After the meeting at the nursing home with all the staff and interested parties in Ms. D’s future care there was a lot of anxiety.
This was understandable. After all the stakes were high.
M.s. D. Had been declared a vulnerable adult and her care was no longer in her control. The government, nursing staff, Dr.s and county social workers all had some say in present and future decisions.
In a previous meeting with all of the interested parties a plan was laid out for her return to her own home.
She wasn’t sleeping well since that meeting.
I wasn’t sleeping at all.
Her future and fate was at the hands of someone else. She tried to put the best face on it as possible.
I saw this face and it was ugly. I never let her know this.
I never wavered form our plan and my commitment to bring her back home.
I had no choice, I had to be the rock, but confess, doubts haunted me.
We held steadfast, others prayed for us.
The day arrived that the inspection was to take place in order to determine if Ms. D. could come back home.
She had been busy lining up all the things we promised in the meeting.
Several of us had been busy getting her home ready for her return.
The time arrived.
I will never forget the rented transportation van pulling up in her yard, backing in and opening the back door. The wheel chair lift deploying so she was able to get off the van.
This all seemed surreal.
For a moment, the enormity of what was at stake with this inspection, caused chills and some slight panic feelings.
Ms. D. started talking nervously with the staff that had followed the van over to her home. She was trying to make small talk and commenting about how nice the yard looked and how good it felt to be at home.
She was nervous.
She wasn’t alone.
Hers was evident, I refused to show mine. I took control of the wheel chair and headed for the handicap ramp that we had built for her the previous weekend.
We rolled right up the ramp and into the house.
Various members of the nursing home staff made comments about how nice the ramp was and how easy she could get in and out of the house.
Ms.D jumped in and asked “does this mean I pass the inspection”.
They said “well … this part of the inspection yes”.
We had moved her bed into the living room, removed all the rugs and any hazards that were present along with setting up a table, microwave, special telephone, and various other helpful things to aid in her return.
Ms. D. was put through various tests and tasks. She had to demonstrate she could get in and out of her wheelchair into the bed, portable commode, and chair. She had to prove that she could get out in case of a fire.
She performed all the requested tasks.
She struggled some. It was hard watching her do this but I couldn’t do them for her.
It seemed after each test she would ask anxiously “did I pass”.
They never really responded. They just smiled and said “we have a lot to consider”.
From time to time they asked me questions. I would answer them the best I could.
They had concerns about the bathroom.
I explained that we had made arrangements for the time being to use a portable commode I had already applied for and received a building permit for the bathroom remodel. I had drawn a plan for making the bathroom handicap accessible, and showed this plan to the staff, in the event it should become necessary in the future.
I pointed out that until a decision to allow Ms. D back to her home was made, it was an unnecessary expense and burden on her at this point.
I assured them that should it become necessary or a requirement of her return to home these changes to make the bathroom handicap assessable could be make in a short amount of time. Every thing was in place to make this happen quickly.
I produced an approved building permit showing the changes I described to them.
They were silent.
The inspection ended.
I rolled Ms.D. back to the waiting van to take her back to the nursing home.
Her Medicare had run out and she was paying 259 dollars a day for her room alone at the nursing home. She was anxious to come home.
She asked again “did I pass”
They would only say they would have a staff meeting later this after noon and advise her.
They started heading back to there cars. I asked “may I take a few minutes and go get the basset hounds so Ms. D. could see them before she returned to the nursing home.
They said, “Sure take as long as you like”.
I rolled her back to the deck, got the ice tea out, some homemade treats, along with the basset hounds.
It was just like many other summer days previously that we did the same exact thing.
We just sat there in the sun, enjoying the moment, not knowing if this would perhaps be the last one.
Not a word was said about that possibility.
We both were thinking it, that I knew.
Some things just don’t need to be said.
We just enjoyed the moment.
The time came to load her back up and return to the nursing home.
I said “good bye for now” as I shut the door and waved as the van pulled out.
I really didn’t know if it was the last time she might be allowed to come home or not.
The phone rang at 5 pm.
It was Ms. D. In a cracking voice she said “I get to come home”.
That was all I needed to hear.
Our prayers had been heard.
I thanked God.
Now I thank all of you.
Ms. D is coming home next week.
For now at least, they agreed to allow her to come home on a trial basis.
The score… Ms.D 2 Nursing home 0