Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hospital Beds and Other Furniture

Let's begin with my desk:

Which is kind of amazing, considering it was barely visible and could not be approached without fear of bodily harm a week ago. My tax prep stuff is not quite yet off to the accountant, but I'm close. Very close. I predict that the file for a certain story I'm revising will be opened this evening.

Things are not going so well with the hospital bed for my mom. Every week for the last month, I've called the company that will be providing the bed after Medicare approves it. Every week, I've also called the doctor's office. The Company assures me that they are trying assiduously to get the paperwork that Medicare requires of the Doctor. The Doctor assures me that they've sent it to the Company. I call the Company back; they say yes, the Doctor has sent This but not That. I call the Doctor; they say, oh, we will send That. I call the Company who says, well, yes, they sent That, but they did it wrong. Repeat. Repeat. And on and on.

On Friday, while the blessed Rosa was with my mom, I drove to the Company. Hi, I said, just thought I'd stop by and see if we could phone the Doctor together, so that I'm not in the middle of this weird ping-pong game, blindfolded. Well, I didn't say that exactly, but something much more prosaic. Sure, the guy said. For fifteen minutes, the Doctor's line was busy. Okay, I said, how about you show me exactly what you need. I will go get it and bring it back to you today.

They actually have a hand-out that explains what Medicare needs. The piece the Doctor failed to provide is explained in the photo above, annotated and highlighted, propped up against my dashboard. I took it to the Doctor. Explained. Wrote my mother's name and birthdate on it. I'll wait for it, I said. Oh dear, that's not how it works, the woman behind the desk said. Oh yes it is, I almost said, mentally unfurling a sleeping bag and pillow while I yawned and stretched and said, I'm waiting for that fucking piece of paper, and I plan on sleeping here. Instead, I said okay. She said, I'm sorry. The doctor will get to it soon. I said, Thank you.

That was Friday. At approximately 11:30. The Woman said they would fax it to the Company. Uh-huh.

And you know what, I don't really blame the Doctor or the Woman at the front desk. Or the Company. I blame Medicare. The pile of paper the Doctor has already sent the Company is enough to paper the wall of a large room. The doctor wrote out a prescription for a hospital bed, just like he writes out a prescription for my mother's 10mg opiate pain killers. I could sell those. I could take those little pills myself and get doped up enough to never give a damn about her hospital bed. No big deal. Here's one little piece of paper. Now sign here. Take it to the pharmacy. Bingo. Opiates. A hospital bed? Nope. Let's not give an old woman who's almost 90 and in constant pain a hospital bed. God knows what might happen.

Monday I will call the Company. Visit the Doctor again, if necessary. When I get that bed, I'm going to work on changing the regulations. Any tips, readers?

Oh, and of course, when we get the bed, I'm gonna have a crazy party. We'll raise our heads, and then our feet, oh my god, we'll put up the sides so we don't fall out and then we'll put the sides back down and take pain pills until we fall on the floor.


Ms. Moon said...

People who say our medical system is the best in the world are dreaming and out of their minds OR have so much fucking money that they have no clue.

I'm sorry.

I sort of love the idea of the bed party. Can I come? I'll bring my own opiates. And a bottle of tequila. We'll need those side-rails in the upright position for sure.

Elizabeth said...

I'll bring the rectal valium.

And is there anything better than the phrase:

"must also include DX to back up narrative in the narrative."

Andrea said...

Oh good lordy lord. Makes me want a Xanax or ten. I wish you luck of the highest and purest order.

37paddington said...

"must also include DX to back up narrative in the narrative."

well, damn.

i wish i had advice but i don't. well, i might. get a knowledgeable eldercare lawyer to call them maybe? that worked on a couple of occasions for my aunt. results were immediate. but it costs money.