Friday, July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017: 4:30 AM

My legs are aching and I can't sleep.  I had physical therapy today plus I did the recumbent elliptical machine.
Last night I slept well.  But the night before I had the same aches, though not as bad.  I had PT on this day, too.

I think the problem stems from the pain from physical therapy.  I've taken advil, tylenol and even an oxycodone.  But the pain continues and makes my legs jittery.  Laying down makes my legs throb more.

I don't need to get up tomorrow morning until almost noon.  My dog walker, Tracy picks up Sweetsie at noon.

I felt so good today after a full 8 hours of sleep.  I wish I knew what to do to get to sleep tonight.  I've aways been more of a morning person.  I hate sleeping in past 9 AM.  Then it seems like I've missed the entire day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017

Not many of my decorations and wall art made it over to my current apartment.  I'm limited on crafting supplies, too.

But I had lots of colored paper in my filing cabinet.  I looked through Pinterest for some ideas of what I could make with paper to decorate my apartment.  I cut butterfly shapes from paper of varying shades of pink and orange.

I  bought double-sided tape, glue and black foam core board from Fred Meyers to complete the project.

I drew a large J on the black foam core board and followed the shape with my butterflies.  It's came out very colorful and cheerful.  It makes me happy to look at it.

I might just have to go out and buy some fabric.  I want to make a new basket for my walker.  The one I have now is a little small for Sweetsie.  She's wiggly in the basket and has broken one side.  I don't have the fabric or thread to make one.  Guess I have to go shopping.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

I went to Fred Meyers on the Russelville bus yesterday.  The bus driver put my walker outside the east building.  When the bus arrived at the store he brought over a grocery cart.  I put Sweetsie in the cart on top of a towel that I brought along.

There was an employee at the door who told me that Sweetsie couldn't ride in the cart.  Someone had complained about dogs in the carts being unsanitary.  Does one person's complaint make the rules?

I tried to have Sweetsie walk beside the cart.  Her leash kept getting tangled up in the wheels. I tried holding her.  I couldn't handle that.  So, I held Sweetsie with my arms resting on the handle of the cart.  I was getting exhausted but I wanted to find the things on my list.

Finally I had to put Sweetsie in the cart.  No other store employee said anything to me.  We were probably in the store for over an hour.

Sweetsie and I got back on the bus.

The driver stowed our groceries.  The other riders told me that we are supposed to bring large bags with handles so it would be easier for the driver.  It would have been nice if such information was posted in the newsletter or information packet.  

That little trip to the store exhausted me.  I went to bed at 9 PM and actually fell asleep.  I slept till 9 the next morning.  

I have to catch one of the bus drivers to ask about their routes on the doctor appointments days - Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Next week I have an appointment with my surgeon.  His office is not on the list of destinations.  But it is nearby.  If I can't take the bus, there is always uber. 
Hopefully, the doctor will say it is okay for me to drive.  Then I can go where I want, especially visit the kids.  I just have to be careful.  I get tired so easily.  It is taking forever to get my strength back.

This is a picture of my apartment door.  The little Mexican doll is one of the odd bits that escaped the storage unit.

I bought a plat of hydroponically grown grass for Sweetsie.  It lasts a couple of weeks.  But Sweetsie has no interest in using it.  I was hoping that she would use it in the mornings.  It would be so nice to have a cup of coffee before having to get dressed and take Sweetsie outside.  

Stella enjoys eating the grass.

If I get a condo, it has to have a patio.  I'll put a couple plats of grass on it.  Maybe Sweetsie will use the grass since it would be outside.  Or maybe I can find a small house with a yard to buy.

I keep looking at property online.  But, I can't go look at it.  After I can drive again I go look at places in person.  The photos online do not provide enough information about the property.  One place looked great online but it was on a steep hill.  I need to live where there is no sharp incline.  It's difficult in Portland since it's hilly here.

I will need to remain in Russelville, the retirement home while I continue to recuperate.  There's no way I could do all the tasks necessary for total independent living.  It's hard enough living here and taking care of myself.  I need to remain patient and heal.

July 16, 2017

It's 1:30 AM.  I was sleepy at 11 PM, took Sweetsie out and went to bed.  It didn't last.  I couldn't turn off my brain.  So, I'm back in the living room.

I took 2 tylenol PM and a pain pill at 11:30.  My thoughts were all over the place- Houston, Mama, married life, playing cards, etc.  I don't know what to do to make myself fall asleep.  My legs weren't even jittery tonight.

I want to get up early tomorrow so I can take the Russellville bus to Walmart at 10:30 AM.  If I can't get up in time I can always take the bus to Fred Meyers at noon.  I need a bunch of little things.  If I go on Amazon to buy them I know I'll get distracted by the "suggested purchases" and spend too much.

I'm going to start making stuff.  Crafting makes me feel like I'm being productive.  I'm working on a large decorative "J" to decorate the apartment.  I have tons of decorations packed up in my storage unit.  I have a few odd bits here now.  A birdhouse, Kliban cat piggy bank, the store mannikin that I decoupaged and a crewel project from the '70's are some of the weird items that didn't go into storage unit.  I'll post photos of this place soon.

99% of my fabric stash and oodles of craft supplies are all in storage.  I have to get some glue and poster board .  It kills me to buy things that I already own but are inaccessible.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 12, 2017

Today I managed to escape from the retirement home for a couple of hours.  I had a senior helper come over today.  I was going to have her help me put my stuff away.  But, Tomoko did that for me last week.  (Thank you, Tomoko!)

So, instead we went shopping.  My helper, Judy, drove me to the bank and the grocery store.  The grocery store, Fred Meyer's, is huge.  It sells everything from clothes to yogurt.

Sweetsie came with us.  She wanted to be carried so much.  Instead of being my comfort animal, I've become hers.  She has become so nervous from the bus accident and then 6 or so weeks living with Kevin's family.  Now she wants to be with me constantly.

I'm nervous about leaving her in the apartment by herself.  I don't want her barking and crying.   Hopefully, she'll calm down with time.  She is adjusting well to being here.  I get up in the morning, put clothes on and take her on a short walk.  Then we go upstairs and I feed her and Stella.  About 4 hours later her dog walker shows up.  She doesn't even want to leave me to go on a nice walk with her.

