I know it would likely be healthier for me to just let all this stuff with my brother’s clinic Terros go, and focus more on the productive aspects of his move, but I just feel like it all needs to be documented. And I guess here is the place I’m doing that. When I say documented, I also mean, exposed.
Yesterday, after a couple of emails to his terrible, inept case manager, she got back to me with this one line:
I called several times and was unable to leave a voice mail. He did show up today and I met with him.
This is her response to my question about how she expected my brother to show up for his appt. to retrieve his weekly meds (before running out) without informing him of said appointment. Of course the only reason he showed up, was because I spent nearly an entire day making phone calls trying to obtain information and finally getting the time and date for this appointment so he didn’t run out of meds (again). The case manager was unreachable, per usual.
It was also cc’d to her supervisor, as were my emails to her. Her CYA moment.
My response to her began with the sentence, “I don’t believe you.”
I called my brother’s voicemail and it’s working. I was in touch with him via my Dad’s phone all that day and he kept checking his phone for calls/messages and relaying to me what was on his phone.
She never tried calling, much less leaving a message. She’s lying.
But even if you take her at face value (which I don’t), her own story is she couldn’t get this critical information to my brother so she did nothing further. She didn’t try phoning my Dad to tell him (who she knows he lives with and has his number), emailing me, phoning me, nothing. But I’m sure she did document it as “billable hours”! The bare minimum she claimed to have done.
Also, while John was sitting in the waiting area yesterday, waiting for his appt. to get his meds, my father who was sitting a few feet away, saw the case manager “come out to retrieve another patient” from the waiting area and stop to say hello to my brother.
She has somehow parlayed that little breeze-by as a “meeting”. Oh I feel certain she documented it as billable hours as a full blown case management meeting. I’m also sure she didn’t realize, when she wrote me that email, that I was aware she had seen my brother in the waiting area as my father had already detailed the visit for me.
God I hate liars.
Anyway, John did fill out the paperwork to be transferred to another team. Hopefully that happens, because even if it’s just another month or so before we can extricate him, it’s still four weeks of having to live in that mine field.
The hospital social worker has escalated all of this too on her end and has been sending me emails about who is being informed of what. She’s not happy at all about this.
I’m just keeping records of everything and once John is freed from their clutches, a full report will be made.
Then I’ll be able to focus all my undivided energy on setting him up here. So many of his day to day activities will be met at the Community they are moving to. They are opening up their classes and activities next month after a year of Covid closure. Right on time.
There are all kinds of things he can get involved with from art classes to movie nights to special dinners to outings. My Dad is especially interested in the courses provided by visiting Bucknell professors and similar outings which they provide transportation for. It’s going to be so good for them.
We will also obtain case management for John here and of course all the medical needs, including Psychiatric. They have a medical liasion who is an RN at the community who will start working on getting all that set up for both of them before they even arrive. It’s pretty amazing what they offer. They will even provide them transportation from their home to the community building in a 6 seater golf court so they don’t have to drive over. They are walking distance from our beautiful library, which also hosts computer classes for my brother to attend. He’s super psyched about that as he’s been taking computer classes. We will get them set up with wifi and a laptop. Major upgrade.
All of these layers of support will be so welcomed. And it’s all underway. We should have the keys by Wednesday next week/Thursday at the latest. And I’ll be getting the supplemental furniture and furnishings set up. There will be champagne involved next week--my Dad requested a live Facetime session when we cross the threshold.
I dropped the check off yesterday, got the contract, just waiting on the last wire transfer and we will have the keys! We bought a bottle of Veuve Cliquot a few months ago, that we still have sitting in our wine frig. I do see us popping it over there in the empty kitchen. 😀
Also! My sleep is definitely improving. The Dr. definitely got my attention when he used some word like “psycho-physiology” describing how my insomnia got so deeply ingrained. He listened long enough and educated me well enough that I left there trusting him, which is honestly rare for me when it comes to doctors.
This morning I was reflecting on how familiar this felt to me–but on the other side of the paperwork.
During my thirty-year practice as a bodyworker, I realized I had a secret weapon.
