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The ups and downs

September 9th, 2015 at 05:48 pm

My mother was so very unhappy to be in the hospital. She got through the surgery last night and the doctor seemed quite pleased with how it went...minimal blood loss, the 3 screws he inserted held together pretty well and he didn't have to use general anesthesia, only a mild anesthesia that he described as being almost like a local anesthesia.

Still, when I spoke to my mother today on my lunch break, she was slurring her words and was still very angry and upset, saying she hated it there and that it was awful. I said several times that I was going to come see her after work and she said she didn't want me to come. I'm not sure if she understood what I was saying.

Later in the day, I noticed I had developed a sore throat, and decided not to stop by there in case I was coming down with something; i don't want to expose her to anything so soon after the surgery.

I called her again tonight and she sounded SOOOO much better, more alert and not angry. It was like night and day.

Maybe tomorrow, if I don't feel any worse, I'll go over there with a mask and gloves.

In the meantime, I stopped at mom's condo last night with a detailed letter I'd already typed up to the HOA board complaining about the whole chimney inspection and lack of response from the property management company. I'd been trying to get the mandatory inspection done since July, wasted 6 hours waiting for no-shows and now i have a buyer whom I'm sure will want this taken care of before they take ownership.

I was able to get the address in the complex of the condo HOA board president from some of my mom's neighbors that I'm friendly with.

The board president wasn't home but I left the note in her door and we talked on the phone today. She was very supportive and said my letter really got her upset because she already had issues with the chimney cleaning company they'd hired and said they don't plan to hire them again. Apparently, there are still about 50 unit owners who haven't had the inspection done.

She also said she'd call the property mgmt company about something else the buyer's inspector uncovered, a mystery electrical outlet mounted on the outside of the condo in back with a huge plug in it that went up inside the wall. It looks like it's not to code and none of the other units have this. No one seems to know what this is for but prez agreed electrician would investigate and possibly remove it.

The other thing the inspection revealed is an apparent lack of a master shut-off valve for the water. HOA prez said there is only one master shut-off switch for each building; not every unit has one. Sounds very odd, but that's the way they were built and it's another thing I have no control over.

So it looks like the only repair the buyers are going to ask me to do is the replacement of the shower hardware/knob in the master bath. It leaks, is not secure to the wall and the water only comes out thru showerhead, not the tub faucet, no doubt because it's old. I don't have time to meet a plumber over there for an estimate, so my realtor is handling this (oh wow, she's actually DOING something to earn her commission) and will let me know. What's the max it could be, $400? Plumbers are so expensive.

After stopping at the condo last night, I also stopped in at the assisted living place and quickly packed a small suitcase of clothes for my mother. I know they have teeny closets and storage at the rehab place so I packed just 4 or so changes of clothes. I can always get more later but I wanted her to have them at the rehab place. I need to run them all through the laundry tomorrow (my work at home day) so they're all ready to go by the time she's released from the hospital Friday or Saturday. I couldn't really tell if they were clean or not.

I do feel really run down as I keep having to switch from matters related to my mother to the condo sale to the art sale to who knows what next. I wouldn't be surprised if I was coming down with a cold. Haven't slept that well either. My boss at work is out this week because she has shingles.

I just got a call from my 2nd cousin. I think I am going to let her buy that large piece that she had seen and wanted when she was here. I remember saying here in an earlier post that I was somewhat reluctant to part with it and felt uncomfortable charging her for it becus she's family but didn't want to give it away either.

Well, tonight she offered $800 for it, based on its size and what she paid for something else she bought from my mother years ago. She also said she could give me her employer's UPS number for a discounted shipping rate. I'm not sure I could pack it up well enough that it wouldn't break in transit and I've had many things break via UPS/FedEx.

She already picked out a few items I gave her when she was here and she seems to want to help out with my mother's expenses through an art sale, so why not? I already have many pieces I am holding onto. I have to let some of it go and quite frankly, I'd be happy to get $800 because normally when sold through a gallery, they'd take at least 30%, so on an $800 piece my mother would normally net only $560.

I may just ask if I can hand deliver it to her in New Jersey to avoid risk of breakage. I don't want to put her out and she also has had a great deal to manage lately as her husband, who is now in a nursing home, has Parkinson's and dementia, and her cats and dog have health problems too. I don't want to burden her with feeling like she has to entertain me, but maybe I can take her out to lunch.

Back to mom: There are still a lot of uphills I see in the near term future. It remains to be seen whether my mother will recover well enough to return to the assisted living place. I have found a short term rehab place for her and she doesn't even know that's where she's headed. Short-term rehab looks just the same as a nursing home (institutional, no privacy), and I anticipate she will be very upset to find herself there.

I need to keep her spirits up through 6 or 8 weeks and continue making steady progress becus Medicare will only pay for a patient who continues to make improvements. Once they "plateau," I will have to private pay if I want to keep her in rehab.

The assisted living place has said they will waive the $400/mth medication management fee while she's in rehab, but I will still have to pay her rent. They said that "most" residents who have to go into rehab in this kind of situation return to them, and I can only hope that's the case with my mom. However, I have to watch this carefully because if for some reason my mother is clearly not doing well, holding onto her room at the assisted living place will cost me $12,000 for just 2 months. I don't want to waste that kind of money, so I'll have to make some sort of preliminary decision to hold her room...or not,...at the assisted living place within maybe 2 weeks time. I should be able to look to the physical therapists for their opinions and guidance on that score.

If worst case scenario she isn't well enough to go back, at LEAST I wouldn't have to move her again becus the rehab place has a nursing home (and an assisted living component). I'm trying to keep the moves as few as possible because you can imagine how disruptive that would for anyone. The preference is still Maplewood, where she's lived since May, but at least now I am more or less positioned to deal with all future scenarios.

2 Responses to “The ups and downs”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I hope you feel better soon.

    That's good that your mom sounds like she is getting better.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    You are handing it all very well considering. I would guess less than $400 for a plumber. If you have the new faucet fixtures ready for them then would install on the spot usually, at least that has been my experience. Hopefully, they don't have to open any tile!

    Hang in there, PS!

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