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Saturday, May 31, 2014


Oh my gosh, we settled today at mediation! What a darn long stressful day it was --- 7 hours, ga! And at one point, we were ready to walk out the door because of their piss poor offers....

But, somehow, our attorney pulled it off!

Afterwards, the Hospital Executive (who was there representing The Hospital) hugged me, and told me she hoped that this settlement would make our lives better! (Though she glared at our attorney and refused to shake his hand. ha!) Also the mediator hugged me with tears in her eyes! weird... but nice.  (OK, no hugs from the defense attorneys... just shook hands.....)

Our attorney congratulated me, afterwards, for a great job, and I said what? great job? and he said that I didn't flinch, even when they threw "a lot of money" at me, I held out for what I knew Bob really needed.  And he said, he felt The Defense paid out more than they wanted to.

Our attorney drove me home and went in the house to see Bob. He told Bob "We won!" and Bob said, "I won?!!" and our attorney told Bob that he had a "good wife" who "fought hard" then Bob started to cry. I was a bit confused, i.e. why was Bob crying? Did he understand? so I went to Bob and hugged him and said "Are you OK?" and he said "Happy".  Later, I wrote out in BIG NUMBERS on a piece of paper with a Sharpie the amount of our settlement to show Bob (he seems to understand numbers better if they are written really big) and he said "That much? Wow!")

I had to sign a "confidentiality" agreement, so can't tell you the amount, and actually it was not as much as I hoped, and we would have probably got a lot more at a trial, but there are risks to that --- but will say, once invested in a Special Needs Trust, it's enough to take care of Bob for the rest of his life. And that's what it's all about.

And we will still be poor for a few months before everything is sorted out...

Our attorney is happy! Which he should be with 40% of the take.

And I think I will be happy, too, once the shock and numbness wears off, right now I am still quite shocked and it's not really sinking in....

Thanks everyone for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Strange Days Indeed...

The lawsuit took a peculiar turn immediately after Bubba's deposition. Yes, Bubba, you all know him, he's our car mechanic.

As part of our case, our attorney wanted me to provide him with a list of "before and after" witnesses, meaning people who knew us both before the stroke and afterwards and would be willing to testify to how the stroke has changed both Bob, physically, and our lives in general.

Bubba was the first of our "before and after" witnesses to be deposed by The Defense.

Now a big part of The Defense's case revolves around trying to paint a picture of Bob as being already "severely disabled" prior to the stroke. Which, of course, is complete BS. I mean, yes, Bob was on Social Security Disability prior to this, no one is lying about that, and because of his neuropathy, he could not handle a full-time job, BUT he was certainly able to walk, talk, eat, do things, etc. And he certainly was NOT paralyzed or wheelchair/bedbound, needing assistance with everything, as he is now. The Defense has been trying to "prove" Bob was that severely disabled, mainly through testimony of a few idiot doctors who can't seem to recall Bob at all, prior to the stroke....

Bubba's testimony revolved around the last time that Bob took The Green Machine up to Bubba's place, which was approximately two weeks prior to the stroke. At that time, Bob had been tuning up the car, but was having difficulty removing one of the spark plugs and wanted Bubba's assistance. That spark plug was in a difficult place to reach, a special mechanic's tool was needed to get at it.

After Bubba's deposition, The Defense immediately canceled my sister's deposition, which was scheduled for the same afternoon, telling us they had a "house emergency".  Then they canceled our other two "before and after" witnesses, and they canceled five physical therapists and several doctors who were scheduled to be deposed.

Yesterday, three attorneys from The Defense met with our attorney. They said would like to "resolve" our case without going to trial. We are scheduled for mediation this Friday.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Semantic Paraphasic Errors

This week, Bob passed his 4 week re-evaluation for outpatient PT and was scheduled for another 4 weeks! (Yay!) And he also had an evaluation from a new speech therapist.

I must say it was an interesting appointment and I must say, I do like this ST. She assessed Bob's "main" aphasia problem as making what she called "semantic paraphasic errors". This means that when Bob tries to "find" a word, and chooses a wrong word, this wrong word is in the same category or closely related to word he is trying to find.

For example: when the ST showed Bob a picture of a garden bench, he said "yard".

