Friday, December 30th 2011
Meeting with Kate and Pauline about Discharging Freddie from WakeMed
December 30th 2011

WakeMed’s Case/Social Worker, Kate Brookhouser had called and said that she needed to meet with me to work on Freddie’s discharge plans.  I tried to explain to her that we weren’t ready to discharge.  She said that we need to have a care conference with all the doctors so everybody can get on the same page on where Freddie’s care was.  I said I thought it would be better first that she and I meet with the 5A Manager, Pauline Stillman.  Because Pauline knew and understood Freddie’s situation and maybe that would help her understand what we were doing with Freddie’s care.  She really didn’t like this suggestion but agreed to do that first.

So Kate sets up the meeting with 5A manager.  Paige and I go and we four sit down in Pauline’s office.  We start to talk about the reason for the meeting and Kate states that we have to get Freddie’s discharge plan in order.  Pauline is like yea, that’s right.  (This was the first time that Pauline veered away from “We are not going to push Freddie out, we are going to make sure that Freddie is going to get everything he needs in 5A.  We are going to do everything we can to get Freddie off the vent.  You won’t have to worry about him not getting what he needs here.”)  So I ask; I thought that we were trying to get Freddie off the vent and see if he can go to the neuro rehab unit?  They said yea but we always have to be working on discharging.  I said well, that doesn’t really make much since to me because if we are trying to get off the vent and we don’t know how long that is going to take and Freddie is still making progress and then goes to neuro rehab and then who knows, he might make it to the physical rehab.  So we won’t know what he will need at the time he is ready for discharge.  Kate was saying that there are places that take vents.  So of course that put me right back where I was.  How will we know if he needs to go to a place that takes vents if we are still trying to get him off the vent and we won’t know until then if he will need that place or not?  And depending on how long it takes him to get off or not, with all progress he is making with movements, he may have different needs with a different place that offers different treatments or he may just be able to recover here in WakeMed’s rehab.
Kate seemed to be very confused by my reasoning and Pauline seemed to be right there with her with her own expressions.  I asked Kate if she was able to do anything to help with us getting Freddie physical therapy that he is not getting.  She was like uh.  And Pauline said; I thought that Skip was helping you with that.  I said I haven’t heard anything back from him.  Yea, he came up and met with me, but I tried several times to talk about Freddie and he just said he was there to meet with me because he had never done that before and he would look into what he could do for Freddie and get back with me.  I haven’t heard anything else from him.  Pauline said; I will follow up with him.  I asked Kate; can you help me understand what it is that you do?  Are you here as an advocate for the patients?  Are you the one that one goes to if they need help with their care?  Or do you just work on discharging patients?  She looked at me like I was crazy.  So I asked again; is it your job description as a social worker that helps the patients with what they need or is it that you just focus on making sure that the patients are discharged?  I mean do you work with the county, DSS or do you work for WakeMed?  She said well I work for WakeMed, It is my job to find patients a place to be placed or go home and I also work for the patients if they need something.  I said; OK, I was just wondering because it seems to me that all the social workers are concerned with is just getting the patients out.  And with Freddie we have had a lot of problems and the social workers don’t seem to be able to help in any way with any of that.  She said; well we see what we can do but we still need to see what is out there for Freddie.  I said they have already been looking and they tell me that there isn’t anything out there for Freddie.  Kate said that was when he was under 18, there are places that will take him after he turns 18.  I asked; what kind of places?  Are they Rehab?  Are they going to help him with his recovery with TBI and SCI?  She said I don’t know; that’s why we need to be looking.  I said well, when you find some, we will see where we are and what Freddie will require at that time and then decide which will be best for him.  So after all of that, I thought maybe we were all on the same page.  Well at least she would be looking at what was out there and we would continue with Freddie’s progress in the meantime.

As we were leaving this meeting, I was walking with Pauline and Paige was walking behind and Kate was walking with her.  Paige told me later that Kate keep saying to her without me hearing; “I need Freddie’s social security number.  I need you to give me Freddie’s social security number.”  Paige said; I told her that I didn’t have it, Fred does.  Then Kate asked her; “will you get it and give it to me?”  After we left Paige told me about this and said she thought that was just weird the way she was trying ask her but not me.  Kate never once has asked me for Freddie’s social security number to this day.  But some really weird things were getting ready to start happening with Freddie’s Social Security disability medical coverage.

Meeting with Kate and Pauline about Discharging Freddie
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