This morning I arrived at the rehab center at eleven. I found Peg sitting in a wheel chair in the dining room deep in conversation with two ladies. I almost felt sorry to break it up. Anna her aid, knew we were leaving today, and hurried to make sure Peg got her lunch early. Just then a bevy of young girls dressed in white pants and a white top descended on the lunch room. An older woman seemed to be their commander. Their name tags read “Student” in big print with their name below it in small print. Each student was assigned to a senior to assist them with lunch. In this case most of the people there needed to be fed. What struck me funny was the total lack of experience these girls had. They eagerly attacked the job and began by asking their ward what they wanted for lunch by asking to make choices from their menus. One girl held the menu in front of the patient. Gert just flat out told her “I can’t see that.” The girl eagerly switched her strategy to reading the choices. One thing I learned from Peg is that a person with memory problems doesn’t make choices. They expect you to make the choice for them. The girls were eager learners and quickly adapted to a new strategy, and wound up making the choices for their patient. Feeding became another lesson. Initially the girls expected the patient to pick up the knife and fork and begin cutting things up. Gert merely stared at her plate and waited. Again, the young student got the cue and began cutting and feeding.
The girl who worked with Gert had beautiful black eyes, long black hair, olive white skin and a beauty that comes with being seventeen or eighteen. She got up to get something and as she passed I noticed her name tag, Jordan Morales. That makes sense I thought, she does look Hispanic, but Jordan? Somehow the name didn’t fit.
Peg finished her lunch and I wheeled her to the room to get the discharge process rolling. The nurse handed me a stack of instructions that looked impressive as heck. Upon returning home I spent about an hour studying them. All I can say is that God love Obama care. If these computerized instructions are what we will rely on to reduce health care costs the country is in a big bunch of trouble. Sure it was all computerized and yes, the entire rehab center was networked, and people were inputing data at many points along the floor. I’m sure someone is looking at reports to decide which aids are inputing data correctly, but does that constitute good care? The instructions are confusing, unclear, and redundant, and basically worthless.
We were glad to be out of there.
The Death Star rolled into the driveway at 1:37 this afternoon. I noticed a strange car parked at our drive with a woman in it. Ahh, the caretaker is early.
Having the caretaker in place allowed me the freedom to visit the drug store to pick up the prescriptions. The nurse gave me all of the drugs she had on hand for Peg. Two of the meds were in liquid form. Being liquid makes them easier to mix with food to hide the terrible taste. I went to Walgreens and asked for those two meds to be in liquid form. “The Doctor has to order it that way,” they said. “Do you want us to call the doctor to get his approval?” “Yes.”
The pharmacist-aid came back a few minutes later to tell me that the drugs I needed in liquid form are only available at pharmacies that have formulation capability. Walgreens did not have the capability. The end result is that I am faced with feeding Peg two horse pills twice a day. As my father kept telling me “don’t get old.”