Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011: Doctor's appointment

I spent last night at the home so I could go with Jim in the ambulance to his doctor's visit at TIRR. The ambulance came at 6:30 AM so we had to get up really early.

We arrived at TIRR at 7:15 AM for the 8:00 AM appointment with Dr Wenzel. The doctor said Jim had gotten much stronger. She said she will fill out re-admit papers. Jim will be able to go back to TIRR for the second round of therapy - depending on insurance approval and space at TIRR.

The doctor acted like she worked for the insurance company, not TIRR, and especially not for the patients. I gave her a copy of my orthopedist's letter stating that I'm not strong enough to care for Jim. She asked if there was anyone else at home to help. I said only my 90 year old mother and she isn't strong either.

The doctor was very concerned that we have a caregiver who can handle Jim and be willing to go to TIRR for training. I said that we did. She asked me the same question at least half a dozen times. She said that the caregiver would have to be trained early during Jim's stay. The doctor is so interested in getting Jim back home. I want him back home, too, but he needs to be able to do more for himself.

I told the doctor that our insurance won't pay for custodial care. She wanted to know if we could afford to get help. I said that I guess we'd have to or Jim would have to just lay in bed in his own mess. Or I would break my back trying to take care of him.
I told her that we have no money coming in so of course, it would be a financial burden.

We have to have "functional goals" for Jim's next stay at TIRR. I said I'd like Jim to be able to transfer himself without much assistance and use the urinal by himself. I'd like them to work on his hands, too. His fingers are so stiff. The doctor said that Jim has "clonus" in his hands. She said that they could try different techniques to help him regain use of his hands.

Hopefully, he will be readmitted soon. I'm afraid that the insurance company will want to toss Jim out of the nursing home before he can get back into TIRR.

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