Thursday, September 01, 2011
I would like to reward those of you who have stuck with me through these depressing blog posts with one that is all fluffy and hilarious. But that is not going to be this one. Flip was discharged from the third hospital this afternoon and transported to the third nursing home, one I had visited a couple weeks ago and disliked because it's bleak and smelly. It was the only one in the Bay area which would accept him, but I am holding my breath as he lasted only three nights in the first and two in the second. I am braced for The Phone Call which tells me that he has been taken back to the hospital again. With an armed guard.
If that happens, they will quickly discharge him and absent another nursing home, I will have to bring him back to our home which at this point is not safe for either of us. There is also the fact that if he comes home, MediCal will revoke his approval and refuse to pay for anything, nor will he be allowed to reapply. Much as it pains me to say this, our life will not be tenable at all with me caregiving 24-7 in our small apartment as I did for so long. The disease is advancing at a shocking rate.
The first thing I was asked upon arrival was whether I had selected a mortuary. So much for sensitivity. Since the answer was no, Marlene, the admissions woman, asked if she could write in the name of a local one because the form required something on that line. I shrugged, and she assured me that she could change it when I found one I liked. Question: Does anyone like mortuaries? Auditioning funeral directors is not high on my to-do list. I said that Flip and I had discussed burial and cremation over the years and we both leaned toward cremation. (But that doesn't mean I ever expected to do either of those things. It was just a philosophical discussion, that's all.)
There was an Inspirational Hour going on in the main gathering room. A man was standing on a table loudly hawking Jesus while other residents mostly snoozed in their wheelchairs. "Oh, Jesus," I muttered. Sometimes I wonder how enduring tasteless and predatory behavior in his name all these centuries compares with the agonies of crucifixion. The answer could surprise us.
As I sat in Flip's new room with him, a harridan in a wheelchair rolled up and began to scream at me. The old biddy knew every word for female genitalia and wasn't afraid to use them, so I shut the door. She slammed it open and I shut it again. Open. Shut. Open. Shut. All accompanied by a stream of invective that would have made a sailor's parrot blush. Finally, I leaned myself against the door to hold it shut and she rammed it with her wheelchair. I was definitely in the wrong weight class. Nobody came. Flip looked unbelievably weary, and I knew he was sure he was either in a nuthouse or in Hell. I yelled down the hall, "Can I get some help here?" and about ten minutes later, Marlene returned with more forms for me to sign. All business, that one. The old hag began to curse her out, too, demanding that Marlene take off her dress because it was really hers, stolen this morning. I closed the door again and told Marlene that I was concerned the woman would give Flip a rough time when he is already going through so many changes, including another new place. "Oh, she hates females," she said. So comforting.
And that was our welcoming committee. They really went all out and the entertainment was phenomenal, but there wasn't any cake. There should have been cake.