Dragged to the curb

When it got dragged to the curb, my good friend and neighbor Michelle, walked across the street and remarked, “Aren’t you embarrassed that everyone will know you have furniture like that in your house?”

We burst out laughing as my favorite recliner was now perched upon a frozen snow bank, full of stains, the wood frame showing through the rips of upholstery that Flash, our cat, created. The replacement was delivered, it was the perfect color, updated style and it swiveled. It was this feature that landed me in rehab with a broken leg. Getting there was more painful than the break.

I was sitting in that chair when my son came into the family room, wanting to go shopping. Making the transfer into my wheelchair, the new chair swiveled one way while my leg was pivoting the other. The pain was nauseating. I never fell because my son had a firm grip on me and when he placed me in my wheelchair the pain subsided enough that I was able to speak.

“Mom thinks she broke her leg,” my son said to his dad. “Did you fall? Or hear a crack?” My response was no. He offered to take me to the emergency room, but thought it may be best to just wait and see. I went shopping. Choosing to listen to my husband is one of the mysterious aspects of being married to someone over twenty-five years.                                         

By Monday it was obvious that my leg was getting worse. My husband had lost his wait-and-see approach to the situation and was able to get an appointment to see an orthopedic specialist that afternoon. X-rays and a MRI confirmed a non-displaced fracture of my tibia. I didn’t need surgery or a cast, but I had to remain totally non-weight bearing for at least five weeks.

The doctor felt no need to admit me to the hospital as there was no medical treatment required for my leg and I wasn’t sick. He recommended in-patient medical rehab given my MS and the challenges it would pose to the recovery process. Script for admission in hand, I felt confident that a plan for my recovery was in place.

The first call was to my health insurance provider. I was covered but they would not give me pre-authorization until I was admitted to a unit. Several of the medical rehab units that the doctor recommended would not admit me due to the fact I was coming directly from his office, not the hospital. Next on the list were nursing homes with short term rehab units. They would not take me without a PRI screening (I still do not know what that is).

Desperation was setting in, my husband was carrying me. He was losing time from work and I was no closer to being admitted. Finally, I found a facility with an available bed, but they would not take me until they had authorization from my insurance company. Threats were made. I finally entered the rehab unit of a nursing home that was designed for short-term recovery for hip, ankle, and knee replacements. It wasn’t exactly what we had hoped for, but it worked. It was one week after my injury that I finally arrived where I needed to be. 

When you have MS, an injury or illness that would otherwise be an inconvenience can turn into a life-altering experience.

The new chair still looks good and Flash has not touched it, except to take naps.

Tags Healthcare, Insurance & Money Matters      7 Appreciate this
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Susan Skoney, Blogger

Susan Skoney was diagnosed in 1999. She lives in western New York with her husband Michael and daughter Hannah. She worked many years in public relations and advertising, and has just started writing about her MS in the last few years.

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  • Russ Edwards   Sep 19, 2014 1:15 PM
    Keep smiling Hun, life throws some ***** at us, but together we are strong! X
  • farmgirl  Sep 19, 2014 4:06 PM
    I had to laugh, Susan, at your comment about your husband's "wait an see" attitude after 25 years of marriage. Maybe it is a guy thing, but my husband of 52 years (next week) has long had the wait and see approach. But I got a handle on that when my younger daughter broke her arm years ago at age 8 while roller skating and his advice was "It doesn't look broken; she's not screaming; just go stick it in the cold pool water." I still can't believe that is what I did and didn't get her to the doctor until the next morning. I am so sorry about your accident, but but thanks for the warning about swivel recliners. I love mine, but I will be more careful when transferring because of your post. -- Edie
  • Janice   Sep 19, 2014 7:50 PM
    I am glad that you recovered.
  • Evelyn Brix   Sep 19, 2014 7:56 PM
    I had to have ankle surgery June with 7 weeks of non-weight bearing. This was a particular challenge for me because our house is built on four levels, and there is no bedroom or bathroom on the main level. I'd already been having trouble with steps due to my MS, and with a cast on the right foot and no weight bearing on that foot, the steps were impossible for me. I finally learned to do the stairs on my hands and knees but it was a struggle. This whole incident finally convinced us to get rid of more than a chair. As soon as we can get it fixed up, our house is going on the market. We need a house without stairs!
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    Sonybird65  Sep 19, 2014 7:56 PM
    Loved that your husband gave the advice to wait and see. That's the same advice he gives me. But he is usually correct. But I could so see that happening at my house.
  • Pam   Sep 19, 2014 8:18 PM
    Neighbors/friends like that are too superficial for you to bother talking to
  • jodyb665  Sep 20, 2014 9:28 AM
    I have a lift chair recliner that is wonderful. I now have no problems getting up.
    I hope you are feeling better but next time something happens please go to the hospital so that you can get the help you need.
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    refusetoquit  Sep 20, 2014 2:10 PM
    I hear you, I felt it, I've always wondered, what if? I've been picked off the ground, and the floor, counting my blessings. Such a simple, silly thing.............thankyou for the insight. I will now be even more careful...........being concerned about how your furniture looks, haaaha, who cares, everyone has a fav piece that should be thrown. .......Other than a mobile 'forklift' I was informed on recently, your experience is all I've got. Thanks.
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    Lisa2621  Sep 20, 2014 11:46 PM
    I love reading your blogs!thank you for sharing! I truly wish you the best! Monday I am making an appointment.....I've been running into alloyt of things, hitting my head, and just plain doing the 'im not drunk!' dance over the past few weeks and my headaches, hips, and so much more I've been brushing off as no big deal....even when I somehow knocked myself unconscious and woke up on the bathroom floor with a broken nose......I live alone, cant drive....yea, I should go in for a scan!
  • AlejandroGarcia   Sep 21, 2014 1:53 AM
    Very powerful story, thank you so much for sharing! Note I know better to watch out for falls:) I hope your doing better!!!
  • reenie53   Sep 22, 2014 5:37 PM
    When will insurance companies (including Medicare) figure out the IN-HOME PT and REHAB work? It's always so hard to navigate the insurance companies rules that seem to make no sense. In small towns like ours, rehab facilities are pitiful and not somewhere anyone should be.
  • dmteemery  Sep 22, 2014 10:09 PM
    Susan, thank you so much for sharing. I have a question for you, why couldn't someone in the doctors office help you find a suitable place for in-patient medical re-hab? These orthopedic offices usually deal frequently with rehabilitation centers, this would have most likely reduced you & your family stress & also you would have received care sooner!! Obviously this is my opinion, but I think that office could have assisted you a lot more!! Hope you are feeling better!
  • annieboleyn123  Sep 23, 2014 11:50 AM
    Thanks for posting this. It helps to know that other people are dealing with life altering issues just like I am.
  • northwesternviews  Sep 25, 2014 2:19 PM
    I am a blogger as well. I was diagnosed in my late twenties and next year I shall be 50!