health, life

Coming Home

Home AveIt wasn’t enough that my husband’s feet were shattered, or that my dog had surgery and broke open his wound. Yes, we needed another obstacle to overcome. I was alerted to a flat tire when I stopped for dinner at Chick-fil-A. Since the tire hadn’t completely deflated, and my house was only a mile down the road, I got myself some dinner and drove the car home. I would just have to use my husband’s car to get around for a while (which was another mess, because his car was still at work).

Three days later, after three weeks in hospitals, my husband was finally coming home. A hospital bed smack dab in the middle of our living room awaited his arrival.

hbed (800x447)When it first arrived.

First, he needed to get to the doctor’s office for a post-op appointment. Workman’s Comp arranged for a van to transport him, then take him home afterward.

In the doctor’s packed waiting room, my husband’s balloon-swollen feet hung to the floor. Due to the awkwardness of the devices holding his bones in place, there was no way to prop those blown-up tootsie’s on the wheelchair. I will spare you the details of his suffering while waiting for several hours to see the doctor (excruciating feet pain, hunger and no way to use a bathroom).

After the post-op exam, the transport van was supposed to be waiting to take him home … but it wasn’t there. In his delicate condition, we weren’t able to move him on our own. Plus, I had to get his prescriptions to a pharmacy (pain meds can’t be called in).

We contacted the transport company to come back for him. He waited for them, while I ran to the pharmacy. I figured Gary would arrive at our house around the same time as me.

Instead, around 6:30pm I pulled into the driveway to find three vehicles parked in front of my house. When I climbed out of the car, three women approached me. The one that appeared to be their leader introduced herself as a home healthcare manager (Jen). I remembered briefly speaking to her over the phone a few days earlier. She did not explain her job function clearly when we had spoken, and when I asked questions, she gave me attitude.

dog-window2“We’re here to do the evaluation on your husband’s condition and healthcare needs.” Jen explained.

My dog’s vicious barking called out from the house, and he banged against the window.

“I don’t understand. My husband isn’t even here yet.”

“That’s okay. We know he’s on his way. We’ll just wait for him.”

I shook my head and blinked rapidly. “Wait for him? For what?”

“I told you. He needs to be evaluated for his home healthcare in order to approve this for Workman’s Comp.” Her face appeared stiff and unfeeling. Her tone lacked patience.

The dog’s constant barking grated on my nerves. I was hungry and in no mood to deal with getting the dog calmed down to allow these three strangers into my home.

“I really needed more advance notice. My dog is difficult to get wrangled into place, and he’s going crazy right now.”

“I understand. We’ll wait in our cars for your husband. You go ahead and take care of your dog.”

My husband hadn’t been home in three weeks after a serious accident. Why did we have to deal with this after a rough day and his first time home? “Look, I’m very confused as to why you have to be here right now—”

“I told you twice already. We need to evaluate your home for healthcare needs.” Her facial expression remained blank, but her tone snapped like a whip.ductwc

I needed duct tape to wrap around my head so it wouldn’t blow off. “I was not made aware of you coming here tonight—”

“Yes you were. I called you last week and told you.” She interrupted me a second time.

“When you called me, you did not give me a date for your arrival. My husband hasn’t been home in three weeks. He’s been waiting hours at the doctor’s office. He’s in a lot of pain. He needs to eat dinner. He hasn’t even had a chance to pee. We’d like to get him settled in first. Why don’t you come back in a couple of days?”

“If we don’t evaluate him now, Workman’s Comp won’t pay for his home healthcare. The process will only take about 30 minutes. We’ll wait in the car for him.” She waved the other two women on, and they went back to their cars.

I stomped after that heartless woman and gave her a piece of my mind. (I no longer remember what I said. My adrenalin was sky-rocketing.)

“If you agree that Workman’s Comp doesn’t have to pay for his home healthcare, than we’ll leave.” Her devil’s warning burned me.

So, Jen and the others waited in their cars.

The dog settled down after I let him out and fed him.

It was 7pm, no sign of Gary, neither of us had eaten since noon, and those women waited for him outside. I called his cell phone to find out if the transport had arrived for him.

“Yes, but they’re telling me that they can’t take me home. They said their orders are to take me back to the rehab facility.”

Read what happens here on the next post in The Arrival.

Have you ever lost your temper with someone who was being unreasonably rude?

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31 thoughts on “Coming Home”

  1. Good grief! I thought you were nearly home free. This is crazy!

    I don’t remember ever “losing it” with someone who was rude to me. I tend to freeze in those types of situations, fearing that I might have a good first attack, but nothing to come back with if they go on the offensive!

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    1. As an Italian, I can argue about a water drip (like in My Cousin Vinnie). This lady was trying to make me think that I was the unreasonable one, and I did lose it with her, but for the life of me I can no longer remember what I said. It did me no good though, because she got her way. Thanks for reading about it and sharing, Lorna.

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  2. Lori, this is just insane! I mean, I know health care isn’t always what we think it should be, but it seems like everything and anything that could go wrong, DID! I probably would have choked that health care manager.

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    1. Hi Terri. I felt insane at the time. That woman treated me like I was the unreasonable one. Then, the mix up with the transport van. I had written a blog draft at the time, but I was too worked up and didn’t like the way it was written. Thanks for reading about our crazy medical experiences.

