Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So my mom had hip replacement surgery on Tuesday January 6, 2009.
It’s a common surgery for older folks, and many, if not most people just need a few days in the hospital after that, and then two or three weeks of physical therapy after that. Well, with my mom, it hasn’t worked out that way. Going in, there was already a mental block against it, because of all the hospitals right near-by, she had to go to the hospital my father passed away at. Getting passed that however, her immediate recovery at the hospital was pretty good. Then came time to send her to the rehab center. And that’s when all Hell broke loose…

The place my mom went to was chosen only due to proximity.
There were only two facilities relatively close by, and one of them had just stopped working with my mom’s insurance company. The place was horrible. Yeah, it had physical therapy, and that one part went pretty well. But that was about an hour or two total a day. The rest of the day, my mom basically lay in bed, not watching TV because the place had no cable and very poor reception. Also, all the “residents” are combined. So while my mom was there for physical therapy, she was in a room with a much younger female who was there for mental / emotional reasons. This poor woman would walk around talking and laughing to herself constantly. And not discreetly, either. In fact one time, she treated us to an impromptu performance of Wham’s “Careless Whispers”, sung very well I must say, and danced to, as well.

There was also a little old lady whose wheelchair was always parked right near my mom’s doorway. This woman would sit there…she had to be way less than a hundred pounds soaking wet…and belt out this tirade…in Spanish of course. “Ay mama!”…would lead into a 10 minute discourse. It almost sounded like it was on a loop. Basically the same story over and over, with “Ay mama” as the starting point. Poor lady would get abused, too. People…other residents and even employees…would say things to her, because she was like a parrot and would start repeating it. So let’s say someone told her to shut up (again, in Spanish…pretty much all I ever heard there was Spanish) then she would incorporate that into her tirade. “You want me to shut up? OK, I will shut up. I will shut up. I will shut up…”, over and over again, until it was time to say “Ay mama” again. So. Very. Sad.
(And I’m sorry, but really annoying, too. I mean, it goes on for a long time…)

And then there was the Laugher.
It only happened once, but it made an impression.
I saw a man walking around for like a week. He seemed completely normal and I assumed he was visiting a patient. Until the day I saw him laughing. A loud, barking laugh.
That wouldn’t end.
I totally was sure I would hear that laugh later that night at home alone.
Very disturbing.
And of course, so very sad…

So this went on for a few weeks. Along the way the doctors decided her wound wasn’t healing right and she had to go to the hospital for a few days. She was fine at the hospital, but as soon as she got back to the rehab place, her demeanor changed again. She hated it there so much that she developed a mental block against it. She wouldn’t eat the food (which I admit, was horrible) and she had a serious problem with going to the bathroom. Can you think of any worse indignity than the whole adult diaper situation? Well, her mental block against that coupled with her not eating properly apparently aggravated a serious infection in her bowels. She was in a lot of pain and crying constantly. Her white blood cell count rose higher and higher, so on Monday February 9th, she was sent back to the hospital. It turned out surgery was the only option…

More later...

Monday, February 9, 2009

I have to say that so far 2009 has really, really sucked.
Some of it is my fault. Believe me, my self-hatred, which is usually pretty high anyway, has hit an all time high. Ergo, my life in general has hit an all time low.

I'm still not ready to get into all of my mother's issues, because it's still so much a work in progress. Unfortunately so far, it's not a happy story. So far anyway. But here's to hoping.

Then there's today, that marks my 11th anniversary at work.
While I should be overjoyed to still be gainfully employed, things are so bad, the fear and insecurity vastly outweigh any positive feeling I could have. Oh, and not to mention that things are so bad, that I now have to do some tasks that make me sick to my stomach. Not really "literally", but close enough...