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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Long Walk

Dad and I went the entire length of the ward just now. His balance is getting better as is his endurance. Things are going well.

The Times!

I am putting on to my daily to do list "buy Robert a New York Times". I did so today and he is currently reading the sports section. 

This is the most mentally involved activity since his hospitalization. Previous to today, he would sit and watch CNN, talk to people who visited or answer phone calls, but no activities that engage his mind.

This is a very good sign. Visitors are encouraged to bring dad reading materials. Magazines and the like.


I ran across a website, BlogBooker last night. It takes a blog and saves it, in its entirety, to a PDF or Word file. I have done so for this blog, and am planning on bringing a printout for dad to read tomorrow. I think knowing the whole story would be nice. He was very fuzzy the first few days he was in the hospital. Robert remain a little of, mentally. He finds it hard to remember things and words don't come as easily as the used to.


Vicki and Deanna called to check in with dad today. He was very pleased to have new people to talk to. I get boring after a while. I strongly encourage people to call dad. Robert is much happier after talking on the phone. It reminds him there are people caring about him and gives extra incentive to work on his recovery.

If you can visit, that would also be a blessing. There are no set visiting hours here; it is an open facility twenty four hours a day, seven days s week. When Catherine and Kristi visited it noticeably brightened up his day. The goal is for him to get better and get out of here and  support and the knowledge he has loved ones waiting for him will push him.

I know he wants to get better: knowing others do as well can only help.

His Home, For Now

Be it ever so humble... 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Contact Info

My dad is staying at:

Jewish Home Lifecare
100 W Kingsbridge Rd
Room G405P
Bronx, NY 10468

The phone number will be his cellular. That number is 917-975-8151. I ordered a landlines type phone that connect to his cell phone via Bluetooth. He is uncomfortable using his cell phone, so this should help. This is the device.

There and Back Again

They are about to serve dinner. I decided to wake dad up and we walked to the nurses station and back. He did great. He didn't get tired or winded. I'm probably going to do this once or twice a day. I think it will help speed his recovery.

Blood Pressure

Dad's blood pressure has been getting better every day. At home he was on blood pressure meds and hung around 140/100.

I wish it would stop going down. 90/50 is low, isn't it? It's holding steady so I'm not too worried. The MD team is aware and will adjust things as needed. They are good people here.

Memory Issues

Robert is still having noticeable trouble with his memory. His cognition is worst when he first wakes up from a nap or in the morning. I initially thought it was a result of the fall and subsequent alcohol detoxification, but as Sunday makes 14 days since he had a drink, it has become increasingly clear to me this may he around to stay.

Today he was quite lucid when dealing with the substance abuse councilor, the occupational and the physical therapists. After those visits, he took a nap and was less clear when he woke up. He forgets where he is ofttimes and recent event involving his health are very hazy to him.

It is my hope that, as he proceeds with physical, occupational and substance abuse therapy, his faculties will return. I'm almost certain he will improve from his current state, but he may never be 100% again. I just worry he may not regain enough to be truly independent.

New Patient Orientation

It is just after noon and we have had visits from the psychological, occupational therapy and physical therapy department. While these visits were going on nutrition and social work come by and said they would return later.

They definitely have all the people we need to help dad and everyone has been very nice & obviously good at their jobs.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Room G405P

Dad, Joycelyn and I have made it up to his room. We unpacked and set everything up. We are now waiting for the initial doctor visits to get an idea about what the plan will be.

Joycelyn put it best when she said she was "underwhelmed". The Manhattan Jewish home is much nicer than this one in the Bronx. The facility we are in now is still better than Riverside, on par with Amsterdam, but noticeably less nice than the Manhattan campus. Also, Amsterdam, Riverside and the Manhattan Jewish Home didn't accept my dad for admittance.

I plan on arranging for Robert to be transfered to the Manhattan rehab center as soon as he completes the therapy only offered in the Bronx.

I don't have a phone number yet, but I will post it as soon as I have it.

Bronx, NY

Joycelyn and I have just arrived at the Jewish Home in the Bronx, dad's new home and Rehab facility for the coming weeks. Robert is still en route. We brought him a suitcase full of supplies, cloths, cd, books and sundries.

We await his arrival. Once he gets here and settles in, there will be meetings with his doctors, therapists and nutritional specialists.

The trip here is an enormous improvement for me. It took 14 minutes to get here in a cab. Google says the bus takes a half hour. That is such an amazing improvement compared to the New York Presbyterian trip!

Pictures and updates to follow.

All Packed Up...

...with somewhere to go!

I just finished getting dad's travel bag ready. Toiletries cloths books CDs (had to buy a cd player. Took me so hour to find one!) etc. The hospital is ready to discharge him and the Jewish Home is ready to receive.

They say he will leave New York Presbyterian at 1pm. I will be meeting him in the Bronx with his things.

It had been a long journey, but it is not over yet! Physical therapy is the new name of the game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Discharging Thursday

The Jewish Home in the Bronx doesn't gave a bed available for my dad until tomorrow. He will be getting a private room with a direct phone number. I will post the number when I have it.

Tomorrow morning I will head to dad's apartment and pack him cloths, toiletries, his beard razor etc. for his stay. I will then head to the Bronx and meet him when he arrives.