I could get people to trust me very quickly. I don’t know if that’s just my normal personality, or a skill set I developed in that role, but I took my time, listening to every word they said, writing it all down and asking lots of questions in the intital appointment. I didn’t rush it and insured them their participation and input was valuable to me (which it was).
I then displayed (because I possessed) a deep, calm confidence that I could help them (if I did which was the vast majority of the time). AND that their body also possessed a deep well of information that would be our guide, which I would trust, to help them get back on track.
I always started the relationship with that confidence and that respect right out of the gate and something about that combination allowed my clients to trust me, and the process I was guiding them in to.
Most of the time when they found me, they were pretty desperate and in a lot of long term chronic pain. Had been through many things that had not been helpful. They were understandably skeptical.
But I knew that their trusting me was going to allow their guard to drop, and the magic would begin.
I always–every single time– coached them on not seeking improvement, but seeking change. That we were simply looking to break up the patterns of dysfunction, so their innate body-wisdom could sneak back in through those cracks and start taking over.
I’m glad I’m writing this all out, as I rarely think about my prior life as a therapist. But this process is exactly what is occurring for me now.
I may not have fully felt confident in trying this non habit-forming medication (for a relatively short time–my goal is to get back to sleeping and get off all medication) as I tried two doses before, didn’t sleep and felt like death in the morning.
But I did leave feeling like I trusted this doctor and I would submit to his expertise. He runs a damn Sleep Center for God’s sake–how can I rationalize not trusting him?
Since I made the decision to trust his guidance, do exactly what he said, and know that what’s happening is as much a deep psychological problem as chemical (not saying you can just decide to change these kinds of unconscious patterns by just deciding to–you have to let go and let your mind decide on its own to shift) I have started sleeping better.
He said the morning grogginess would start fading in about three days and I woke up today feeling pretty chipper.
I guess what I’m saying is it’s all about trust. And all about just letting myself be steered, then the magic starts happening. I’m stubborn. This is big.
The very first time I took this med a couple weeks ago (prescribed by my wonderful nurse practitioner), I lay wide awake tossing and turning for five hours then was a zombie the next day. The next night, basically the same thing. I gave right up on it.
But now, I’m sleeping 2-3 hours at a time and getting pretty easily back to sleep. It’s changing and getting better. I’m feeling hopeful.
Those are the great ends of the spectrum.
The tail that’s dragging though is the care my brother is receiving which is abysmal.
He got up yesterday and right away called his case manager, leaving a message on her voicemail that he needed an appt. with the nurse in order to obtain his meds. I know he did this because I was on the phone with my Dad and heard him in the background leaving that message.
He went all day not hearing back.
I wrote his social worker from the hospital basically detailing how her discharge plan fell off the rails with Terros right out of the gate, really just to let her know and to document it. I ended my email saying I did not expect a response, this was just to inform her.
She wrote me back, appalled, sent my email to the director of the whole shebang and gave me a number for the Clinical Director of John’s entire clinic. Oops! That lady did not end up liking that one bit.
I called the Director who let me know she would get right on it, make sure he had his appointments and the best way to get the information to him. I asked her to email me as John has a new phone and is hard to reach. I would make sure he got the info.
Mind you, he runs out of meds on Monday. It was Thursday and they are closed on the weekend. We have one day to get him in there–Friday. She assured me it would be settled by the end of the day.
The end of the day came and you guessed it–nothing.
I called her cell phone again and could hear she was driving. She was annoyed. Asked for an update and she said she had punted it to the terrible, incompetent case manager. I let her know John had called her and heard nothing. I reiterated he went in the hospital for five weeks because he went off his meds and here he was set to run out of them.
She said they were on it. I had a few choice words about the case manager like “incompetent” “terrible employee” etc. and the phone call ended abruptly. I’ve simply had it with these people. I left that thinking it all trickles down from the top. Even the Clinical Director doesn’t care about the patients there. I get it.
So I ended up calling back to the clinic to get anyone, absolutely anyone in the building who could facilitate my brother picking up his meds the next day.
I finally got likely the one and only competent person in the facility, who looked him up and saw he indeed has an appointment on the books for Friday at 10:30.
