When I no longer needed the support of a hospital unit, my medical team decided I needed a skilled care facility. From the list that my insurance covered, I chose one as close to home as possible. I didn’t want Frank to have to travel far to see me.
The EMT’s who moved me were very skilled and did so with a minimum of fuss and additional trauma. When we got to the SNF, they took me to my room and transferred me to the bed, wishing me well. The EMT who rode in back with me carefully documented everything, indicating that he did so because he wanted my lawyer to have all the info he needed to get what I should from the guy who hit me.
The bed I was assigned had no brakes. So it rolled about every time someone touched it, freaking me out. There was no cable TV, but an older TV with a converter box which got about a dozen channels some of the time, no WiFi and my cell phone had to go on roaming charges to connect to the outside world.
I did have a nice window and an empty bird feeder just outside. Admissions came and discussed food with me….the whole prefer vegetarian thing deserves its own post….I was still too shocky to care about food or much of anything at that point. I also had no clue that I would be in the facility for forty days.
My non-weight bearing bi-lateral fractures were difficult for the staff who repeatedly asked me to let them help me up on my “good leg.” Every time a new staff member came to my room, I had to convince them that there was no better leg…the breaks are identical and I could neither bend either, nor put any weight on either. Pulling the covers back and showing my immobilizers was my best move. Metal bars on each side of each leg wrapped in fabric helped them understand that I was not going anywhere and that I could not even bend my knees.
The Occupational and Physical therapists became my life line when Frank and a wonderful friend who brought me food from her table couldn’t be with me. N is a strict vegetarian and understands the complications of getting protein and also delicious food in any facility, and especially this one. She lives nearby so she could walk over, sometimes just to chat. She also respected the therapy schedule.
After a couple of days I got a bed with brakes, but the first replacement didn’t adjust so then I got third bed that did. Each time I was moved it took a team of three to prevent my legs from being further damaged. The therapy team came up with a method of moving me that was slick, but between my anxiety and some of the staffs’ anxiety, the first few moves took almost thirty minutes. Therapy made it worthwhile though because they had the only good coffee in the building, a reward for getting to their room.
My family sent me goodie baskets and called every couple of days My daughter’s friend who had just had a baby also called from Atlanta to commiserate our mutual confinement. Frank visited a couple of times a day, staying for as long as he was able. N came with food and stayed, checking to ensure that she wasn’t wearing me out. Our next-door neighbors came with dinner from a favorite Indian restaurant and they brought me all kinds of goodies.
I am a big reader so I wasn’t too worried about the TV but between the percocet which I discovered I didn’t really need and declined in favor of Tylenol and the shock, I couldn’t concentrate well enough to read even the wonderful Donna Leon mysteries Frank brought me from the library. Lucky for me I was able to get some PBS channels and watched Deutsche Welle news and programming. The TV seemed to have it in for me, cutting off during mystery programs, leaving me hanging….that is when I could concentrate enough and stay awake.
It was hard work to just sit up since my knees were fixed in position and my balance was precarious. PT helped me work on my awkward balance and when I got new braces that allowed me to bend my knees they helped restore range of motion.