Medical vs. Social Challenges
Good news… this week Mom had to have her pacemaker replaced as it’s time was up. And although we were told that she wasn’t a candidate for surgery, everything went smoothly. We were in the ambulatory care center by 8 AM and left before 5 PM. Her color was already looking good, and her energy level was picking up quickly. This is amazing considering her pacemaker hadn’t been working since August a year ago. How the nursing home missed that milestone, I’ll never know.
There are two down sides to this situation. The new pacemaker is cheaper but will also last longer (about 8 years vs. the 6 the old one had). The reason is that the old one had two wires to it because her A-fib wasn’t constant and would only kick in when she needed it. Now her heart is a little more challenged and she’s in constant A-Fib so the pacemaker has to run constantly. So the question in the back of my head is… why do they put in a cheaper pacemaker when the heart is more challenged? The doctors explanation was that she wouldn’t use the second wire anyway. My concern is that does the system put less money into patients as they get older? Not sure what the answer is.
The second down side is that she was feeling so much better that she called the next day wanting to go with a strange man she had never met to go see an assisted living place. Thank heavens the nurse called to inform us, and we were able to put a stop to it. I’m not against her looking into assisted living places, as I understand her wish to get out of the nursing home, but she doesn’t seem to understand that the smaller places can’t meet her need to use her electric wheelchair for getting around, and don’t have as many activities as she needs. The chances of getting her own room are slim. The frustrating part for us is that the state agencies come around twice a year trying to convince residents that they can move to assisted living facilities. Their reasoning is that the state would pay less for their care at the smaller places. However, they’ve also lessened the amount they pay places, so less are opening up. They get Mom’s hopes up each time they come, and get her calling places to see if they have an opening. Most of the places have already been checked out by my sister and I, and they don’t meet Mom’s needs. But Mom has to keep trying. The worrying part is that she doesn’t see the harm in strange men coming to take her places. It worried me more this time as she had just had her pacemaker installed and had less than 24 hours to be sure it was working properly. And she would be truly taxing herself to use her walker to wander around a house that she’s never been to. She hadn’t even thought through how she was going to get there. She hasn’t ridden in a car since Christmas, and she wanted to go in a strange car to a strange place with a strange person.
So guess I’m on her bad list for now…. but she’ll get over it…