Posted on November 15, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 6 of 17 in the series Rita

Transition to Rehab after Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Rita Part Six

After all of the time she was parked on the trauma floor, a floor away from meaningful rehab, she still didn’t get moved to the 6th floor directly from the 5th floor for transition to Rehab after severe traumatic brain injury.

Eventually she gets off the fifth floor?

Eventually, she does.  We got rid of the trach.  There’s some wonderful people, again, through the support group that kind of helped us.  I did not have to go around. We were looking for a nursing home, and, just these two, two gals that we met through our support group helped.  They worked for a senior care organization.  They were very familiar with the nursing homes in the area.  It was right, really close to our house, right in Tarpon Springs and we took her there for two and a half months.

But she wasn’t able to go up to transition to Rehab after severe traumatic brain injury on the sixth floor.

No.  No.

Why would they not transfer he for transition to Rehab after severe traumatic brain injury?

Because she wasn’t ready.  She had to be able to withstand three hours of rehab.  Okay?  So at this nursing home they did give her rehab.  It wasn’t three hours or anything, but it was something.  Well, you know, she got on the tilt table.  I don’t know if you know what that was like.  The first thing that she did was get on that and –

Explain to me what a tilt table is?

Oh.  It’s just like a big bed that has straps.  You get strapped on it and then you get, slowly but surely, you get, lifted straight up.  So it’s a little process because you haven’t been standing up for five months, so, you know, it’s kind of a slow process, laying her on her side, laying her on her stomach. Just doing very a lot, a range of motions, kind of what it started out to be.

The whole time we kept in touch with her physiatrists who were the doctors that saw her from the very beginning.  They are located down in Saint Pete.

They are the physiatrist that are in charge of the, uh, sixth floor rehab at Bayfront, so I kept those doctors on purpose because I was familiar with them and, you know, the place.  So in July they saw that she was doing a lot better and they said she could go to the sixth floor for rehab.

So she went there for six weeks.  That’s all that Medicaid would allow.  You know, she really needed to be in a rehab place for a year.  That’s what I think.  I’ve since found out about all these fabulous places that you can go if you have insurance and have money.

So her transition to Rehab after severe traumatic brain injury was  six weeks ?

Six weeks.  So the middle of July to end of August she was there.  And she did okay.  I mean, I have got to say that rehab place has a renowned reputation.  I mean, it does, and supposedly they get all these people to come back in. But when they say three hours of rehabilitation, that is all you get; three hours.  I was, I was a little surprised, because I’m, okay, what are you doing all these other hours of the day. You’re not allowed to go there.

You’re not allowed to go there during this transition to Rehab after severe traumatic brain injury period?

No.  No.  The visiting hours are from 4 to 8.  It’s like a locked floor.  4 to 8.  But they allowed me to go and feed Janelle lunch.  So I’d go there from 12 to 1, and I really kind of got to see what was going on.  Not that it wasn’t (good).  It’s good.  I mean, the therapist, they’re fabulous, very caring people, but it really is only three hours of rehab.

Is that because there’s so many other people waiting for the limited amount of care?

I think it’s only 11 beds.

Is that a private or public hospital?

It’s a public hospital.

Is it owned by the state or the city or?

I think by the city and the state.  It is a public hospital.  I mean, yeah, anybody can go there.  I mean, you know, you’re not turned away if you don’t have insurance.

Just kept on the 5th floor.


Were the 11 beds full when you were there?

Yeah.  They were.  There might have been a couple times when two of them were empty, but they got filled up pretty quickly.

Next in Part Seven – Limited Therapies for Severe Brain Injury Under Medicaid

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447