Friday, February 1, 2013

Remember Me? Summary, Part 1

Blessings, Darlings!  Remember Me?

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Let me give you a quick summary of what I've been up to since the middle of November.  BTW - this 'quick summary' is going to take several blog posts.....

Around noon on Saturday, November 17, 2012, we got a call from my Mother In Law's live-in boyfriend called, saying "You better get here quick, she doesn't have long."  Uh ... what?  Turned out she had fallen in the kitchen and couldn't get up.  He and a neighbor had moved her to her bed .... where she was agitated and fallen out of it, too.  I insisted that he call an ambulance (which he was against calling, on the grounds that they couldn't afford the bill.  Never mind Medicare and co-insurance ... but more on the co-insurance later).  I won that battle, the ambulance was called and they took her to the hospital. 


My MIL being 92, no one should be surprised that the issue was a broken hip.  So the Hubby, as next of kin to his very confused Alzheimer's-stricken mother, had to decide what treatment path to follow.  Bed rest until ... healed? Surgery?  Would it require a hip replacement?  The surgeon didn't exactly burn up the lines getting in touch with us with details on what surgery would be required...   While we waiting for more details of the surgical options, I looked up probable outcomes.  None of them were good.  Huge likelihood of death (from infection from bedsores or other complications) if no surgery, huge likelihood of death (from general decline and other complications) if surgery.  But her level of pain would be reduced if the bone was surgically repaired.  So, we chose surgery, which fortunately would NOT include hip replacement.

Very few will be surprised that by that age, she was already on an assortment of medicine ... one of which was a blood thinner.  By the end of surgery (which was several days after the hip broke) she had needed several pints of blood and, due to the fall, was a bruised mess. 

Worse that that, going under anesthesia had made her Alzheimer's FAR FAR worse.  For a while she didn't know her name.  I don't know if she ever even remembered her boyfriend's name (she certainly recognized his face) or remembered the H at all.

Now .... where to go for 'rehab' after the hospital stay would end?  Only two places in her small city would take Medicare patients with Alzheimer's and dementia.  We picked the one with a slightly lower death rate of patients .... but after she got there we discovered that Medicare only covers 21 days.  After that she'd need to rely on medigap insurance or apply for Medicaid. 

But her boyfriend had fucked up payments on the Medigap insurance.  Hubby started to work on seeing if that could be fixed, we researched what was involved with getting her on Medicaid.  Oh, and guess what - the rehab place didn't have any available Medicaid beds, so at day 20 she was switched to the other rehab center, anyway.  Because we didn't know if the insurance thing would be resolved in her favor or not.

Oh, wait - I left another thing out.  We couldn't find the POA (power of attorney) giving Bob authorization to make medical decisions for his mother.  And there was no POA giving him authority over her finances.  We needed that to file for medicaid for her, and should have had that to work on the medigap insurance issues.  So we contacted an attorney chosen almost at random, and paid HIM almost $4K.

During all this, the H flew out there to try to go thru' all her insurance paperwork and such.  During THAT her boyfriend was ... shall we say uncooperative.  So much so that CH moved from staying at his Mom's house (not at ALL her in BF's name) into a hotel, and renting a car.  As if just getting emergency air tickets to her small city wasn't expensive enough.  With all this, our credit card was damn near maxed out.  And with the CH not working .... it's not like we get paid vacations or medical leave, this being our own business and no money comes in if he doesn't work .... our finances went even more to hell.

Oh, and the BF insists that my husband left the paperwork 'a mess, and took lots of stuff'.  In fact, he made copies and gave EVERYTHING back .... and is a Virgo -  organization is his middle name.  He HATES messes, no way he left a mess.

So, that's part 1 of what we've been up to.  Stay tuned for more!

Frondly, Fern

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