Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Embracing the Waist
So my big news today is that I finally decided to stop stuffing myself into uncomfortably tight jeans, and bought three pairs of Size 12 to accomodate my expanding waistline. They're all a little big, but they'll shrink, and they're comfortable.
In more trivial matters, I got my syllabi done and photocopied for next week (although I still have some prep to do on the road), swam, called the VA to ask for the application materials for the assisted-living-assistance program, and dealt with a seemingly endless stream of phone calls about scheduling, billing, and oxygen.
I have to say that for a world-class medical center, Stanford seems to be fairly chaotic. The scheduling and billing people are all convinced that Dad will be an outpatient, and no matter how many times I tell them, "No, he's being admitted tomorrow afternoon," they remain skeptical. So I keep calling the unfailingly competent and cheerful study coordinator -- who must be getting really sick of hearing from me -- to try to get things straightened out.
The oxygen situation, meanwhile, is preposterous. Dad's Reno oxygen company had to call their parent company in Florida, who had to call an outside company in California to get us a concentrator for the hotel room (we shouldn't need it, but if we do, we'll have to have it) and tanks for going home. But get this: the empty tanks have to be picked up in Palo Alto, as well as dropped off. When I explained that their entire purpose was to travel to Reno with us -- since we can't carry enough tanks for both legs of the trip, in addition to a wheelchair, three people, and luggage -- the woman said, "Oh well then, that won't work." So they're still bringing us the concentrator, but I'm going to have to get tanks from the Palo Alto VA.
How can it be this difficult to make arrangements for an elderly man to be able to breathe? When I kvetched about this to the study coordinator, she said, "You're lucky he doesn't need water." Yeah, really.
We have to be on the road at seven tomorrow, so I'm going to sign off now and finish packing so we can get up at 5:00 and get to Dad's by 6:30. Oy!
Oh, I got e-mail from the assisted-living place. Outside caregivers are fine, as long as they're licensed. Thank heavens for small mercies!