It's 11 PM now and I have to take her out for her last potty break.

We're back now.  Sweetsie was great.  I took her out to the courtyard, let her loose and she did her business and was ready to go back inside.

Unfortunately, I don't sleep well here.  It's probably the pain.  I have to really get into a deep sleep so I don't wake up if I move my leg.  It's 1:30 AM.  I was in bed for about an hour, woke up and couldn't get comfortable.  So, I'm back in the living room.

Someday I have hopes of being pain free.  At this point it seems like just a dream.  My world has been turned upside down.  I'm in the 4th place I've slept in since I moved to Portland.  First, it was 3 nights in the apartment in Marvel 29, then the hospital, next the nursing home and now the retirement home.  I can't even dream of being back at home in Houston.  It seems like my former life happened ages ago.  Like I've said before this accident has made me feel years older.

I started physical therapy yesterday - at last.  I was supposed to get therapy from the company that owns the nursing home. I called and left messages but no one ever returned my calls.  I was able to change to the therapist who has an office in this same retirement home.  I was really hurting after the first session.  My second one is tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'm also going to an internal medicine doctor's office.  My first appointment is with the nurse practitioner.  Maybe the patients have to be pre-screened before you get to see a doctor.  I don't need any prescriptions filled.  I think it's a good thing to find a doctor in case I get sick.  I only know trauma doctors in Portland now.

I guess I'll try to go to sleep again.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017

I'm still working on putting my things away in my new apartment.  Everything I try to do exhausts me.  This injury is really kicking my ass.

My body is (hopefully) busily growing back the bone and muscle that the accident took away from me.  Plus, I still have lots of pain.  Standing hurts, sitting hurts, laying down hurts, etc. etc.  My mother used to tell me that pain saps your strength.  She was definitely right.

I've been thinking about my Mom a lot lately.  There are so many residents here that remind me of her.  Plus, I think back to how my Mom took care of me back in the '80's when I had major surgery.  She would be telling me right now "stop trying to do so much and sit down and rest."  Plus she'd tell me to eat properly.

Eating properly is pretty easy here.  Some meals are included in the rent.

Sweetsie is here with me for a trial reunion.  She fits into the basket in my walker.  I put her there when I have to go through a no dogs allowed area.

She is such good company.  I got up and dressed this morning already and took her for a short walk.  She barely made it out the front door and had to pee right on the sidewalk.

I take her on the leash to the elevator.  But when we return upstairs if no one is around I let her loose. She runs down the hall and back to me and runs some more.

I think I will complain to the management about the lack of dog bags here.  I pay pet rent and there are no pet amenities.  There is no place set aside for dogs here and no disposal bags.  Marvel 29 said that my pet rent there went for the disposal bags and emptying the special can.  The disposal bags here are down in front of the apartment complex next door.  It is not associated with Russellville Park.

Yesterday I had the "concierge" drive me to PetSmart.  The "concierge" is a young woman who drives residents around and does errands for them.  Unfortunately her service is not included in the rent.  She waited in the car while I dropped off Sweetsie for her hair cut.

I took Uber on the way back.  I asked the driver to wait and he did.  I tipped him $10 and he said it was rare that he got a tip.  I said I appreciated that he waited for me.  The bill for the trip was over $25.  Maybe I will be able to drive myself the next time Sweetsie needs a hair cut.   It certainly would be the cheaper way to go.  I'll have to take a photo of Sweetsie with her haircut.

I was worried that the trip back to PetSmart would exhaust me so I took a pain pill.  I can easily see how addictive they can be.  When I returned home I had enough energy to clean the apartment some more.  I am only allowing myself an occasional pain pill.  I'm saving them for physical therapy.  I sure wish there was an alternative non-addiction option.  Extra strength Advil takes the sharper edges off the pain but it doesn't give me the ability to do more.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017

My furniture finally arrived yesterday.  What a mess I have on my hands now.  So much to put away.
And then after I get better I will most likely be repacking everything and moving to a permanent home.

Getting hit by a bus is costing me a fortune!  I need the extra assistance that I get at the retirement home.  But, it certainly does not come cheap.

I paid almost $7,000 to move to Portland from Houston.  Yesterday the move across town cost me another $1,000.  I have always tried to live frugally and save for my old age.

I feel like my old age is already here.  After Jim's accident I felt like I aged at least 10 years.  Now with my hip and leg injury I feel like I've added another 10 years.  That would work out okay financially, if I had aged actual years.  But, I could have another 30 years to go.  I can't live this way that long.  Needing care is extremely expensive.

Tomorrow I have a "senior helper," Judy coming in for 4 hours.  She worked out well last Wednesday.  I just can't get all the unpacking and arranging done alone.  My whole right leg starts throbbing and I have to rest it.  I certainly don't want to injure myself so I'm taking it slow.

I've opened every box looking for the parts to put my shelves back together.  No luck!  Maybe Marvel 29 held on to them for me.  Otherwise there goes more money.  I like to keep my stuff organized and that means I need shelves to store clothes, shoes, etc. etc.

Stella is having a wonderful time being the only pet.  She'll be mad because Sweetsie is coming on Thursday and Friday.  If I can handle her okay, she can stay with me.  I have to hire a dog walker since I can't walk very far.  I ordered  a plot of real grass for her.  It is hydroponically grown and comes in a cardboard box.  I'm not sure where I can put it in the apartment.  After 2 weeks you toss it it away and get a new one.  It has good reviews.  I think Sweetsie will use it.  Nothing better than dirtying clean grass.

If I had a patio I could use a fake grass one and clean it outside.  It would be too difficult and dangerous for me to try to clean it in the shower.

I have to go clear off my bed so I can go to sleep.  Oh my bed- what heaven to have it again!  First the nursing home had mattresses that were covered in plastic that bunched up and poked me in the back.  Then the cot I had to borrow here was like sleeping on bare springs.

My mattress is nice and cozy.

July 3, 2017

My things from apartment # 1 are coming today!  It's noon and the movers are still at my old apartment packing stuff.  I didn't think it would take them more than 2 hours.  They've been there since 9 AM.  I thought all I had left was furniture and clothes.   Hopefully the management at both apartments won't give them a hassle about using the freight elevator.

