Thursday, November 11, 2010

Adventures in Eldersitting--Overnight Travel, Part 2

So, if you read Part 1, you know how things are going. We went 2 hours from home for a funeral, with the plan to stay overnight--and I forgot Mom and Dad's meds. My Husband, the doll that he is, drove all the way home to get them. While he was gone, my cousin ferried us all to her house. When we got there, I asked my son and my cousin's husband to bring in Dad's oxygen machine, because Dad had used all the oxygen in his two portable tanks.

Big mistake.

When Hubby and I loaded the machine into the van, we hoisted it in without removing the tubing that connects the main machine to the secondary machine that fills tanks. When the guys removed it from the SUV at my cousin's house, the tubing got bumped just right, so that the fitting that connected the tubing to the machine broke.

None of the kings horses and none of the kings men (nor any amount of super glue or gorilla glue) could put Humpty together again.

The main oxygen machine still worked, but required that Dad be sitting within 40 feet or so of a plug-in. The cemetery was right behind the church, but not that close. So, now what?

My cousin and I called some friends of theirs who own a welding shop. They thought they might be able to help, so we went over. Unfortunately, the oxygen tanks used in welding don't have the same type of fittings that medical oxygen tanks do; nor did they have any means to fill a tank.

So, I called the hospital in that town. Yes, they had an oxygen tank we could borrow, but they suggested I call his home medical supplier, because Medicare only allows one company to bill for oxygen supplies. When I called the supplier, I was told they couldn't do that, and we'd have to pay for it ourselves. But, we could go to their sister company an hour away to get a replacement part.

We left a little early for the funeral so we could stop at the hospital to get the tank. We paid a $25 rental fee, and left a $100 deposit to ensure we'd bring it back. We all cried through the funeral and the interment. Then, after we ate with the family, I said goodbye to my Husband again as he drove the hour to the sister home medical supply company. They lent him a tank to get Dad home, we returned the rented tank to the hospital, and all was well.

Interestingly, the hospital sent back Mom and Dad's $25 check. That was pretty sweet of them.

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