Subscribe to Mom Updates via Email
Mom's Current Location
Visiting Hours: 24/7
Visiting Hours: 24/7
Yesterday Gwendy & Licha accompanied mom on her visit to Dr. Shamlou, her Orthopedic Surgeon. Today Gwendy & I joined mom for a meeting with Park Regency case manager Kat. It was sort of a tale of two health care cities. Dr. Shamlou thinks mom will be at Park Regency for months at least; Kat estimates that CareMore will allow her to stay for weeks at most.
Tomorrow is Day 21. The end of 3 full weeks since mom’s fall. The end of 21 days of lying immobile in bed. It’s just surreal to consider mom going across the street to St. Thomas Aquinas for mass, expecting to be home in an hour or so, and now not setting foot in the home she’s lived in for 60 years, for 21 days and counting.
I just said immobile for 21 days. That’s mostly true. But the past few days they have been sitting her in a wheelchair for an hour or more after therapy. It’s very fatiguing for mom, but it’s a step. And fatiguing as it is, she’s also so glad to be in an different position.
Dr. Shamlou removed the stitches from both hip and shoulder and was pleased at how both surgical sites were progressing.
On the painful right foot, he was puzzled and ordered an x-ray. When she returned to Park Regency they took a foot x-ray which showed swelling, but no fracture. The foot pain and “drop foot” are both a mystery at the moment. Licha wondered if it might be a pinched nerve behind the knee?
I think a nerve conduction test was also discussed, but that can’t be done at Park Regency, mom would have to go back to PIH Whittier.
Dr. Shamlou estimated that mom’s hip might regain 75% range of motion, and her shoulder 50%.
Licha: how long will she be at Park Regency? 2-3 months?
Dr. Shamlou: oh, at least.
I can’t be there on Thursday without missing class. It was great that Licha & Gwendy were able to go yesterday. I should call Dr. Shamlou and see if the next appointment can be moved to Wed or Fri.
Licha was concerned that mom was experiencing a lot of unnecessary pain. Dr. Shamlou said that given her age, the only appropriate pain mediation was Norco. But that it should be Norco and not Tylenol. It seems that Dr. Shamlou wrote a prescription for 2x/day and the CareMore doctor, Dr. Susan Keisner, wrote one for 4x/day. The problem with 4x/day is that they have to wake mom up to take it, which seems counterproductive. Especially since mom says she’s been sleeping really well the whole time. So we agreed on 3x/day, at 8am, 2pm & 8pm. Kat will contact Dr. Keisner to have this approved and have the prescription written.
In addition to Norco, mom is also taking a couple of blood thinners, a blood pressure medication, diabetes medication, and a stool softener.
I learned today that “Physical Therapy” tends to mean lower body, and “Occupational Therapy” tends to mean upper body. So mom has “Physical Therapy” for her hip and “Occupational Therapy” for her shoulder.
The fact that she can’t put weight on her arm really limits her PT for her hip. Kat suggested that next time it would be better to only break one joint. Or, if it must be two, that it might be better to have the hip be the worse break and the shoulder less. Only one break is better – noted! 🙂
Dr. Shamlou cleared mom for Toe Touch Weight Bearing. Which, I believe, means not weight bearing. This creates two problems:
Kat explained that CareMore will only pay for a Skilled Nursing Facility like Park Regency under 3 conditions:
In mom’s case, it’s Physical Therapy. But, in order to stay, mom must show “progress” every day. Kat said,
For example, if she takes 4 steps on Monday, 5 steps on Tuesday, 5 steps on Wednesday, and 5 steps on Thursday, that’s 3 days with “no progress” and CareMore would remove her from the Skilled Nursing Facility.
The problem is that Kat says it’s essentially impossible to show progress when you’re restricted to Toe Touch. It seems that Dr. Shamlou will need to change it to Weight Bearing before the March 10 appointment, or else CareMore is likely to remove her from Park Regency. Kat says CareMore would then send a therapist to the house, but that such therapy would only be to maintain whatever progress was gained at Park Regency, not to progress further as would be the goal at Park Regency.
In any event, CareMore will only pay for a given number of days at a skilled nursing facility. Kat said that if, for example, you can’t make leg progress because your arm can’t bear weight, it might be better to go home, wait for some arm recovery, and then return when you can bear weight. Otherwise you’re using up your Skilled Nursing Facility days just to lay in bed and recover, but not to take advantage of Park Regency’s aggressive rehab.
Kat didn’t know what mom’s CareMore coverage would be, but she said just to make up random numbers, CareMore might pay 100% for 20 days, 80% for 21-50, 50% for 51-70, and 20% for days 71-100. Kat said a day at Park Regency was about US$300. We were all, mom especially, a little nervous about the financial implications of this.
