To the Editor:
It is so good to be back home with my dogs and back to my computer and writing. I am sure some of you are wondering what happened to me. On Sept. 9, I went to the hospital for replacements in both knees. Thus began an interesting and educational “adventure” that included lots of pain. I returned back home after being away for 37 days. I missed several shows and county fairs as well as the All-American at Harrisburg, PA, and the World Dairy Expo at Madison, WI.
I went into this surgery without knowing a lot about what was going to happen and that was probably a good thing. After the surgery, I was in the hospital four days and then sent to a rehab center associated with the hospital. I more or less accepted that was the way it was done. I was very disappointed in that facility in several ways and by several things they did. I was so sick from the pain medication and nothing was being done to correct the situation. After only two days, I went back to the hospital and spent another four days.
On Sept. 19, someone with the hospital came to tell me I would have to go to another rehabilitation center. They showed me a sheet of paper with a list of rehab places I could choose. The facilities associated with and owned by the hospital were all highlighted in yellow, obviously to encourage me to select one of them. I have been told there is a term for this called “steering” and it is illegal. No other facility was highlighted and, even though I am from Carrollton, Carroll Healthcare Center was never mentioned to me. I had to insist on going there! As a patient, you do have a choice in a situation like this. It is your legal right.
I was loaded into an ambulance in the afternoon and headed for the hills of Carroll County. I had never been to a rest home and hadn’t visited anyone there in several years so I arrived at Carroll Healthcare Center on Longhorn St. with an open mind. From the moment I entered the doors, I was met with care and concern from everyone involved. It was certainly a different attitude than greeted me at the other facility.
We all know there are good rest homes and unfortunately, there are some that aren’t so good. I just want all of you to know in situations with your health, you do have rights and you do have choices. Don’t hesitate to check our place if you think you might have to spend some time there. If you think there might be a period of time you may be unable to make decisions for yourself, give a family member or someone you trust the legal authority to act for you. Don’t assume you have to do what the hospitals suggest or what someone you don’t know tells you.
I will be returning to Carroll Healthcare Center three days a week for outpatient therapy. I was very glad to learn outpatient therapy is available there.