Story 19April2022: Looking Forward

The morning started with me waking to my alarm at 6:30. I am trying to return to my old habits of starting early. After chatting with Glenda, who was up earlier, I began to write the blog.

Next, after publishing the blog, I contacted the Sedgewick Company that my employer, a local shoe company, hires to manage family and medical leaves and other similar requests. I never spoke to a human but used my phone keypad to delay my return to work to 2May2022 instead of the too soon 25April2022. I am still suffering from fatigue and dizziness, likely caused by the anemia that is a side-effect of the chemotherapy. I am slowly feeling better and taking iron pills to restore my blood count to normal. I emailed my boss, Brad, informing him of my plans and asked him if he had any concerns. Later, I get a reply from Brad that he has no concerns. Looks like my return is set.

I get cleaned up and dressed for the day. Glenda and I have a list of recommended adult foster care places, five of them, plus one nursing home. We start calling. Maryville, we learn about the exact monthly cost of Forest Grove, about $12,000 a month, and it is complete. They will contact us when they have an opening.

We talked to the next one, and they offered us a tour Tuesday morning, but the address is nine miles away, so we will have to cross to the other side of Beaverton and then into Tigard near the Washington Square. We accept and get into the car as it is our first chance to see one of these homes.

The place is excellent and comfortable and obviously originally built for the purpose. Glenda and I both like it. Glenda is taking notes and collecting information. We learn what a level 3 home is, and we believe that we need that level of care for Susie. We also learn that this level of care means that the resident could return to a level 3 home even after getting more ill and less able to care for themselves.

We get more callbacks, and we manage to talk to two more homes and schedule another visit for today, about five miles away. Later, we plan another visit after 5PM on Wednesday for a level 2 home; the home not being level 3 concerns us, but the house was recommended, so we will continue with the visit.

I also finally got a call from Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center. They have connected, after a week, with my insurance, United Health Care, and have begun the process to have Susie get more services. I am pleased that we should know if Forest Grove can do more rehab services by Friday. Of course, this would have been better timed last week, and now we could have to delay moving Susie until after the rehab, but I am hopeful we can make all this work. The facility has a gym and an intense program, so I think that Susie would get a great benefit from their rehab program.

I found the other half of my sandwich from yesterday, and Glenda and I have leftovers for lunch. Then, we head to Forest Grove at 3900 Pacific Highway, room 44A. We got there without incident, but we did have a Tesla drive across all five lanes of traffic; I had to brake to prevent contact.

Next, Glenda and I stopped first at the Pink Spoon in Forest Grove–they serve self-serve frozen yogurt and other products. I had gelato and then got two to-go cups for Susie and her roommate Terry. We then drove through the parking lots to a road that was the back entrance to the home.

Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center has updated its access process. They now have an unmanned screen to put in your information and to be screened for Covid-19. I put in all my information by taping in my name, who I was visiting, and then answered the screening questions. It takes your temperature while you are tapping in the answers. I managed to get everything right and passed. Glenda, Susie’s aunt, missed a question, and the staff had to let her pass.

We found Susie eating her lunch of pureed food. Glenda and I hung out with Susie, supplying the dessert for Susie and Terry for lunch. Susie ate about 2/3 of her meal which was good for her. After the tray was taken away, Susie was able to speak to us. Surprisingly, her voice improved, and she was more conversational today.

Susie struggles with selecting words, and often she cannot enunciate clearly, but today I actually heard her pre-stroke voice clearing saying some words. We also noticed that Susie’s left hand is working better. Her right hand is still showing limited movement. Susie is right-handed–Susie is improving.

We call Susie’s sister, Barb, and her mother, Leta, on the iPhone. Susie is happy to chat with them both. Susie is getting tired, and we soon leave as they take her back to her room.

Glenda and I stopped by the Volvo Cave, loaded up the books to donate, and headed out to the next visit. We found the house in Beaverton about five miles from home. It is a house that has been repurposed as an adult care home. The owner runs the facility, has room for five, and is a class 3 home, good. It is a huge house, the hallways are wide, and the available room has its own bath (a repurposed walk-in closet). They also have a shower room. The owner is ready to have Susie come and wants to evaluate Susie now.

The house is lovely, and the feelings homey and warm. But almost too homey, and the owner’s daughter has the run of the place. The contrast between the more professional feeling of the first house and the homey feel of this house is jarring. We thank the owner who quotes a price above the previous home, but that will adjust based on her assessment of Susie’s needs. We turned her down to access Susie until we have thought this out more.

Next, we stopped by Jane’s Books and donated my spare books. They don’t take the hardbacks and some of the older mysteries. I donate the credit for books to the local school. We then took the unwanted books to Goodwill.

Air Volvo deliveries us back to the Volvo Cave, and we have an hour before dinner. Mariah wants to meet for dinner, and I select the Golden Valley Brewery for an early-ish meal.

Mariah has a new car, a Dodge Challenger, with the appropriate load gas engine. Unlike most Tesla and hybrid driving locals, Mariah went for something more muscular. It explodes with sounds that would make any gearhead smile when it starts.

Dinner was, for me, the usual steak salad. Red meat for anemia. Glenda tried the burger, and Mariah ordered the meatloaf. I had a heavy dark beer which can be described as fuzzy thinking in a bottle as that is what it did for me. Glenda had chocolate flour-less torte while Mariah and I had the salted caramel cookie with ice cream.

Soon, we left after I had coffee and cleared my head. Mariah rumbled off to her apartment in Forest Grove in her orange and black Air Challenger, and we nearly silently slipped out in Air Volvo to home in Reedville (Aloha).

Glenda and I went to bed early, and I read and was back up a few times. I finally slept before 1.



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