I’ve not always had decent heath care, but since eligibile for Medicare, I’ve been OK with what I have. I have a small pension from one job that I devoted to health care, and stayed on a reasonable keel for the last decade. Only this year has my health insurance cost outstripped that little pension. The weakest part of my plan is the rehab, but I’ve always looked around for money to cover that cost, when necessary, and, all in all, been satisfied.
Fast forward to the April weekend when Beth and Ruth drove my comatose self to the hospital in Akron. The hospital, Akron General, has been my standard of care my entire life. In the recent round of hospital wars, it was acquired by Cleveland Clinic, and some company is making a fortune adding an enormous Cleveland Clinic logo at the top, and dropping the other identifiers a line. Imagine how far down the Edwin Shaw sign has descended. That was my destination and I was almost there.
I spent the weekend at General, and was transported to Shaw on Monday morning. After some preliminaries, I was slipped into the therapy production line. Three main venues occupied my days: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. I was surprised at the value of speech therapy, mostly about problem solving.
I had not walked in four weeks. The first time I stood, using a walker, my knees buckled. Nor was the therapy as easy a road back as therapy from the stroke. Actually, shame on me for comparing the two. The physios pointed out, over and over, my deficits were stroke residual, not the craniotomy for the subdural hematoma. Couldn’t blame it on the fractured skull. It’s easy to see now; I coasted for ten years keeping even with the stroke damage, not working harder to get ahead.
Live and learn. Haha.
I had one setback in rehab, that still has me concerned and something I must learn more about. Two of my physios were concerned that my speech was slurring, and I couldn’t stay awake. I returned from every session, skipped the meal and went to sleep. It’s called hyperammonemia. I don’t know if I’m over it or what else I should know about it. The good news is, these two women recognized and reported it. The worst news, in my case, is that it subtracted two good days of physical therapy from my schedule, and this kind of insurance is unforgiving about physical therapy. Nine days per incident and off you go.
I have been working on my own now, scheduling my life. This week coming up I have appointments with the neurologist on Thursday, my same physiologist who was so disappointed with my stroke progress ten years ago on Wednesday, and various others on Tuesday and Friday.
I got a hair cut over the weekend. Melanie had little good to say about Washington General’s sense of style. “They have none, though they did a decent job of parting half to one side and shaving it.” There was no sense in reducing the left side to match the stubble on the right. The left is trimmed and the right must catch up. Pictures may follow.