OK, so it looks like they want to send Colleen home tomorrow.
We're dealing with the US health
care system here, so the probability of changing that is nil. At
best we might be able to fight a delaying action, but even putting it off
until after Thanksgiving is unlikely. It's not like they have souls or
(Update: 11/22 2pm She'll be moving to a skilled nursing facility, no earlier than Monday or Tuesday, and will stay until it's safe for her to be at home with less than 24-hour care. Apparently the doctors who she spoke to this morning were unanimous in saying that she couldn't go home yet. No telling where in the chain of command the idiocy was located. Kaiser covers 100 days/year of skilled care. Renting a hospital bed for when she does come home will only run some $20/month, but see below for a better long-term solution.)
Here are the major problems:
- It's 50 feet from the bedroom to the front door. Sometimes she needs to use a walker for that.
- Family members are in school or at work much of the day. If she can't be left alone for a couple of hours at a stretch, or needs someone closer than a half-hour drive on call, we're simply hosed. We do not have long-term care insurance.
- The bed is too high for her to get safely in and out of.
- The toilet in the front bathroom is too low for her to get safely in and out of.
Here are some possible solutions and side-notes:
- If there's a kind of pump that hangs on a shoulder strap, or an IV pole we can attach to the walker, she can get around the house safely by herself. This may require hardware hacking on my part.
- I can work half-days from home; Kat can take over in the afternoons. Still, if she needs someone closer than half an hour -- and preferably an hour -- away all the time, I don't see how it would be possible. There are errands, shopping, dentist appointments, taking the kids to school, you name it. The friends most likely to be free to help don't have cars.
- She can use the airbed in the sewing room temporarily. Longer term, I can set up a hospital bed either in the sewing room (which is really too small for it) or in the part of the living room that used to be the master bedroom. It already has curtains for privacy; I suppose we could put the wall back up at some point and make it a guest room. I've been thinking about that anyway.
- We need a higher toilet in the front bathroom anyway. And grab bars in both bathrooms. Short term, if she's in our bedroom or the front, she can use a commode; that would require clearing out space in our bedroom, but that's another project that's been put off too long.
Another possibility longer term is simply replacing the bed in the bedroom with a split, adjustable bed -- I know they exist. It would be expensive, but there's not much to be done about that. Right now we're using the space under the bed for storage, but that almost certainly would be less stuff to move than what's in front, which includes a couch and the Wolfling's pile of wedding presents. Those will all go away around the end of January, but hopefully by then Colleen will be better by then.
Longer term, the household is simply hosed. We don't have long-term care insurance (my stupidity about 15 years ago, and not fixable now) and it's inevitable that one or the other of us is going to get sick enough to need 24-hour care. I don't have enough cope to deal with that one -- ever.
... your best bet is to provide a company web site that gives me the information I need, lets me bookmark it, gives me a form I can fill out to perform my transaction, and lets me bookmark that so I can come back to it if I get called away from my desk.
If you make me look for your phone number and call you, I'm going to start out irritated. If I get an answering machine, I'm not going to hang up, compose a coherent message, call back, and leave it. I'm going to get even more irritated, and call the next person up the food chain.
If that person calls me back (after a four day weekend that the company I work for does not celebrate) while I'm in a meeting asking if I really meant to do what I'd left clear instructions about doing, it would help if they call from a phone I can simply call back instead of having to parse their private number out of a message that gets delayed somewhere on my provider's voice mail system. And if I get another answering machine when I call them back...
I'm just saying.
Stupid goddamn Windows! For some reason, Windows on the Younger Daughter's machine wasn't responding to the keyboard. Mouse worked fine, and the keyboard worked for the bootloader and Windows login, so it's not hardware. Anything I could think of to do to fix it would, of course, involve typing in a URL to find software. Nuke and pave. Takes roughly half an hour to load the install image from three CDs, and probably another two hours to install a minimally useful set of programs (Firefox, OOo, network config for the printers). Foo.