And when she asked Bob if we had any pets/animals at home, Bob told her "a horse". (Of course, if you ever met Boomer --- well, you know, many people say he's as big as horse!)

She says she has some ideas on how to work on this problem.

And this "semantic paraphasic errors" thing is good for me to know and understand, because now when Bob says a word that doesn't make sense, I know the word he means is something closely related to the word he says. I think just knowing this may help our communication.

She also had Bob working on an aphasia app on her I-Pad. Afterward, Bob told me the I-Pad was "fun". I do wish we could afford one of these for him..... maybe someday!

So! Bob starts speech therapy in June. He will have two appointments each week. And he is looking forward to it.

And to think, his last ST told me, over a year ago, that Bob didn't need speech therapy because he was "functional" enough to let me know his needs with gestures... Before that, the ST had discharged him for "no progress".

So, it's great to find a ST who, finally, wants to work with him. And actually has a diagnosis which is not vague or kept hidden from me (like his first ST who would not tell me the results of her "tests").

And, thank goodness, he's getting financial aid for this from the charity hospital. And they just started offering speech therapy there.  Otherwise, we'd never be able to afford it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lawyers, Part II

Lately, I've noticed that Bob and I are getting rather frosty receptions from a few of Bob's doctors. I mean, we arrive for Bob's appointment and the doc is all business, no small talk, no "how are you today?" just acting creepily business-like... and I think I know why.

Our attorney's office has been, lately, inundated with calls from Bob's doctors, all of them wanting to know how to get The Defense attorneys off their backs. Seems The Defense is peppering their offices with multiple duplicate repeated supoenas for Bob's medical records. Unfortunately, we can't control The Defense, so there's nothing we can do to stop this. Bob's doctors are all now "lawyering up", and thus, not happy to see us arrive in the office. Which concerns me, and makes me wonder, am I going to have to find all new doctors for Bob when this is over? Will the medical care Bob receives suffer from all of this?

Personally, I got a call from the manager of the small medical supply company that fills Bob's monthly condom catheter order. The manager had received his fifth or sixth supoena for same records and he was up to his ears with this....

And remember the acute rehab hospital that Bob and I toured, but I nixed because they only provided group therapy? Well, that hospital has gotten four supoenas and, when told that Bob was never a patient at their facility so there are no records, The Defense threatened to sue them for "withholding information".

Not to mention, countless depositions (including mine) scheduled then canceled at the last minute.

OK, time to cue up the circus music... This is turning into a freak show. And, honest to God, I can't believe it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Idiot Doctors

Idiot Doctor #1

Evil Attorney: When you last saw this patient, was he using a power wheelchair?

Idiot Doctor: Yes. He has a power scooter.

EA: Do you know the make and model of his power scooter?

ID: No, I don't recall. But it has a joystick. He controls it with a joystick.

EA: So, he's pretty independent, then, getting around on his power scooter?

ID: Oh yes, he was zipping around all over the office!

Me (reading this) thinking: power scooter? POWER SCOOTER????  WHAT POWER SCOOTER???? THERE IS NO FREAKING POWER SCOOTER!!!! This idiot has Bob confused with some other patient. And Bob zipping around the office????? What???!!! GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! It's me pushing that wheelchair and do I look like a freaking power scooter???? GAAA!!!!

Idiot Doctor #2

EA: Prior to the stroke, did your patient need assistance with dressing?

ID: Yes.

EA: Bathing?

ID: Yes.

EA: Toileting?

ID: Yes.

EA: Feeding?

ID: Yes.

EA: Transferring?

ID: Yes

EA: So, he pretty much needed assistance with everything.

ID: Yes.

Me (reading this) thinking: SHE SAID "PRIOR TO" PRIOR TO!!! you idiot! NOT AFTERWARDS!!!!  Because Bob could do all those things before the stroke!  GA!!!!!!!!!

And that's just two examples of doctors being idiots. Sadly, there's more of these idiots. Sadly, they are videotaping these idiots to play to the jury....  grrrrrr

Sadly, I will never look at any doctor the same way again. To think, I actually liked/trusted both of these doctors....

If anyone wonders why I show up at the trial completely bald, it's because I've been tearing out my hair out here!

