Medical Care- A Consumer’s perspective- Brookdale Pt 2

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/the-ratings-of-medical-facilities-series-it-begins/

Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/medical-care-from-a-consumers-perspective-ohio/

Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/medical-care-a-consumers-prospective-mercy-health-lorain/

Part Fourhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-mercy-health-lorain-2/

Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/05/27/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-cleveland-clinic-rehab-hospital/

Part Sixhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-brookdale-skilled-nursing/

This will, hopefully,  be the last in the series of medical care received in various  medical facilities , three different types of medical care, and three different providers. Ideally  this post should be in two  parts but I want to  leave Brookdale behind  so  it will be lengthy.

The common denominator was the insurance coverage Medicare and Medical Mutual. Although  I  am fighting one bill ( will be explored in this post)   and the Medicare evaluation of Brookdale as mentioned in Part SIX is an issue for us, on the whole Medicare and Medical Mutual – so far – has been less than the nightmare I  thought it would be.

I believed we were spoiled by  the nursing staff/ aides and housekeeping staff  at Mercy  Health  Lorain, upon reflection they  set the bar very  high– a  few of their  physicians I  found decidedly  lacking ( see Part One).

 

Also , the Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation was beautifully  clean and the food was very  good , rehab staff were excellent, you  knew what time  therapy  was every  day and who what and where so  families could adjust schedules to  participate with  the patient. You  knew who  the nurses were that day  and your aides. Unfortunately,  it was down to  a small percentage of aides  that spoiled the experience and also  caused a health issue ( in my  opinion) by  spreading C’Diff from one room to  another and then sending  contaminated material with  the patient to another facility. Brookdale

 

Ah! Brookdale, Westlake Ohio…..the 5 star Skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility  which is in the middle of a very  large Assisted Living and Senior Living

Brookdale Senior Living owns and operates over 1,000 senior living communities and retirement communities in the United States. Brookdale was established in 1978 and is based out of Brentwood, Tennessee. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookdale_Senior_Living

The typical Brookdale Senior Living CNA salary is $12. CNA salaries at Brookdale Senior Living can range from $10 – $15. This estimate is based upon 66 Brookdale Senior Living CNA salary report(s) provided by employees or estimated based upon statistical methodshttps://www.glassdoor.com/Hourly-Pay/Brookdale-Senior-Living-CNA-Hourly-Pay-E6433_D_KO24,27.htm

Independent living prices average $2,900 monthly. The majority of locations will cost between $2,300 and $3,500. Skilled nursing communities are available as a Basic Monthly Service Rate of between $6,000 and $8,500.

I have not received the cost of our one  month stay at Brookdale Westlake “skilled nursing and rehab ” in Westlake as of today’s date but I do  know one charge was $400 per day.

After the poor experience of “transfer” from Cleveland Clinic Rehab Hosp. Avon  (which was paid for by  self -pay) I wasn’t in the best of moods . I understood from literature that I  had read  this was a “newer facilty”. I understood it to be around 10  years old. In my  opinion it was becoming a little “shabby” without the chic.

 

 

I should point out this is a very  large complex and the “skilled nursing” ( bit of an oxymoron in my  opinion) section had quite a large turnover of people coming in and out of rehab. However, my  first impression after leaving the gleaming white , bright Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital(CCRH) was one of “OH!” and not in   a pleasant way.  The parking for the visitors for the skilled nursing/ rehab   section was awful, you  had to  hope the parking gods were on your side as you  drove round and round hoping for someone to  leave.

Please note this a critique of the Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Section of the complex, I  have no  thoughts or opinions as to  the rest of their complex and assisted living sections.

 

The facility  allows pet visits to  the patients rooms, all well and good but unlike The CCRH where there was a designated area  tile floor) for those  pet visits,   animals in all shapes and sizes routinely  walked the “carpeted corridors” , one little fella dragged his bottom along the carpet which  made me go  eeeewwwwwww. Had they  been bathed, de-fleaed , some looked as if they   weren’t exactly a pampered pet? I did take my  dog to  see her master at the CCRH after going through the paperwork and a shampoo. I  did not bring her to  Brookdale!

 

The room was  supposed to  be “homey” and an effort was made in the design and décor.  However too many  bumps and bruises on the paintwork, furniture  left an impression of needing a redecorating. The “homey”  bedspread  with  its little bag of goodies, had decidedly  seen better days , faded (hopefully)  through a lot of washing?  Again, being spoiled by  the open airiness of the CCRH with  large windows this was a bit of a disappointment , his room was dark and yes in my  opinion a bit dingy. The photo  from their website  is really not a great representation as to the “light” in  the room  we had.   After the pristine cleanliness of CCRH it was a bit of a disappointment Oh well thought I different facility  not a hospital .

