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Sat. Feb 8 to Fri. Feb 14- Sun City

Saturday- We went to lunch at Café Zupas and dinner with MaryAnne and Ray at  Rosie’s Italian Café.  Bob went grocery shopping.  MaryAnne and Donna came over and we played Maj. I kept my leg elevated the rest of the time.

Sunday- I usually hate the seat in our shower, but with having to keep no weight on my left foot, when the boot is off, I am really appreciating being able to sit in the shower. I sit on the seat, and Bob takes off the boot, the sock, and the ace bandage. I shower, then Bob helps me dry the left leg. He puts everything back on, and I stand up, and step out of the shower stall. It is working well!

Shower Seat

We did our usual Sunday tasks. Bob ran to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. We had dinner at home and signed up for CBS All Access to catch up on the Star Trek and Good Fight series.

Monday- We worked on our travels this summer. We cannot seem to get any reservations at State or Federal Parks. They are already booked for the summer. Also, we are finding the prices have skyrocketed. When we first started to travel, the sites were $15 to $20 a night. Now, they are $40 to $65, if you can get a reservation! Wow! Even with all of our discounts! Passport America is usually half price, but still, half of $63 is still expensive! Also unfortunately, Passport America is only useful for non-summer times.

Exel arrived at around 10 to clean the new rug. It looks terrific!

I left for a Chiro appt at 2, driving myself. I had tried the car, and if I put the seat all the way back, I can get in and the boot is not in the way of the brake. So once I am in, I put the seat back up, closer. I have to do this each time I drive, but it beats poor Bob having to drive me everywhere!

Tuesday- I went to Maj from 10-12. I did well, playing with Allen and Donna. I returned, ate lunch, and kept my leg up. I am able to sleep in the ankle brace instead of the boot, so that has made life much better than if I had to use the boot.

Wednesday- I went to Maj from 10-12 and had a great time. I returned and put my leg up. Bob has been working on various tasks around the rig. He re-charged our water softener and changed the water filter in the refrigerator door. He also cleaned the coffee pot, as it let us know it needed to be cleaned. LOL.

Koda had her yearly check-up and received her Rabies and DPT shots. She has been licking again, so the Vet also gave her an allergy shot. They also did her heart worm test, which was negative. We had never seen this before! The Vet mashed a treat onto the exam table. Then Koda was so busy licking the table to get the treat, that she never noticed the shots! What a great idea!

We returned home, they ate, walked, and then poor Koda started reacting to the shots. Poor baby, the sites of the shots were very sore and she looked miserable. I could tell by her eyes. She spent the whole evening in my lap. Roxie knew something was wrong and left her alone.

Thursday- Koda was back to normal, which is pretty active! No more pain at the injection sites and her eyes look normal. She and Roxie even played.

I went to Maj again. We worked some more on our travels, then I went for a Mani at 2:30. Kris was able to get me in for an appointment on short notice.

Friday- Happy Valentines Day and Happy Birthday Koda! It is Koda’s 3rd birthday. She really has come a long way in the last year. We had a quiet day.

Koda birthday

Sat. Feb. 1- Fri. Feb. 7- Sun City and Acute Rehab

Saturday to Monday-  MaryAnne and Donna came over to play Maj on Saturday. That really helped me mentally! Bob stayed for dinner. On Sunday, Bob brought the dogs over again. The weather was beautiful, with bright blue skies and temps in the 70’s, so we met up on the outside patio.

Coblat 2

They thought it was interesting sniffing.

Monday and Tuesday we prepared for me to go to the Doctor’s office on Wednesday. One of the OT’s, Karen, took me outside, with Bob and I transferred from the wheelchair, using the walker, to the car. I did it perfectly, without any issues.