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  3. Wow, what a nightmare! You probably handled the situation better than most of would have. This is a great series of posts, it illustrates how complicated and frustrating an unexpected medical situation can be for an otherwise healthy person. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Joy. This is so true about an unexpected medical situation. We were so ignorant as to what to do, where to go, who to talk to and how to function. That nasty woman certainly didn’t help matters. I appreciate your supportive comment. Thanks. 🙂

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  4. Ooh it would have been tempting to sool Max after that annoying woman!!!
    Have I ever lost my temper with someone who was being unreasonably rude? Quicker to ask when haven’t I… the G.O. didn’t give me the nickname “junkyard dog” when my temper is up for nothing! I particularly hate lazy people who work at banks, call centres, corporates… because there are some really nice, caring smart people who do… I just hang in there until I find one, and don’t take prisoners with anyone in my way!

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    1. Good to know I’m not alone in losing my temper, EllaDee. I can’t remember what I said to her when she went back to her car, but I remember feeling like a raving maniac, and she treated me like one. She seemed to think I was the one being unreasonable. I wrote a blog draft about it when it happened and never posted it. I was too worked up at the time. Thanks for sharing and being honest about your experiences.

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    1. Ha, if only, Anneli. That nurse-supervisor acted as if I was the one being unreasonable. I thought they were going to drive me insane. That was the worst day we had since the accident. I don’t know how, but we eventually made it through. Thanks for reading.

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  5. My sweet husband was briefly in the hospital recently. Before he left the hospital, he had to choose a home health care company and then, when they came (they did make an appointment) they asked him why he needed care. We told them we had no clue…it seems communication is not a strong suit in the health care industry, Lori. xoxoM

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    1. So true, Margarita, they are definitely inept in the communication department. We weren’t sure what these home healthcare people were supposed to do either. We soon found out though. I hope your husband is well now. Thanks for reading.

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      1. Yes, he’s well. While the whole hospital thing was a bit of an ordeal, the good news is that all the tests just confirmed my observations. Helped him feel a little more secure! 😉 xoxoM

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    1. Hi Jill. Yeah, that was pretty much the worst day since the day of the accident. Then, the transport company had the WRONG orders on where to take him after the post-op appointment. At the time I thought I was going to lose my mind. That nurse-supervisor treated me as if I was the one being unreasonable. It was a tough day, and somehow we made it through.

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    1. Hi Kourtney. I didn’t trust that woman was telling the truth, but I couldn’t take the chance. It pretty much turned out that she just didn’t want to have to come back another day. It was more about her than my injured husband. Sigh. Anyway, we made it through. Thanks for your support.

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  6. Oh wow, talk about taking a person’s stress level up yet another notch (or two!). To have strangers waiting at your home at such a time would spark anyone’s ire. Arranging a date and time to meet seems common sense, not to mention common courtesy. And then to hear your husband couldn’t even come home. Very trying for sure.

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    1. Hi Carrie. I know, right? That woman was treating me as if I was the one being unreasonable. There was much more said between us then I posted. Yes, and then the transport had the WRONG orders about where to take him. It was pretty much the worst day we had sine the accident. Thanks so much for your support.

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  7. Good grief. You and your husband have been through the wringer and they are so heartless that they can’t wait even a day? UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Our healthcare system is getting worse. They could care less about the person, only their bottom line. It’s disgusting.

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    1. Yep, that was one hell of a rough day for us. Probably the roughest day after the day of the accident. Then, the transport wouldn’t take him home, because they had the wrong orders. Somehow, we made it through. Thanks for reading, and for your support, Laura.

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  8. How frustrating. Rude people irritate me so much I just want to scream. Especially people who are rude and are in a position to help you but choose to make it as difficult as possible.
    I lost my temper with AT&T one time (actually it’s been more than once – actually multiple occasions, well, really monthly) and went through 5 different people before I talked to a manager. I asked if I could have the number to the corporate office and they told me they didn’t have a telephone number for the corporate office. And I said – here is one of the largest telephone companies in the United States and the corporate office doesn’t have a telephone number. What sense does that make?
    Or the time my husband suffered a stroke and we sat in the Emergency Room waiting area for 3 hours, his B/P upon registration was well above 200/100. I kept on going back and forth to the Triage desk, trying to convince them it wasn’t a good idea to leave him unattended and without treatment. The Triage Nurse didn’t see it my way at all. I felt so inept and incapable of helping him and infuriated by the general lack of concern held by others that were in a position to help him.
    Did this woman have a supervisor, because I think that is who I would have spoken to? But of course when one is in the throes of such a situation, these clever ideas don’t readily make themselves apparent.

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    1. Oh my Lord, just the thought of dealing with phone and cable companies sends my BP up. It concerns me that these healthcare workers have people’s lives in their hands, like your husband’s, and it doesn’t seem to phase them.

      That woman at my house introduced herself to me as the supervisor/manager. I’m not sure what will be in my next installment yet, so this may be a repeat, but I did call the company and complain about her. They took her off my husband’s case after that.

      Thanks for sharing your experience, SP. We know we aren’t alone in this rude, rude world. 😛

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