The last few days have been particularly scary. The insurance (Medicare) on Monday decided that I would have made enough progress by Wednesday to go home. Alone. Without having looked at anything more than my speed of progress at being able to stand without falling while I have a spotter. Or that I have steps to a second floor where there will again, be no spotter. Yeesh.
Yes, I did appeal. No I did not win. Not that I actually expected to win. I had the right to remain in the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) while the appeal was in process until, the decision was made. However, if I lost my appeal say, two days after my original release date then, for every day over the original end date I stayed I Medicare supplement plan would NOTpay for those extra days. Meaning nearly NO ONE could afford that option of appealing and staying in the SNF because, you now owe the insurance those $5oo.00+- per day prices for however many days it would take them to make a decision. I cannot believe I am saying this but, thank god I lost the appeal before I left and didn’t fight it out. I couldn’t afford the extra days anymore than most people.
So, I asked a friend Tuesday, the day before ejection, to buy me the walker of my choice instead of the cheapest one. He bought it from Costco and put it together so, it was awaiting me on my return home today around 3 p.m. McDonald’s in hand!!! OH THANK GOD!!! REAL FUCKING FOOD. YES, McDonald’s IS REAL FOOD!
Now let me talk about this SNF. Their food was DIS-GUST-ING!!! This is NO over reaction. At least, not for anyone who has more than eight tastebuds still in working order.
The facilities diet plan is called “CCHO.” What does this stand for? Controlled (or Consistent) Carbohydrates HO. CHO stands for Carbohydrates. Which, until right now I never got the wording for the HO part of their diet plan. As a new diabetic I was not very hopeful that I would learn how a really good diabetic diet would look and taste, when done right. (As in: Not by me alone.) As I believe I stated in an earlier post; I did expect to have a healthy CCHO demonstrated for me at the SNF. Maybe I would learn to like this diet. Also, remember that people who are healing need extra protein.1
Well, imagine my shock when the meals delivered to me were nearly entirely carbohydrates, some were entirely carbohydrates. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE carbohydrates. Which, is a bad thing for a new diabetic. Especially, for steroid induced diabetes. I asked the Kitchen Manager Dietician Technician (Kelly. Neither, I believe, was she ever a chef or even a cook. If she was then likely the last in her class.) what options were available. Nothing. Oh, unless, you count the CCHO Diet technically means they cut the amount of carbohydrates in half. They still serve all the carbs on the plate. They just cut them in half. No extra protein or salad or vegetables. Literally, their theory is to cut the carbs on the plate into half the amount. Replacing the missing carbs with anything else was NEVER a possibility. Note: Creativity does not live here.
So, not only do the diabetics eat correctly (LMFAO) we are now ALL STARVING!!! THIS is their DIABETIC DIET PLAN!???!?!?!?!!
Exactly. Nothing. The Kitchen Manager (Kelly) could not understand why I was upset with the so-called Diabetic Diet she allows to come out of that kitchen. They still provided me with a salad. Wow! Something nutritional.
Wait. NOPE. The “salad” was iceberg lettuce. Which, we non-Dietician Technicians know there is absolutely, no nutritional value of any kind. I suggested she use spinach, maybe some cucumbers, carrots, celery, radishes…vary dressing options as in, really small amount of bleu cheese dressing… Now, you have to take a guess what my next salad was. Then, the one after that.
Da DA da DA da da DA da da da da daDADA (in case you cannot figure it out that is the Jeopardy game theme music.)
Ok. Time is up. Did you guess I would have gotten that very next dinner? Of course not. The salad was an iceberg lettuce mound, with slices of cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, Balsamic Dressing. Ooops. I forgot to tell you when a new patient enters the facility Kelly is supposed to come to your room to ask you what your “Likes” and “Dislikes” are. On my dislike list were “tomatoes”. Though, Kelly’s kitchen wrote it as “tomato products.” So, now I have an iceberg lettuce salad with, cucumbers, and small chunks of fresh tomatoes, and Balsamic Dressing. I spoke with both Registered Dietician(Jane) and Kelly about all of the issues.
It took DAYS before I was spinach. I was so grateful. That was not going to be the regular salad. Twice in NINE DAYS and THREE conversations with Kelly and TWO with Jane I got a spinach salad TWICE! Out of nine days, their understanding I needed as much roughage and nutrition and a balanced diet. Honestly.
I had very clearly explained the problem with iceberg lettuce to start with and that cooking well was as easy as cooking badly. They chose badly. I was told by Jane after the tomato debacle that some people might not consider a tomato as a “tomato product”. She looked at me bold-faced with nothing but, an expectation that I would accept that answer. When I respond, “You must be kidding me.”
With her stone face Jane responded “No. I like ketchup.” “To some people ketchup is a tomato “product” but, they might not consider a fresh ripe tomato (from which her ketchup is made) a “tomato product.”
“Do these people read English?”
“Unfortunately, there is a “language barrier” with some people in the kitchen.”
“THEN, FIRE THEM BECAUSE, THEY ARE GOING TO KILL SOMEONE WITH ALLERGIES, OR PRESCRIPTION CONTRAINDICATIONS!”
Jane continued to argue her position. I made it clear I would never accept her definition as a reasonable response.
Even talking to Nathan, the Facility Adminstration about the problem nothing really happened. I kept many of the meal tickets showing what should and should not be included in my meals. Much less the other HALF of the FLOOR I was on. Not to mention the other two floors in the Rehabilitation building but, the Assisted Living building and the largest and most populated long-term care building.
1 I learned I needed extra protein when undergoing radiation/chemo for anal cancer in 2013. My Doctors were insistent I take in more protein. Protein helps heal proteins like skin, muscles… Which, would have been great if I could have actually been able to eat throughout the process and for weeks after.