not so trivial

I haven’t given you an update on life at Red Rose lately. Maybe it’s just my mood tonight…

They moved Dad off the locked hall last week. He really doesn’t need to be there anymore. We just left him because it’s a little quieter there and they were able to keep him in a room without a roommate. But they needed his room and moved him out on the main hall – where, for now, he still doesn’t have a roommate. Maybe he’ll be more social out there. Probably not but you never know.

He was agitated and barreling down the hall the other night – in the bomber base. He slipped and fell and hit his head. He wasn’t hurt, just a small abrasion.

Mom fell out of bed the other day. Her bed is low to the floor and she fell onto the rubber mat kept beside her bed. None of us even thought she was capable of rolling out of bed. She wasn’t hurt, either.

But you know what? They would so hate this. Dad is a joke. The staff there is nice and they treat Mom and Dad well. Everyone loves Mom, particularly those who were there earlier in her stay. But when she’s alert and awake, apparently she can still be really sweet. But she would hate this. She did hate it when she was still aware enough to know what was happening. She would loathe being so dependent for everything, especially all the little intimate things we generally take for granted as doing for ourselves.

Dad is a joke. Perhaps because he was so difficult for them to deal with a year ago. He’s easier now, I guess, or at least less aggressive. But when I ask how he’s doing – how he’s adjusting to the move – they say he’s doing fine, he’s okay, it’s just he’s…. fucking nuts, which no one says. It’s left hanging there. He’s just… and we all laugh because we know, he’s nuts. He was barreling down the hall in the bomber base. As far as I know, he was never stationed anywhere near a bomber base. Maybe he was, he never talked that much about Korea. He would hate this. He’s past the point where he’s aware of the humiliations at least.

If you don’t smile, you just end up crying.

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7 thoughts on “not so trivial”

  1. You’re right: not trivial in any way. Your father and the bomber base was sadly interesting. I just learned (from Wikipedia) that airbases were common at the time of the Korean War. It was the first war in which the US Air Force was an independent arm of the military. So if he was in the military then, esp if he was actually in Korea, he might have heard a lot of airbase talk…maybe? I wonder what nonsensical thing I’ll be saying one day if I’m in his situation.

    I’m glad neither parent is fully aware of what life is like, which only makes it slightly more tolerable for you I know.

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    1. He was in the air force, but in the weather service. The stories he told us were about the lady who made kim chi and Tokyo and the artic where they did weather observations. But I guess I don’t know what all he did. Though he wasn’t a general. That one is for sure.

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  2. I don’t know. I go both ways with this. They would hate it, but are they still aware? It is utterly painful to you and that’s damnably HARD. I always said that I would rather die physically rather than mentally, but then I watched my very intelligent and capable husband be reduced to a shell of himself. He lost the ability to do anything except think and be completely aware that he was dying of cancer. So, I just don’t know.

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    1. I still think I’d rather be aware and die with some dignity. I don’t know, though. At least we think they are no longer aware. I worry, sometimes, about what is really going on in their heads. Dad still has some awareness – he’s very confused, doesn’t know where he is, and is delusional. But he knows at times that he is in the nursing home and doesn’t want to be there.

      Today he apparently attacked another resident who kept coming in his room. He needs to be in the locked hall where he has been doing well but instead they sent him to Joplin to yet another psych unit. I talked to them in the emergency room where they were evaluating him and just called them back since I hadn’t heard. He didn’t meet criteria for their senior psych unit and was transported back to the nursing home. Hopefully they will move him back into the locked hall. Or put a rope over his doorway or something. There have been other residents who didn’t want anyone in their room. It frustrates me.

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      1. There were some beautiful and tender moments and goodbyes with Patt, but what he had to go through defies description. It wasn’t dignified either, believe me. It was ugly and sad. I’m still leaning toward physical(although I hate the pain part of it) since we have Death with dignity in my state. However, I won’t really get a choice anyway! Your journey with your parents is a HUGE stress on you; it would be difficult enough with one. I can’t imagine two. 😦

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        1. I hear what you’re saying and I guess there really isn’t a good choice (as if we really get to choose, right?). But from this side? Patt was at least able to still make choices for himself. I really fear that – the lack of being able to make my own choices. Perhaps I will move to Washington before I get really old. I hear it’s a pretty state.

          I sometimes feel I won’t survive this journey with them – or that there will be nothing left of me when it’s over. I can imagine you feeling something similar while being there with Patt. Perhaps all of us doing the caretaking feel like that.

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        2. There is no doubt that it causes fundamental changes in the way that we view the world and our own(and others’) mortality. I don’t think we can avoid that. I kind of envy people who haven’t had these “reality checks” like you and I have had to face. I think you would like Washington, although it’s an expensive place to live. I make an excellent mocha!! xoxo

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