 

The bed was actually  quite small, and no  sides. Apparently  “nursing homes” cannot restrict the occupants ( such  as  the side up  in a hospital)  neither can they  belt you  in  a wheel chair. This  was  all well and good but for a patient that has very  little trunk strength and one who  was a fall risk  this was not ideal. I  was told we could request the sides if we went through the paperwork and the Dr. must write out a prescription  to  have the sides installed. I said this is what I  wanted done. That was the last I heard, and actually  he fell out of the bed twice, a chair once  and the wheelchair once. Not so  good when it comes to  the fact he had just had major brain surgery after a fall.

 

After 4 days of being a resident  the bathroom became   the holding room for dirty  sheets, linens, towels  used diapers and pads ( remember that C’Diff) I  was ready  to  remove the patient from the 5 star facility and interaction with  some very  off putting aides  . I  called the head nurse and one of the administrators , after my  daughter was given the pads etc to  clean up the leaking Foley  bag. Since she was gowned and wiping down the room with cleaning cloths due to  the C’diff   maybe they  did think  she was a staff member, as we were told. Obviously  no-one else up  to  that point – knowing there was an issue with  C’diff wore those items. ( Benefit of the doubt)

Some aides did make a half hearted effort to “gown up” after the complaint, however,  latex gloves routinely  ended up  being  taken off and thrown into  the “general purpose waste basket”, well those that made it in as they  were thrown – I  was forever  picking these up and emptying the  room trash!

 

As for “housekeeping” I can’t remember that happening to  any  degree maybe weekly and only  once was there what I  call a thorough cleaning ( the Sunday  after I complained )  whereas in the previous two  facility  it was daily and sometimes twice a day.

 

 

The ‘weekend administrator” did get the bags of laundry and garbage out of the bathroom , did send in a cleaner  and apologized. The “head” nurse did get the Foley  bag removed, changed the mattress to  an air mattress,  as he was starting to  get a bed sore due to  being stationary and unable to  move on his own ( eg. roll over)  and was also very  uncomfortable due to  a pre-existing back condition. And so  it began…………

 

The rehab staff were very  good, he could not have intensive rehab at this facility , again only  so  often  due to  Medicare restrictions. But on the whole we were pleased. My  goal was to  have him ambulatory , able to  get into  a bed at home and to  be able to  get to  the bathroom. This was going to  mean  on a walker at least because this “Old House” was not wheelchair friendly.

Since there was definitely  an issue with  85% of the aides ( remember the staff that was above average according to  the Medicare evaluation  ) my  daughter would spend every  morning going with  him to  rehab, not the organized times etc of the CCRH we were expecting, she would stay  until after lunch  and I  would come later in the afternoon through the evening.  Night times were very bad for him, but he was on digoxin and although  he had adverse reactions  to  this drug we could not get  Doctors to  take him  off of it ( prescribed by  the ghost cardiologist from Mercy)

https://www.nhqualitycampaign.org/…/Drugs_that_may_cause_psychiatric_symptoms…visual hallucinations, fear, paranoia, agitation, anxiety. Sudden … Hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, confusion, mania, anxiety … Digoxin (Lanoxin*).
Note: the moment he was home and our cardiologist saw him digoxin was “nixed” and so  were many  of the other medications.
I am sure the administrative staff as well as a number of the aides were not at all happy  with  my  advocacy for my  husband. A “difficult patient” due to  medications, pain and confusion and a difficult wife 😉 . I  would ask you  to  remember this man went to  bed at Mercy  woke up eight days later after being intubated  and having respiratory  arrest unable to  move , unable to  speak ( due to  his vocal chords being stretched, ) not knowing where he was and what happened and having an 8 inch  slice taken out of his scalp. He remembers nothing at all from Mercy  , very  little from CCRH and too much  from Brookdale, Westlake.
 Patients were told they  could eat in the dining room  and for the most part the food was fine, the aides in the dining area were very  helpful  and the view of the duck pond a nice outlook. Mealtimes became a highlight to  one trapped in a wheelchair.
The call light response times were awful, in our case, of course being a “demanding patient” who  wanted to  use the bathroom or get out of the bed  and wheelchair due to  his discomfort didn’t help. The notice on the board in his room “call don’t fall” didn’t count for much.
The  Administrator did print out a  record of the response times to  the call light. Amazingly  they  had response times of 30  seconds  up  to  5 minutes.
What they  hadn’t realized with  the amount of time my  daughter and I  were putting in and the fact that as a blogger and ex- columnist I  have this penchant for documentation we also  kept a record of those call times and for the “most” part they  didn’t concur with  the print out. With  that printed out response time for his room number   I  received a bill for another patient, which  I  duly  returned, that had had that room previously.
March  17th  he fell again , this is an excerpt to  Medicare  appeals as they denied the cost of the emergency  room Dr.  after I  insisted Brookdale transport him to  St. John’s after yet another fall.

