Monday 7 December
I ended up in the wheelchair for about four hours, past lunch. OT at 9 ended up more like 9:45. Pissed me off a little, they wanted to evaluate me on doing my daily routine from a wheelchair. Well, (1) that ain't gonna happen. (2) that's not my sock aid or grabber and (3) being in a wheelchair is nothing like being on the side of the bed. And no, I can't practice on your bed in the OT gym because we haven't done a slide transfer yet and we can't do it on my hospital bed because you can't sit on the edge. Worthless exercise.
PT went better. I had snagged Kara and said I wanted a new brace vendor, who talked to David, who worked with me today. I really have no idea of the hierarchy down there. He said that he wasn't sure another vendor would take it, because insurance might not pay. I asked how much does a brace cost? As usual in medicine, he had no idea. $700? $7000? *** I also pointed out that Hanger shouldn't be paid, because they never delivered or serviced a working product.
By the time they finally got me in bed, I slept until 4pm, when I guess my room phone on the wall went off. I don't use it and eventually they gave up.
Tuesday 8 December
Guess who showed up today -- Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumber from Hanger -- here at 11:45.
What got their attention was a complaint from insurance.
I told them we're looking for a different vendor -- the lead guy said he wanted to try something else, no obligation.
They made fiberglass cast which will become the new brace. Or that was the plan. Instead Tom used the cast as a mold for a clear plastic brace, held in place with a gummy band. Actually rather neat. And does not hurt.
It only begs the question, why wasn't this done in the first place?
Wednesday 9 December
Things started early with the chirpy OT student who wanted to assess my ability to wash up in bed, and like the other day was trying to explain this was a skill I would need at home. Uh, no. If I am bedridden, home isn't going to work. Not the plan.
The raft of students in PT and OT mostly go away on Friday.
Then the whole place went under two disaster drills. First was a high wind drill, and they had to close the blinds. Then a whole hospital evacuation drill. All this limited movement and took up a lot of personnel. When I finally got heading down for PT. I saw two aides dragging a third in a red plastic sling and were taking the "patient" down the stairs. From 5. (grin)
Today's plan was to stand in the parallel bars and turn 90° to the left. It didn't work -- my foot was standing on one of the anti-slid strips! (snort) We tried again and my foot turned nicely on the smooth wood. Got both hands on the left-hand bars, then back. Success! And the new brace worked fine. I wore it four hours yesterday. And it's over seven hours today.
The nurse brought me her phone -- it was Tom from Hanger. We chatted. I told him everyone downstairs in PT loves it. I gave him my email and sent a test message. So we're buddies now. I told David that Hanger should get paid for this one. I told Tom subject to what Dr. Fras says on Friday.
I posted on the UCF board, where I was trying to get a contest to guy the weight of the lower leg and foot cut off:
Okay, we still don't have the path result -- will see the surgeon on Friday -- but we can put some bounds.
My last known weight in the wild was 435 lbs. Admittedly it could have been higher. Maybe I can find my Butterworth Hospital admission weight.
My admission weight to Fuller Street was 418.6 lbs. 435 - 419 = 16 lbs. This is the upper bound on the amputated portion. So, unless I get other data, anyone who got over 16 lbs. above, is out of the running.
The hospital diet is working again. I was 393 lbs. yesterday, a loss of 26 lbs. since I got here. Some is water loss -- edema is way down. Other is less eating. See my blog post on hospital food. Anyway, I was able to sit up in the wheelchair for lunch today, and didn't feel guilty about ordering seconds -- I love mac and cheese, and theirs is pretty good.
So life continues...
*** My new friend Tom says a brace is about $500, the eventual prosthetic is likely to be in the $10,000 range. And now you know, too.