Wednesday was the day I was waiting for… I had PT at 7AM. Ugh! I requested to use one of their wheelchairs, as I knew I would have my feet down for a long period of time. The park’s wheelchair had foot rests but not leg rests. Every time I had the chance, I had my feet elevated to keep the swelling down. So the PT found one for me. At 8, I went to breakfast. Bob arrived at 8:30, and at 8:50, transport arrived. They required me to go in their wheelchair van, but Bob could go with me in the van. We took the short ride to CORE to see my Doc.

We arrived early, as my appt. was at 10:30. But we only waited about 10 minutes and they took us in. I saw the assistant who unwrapped my leg, then the Medical Student took out my six stitches. She did it very well without any pain! They added some steri- strips to one area. The Doc came in, and looked at my foot. I thought it was swollen ( it was) but they all said it was not too bad. Most folks are worse.

He made me weight bearing as tolerated ( full weight bearing). I had to get it in writing for Cobalt, which he did. Then I was off to the room to get the ‘boot’. It turned out that CORE is not contracted with my insurance provider for the durable medical equipment. They are for the Doc’s and Therapy. So no boot! EEEK, I was so ready to walk!!!

The boot tech gave Bob information on two places to get the boot. One was across the street from CORE, on Grand Ave, which was a hike. We had called for the Wheelchair Van, so Bob had to hurry. They would not give Bob a boot until Monday! They had to get the insurance permission. Bob hustled to get back before the van arrived in an hour and 10 minutes.

So when the van driver arrived, we went back to Cobalt. We went straight to lunch. From lunch,  I went straight to OT and Bob went to get me a boot at the second place. I gave the PT the paperwork, and they found me a boot ,for my 2:30 PT session. I had to walk up and down stairs well, which I easily did. Its down with the bad leg, up with the good leg. I progressed from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane in a few minutes. No pain! Yippee, freedom! Bob arrived with my boot, and we switched. We also changed wheelchairs.  That evening I walked into the cafeteria, using the cane, to cheers and high fives. People moved in and out of the hospital quickly, so we would do that when someone was getting ready to leave!

They would not let me leave on Wednesday afternoon. They did not say so, but as a CM I knew, that the hospital does not get paid for the day that the patient leaves. So they kept me until the next morning.

Thursday- Bob came to pick me up at 8:30. During my stay at the Rehab Hospital, I was seen daily by the Nurse Practitioner, Angel, and by the Rehab Doc, Dr. Bagley. So both had to write the discharge orders. It took the nurse until almost 11:30 to get the orders.( On Tues and Thurs they have care conference).  We finally left at 11:45 and Bob drove me home. I had to get up the motor home steps which are high and narrow, so Bob went in ahead to get the happy dogs corralled. I made it in okay and greeted my furry gals!  Bob ran to the Elks Lodge to pick up lunch.

We ate and then took a nap. We had a quiet evening.

Friday- it was a quiet day for us, as I was busy keeping my legs elevated. Koda had an issue with peeing on the new rug. This started right after we had taken her in for her allergies, before I went to surgery. She did not have a UTI,so Bob and I brainstormed and decided it was the medicine. Bob stopped the medicine, while I was still at Cobalt,  and it worked. She no longer was peeing in the rig. I asked Bob to please have the rug cleaned, so he called Exel and set it up for Monday morning.

Sat. Jan 25 to Fri. Jan. 31- Sun City- Acute Rehab Hospital

The days mostly run together through this time, so again, I will put them all together. Nothing happened on the weekend about getting me moved to acute rehab, as the insurance was closed for the weekend. So I continued to sit in Banner Boswell Hospital.

Below is a picture of my cast.

Cast 4

I still had PT and OT each day, as both were required to be transferred to acute rehab. I definitely progressed. I spent most of the day up in a chair. Bob visited every day I was in the hospital, bringing me my decaf coffee and other items. I read a lot of books!

On Monday morning I called Cobalt, again, and told the admission gal that she needed to send the authorization request to Orthonet.  The nurse read me the CM notes in the chart and they all said that the auth request was going to United Health Care. The nurse, Luz, called Diane the TCS, and told her what I was saying, again!

