Friday, June 26, 2015

Learning Patience

This week is teaching me patience.

We had intended this week to be one of having fun with family out in St. Louis. While we have had a small graduation party for my nephew Grant and introduced Olivia Grace to another wing of her family, most of the week has been spent at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

My mother-in-law fell on Saturday while getting out of bed at her memory-care center. She got a nasty bruise on the chin and she had trouble putting weight on her leg. This was the second fall in as many weeks. A mobile X-Ray was inconclusive so her doctor suggested a short in-patient stay to allow her to get an MRI and CT Scan. So she was transferred to the hospital on Monday afternoon. The doc said that my mother in law would probably get the MRI quickly and the doc could evaluate the results shortly after that.

It took over 24 hours to get that MRI done. The results were that she had two fractures in her pelvis and would need rehab.

Her nurses, patient techs, and rehab people have been great at MoBap.

Her case managers, or whatever they call them here, not so much. To be honest, and I'm biting my tongue so I don't say anything worse, they need lessons in how to communicate. I have gotten to the point where I just have to bury my head in a book or the computer so I don't lash out at them. The Complementary Spouse has been a great advocate for her Mom and as a nurse she can speak the language. She has been patient to the extreme and has finally gotten them working for her Mom.

Medicare rules must vary from state to state. My mother-in-law was admitted for observation. One would think that after a diagnosis of a fractured pelvis, a BP spike, AND going into afib, she would have been reclassified to in-patient status. According to the case managers this was not the case. She only got reclassified to in-patient status due to her chin bruise becoming infected and that was only yesterday. The case managers and utilization review say that can't go back and reclassify her. Color me skeptical on that claim.

The reason that status matters is because under Medicare guidelines a person needs three days in the hospital as an in-patient (three midnight rule) in order to have Medicare to pay for rehab at a skilled nursing facility (nursing home). Fortunately, in our case, my mother-in-law will be admitted to an acute rehab facility where the three midnight rule isn't needed. Hopefully, it will happen this afternoon.

To top things off, the hospital somehow, somewhere have lost my mother-in-law's eyeglasses. What next?

The week has had some bright spots. I got to meet Charlie Foxtrot who has been helping us on The Polite Society Podcast. We had a great lunch on Wednesday and a great time meeting one another. The other bright spot is that I've found some really good bourbon that I can't get at home as well as a great place to buy it. Imagine a liquor store in a former Best Buy location with many select barrel offerings and you have Lukas Wine and Spirits. I will be patient and wait until I get home before cracking the seal on the bourbon I purchased.

Keep your fingers crossed for my mother-in-law that she gets moved to her new location sooner than later. A prayer or two would be welcome as well.

UPDATE: My mother-in-law was moved to SSM St. Mary's Rehab on Friday afternoon. I knew things were starting to look up when we were talking to the transfer EMTs. One was a North Carolinian and the other a South Carolinian. Moreover, the lead EMT was a graduate of Western Carolina University where I just so happen to teach a class each semester. Perfect!

The difference between the two facilities was like night and day. The room was bigger, the staff was more devoted to the patient than to the computer, and everyone was just a quantum leap more friendlier. I think this is going to work out just fine.

She'll be in acute rehab for at least 2 weeks so long as she shows improvement. Our goal is to get her on her feet again and walking. She was walking without any assistance prior to the fall.

Keep your fingers crossed and prayer wouldn't hurt.


  1. Done and sent.
    We have gone through that 3-day chit twice...sigh.