I’ve been to a rehab facility four times. The first was after the stroke in 2010; Akron General has several outpatient rehab facilities available at their stand alone medical units around the city. The rehab portion of the medical center is administered by the very old rehab hospital, Edwin Shaw. My dad was in Shaw for a time, before his “walking pneumonia” was properly diagnosed as histoplasmosis, back in the sixties. I believe Shaw originally was a TB sanitarium.
When I had the bus accident, and wanted very much to be discharged from GW in DC, Shaw was the only hospital I could think of, insisted on and was spirited away to by Beth and Ruth. What lucky selection. Edwin Shaw is the boot camp of rehab hospitals, and I needed to relearn walking and thinking, among the curriculum selections.
The therapy was tough, the discipline was tough, bordering on mean. On my last day I was put in “lock down” for a minor infraction, and ignored for much of the day. I was discharged on verbal orders contradicted by the written orders. My daughter chose to follow the verbal orders, the outcome of which, I lost my job. I was told by the hospital auditor who followed up on my complaint that the doctor had been disciplined. Eye wash. I remain unemployed. This is a most bitter incident of my life.
My third rehab was this summer, for the broken leg, etal. It was at Regina. I’m sure I conveyed in my blogs from the facility my appreciation of the nursing care and the rehab I received. I always compared it to “lock down” that last day at Shaw, and the difference was night and day. The staff was always friendly, even when I had a disagreement.
I took an informal survey and found the average tenure at Regina was ten years. Every aid was well trained. They Hoyered me into wheel chairs, helped me learn to transfer, pivot, use the walker. All this in addition to the excellent physical therapy that got me up and on my feet.
This time my sister advocated another facility she had interviewed in July. It was closer to home for her, and I selected it. The very new and modern facility was completely disability incompatible. My complaints went unaddressed until the fourth day, when I called one of the owners with my list of problems. Finally they sent someone to rearrange the room to accomodate the wheel chair. There was nothing to be done about the clashing bathroom and exit doors.
Another complaint was the incorrect and incorrectly administered drugs. I dogged the doctor and nursing staff for much of my stay to get this corrected, and found on returning home with all the left over drugs they ordered, they still were administering generic Synthroid. Years ago my endo and I concluded generic makes me mean, bitter, unhappy. And I was, for the entire month. I could barely open the tablet to pay bills. I could not squeeze out one pleasant word for the blog.
I had one last complaint, my biggest. Call lights were not answered. I could not get up alone, get into the chair and to the bathroom. I could sit on the edge of the bed upwards of forty five minutes, waiting for a trip to the bathroom. I developed a UTI. It was not addressed until the next to last day, when, of course, I would be gone and forgotten.
The aid staff turned over daily. The nurses often were from an agency; the “staff” had quit or called-off. One time a neighbor cried out for help so piteously I rolled down and said I would go for help. I wheeled to the nurse station, found only a custodian, who scurried off to find an aid to get this bed bound woman to the bathroom.
Of all their shortcomings, I found this the most cruel. Unfriendly, even nasty, oh well. Unresponsive—mean beyond words.
Why did I stay? It’s hard to explain my mental inability to tear myself away from the magnetic evil core. And, the physical therapy was as good as Shaw and as Regina. This staff was “contract”. Their employer was not the nursing facility. They even helped me understand how to complain. One night I waited fifty odd minutes for my bell to be answered. Angelique, the therapist, told me the lights are on timers. She turned in my “aid” to management. I don’t know if anything became of it, except my satisfaction.
During my stay I saw the femur doctor and the shoulder doctor. The shoulder fellow is past pleased with my shoulder, which I could raise past ninety degrees and put my hand to the back of my neck. Putting put old muscles to new tasks. Tough, and satisfying.
When I saw the femur doctor, he confirmed my diagnosis that the slight fracture of my trochanter would get better or worse, and probably better, which it has. Akron General wanted surgery and nailing it together, which I refused. I told him about my unfortunate choice for rehab, and he said most nursing facilities are like that, these days. “Regina isn’t,” I responded. “You’re the fourth or fifth patient who said that to me,” he replied.
I see I have far exceeded the limit. Well, I am home and happy. Here are some pictures of the first class rehab facility at Altcare.
This is one of four or five rehab gyms in the facility.