Evidently, it finally got through to them, that they were sending the request to the wrong place! Tuesday morning, the CM came to me and said I would be leaving for Cobalt Acute Rehab Hospital. I was picked up around 2 and transferred via wheelchair transport. This was one week after surgery! I had paid my deductible, so the hospital, since they had me under observation, has to eat the cost. If not. we will appeal, as it was their fault I was still there!

I arrived and settled in. The nurse checked me in, and per my request, found me a recliner to sit in during the day. My room was huge. It was the size of two hospital rooms. There were several bad things about this. The TV was on the wall across the room and was small, so it was hard to see. The second floor wing that I was on, was originally built as a Memory Care Unit. There was a sleeping room for staff connected and a big window in the corner with no curtain, so for privacy, and to keep the light out at night, I had to have the big hospital curtain pulled. One night, one of the staff decided to watch TV in the room, and the light woke me up. I called the nurse, and he looked and realized what had happened. He turned off the lights and I did not have that problem again!

The staff took me via wheelchair for my meals to the cafeteria. The food was mostly pretty decent, but they had too much beef. I guess to build us up…. many nights Bob would have dinner with me. MaryAnne and Donna came over several afternoons and we played Maj. That was really wonderful!

I had PT and OT 3x a day. I had to hop, using a walker, 80 ft. around the room. I could do about 50 ft. with out sitting down, which was pretty good! I did a lot of work in the parallel bars.  PT was 2x a day and OT was 1x.  The first OT was seeing how well I did taking a shower. Yahoo! First shower in over a week! I was so happy! It really is the little things in life…the other therapists said that Pauline is always the most popular person, since she does the showers the first day!

PT was hard work. OT was much more fun. Some of the time, the OT was a group session. One day we played balloon badminton with a racket and a net. They lined us up in wheelchairs, four, on each side of the net and batted the balloon back and forth.  We hooped and hollered and everyone had a great time. It was also a great way to meet other patients.

Another OT session, I had to stand, in the walker, on my good leg and place playing cards up on a board, matching the cards that were there. Another time I had to stand and do a puzzle, on the table. Another time we were just batting a balloon back and forth. The gal next to me hit it to me. I could barely reach and accidently hit it up. It hit the vent and  popped. It startled all of us, and the OT was afraid someone was going to have a heart attack. We were all okay and laughing!

Bob brought the dogs over one day! Roxie is an expert in the elevator, but this was Koda’s first time. She was pretty freaked out. At least she did not pee in the elevator! She crouched down close to the floor to steady herself. Then she crouch walked out of the building when they left!

Bob told them to find me, so they checked every room until they arrived near the end of the hall where my room was… then they were excited. Bob let them loose in the room with the door closed. They each jumped up in my lap. Then they would sniff, the up in my lap again. Finally, they were ready to go, so they sat in front of Bob. Bob asked them if they were ready to go, and Roxie barked one time! It was a hoot, she headed to the door…   Koda at Cobalt (1)

Above is Koda in my lap. Bob did not get a pic of Roxie…

As I progressed, I was given more” privileges’”. (You would think I was in jail!) First, Bob was allowed to watch me transfer, without anyone else present. Then I was allowed to transfer from the bed to the toilet. Then I was allowed to transfer from wheelchair to the recliner, then wheelchair to bed ( except at night, they wanted someone there for safety if I needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I was okay with that.) I had to hop during the transfers, using the walker. Once I could transfer, then I was able to wheel myself down to the cafeteria by myself.

Sat. Jan .18 to Fri. Jan. 24- Sun City and Surgery

Saturday- We did some errands. We went to Target and Famous Footwear. The shoe horn I have been using broke, so we needed a new shoe horn. They had a nice, plastic, long one. $5. We dropped off books at the library.

For dinner, we picked up MaryAnne, and we went to the Lakeside Grill. We each had a nice dinner.