I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.  Since I've been in the new place I haven't been able to sleep.  At 2 AM Stella kitty and I are still up looking out the window at the metro train station.  There wasn't much activity last night, a Sunday.

I hired a caregiver to come at 11 AM this morning to help with the movers.  By the time they get here she'll be leaving.  I don't have anything else for her to do so I sent her to the liquor store to buy me some vodka.   I'll try that tonight and see if I can fall asleep.  I'm just so exhausted from not sleeping well.  I did a lot of walking yesterday and I thought that would help me to get to sleep.  It didn't work.

Yesterday I got to play Rummikub with a group here.  I haven't played that in ages.  We used to play for hours every weekend and holidays with Lupita and Jimmy. These ladies play for about 90 minutes.  They only play on Sunday afternoons.  I will keep playing with them and maybe someone will want to play more frequently.

I finally had to call the moving company's main office to find out what was up with movers.  They said they had truck problems.  And then they were going to lunch.  They estimated that they would be at Russellville at 3:30 PM.

They finally arrived at 4:30 and left around 8 PM.  I have so many things to put away!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June 30, 2017: WHAT???

People at my new over 55 retirement home do not seem to realize that the majority of them are 20-30 years my senior.  As I walk around the property I see people who are just a few years younger or even the same age as my parents would be now if they were still living.

I do not mind older people.  Hell, I consider myself old.  But what bugs me is the pervasive loss of hearing among the residents.  I thought hearing aids had improved.  I know that it used to be hard for the users to turn down the ambient noise.  Hasn't that problem been solved?  So, then why won't deaf seniors use hearing aids?

Yes, I'm cranky.  It's late.  My right leg hurts from the hip to foot.  I can't sleep in the rickety cot that this retirement home has lent to me.  So, I'm complaining.  I am tired of yelling at people to have them hear me.  I'm tired of listening to other people yelling to be heard.  It is a mad house in the dining room with all the raised voices.  There's no loud background music like there is in some restaurants forcing the diners to holler.  It's the deafness of the residents.

Tonight I went to a movie in the group theater.  It started at 6:30 PM.  It was almost over when one woman stood up and went to the window.   She pulled back the blinds to check who was phoning her.  Then she started speaking loudly into it.  She described how she would call them back later because she didn't want to bother the other viewers.

She was talking in a very LOUD voice.  Was she the hard of hearing one?  Or was it the person on the other end of the line?  Does it matter?  Be quiet!

I may have to delete this post if I share my blog address with any of the people here.  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I need to vent to keep my sanity.

I have met 3 women who live on my floor who hear well and are about my age.  One woman says that she usually eats in her apartment.  I'm very social.  I want to eat in the dining room.  But, I am starting to understand her motivation.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 27, 2017

I'm not so scared anymore being alone.  I still miss my nursing home buddies and the staff.  It's difficult to go from being woken up at 6 AM to have my vitals checked to no one popping in at all.

Today I woke up hungry and ate my leftover cold oatmeal.  It had thickened up in the refrigerator.  I've found that when I take a pain pill I stop feeling nauseated and want to eat.  I only wish I didn't have to ration myself so much.  I understand lots of people misuse oxycodone.  But, I really need them so I can move around and heal.  But, that's the way doctors treat major injuries these days.  I wish someone would invent a safe alternative medicine.

A new home health worker came this morning.  I had her cleaning and organizing what stuff I have in my new place.  My furniture etc will be delivered next Monday.  It will be nice but more work to do.  I will have to hire more help.  I feel like I'm bleeding money.  Being injured is very costly.

I don't know what has been moved to my storage unit.  Hopefully, some of the essentials will make it over to my new apartment.  I've had to buy things on Amazon that I know I packed but I have no idea where they are now.

I decided to walk outside with my home health worker today.  It was a lovely 61 degrees so I sat out in the courtyard.  I met my next door neighbor out there.  I walked over to the east building and took an art class.  It took my mind off the pain for a while.

I was returning to my apartment and someone told me I should attend the residents' meeting.  I met a couple more women from my floor there.  I met one for dinner in the restaurant.

Residents are given a $300 credit towards food every month to spend in the restaurants.  I ordered oriental chicken with vegetables and rice.  It was okay.  I could only eat half of it.  No appetite again. My meal cost about $9.00.  $300 will cover about one month of dinners.   Not too bad, I guess.

There were a variety of activities today but it seemed like all started at 2 PM - the art class, mah jongg, some other game, bridge.  Tomorrow's schedule has a lot fewer activities.    If it's nice, I can sit in the courtyard again.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 26, 2017: not perfect

I moved into the 55 and over apartment complex this past Saturday.  Kevin and family picked me up from the home and brought me to my new apartment.

I'm paying very high (unspeakably so) rent.  I moved here because I think it is safer than my other apartment.  It is bigger so my walker fits through all the doors.  There are people at the reception desk 24 hours/day.  There are 4 emergency cords in the apartment. Many meals are included.  Once I can move around there are daily activities.  After all the pain I have been in I don't consider living here a luxury.  It's important to be in a safe environment while I am still in a weak condition.  The lease here is month to month.  Once I've recovered I can move closer to Kevin.

I was disappointed when it was 100 degrees outside and my main air conditioner was not working.  I had to stay in one room that did have working a/c.  Today a repair man fixed it and I can go into the other rooms.

There are no support rails around the toilets.  I was told that is because the apartment is for independent living.  It's weird because the average age here is 80 something.  I think that at least one rail around the toilet should be included even for independent octogenarians.  I was so scared using the bathroom during my first night here.  Luckily I had bought a thing with rails that fits around the toilet.  Kevin installed it the next day.  It has really helped.

There is a walk in shower with hand rails.  I don't understand why the shower has rails included but the toilets do not.   The management has loaned me a "stand up" bed.  It is a cot with wheels.  It's very uncomfortable.  But since it is so hard I am able to get out of it fairly easily.  They also loaned me lamps, table and a chair.

There is no microwave oven in the kitchen.  I just purchased one online from Walmart for $35.00.  It would be nice if that at least was standard for the apartment.

I don't have any appetite.  It's probably because I'm in a new place and I'm lonely.  I even miss the nursing home.  I haven't liked the food so far.  It is "Portland" food, for example roasted beets and sweet potato salad.  I think that since I'm sick I want some comfort food.  I just ordered peanut butter and jelly from prime now at Amazon.  It will be delivered tomorrow.

