Thursday, May 24, 2018

Holding Hands in the Car

I don't remember too much about that night.  I don't know if it was hot, or if it was slightly chilly.  I don't remember what was on the radio.  I do remember you were driving your sisters' car (the Geo Storm).  I remember that the sun was setting.  I remember holding your hand on the gear shift.  I remember looking at you and smiling.  I remember the feeling that I had - it felt like everything was perfect.  Everything seemed calm and happy and perfect.

I have known and loved Casey for more than half my life.  My friends tell me that we're often attached at the hip.  That makes me smile - even when they say it in a slightly "you shouldn't be like that" way.  Why shouldn't I be attached at the hip to the man that I love?  Why shouldn't I enjoy spending time with the man I love. Sure, sometimes it makes things hard to get done, but I really don't care.  I love my life with him. 

Casey just turned 40 and I'm staring down the barrel of it.  For the past few years we are concentrating on experiences.  We are concentrating on making memories.  We are concentrating on having as many adventures as we can.  I love my husband even more today than I did yesterday.  And that's pretty damn awesome.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

While she moves it, I will lose it.

I have this ball of anxiety sitting in the middle of my chest.  It makes things like eating, breathing and generally being happy slightly difficult.  After last week and Saturday specifically, I keep waiting for the ball to drop.  Onto my head.  Like a cartoon anvil.  Yeah. 

I may or may not have sought assistance from an herbalist/horticulturist to assist me here.

I'll start with Saturday's escapades.  Casey and I walk in and he asks how the carpet got stained.  I'm like "whaaaaa?"  He says "yeah, there's a huge stain."  And then we look into it further and it's not a stain, it's a big fucking puddle.  My mom comes traipsing out of her closet, which was completely dark, we had no idea she was even in there and scared the shit out of us.  Honestly, I don't know who was more scared- her or me.  We're like "Where did this water come from?"  She, naturally, has no clue.

We follow the water into her closet and then the out and to the bathroom.  There is water all over the floor.  The toilet tank is dripping like a mofo.  It's 11:15am.  WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE NURSES?! 

I instantly switch into Producer Jess mode, which means I'm out the door before Casey even gets the water off in search of someone to punch.  I find a nurse in the dining room, serving lunch.  Does anyone else feel like a nurse shouldn't be serving lunch and should be helping patients or at least keeping a fucking eye on the patients? 

" xxx I need a maintenance guy in my mom's room NOW."  My voice is low and growling.

"Maintenance guy, I don't have one."  The nurse says.

"Well, there's water all over the fucking floor in my mom's room. You better get someone in there IMMEDIATELY."   The nurse gets a look of pure panic on her face.  There are very few people that see this particular side of me.  The few that have usually end up in tears. 

I go back to the room and Casey and I are met by my cousins who had come to take Mom out so we could go through her stuff and get rid of stuff.

With mom out and distracted, we took a video and began the cleanout.  I emailed the video to both the executive director and the nursing director.  It's fair to say that I'm still livid about the situation.   I threw all my anger into the clean out and was happy to say that it allowed for a completely impartial trashing.  None of the "Oh, I know she'd like this" or "this is so sentimental!" crap.  We were able to fit all of her clothes into her closet and dresser.  It was awesome. 

Fast forward to Monday.  Still nothing from the director of nursing or from the executive director.  We pick my mom up, I turn in the keys and take mom out.  Good fucking riddance.  Before we left, though, we found mom, in a temporary room upstairs, flopped sideways on the bed, obviously not checked on at all.  We discuss with the nurse on duty and she said she didn't even know my mom was not staying in her room and was actually looking for her until she ran into the maintenance man who knew where my mom was.  NO ONE HAD TOLD ANYONE THAT MY MOM WAS IN A DIFFERENT ROOM!?  WTF?!  There is absolutely no communication from anyone in the old facility.

My mom has started wandering.  For someone to have eyes on her or know where she is is of the utmost importance for us.  Her new facility is secure (meaning she can't get out without someone being with her).  I know she will be safe.  I know she will be on a schedule.  I know she won't be alone and by herself in her room. I want her happy. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Something smells fishy....

To quote one of my favorite kids books of all time - Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.   Yesterday sucked very large, hairy donkey balls.   Today isn't really much better but I'm in a slightly better head space and I'm in one of my "get shit done" modes.