But no one told us that. And it was the next morning. They went to the trouble to schedule the appointment, but not tell the patient.
How did they expect John to be at that appt. when they never informed him of it? Look at all the great lengths I went to to simply get that one nugget of information.
The case manager kept saying in the heated staffing on John while he was in the hospital “well he didn’t show up for his appointments!” as the reason his medication got messed up.
I get it now. She does the bare minimum on paper, to prove those billable hours, then no follow-through with the actual patient. She scheduled the appointment, but never told us about it. So when he doesn’t show up, he gets marked as a no-show and no one questions it. Ya know, these unreliable mentally ill people.
I want to scream.
I got super sad yesterday thinking of all the other people under her who she’s playing this game with, who are getting sicker, not getting services, because they don’t have someone like me hounding her to do the basics of her own damn job. And even her boss at the highest level doesn’t care. It’s a very dangerous trap.
We have about a month to navigate this I think before getting him here. I spoke with John yesterday and we both agreed he can and needs to ask for a new case manager for just that month. This woman is unsafe.
So he will be doing that today when he goes in to get his meds. Even if he gets a similarly incompetent person (as I said to my Dad, I truly can’t imagine anyone being worse than her), it sends a message.
And when this is all over, my Psychologist husband is doing something called “red-lining” this facility. I think the social worker at the hospital is engaged in something similar. At least we will be out of there, but in all good conscience for the rest of their vulnerable population,we have to speak out.
Ok, with that all being said (much of the reason I document on here is also to keep a written record), this is a gorgeous day here. I’m so happy and relieved we can start moving them here in a concrete way now.
I have so many thoughts of my Dad sitting on my patio, enjoying my flowers doing his crossword puzzle. Inviting my brother over for TV watching and pizza. Country drives showing them all these views I’ve grown to love. Simple pleasures like that.
Knowing my Dad will get to live out his life in this kind of comfort is such a relief to us all.
And when I thanked my husband the other day for so much help he’s giving my family he responded “our family”.
You see his parents died so young (both were gone by the time he was fifteen), he never got to experience an aging parent situation. He considers this a gift. He’s a true gem of a human. Of all the disastrous choices I made in dating–which were admittedly about 99% of them–I just needed one good choice and I nailed it.
He heads back there in a little over a week and will handle most of the logistics they need on their end. Then we will fly my brother (and likely their cat) out here, and my husband is going to drive my brother’s car out here, taking a cross country road trip with my Dad. They are both really looking forward to it.
Thanks for coming along for the ride everyone. It’s been a circus, fun-house, roller coaster and glorious ferris wheel all wrapped up in to one.
And my shingles are almost entirely improved. Hooray for no long-term effects.
Well, my brother has been out of the hospital for two days, and as of his appointment with the Outpatient Clinic he doesn’t get gets services from, and they have managed to drop the ball right out of the gate. Yep, looking straight at you Terros on Priest. I can’t say I’m surprised. At least they are consistent.
He was given a week’s worth of medication from the hospital, with a required followup within 72 hours at the clinic, which he got. However, Terros managed to let him leave the clinic yesterday without giving him any more meds, which was the sole purpose of his appointment. Gee, I wonder just how he ended up messing up his meds which caused this crisis in the first place? So, now, he’s out of meds as of Monday, and no one there seems to notice or care.
So…they told him he has to “call back tomorrow” to try and get an appt. with the nurse there to obtain his required meds. He will likely call back today and be told there are no appointments available. It all completely stressed my Dad out to the point he walked out and headed to the car and called us later extremely upset.
In addition, he has to have blood tests completed each week in order to obtain his meds. And he has no followup lab appointments. Honestly, I don’t know if they even have the balls to drop. They are just phoning it in at this point, while obtaining the funds for my brother who is on their books. It’s maddening.
On top of that, the Continuing Care Community here has still not given us the go-ahead, although they have all the required documents, and we’ve hit the marks they asked us to and yet have still not green-lit us to have the house. I expected it by Tuesday this week based on everything they’ve said to my husband and I.
