I just got a phone call from Woodland Terrace. A woman named Amy said that she was calling from Woodland Terrace and that she wanted to know to which hospital I wanted them to send my mother for “altered mental status”. I said, basically, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who is this? What are you talking about?”
She said that she was mom’s nurse, and that Dr. Peele “looked at her today” and he “wants her to be evaluated”. She asked if I wanted mom to be sent to Halifax or Fish Hospital.
I said, “What are you talking about? She was already at Halifax from May 16th until two weeks ago, when she was transferred to you there. They discharged her because they said that physically she was fine and she needs psychological help and therapy. And they promised me that you would provide that there.”
To which Nurse Amy replied, “So you want her to go to Halifax then?”
I said, “No. What are you talking about? Did you not hear anything I just said?”
And Amy replied, “So you want her to go to Halifax then?”
I said, “Yes, if you have to send her to a hospital, it should be Halifax.”
Amy asked if I wanted to talk to my uncle, who was there. I said that, no, actually I was very upset and I wanted to talk to Shelly.
Amy transferred me to Shelly, who was very confused, because I should have asked to speak to Sherri, the administrator, and not Shelly, the social worker. I explained to Shelly what was happening and she said she would transfer me to Sherri.
After a minute Sherri answered and I explained everything to her. (She was completely ambivalent about how rude I thought Amy had been.) Sherri said that she’s not a doctor or a nurse, so she can’t make any decisions about what a doctor or nurse tells her. She said that if the physician feels “that way”, then there is nothing she can do. She said that if I wanted mom discharged from Halifax to a psychological care facility that specializes in that sort of thing, I need to make that clear to Halifax.
I tried to explain to her that Halifax had told me that Woodland Terrace was able to provide those services, and that apparently nobody anywhere cares.
Sherri asked if there was any way I could move mom to Los Angeles, because I am her only advocate and it’s just too hard to expect anything to get better while I try to manage things from the other side of the country. I said that I thought it was a shame that nobody in the healthcare system in Florida cares enough to do their job well without needing my constant physical presence to force them. Sherri insisted that lots of people in Florida care.
I said, “I guess send her back to Halifax,” and while I was asking, “Will you let me know what happens next?” she said, “Okay. Thank you. Bye,” and hung up on me.
I immediately called Dr. Peele at (407) 929-5611 and left a message asking him to please call me back as soon as he can.
Then at 9:33 AM PDT I called Woodland Terrace again. The phone rang more than a dozen times and then Sylvia Gray answered. She explained that she only answered the phone because she thought it was a call for her; nobody had answered at the front desk. I told her what was happening and said I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Sylvia asked me to hold on.
Half a minute later Susan answered the phone. She said that they were waiting on non-emergency transport now, and asked if I’d like Amy to call me when they arrived to pick up mom. I said I would and asked what they were going to do with her at Halifax. “Are they just going to dump her off at the ER?” Susan said that was exactly what they would do, and that when there are “significant changes” in a patient from day to day, they will usually send them to the hospital.
I told Susan that I call every day, usually twice each day, and this was the first time I had heard of any “significant changes” in mom. She said that she doesn’t spend much time “on the floor” and she can “only go by what the nurses tell me”. She said that mom seems more anxious today, and was grabbing and pulling chairs and people.
Susan said, “We can’t treat the symptoms. That doesn’t do any good. We need to figure out the problem and treat that.”
At this point I mentioned again that I had been told my mother needed intense psychological counseling, therapy, and that she would be provided that at Woodland Terrace, and she hadn’t been. Susan had no response. I asked if we had spoken at some point in the past, and she said that, yes, she was Susan the Director of Nursing.
I asked her if my uncle was still there, and she said, “No, he’s already left.” I thanked her and hung up.
I sent a text message to my sister at 9:43 AM PDT, saying:
Woodland Terrace is sending her back to Halifax today.
Then at 9:44 AM PDT I called Woodland Terrace again. Rachel answered and clearly sounded thrilled when I said my name. I told Rachel they were sending my mom to Halifax and asked to talk to Nurse Amy or whoever is in charge of that. She told me to hold on and said she’d “page her overhead”.
Nurse Amy answered the line and I asked her what was going to happen to mom’s stuff, her clothes and the photographs, etc. She said that they would pack it all up and someone would need to come get it. I asked her if she could send it with mom to Halifax and she said she didn’t know and would need to ask her director. I asked her if mom had her eyeglasses and she said that she did and she was wearing them right now. Nurse Amy said she’d call me when they came to pick up mom.
At 9:58 AM PDT I got a call from Nurse Amy, who said that the transportation was there to pick mom up and take her to Halifax. She said that they didn’t want her belongings, so they would just pack them up and someone would have to go pick them up from Woodland Terrace. Nurse Amy confirmed that mom was wearing her eyeglasses when she left the facility.