Sunday- We cleaned the rig, did laundry, and all of our Sunday tasks. We basically had  a quiet day, including taking the dogs to the dog park.

Monday- Rushing to get everything done before my surgery tomorrow. At 3 I had a massage to get ready for sitting and laying down a lot! The hospital called while I was on the way home, to ask me to be there at 7:30 instead of 8:30. When I arrived home,  I texted MaryAnne to let her know, as she and Ray are going to stay with Bob during the surgery. They are not early morning folks, so she said that they would meet us at 8:30.

Tuesday- We were up early. Bob ate an orange and walked the dogs.( Linda walked the dogs for us during the day).  We easily found where we needed to be at the hospital. I checked in and was taken right back. Bob waited in the waiting room. MaryAnne and Ray arrived at 8:30.

Meanwhile, I was doing everything that needed to be done. They were really cautious about infection; I was certainly glad about that! The nurses took vital signs and put in the IV.

The Nurse Anesthetist showed up with a Nurse Anesthetist student. They prepared me for two blocks. The Anesthesiologist showed up, and monitored the student giving me the blocks. This was very different from the arm block. They did a block on the inside and the outside of my leg, from the thigh. I could still feel my leg. With the arm block, I could not feel my arm, at all. The blocks are done under ultrasound, so that they can see the nerves that they want to block. It was not comfortable (an understatement), but “short term pain, long term gain” ! Needless to say, my job was to stay still and not move!

Dr. Holmes arrived and marked the leg that he was operating on…They brought back Bob, MaryAnne and Ray. Then I was off to the OR. Bob et al, went to breakfast.

I woke up in the PACU, about 2 hours later. They brought Bob in to see me, then transferred me up to the floor, 4A, in the same bed. Bob said that Dr. H had come out and told him that everything went well and that I was being admitted. (We thought that meant that I was actually admitted, but I was placed in Observation. That means that I was not on Medicare A, I was on my secondary insurance. Last Friday, the hospital had called and collected my deductible.)

Bob, MaryAnne and Ray visited with me in the room. I ate lunch, and Bob, MaryAnne and Ray went to the cafeteria for lunch. They all had pretty good tamales!  Then they left, and Bob stayed with me until after dinner.

The end of the bed was broken, and would not raise. Since my surgery was on my ankle, and I needed to keep it elevated, I complained to a staff member. She literally said, “ put it on your survey”. HUH??? Other than that, all of the Nurses and CNA’s were terrific! The PT asked several times for me to be moved to a different bed! I kept my leg propped up on pillows.

Wednesday-Thursday-Friday- The days all ran together, so I am going to just give you an overview. I know that on Wednesday I had PT and the CM came in to speak to the lady in the next bed, Sandra. I asked the CM if she had heard anything, and while walking thru, she just said she was working on it. This was the beginning of the nightmare.

Sandra was deaf, and she had the TV at full blast. I had to ask her to turn it down. I asked the nurse to get her a headset, which they had, and that problem improved!

The nightmare is about my discharge! I should have been discharged on Wednesday. I was ready to go to the Acute Rehab Hospital, Cobalt, which is located in Surprise, and only about 8 minutes from Paradise. My time in Cobalt is covered under Medicare A, or at least it should be….

Thursday I had PT and OT. I never saw the CM again. It was crazy, as I was waiting to be transferred. Finally, in the afternoon I called Cobalt and left a message asking what was going on. I also left the message that the request for authorization had to go to Orthonet, NOT United Health Care (UHC).

I received a message back, that I was accepted, and that they were working on the authorization. The nurse checked with the CM at the hospital and the Doctors were starting to be very frustrated that I was sitting there still, as their bonuses are based on Length of Stay (LOS). Remember, I worked on the Observation Unit at Del Webb, and our goal was to have our Observation Patients out within a max of 18 hours.

