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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!

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