July 9, 2017
The nurse aide at Cardinal Hill was right. My back is sore. And so are my upper arms and shoulders. But hey, I have been sore before the same way from things like pulling weeds and gardening. No big deal. But it does make me mad that Medicare would only pay for a cheap hospital bed that does not elevate like the ones at the hospital. That would really help my back when I am positioning the bedpan. This morning Marjorie had ‘an accident’ and I had to change the sheets before I was fully awake and that was back breaking. The bed has a motor that lifts the back for a sitting up position and elevates the legs and feet but no motor for elevating the entire bed. It has pegs that have to be pushed in on each leg to raise or lower the bed and that is a back breaking feat in itself. The bed weighs a ton. Even then, it will not raise the bed to a level for helping my back when helping Marjorie. Even if the bed was permanently raised to a level to help my back, then it would be too high for getting her in and out to get into the wheelchair so she can come to the club.
Getting her into the bed Friday evening was a monumental task because Medicare would not pay for a ‘sliding board’. They are ridiculously expensive: $77 dollars that we don’t have. A sliding board is just that: a board that helps the patient slide from one location to another…like from a wheelchair to a bed. Larry is making one as I write this by sanding and varnishing a nice piece of wood. Larry and I tried to use a regular board that we had around the house, covered with a sheet, but the board was too small and Marjorie was not very cooperative so Larry and I together lifted her from the wheelchair into the bed. That was rough. Don’t want to have to do that again. She has been in bed all weekend, so we are getting ready for tomorrow morning when she will have to get into her wheelchair and then onto the Wheels bus so she can spend the day at the club. I can’t wait to have our nurse look at her heel. She has a bedsore on her heel. One day it will look as if it is healing, and the next day it will look worse. She had one on her big toe, too, but it is consistently looking much better.
Medicare would not pay for a reclining wheelchair, either. They would have paid for a regular wheelchair, but we already have the one that Medicare paid for back in 2008 when her leg was amputated. It will not do for her to be in that one for 10 hours. Marjorie has to be in the wheelchair at the club for 10 hours because I have to be home for her (Larry will not change a bedpan) and I work 11 hours currently but she will be en route for a half hour each way. I do not want to have to transfer Marjorie from the wheelchair to the sofa so she can recline to nap and use the bedpan at the club because she does not help at all and I know it will be back breaking even with the sliding board. We are renting a reclining wheelchair and it is fantastic! I am going to find a cushion for the back (she already has one for the seat) and arms and I am going to make a basket for hanging underneath so we can put things in there she will need at the club. I have tested it out and it is very comfortable…like sitting in a recliner! I don’t know why they made us buy the leg rests ($129.18) and the seat belt ($49.) though. But at least the chair is rent to own. We are still poor now because of the club not attracting the membership we had hoped for and because Medicaid has not reimbursed us for thousands of dollars worth of care we provided.
I don’t know why Marjorie will not use her muscles now to do for herself. She was very active when she was younger. She loved to dance as a young woman in the days of swing music. Now Marjorie says she can’t do whatever task she is being asked to do, like sit up. That is why Cardinal Hill discharged her. They are a rehab hospital. If a patient is unwilling to work at getting stronger, then there is nothing more they can do. I suspect the pain medication they were giving her might have played a part. We are not giving her the pain medication. She has complained of pain in the middle of the night both nights she has been home…she said her legs hurt. Each time she woke me up (three times each night) I told her to move her legs up and down and helped her to move them and then told her to do it for herself and the pain would go away and it did! I have pain myself in my shoulders, ankles, knees, etc. and moving them makes the pain go away. I believe God made us to move….not to lie motionless watching television and taking pain medications! I am hoping she will stop waking me up in the middle of the night complaining that her legs hurt because she will move her legs herself without me telling her to. Funny that she does not complain of pain during the day. I think being at the club and being more active and engaged with other people will help her to sleep better at night too. This weekend she seems to have her days and nights mixed up.
It is a beautiful summer day and I have been enjoying hanging out laundry and sitting in the sun room writing this post in between helping Marjorie. May you and yours have a blessed week ahead!