On March 17th I received a call from the night nursing staff at Brookdale that my husband had fallen trying to get out of his chair. The nurse informed me he had bruising to his abdomen and an abrasion to his left leg.They could not tell me if he had hit his head. Considering they stated he had only fallen 10 minutes previously to calling me   I was concerned they could not tell me whether he had hit his head and that bruising to the abdomen was already in place. I deemed it important considering the history of previous weeks of major brain bleed and surgery he should be checked out by someone other than an LPN. Hence the trip to St. John’s Westshore Emergency Dept. He was monitored in the ER and after a few hours sent back to Brookdale .

It is my contention that due to the recent history of falling and two brain bleeds the ER was the appropriate facility at 1 a.m in the morning. Brookdale, in my opinion did not have a qualified individual on duty or equipment to ascertain a diagnosis. The ER was the best place”

As time wore on and actually  his discharge times got put back , I  realized that, in our case , although the rehab therapy was very  good, it wasn’t enough. He was spending too much  time “waiting” and sitting in a wheelchair for the  two  to three hours of rehab and at least two  days a week where there was no  rehab at all. ( Again due to  Medicare restrictions). So  as his Dr. concurred and my  husband was unhappy  at the facility  and was at least able to  use the walker (with  help) and we felt we could manage his  care  we discharged him from Brookdale Westlake  on March 29th.
I am pleased to  say  that in April he went into out patient  physical therapy  at NeuroSpine Care, Sheffield Village, three times a week. He has progressed amazingly  well and they  have him transitioning to  a cane , able to  stand  and do  the things that make life normal. http://www.neurospinecare.com/
I do not agree with  Medicare ratings that this is a 5 star facility, but then again I  do  not know how low they  set the bar!
The best I  can give this facility  in rating , remembering it was supposed to  be, according to  Medicare, a 5 star facility  is a C minus. Although there were highlights such  as the rehab staff, the “aides” were another let down  and remember these are the individual that are dealing with  your loved one.  ( I  would say  my  general impression was that the aides were dealing with  quite a few patients each  shift and if their stated wages were anything to  go  by  they  need a raise in order the attract  better qualified individuals !
Remember this is a FOR PROFIT facility  and you  are the consumer not a charity  case and Medicare  and yourself will be paying for the “business”
of care and rehabilitation!!!!!!!
https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-trends/market-research-reports/healthcare-social-assistance/nursing-residential-care-facilities/nursing-care-facilities.html

 

July 11, 2019 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

July 3rd- continuing – Chris Ritchey

I have written about you  every month  on the 3rd of the month as my  memorial to  you – your life and your art work. A few months ago  I  wrote these lines in the post https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/april-3rd-forgotten-chris-ritchey/

“They  say  you  die three times – once when your body  fails you – again when you  are buried ( funeral) and again when you  are forgotten”.

Death  of the body  and death  of memory. When you  are buried and that headstone in place is a remembrance of sorts but there’s the rub how long will that headstone last?

 

Most of us believe that record of our being in the places designed for such – as cemeteries and crematoriums  will last forever, not so especially  with  the way  things happen with  cemeteries in recent years.  This Blog https://lisanneharris.com/2013/05/12/sadly-utterly-abandoned-churches-cemeteries/ Ms. Harris has a plethora of photos from around the world of these sad places. The forlorn graves sinking into  oblivion once held the tears and heartbreak of mourners  who  grieved over their loved ones. Even in this old neighborhood the citizens of Lorain in the past plowed under and buried  the little Charleston Village Cemetery

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/tag/pioneer-cemetery-lorain/

 

 

I read once , here you  can’t reclaim or take out graves until 100 years after the last burial. But that is another law that is circumvented. I  know it happened to  your Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather and Great- Great Grandmother, the site was moved (although other family members wouldn’t have it) but I  remember visiting those graves in a totally  different area of the cemetery and one was missing altogether.