I kept being told, by everyone, that since the first of the year, they had been having trouble with authorizations from all the insurance companies. So Friday came and went with me having PT and OT each day. I was doing very well and had stopped using the port-a-potty and moved to hopping to the bathroom, using the walker. I had been using the walker with transfers from the beginning.

The food mostly tasted okay, but the kitchen, on only 2 meals, got my order correct. That was out of 12 meals!

My CM friend, Annette, had visited me several times while I was there. Allan and Donna stopped in for a quick visit; MaryAnne had also visited again. 

On Friday, because they had discharged a lot of patients, they needed to re-arrange patients. The supervisor, not the nurses, decided since I was a light patient, that they would transfer me to 4B, the other Ortho floor. I only agreed it they would move me into another bed. They agreed, and I was moved. I hated leaving the staff, as I really liked everyone!

One of the things that I did discover, was that they have taken most of the CM’s and transferred them to Mesa, near the Banner Corporate Office. They are no longer in the hospital, like I was, when I worked for Banner. Annette is working in the ER at Banner Boswell, where I was, on Saturdays, and Banner Del Webb where I used to work, on Mondays. She was also working some extra fill in shifts.  The gal that I thought was a CM, was actually a TCS. Not sure what the initials mean, other than she was doing a lousy job!

Sat. Jan 11 to Fri. Jan. 17- Sun City

Saturday- We had a girls lunch at the 5n;Diner. MaryAnne had organized it. Linda, Karen, Donna, and one of MaryAnne’s neighbors was there. They gave me a bag full of fun stuff for pre-surgery. Unfortunately, it included a lot of chocolate which Bob and I ate! It was a lot of fun and thank you to all of them!

Sunday-  We did our usual Sunday tasks. We took the dogs to the dog park. There were a lot of people and dogs there today. We have been binge watching ‘Anne with an E’ on Netflix, when we can get on Netflix. It is a great show! We have also watched the Irishmen.

Monday- I was off to a 9 AM OT appt. We ate lunch, then I went to another MD appointment at 2. Then we had our second hour of training for Koda.

Tuesday- I had the Retired Nurse’s breakfast at 9. Half way through, during the speaker, I had to run to the bathroom. Hmmm, I think I had food poisoning from the Eggs Benedict on Saturday. I have had worse food poisonings, but I had asked for the yolk to be partially cooked. So I only had a little runny yolk. Good thing.

I started having cold sweats and the room was fading in and out. I had to drive home, which was not good. Fortunately, it was close by. I made it home, but Bob had to assist me into the rig. I slept for 3 hours in the afternoon.

Wednesday- Yea, the stickers for our tags arrived! Bob changed them out, putting the SD tags on the car, with the 2020 date stickers. Our temp tags were scheduled to run out at the end of January. I had a 2:30 OT session.

Thursday- I played Maj in the morning. We had 4 tables playing. All that teaching the last 2 years has paid off! I had a mani/pedi scheduled for 1 PM. Bob went with me and waited in the car. From there we went to the Hawkins Movie Theater to see the new Star Wars movie. I love that theater! They have comfy recliners. We enjoyed the movie.

I ordered a nice fruit plate from Edibles for the OT office, to be delivered on Monday.

Friday- I had to change my Chiro appt. on Tuesday, so I went this morning at 8:30. Then on to the OT at 9:30. This was my last OT appt. He gave me some therapy putty and new instructions on what to do at home. I thanked everyone and said my good-byes.

At 1 PM, I had my hair cut. I had her cut it short in the back, so that it won’t look mushed when I am in bed so much. Then we ran to Costco, Sam’s Club,and Walmart. I forgot, somewhere in all these days, Bob and I went with Karen to Sam’s Club to buy new batteries for the rig. Bob put them in, and returned the old ones. While we were in Sam;s we found enough items that we cannot get at Costco, so we joined. The gas is the same price, but no line at Sam’s.

Bob had the beer pot luck at 4, no one showed. So he is not sure he is going to continue.

