Monday, October 24, 2016

There's cheap, and there's stupid

Ron doesn't want to see me tomorrow. 

No, we didn't have a fight. 

I woke up pretty early and went to work.  I had a surprise visit from "The Boss" who said everything looked "Very Good".  Good.  I stocked everything and made my inventory, for Thursday, when we will most likely make a supply run. 

I wore my back brace.  It has suspenders so I can wear it like an open vest, secure it when I need a lift, and open it up again when I'm done.  Better safe than sorry.  I have seen enough with people in my life and bad backs.  Praise God mine seems pretty happy. 

I treated Chuck and myself to Burger King, and then came home.  I took my meds, and a nap. 

I got a phone call.  Ron was having hysterics.  He had talked to his case manager, who "thought" rehab cost about a thousand dollars a day.  He ran that past 20% of the total bill (his Medicare only pays 80%), came up with several thousand owed, and had a meltdown. 

He wanted to check out tomorrow morning.  After hours of conversation, I managed to talk him out of it.  The damage is done, one way or another.  He might as well stay until Wednesday. 

I reminded him of his hospital bill last year, $14K to start, Medicare adjustments, $300 at the end.  Fee for service means every provider pays a different price, not to mention the woman only "thought" it cost that much. 

Ron said, if he'd known, he just would have come home.  Bed bound and unable to sit up or roll over in bed?  How could I leave him to go to work?  "Oh, you could just clean me up when you got home". 

Hell to the no.  No way, ever.  He was completely incapacitated.  If Medicare is willing to pay 80% of rehab, I'll pay the 20%, even if it means we make payments for years.  I would have suffered a spectacular caregiver burnout. 

On the one hand, I guess I should be flattered he thinks I could do that, on the other hand I want to beat him over the head with a heavy object for even considering it.  There's cheap, and there's stupid.  God has blessed us with enough to cover the bills.  Let's use the blessing to prevent catastrophe. 

Oh, it was hell taking care of him the last time, after his accident (he didn't have Medicare at that time).  I had to do everything for him.  I was completely fried and I wasn't even running the business. 

SELFISH!  Him, not me. 

I think you know me pretty well by now. 

By the way, Chuck said something nice to me today, something I will probably not hear anywhere else.  The gist of it:
Heather, Ron's recovery is in a large part due to your care and devotion.  He couldn't have come this far without your support. 

I need to hear that.  If you have a caregiver in your life (not necessarily taking care of you), take a minute to show some appreciation.  Everyone says "take care of yourself".  How about "Can I take you out for coffee?  Can I bring you a meal?  Can I pick up something for you? (Oh, I would love you so much if you said that to me)"  Ask if there is something specific you can do to help.  Then do it.  Let them know you respect and admire them, and it's OK to "feel".  Please do this. 

By the time I got to the center Ron was "in a loop" going around and around about the money thing.  I kept reminding him, even if it's a large bill, we can make payments.  He kept insisting he had to leave Tuesday instead of Wednesday.  It was exhausting. 

As if I hadn't had enough running the business and battling my own mental wounds. 

Then he started in on me, he was sick of seeing me every day, why was I spending hours a day with him, I was wasting money (I reminded him I was wasting MY money).  Etc. He kept going on and on. 

I finally snapped.  "Fine, I won't come in tomorrow to see you, if you promise to stay until Wednesday"  He agreed. 

1 minute after I walked out, he texted me to come back and listen to something on the radio "We already left, Ron". 

When I got home I turned off my phone for the first time in weeks.  He doesn't want me around.  Fine. 

I think he will crack first. 


Anonymous said...

oh Heather sorry about Rons loop. I get that you are going to have more adjustments and the days in the rehab were worth EVERY PENNY I agree. This is not the final bill and I wonder if there are other services that could help you pay. in the end like you said you can make payments. He needed daily PT and to be assisted physically.

just tune him out if you can knowing this is his "loop" and what his baseline is he does "loop" Maybe a day off before he comes home would be a good thing you have time alone to prepare for the shift in care giving again ..enjoy your furbabies and just have some "time" to get your mindset back into the care giving mode .
will someone be coming to the house to do his PT?

he sounds so well physically can he go to work yet though?

whatever I agree when I have had tough times the folks who just showed up with some groceries ..stayed a min and left? were the best friends EVER! I am so glad you guys have Chuck he sounds like the salt of the earth . We have a guy in our lives like him and they are our angels folks you feel safe with and who love and care for you just because they are true friends..what my girlfriend calls "real people" ..real people dont say "call me if you need anything" they call you say I am running to the store what do you need me to get for you and then just " do" . I think what he said was spot on and that you have a valuable "real person" in your life OOOXXX

Anonymous said...

No I guess you don't have to call it a fight since you are so used to his outbursts they almost seem normal now. Right?

Heather Knits said...

No one is coming to the house to do PT, and he's not doing outpatient, but they gave me a whole book of exercises and a stretchy band to do the work myself. However, I think WORK will be the best PT for Ron.

I'll tell Chuck what you said, it will make his day. :)

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