Today I walked with my walker to the elevator and went downstairs.  I crossed over to the other building and spoke to some people.  That cheered me up.  One woman told me that I was lucky that the bus accident happened while I'm still young and can heal fast.  It's weird to be considered young.  That woman is 90.  She's lived here for 12 years and is very happy.

If I take my pain meds, I can move around and that is so important.  No physical therapists have called yet but at least I know walking is important for my recovery.

I hope this post doesn't sound too poopy.  I know things will improve here as I recover.  I think when my furniture is delivered next week I will feel like I have a home again.  I had started feeling comfortable in my first apartment even though I only stayed there for 3 nights.  I had my Sweetsie for company.  Then the nursing home felt like home since I stayed there for a month.  I will probably stay in this apartment for a few months.  Hopefully I will find a permanent place in Portland after that.

Here I have my Stella kitty for company.  She has been starved for affection after living in the apartment alone for a month.  She is very happy in the new place.

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 23, 2017: What's important now

Tonight is my last night at the "home."  I've made quite a few friends here.  I started a little group that I call the lucidity club.  There's 4 of us who eat meals together.  We have a lot in common: we all have injuries that need rehab and we still have most of our marbles.  We even played cards a few times.  I'll miss seeing them every day.

I decided that I would move from my apartment at Marvel 29.  It's still full of a lot of boxes.  There is only a bathtub, no accessible walk-in shower.  I did put a riser on the toilet but that is not enough for safety.  I'm just not all that steady on my feet yet.  I have progressed to a 4 wheel walker that has a seat, basket and hand brakes.  It's mine to keep.  Since I got it, I haven't used the wheelchair anymore.

I have practiced using a ramp here.  The ramp at Marvel 29 is pretty scary.  It's steep and is close to a busy intersection.  I don't know when I can drive my car again.  That means I would be home bound and alone most of the time.

I decided to break my lease and move to an over 55 independent living community, Russellville Park.  The average age there is about 80.  I'll bring the average down a little bit.  My doctor wrote a letter stating that I needed a safer environment.  Hopefully I can get out of my lease without penalty.

The only 2 bedroom apartment available is a remodeled unit with all the fancy bells and whistles - fireplace, corner location, washer and dryer, etc.  It's a lot more than I'd like to pay but I will be safe there.  There are 4 alarm cords in each unit plus someone checks on you once a day.  The complex has a physical therapist on staff plus a heated pool.

As I get better I will be looking for a permanent home.  I prefer a condo because I do not want to do yard work.  Houses here are tiny and very expensive.  I'm sure that I will love living in a community like Russellville Park.  Unfortunately, it would devour my savings quickly.

Kevin will pick me up tomorrow.  We'll go to Marvel 29.  I have to pick up my important papers and whatever else I can carry.  I need to get Stella kitty into her cat carrier.  She and I will move to Russellville Park.  I don't know when my things will get moved.  I'm going to rent a bed in the new place.  It has air conditioning.  Tomorrow it is supposed to get to 101 degrees in Portland.  My Marvel 29 apartment does not have a/c and neither does Kevin's house.  But Stella and I will sleep comfortably in our rented bed in an empty apartment.

Sweetsie can move in after I improve.  I miss her but I'm not ready to take her outside using my walker.  I'll have to train her to walk on my right side and stay away from the wheels.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21, 2015: Woo hoo I won!

Me vs Medicare

I don't think the office workers at my surgeon's office ever gave him my message.  I never did receive a call back and neither did the social worker at the home.

I had an appointment on Monday the 19th with Dr Barney, one of the trauma surgeons who worked on me when I was brought to Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

She examined me and I told her about the problems with Dr Vande Zanschulp's staff.  She said she felt comfortable recommending that I stay in the staffed nursing facility until my surgeon said I was ready to be discharged.  She suggested that I make an appointment with Dr Vande Zanschulp  for re-evaluation next week.

When I got back to the home I gave the doctor's handwritten progress notes to Emily, the social worker.  She had received the typed progress notes from this doctor before I even arrived back at the home.  She faxed the letter to insurance.  I asked her to make my follow up appointment with the surgeon.

As of today neither Emily nor I have heard back from Dr Vande Zanschulp's office. They really do their jobs poorly at this office.  I have an appointment in July and I'll be sure to inform him.

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from the company reviewing my appeal and they said that they agreed with Medicare's decision and denied my appeal.  I was not surprised.

Then a couple of hours later Emily brought over a letter she received via fax from Aetna that approved my stay for 3 more days.  That means 6 more physical and occupational therapy!  Yay!  Therapy is the only way that I'll get better.

I don't know what happens after I leave.  No one has informed me.  Hopefully I will get home health care and some home therapy.    Therapy won't be twice a day like in the home unfortunately.  I will have to figure out some safe exercises on my own.

Yesterday afternoon my rollator (4 wheeled walker) was delivered.  I've been working on going up and down ramps and curbs with it.  The curbs are especially scary.  Tomorrow I am supposed to work on going up and down stairs using only one handrail.  That was hard for me before with my bad knee.  I hope I can do it now with two bad legs.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017: just kvetching

This morning I called Dr Vande Zanschulbe (my surgeon) one more time.  I had already left several messages and received no reply after I heard that Aetna was booting me out of the "home." Today at noon was the deadline to appeal that decision.
I finally got a live person at the doctor's at 10 AM.  I told her my problem and she gave me his assistant, Brittany's voicemail.  At 11 AM I called again and said it was an emergency.  Brittany spoke to me for a few minutes.  Then Monica gets on and explains about insurance and therapy, etc, etc.  She must have repeated herself 10 times.  She told me that I just did not understand.  Finally I told her to please listen to me.  I was not asking for their office to get involved with Aetna.  All I wanted was the doctor to write in his progress notes what he told me during my appointment.  He told me that I needed one to two months more of supervised care.  She started up again with her same spiel about insurance.  I told her that his note was all I wanted from her, nothing more.