 

You  are not dead because our love of you  is alive and you  are in our thoughts and dreams daily.

 

Your Nana was not afraid to  die, she was actually  welcoming her demise -99 years is longer than most get on this earth.

 

She had out- lived her brothers , sisters, friends of her youth. She was ready  but as she sipped her tea one day  near the ending  she look at me over the rim of the cup and said

“you  won’t forget me will you, Nikki  and the children will remember they  had their Nana”.

There is no  headstone in a “family  plot” because that is not what she wanted. Her ashes will hopefully  one day  make it back to  “her England” , time and life permitting.

Today,  I  received a notification from the Crematorium in England

St Marylebone Crematorium – Memorials

about your  Grandfather. What a mess that was when he passed , he had gone off with  someone else – had a new family  – although  he clung still to  his old one. Due to  the fact he never remarried, I  was still his next of kin, the arrangements were left to  me  although  his “woman” did orchestrate some aspects.

Then a few years on, since Nana and I were home, we went to  the crematorium and I  asked the office where my  fathers ashes were interred. Imagine my  guilt when I  found out no-one had ever claimed them! I  had thought his fancy bit would have,  she obviously  was done with  him after he died.  I  was told his ashes were scattered in a part of the crematorium  I was shown the spot where his ashes had been scattered and  was told

 

“I  could have  a “tablet” positioned on the walls surrounding the Willow Garden, and are ideal for those who wish to mark the position of a loved one whose ashes have been scattered below.”

It was decided, only  Nana would have nothing to  do  with  it  , didn’t want her name mentioned  and went and sat in the rose garden. This is truly  a beautiful place.  I realized, although  his work of a cross ( commissioned by  the Governor of Gibraltar) hopefully  still adorns the altar in the Naval Chapel there ,

 

there  was not a permanent dedication ( well as permanent as can be in this life) but one day  even that small reminder will be taken from the wall

 

Anyway  I purchased a “tablet: and every  10  years I receive an invoice to  renew the dedication, a few hundred pounds.  No-one goes to  the crematorium anymore to  pay  their respects, I  am not sure anyone other than I  ever did but I paid this invoice today because his name is there , the fact he lived and died on those dates is still  there and he is not forgotten and he did live and he loved me and I , him

My Dad and I happier times

Oh his great grandson has the look of him  but only  I and a photograph of old realize that :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that is why  I  write about you  month  after month for as long as I  can  so  you  know you  aren’t forgotten and that you  lived…….. and are still loved with  every  breath  in my  body………..

Breath of Life – Celtic Knot – Chris Ritchey

July 3, 2019 at 11:25 am 1 comment

Medical Care – a consumer’s perspective-Brookdale ( Skilled Nursing)

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/the-ratings-of-medical-facilities-series-it-begins/

Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/medical-care-from-a-consumers-perspective-ohio/

Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/medical-care-a-consumers-prospective-mercy-health-lorain/

Part Fourhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-mercy-health-lorain-2/

Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/05/27/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-cleveland-clinic-rehab-hospital/

This time when we were told we would have to  make plans for my  husband to  leave the Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital ( after 19 days) were were given a list with  54 skilled nursing facilities but more time in which to  make a decision.

The case worker at Cleveland Clinic Rehab Hosp. printed out a list of 54  facilities within a 25 mile radius, with  ratings from Medicare .gov Nursing Home Compare .

As you  can see page one  with  the closest to  home ( as I  already  had checked them out) were crossed off.  “One” of  the complaints I  have of Medicare in their ratings , in our situation, was we needed  physical therapy  and rehabilitation and although  “staffing” was rated, Health  inspections and Quality   were rated  there was not a rating for the “caliber” of rehab and therapists.

 

I would like to  point out that at Brookdale  aka  WESTLAKE VILLAGE CARE CENTER 28540, village Drive Westlake Ohio 44145 , the rehab therapy  and therapists were excellent. I  wish  I could say  the same for  90  percent of their aides.

20 of the 54 facilities were listed in their staffing  by Medicare as “much  below or below average”, even when their overall rating was above average or much  above average – very  confusing .

The star system given my  Medicare was also  misleading ( Brookdale) – Westlake Village was given a 5  out of 5  star , comforting to  me when we chose this facility  and also  the staffing as “above average” – I don’t know who at Medicare rates these facilities but this was not in any  way  a 5 star facility unless the bar is set  very  low!!!!

