Alex (yakshaver) wrote,
Alex
yakshaver

Quite a day: busy, very productive, and even more promising

The good news:

  • All my therapy sessions since Dr Mason upgraded me to 50% weight-bearing on Tuesday have gone very well. In 51 days of using my walker only to stand and pivot on one leg, my body appears to have forgotten nothing about actually walking in a walker, and remembering to take at least half my weight on my arms when stepping on my left foot has not been a difficult adaptation to make at all.
  • Sweettea arrived with my shoes — and indeed, with the two pair I was most hoping he would find. So tomorrow's progress in the walker should be off the charts!
  • On the basis of Dr Mason's updated instructions, my SNF has received approval from BCBS to extend my treatment for another week (i.e. through 20 Feb).
  • My treatment team believe that, so long as I show progress next week, they'll get approval for another week after that (i.e. through 27 Feb) without a fight
  • We have scheduled a home evaluation (see below), in which my PT, my OT, and I will go together to my apartment, where they will observe me conducting (or attempting to conduct) various bits of my day-to-day life. On the basis of which observations, they will then evaluate the suitability of sending me home. An evaluation BCBS will pretty much have to abide by.

The bad news:

  • First thing this morning, a few minutes after I woke up and buzzed for a nurses' aid to help me get out of bed, my already-least-favorite senior nurse (least-favorite mostly because she's the only person I have to regularly interact with here who smells of cigarette smoke, though her abrasive personality didn't help) came in.
    She:Who moved that bed?
    Me:Me.
    She:Well, you'll have to move it back. It can't be against the wall like that. It's a safety violation....
    And you can't have two tables in here.
    I don't know whether she'd been out for the several days since I rearranged my room, or just assigned to a different part of the floor. But she was hardly the first nurse to mention to me that putting my bed against the wall was, technically, a safety violation. But at least one had immediately followed her remark with "But it really is much better this way." And all had agreed that I gained at least as much safety by having a large enough open space at the far end of my room to turn my chair a full 360°, and then being able to make it from the far end of my room to the door without running into anything, than might be lost by having roughly four feet at the head-end of my bed against a wall.

    And as far as the two tables thing: If the last two months have taught me nothing else, they've taught me the value of having separate tray tables for your food and drink and for those things that might be damaged by food and drink — laptop, phone, notepad, card from a friend. for your laptop. And medical facilitiesalways have plenty of spare tray tables scattered around the place. So literally within the first minute of being shown into my room when I arrived, I'd asked for a second tray table. A request that was met with alacrity.

Martinets are a hazard everywhere, I suppose. But really the worst thing about today's bad news was the extent to which steaming about it distracted me from the other work I was trying to get done before my 11:00 meeting. At which the good news was delivered, nearly driving the bad from my mind. But not quite entirely, so when a related question came up, I mentioned my frustration at the loss of my tolerably well set-up workspace. Which was met with an offer to use the conference room we were meeting in, or another the same size, both of which are under-scheduled. While not ideal — I will, for example, have to carry a box of files on my lap from my room to the conference room every shift — I expect it to be, overall, more satisfactory than working in my room was. So even today's bad news turns out to be, potentially, good.

The Neutral, Other, or Value-Free news:

  • Barring some sort of disastrous therapy accident (touch wood), my therapists finding my apartment unsuitable for someone in a walker in some way I haven't thought of, or my still needing a wheelchair for trips over about 100', I expect to sent home — and appropriately so — on 27 Feb.
  • My therapists expect that when I am discharged home, I will be able to function around the house on a day-to-day basis unassisted. (This opinion is predicated on the knowledge that I already send my laundry out, have a maid service, and eat a lot of takeout.)
  • I sure hope my therapists expect to teach me wome tricks for moving small items (like, say, a plate of food) while both my hands are gripping a walker. I am failing to imagine what such tricks might me.
  • My therapists expect that when I am discharged home, and for the first several weeks after, I will require assistance to get in and out of the house. I'm not keen on this, but it is what it is: It's a lot easier to move independently about a single story of a building, even an old-fashioned Massachusetts building, than it is to independently get up or down the front stairs of such a building. And it is not wholly unreasonable to send a person who is recovering from an injury home when they can do the former but not yet the latter.
  • This, let's call it Stairs Problem, has a lot of implications, which I've just wasted about an hour trying to work through before realizing there are too many unknowns to think usefully about it at this point. Unknowns such as how well my therapy progresse over the next couple of weeks? and how soon I will no longer need narcotics to control my pain? So this will be a topic to revisit later.
  • Request: It is apparently an unacceptable laibility risk for me to ride in a therapist's car (as I did in 2005), so I am responsible for my own transportation to and from my apartment for my home visit on 18 Feb. The official line on this is to take a chair car, for which the round-trip would be over $200, or "maybe a friend could drive you." In the ulikely ecevent thqt actuually appeals to someone, please let me know. (My best bet's probably going to be to just Uber it. But I figured I'd ask...

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