Sat. Jan. 4 to Fri. Jan. 10- Sun City AZ

Saturday- We went to the park craft fair. Bob rented a rug cleaning machine and cleaned the rugs. We picked up a walker, wheelchair and a really nice knee scooter for me to use post surgery. The park has two storage units with medical equipment that we can borrow.  We stored them in our storage shed.

Sunday- Another quiet day. We stayed home and relaxed after our usual Sunday tasks.

Monday- We had a phone meeting with Karen from Dakota Post, our mail forwarding service, about the tags for the car. At 2:30 I had my next OT appointment. The OT facility is away from us. We are on 109th street and it is on 59th street, a couple of miles to the south. So I spend a lot of time driving back and forth.

I  had to race back to pick up Bob as we had a training appt. at 4 for Koda. Petsmart, at Christmas, had a BOGO for training. So we purchased 1 hour, which gave us 2 hours. Koda did very well. We took Roxie with us. Roxie did everything also, which was really funny, but she wanted the treats!

Tuesday- I had my follow-up appointment with the GI Doc. He said the biopsy’s were normal, so I do not have to return for 10 years. Yea! Bob had Astronomy Club in the evening.

Wednesday- We had the Alfa Breakfast. There were 12 of us there. It was a lot of fun, of course. I raced back to set up for Maj. At 2, I had another OT appointment. I met up with everyone at 4, for the Welcome Back party given by the park. They serve us pizza and ice cream or cookies. We sat with our usual group. Linda and Mike had returned, but had left this morning to go to Yuma to have Dale put on new solar panels.

Thursday- During the week, I have been talking to the surgery scheduler, trying to get my labs over to her. Someone called about an ice machine, which I will be using. It will be delivered to the hospital. I also ran over to the Doctor office to pick up the form to get a handicap placard. We visited Cobalt, the rehab facility, that I want to go to, and we stopped at the DMV to pick up the handicap placard. It is a red, temporary placard, good for 6 months.

Friday-I had a 9 AM OT appointment. Since I have the Doc appt. this afternoon, he did all the measurements and wrote up his summary. He handed it to me to take to my Doc appt.  I had my follow up appt. with the PA for the hand surgeon. He was very pleased. I have one more week of OT.

At 7 pm, we had the first Beer Pot Luck that Bob is running. 3 other people showed up. We made plans to visit a brewery next Thursday. We have to call it a pot luck, due to the liquor laws.

Sat. Dec. 28 to Fri. Jan. 3 2020- Sun City AZ

Saturday-  A quiet day for us. We stayed home and relaxed, watching Netflix, when we can get on…Netflix is evidently very busy!

Sunday-  We did our usual tasks. Every day I am doing my PT exercises to strengthen my legs for surgery and my OT exercises for my hand. Those are 4x a day, so I stay very busy! We took the dogs to the dog park as the weather was nice.

Monday- I had a chiropractor appt. at 10:30. I returned, we ate lunch, then I went to my final, for the year, Physical Therapy appointment. They wished me good luck for the ankle surgery and I will see them again in February!

Tuesday-  I was off to my hand OT, at a 9AM appointment. We had a quiet afternoon and evening. It is New Years Eve, so at 10, we watched the ball drop and then went to bed.

Wednesday- Happy New Year! I went and played Maj in the morning. I returned in time to watch some of the dog show. At 3, we went to the Elks Lodge for the New Years Pot Luck. It was just okay…

Thursday- I played Maj at 10. We ate lunch and I went to my hand OT at 2:30. Since it is the new year, I had to pay for my therapy. Up until this appointment, I had met my deductible for last year, so I only had to pay $5 per visit before this. Since we have United Health Care(GEHA) as our secondary, the facility has a contract for $80 per visit. So that is what I paid per visit, for 2020. That all goes towards our deductible.

Friday- I had another OT appt. today at 10, then Bob and I went to lunch at Café Zupas. From there, I went for my lab work.