Take a look at the first page ( first photo) of the report of the 5 facilities  4 received 4 out of 5 stars but each  of them has a rating of below average for staffing.  and one Lake Pointe Health  Care a 1.

NOTE: you  really  have to  do  your homework and that is hard when you  are having to  choose a facility  for a loved one during a traumatic time. I thought I  had done my  homework with  this facility. Since my  husband was in the University  Hospital system, as were all his doctors, I  checked and  Brookdale  had access to  either the Cleveland Clinic System and for us a doctor with  University  Hospitals.  It had taken me weeks of being “out of our system to  get him back into  UH.

I was happy  in our choice having done as much  research  as I  could , ratings , recommendations etc.  looking on line . https://www.brookdale.com/en/communities/brookdale-westlake-village.html?cid=yext

The trip from the Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital via “transport” was again a fiasco  of waiting  and  miscommunication as to  what sort of transport was needed.

Although  I had had problems at the Cleveland Clinic they  had been addressed  for the most part quickly  and efficiently , however we left on a sour note and with  “personal belongings in a large bag”.

Due to  the tension dealing with  Doc Martens  transport I didn’t realize that along with  my  husband carried by  one of the administrative staff to  the ambulance was  the lift pads and sling pad  from both  his bed and  wheelchairs  and various items .

 

The  lift pads/sling pads ( plastic)  we discovered later ,when I  looked into  the closet at Brookdale where the bag had been placed as personal effects   had fecal matter attached, bad enough  but considering this was also  contaminated with  C’diff  most worrying and dangerous in my  laypersons opinion.

Here we were bringing into  another facility  contaminated matter!!! This practice of transporting these items  should not occur , after all you  don’t know where they  have been.

This was not a good start to  our stay  and within 4 days I  was ready  to  pull my  husband out of this 5 star establishment ……. TO  BE CONTINUED…..

 

 

June 15, 2019 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

June 3rd – archeology of sorts- Chris Ritchey

Oh! the pond, what a pain I am having  with pumps , tubing and fish eating birds and animals. I have spent a small fortune on equipment this spring.  The winter weeks,  after your Dad was in the hospital, your brother-in law had to  stop  by a few times a week in the days of “polar vortex” to  make sure we kept a hole in the ice.  Just when I  thought I  had everything sorted last week , nets in place , aerators , new pump  and  filter system hooked up, and the waterfalls pump working and bringing at least me some  peace and happiness as I  watched the water cascading down the falls, of course, the waterfalls pump   stopped working.

 

Now nothing is easy  in this house, I could no  longer find the same pump , the tubing was too big, too small, and this pump  didn’t fit the old filter system. I tried as best I  could to  clean the filters every two  days and that is a horrible job. Why ??? because   your Ghost Koi needs air and clean water,  from  over forty  fish  we are down to  17 including “The Ghost”. Due to  my  diligence of filter cleaning every  couple of days the water is crystal clear. The offending pump  had to  be taken out and replaced. Heron apparently  don’t like ripples so making sure the water ripples means three pumps functioning .

 

I shut everything down and gingerly   balanced precariously  on the edge. The water was so  still and clear  I, for once, could see the very  bottom of the pond. The Ghost Koi loomed large – 10  years of eating and being king of the pond, he has grown to  a formidable size. As I  teetered and wobbled trying to  reach the old pump  under the falls, the thought crossed my  mind,

I  might end up  joining him… death  by  “pond life”,

he wasn’t actually  endearing me to  him in that moment and then I saw a glint of gold lying on the bottom.

I strained to  see what was shining up  at me and then I  realized it was a pair of your aviator sunglasses, you  too had been searching for the Koi that last summer ( a much  smaller little fish) and had dropped your  glasses  and there they  were still- where they  had fallen. A reminder of why I need to  protect and maintain the pond so  my  last Mother’s Day  gift from you  continues..the Ghost Koi…..

Those glasses  and ones like them that hid you  eyes from us when you  would hear the bad news the Doctors would tell  hiding tears  and pain.  Those same glasses that brought my  tears flowing once more a reminder of a life too short. and a son lost.

