Everything Can Change

In a blink of an eyeI can relate to Christine Scott’s feelings and well written words in Laura’s Story, Part 4: “You should have some type of warning before your life unequivocally changes so you have the chance to do things differently—to take advantage of those last moments to say ‘I love you’ and ‘goodbye.’”

How easy it is to take for granted family, friends, life, health and abilities.

Today’s a great day to hug the ones we love and appreciate what we have. Remember, “in the blink of an eye everything can change.”

Part 5 of Laura’s Story will be published on Wednesday.

If Insurance Denies – Make an Appeal

Dr. 1992After I brought Mark home from Western Rehab, the insurance company agreed to pay “day-patient” therapy for three months, which meant I took him Monday through Friday for all day therapy. After three months, they denied the request for continued therapy, stating, “If he is well enough to be home he didn’t need that intense level of therapy.”

I appealed, by calculating and stating the large amount of money saved in nursing care by having him home. I also requested that they send a representative to come to Western Rehab and observe him in therapy. I was sure if they witnessed his level of care and need for therapy they would approve it.

Blue Cross Insurance did send a representative, and after the observation they did extend his therapy for another three months at “day-patient” level.

In June 1992, I had to make another appeal for therapy to continue. “Half-day” therapy was granted, allowing Mark to have speech, physical and occupational therapy once daily.

In August 1992, a third appeal for continued therapy was made. “Out-patient” therapy was granted through the end of the year, allowing therapy three days per week.

It was a fight to keep the therapy going after Mark returned home — but the fight was well worth it. I did make a forth appeal for therapy because we still hoped for more improvement. The forth appeal was denied.

1992 - Mark with his Therapist at Western Rehab

1992 – Mark with his Therapist at Western Rehab

I was grateful for the year of intense therapy. He learned to drink and feed himself; speak more clearly and work his facial muscles into a smile. His cognitive skills improved. He gained enough strength to propel his wheelchair. All big steps in the right direction.

Even though Mark’s rehabilitation was not at the level we had hoped for when it ended, we appreciated the insurance company for extending the therapy benefit three times.

We are so grateful for the knowledge of doctors and therapist’s who helped Mark achieve a better quality of life.

Don’t Share the Bug

bug notEven when I don’t feel good, it’s hard to stay home when there are places to go and people to see. Isn’t it customary to push the limits? The last thing I want to do is share this bug and besides, I’ve been places many times where sick people were pushing their limits to attend an event. Their coughing and sneezing always makes me wished they would’ve stayed home.

As a caregiver it’s hard not to share the bug with those who depend on us. When I feel least like cleaning — it’s most important that I do. I love those disinfecting wipes, they make it so easy. I try to keep TV remotes, door knobs, phone, key boards, handles, just about anything that I touch, clean with the disinfecting wipes. If I use a sponge, I zap it in the microwave, but beware: a dry sponge can catch fire. Be sure to soak your sponge before you nuke it.

When I transfer Mark in or out of his wheelchair, I remind him that I’m feeling weaker than usual, therefore I need him to do his very best to help. I don’t hold him as close as I usually do and I remind him to look the opposite direction than I am, and no kissing😦. So far so good — he hasn’t caught the bug yet. I know he has a strong immune system, but I like to think these efforts help too.

Since I enjoy using an electric toothbrush and can’t afford to replace it often, I clean it by dipping it (before use) in isopropyl alcohol and then rinsing it with water. I also wash my hands many times during the day to keep from spreading germs.

Please comment and share your tips on how you stay healthy or keep from spreading germs.