Monica then told me that such a note was impossible because there wasn't enough time.  I told her if someone had called me back when I started leaving messages that there would have been plenty of time.  Then she lied to me.  I just HATE being lied to.  She said that if the doctor did write a note that it would have to be transcribed, typed up and submitted and it would take a couple of weeks.  I then told her that I was holding in my hand the progress notes that he wrote during my appointment.  They were handwritten by the doctor.  Unfortunately,  I didn't know that his progress notes were in the envelope I was given as I left.

That office never did supply the progress notes, not to me and not to my case manager.  Maybe they never even mentioned my request to the doctor.  I did not receive a phone call from them.

I  realize that the odds of my appeal to Medicare only has a 10% chance of succeeding.  But without the doctor's input my odds are even lower.

Emily, the social worker at the home, told me that I could call in my appeal and that she would have until 5 PM to fax in the accompanying paperwork.  So, I called the case reviewer employed by Medicare and said I was worried about going to an apartment that hadn't been set up and was full of boxes.  I also told her that I live alone.

I just happened to have an appointment with a trauma doctor this afternoon.  I told her about my problem.  She wrote in her notes that I should stay in the "home" until the surgeon reevaluated me.  She told me to make an appointment with him for next week.  She typed up the notes herself and her office faxed it to Emily.

Maybe my appeal has a chance.  I want to stay here where I get physical and occupational therapy every day.  If I go back to my apartment, maybe I'll be allowed to have a therapist come into my home for an hour or two per week.

If I go to my apartment I will be alone most of the time.  I won't be able to take a shower because there is only a tub in the apartment.  If I fall while using a regular toilet, there will be no one to hear my screams, no call button to push, no person checking on me periodically.

Yes, I'm scared to return to an apartment that I've only spent 3 nights in.  I'm returning with a major trauma to my right hip in addition to my handicapped left leg.

It makes sense to let me get stronger in a controlled environment for at least a few more days.  I work hard at therapy.  The therapists' records of my progress can prove that.

If my efforts don't work and I'm sent home, so be it.

June 18, 2017: The Denizens of the "Home"

The first week that I was here in the home I could not get into a wheelchair.  The activity calendar listed most of the activities as being in the rotunda.  I couldn't wait to get out there.

The rotunda is actually small and is the hub of the 5 hallways here.  It is round but calling it a rotunda is a bit of a stretch.

There are several patients who hang out at the rotunda.  The nurses must take them there hoping that they will socialize a little bit.  These people are pretty out of touch with reality.  Mostly they hang down their heads and nap.  One dude sits there calling out "Can I talk to you?  Excuse me..."  He is trying to get one of the workers to talk to him.  He then asks them things like "when's lunch,"  "what time is it" etc.  At least he interacts.

I have to go through the rotunda to get to the therapy room and dining room.  One day while I was in therapy a woman (Liz) came in looking for someone to draw her a salmon.  I volunteered and now she and I hang out together - have lunch together in the dining room, play bingo.  It's nice to have a friend here.  She's getting the boot on Wednesday also.  Medicaid is sending her to a less expensive facility.  She had heart surgery and also has a broken back.  I hope her next place treats her well.

Liz seems to know everyone here.  She even talks to the patients who don't seem to be lucid.  But they are happy to get some attention.  I try and be pleasant to everyone but I'm not as patient as Liz.

There is a lady at the end of my hallway who must live here full time.  Her room is very decorated.  She even has her Christmas tree up in there.  She can't seem to figure out how to use her call light.  So, she just hollers out - "I want my light off,"  "Please turn on my TV."  She has a loud gravelly voice.  The staff are very patient with her.  I've heard them repeatedly explaining the call button to her.

I spoke to  her one day and she told me she had a boyfriend.  The next night the 2 of them were having dinner together.  He sits with his head hanging low.  He raises it to yell out answers to her questions.  He looks terrible - skinny and decrepit.  I overheard her tell him that she couldn't keep her eyes off him.  Oh my!  Another time, in his very loud voice, he started talking about his penis.  It must be true what I've heard about nursing homes.  It's full of sex maniacs.

I truly hope I die before I get as demented as those 2 lovebirds.

I suggested to the activity director that we have a lucidity club.  We could get together and play games or just talk.  She said that she's tried that in the past but didn't get much of a positive response.  Most of the lucid people have their meals in their rooms and stay to themselves.  I think it's because of the stigma associated with being a patient in a nursing home.

It's too bad.  I think getting together would lift everyone's spirits and help pass the time.

Another woman, C, used to walk around all the halls with a big smile on her face.  She thought she lived here permanently.  But, she found out that she has to leave on Wednesday also.  Now she is so worried.  She says her kids treat her like she is crazy.  She has told me how she is worried about her dog several times now.  I closed my door to keep her out.  But she came in anyway and started up on her dog worries again.  She needs some reassurance from her grown children.  I don't think she is getting it.

Liz and I now eat dinner with a pleasant guy in a big neck brace.  He had to have some of his vertebrae fused in his neck.  He has a hard time swallowing.  He had a couple of surgeries and they left him weak.  He has to wait for someone to push his wheelchair back to his room.

The dining room was very depressing until I started eating with Liz.  The patients who need lots of help are gathered there.  Some need to be spoon fed, some refuse to eat, some keep trying to get up out of their wheelchairs.  It's unfortunate that the lucid people don't get together for meals.

I wanted to write about the patients before I leave here and the memories fade.  I hope I stay lucid when I have to be a permanent nursing home resident.  The confused patients seems so worried and unhappy.  The future is scary.  I think we should be able to make a legal document in which we can ask for an easy death before our dementia becomes too bad.  It's crazy how our society doesn't let us at least choose when we die.  There will soon be so many baby boomers with dementia.  It will be hard to give all of us the necessary care.  If some of us would like to leave this world, I think we should be able.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18, 2017: Genghis Khan

My son, Andy says that I was Genghis Khan in my last life.  So, I have to atone for all of Khan's (mine) brutality by suffering in this life.  That makes as much sense as any other theory.  I've certainly have had more than my fair share.

Andy came in Friday afternoon to visit me from Houston.  He said I looked better than he thought I would after being hit by a bus.  He took the redeye flight.  He stayed just for a short time on Friday and then went to Kevin's for the night.  Kenny and Miho love to play with their uncle.

We tried to go look at a respite care place yesterday but I entered the wrong address in GPS.  We ended up at a Home Depot.

