Dad was moved from St. Luke's Hospital rehab into another facility for physical therapy. I was cautious as I took in the news of the upcoming transfer. I knew the reason he was being moved is because he either could not or (as the St. Luke's staff believed) would not do the recommended 3-4 hours of rehab work required to keep him there.
My middle brother Tom drove in from Fort Worth this last weekend and as I usually do when Tom is here, I gave myself a break and did not go and see Dad this weekend. Well, I went last night after work. I drove up and was pleasantly surprised by the exterior atmosphere. There were beautiful trees and landscaping that I envied. There were people, mostly elderly who were walking around and laughing..
I walked up to the entrance and was greeted by a lovely environment of beautifully upholstered furniture dotted with figurines and vases of flowers.
"Can you tell me how I can find Dr. Leavens' room?" I asked the receptionist.
"Hummm" She said as she dropped her head towards the computer screen. "Was he recently admitted?"
"Yes, he was just transferred here from St. Luke's a few days ago." I answered.
"Oh, he is not here, but in the building over there." she said standing and pointing outside and to the left.
My heart sank.. I turned and walked outside and followed the walkway to the 'other' building. As I approached, I grabbed the door handle, opened it only to be greeted by another series of doors and hallways and then the continious repetitiveness of door after door after door.... that screamed NURSING HOME.
I was directed up to the second floor and had to go this way and that, so that by the time I found Dad, I had had a full tour of where he was now living. Don't misunderstand me. It was not dangerous. It was not dirty. It did not even smell bad...but the heart wrenching thought of my Daddy living out the rest of his life in a nursing home was sad. To me he did not look like he belonged there.
I walked into his private room and greeted him with a kiss. The room was scantly decorated and fitted with the standard hospital bed, 2 night stands, a built in cabnet to hang his clothes, a smallish TV balanced above the cabnet, a recliner and one sitting chair. I pulled the chair close to his bed. I stayed for about 3 hours and we talked about many things.. but most importantly, one of his new doctors. Dad was more upbeat than I have seen him in months. He told me that they had discovered the reason for his continued lower back pain and were getting ready to start a treatment consisting first of medicine administered via a nebulizer.
Please pray that this works and he gets some relief. I could see a spark of hope in his eyes.... something I have not seen in a very long time.