Which is also not good for my Dad’s head (or mine, for that matter). I broke down and said we simply need an answer by the end of this week or we, sadly, will have to pursue something else. Another community is actively pursuing us, but it’s much farther away. It’s not fun to feel strung along, although I don’t think it’s exactly what’s happening, but how it feels. I think they are having some communication breakdown issues (which is also not confidence-building for the organization), but man, we’ve been on this for almost two months. I never thought it would be this hard to give someone that degree of money.
Once we have a solid place for them to land here, we can start a solid process of moving them, thus extricating my brother from Terros who has really been a source of danger for his stability. I’ll likely have to make some phone calls today and am contemplating requesting a new case manager, as the one he has is pretty impossible to deal with. I just can’t wait to get him out of there and in to a simpler situation here, but they hold the cards in AZ right now and it’s not at all a comfortable spot to be in. He had such stellar care in the hospital, that although we anticipated this based on years of history of their incompetence, it’s still shocking to be living it.
My Dr. appt with the sleep specialist went ok. It’s not an easy fix, which I kind of wanted. But after a lengthy, informative discussion with the Dr. about my sleep issues, I had to come to Jesus with myself and my belief systems about health and healing and realize the goal is to get myself relying on my innate systems to help me sleep. And that won’t be fast or easy, but there is a plan. In other words, I’m not going on Ambien or any meds like that.
This is going to be a real psychological as well as physical confronting the deepening rut I’ve found myself in regarding insomnia, and taking some time with it. I slept better than I anticipated last night with this plan, but I’m groggy and sluggish and just not feeling great this morning, which likely explains the tone of this post.
I hope to have better news tomorrow. I really hope we don’t have to start all over again with looking for housing for my family–my husband is very optimistic we will still get what we are hoping and planning for. I’m doing my best to jump in to his wake.
I’m just weary.
And too lazy to find and post any photos.
But the good news, is the rabbits seemed to have stopped eating all my tulips in the cutting garden.
So in this sea of limbo, I’m at least accomplishing that.
Edited to add: WE JUST GOT CONFIRMATION ON THE HOUSE!!! HALLELUJAH!
John was discharged yesterday and is happily home. He was doing great yesterday–my Dad was more anxious than him, trying to sort out his meds. I’m sure he’s suffering some form of PTSD after going through up close and personal what we all did five weeks ago.
Hopefully we hear back from the Continuing Care Community today about the house. I sent them the beautiful letter the hospital sent on my brother’s behalf, along with his med list which is amazingly simple, considering.
I dreamed about trying to find a key last night and it just being out of my grasp. Duh.
I hope to update with jubilant news in my next entry. This living in limbo is for the birds.
Speaking of birds, (loose association alert), I think my homemade rabbit repellant spray just might be working on my community cutting garden. They did nail an entire section of my tulips though. 😦 I’ll know for next year.
My neighbor loaned me her big garden owl that I plopped in the center- so today I’ll head over to obsess check again.
Oh! And one of my peony plants peeked out yesterday.
Well, we are still in a fast time of change, but things are realigning more and more and less disintegration each day.
(Not gonna lie, that was a brutal phase, though)
It’s gorgeous– still crisp and cold–but sunny here in Central PA. I took a long, winding country drive yesterday to pick up some packages of smoked cheese from a vendor I met awhile back. He smokes everything and his smoked cream cheese is just nirvana.
I’d never been out his way before, as I met him at a fair, but I welcomed the outing and the views while catching up on a bit of news. I’ve been limiting my exposure to news and things like that lately. I even took the Facebook app off my phone awhile back. I know; shocker.
Checked on my 2000 or so bulbs in my cutting garden and dammit, those rabbits are feasting on my tulip shoots. SO, I brewed up a nasty spray that will hopefully be a repellant. I put a bunch of garlic cloves, red pepper flakes and dish soap in some water and sat it in the sun. I did my first spray last night so please please please bunnies, find something else to eat. They don’t seem to like my daffodils though, so there’s that. This is at the community garden plot and a total experimental flower garden this year, so I guess this is part of the experimenting!
My brother called me yesterday and we had a 26 min. conversation about everything. Mostly the move and their new home–fingers crossed that we get it, which is looking really good.
