We are back home. We took a little “vacation” yesterday. In order to get Casey into the Medicaid Waiver programs we had to do a 24 hour stay in a nursing home. We tried to make it as fun as possible for Casey. We called it a vacation and acted like we were headed somewhere fun. It was not the best vacation I have ever had. I think we may need to get a new travel agent 🙂
We had to drive about 90 minutes NNW from home. Casey really doesn’t like rides at all, much less rides more than 20 minutes. She was awake the entire ride over. She wasn’t too fussy, thankfully. She luckily did not have any dirty diapers in transit either. She needed suctioning, but she was actually pretty good. We put her Elmo in Grouchland movie on and that helped distract her a little.
After we got to the home we took Casey straight in to her (our) room for the night. She and I got settled in while Tim went to the office to do some paperwork. We do SOOOO much paperwork. Once Casey was settled in and had her wedge (pillow) she crashed. She took a good hour or so nap.
Everyone at the home was very nice. They were ready for Casey’s stay and were very accommodating. The staff was great. The home, not so great. It was very old, and very run down. The staff made it as nice as they could. There is only so much that can be done though. The room we were in had really old, nasty carpet. Anyone that knows me knows I have a thing about gross carpet. It was really hard to get over that one. It was just one night though. The room had a twin medical bed set up for Casey and a full size bed for Tim and I. It was really nice that they had a bed for us, but it was in bad shape. When you sat or laid on it you could feel the springs poking up from inside. Casey’s bed was in better shape. The staff tried hard to make the room nice. They had bedspreads on the beds and curtains on the window. They put some fake plants around the room. They tried, and they did they best they could do with what they had.
Casey and I are both VERY hot natured. Poor Tim is always freezing at home because she and I both need the AC and fans on all the time. No heaters! The room we were in had AC, but it did not seem to be working. The staff warned us that the room could get warm. They were more than right on that one. We ended up stripping Casey down to just a diaper pretty quickly after we got there. She and I were just sweating nonstop. I HATE that feeling. Even Tim was complaining about the heat. We left the hall door open a crack to try and get some of the air from the hallway. It did not help much. We even opened the window. There was NO breeze so the window did not offer much help either. The heat was miserable. I felt like one of the people you see on movies in the deep south sleeping on porches in hopes to catch any chance of breeze (usually not being that lucky). In the movies they always show them glistening in sweat and using anything available to fan themselves. Tim and I took turns fanning Casey with some papers we had. Not many three-year-olds have their own heralds.
I decided to lay with Casey in the twin bed. She is used to cuddling up to me at night and I did not want her to be scared in a new place. There wasn’t much room so I ended up sleeping curled up across the top (where the pillows go) and had my legs hang out over to a chair next to the bed. This gave Casey plenty of room to stretch out like she likes. Tim took the big bed. This would usually work out totally to his favor, but I think I got the better end this time. His bed was awful. I didn’t even like to sit on it.
Around 5 they brought in dinner trays for Tim and I. We did not expect dinner so this was actually a nice surprise. They gave us a choice between pork stir fry or corn dogs. We both chose corn dogs. At 5, they delivered 2 pork stir fry trays to the room. The rice was okay. The veggies on the side were cooked to a mush. The pork was okay, but there were a lot of fatty parts that couldn’t be eaten. We both picked at what we could, then Tim went out to get us another dinner.
After Casey got her breathing treatments and nightly meds she was pretty tired and went right sleep. Tim was not far behind her. I can’t sleep in heat so I was in for the long haul. I had my arm behind Casey and every so often she would wake up and roll back looking for me thinking all of me was back there not just my arm. I would assure her I was still next to her and she would go back to sleep.
When we first got settled we heard a train come through. The tracks were right outside the building and the train roared through shaking the whole place. The air filled with the loud warning whistle as it blew through. We hoped this was a track that kept early hours. We were wrong, it ran all night, every 2 hours. The first couple of passes woke Tim and Casey. As the night wore on they both built up an immunity to the waking rumbles.
Just before 6 Tim joined me in watching the clock. We had to stay until 7:30. We were almost there. We heard the nurses come in for shift change. Once people were stirring in the halls we figured the doors must be unlocked (we were locked in as of 9:PM). We went ahead and loaded the car so that at 7:30 we could just go. Loading the car did not waste must time. Casey woke up while we were loading so we got her dressed and ready to go as well. We still had 45 minutes to wait. Around 7 they brought in 2 breakfast trays. I am not sure if the food was bland because many of the patients there have dietary needs or if the food was just bad. We had slices of ham served with scrambled eggs, a biscuit, grits or oatmeal (we are not sure which it was), a fruit bowl, milk, coffee, water and a cup of orange juice. All in all it seemed pretty good. At least it looked better than dinner. The ham was a little tough, edible, but tough. The eggs were horrible. I am not sure what they did to them, but they did not even taste like eggs. We were scared of the grit/oatmeal bowl. The fruit was okay and the biscuit was small but okay. Definitely better than dinner, but far from good.
7:30 finally came and we were free to go. As we left the staff was so nice. They all wished us well as we made our way to the car. They were so great, the home was just so bad. We are done with this step though. Now we are in the system and we should not have to do anything like this again.
On our way home I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see a Starbucks. The mocha tasted like freedom and promises of clean future. I feel bad saying the place was awful when everyone was so nice. Their good just can’t out weight the buildings bad. It was so bad.
Casey was so tired. She slept the entire way home. She didn’t even wake when we pulled in and parked the car in the garage. Poor baby, she had a long night. I am sure she will sleep good tonight.
One of my biggest fears is something happening to Tim and I and Casey ending up in a place like that. I worry a lot about what will happen to her if anything happens to us. Spending the night in the home did not do anything to help ease my anxiety. If anything I am even more stressed than before. Tim and I have talked a lot since Casey’s birth about this very concern. I think this “vacation” has lit a fire under us. We are going to set up some time with a lawyer and make sure that all of the procurements are in place so that Casey will be taken care of the way we want. I think all of us will feel much better once that’s finalized. It’s such a depressing thing to face, but it’s necessary. We have to make sure she is cared for first and foremost.
As we laid awake in drowning in our sweat watching the clock Tim and I agreed; our next vacation will be to a much quieter location.