But I digress. Let's go back to the beginning of October. I ran a marathon. It was glorious when I was able to stop running. And then all hell broke loose.
I got a call the following day, Sunday Oct. 2 telling me that my Mother had been found in her apartment on the floor, unresponsive and purple. Those of you who are regular readers know that my Mom suffered from COPD and was on hospice care. It was in-home hospice as she wasn't quite to the point where she needed round-the-clock care, but she did have an aide come in every day to check on her, bathe her, help her with laundry and her every day needs. It was that aide who found her. I credit her aide for saving her life and giving us some extra time with my Mom, because technically she wasn't even supposed to be there to check on Mom until the next morning.
They moved my Mom to a nursing care facility that day and I immediately drove to New Jersey to be with her. When I saw her, she did not remember anything that had happened. She had no idea how she ended up on the floor with her oxygen cannula across the room. Maybe that was for the best.
What followed that week was the stuff that nightmares are made of. Mom was receiving the best care possible, but we knew she could no longer live alone in her apartment. We knew, too, that on her fixed income, she couldn't afford to stay at the facility without applying for Medicaid. That's where the fun really began. They told us it would cost $11,000 a month for her to stay. The hospice told us that they would cover the first 5 days of my Mom's stay at the nursing care facility, and the facility told us that if we started the Medicaid application process, she could stay there while the application process was being, well, processed. Our fears that she would be kicked out on the street were unfounded. But we had to act fast, because we had to get the application process started before the 5 days of hospice-paid care were up.
The office staff in the facility gave us the 20 page Medicaid application and some information to get us started. The social coordinator in my Mom's apartment building had a lot of copies of paperwork that we needed but my Brother and I still had a shit ton of legwork to do and not a lot of time in which to do it. We got bank statements, divorce decrees, birth and marriage certificates, bills, and a partridge in a pear tree. You name it, we got it.
Since my Mom lived in Atlantic County, we were informed that THAT was where we had to turn in the application. But when we arrived at the County office building after running around for 2 days like crazy people trying to acquire as much paperwork as possible, we had a door slammed in our faces.
I had checked the County's website and found that the Medicaid Application office was open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. LIES!
Security told us to go in the first door on the right, go to the end of the counter, sign the clipboard and someone would be right with us. LIES! I did as I was told and when I went to reach for the clipboard, this women stopped me and said "Whatta you doing?"
Me: "I'm signing the clipboard. I have a Medicaid application that I need to submit"
Her: "OH WE CLOSED."
Her: "I said we closed. We done at 3:00"
Me: eyes filling with tears.........."Your website says you're open until 4:30"
Her: "Oh yeah, well that ain't right. I'm just finishing up some stuff, but we closed"
My Brother: .....ready to throw this bitch through a plate glass window
Me: "But I have a Medicaid application that needs to be submitted and we are under time constraints because my Mother is about to be thrown out of her nursing home if I don't get this application submitted" (always with a flair for the dramatic if I do say so myself) LITERALLY crying now
Her: "Lemme see dat"
She takes the application, looks over the first few pages and says: "This ain't even the right form! Where you get this from"
Me: Full on crying......."They gave it to us at the nursing home in Cape May County"
Her: "Then you got to take it to the Medicaid office down there, not here. We can't do nothing with this"
My Brother:.......one plate glass window away from a homicide charge
She WAS kind enough to give me a piece of paper with some phone numbers for Cape May County's social services department and after a few phone calls, I found out where I was SUPPOSED to take the application (which actually WAS the right form, just the wrong county).
Stay tuned, I'm going to finish this saga tomorrow on the blog....