If there is any humor?

It has been hard to find humor in the past few weeks, and I can usually find humor in anything. I am sure at the end of this situation, there will be humor in the retrospect, however I have this little vignette of hilarity to share about last Saturday.

Disclaimer: Some of the names and places have been changed to protect the not so innocent, but mainly to prevent me from the lawsuits that could ensue.

Last Friday, we were informed that my MIL, Marilyn (real name) was to be released from Allegheny General Hospital (also real name), Fredricka, the social worker (not real name) called us on Friday morning at 7 AM to let us know and to tell us that we needed to take her to a step down unit and that we had to find one that day if we wanted one. Fredricka dropped the ball in my opinion and I have a complaint lodged against her with the higher ups at AGH, although they are not returning my calls. Fredricka says that she was not able to contact us for three days, and through gritted teeth I informed her that she had a home number, a work number and two cell phone numbers all with voice mail and that someone has been present at the hospital all three days and that she didn't try very hard, but that is another story. We make a phone call to Shady Pines (again not real name), recommended to us by our pastor (luckily he is an entire country away on a mission trip to the DR and Haiti and I will have cooled down by the time he gets back). We make all the arrangements on the phone (big mistake) and we have everything set up to take her there on Friday for STEP-DOWN. A two week stay for physical therapy and daily IV antibiotics. Through some mix-ups at AGH, she is not released until 9:30 PM (another complaint I would lodge if anyone would call me back) and my husband arrives at Shady Pines at 11:00 at night, gets her settled in and gets home at 1:30 AM and rants for another hour about how terrible the place is. We sleep, fitfully and get up and on our way to Shady Plains at 7:00 AM, my husband, step-daughter and I. We arrive there at 8 to see my MIL being pushed in a wheelchair by a cute little aid, talking all the way on her tour. What we see next and the chain of events that transpired have to be nothing more than something out of a cross between the Navy Seals and the Keystone Cops. The first thing that happens is an aide walks up to my MIL and gets real close to her face and says, "WEEEE AAAREE GOOOIIIINNNG TOOOO HAAAAVE A MEEEEETIIINNG ABOOOUUUT THEEEE NIIIINNNEETEEENNN FIIIIFFFTIIIIESS, WWWOUULLD YOOOUUUU LIIIIIKKKEEE TOOOO JOOOOIIIINNNN USSSSSS? This woman has a Facebook page, she texts on her cell phone, she is witty, she is current and they are very lucky at that point that she didn't drop the F bomb on the woman! Jenn and I look at one another and at the same time say, "We have to get her out of here!" and that was after Jenn, who really is not a touchy person had some guy grab her arm and pull on her. She makes that statement as she is scrubbing herself with hand sanitizer. I proceed to the desk and tell Nurse Cruella de Ville that while I am sure her facility is fine for some patients that it is not a good fit for my MIL and that we will be taking her home today. I thought I made it very clear in a very nice way and she took extreme offense, telling me that I could not do that. Of course, I informed her that this was America and that I could do whatever I wanted and that this was not a prison and that we were taking her home, NOW. She was again tried to tell me that I could not and I said something to the effect of "Watch this" We proceeded to her room, began packing with Cruella in tow, yapping all the way. My poor non-confrontational, keep everybody happy husband is trying to sooth things over, Jenn is trying to make light of the situation when I tell her that there is no humor in this now...maybe later, but not now. After many mishaps, including Jenn nicking the foot of another resident with the wheelchair and a rough ride out the back door and over grates in the pavement for my MIL, me moving the car while John is inside signing Against Medical Advice papers and then not knowing where we were, you had to see it all. From above we had to look like ants scurrying around a picnic. We brought her home, she was happy to be in her own home, we were able to set up visiting nurses for her, everything was going to be fine.
Unfortunately, she has a relapse on Sunday and had to be taken back to the hospital. I am comfortable that we did the right thing and I really feel that the relapse would have happened at Shady Pines also and I am afraid that had it happened there it might have been worse because of not being watched as close. We had to have an ambulance transport her to the local hospital where I completely threw a nutty (still not ready to find the humor in that one, maybe in another week and maybe by then my picture will no longer be posted in the security office) At any rate, they transported her by helicopter to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. We are still not sure whether the helicopter was for her health or to get rid of me.

She is in the recovery stage of her illness, now we have to make the choice of a skilled nursing or home. What decisions to make. We visited one yesterday, the big drawback, they schedule their two showers a week. Two showers a week? No wonder those places smell!


Balisha said…
My parents were in a facility at the same time. I went through much the same thing that you did. I called Sr. Services and got an ombudsman for seniors... and we went to the facility, without any announcement, and had an ambulance there to transport my parents home.
You really have to look out for elderly people...or anyone who has to be hospitalized. You did the right thing. Balisha
Balisha said…
We had much the same situation in my family. We got in touch with an ombudsman from senior services and went to the facility, unannounced, with an ambulance to take my parents home. You did the right thing. We all have to watch carefully, when loved ones are hospitalized. Take care...Balisha
Oh dear. Cathy, I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this.
I wish I could help with a suggestion for a nursing care facility, but I only know about a few around in my area and that would be much too far for you to go.
Hang in there and my thoughts are with you.
Ann said…
Cathty, My heart goes out to you and your family. What a mess! I'm glad that you put your foot down and followed through with taking your MIL home. I would have loved to see your look when they told you that you "couldn't" take your MIL out of their facility! A little customer service skills might be in order for them! ~Ann
Laurie said…
Whoa I feel for you, your family, and your MIL. What a story. No I'd find it hard to find the humor in it, and 2 showers a week!? Unbelievable! I wish you much luck in finding a suitable place. Wuite a few prayers won't hurt until the pastor gets back!
BRAVO for you!!! I had to do a similar scene for my Mom at the nursing home a few years ago while my brother just stands there looking at me like I was crazy. Yes, I admit I was acting crazy but I had to do something to get those idiots to understand that YES, my Mom was leaving with me come hell or high water. Gosh, makes me mad just thinking about it!!! Hope your MIL recovers soon and can be placed somewhere she can be happy and well taken care of. Hugs to you!!!!
Suzanne said…
I'm sorry you are having such a rough time of it. That sounds like a horrible experience. I hope things get better for your MIL and you all. Take care.
Tami said…
So sorry that you are going through all this. I believe there is nothing ever nice about any nursing home after working in one when I was youger and both my grandmothers being in one...I swore I would never put my parents in one. I will keep you all in my prayers!
pammyjo said…
I so hear your frustration. I had both parents in the hospital, then a nursing facility. It was one nightmare after another. They passed over now, but you can run your self crazy making things so right for them. I'd love to see you in action. Giggle. :)