The Poor and Sick

Or further adventures in the world of “Assisted Living” and commodes.

Now if you’ve been following this story, you know that I’m in an Assisted Living facility in NYC barely able to ambulate. And I had a commode in my room that I ordered a few months ago.

I can sometimes get up from it after “doing my business” and sometimes I need to press the pendant around my neck and wait on the thing, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes for an aide to help me to a standing position. from there I can pivot into the wheel chair.

So I began doing research a few weeks ago into some sort of gizmo that you could put over the commode that could give an assist to a standing position.

I found one. Asked friends for donations. And raised the money $1500 to order the thing.

Now this is where the story takes a weird twist. It was delivered last Thurs. The only reason I knew was that I tracked it. Fedex.

Nobody told me it was here. But they knew it was.

Amos, the third or fourth in command told the Supt. that they would have to meet about it to see if it was okay.

Amos is the personification of red tape.

If there is anything he can do to clog up the process, he’ll do it. I am fairly sure he spends most of his time thinking of ways to annoy me.

For example, everytime he sees me (they inspect the rooms once a month) he manages to slip in the question, “can you walk?”

He somehow managed to ask me that while I was in bed getting an infusion last week.

Or he says, “how are the infusions going. Helpful?”

This with a needle in my arm for three hours. And a nurse that missed her vocation as a hit man.

Anyway, it takes a lot to wear me down, and so I began the hunt for the toilet seat lift. First I called the receptionist (lobby level) and asked if she’d gotten a big Fedex package.

It came and was transported in the freight elevator. I should talk to Roger.

Please connect me to him.

Eventually I get through (one of the good guys here) and he tells me that Amos told him not to bring to my room util Amos gave the okay.

So now the hunt for Amos begins. I call the receptionist, and this time I get a guys’ voice.

There are two new male receptionists. I ask to be connected to Amos. The Amos phone is a recording: I’m away from my desk right now but will return your call… blah blah.

I call the receptionist again and ask if they’ve seen Amos?

He’s around, somewhere I’m told.

It’s all annoying because when the lift arrived on Thurs. the OT occupational therapist) was still here and I was texting her that the lift had arrived.

I was also trying to get ths done on Friday because I didn’t know who would be around on the weekend.

So I waited another hour and asked to be connected to Amos.

I got cut off.

My blood is starting boil. I decided to leave my room and go on a hunt for Amos.

First I went downstairs to his office. He had a strip of cardboard on the window and I could tell the door was locked.

I went up one level to check with the receptionist and there is Amos, sitting behind the desk eating his lunch.

Now think about this for a second. Amos was transferring me his own office, and I had been talking him all this time without knowing it.

It was like the scene in A Day at the Races (Marx Bros) with doctor Quackenbush as the operator.

I asked him straight out, whether he got the two calls I left for him. Yes. Why didn’t you call me back?

They come thru as email.

I gave you my cell.

We’ve been meeting about it all morning.

About the lift?

Yes. Not sure if it’s within the regulations.

But you knew it was me calling. Why switch me to your own voice mail?

I didn’t realize it was you. (More b.s.)

So what’s the problem?

You need to talk to Nora about that.

So there are two Noras in this joint. The first one I thought of was the recreational worker. I sat there in my wheelchair and asked Amos to connect me with Nora.

He said she’s on her way to your room.

And so I go back to my room and in a few minutes there’s a knock at the door. It’s Nora the CEO or whatever – the top dog in the food chain.

I explain to her about the lift, that it will make it easier for the “bluecoats” and give my spiel. I show her a vid on youtube of the thing in action.

She asks where I’m going to put it. On the commode or toilet?

I say I was thinking of the commode. I already had two falls in the bathroom getting off the toilet. One she saw when I went to virus central emergency room 6 weeks ago?

There’s more room for the wheelchair in the apartment, and if for some reason I do fall, it’s on a rug, and I wouldn’t be all mangled up like I was the last time in the bathroom.

Then she throws a new one at me: medicaid doesn’t allow commodes in Assisted Living.

And I believe her. She’s been straight with me in the past. If it’s a self-pay non-medicaid Assisted Living you can have a wheelchair and a commode.

So finally the super gets the okay to install it in the bathroom, but one of the safety bars on the wall is in the way. He says he’ll remove the bar. But after he leaves I’m not sure that he knows the OT is coming at 8 a.m. on Monday.

The Nora lady has told him not to install it until I’m trained on it by her.

And that is where it stands for now,

Lift & Commode

Published by Dave

My name is David Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City. Or I was before I had two strokes. I now write from a Nursing Home.

3 thoughts on “The Poor and Sick

  1. Your response when they say “no” is to ask for a copy of the regulation or rule that they are relying upon. You will catch hell for it but BS conduct like this requires government intervention. Nursing homes and assisted living is regulated by the NYS Department of Health. Based upon tge current climate a complaint will result in an inspection and fimes.


    1. Not a good idea. Next level up is Arch Diosese. I have to live with people a long time, and I don’t see anything coming out of this by pressing it.


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