No Denial

After yesterday's confusion, I took the bull by the horns and called the business office at Jane's rehab. I had a very pleasant conversation with the staffer that I've been playing phone tag with all week. Ultimately, we're very much on the same page that Jane should not go home, she couldn't live independently prior to the hip fracture and she certainly isn't capable of doing so now.

She asked if I could head up there and the two of us could talk with Jane about future plans, with her hope that my intervention might get Jane to agree to apply for Medicaid. As I was five minutes away, that request was quickly met. I warned her that anything I say, Jane takes as me being the mommy bossing her around and goes directly against it and also explained a little more of what happened back in October to change Jane's mind from the positive view of skilled care to her going to an even less restrictive environment.

Once there, I had a slightly interesting time with Jane. She was trying to change her clothes and having difficulty, but the goal is for her to see if she can do everything herself. In short order, A arrived at the room and the three of us talked about Jane's plans post discharge. She still insists she is going HOME, that the therapists feel she's made a lot of progress.

A burst her bubble a bit in asking what the doctor would say and what exactly she's accomplished in therapy. (I did not see her walk the entire time there, and based on an offhand comment from the nurse, she hasn't) The question of how would she do her daily things at home and Jane insisted she has a lot of help. Not quite. The conversation turned to Jane applying for Medicaid again and A was pretty gentle about what it means while being firm on the fact if she can't do it herself, she won't be discharged.

She was shaken, but this is Jane. In less than five minutes, she will take the good, ignore the bad, put them all together and lack the facts of life, the facts of life.

While this is going on, Jane's was excited to invite me to come to therapy with her to talk to P, her main therapist, to tell me how awesome she's doing. Next, "So what do you have planned for today?," which meant she was probably expecting me to be her errand girl. However, the excitement at me going to therapy and hearing them sing her praises to high heaven was written all over her face.

Alas, the bubble was burst. The reports she was giving that she had four hour sessions and they were working her really hard to the point that they're wearing her out led us to think she was having one to one sessions. I knew that was highly unlikely, given the quantity of patients they have. Six PTs, twelve patients and it was clear that while they definitely work their butts off getting patients back to good health quickly.

The therapist Jane wanted me to meet was not in the room when we arrived, so I watched for ten minutes. However, as soon as he came in, she called him away from the patient he'd gone to and introduced us. She asked him to speak with me about her progress and was quite chipper. I insisted he get his patient started and come back when he had some time.

A few minutes later, the time came. He started by asking her questions, asking where she planned to go post discharge, is she showering herself, dressing herself, walking up and down the hallways as they've asked? She dozed off through this conversation, much like the one with A earlier. (She wasn't wearing her oxygen and said "I don't need it anymore," which I doubt). He didn't mince words. "Jane, I don't think you should live alone OR in assisted living. You need the amount of care you are receiving here for the long term."

She cried. Once again, I was witness to Jane's world view being completely shattered because she wanted to prove to me that things were hunky dory the way they are. I'm the ogre for daring to question that mindset (in her eyes). Meanwhile, today I realized that as much as we wanted to get answers and schedule a sit-down with the staff, they wanted one of us to be there to witness the tough conversation. They knew she was going to deflect the news unless someone else was there asking the questions, too.

Jane told P and me that she had a bad dream the other night that she was trying to walk down a hallway alone and she couldn't move. P said that was her subconscious telling her what she refused to believe-she is no longer capable of living independently.

More crying.

Then she said she's scared of being in a nursing home because she wouldn't have her computer (they have WiFi for residents, and several do have them). She couldn't bring all her Disney stuff (I suggested choosing her favorites). She's got all her furniture (and she doesn't need it, it's a repository for junk and her clothes.) At this point, I took my leave and let her process her altered reality.

And now, it's clear that the one thing I was adamant about when she went into the hospital that we weren't doing, Ed and I will be stuck with. Once again, we're going to have to deal with Jane's apartment bullshit.

It wouldn't be so freaking annoying if she actually asked, expressed appreciation and didn't whine about the fact that we weren't doing it quick enough for her liking. Hell, she didn't unpack a bunch of boxes from moving in three months ago.



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