Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Wednesday Update For Ben
Linda drove me to the hospital today. It's nice to get a ride at least once a week because that driving can really get to you. Ben's vitals were good, but he was very tired. Manjit, Ben's nurse said that the Tracy, the physical therapist had come in before I got there but said she'd come back when I was there so I could help her work with Ben. She came back around 10:00 AM. She started working with his legs, but he was just so tired and sleepy that she could not get him to cooperate very much. She said she'd try to come back later because she wanted to try to get him to sit up on the side of the bed, but I don't think that will happen yet because he is so weak. I tried to work with him on his arms a little later, but he was not awake enough to work with me either. I did all of the work for him, but at least I moved him some. His belly is still huge. I didn't see any of his doctors today as they came in early this morning before we got there. Nat, my social worker came in and gave me some paperwork on how to apply for Medical if need be later down the line. She was going to help me with long term disability but said that she had made a mistake by thinking there was a form online. She gave me some other paperwork that tells me I can call and make an appointment with someone at Social Security to figure out what I need to do for that to get started. She also gave me the website, phone number and email of a man named Bill Fisher who is a medical/financial senior advocate and he offers free advice and is very knowledgeable about these things. So I'm going to check out his website in awhile. They started Ben on his breathing trial at 11:20 AM. Linda and I went to lunch and when we came back, there we cleaning Ben up and repositioning him in the bed. He was still on the breathing trial when we left and I just called Manjit and she said he is still on it and they are hoping to keep him on it for another hour, so that would be four hours if he makes it. Ben looked so tired, that we decided to leave and let him try to get some sleep. On the way home, we stopped by one of the outside trach care units that they had given me the address for. It's called Country Villa Sheraton and it is on Sepulveda Blvd. in North Hills, CA. We spoke with a woman named Crystal. She is a case manager there. She showed us around the facility and told us what they offer and explained about the Kaiser doctor that comes there and about the nursing staff, etc. She said that the hospital's goal is get Ben stable enough to put him into an outside care facility. Country Villa's goal is to get Ben well enough to send him home. She said their main objective would be to wean him off of the ventilator and get the trach removed, plus they would give him physical, occupational and speech therapy. The unit is in a nice neighborhood and appeared to be a nice place. Crystal was very nice and answered all of our questions and gave me her card and told me to call if I have any more questions. I checked this facility out online and they have been given an overall rating of 3 stars out of 5 from user. We are going to check out the other facility early next week. It would be nice if Kaiser can get Ben into the one we visited today as it is only 16 miles from our home. I felt a little better about him going into one of these care units after visiting this one.