Karen's discharge planner called me yesterday and explained that not only was the doctor pressing to send her home, insurance companies only pay to rehabilitate patients to their baseline state. That means that Karen only needs to be back to walking with a walker and then falling down, before the insurance company is satisfied with her inpatient progress. I was there last evening when the doctor came to check on her incision, and I not only bowed to the inevitable, I gave it a little curtsy. There didn't seem to be much sense in being churlish to the man that's going to monitor the still-healing opening from Karen's spine to the sometimes malevolent outside world.*
Anyway, I'm going to go to the post office in a few minutes and get my route ready. But somebody else is going to run it while I go learn how to be an aid again. Tomorrow I'm off anyway, and then begins the carousel ride around the clock making sure Karen isn't left alone on the floor.
One bit of good news, just like Sheldon Cooper, Karen's "been tested;" her cognitive skills are such that they don't think she will burn the house down if she is left alone.
* From the Merck Manual Home Edition:
For adults who have bacterial osteomyelitis of the vertebrae, the usual treatment is antibiotics for 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes bed rest is needed, and the person may need to wear a brace. Surgery may be needed to drain abscesses or to stabilize affected vertebrae (to prevent the vertebrae from collapsing and thereby damaging nearby nerves, the spinal cord, or blood vessels).