 

I suppose when we are gone and he pond is filled in will someone, in a time to  come, may dig the space   they might wonder how a pair of aviator glasses came to  be 4  foot underground and the story  behind them… a curiosity  for the future…… the missing of you, our love   and memories that should have been  can sometime cripple………

 

June 3, 2019 at 8:55 am 2 comments

Medical Care – a consumer’s perspective-Cleveland Clinic Rehab Hospital

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/the-ratings-of-medical-facilities-series-it-begins/

Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/medical-care-from-a-consumers-perspective-ohio/

Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/medical-care-a-consumers-prospective-mercy-health-lorain/

Part Fourhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-mercy-health-lorain-2/

 

Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital Avon Ohio, was NOT on the list of 34 facilities given to  us by  Mercy Health social workers – Lorain Ohio.  I  did some research  on my  own, went to  the internet and to  my  facebook page and asked local friends if they  had had good or even poor experiences with  facilities in the area. Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital came up as being a good facility.  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/locations/rehabilitation-hospital/specialties

My  daughter and I  spent a Thursday  morning touring the facility. It has all the benefits of a hospital doctors  , rehabilitation therapists,  nurses,  aides and the focus is of course on rehabilitation. The facility  is only  a few years old and shiny  , white and extremely  clean. The rooms were large , bright and airy. We were most impressed with  the rehabilitation area and the state of the art equipment .

However, my  husband ( due to  Medicare Insurance  rules) apparently  could only stay  for 19  days.  It is my  belief  he probably  should have been released to  that facility  further along in his recovery. He was paralyzed down one side  and was on a plethora of medications. One which  was given to  him at Mercy  by the “ghost dr.” which  causes confusion etc. Again not being a physician and not knowing at the time he was even on this medication I was also  unaware  that in order to  combat the confusion ( also  he was on pain killers) he was being given another drug for Alzheimers.

I must interject here as to  hospital to  hospital transportation, I  wish  I  had something good to  say , you  really  are at the transporters “mercy”. The time arranged   leaving Mercy to  the Clinic was supposed to  be 11 a.m However, although  I  was supposed to  follow him to  the new facility  I  couldn’t by  6 in the evening after waiting hours and hours I went home and told them to  call me when he was being transported . You  see I  had to  sign the admittance papers and permission to  treat. At 9:00 p.m. I  called the Clinic who  told me that it was so  late he would probably  now be transported the following morning . I went to  bed only  to  be called at 11:15 by  the Cleveland Clinic Nurse that he had been sent to  them a few minutes prior  and could I  give the permissions verbally. ( This was not the only hiccup with transport).

I was, on the whole, extremely  pleased with  this facility  but it was not all good news. Once again the rehab staff were wonderful, and it was so  organized, you  knew exactly what he would be doing and when, I  was very  impressed with  the rehab staff, also  the cleaning staff once again were in the rooms every  day  and sometimes more than once. The nurses were for the most part very  professional and helpful as were 80 percent of the aides.

My  husband needed help  initially from two  and on some occasions three individuals to  see to  his needs. The confusion caused by  the drugs  did not help, that and the weakness and immobility of his left side. He had to  learn to  use his vocal cords  again ( which were stretched due to  the intubation) . It was a few days before I  realized he was still taking the medication for gout  which  should have been stopped at Mercy.  The medication Colchicine, can  and does cause diarrhea  and stomach  upset. The gout symptoms had abated and he really  should not have been still on this drug , especially  since it does also react with  Digoxin  but of course I  was unaware he was on this drug as well.

I  did insist since the diarrhea was an issue  they  stop the Colchicine. I also , once I  found out he was on Digoxin  ( Lanoxin),  they  stop or change that medication    BUT and here is the issue  it seems that doctors at this facility  and other facilities in the chain are loathe to  change another “specialists” diagnosis and treatment.  This was a huge problem  for us. One because we were out of our network and OUR team of physicians and specialists who  knew his history  and his courses of treatment we had to  rely  on basically  strangers to  his situation.

Therefore I  started asking for a daily  list of all his medications

Once he was off the Colchicine he stomach  upset went away. BUT not for long  a woman in the next room came down with  C’diff https://www.cdc.gov/cdiff/what-is.html . Now it was put to  us that my  husband came down with  this due to  the huge amount of antibiotics he was taking and had taken. BUT that is not the whole story:

IF the lady  in the next room and not had the infection first I would not have done more research thinking  it was because of the antibiotics . Although  the staff were for the most part adhering to   handwashing etc protocol not all of them did . Infact  I  would say  20  percent of the aides were lax in that area. I  actually  had to  throw away  his cellphone as it somehow became covered in fecal matter ( C’diff contamination) and was put on the bedside table. My  husband was incapable of having reached the table.  I  will say  that for the most part the aides and nurses did respond to  his call light in a timely  manner.