Kat asked Rebecca from the Park Regency Business Office to find out what mom’s actual CareMore coverage is. We were all relieved to find out that her coverage is a lot better than Kat’s fictitious example.
Not surprisingly, mom is very eager to get home! But she also realizes that being at Park Regency might increase her eventual range of motion. Dr. Shamlou told Mom, Licha & Gwendy that he wouldn’t release her from Park Regency until she could get out of bed by herself. At the moment that seemed like a long journey to mom, but she too would like to have a bit of mobility when she gets home.
All my life I’ve never depended on anyone for anything. Suddenly I have to depend on everyone for everything.
Mom moved to Park Regency on Saturday Jan 30. Then on Monday Feb 1 atrial fibrillation took her to PIH Whittier. Rebecca said your departure day doesn’t count, so Saturday & Sunday count as 2 days. Mom returned to Park Regency on Thursday Feb 4th. That makes today, Friday the 12th, the 9th day of her 2nd stay at Park Regency, and the 11 day total.
Friday Feb 12
• Day 20 since falling
• Day 11 of Skilled Nursing Facility
Of course we all hope mom won’t need that many days, but it at least comforting that the copay for an extended stay would be relatively modest.
But again, this depends on CareMore letting her stay, which depends on mom making “progress” which is essentially impossible when restricted to “toe touch.” At the moment toe touch is all that’s realistic, but we might ask Dr. Shamlou before March 10 to change mom to Weight Bearing As Tolerated.
Dr. Shamlu’s prescription for mom’s shoulder is currently Non Weight Bearing.
Mom’s CareMore plan is CareMore Reliance.
Posted in Park Regency
Mom continues to feel just a tiny bit better each day. And a tiny bit less pain each day. After therapy she sat in a wheelchair for half hour or so today. She loves not lying in bed! But it’s also fatiguing.
Mom goes to see the Orthopedic Surgeon tomorrow (Thursday) and I have a meeting with her Park Regency Case Manager, Kat, on Friday.
11411 Brookshire Avenue, Suite 200
Downey, CA 90241
(near, but not at, PIH Downey)
Mom has complained that her right foot hurts and that she can’t flex it. It just “flops”. She uses her left foot to push it into a “normal” position. Terry wonders if perhaps she also broke her foot in the fall and it wasn’t diagnosed because the hip and shoulder were more dramatic? She suggested a foot x-ray during this visit to Dr. Shamlou.
Meeting with Mom’s Park Regency Case Manager
Park Regency Care Center
1770 W. La Habra Blvd.
La Habra CA 90631
Posted in Park Regency
Today marks 2 weeks of mom’s odyssey. She is looking better. The black-and-blue from all the IVs in her left, non-broken, arm is starting to fade a little. The fatigue of 14 days of laying down and not moving, and of endless days of wondering what is to come, does wear on her. Mom’s doing an impressive job of trying to stay buoyant and positive. Reflecting on my own double-elbow-break, I’m in awe of how well she’s surviving this ordeal.
Mom had a session of therapy today. They had her sit up in bed. There wasn’t any therapy yesterday (Friday) and there won’t be any tomorrow (Sunday). Apparently the “rehab center” doesn’t do rehab on Sundays? So that’s 1 therapy session in 3 days. At PIH Health they were doing 2 sessions a day.
Father John from St. Thomas Aquinas came to visit mom today and give her communion. She was really happy about that.
Poor Tina is sick!
Did you know that Tina was a Halloween Baby?
David, Licha, et al are organizing a Superbowl party at David’s place today. I thought that since mom can’t be there, maybe we can do a Blab from “Sheila’s Gym”.
Posted in Park Regency
Mom’s 1st full day back at Park Regency.
The Physical Therapist said therapy will start tomorrow.
Tiki came to visit.
Tiki was happy to see mom.
Mom was happy to see Tiki.
Dr. Trinh transferred mom from PIH Whittier to Park Regency rehab center this afternoon.
I think she’s actually looking a bit better… but the gravitas of things and the long days are also wearing on her. She said today that she might never drive again, and that her life will be forever changed.
We’re having a Vanentine’s Day party at “Sheila’s Gym” (Park Regency Room 202B) on Sunday Feb 14 from Noon – 4pm. Drop by anytime!
Posted in Park Regency
On the 1st day of the 2nd week of this odyssey, Tiki came to Park Regency to visit mom. Their first time together since the fall. Everybody seemed very happy about this!
Also Tiki stayed at my place last night and that seems a lot better than being alone all day at Monterey Park.
Mom’s shoulder replacement surgery was only 60 hours ago and so she’s still in plenty of pain. When the staff move her for any number of reasons, it hurts. I think mom’s doing a good job of keeping positive, but the pain, the medication, the endless hours in bed, it’s all quite challenging.
There continues to be a wonderful stream of visitors and I think that really helps. Thanks so much to everyone!