Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Last Thursday I was making plans to install a door in the basement bathroom and looking toward this week, when I start moving our son back home from school. All was right with the world. Last Friday afternoon, I almost had the door installed when my wife came down talking on her cell phone to the local hospital. She handed it to me, and a hospital representative explained that she was looking for someone to take responsibility for an 89 year old lady who was about to be discharged from the hospital to the local nursing home. The 89 year old was my second cousin. She and my mother were first cousins and there are no other living blood relatives besides my sister and me.

I did not know that my relative was in the hospital, but I was not surprised. She has been an issue for most of this year. She lives alone in less than acceptable conditions, but when we tried to help her, she kindly asked us to leave. Bascially she said, "don't call me, I'll call you." Stubborn mountain woman. The hospital rep. explained that she was somewhat paranoid and delusional, not to mention combative. Needless to say, our lives changed a bit over the course of that phone call.

Since Friday afternoon, most of our waking time has been spent stressing over how to handle this lady's personal business, seeing that she is checked out of the hospital and into the nursing home and answering pages of questions from the nursing home folks, not to mention signing a score of pages. My wife spent most of yesterday getting her checking account to the point that I can sign a few checks to pay off outstanding bills. Then there was cable TV to transfer to the room at the nursing home, phone service to be cancelled, and gas and electricity to be cut off.

This was totally unexpected, but life does that to you. Fortunately, our local nusing home is very well managed. It is the cleanest, best kept such facility that I have visited. There is absolutely no negative odor, it is well lighted, well staffed and modern. It is also run by the local hospital authority. It's primary concern is not the bottom line, but the well being of the patients. Our local residents, from the poorest to the most affluent ultimately enter this facility when they can no longer be cared for at home.


Paul said...

May God bless you all for helping the poor soul!

Dirk said...

Good morning, Ralph,
I'm so glad she had you & your wife to help her. My wife is from the "hollers" of Kentucky, so I'm well familiar with "stubborn mountain woman"! Deep in their culture to do for oneself & not depend on others.

Your words here I know don't describe everything & the efforts you two went through to make sure your cousin was cared for. I've been there myself.

Your area is very blessed to have a nursing home like that. It should be an example to all of them, but most are just money-makers with little regard for people who have worked hard all their lives & can no longer care for themselves.

I'm very glad it all worked out the way it did.


Georgia Mountain Man said...

Thanks for the nice comment, Dirk. We are, indeed, fortunate to have such a good facility. I have been in some which were not pleasant. They are quite closely regulated, but still things happen. It has been an adventure, but she is adapting well and seems content.