Seemingly out of the blue, it will soon be time for Vernon to move again. I started to get wind of the idea a week ago, when the dialysis-coordinator called me for a meeting to go over his Discharge Planning. Wherever he is placed next will not have on-site dialysis, so she wanted to educate me on his future options.
Our Kindred social worker also gave me a list of nearby rehabilitation centers that Vernon might be eligible for. Apparently as he is no longer carrying a worrisome infection and he is no longer needing respiratory therapy or a trach, he will be free to move from an acute-care center to a rehabilitation home, which should be the place that will prepare him for coming home. And so I was encouraged to choose and research my options before he would be released.
Options. What an interesting choice of word. I just looked up the definition, which according to Webster’s dictionary means: the opportunity or ability to choose something or to choose between two or more things. Through this entire journey, I’ve been educated on various options, but it seems to me, we don’t actually GET them. At least, we haven’t so far. Vernon gets placed at whatever place is available, takes our insurance, and is willing to deal with his medical complexities. Though I get my hopes up/smashed, we have only had one choice at every step of the way. That said, everything has worked out well and we have been happy with every placement— that is, once we got used to it.
However, as I was encouraged to look into the list of nearby places that might take him, I did get my hopes up. There was one that I have had my heart on for months, having heard about it some time back. This one is set in Capistrano Beach, just a couple of miles from our home, so close that the kids and I could easily stop by at any time without their having to wait till the weekends or my having to plan my days out to see him.
And so I visited the facility early this week. It was lovely and clean, and the staff seemed caring. The outdoor garden was beautiful and there was a constant ocean breeze. It seemed we might finally have some real options after all.
But yesterday, Janice the social worker called, saying there was only one place of the many places she had set Vernon’s file to that had accepted him. Again, this is a complicated process, timing and empty beds only a small part of it. It seemed the only place (so far) that will take him is in Santa Ana, about 45 minutes away from our house. It IS closer by 15 minutes from Brea, so there is that.
Yes, I was disappointed at first. Maybe its better for me not to be told I even have options sometimes. It seems so often its the belief that I actually have control of anything external in my life that frustrates me. I have to remember again that it is about Vernon’s care—not what I think is convenient for our family. Perhaps (I HOPE) that this place, like the last, will have the best kind of physical therapy and the most progressive staff. That is something I can’t know now, so its what I hope for.
As for dialysis, I will explain more as I come to understand our options there. It does seem that there WILL be some real choices to make once he gets involved in an outside facility. Ultimately, I’m told, this is where we can start getting him on a list for a kidney donor. But I’ll save that for another time.
For now, according to Webster’s definition, the only option I seem to have (the ability to choose between two or more things) is in my attitude. So I decide to breathe deep, make a prayer, lift my head up again and believe that Vernon is STILL in good hands until its proved otherwise. I will remember how far he has come, how we have been taken care of every step of the way, and believe that he will continue to move into strength, health, and wholeness in this next stage—wherever it takes place and regardless of another set of unknowns.
Since I haven’t run out of pictures to choose from, I’ll exercise my rights there. Here is another from Justine’s last rare visit with her dad, choosing the option of acceptance, hope, and above all, LOVE.