My sister has pointed out that I am getting more hits on the blog, but that I am writing less. I checked out my blog stats, and it is true. How weird is that? But that has happened before. Maybe it's just that my regulars are compulsively checking back for updates. Two new comments tho!
So. Update, huh.
Today is the first day this week I've been home. I've been going from the minute of getting out of bed around 8am to getting home around 10pm. Built raised plants beds for WheelChairLady (WCL), and general chores that she can't do for herself. I can't wait to organize her garage and laundry room, since I'm the one tripping over things as I move about. Plus I love organizing other people.
There's a resident here in the facility who has been needing help. Four days ago, I'd taken him to get his meds from the pharmacy. He couldn't take 50 steps without having to sit and rest. Then 2 mornings ago, he called me, needing me to get him some cigarettes. I got money from him, saw his apartment was covered in feces and vomit, he had 3 unopened frozen TV dinners on the table, and he hadn't eaten in 3 days. I got one of my frozen breakfast meals, and told him he had to eat or I wouldn't get his cigarettes. Luckily, rather than being offended, he did get up with great difficulty, and sat at the table. I left to get the cigs, and called the agency he's signed up with and bitched. No-one had seen anyone visit him for weeks (read - caseworker/s) (and believe you me, these old people know exactly what's going on around here and I could trust it when they said no-one had been by to see this guy). When I got back, he'd eaten maybe 2 bites. I also saw that he hadn't taken any of his meds in the last 3 days. We talked for a bit, me trying to find out why he was doing this to himself, was he sick, drunk, or wanting to die. Most definitely sick, not drunk at the time, as he hadn't been able to get to the store in 3 days.
I don't know what it is about me, but I can talk to people like this, and they respond to me. His caseworker later told me that he could barely get a yes or no out of him so he was glad I was there. After it was established that no, he wasn't trying to give up, I told him I'd come by morning and nite, cause the first goal was to take the meds again, and he'd feel better. He said that would help. He needed to be in the hospital, and he absolutely refused. I asked him if he wanted me to call his sister and he said no. So I made him promise me after being on the meds, and eating for a week - if he wasn't better, he would let me take him to the doctor.
I could have kicked myself in the mouth when I then heard myself saying "I'll come by tomorrow and clean up the place too". I knew for sure that there's something wrong in my brain when I heard that.
This afternoon, his caseworker (hurray!) knocked on my door, and said that he'd got SickMan to promise to go to the doctor "if Laurie would go with him". Dammit. The reason for dammit? This man is a step-brother to SanFranMan! Which means he's also the brother to BestFriend (BF). And those who are regular readers know that story. Check out the category "Jorge and Hospice" in my sidebar. In no way do I want to go thru that again.
Let me rephrase that. I don't mind helping or doing hospice, but it was the rest of the family that ruined the experience of taking care of George. And there I was again - with the same family! BestFriend said it would be different this time because she and her brother don't have a good relationship. It really wasn't about what kind of relationship they all have or don't have with SickMan ... it's about the relatioonship they have with me, and how they perceive me and my words and actions. It's sad how the most innocent of words/actions were viewed in a negative way, because of their own issues of guilt, or insecurity, because they cheated themselves out of spending more time with George because of it. A little tiny example of it already happened today, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Coincidently, on Wednesday - before all the SickMan stuff had started - BestFriend and I sat down to really talk about the damage that had happened after George died. We'd that big blow-out, talked it out, continued to help her with George's house and garage sale, and when that was done, we both just kind of faded away with each other for the last 2 years. Turns out we needed to talk it out again, but that's another post, and related to the above paragraph - we've talked again and we seem to be in agreement about what happened - but it's a separate post.
This morning, I met the caseworker and we marched resolutely to SickMan's apartment, gearing up for the smell, and knowing he'd try to talk us out of going to the hospital. We had to find a wheelchair, and wheeled him out to the car. We tried to get him into the car, but he didn't want to. I told him to take some deep breathes and in 2 more minutes, he's getting in. During those 2 minutes, I noticed he was raising his hands to his mouth as if he were drinking something, and setting it very carefully on the table, but a table wasn't there, so he set it just as carefully on the pavement. I told the caseworker hallucinations were out of my league if it was more the diabetes, COPD, and alcoholism, and asked him to call the ambulance. Done deal. They couldn't find a pulse or get his blood pressure for the first 5 minutes, so I wasn't far off when I said he wasn't going to last much longer if he didn't start eating. When I saw him 3 days ago, laying on his couch, he looked exactly like George on his death bed. There's a certain "look" and he had it.
I'll go see him in the hospital tomorrow before the races, cause I feel guilty for not going with him, but he won't remember a thing anyways or for the first few days. He's done this before when he used to live with George, passed out so much with drinking, which messed with his diabetes - for days, the doctors gave him only a 5% chance of living. He was moved to a nursing home, and shortly after that, I moved into George's to take care of him. The rest of the family don't have anything to do with him cause of his drinking, and is pretty much just a "waste of skin", as SFM would say. He didn't work, didn't live on his own, etc. and mommy took care of him and made excuses for him all the time. It shows, boy howdy.
So I've been busy.