One aide,  in particular, left a lot to  be desired, from his treatment of my  husband  and his response times were not great, his laxness in this area and lack  of hand washing protocol  was a great concern.

 

Please understand a patient is in pain  and although  they  had been told of the back injury   it took at least a week for them to  address the situation ( it hadn’t been addressed at Mercy so  not on his record) , which  meant sitting in one position or laying ( when you  are partially  paralyzed) can be unbearable and since you  can’t move  the aides had to  do  it for him. This did cause “some ” of the aides  frustration and it showed.

Chris Ritchey Face book icon

 

There was  another aide  who also  needed to  be retrained or let go  in my  opinion.  I came into  find my  husband half in  and half out of the bed, the top  sheet wrapped around him and soaked with  water. Actually  I  had just walked into  the room with  one of the hospital administrators, so  she did witness the situation. She immediately  went to  work taking care of my husbands comfort. The aide , when she was called , said he spilled water on himself… remembering the jug was on a table  out of his reach and he was not able to  move his left arm at all, that scenario was very  unlikely. I looked at this aide and said:

“so  he spills a jug of water all over his bedding and you  leave him laying in it?”  

The aid turned to  me and said:

“SORREEEEEEE”( in a very  sarcastic tone)

I then turned to  the administrator ( names available) and said

“she is done I  don’t want her anywhere near my  husband

The administrators at the Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation hospital did address my  concerns but as I  told them what stopped them from getting  great review  on the place as a whole in my  opinion  was 20 percent of their “aides”  and it was those 20  percent that  caused situations that should not have happened, but it is those situations you  remember .

HEALTHCARE IS A HUGE BUSINESS AND EVEN THOUGH  WE THE CONSUMERS ARE PRETTY  MUCH  AT THEIR MERCY (NO  PUN INTENDED) WE ARE STILL CONSUMERS PAYING FOR A SERVICE.

We were assigned one doctor for my  husband and he called in others as needed  such  as another cardiologist, ultra sound  etc.  The doctor was quite nice, spoke very  softly but with  a heavy  accent so  I  was once again forever asking him to  repeat what he was saying and every time he was in the room he was costing ( according to  the bills I  received) 350 to  500 dollars for up to  35 minutes. I should go  through  the dates to  see how many  times a day  but considering I received 74 pages of bills each  page having at least 5 charges on them I am honestly  too tired to  do  the homework.

The discharge date  ( the 19 days being almost up) I was given another list of this time 54 “skilled nursing facilities ” for the next part of the journey  and this time I  did have time to do  some homework……….. To  Be continued

 

Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital gets a B plus…. it was an A minus  But then that C’diff situation  was made worse…… more on that as we continue….

 

 

 

May 27, 2019 at 10:02 pm 1 comment

A rusty old boat and tale of the Lighthouse.

Lorain Lighthouse – Lorain 365 ( L. Miller)

 

Taking a break from the series of “healthcare USA” to  tell the tale of a rusty  old metal  boat, not really  wanted anymore , not much use, holes in the bottom,two  or three paint colors interspersed with  the rust. BUT she has a tale to  tell this old girl , she carried the volunteers out into  the lake and to  the Lorain Lighthouse on many  a day.

Lorain Lighthouse , the history  of the previous and current lighthouses can be found here https://lorainlighthouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Lorain-Lighthouse-History-1917-2017.pdf  on the webpage of http://www.lorainlighthouse.com .

1965 the United States Coast Guard had no  further use for the “Lorain Light “and she was slated for demolition . Fate intervened and people rallied to  Save the Lighthouse.  1966 the Lorain Light was decommissioned and a five year lease was given. Unfortunately , things didn’t go  as planned, the lease expired  and the Coast Guard turned the property  over to  the General Services Administration .

1974  and bids were put out to  purchase the Lorain Lighthouse. A community  rallied around , politicians , businesses , historical societies, local and state government got behind the saving of  what has now become the ICON of ALL THINGS LORAIN. Ironic when you  think just a few decades ago  she was scheduled to  be demolished. Now of course every  where you  look  she is used in advertising, promotions, fodder for the photographers, she is Lorain!

But what of those volunteers mentioned in the “history ”  the ones that took on a huge project to rehab , maintain and make her beautiful once again, they  had to  make the journey  from the shore to  the light.   The history  tells   one such  operation in the many  years of restoration and bring in the “light”  was “Operation Lighthouse”

 “Operation Lighthouse” took about 17 days to complete with multiple delays due to inclement weather that made trips out to the Lighthouse risky.

and there it is our segue from land to  shore and back  again – a rusty  old blue battered boat that has sat in many  places over the years , in wind and weather no-one particularly caring for her. And yet it was this boat that took those volunteers time and time again safely  to  and from the Lighthouse in order to  save her .

