Monday, July 18, 2011

Still have too much time on my hands

I don't lay around very well. My brain is far too active for that. Unless I find something to distract me, I will end up thinking. And that can't be good for anyone.

After I posted yesterday, I spoke with Mom. (Not to be confused with my biological mother.) She told me that Dad did NOT break his nose, and that she'd brought him various needs from home. Toiletries and, more importantly, his cell phone. I was forewarned that if Dad didn't pick up, he might be napping.

I hung up and mentally paced a bit, since physically pacing doesn't work so well with a large cast on one's foot. The question at hand: to call or not to call?

I called...and got no answer. Dad must have been asleep.

Then Dad called back. Seems a nurse was in the room doing nurse-like things and he couldn't answer. He told me about the shape he was in, which was officially "banged up." He said there were 24 staples in his head and 24 stitches in/on his nose. (With that number changing from person to person, I'm going to start saying he has over 20 of such things.) And then he shared a nugget of information that had me fuming. The assisted living facility where he and Mom live might be kicking them out because he keeps falling.

Once I hung up with him, I sat here and silently became enraged. I wanted to pull a lawyer from the aether to start suing the place where they live. I wanted to rush to NY and get my face on television, denouncing such a stupid practice. I was willing to camp out just outside their property, a lone picketer against a to let the world know what kind of idiots they are. And the thought that keeps running through my head is the absurd amount of money that they charge each month for the "pleasure" of living there. If they were going to kick my parents out, there had best be an executive standing at the door with an apology on his lips and a fat check in his hand.

Brimming over with anger, I called Mom to get an idea of how big that check should be. I honestly didn't care that my parents had paid for services they had already received. They were going to get paid back!

And then Mom set me straight. They wouldn't so much be kicked out as moved to a facility that can give them the level of care that they need, which their current residence cannot provide. And it's more than Dad having a problem with his feet and legs; Dad, it turns out, is being an idiot.

My father has been a proud, working man since his teens. I can still recall the day when his heart troubles came to the fore. He was at work, grabbing his chest, and when I asked what was wrong, he told me he was having chest pains. I suggested he get to a hospital immediately. His response was, "I still have a few things to finish up. Then I'll go." It's this kind of attitude that he's carried for decades.

When I spoke with Mom, I suggested that it might be time I had a talk with Dad. His depression and anger at getting old is wasted energy. He needs to start focusing on such things as using the walker when he goes to the bathroom. (The cause of his fall was his unwillingness to use the walker for a short trip to the bathroom.) He has to think before he sits in a chair with wheels, and then tries to lean on it to get back up. It's things like this that he's ignoring in his fight against being a senior citizen, and it's things like this that will kill him.

Mom's ultimate concern is that Dad will become more depressed. She doesn't want anyone "bringing him down." The problem with this is that everyone is very busy trying to placate my father. They're trying to cheer him up. And absolutely no one is calling him out on his asinine attitude. He doesn't need to be happy about what I have to say, but I think he really needs to hear it. And who better to explain what it's like to be disabled than his disabled son?

Becky and I are planning a trip to NY in early August. It will be a very long day trip, with most of it spent in the car, but we really can't afford to stay in NY overnight. I tried to get Dad's permission for a visit, but he was against it. Thus, we'll go without telling him. As a friend recently reminded me, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission." Whether or not I talk to Dad...That remains to be seen.

Be well, all, and DFTBA!

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