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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trouble With Speech Therapy

It was a distressing day with Speech therapy at Rehab yesterday. Bob's regular therapist was gone so we had the substitute (remember the "goood jaaahb!" lady?) She, too, did a "dry" Vital-Stem on his throat, a complete waste of time, if you ask me, and then she said she was going to "finish the test". And I'm thinking, finish the test? I asked her what she meant and she told me that the other therapist was in the process of "testing" Bob and she was going to "finish the test." This floored me because at the last session the therapist made no mention of a "test". I know that she had shown Bob flash cards, etc., and made notes of his answers, but she always makes notes and that session didn't seem unusual to me.

So I asked this therapist what the test was for and all I got was a pretty evasive answer, i.e. "it's just a test". And I'm thinking, what on earth is going on? Because, before when they were getting ready to discharge him, they didn't do a "test". And now, during these "extra" four sessions, the ones ordered by the neurologist as an extension, they are "testing" him? Instead of doing therapy? I ask her why they are testing him now and the answer is "to see where he stands". So I ask if I'll get to see the results of this test, to see "where he stands"? She says "Oh, I don't think it's a good idea for people to know where they stand"..... Huh?

So she proceeds to "test" Bob on things I absolutely know in advance he's going to fail. Like reading. And writing. Those two things I have been begging the therapists to work with Bob on, but they have not done it. She shows him some words and asks Bob to read them out loud and, unfortunately, Bob has no clue. At one point, she left the room and the word in front of Bob was "chair", so I lean over to Bob and whisper "the word is 'chair'" and when she came back in the room, Bob said "chair!", but that was the only one he got right. Then she gave him a blank piece of paper and asked him to write his name, which he did. He can do that. I have taught him that. Then she asked him to write letters, i.e. "T, G, R, etc." I think he got the "T" right but that was it. She asked him to write the word "cat" and he wrote "dog" (no kidding) and she asked him to write a couple other words which he either drew complete blanks on or wrote some unintelligible squiggle. She asked him to write the numbers "one, two, three" and he couldn't do it. And that was the end of the session.

It feels like they are trying to sabotage him. To screw up his chances of continued therapy. As if they are going to use this "test" against him. I am quite concerned about it. I mean, are they going to show this "test" to the insurance company or his doctor in order to prove that continued therapy is a waste of time? Or what? Right now, it is my understanding that the insurance company is not the one pushing for the discharge. Bob's case manager told me that Bob's insurance plan has no limit on the amount of therapy he can receive as long as it is "medically necessary" and so far, according to the case manager, there has not been a problem with the insurance. It's the therapists themselves who are pushing for the discharge and I don't understand it. It's as if they just don't want to work with him. And here they are "testing" him on things they haven't even covered in therapy.

I am feeling sick to my stomach over this. And feeling like I made a big mistake asking for more therapy.


oc1dean said...

Diane, Is there any way you can go to another clinic? I would have to agree with you that the test is just being used to prove he is failing. Which should be evidence that he needs therapy. Turn it around and say that the test proves that the therapists are failing(not Bob) and demand better ones.
hang in there, stroke recovery has no timeline even though medical insurance and staff would like to believe that canard.

Diane said...

Dean, I'm taking Bob to see his Ear Nose Throat doctor on Thursday and going to ask him to review the swallow tests and recommend a course of action and hopefully a different therapist/clinic.... fingers crossed...

Nikki said...

Man, it sounds like they're really screwing with you, like they're setting him up for failure.

Jenn said...

Spot on Dean! Wow. Why are these people therapists (rhetorical, obviously)? Grrr. Ditto. Hang in there.