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May 28, 2017

My mother in law’s fall has caused me to be even busier than before. I have been going to the hospital and now the rehab every day for over a week and a half. Except for one other day and today. Today I have a sore throat, a headache and a stomach ache. Even after a nap I feel awful. Larry is visiting with her as I write this. I don’t feel like writing, but I wanted to share something I learned this past week with you.

When Baptist Health discharged my mother in law to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation, they called us to discuss how it would work. I asked if we should transport her in our car and she said no, her condition made transportation by ambulance more appropriate. A few hours after her transfer I went to her room at Cardinal Hill and saw that her flowers and cards were not there. She had two beautiful arrangements that were only a day old and many cards. I called Baptist Health and eventually reached the nurse, Tom, who was responsible for my mother in law’s care that day. He said her flowers and cards were still in her room. I asked if I could come and get them. He said yes. It was 6:45 at that time and I had worked an eleven hour day and was tired, but I thought the flowers and cards would cheer Marjorie and were worth the trip across town. By the time I parked and walked to the room where Marjorie had been, there were no flowers or cards. The room was clean. I went to the nurse’s station and asked where her flowers and cards were. The nurse I spoke with did not know, nor did another nurse I found in the hallway outside her room. The nurse I spoke with on the phone had gone home. So I wasted the trip there.

So now I know, and I am telling you so you will know, to make special instructions about flowers, cards, and anything else in the room if your loved one is going to be transferred somewhere by ambulance. Ambulances do not allow flowers on board. It would have been nice if the discharge planner had told me about the flowers. It would have also been nice if the hospital had a policy of putting flowers left in rooms in the nurse’s station (or somewhere) until someone picked them up. I know they are only flowers, but in the cold and lonely atmosphere of a hospital and rehabilitation facility, they provide comfort and cheer.

May you and yours have a blessed Memorial Day and week ahead.


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