update on Robbie/ the future of friedman place

Hi everyone,

So wanted to give my now regular update on how Robbie is doing.

He was finally able to speak to the Dr. he had seen in 2015. They had a nice long phone conversation. He told him in no uncertain terms that he does not have an auto immune disorder! So to stop looking it up! I’m sure he mentioned somewhere in there about his research obsessed best friend who wouldn’t let this go. So that’s a huge relief because honestly with that kind of thing he’d have a host of other problems and from what I’ve read and heard about it it just plain wears your body down.

This Dr. is pretty good. He admitted he gave Robbie the wrong diagnosis. That he had made the mistake of thinking it was an immune system thing, saying that his immune system had attacked his eye randomly. When actually there was something wrong with his eye in the first place. He’s not sure which caused which but Robbie has this narrow angle glaucoma, and this iritis inflamed iris and both are rare I guess. So this all was going on since 2015 and it started that time he went to the hospital. The Dr. did say that he had wanted Robbie to follow up and of course Friedman Place’s nursing department failed to do that.

I like this doctor too. I mean for a Dr. to actually admit he’s wrong? OMG! He also fully admitted that he didn’t specialize in this and actually recommended several times the same dr. that Robbie was put with in the first place most recently. Who we lovingly call the smart ass or jerk doctor or bitch doctor. Until he actually acts nicer that’s what we’re gonna tell him. Someone who responds “ Nah” when one asks if they’ll get their sight back after losing it overnight, deserves that name!

I’m very angry this happened. I tend to take on the emotions of others I know that. And I’msure he has more than enough anger to spare. I’m angrybecause he’s had enough trauma to cope with in his life. I know he’ll be writing a book about all that one day. Long story short he’s been through abuse, homelessness, losing a loved one to suicide and who knows what else. And he’s built an amazing life for himself. He’s never had vision problems hardly been to the doctor in his life. Auto immune disorder or not his immune system is still quite impressive. And now he’s hit with this. He’s relied so much on his good eye obviously like anyone would. The fact that he has to go through yet this other thing, this adjustment and everything it just kills me.

I cling to blaming friedman because I truly believe that had they acted even a bit sooner he could have come out of this and been able to gain some vision back. After all his vision cleared up after the hospitalization and there was a huge gap of time things looked fine. Of course things were just getting worse behind the scenes. I just keep going back to the fact this is a place for the blind. Where you would think they’d especially care of course about all of one’s health but particularly your eyes. Have frequent vision asesments and eye check ups for everyone there. And if there was even a little bitty something wrong with someone’s eyes they’d be right on the case. And, if someone was losing their sight like Robert has that theywould have all the services right there to help. Like mobility that would accomidate him having lost that vision, braille classes ETC. Well it turns out none of that is true. And that really kills me. I keep going back to that the nurse a few weeks back wouldn’t even call the ambulance. And that he had to himself. I told someone this and they’re like o good he did the right thing! Well yeah don’t you get it though he shouldn’t have had to!

I was very furious with their lack of concern and knlowedge around psychiatric issues given they had many residents struggling with such. But for them to be this clueless and negelectful in their care of him around his vision? Like what they’re supposed to specialize in? It’s stunning it shows what a poor organization they really are.

We both have a friend who lives there who’s an older guy. He’s done all sorts of work in hospitals and he knows a lot about finance. He has a very objective view of the world emotions consciously don’t factor in for him though there’s a lot going on unconsciously. Anyway if there’s anyone you would ask about the bhusiness side of things, or just ask in general he’ll end up telling you the business side.

So I wrote and asked him generally where he saw Friedman Place going. He said due to the budget crisis they’re preparing for the worst. Even though he admits after going through budget documents that anyone has a right to view he claimed that things were actually pretty good before the new guy came along. He said this guy is stripping down the services to the minimum to save money apparently. And that only when things have shifted politically I.E changes in government the new president ETC, will we see what happens. He predicts years from now Friedman will be explanding as the mental health facilities are doing. Have several different floors and units for different things ETC

As it stands right now it seems like Alexander wants to have as little supportive services as possible and to have everything be very mechanical and cold towards the residents and how staff work with them. This just isn’t a financial change it’s changing the whole climate and personality of the place and the staff have no say in it. That’s why many of the true pro resident people walked out or didn’t put up a fuss when asked to leave they couldn’t take the attitude.

It truly saddens and infuriates me to see where friedman place has gone since I left. I am pretty sure that despite unorganization in other areas that if the old staff were there this wouldn’t be happening with Robbie’s eye. Or it wouldn’t be so bad. Even the former director of nursing came in to do a shift and was very eager to help him get his records from the hospital in an accessible format. I just know that back then they would have jumped on it. They still would have lacked the specialist in different areas but the medical side I feel would have been better managed.

I don’t see the improvements ouir friend is predicting unless there’s a full scale stratigy plan in the works as there are for psych facilities. Unless there’s that kind of thing everything is speculation. Asar as Iee it I seriously have no idea what kind of residents Alexander is looking for to come to fp and live there. Certainly not anyone who needs any kind of care even minimal as they’re cutting CNAS to the bare bones. Iknow he’s trying to put money into this transitional apartment thing. I think he thinks he’ll get a lot of people in and out therefore making even more money and being cost effective in helping the most people. But he doesn’t realize the obstacles blind people have in living on their own in the community even if they have all the life skills, things like getting into an apartment getting any kinda job ETC can be next to imposible for many reasons. So this program Ieel would not work the way

He thinks it will. Really as far as I know he hasn’t gotten any input from residents on exactly what they want to have happen. He goes through the motions of it having all these meetings ETC but it’s just going through the motions. He has his agenda which keeps changing and makes no sense and he’ll press on with it regardless

So in the end I honestly see friedman closing down, or at least not being called supportive living anymore. I just don’t know ya know? IMean they are one of two places for long term supportive living for the blind. The wayit’s set up it’s supposed to be a place where you can have your independence but get support around daily life things that would not be possible to have in other circumstances. Thus appealing to a lot of blind people who feel they need that support and on a long term basis. Nt having this at all I’m not sure what will happen. Maybe they’ll just keep creating these blind training centers transition apartments where really you’re under the gun to learn all you can knowing that you’ll be doing it alone once you’re out. It’s supposed to be a solid community atmosphere that people can trust for as long as needed. And for all the issues present before the director change this was a value of the program.

Iknow for certain I will not be recommending this place to a single person for the foreseeable future. IGuess I can say that I’m glad I enjoyed the year and a half I had there. AD I’d consider going back if they expressed even a slight interest around psych ises. But now that’s the least of our problems. The whole resident care values are just going down the drain. Either something changes or the whole thing’s gonna go downhill period.

So I”ll keep you updated on how things are going and my thoughts in the process.

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2 thoughts on “update on Robbie/ the future of friedman place

    • I couldn’t agree more. Furious this morning. Someone told me, this is the second person that Robbie should have been making his own apointments in the first place. way to blame the victem. This place should be punished.

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