. My mom and I had a disagreement on that day, as my mom pulled out of the parking lot she waved goodbye with a heavy heart; none of us knew the trauma that would unfold in just a few hours.
My family found some comfort in this song.
After almost two months, the hospital that saved my life decided that my condition was stable enough that I could be moved to a hospital that was more set up for the long term care of patients. But before I left that hospital one of the respiratory therapist told my
parents, “ you need to try to get her off the ventilator, that’s the most important thing right now.”
The doctors predicted that I would be on the ventilator long term, so they wanted to send me to a hospital that could provide me with all the long term care I still required.
The fear and the thought that I might die started to fade and now it was all about getting me off the breathing machine and getting my blood pressure under control. As my condition improved, they began trying to wean me off of the ventilator , I’m guessing by slowly lessening the amount of oxygen I was getting and allowing me to try to breathe on my own. It wasn’t easy, it didn’t always work I wouldn’t breathe or I would breathe a little bit on my own then just stop and the machine would kick on and help me. I don’t know if my brain was still too damaged or the fact that my diaphragm was still too weak from the rupture but I wouldn’t fully get off the ventilator for a couple more months.
One day, while still in the second hospital they started bouncing the pay checks of the nurses, so some just stopped showing up for work. The hospital was in financial trouble so they had to file Chapter eleven. My parents would now have to show up at every shift change to insure there were going to be enough nurses to provide my care. The hospital was slowly sending their patients to other facilities. I was one of five remaining patients as my parents were looking for the best place for a recovery. I was still in a coma and I wasn’t the only one that required constant care. So my insurance company decided to move me but the hospital they wanted to move me to was too far away, too far to be a reasonable option. My parents were in for another fight. The insurance company was going to send an ambulance to pick me up and take me somewhere out in Los Angeles County, which is not at all close. The case manager at the insurance company told my mom, “I’m coming to get her and there’s nothing you can do about it.” O Yaaa! my mom, angry and probably scared, called the insurance company and threatened to call the police and file a kidnapping charges against them if they tried to move me without their approval. My dad was on the other line trying to rally troops once again to help me get into a rehab hospital instead of their choice, a convalesent home. You have got to love my parents!
The constant threat of death wasn’t there anymore but now the uncertainty of the unknown was hanging over my loved ones but I was still critical and still required full time care. Some of the nurses weren’t showing up for their shifts and what few patients there were, weren’t receiving the undivided attention that they deserved. It was up to the families to make sure their loved ones were getting the care that they needed; all the while trying to find the right facility for them to be moved to.
My condition was still not good, I was still a 7 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, which just meant that the brain injury was severe. Nobody really knew what that meant in terms of functionality. Every time someone would ask a Neurologist if he thinks “this” will come back, it would always be the same response; “we’ll just have to wait and see”. Doctor, will she remember her life?? “We’ll just have to wait and see”, Doctor, will she remember all our names? “I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see”. By the end of it they all determined that they could be Neurologist… We’ll just have to wait and see.
My mom remembers walking through different long term facilities crying thinking “this is no place for a young person”. The doctors didn’t have any hope that I would have any kind of recovery at all, so they sent my parents to convalescent hospitals. She remembers touring some of them thinking how bad they smelled and how dirty everything was. The only hospital she liked was out of my network, so with great urgency she called my boss who’s boss was on the board of her primary care hospital, they pulled out the big guns. She didn’t have a lot of time, the hospital that I was in was getting ready to close their doors, the hospital of choice only had one bed available so, she was in a race. My boss then called the Big boss, and he called the insurance and told them, “you send Jennifer where ever her mom and dad wants her to go, I’ll pay if you won’t, what a great man.
God is “such a last minute God”.
So, while still in a coma I arrived at my third hospital and this is the hospital I woke up in.