And yes, I do trust our attorney, who pretty much laughs at these exchanges. But jeepers! I am losing sleep at night.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Evil Lawyers

There's an old joke that goes like this:

Q:  What's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer?
A:  One is a scum-sucking bottom-feeder and the other--- is a fish.

And it appears we are dealing with this type of lawyers. I say "lawyers" as The Defense has not one, not two, but a team of eleven (count 'em!) lawyers working against our case.

Imagine my surprise, when I received The Defense's full-blown "Witness List", in which they have listed 357 witnesses. (357??!!) My god, how long is this trial going to take? 

Plus, I don't recognize 90% of these names....

But that wasn't the shocking part, the shocking part is that #8 on their witness list is my ex-husband. Yes! my ex-husband!! who I divorced in 1989 and haven't seen since 1988 when he skipped town with some floozy and moved across the country. Not to mention the death threats to me before he left. I was scared shitless of him. And WTF does he got to do with anything????????

And if that isn't bad enough, #9 on the list is Bob's ex-wife, who I'm sure will have nothing good to say about him at all--and poor Bob can't even speak up to defend himself.

Good grief. What the heck does this ancient history have to do with the fact that The Hospital hired incompetent nurses???? Except that they are trying their damnedest to smear us.

Plus, just got word, I'm being pulled in for yet another deposition. GA!!!!

And I have more to say about this, much more crap going on, but not enough time to tell you about it.  I admit I am stressed over this-- actually had some scary moments i.e. heart beating too hard, feeling like throwing up, thought I was having a heart attack, jeepers, scary, it's just major stress --- but they are not going to wear me down, they are only pissing me off!-- and, right now, Bob needs his catheter changed and I have got to go. 

Stay tuned for Evil Lawyers Part II, and don't miss "Idiot Doctors".

aargh, this lawsuit has turned into a circus.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Still Stranded

Chris, who watches Bob for me so I can run errands, is still stranded at home because her power wheelchair is not working. This has been going on for nearly a month now. And that means, I am stranded at home, too.

Two weeks ago, I arranged a wheelchair transport and took Bob with me to the pharmacy to get his pain pills.  We also went grocery shopping together a couple of times.  Saturday, I will have to do the same thing to pick up his pain patches and get some more groceries.

While I love having Bob with me, the amount of work involved, for me, to take Bob anywhere is incredible. First there is the two hours or more getting him bathed, dressed, shaved, hair washed and combed, etc. all which, with the exception of shaving, I have to do for him. Then there is physically moving him into the wheelchair, which involves taking off the wheelchair arm, but the hardest part of this is when I actually lift his legs into the chair. Then, there's putting on his shoes and sunglasses and putting the wheelchair arm on, plus his right arm support and phew! I'm already exhausted and we haven't left the house yet...

Then add the fact that the wheelchair transport limits you to three bags of groceries, making it impossible to stock up like I usually do.

This has been my life these past few weeks or so without Chris. Which makes me really appreciate her.  She's waiting for a new/used power chair from a charity, and hopefully will have that next week.  Meanwhile, I tell you, all these extra outings with Bob added to twice weekly PT has left me with sore legs and a backache and completely exhausted.

Today, we are off to PT again. That's a six block walk, one way, with me pushing that wheelchair. Add to that, his chair tires need air and my air compressor is not working!  grrr

And, to think, The Defense is going to tell the jury that I don't need any help around here...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Starting From Scratch, Again

So, we are back at Outpatient Rehab working on standing. And I tell you, it's an all too familiar scene, as it seems no matter how far he gets with therapy, he always ends up back here:

Bob standing with therapist
I guess, I should be proud that at least, this time, it didn't take three therapists to hold him up! After standing up four times, for less than 1 minute each, the PT worked with stretching Bob's neck muscles then on "stand and pivot" to transfer Bob from wheelchair to a bed.

The "stand and pivot" was more like a "stand sort of weirdly crouched and have therapist lift Bob onto the bed" but, at least Bob was able to push up from the chair with his hand on the armrest.  As the PT said, "you have to start somewhere!" So we'll see what happens. It would be great if Bob could do a "stand and pivot" as that would make my job much easier.

And I am glad Bob is motivated again and really trying hard!