I'd love to go to respite after the "home."  My surgeon told me at my appointment on Monday that I need one to two months more care in a facility.  But he failed to write it in his progress notes.  I tried leaving messages at his office.  I have until Monday at noon to file a protest with my insurance company.  There is little hope for a positive outcome without his notes.

The supreme ruler of my health care, the insurance company, has decreed that I am well enough to go home on Wednesday.  Plus, I walk too far with a walker so Medicare won't provide me with a wheelchair.  I'm not allowed to walk alone with a walker in the "home".  Obviously, that means by Wednesday I miraculously will no longer need a wheelchair.

Yes, I'm angry and upset.  Two days ago I was crying and depressed.  Angry is a big improvement.  I'm scared to be left alone in my apartment.  I'll deal with it - what other choice do I have.

Andy and I were going to go to the movies and just have fun yesterday.  But I wanted to check out my apartment first.  I was able to get in just a few feet.  The apartment is FULL of boxes.  Every room has boxes everywhere.  I rented a two bedroom apartment and I thought all of my boxes would fit in there.  The second bedroom is piled to the ceiling with boxes.  Plus, my dresser is in there because it wouldn't fit in the other bedroom with a bed in it.  And, I only brought a twin sized bed.  Obviously,  I have problems understanding how an apartment can be SO small.

I will need to get rid of tons more stuff.  I already donated over half of my house' belongings.  My house didn't look overly full.  My apartment should be featured on that hoarder's program.

My lawyer told me to hire unpackers.  No way.  First I need to be able to at least get to the bedroom and bathroom.  Andy worked on my apartment Sunday until he had to leave.  He said that it's neater and that I should be able to get around a bit better when I return.

I didn't mean to blog all these current problems but I'm all upset again.  I'll have to write another post later.  I actually have been busy.  I don't like to blog when I'm depressed.  When I'm not depressed I roll around in my chair visiting the other inmates.  I have to enjoy being with people while I can.  I'll be stuck alone 90% of the time in my apartment when I leave here.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Today I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon.  I guess I've been in denial about my injury. It is really, really bad.  I have a metal rod all the way down my thigh with a nail into my hip.  I snapped a photo of my x-ray today.
So now I'm really feeling down in the dumps.  I should have known it was this bad.  After all I was hit by a huge bus.  These buses in Portland have been known to kill people.  I'm suffering but I'm alive.

Here I am living in a city where pedestrians have the right of way.  If you see a person at a crosswalk, it's mandatory that the cars stop.  Who would have thought that the city buses are exempt from this law?  My bus didn't even stop for a stop sign.

I'll be in the "home" for a few more weeks.  I'm not sure what I should do about the apartment I'm renting.  I guess I'll get a moving company to put everything in a storage unit.  I'll have to fight the apartment management to not make me pay a penalty for getting out of my lease early.  I've spent only 3 nights in the apartment.  My poor kitty cat is in there all alone amidst piles of unopened boxes.  No one has seen her.  Tomoko goes every other day to feed her.  So we know Stella is alive and eating.  She must be so scared and lonely there.

My Sweetsie is okay living with Kevin but she's not all that happy.  The kids chase her around and their big shepherd dominates her.

I feel like I abandoned my babies (pets).  It makes me so sad.  I'm responsible for them and I can't take care of them.

I'll get past this.  I'm working as hard as I can at physical and occupational therapy.  Eventually I will graduate from the wheelchair.  I can already walk a short distance with a walker.

Wouldn't it be lovely if life were fair?  I've already had more than my fair share of horrible crap happen to me.  The rest of my life should be a breeze.  No more pain, no worry of dementia would be my future in a equitable world.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 8 2017

I finished with my therapies by 11 AM today. 11 is really early since I'm scheduled for 85 minutes/day.
So, now I'm bored.
They are now letting me have ibuprofen and I'm feeling better.  It's funny that feeling better leads to boredom.  I have my computer, kindle and TV for entertainment.  I had hoped to be exploring Portland during June, not recuperating.

I laid down from 11-12:30.  My butt hurt so bad from the lumpy mattress that I got into my wheelchair.  I sat outside for awhile. Now I'm in the dining room waiting for bingo to start.  I hope it's not too too lame.

Bingo was okay. Play is slow for the more handicapped people.

I've engaged a lawyer to help me with the bus company responsible for my injury.  She has a good reputation.  It's an Oregon law that cases do not drag on for years.

This is the third time that my life was changed in an instant.  In 1969 a car rammed my car into a tree.  I lost my kneecap causing a permanent injury.  At the time of the accident I was midway in my second year in college.  I had to miss 2 semesters to recuperate.

In 2010 my husband and best friend fell injuring his spinal cord and became quadriplegic.  My life as I had known it ended.  For months I took care of him and my elderly mother.  Besides the amount of work I also was suffering from a kind of post traumatic stress disorder.  Visiting TIRR, the specialty hospital for spinal cord injuries, exposed me to so much pain and suffering.  Young wives would be pushing baby carriages next to their husbands in wheelchairs.  There were  people suffering brain injuries screaming and crying.  Then, of course, I had to learn how to take care of my permanently paralyzed husband. (It turned out that he also had a brain injury.  Subsequently, he decided he never loved me and we were divorced.)

Now it's 2017.  I worked so so hard to move to Portland.  I had to sort all my possessions.  Pack up what I could and sell my house.  I arrived in Portland on May 19, 2017 ready to make a new life for myself.  3 days later I was walking my dog and was hit by a city bus.  My hip was broken, suffered a concussion and many cuts and bruises.  I had emergency surgery and stayed at a trauma hospital for 4 days.  Now I'm in my third week at a skilled nursing facility.  I am thrilled that I did not suffer a brain or spinal cord injury.  Nonetheless, my life has been changed and set on a different course.

I now have a permanently injured right hip.  I'm learning how to walk with a walker.  I'm using some of the same equipment here that was used at TIRR.  I'm surrounded by injured people.  It's very difficult for me.  I can't help but relive some of the memories of the pain I suffered during my husband's stay at TIRR.

I am working hard at rehab.  It hurts- a lot.  But, that's the only way that I can recuperate.  I don't know how much of a disability this injury will cause me.

This is definitely not how I imagined my life would be like in Portland.  The injury will make my transition so much more difficult.  I can't go out and explore the city.  I'm lucky that I can use the walker to make it down the hall.

