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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook

You all know the story of the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. Well, this past week, my straw happened to be a $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook.

Before I commence this story, let me give a little background. You see that last post? The one right under here? Which is titled "One Hoop Jumped, One More to Go"? well that thing should have been titled "One Hoop Jumped and Another Zillion to Go!!!"

So the doctor does send a script for PT and OT, but I hear nothing. Usually (in my experience) these things go pretty quick. By day three, I call the rehab center who tells me that yes, indeed, they got a script but it had the WRONG CODE on it and they have been trying to call the doctor's office to get the right code and have left several messages and no one is returning their phone calls.

So here I am again, jumping hoops. Trying to get ahold of someone (anyone there?) at the doctor's office who knows what the "right code" might be. Finally, on Friday, rehab gets the "right code" but only for PT, not OT.

Good thing is that they sent the PT script through the insurance and it was approved. Yes! But still no OT. Doctor is just not responding... But the woman at the rehab center says "let's set up a PT appt." and I say "OK" and then she says it will cost $40.00/hour, and I say, Bob is approved for Medical/Financial Assistance and she says, well I don't know anything about that, so you better call them, otherwise it will cost $40 for PT and, if the doctor does send the right code, it's another $40 for OT, so $80/day at 3 days per week.......

and yikes, we can't afford that...

So I call Medical/Financial Assistance (who last year, said they would pay Bob's co-pays for rehab, god bless their souls) but the woman I spoke with last year is on vacation and will be gone for the rest of the month. And no one else in the office knows a darn thing about it... So, I am transferred to one woman, who transfers me to another woman, who transfers me to yet another supervisor whose voice mail tells me she is also on vacation and gives me a number for someone else! Finally, I end up with someone who tells me that we have to file a whole new application, because applications are only good for a year....

So OK. Here I am filling out all this paperwork. Again.

Meanwhile, Bob's right (paralyzed) arm is still killing him (nothing seems to help, not the botox, not the splint, not the Lyrica) and he wont even let me touch that arm without him screaming in pain. Plus now his toes on his left (unaffected) foot are curling up and killing him. I took him to his neurologist and asked about the toes, he said "that's neuropathy" and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. (He didn't even look at them.) I really don't believe the neuro doc because, really, anything that happens to Bob, say Bob suddenly sprouts feathers out of his back, the neuro doc would chalk it up to "neuropathy". That's his catch-all, end-all, end of discussion...

So I take Bob to the primary care doc, the one who ordered PT/OT with the wrong codes, and while we are there, I ask about the curling toes. He looks at them and says it's a "muscle contraction" in the three middle toes.  I ask what can we do about it? and he says, well, he can send Bob to a podiatrist who could build special shoes for Bob that will cost $300-400 and insurance will not pay for it. Do you want to do that? Well, duh, no, because Bob doesn't wear shoes that much, being bedbound etc., and that's alot of money to spend for shoes for walking practice and by the way, I couldn't afford it even if I wanted to, but what about the pain? And he says ask the PT/OT when we get to rehab. Maybe they can splint it. Or something.

Well, still no PT/OT because he sent the WRONG CODES plus we have to reapply for Financial Assistance and god knows how long this will take---

And I won't even tell you about the fight I've just had Food Stamps who cut us back $30.00/month for no darn apparent reason and the 45 minutes I spent on the phone arguing with them with no luck....

And I won't mention the hours I spent this last week trying to scrub shit-stains out of Bob's Tommy Hilfiger sheets. And I won't mention how Bob is still trying to pee for hours and hours and hours with no luck..... And how he seems to be getting weaker and weaker and that's why I want him to get some PT... Or how the nasal spray that the Ear, Nose, Throat doc prescribed has caused a HUGE red rash all over Bob's belly, left arm and leg.... Or how dirty the house is, having not been cleaned thoroughly in over a year... and how darn depressed I've been feeling lately. Too depressed to even blog as much as usual...

Anyway, on Saturday, Chris comes over to sit with Bob so I can get to Wal-Mart and a couple of other stores. It's always a big dash to get home in time for Chris to catch the bus back... So shopping is not relaxing.

But I went to Wal-Mart to get, among other things, a pair of shorts for me (as mine have been mended umpteen times and are still tearing out) and get some cat food, and the usual Wal-Mart supplies, plus to look for some kind of toe splint for Bob to help his toes because who knows how long it will take to get him into Rehab.

Well, I go through all the "foot care" aisle, nothing there for toes. Go to the shoe department, nothing there... I do find some "toe cushions" which I think might help with walking practice, but still, they are just cushions. I'm thinking Bob needs some kind of hard splint to straighten his toes out, especially at night...

