Why Mil­lie Pete re­ally left At­lanta

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

“I bet that you miss that lit­tle boy.” That was said more than once to my mother while at­tend­ing my aunt’s fu­neral. Mil­lie Pete’s sis­ter passed on Hal­loween and we were in Ken­tucky a few days later cel­e­brat­ing her life. The gath­er­ing fam­ily knew Mom had moved to At­lanta when my son was born and had re­cently re­turned to her pri­vate home in Nashville.

“Very much.” That was her stan­dard re­ply, and she didn’t con­tinue fur­ther as to why be­ing a new grand­mother couldn’t wash away the bad ex­pe­ri­ences she en­dured while liv­ing in Buck­head. These ex­pe­ri­ences I haven’t shared pub­licly un­til now.

Mil­lie Pete never sold her house in Ten­nessee, opt­ing for a way back in case she didn’t en­joy her as­sisted liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence here. She did look for­ward to a dorm-like ex­pe­ri­ence where she could eas­ily make new friends and not have the re­spon­si­bil­ity of cook­ing and clean­ing now that her vi­sion was im­paired.

The staff was won­der­ful and help­ful, the food was de­li­cious, and she did make new friends eas­ily. But her fa­vorite ac­tiv­ity of the week was the Fri­day night slum­ber par­ties with Mr. Carter.

Then she got a cold. Not used to be­ing sick, Mom blew it off to al­ler­gies but we soon re­al­ized she had pneu­mo­nia and put her in the hos­pi­tal. They treated her lifethreat­en­ing in­fec­tion for nearly a week, then sent her to a re­hab fa­cil­ity for lung treat­ments and phys­i­cal ther­apy so that Mom’s equi­lib­rium wouldn’t be neg­a­tively af­fected by the con­stant bed-rest. That stint lasted two months, through Thanks­giv­ing, Christ­mas, and New Year’s, mak­ing Mil­lie Pete vow not to go through that again. Then she fell a few weeks later.

Mom seemed fine fol­low­ing the slight fall from her chair to the floor, hav­ing missed the edge of her seat one morn­ing while feel­ing light­headed. She only felt a mi­nor sore­ness on the side where she fell, but her nurse wanted to make sure she was okay and sent her to the doc­tor for X-rays. The nurse didn’t re­al­ize Mom would not re­turn for weeks.

The hos­pi­tal de­ter­mined she had bro­ken some mi­nor bones and de­cided to keep her. There didn’t seem to be any timetable, and af­ter a few days they sent her back to the same re­hab fa­cil­ity as be­fore. This time they also de­ter­mined she had an in­testi­nal in­fec­tion, and some­one with a low im­mune sys­tem like I have as a kid­ney re­cip­i­ent shouldn’t be around her. So my vis­its were lim­ited, and her time seemed to be ex­tended. Even the nurse at her fa­cil­ity was con­fused.

Con­stantly ask­ing for an up­date and be­ing re­peat­edly told she needed to stay a few more weeks, I had enough and said I de­manded her re­lease. Get­ting nowhere, I ac­tu­ally had a lawyer I know call to ques­tion any Medi­care fraud go­ing on. Iron­i­cally, Mom was ready to go within the next 30 min­utes.

El­derly, blind, sur­rounded by strangers, and un­happy with her con­stant hos­pi­tal or re­hab environment for sev­eral months, Mil­lie Pete de­cided to re­turn to her own home in Nashville.

Does she miss her grand­son? Ab­so­lutely. Does she miss be­ing tar­geted as an old woman with good in­sur­ance? Ab­so­lutely not.

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one of the few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

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