Maybe this will be the last major life altering incident that will happen to me.  But, then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June 6 2017: Service animal day

This morning 2 cute miniature horses visited the "home."  I'd never been up close to one before.

I've been using my kindle for blogging but now I'm using my computer for this post so I'm going to add all the photos I have taken so far after the bus hit me.

2017-06-05 on the back patio of the "home"
Eating a macaroon - gift from Ian Lowrie, anthropology grad student
               The food at the home is pretty good.  It seems like it always time for another meal.
Chicken and cranberry salad

Salmon & asparagus dinner

Menu from one day

My scalp was closed up with 10 staples.

Sweetsie came to visit me in the home./ Flower arrangement gift from the anthropology department
strapped onto a gurney for transport

Becoming aware that I'm in a hospital

The detective in charge of the bus accident

June 6 2017

I'm still at the rehab center, Marquis Vermont Hills. It's a pleasant enough place. Yesterday I ate lunch in the dining room.  That was a bit of a downer.  The people who need lots of help are taken there.

They are the stroke victims, those with dementia, etc.  Many need assistance feeding themselves.   They don't interact, each one is self absorbed.  It is scary to think of being like that someday.  It certainly would not be my choice.  But, being here with a broken hip was not my choice either, just crummy luck.

I'm going to suggest that there be some kind of gathering of the more " normal" people.  I think these people tend to stay in their rooms away from those more handicapped.  We could play cards or something.

I went to the back patio in the wheelchair yesterday. It's a large area anchored by big pine trees. No one else was out there.  Today I'm going to bring along crackers and try to entice some birds.

I didn't have pt and ot until late afternoon yesterday. I had been sitting up since 10 am.  By 6 pm I was utterly exhausted.  I had a light dinner and fell asleep.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 4 2017

Yay!  I can get out of my room now.  As long as I stay regular with my pain meds I'm able to sit in a wheelchair and roll around the building. Plus, it keeps me awake.

I enjoy talking to the other "inmates.". Some have been here for months.  Everybody is kind of lonely and bored.  So I'm not just entertaining myself, I feel like I'm helping other people.

My bout of depression is lifting.  I feel perky and happy to have survived.  It's like having a heavy rock lifted off my chest.

Before this accident I had big dreams of travelling.  I still want to but my priorities have changed.  I think I can go forward satisfied with being with family and just being independent enough to shop and do light exploring on my own.  Though I still would love to go on a world cruise and see the sights from the deck of a cruise ship.  I could do this despite being handicapped.  Now i just need to figure out how to pay for it.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 3 2017

Two weeks ago I was having a great time with my family.  We met up at the food truck park on N Lombard St.  I even walked most of the way.

I'll be walking again eventually.  But it won't be the same.  Another memory will always cloud the activity.  I used to just fear falling so I walked slowly and sometimes used a cane. A cane won't stop a bus. I already looked carefully when the bus hit me.  I guess I'll just look around even more carefully from now on.

Yesterday was an okay day.  It was the first time that I dressed in regular clothes.  I fell asleep around 8 pm but woke up at 3 am with restless legs.  It's a horrible feeling.

Today I escaped my little room in a wheelchair.  I rolled down the hall to a window.  This place is located in a nice area. I saw 2 pretty birds.  One was a jay with a light blue body and dark blue head. The other was blue and white.  It didn't have a crest like a jay.  A good sighting in just a few minutes. Then I had a nice conversation with the patient across the hall.  Hopefully I'll make it to the patio tomorrow.  It hurts to be in a sitting position- too much weight on my broken hip.

This rehab center is quite pleasant for what it is.  I haven't run across an unhappy employee.  Call bells are answered quickly and with a smile.  Meals are mostly good.  I have a private room overlooking lush grass and pine trees.  I hope I will be able to stay here long enough to recover adequately.

I'm afraid that when I'm released I'll be stuck inside my apartment for months.  It will work only if Kevin will keep Sweetsie.  I miss my puppy but I won't be able to take care of her for a while.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1 2017: where I am now

I'm in the correct city, but definitely not the right place.

It was a beautiful day today - in the 60's and mostly sunny.  I can't walk as far as the patio yet.  Maybe I'll get a wheelchair tomorrow.  But I did have the window open in my room.

I had lots of energy this morning after I recovered from the mandatory suppository episode.  I walked and tried out some wheelchairs.

I had to nap after lunch.  Recuperating is really hard work.  I've been down this road several times already.  My physical and occupational therapists are impressed with my progress.

I'm disgusted with this whole episode in my life.  But, I'll just keep on trucking.  No other acceptable choice.

I'm lucky to be the receiver of this crappy luck and not any of my loved ones.  Even my sweet doggy came out of the bus accident unscathed.

When I had my knee replacement, my loving husband stayed by my side. Later he took care of me at home.  I miss having a partner but at least I experienced one for a few years.

I miss having my mom keeping me company.

Luckily I have 2 devoted sons, a loving daughter in law and 2 sweet grandchildren.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31 2017

The nurse in charge of my care estimates that I'll be here for at least 2 more weeks.  Sigh!
I only had a total of 30 minutes of pt yesterday. I'm going to see if I can get more. I want to get better.

I woke up in lots of pain this morning. I thought I was getting better.  I am but it will be a slower process than I hoped for.  I asked for pain med and am perking up now.  Pain wears you out.

It's nice here but boring. I'm trying to get a wheelchair so I can at least leave my little room.
Sitting in a chair hurts after just a few minutes.
I'm getting cabin fever so even a few minutes outside will be helpful.
They are supposed to have some activities. That will be an improvement, too.

I'm reading books. I can watch whatever I want on TV.  I really shouldn't complain. After all I survived a close encounter with a big bus.

I am tired of having such bad luck. I should buy some lotto tickets to see if I can change my karma.

