A quick update. Chris had to go into hospital for about four days two weeks ago, unnecessarily, as it turns out. What a palava! We took Chris to see his family Doctor for a very low grade temp. Something was “off’ a bit and we worry about siezures. Seizures, it seems, can be triggerred by anything! We suspected a urinary tract issue and the Doc took a urine sample and sent it off to the lab. We didn’t hear anything back for about a week and a half when the doctor called the house late on a Friday afternoon asking how Chris was. We told her he was fine and her reply was, “No he’s not! He has an infection that I can’t treat with oral antibiotics and he needs to be in hospital on intravenous antibiotics!” “He already has a room at Crestwood hospital. Get him down there and checked in!” The antibiotics they put him on are very strong antibiotics and, apparently, are very hard on your kidneys!
So off we went to Crestwood hospital. This was our first experience at Crestwood, one of two hospitals in Huntsville, Alabama – three if you count the new hospital in Madison that’s also affiliated with Huntsville hospital. We did NOT have a good experience at Crestwood. It’s a Doctor-owned hospital, they give you a list of about fifty doctor/owners when you check in…….hmmm, cheap bastards interested in the bottom line it seemed more than adequate care for the patients. oops, I didn’t just say that about Doctors did I?
Of course, Chris is not your normal patient and requires supplies that are a bit diferent than most, condom catheters, urinary bags, feeding bags, etc. But the supplies they used there were about the cheapest you can get – we know, we buy them for home use all the time. We ended up supplying the hospital with supplies while he was there! Long story shortened, we won’t be going back to Crestwood anytime soon! After four days of being there, they ran another urine sample and the Doc said it came back clean (a different Doc, not the weekend staff), and wondered why we were there!
Good news for us though. It took us about a new York minute to get out of there! We subjected Chris, as it turns out, to an apparent unneccessary hospital stay! On the upsaide, better that he didn’t have anything wrong with him I suppose thatn the other way round.
The take-away was that we now have our own sterile urine collection jars to take with us to his family Doc so we avoid taking a sample from a urinary bag that’s been on for awhile. They normally last about a week, give or take. But it obviously needs to be a “clean catch,” or you’re liable to grow all kinds of nasties in the sample that will cause a misdiagnosis.
Chris is fine (in terms of the urinary tract issues) and we’re at home and back to our abnormal “normal” routine.
Still working on the logistics for hyperbarics in New Orleans but I’m having a knee replaced here in a few weeks so that will postpone the New Orleans trip and hyperbarics for a few more months. Getting old kind of sucks! As the saying goes, “if I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself!”
When you discharge from a hospital, “the system” wants to make a few more bucks by offerrring “home health.” Since it’s free, or I should say no cost to us as we all pay for it in our taxes, we take it because something is better than nothing, although, the therapists they send out really don’t do much! We did get a good lead for home help from the social worker they sent out and the Physical Therapist (the most helpful of all) lead us to an Alabama brain injury resource site that his wife has been involved with and we have also attended a monthly brain injury meeting at the local Healthsouth facility where you get to meet other brain injury survivors and care takers and change stories, ideas, gain some leads here and there, etc. So although we were in hospital unnecessarily, it did produce some posuitive results by way of the social worker at Crestwood who started the ball rolling that led to this lead that led to that lead and so on. Funny how it all works out sometimes!
I’m working on transfer of guardianship for Chris to the State of Alabama (from Texas), another whole different set of legal details and issues, a hassle but a necessary hassle! I remember the first week after Chris’s accident in San Antonio. I called Met Life as they held a disability policy through Chris’s work and the very nice lady on the phone (I’m being facetious) told me she couldn’t talk with me because I was not Christopher. As I explained that I was contacting them on Chris’s behalf since he was currently in intensive care fighting for his life, she asked me how I knew they had corresponded with Chris, to which I replied, “I opened his mail.” She responded with, “that’s illegal!” Of course, the reply they were looking for had a suspense on it that Chris obviously was not going to meet (and I was afraid the policy would be voided without a reply within their time limit). Doing what you would think is the right thing considering the circumstances resulted in some Beeee-atch on the other end telling me off for opening Christopher’s mail! God Bless her little heart as they say in Alabama! And it seemed everyone I talked to on Chris’s behalf (except the hospitals) wanted to know if I had a Power-of-Attorney to act on Chris’s behalf. And of course the answer is no because a power-of-Attorney is something you grant to someone else and of course, Chris was in no condition to grant anything! So off we go down the guqardianship route and some facilities still wanted a Power-of-Attorney even though I told them I had legal guardianship because they didn’t know what guardianship is or how you get it or what it means. Note to self (and I still haven’t given power-of-attorney to mom and Robert), give Power-of-Attorney to someone because it’s too late after an accident, or stroke, or other life-altering event!
OK, enough rambling. We’re out of the hospital and back home! Chris is doing well. He smiles a lot more now and it melts your heart when he does. He’s such a wonderful person and still finds a way to smile even in the face of his situation. He’s a great young man!
Thanks to all for keeping Chris in your thoughts – it helps more than you’ll ever know!