This rusty  old tub has a new home , delivered by  volunteers on Lorain Pride Day  to  between 2nd and 1st streets on Oberlin Avenue.

photo Lisa Miller

The area just west of Eric Barnes Heroes Walk, south  of Settlers’ Watch , where a replica carved from a tree stands in the children’s garden

, north  of Lorain Utilities parking lot and positioned pointing to  the Lorain Lighthouse, near the Lighthouse shed

and the Lorain Portside sign.

photo Tracy Isenberg

She has been beached , and soon will be landscaped and loved once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her contribution to  the Lorain Lighthouse recognized, a reminder of those volunteers. In weeks to  come she will be tied to  granite pylons, sea grasses and plants will adorn her area , white gravel and blue glass mulch , roping, a lick  of paint here and there  and new lettering  and love will anchor this old lady  of the lake .  The volunteers and people who  saved the Lighthouse deserve such admiration and recognition. I hope they  will remember the old blue boat with  a fondness and smile as she settles in her new home promoting  and recognizing  the Lighthouse .

I often think if everyone who  used the likeness of the Lorain Lighthouse  and actually  make money  from her likeness  would donate a few dollars to  the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation they  would never have to  ask for any  money  again.

Photo Mark Teleha

Such  is the tale of a Lighthouse in Lorain and an old rusty  blue boat, together again …..

Photo courtesy  of http://www.lorainlighthouse.com

The Lorain Lighthouse Foundation, Inc is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1989 by a group of civic leaders wanting to preserve Lorain’s historic lighthouse. The foundation is a volunteer group looking to preserve a unique part of our local history – the Lorain Lighthouse.

Your donation can help the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation, Inc. to maintain “The Jewel of the Port” as one of Lorain’s most famous landmarks. All gifts to preserve and maintain the Lorain Lighthouse are fully tax-deductible.

Lorain Lighthouse
319 Black River Lane
Lorain, OH 44052

 

May 21, 2019 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

May3rd – Mothers and sons – Chris Ritchey

1st Mother’s Day card- Christopher Ritchey

I still have your first Mother’s Day  card and  all the little gifts through your childhood years, they  along with  the ones from your sister are still here in bedrooms, living room, den  and kitchen. Chubby  little handprints in clay , adorn walls along with art work and memories of happier Mother’s days.

This coming Mother’s Day is a first  because for the first time in my  life I will not have my  mother your Nana to  help  celebrate. Coincidentally, when Nana retired and came to  live here she arrived on Mother’s Day of that year  and now I  have lost you  and her. Although   little gifts of mine she had kept still wait to  be dusted in her little living room.

And then there is your last Mothers Day  gift to  me , the ghost koi.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/ghost-in-the-pond-a-koi-story/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/the-ghost-in-the-pond-continues/

Oh Chris what a few days I  have had protecting him, by  far the largest fish  in the pond  , he is so  big. BUT that damned Heron who  arrived last year is back again bigger than ever and now two  others  come to  call. I  have set up obstacle courses around the perimeter, tried all the “get rid of Heron” tips. Climbed over slippery  moss-covered rocks, wobbled on the edge hoping my  knee will not all of a sudden decide it has had enough. moved shelves for the fish  to  hide, all in vain the “angel of death ” just laughs at me as he circles over head.

Nothing deters him ,  he cruises in on huge blue wings  and lands on a dime.  He and his buddies have depleted my  lovely  fat goldfish by  half , some of which  have lived in that pond for 13 years since you  helped dig the “new one” .

He partially  eats them, or drops them  and others he swallows whole.  It is a bit like living with  grief as it swallows one whole or takes bites out of you  daily. We have lost at least 14 of the big goldfish and  the smaller ones….   well who  knows. The ones that are left huddle at the bottom of the pond close to  your Ghost Koi – protection –

I don’t know but they  don’t stray  far from him. . I will battle on with  this “angel of death” beautiful though  they  are  so  I  can keep  the “ghost” and the memory  of that last  Mother’s Day  as I watched you  slipping him into  the pond.

I am so  proud of you  my  son and love you  through  eternity …..

Breath of Life – Celtic Knot – Chris Ritchey

May 3, 2019 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

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