Enough is enough already!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30 2017: life goes on

I stayed at the legacy Emmanuel hospital until Friday, the 26th.  My stay there is just a mangle of snippets of memories.  I must have been heavily medicated.  The surgeon bounced in and out of my room. I'd like to know more about my surgery. I have a follow up appointment with him in a couple weeks. I'll make him talk to me then.
I was moved to a skilled nursing center, Marquis Vermont hills.  My pt and ot is off to a slow start because of the holiday weekend.
The workers here have all been pleasant. They answer the call button quickly.
Yesterday I had my ten scalp staples out.
My head is much more comfortable on the pillow now. When Kevin brings in my laptop I'll be able to add photos to my blog.
My only complaint is the wrinkles in the mattress.  When you're stuck on your back in bed every little bump feels like a rock. Relief only comes when I get up to use my port-o-can (bedside commode).

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29.2017

I moved into my apartment on May 19. On the evening of the 22nd I went for a walk before bed with Sweetsie.
It was going to be just for a few minutes so I didn't take my phone. I was crossing a street to get back home. There was no traffic. I remember a bus suddenly coming up behind me. It probably ran the stop sign.  It hit me knocking me down and breaking my right hip. i passed out.
My next memory was screaming in pain and surrounded by people.
Then the ambulance ride and the ER at the Legacy Emmanuel hospital.
The police came and I told them my son's address. They pounded on his door and woke him up. They left Sweetsie with Tomoko. Kevin came to see me in the hospital.
It is tedious writing this on a kindle. I will post more later.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 5: We reach Oregon!

In the morning we had breakfast at the Black Bear Diner in a town just outside of Salt Lake City.

We drove all the way across Utah.
Then we drove across Idaho.
We stopped at Eden, Idaho for lunch at the Garden of Eden truck stop.
We drove 700 miles today stopping at Pendleton, Oregon for the night.  Pendleton is such a pretty town.  There is a walkway along the river.  I wanted to stop in Pendleton because I hope I can go into the woolen mill tomorrow.

We have just a little over 200 miles left until we reach Portland!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 May: Trip to Portland: Day 4

We started our morning in Montrose, Colorado.  We stopped in Montrose - cause its name is Montrose.  It is larger than Trinidad but not as cute.

It was in the 40's.  I was excited that I got to wear jeans again.  We walked to a coffee shop with a patio for breakfast.  It was closed that week.  So Andy ran into a McDonald's and we ate at a little table on the corner.
We went back and packed up the motel room at the Black Canyon Inn.  Andy had to lift up the mattress and box springs to get to Stella and put her in the car with us.

After breakfast Sweetsie was ready for another nap.
It didn't take long for us to make it into Utah.  The area around Moab was really cool.  But after Moab the terrain became very rocky and desolate looking.

We stopped in Green River, Utah for lunch and a stretch.  The cafe had coffee bags and Van Gogh prints decorating the ceiling.  The proprietor was a character.  She said that the city had just gotten phone service a couple years ago and they were still adjusting to the new technology.  Personally she preferred the old method of smoke signals.  One great thing - Sweetsie was able to come to the cafe with us.  Another dog was asleep in the middle of the floor.

It started raining and getting cold.  
We passed by wind mills among the rocky cliffs.Another big storm was brewing after we passed Provo so we stopped just outside of Salt Lake City.  It was about 5 PM so we wanted to avoid traffic, too.  This time we plugged the holes under the bed so Stella wouldn't be able to burrow into the box springs and hide.  Right now she is wandering around the room searching for a good hiding place.  She ate a little of my hamburger.  At least she ate something.  We were getting worried about her.

Sweetsie continues to be in doggy heaven.  She has me to sit on in the car during the day and Andy takes her out for long walks.  She cries whenever Andy leaves the room.  I told him that he should stay in Portland with us.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 May: On the road to Portland:Day 3

This morning we had coffee at a little cafe in Trinidad, Colorado.  There was an interesting building right across the street.

The residents are so proud of their town that even the bricks are printed with "Trinidad."  There is also a sign on a hill, just like in Hollywood.
After the cafe we walked around the town and found a pretty pink building and several pot shops.


From Trinidad, we took a two lane highway past beautiful scenery.


We stopped for lunch in Westcliff, CO at "Chappy's."
Check out the menu.

After lunch we drove through Gunnison, CO.  More spectacular scenery -
 I took the picture of the black canyon out the side window of the car.

We stopped at Montrose, CO for the night.  We had to find a restaurant with a patio so the dog could be with us.  It was a little chilly but we all enjoyed fajitas.  Definitely not Tex-Mex-  the meat was like what you get in a Philly Cheesesteak.  It tasted good nonetheless.

Tomorrow we plan on spending the night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, May 15, 2017

2017-May: The road to Portland:Day 2

Day 1:  Sunday, May 14, 2017

I had to move out one day early.  The moving company called and gave me a choice of Sunday or Tuesday.  They said they had to cancel me on Monday.  So, I stayed up all night.  I ended up throwing out so much good stuff at the end.  I had already donated tons but I must have owned a few hundred tons of stuff in the beginning.  
They finished loading my stuff by 2:00 PM.  We were on the road by 2:30 PM.  Boy, was I exhausted.  We stopped at a Bucky's rest stop.  I didn't even recognize myself in the bathroom mirror.  My hair was plastered to my head from sweating and my face was all red and puffy from lack of sleep.  Andy took pity on me and we stopped after just 6 hours west of Dallas somewhere.

We let the kitty out in the motel room.  She was so scared.  She wouldn't eat.  But, took a drink and used the litter box.  Then she hid in the closet.
My dog had a wonderful time sleeping on my lap all day and Andy walked her when we took breaks. 

Day 2:  Monday, May 15, 2017

We started driving around 8 AM today. I encourage my son Andy to stop often though.  He is used to a Ford truck with a big engine.  My car is a great size for me but Andy feels squished in it.  The dog needs to pee. I need to get my circulation going in my legs again.  So we stop, get a beverage and walk around but the poor kitty continues in her hideout.  

I try not to be too needy.  I remember driving my mom from Rochester in 2004.  I had to do all the driving, fetching and toting bags.  It was tough.  At least Andy is young and strong.  He is being a great son driving his mama and her pets out to Portland in my small, slow Subaru Crosstrek.  Maybe I'll forgive him now for the 24 hours of labor he put me through in 1979 - lol!

Tonight we are staying in Trinidad, Colorado.  We drove about 10 hours today.  Poor Stella, my kitty, is hiding in the closet.  I hope she will eat something tonight.

We are a day ahead of what we planned.  My lease in Portland doesn't start until May 19th.