thing that all people are fictional.

Another Theft Due to Modern Practice

This morning I received an email about suspicious activity on my debit Mastercard. There was an unauthorized amount of $240+.  This is the second time in less than a year!  I do not need this additional stress at this point in my life. I think I'm going to have to go back to the old-fashioned way of checks and cash, and using the card only for the credit union's ATM machine. Beware if you use your debit card at Hannaford, Rite-Aid, Target, Wal-Mart, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Burger King, Family Dollar, Mobil, Staples, Ted's Fish Fry, Healthy Pets, Petco, Price Chopper, Five Below, Petsmart (the store and on-line) and Webs on-line.  I don't usually go to the fast food places so much, but my mother is in a rehabilitation center an hour's drive from me and going to visit  usually entails stopping to get a meal somewhere. I can only afford fast food.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Wrong Color Yarn Again

I bought the wrong color yarn again for my Color Affection Shawl.  This time it was in person, at the last minute at the Rhinebeck sheep show.  It's a pretty shade of turquoise, but the wrong color.  I also bought a lighter shade of blue.  It's the wrong weight.  I wonder how many people spend time buying the wrong color yarn before they finally find the right one.

I am trying to match the colors to my favorite summer batik clothing, that I am determined to lose weight to wear again.  (I'll let you know how that goes.)  Looking at an article of clothing tonight under my Ott floor lamp, I saw that the blue is actually sapphire!  I had a bracelet nearby with sapphire beads and held them against the purple and green for the shawl.  It made sense.  Now I know what color I am truly looking for, and I know it's fairly common, maybe I can find it in the right yarn.  I think I may try next spring at Cummington, and then maybe at Southern Adirondack.

Today I did find a skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in a color I wanted for a multicolor vest.  I had bought one hand-dyed in about the same color, but the artisan said it might run, and I didn't want to take a chance.  At least I know this is the right yarn, since it is what the rest of the yarn is for the vest.

The Rhinebeck sheep show has gotten huge.  The number of cars in the parking lot was a lot for Sunday.  Although there were new vendors there, it didn't seem to change much. There was still a lot of emphasis on specialty blends and dyes of yarn, most at fancy prices, too.  I did see some lovely merino and bunny angora yarn at a good price.  That was a rarity for the show.  

I have so much knitting to do I don't know what gaps I need to fill except for my shawl. I'm going to try to do it as inexpensively as possible.  Some yarn I can't wear anymore because I've become more sensitive.  I hope to sell it to buy yarn I can knit and wear.