Note: This is a part of a series of posts about DrG’s parents, who both suffered from and ultimately passed away from serious health conditions – his mom from multiple myeloma, and his dad from complications from a severe stroke. Over the course of their illnesses, he put up these posts. DrG thought about removing them, but ultimately decided to leave them up in the hopes that they would help other people.
Arrived in San Diego today, cool and gray with threat of rain. What is this, Seattle?!? Oh right, cold here is 60 degrees.
My mom is in a rehab / nursing facility right now, a nice place if a little old around the edges. The elevator took about 5 minutes to go up 3 floors, but the staff seemed nice, the room was clean and the decor was decent.
My mom is in reasonable spirits. Definitely not all there mentally though. Part of it is the pain medication – she’s taking a fairly substantial amount, and still not fully controlling the pain. This is one area we just don’t have down, the management of chronic pain. My wife especially noticed that in our fairly light conversation today some of it was clearly going over my mom’s head, the old ‘nod and smile’ thing.
The good news
She’ll be out before Christmas
The bad news
She’ll be out before Christmas. And she’s not ready to be discharged. She can’t bear weight on her ‘bad’ leg and is confined to a wheelchair. She’s unable to get into or out of bed or onto the toilet or shower without assistance. Definitely not ready to come home.
The obvious question – then why is she being discharged?
Since her physical therapist has said she’s not ready, it looks like she’s being discharged for financial reasons. That is, her health insurance, which is Medicare plus a supplemental private health insurance policy, has decided that they’re done paying for her care, and ready or not (in this case), she’s done.
The two faces of health insurance
To me there’s a basic mismatch between what people want from health insurance, and what it’s set up to do.
People want health insurance to provide the care they need, and to cover their expenses when they get sick. Those of us in natural health would also like to see insurance pay for things that keep us healthy.
Insurance companies see health insurance as a financial vehicle designed to make money. In order to do that they must provide just enough care to persuade people to buy health insurance, but as little as possible in order to maximize their profit.
Two very different things.
So now we start arguing with her health insurance. I have to get in touch with her doctors to try and convince them to protest this discharge and see about intervening on her behalf.
And we need to find out what the daily rate at the nursing facility is, as we may have to pay out of pocket to keep her there a while longer.
I wanted to thank everyone who has sent me an email or left me a message offering support, thoughts or prayers. Thank you so much for your concern and caring. It is deeply touching and I really appreciate it.
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Photo attribution – https://bit.ly/2JDiSnr
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