So, I am walking past the Hardware Dept. and see this thing. And it looks like it just might work for a toe splint. I pull it off the shelf and it's called a "Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook". So it's a hook you paste on the wall. It's white molded plastic about 3 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide, which seems to be just the right size for a toe splint. The hook-end is curved like a U and looks like it would curve perfectly over Bob's little toe and keep the thing in place.  The whole thing is "arced" so it's like a half moon and I think maybe, just maybe, I could put this under Bob's toes at night to stretch them straight and relax them and I could tape this hook with medical paper tape (which I happen to have a huge supply of, because for some reason the company that sends Bob's feeding tube supplies always sends me paper tape, which I have no clue what to do with, so therefore I have a stash of this stuff). The hook costs $3.98.

I stare at this "$3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook" for awhile, wondering if my bright idea will work. Then I think, well, heck, if it doesn't work, it's not the first time I wasted $3.98... So I buy it.

That night, I attempt to apply my ingenious idea of the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook splint on Bob's toes. I get out the paper tape and the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook, and believe it not, the hook fits perfectly under his toes. I am trying to attach the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook to his toes with the paper tape, but the tape is sticky and is sticking to my fingers and while I am fidgeting with the tape, that $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook springs out from under Bob's toes and flies past me onto the floor. Shit.

First I have to extract myself from the tape. Then I look on the floor. And damn, I don't see the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook. I get down on my knees, thinking it must have sprung under the bed or chair or something. It's not there.

So now I'm crawling on the floor, looking for the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook. But I can't find it. It's not there. Not anywhere.

It seems to have disappeared into a black hole.

And that's when I lose it. I mean I am so frustrated that I really, really lose it.

And I just scream! I mean, I really SHRIEK! Nothing intelligible, mind you, just GAAAAAA!!! The kind of noise that should send the neighbors all scrambling to call 911, but all our neighbors are all gone, having been foreclosed on so I don't have to worry about that. So I continue just shrieking, screaming, wailing because GOD DAMN IT my $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook has disappeared!!! And this is the LAST STRAW!

And when I stop screaming, stop shrieking, I start cursing. I tell you, I really let out a string of profanities, that I will spare you and not print here. Just say, I curse everything. God. The Angels in Heaven. Fate. Doctors, Hospitals, Government Bureaucracies. Stupid Paperwork. And the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook. Nothing is sacred. I DAMN THEM ALL. I am just going BALLISTIC.  Cursing at the TOP OF MY LUNGS. Poor Bob isn't even immune to my curses. Hell, I yell at Bob, something like "Why did you FALL IN LOVE WITH ME??? YOU COULD HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH ANYONE!!! WHY ME??? HANDSOME GUY THAT YOU ARE!!! ALL THOSE WOMEN YOU DATED!!! WHY DID YOU PICK ME??? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!! AND WHY DON'T YOU GET BETTER??!!!!!"

And while I am screaming, this last bit, which was  "I CAN'T TO THIS ANYMORE!!!" I find myself suddenly exhausted and fall in a heap to the floor.

Then I just tumble into tears. Tears running down my face. Snot flowing from my nose. Gagging, gulping, gasping great sobs...

When I look up I see Bob, in his hospital bed, staring at me wide-eyed. And he beckons me, with his one good arm, a sort of "come here" gesture. So I go to him.

He gives me a one-armed hug. Tells me "It's OK."

He tells me, "I sorry."

He tells me, "I stronger."

He tells me, "I love you."

And then, after awhile. After crying on his shoulder. I gather myself together and notice--

down at the bottom of the bed----

there is the $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook.

On the bed!

It hadn't fallen on the floor at all.  GA!

So I grab the paper tape and attach the damn hook to his toes.

And you know what?

It worked.


barbpolan said...

When things go wrong for me like that, I START with the profanities and, man, am I getting creative at that.

You can do it! You've been doing this for longer than anyone can be expected to without falling apart. Bob adores you and obviously will do anything he CAN to help you through it.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you haven't had one of those breakdown screaming, swearing, cussing, crying, let it all out frustrational outbursts a long time ago.

I'm sure Bob was a bit shocked, but it's obvious he understood and showed his love and compasion with his consoling you afterward. The love and devotion you both have for each other is inspirational.

And if that $3.98 Damage-Free Hanging Decorative Arc Hook would have been specifically made as a toe brace, it would have cost you $398.

Hugs, Dan

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you Diane - wish I could just "pop" over and help, but Texas is a ways away.
Take care and hopefully today is a much better day :)

metalgirl162002 said...

Wow, sounds like you had a really crazy day! Hope you have better days soon!

Rebecca Dutton said...

I can't help you but I hear you thanks to your ability to show instead of tell.