I was a wreck yesterday.  Crying, snot, the works.  It was ugly.  The funny thing is, I finally got a decent amount of sleep and I wasn't tired when I woke up.  And then the phone calls started.  With the phone calls, accompanied the lying.  The later in the day, the crankier I got.  The crankier I got, the more I wanted to cry.  I felt useless and like I was not winning at whatever game was being played. 

Casey said to me yesterday that I'm waiting for that whole "AHA!! I CAUGHT YOU FUCKER!" moment with the retirement community.  Seeing things clearly (or maybe not quite so clearly yet), I'm definitely wanting that "AHA!" moment.  It's not that I want a monetary gain from this, I just want what every woman wants - to be told that we're right.  I want them to admit "You're right, we aren't equipt for this.  Never were, never will be."  That's all I want.  I also want them to admit they're completely understaffed and that as much as they're saying they are, they totally are not. 

Have I got you saying "But Jess, what happened?!" yet?  No?  Well, this is the part where you find out anyway.

I woke up yesterday, watched some kitten videos on facebook and my phone rings.  It's the assisted living facility.  My heart always gets a little thump-y whenever they call.  I'm always worried that they're going to tell me that my mom has injured herself or something worse.  While she hadn't injured herself (this time), it was slightly worse. 

Backstory: a few weeks ago, I got a call from one of the nurses letting me know they had to stop my mom from walking out the door to go to Meijer.  My mom had gotten it into her head that she wanted Tostito's chips for some reason or other.  They stopped her, but called to let me know that they had done so and that she was agitated.  Honestly? I would be too if I couldn't get my chips and salsa on.  The difference is, though, the whole dementia thing.  It's not safe for the woman to be wandering around outside.  This kicked off the whole thinking about switching her to a specific memory care facility.  I started doing the research and got on the waiting list at two facilities that I had decided were best for her.

Fast foward to yesterday.  The nurse calls and says that I need to be made aware of certain things.  She says that the night before my mom "ran" outside in her nightgown to get the maintenance man to fix her tv (she couldn't turn it on).  It was 15 degrees outside last night.  Not the smartest thing to do to be sure.  The story didn't end there.  Yesterday morning my mom had been found standing outside dressed in pajamas and her coat and boots, waiting for the bus to go to her hair appointment.  This was apparently around 9am.  Her hair appointment was at 1pm that day.  The nurse then went on to explain that the director of nursing was suggesting that I hire someone to essentially babysit her during the day.  To which I was like "Um, isn't that your job?"  Why are we paying so much money for an ASSISTED LIVING facility if they aren't 100% assisting?    I told the nurse thank you for letting me know, I understood that it was a safety thing but a conversation like this needed to come from the director of nursing herself.  The nurse was quite taken aback but agreed.

Ten minutes later, the nursing director called.  She apologized and then went into her spiel that it is a safety issue, blah blah blah, that they had tried to stop her from going outside but she's so fast and couldn't stop her.  And that was when I about laughed.  At the time I was laughing more at the my mom being so fast bit than anything else.  I told the director that if they wanted me to hire someone that I needed something in writing.

Two hours later, the director calls again.  She's all "I'm so sorry, I feel horrible about this..." So why are you calling to rehash this lady?  She then says "If so and so hadn't been coming in, we wouldn't have known she was outside.  There's no telling where she could have ended up.  We had no idea she was outside..."

Half an hour after I got of the phone it hit me...  "...we tried to stop her from going outside, but she's just too fast..."  "...found your mom outside this morning..."  "if so and so hadn't been coming in, we wouldn't have known she was outside..."  

SOMEONE IS LYING TO ME ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES.    I had laughed during an earlier conversation because the director said there was someone at the nurses station at all times.  I can't count the number of times that I've been in and there is NO ONE at the nurses station.   Not only that, but these people are supposed to be checking on my mother EVERY HOUR.   But then, the director herself says they wouldn't have known she was outside?!  WTF is going on there?! 

Just writing this is making my brain hurt and my anger boil beneath the surface. 

Thankfully, I also got a call yesterday that an there is an opening at the secured memory care facility.  The movers have an opening on Jan 29th.  SO, now I have to plan a move in a week.  Yep... That's what I've got to do.  Oh, and there's the whole telling my mom thing, too.  This is going to be a fun weekend.

xoxo Jess