Getting to the facility in the Bronx is going to be much easier for me. 10 minute subway ride and a 15 minute bus and I'm there! So much better than the hour cab ride.

Done with the Whirlwind Tour and We Have a Winner!

Well, it took a couple of hours, a subway ride, a bus trip and a cab, but I have visited all three places recommended for dad's rehab.

The Riverside is unacceptable. It is in disrepair, the carpets are dirty and the staff seems to think leaving used medical supplies lying on the floor is acceptable. I saw used gloves and tape by patients beds.

Amsterdam house is a significant step up. The facility is clean and well maintained. The staff is friendly and the patients seem happy. They have MDs during the day and RNs on staff with aides to assist twenty four hours a day. There is a gym on the first floor where one-to-one physical and occupational therapy occurs. This place would do quite fine for dad.

Despite all that, Jewish Home is heads and tails the winner. Every floor has an MD, two RNs and a half dozen aides on duty all day and night. They have specialists for a dozen or so ailments including specialists in nutrition, substance abuse, cardiac treatment etc.

The place is incredibly clean and well maintained. There are physical therapy rooms on each floor and PT is available seven days a week. All the equipment is brand new and spotless. It actually is cleaner than the hospital dad is currently in!

I will be meeting with the hospital social worker this afternoon to expedite dad's transfer. He may not be able to go to the exact location I visited, but they have another in the Bronx. That facility is better able to meet dad's needs involving his cardiac and other issues.

MRI results and Rehab Center Visits

Dad's MRI came back totally clean. They can't even find evidence of the septum defect he has had, supposedly, his whole life. Clean angiography and clean MRI means, besides his weakness, he is healthy enough for release. He is now ready for a rehab facility at which there will be physical therapy.

I'm off to personally check out the three facilities on the Upper West Side. Riverside told me I could come by anytime. The Jewish Home runs tours at 11am and 2pm. Amsterdam's admission officer asked me to be there between 11:30am and 12:30pm. Scheduling is odd, but I'll get it done.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

MRI Time!

Dad just went down for his MRI. We won't have results until tomorrow. It's possible they could start the discharge process tomorrow.

I told dad I loved him and am heading home. My plan tomorrow is to get up early and visit these rehab centers, visit with dad after that, and pick where we are heading next!

Phone Number

There is a phone in dad's room, with a direct number. I would suggest calling after noon as dad routinely sleeps for most of the morning. He may be transfered soon, so check back here before you call to make sure he still is in the same room.

If you can't make it to visit, you may reach dad at two one two fiive eiight fivve 7610.

News and a Plea for Advice

After the positive results from dad's angiography yesterday, we await the MRI. The doctors do not think they will find anything, but it will rule out a few of the low-possibility causes for dad's weak heart. They are 99% certain it was his lifestyle choices that caused the heart muscle to lose strength, but there are a few outside the box things that could, maybe be the culprit.

If the MRI comes back clean, the next step is finding a facility for dad to rehab, regaining his strength. By where dad lives, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there are three places recommended: Jewish Home, Amsterdam and Riverside

Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with these places? Please email me at or put a comment in.
They are talking about dad transferring in days, not weeks, so suggestions would have to be quick!

Thanks all!

Monday, June 1, 2015

All clear

Dad just came back. He veins are clear! There is an MRI tomorrow and we will see what's up then.


Dad just got taken for his catherization. I'll update again when he gets back.

Getting Annoyed

We are still waiting for the catherization. They can't give us any time frame and until the test is done, they are not allowing dad any sort of sustenance - solid or liquid.

Logically, I understand the scheduling issues they are dealing with. They have to prioritize cases based on need and fitting us isn't high on the list.

Emotionally, I just don't get denying my dad any food or beverage for this long. The last thing he had to eat was yesterday at 6:30pm and no beverages all day. For someone as weak as his is already, this is unconscionable.

If they haven't sent him for the test by dinner time, they get to try tomorrow. I'm not denying him another meal.

The Hunger Games

It turns out the NPO order put on dad means nothing goes in his mouth for consumption. No food, no liquid, nothing. He has been on it all day preparing for his catherization and won't be taken off until after.

Unfortunately, there is no time frame for the test, so we have no idea when he will have the test and be able to eat. I wish they could schedule thus better, but understand why they can't. It's just frustrated to wait with no end in sight.

Waiting for Testing

Another day, another waiting game. Today is dad's angioplasty and MRI. Since dad is a low-priority case, because he's not dying or has internal injuries, they aren't sure when the test will be. He could be bumped for someone having a heart attack, stroke or other immediately life-threatening issue.

I'll update as news comes in.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Visit from Kristi!

We had a wonderful visit from cousin Kristi today. She just happened to be in New York the week and came to see dad. Robert was very glad to see her. Joycelyn and I brought Elise's present from the wedding, forgotten those many weeks ago in a seafood restaurant and Kristi forgot to take it with her! She says she will be visiting again, so don't worry Elise: Mom will be bringing you your beads, we promise!

Looks like another slow day

As radiology and the catheter team plan their explorations on Monday, is looks like Sunday will be a day of waiting. I just want news about dad's condition. I wish they worked on non-emergency cases on the weekend.