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I actually wanted to call this site Mental Illness in AZ, but the URL looked confusing as "mentalillnessinAZ.blogspot" Breakdown i...

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

How do single parents do it?

 How does anyone do this without a partnership? Seriously !!! A took time off to care for R and feels insecure about pulling her weight. Her other tasks involve coordinating care and benefits and that is a full-time job in itself. 

I can't imagine working my jobs and doing that on the side. No way. Endless phone calls that go round and round, waiting and waiting on hold or for an important callback. It's a pejorative term, but it's babysitting. Babysitting people into empathy, or even, in some cases, into competence. 

I've often said it's like the flip of a coin, you get someone willing to help and has the knowledge to do so, or you don't. It's the latter that takes all of your time. I still remember that one doctor from the trauma ward who gave us such a hard time. Everyone else was the best. But for her, we were an inconvenience she wanted gone. I can't really fault her too much because when you call in for customer service, or even support, these days you get a microcosm of that. Why? 

I have some thoughts, but they lead to profits over expenses. Training and manning the phone lines costs money and can be an afterthought. Sometimes, it's just plan laziness and they just want you off the phone as quick as possible. I think about this when I do my own jobs as I don't want anyone to think of me that way. We gotta do better out there. Some people really need help and shouldn't be turned away because it's too hard or complicated. Take the time to understand and help especially if you have a vital service like healthcare of any type of other vital services.

I remember A calling to sign up our son for  important services and being denied twice. His care team didn't understand why and neither could we. We even obtained a lawyer to help us navigate the application process. Then, A decided to try one more time and got a representative that took the time to walk her through the application properly and voila! we got 'em . . . finally !!! Such a relief and it feels good until you realize that it should be this way always, for everyone. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Leaving the hospital. . . finally !!!

This wasn't the Level 1, psychiatric facility. Not this time. It was the bonafide main medical campus adjacent to the ER, trauma center and ICU. Our "home" for nearly 3 weeks. 

I'll never forget the day, yet, sadly, I don't remember the exact date. Part of the retrograde journaling effort unfortunately. 

On this day,  I realized the healthcare support system was ultimately unsupportive for patients and family outside the building. So many things went wrong and we had nowhere to turn except ourselves. 

First, an actually foremost, the physical therapist recommended the wrong transfer board. Thank goodness A and the medical supply person, insisted we buy the 60 inch. Anything shorter would have been disastrous. No disrespect as the PTs were nice and accommodating, but everything recommended to us was wrong as we discovered in the end.

We brought our van around to the already crowded patient loading area and wheeled R to the passenger side so we could lead with his bad leg. He freaked out, understandably so, yet tried as best as he could. He begged for "medical transport" which was an option we didn't know much about, but tried to find out quickly.

No one could helps us. We called the wing where we "lived" for 3 weeks, the case manager, the nursing staff and nada. Someone said they would be down to help momentarily, but no one came. We inquired about the PTs helping us, but could not reach them. I think someone else mentioned a liability issue. We were on our own. 

Even other patients and their families felt sorry for us. A strong man offered to lift R into the vehicle, but his pelvis was too fragile. The case manager suggested Uber or Lyft and I spent close to an hour setting up my accounts only to find out that wheelchair accessibility support only existed in larger cities like L.A. (sigh). We tried to get van through a taxi service and took another 2 hours. If anyone is keeping track, that's 4 hours since R was dischanged and we circled the lobby looking for ideas. The taxi service was especially torturous since we were transferred several times and given confirmation numbers only to be lost in the system. Upon waiting past the expected time with no one coming, we called back only for the confirmation to be useless and had to start all over again. 

In the end, nearly 5 hours, we decided and convinced R to try again. A had the idea to use the driver side of our van instead. We performed the exact opposite of what the PTs told us. R led with his body, the strong side, instead of his damaged leg and funny enough, he made it into the van. We would end up using and perfecting this technique over the next month as we shuttled him around to various follow-up appointments. To this day, I can't believe this was our experience and I'm glad we have each other.