I love his social worker at the hospital. I told her that the Community we are planning to move them to will just need to see his discharge records from this hospitalization to finalize things. So, on her own, she decided to craft a letter on his behalf along with his doctor. We should finalize things there in a few days, but I’m feeling more optimistic each day.
Sometimes I wonder if staff in these facilities are so unused to their patients having family who care so much about them–and advocate so strongly for them–that either we’re a breath of fresh air or a pain in the ass. Both, I suspect, depending on the person and the quality of care they are delivering.
I feel certain he will be discharged tomorrow and I think everyone is ready for that. Including my Dad. It will be a transition though, and a delicate time.
I’m sending him a celebratory meal tonight–so far I’ve sent pizza, then Chinese food (which he loved), so he asked me to surprise him for tonight. So….drumroll…..his going-away meal is Mexican (shhh, keep it a secret). I was literally drooling looking at their menu and all the seafood options they have. I did add a grilled shrimp taco to the order (I want that).
So…onward we go. Today is another gorgeous day out there, so I’ll be outside pruning in my home garden, then doing my Mr. McGregor thing and see if my tactics were successful.
And I’m gonna cook something today. Not sure what, but it will be delicious.
Well, things are continuing to progress forward with a spiral momentum, that sometimes pulls back to catapult ahead.
Today is an ahead-moving day.
Yesterday I got out in the rain to do some errands and decided to go look at a couple of condos in the area we are considering as a back-up plan for my family, should the Continuing Care Community we are pursuing not be an option.
I saw this cute condo with a beautiful view in the back that had been on the market awhile. I did note LOTS of cars in front of it though…hmmm. I called anyway, and didn’t get a return call until this morning. More on that in a bit.
Also saw 4 new builds in that community. The notion of just moving there here in a lateral style move–exactly how they are living now--forfeiting some support structures, but also eliminating the hoop-jumping and uncertainties–sounded appealing.
We have not broached the condo idea with my father, but are broadening our options. We just know we need to move them out here and there has to be an option. Also this being in limbo with the retirement community for over a month now, is, well, on my nerves. And I don’t have many functioning nerves left at the moment (the shingles is improving though).
So I got home and as usual, had a full processing session with my husband. I was leaning more toward the condo option and he more with the community option. We landed in the middle, that should the community give us an open door, we will walk right through it.
Later, on Facetime with my Dad, he just offered that outright without us asking–that he was hoping it would work out with this close community–that the other one we’re also in communication with is good, but “ten miles is still a lot compared to less than one mile” (distance from our home). I mean I could bike to their house easily if we get it.
We decided to stop waiting and call for information as to how they were leaning. I felt pretty discouraged when I left the last phone call, but I was generally not in an optimistic place–unusual for me–that day. I felt like our odds were about 50/50.
My husband relayed the info from his call with sales person and thought we were really pretty much a “go” with them. But still, we have no contract or have not given a deposit.
I decided to call her myself. I realized that she doesn’t exactly know either–that she was making assumptions based on that meeting we had with the CEO–but she was left with a distinctly more confident impression than I was. I finally just said “we are riding a momentum here, and we need to get them moved, so I’m going to be honest, I’m pursuing other options right now as we need something we can count on.” Assuring her I understood if John was not a fit for their community, but we just need to know.
It’s good to just tell the bald faced truth sometimes.
SO, she leapt in to action, decided to meet face to face with her CEO this morning, and boy did she not waste a minute calling me after that meeting.
She feels like “it’s a go” at this point, that they just need discharge paperwork on John once he’s out of the hospital, which I can easily obtain, and then we can move forward with the contract.
Whew! Huge relief. I can’t wait to tell my Dad. It’s definitely the best option due to one very important word : LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.
That will just simplify so much for us.
And catch this. The realtor finally called me back this morning on that cute condo with the view. Those cars were all there yesterday at the exact moment I was passing, because they were doing a closing on it. And check this–the woman living there sold it, because she’s moving in to the same community we are getting Dad and John in to. BOOM! Even the Realtor noted the “irony” in all of this. Irony to her; serendipity to me. I was literally sitting in front of the condo as they were closing on it inside.
John is being discharged Monday–I’m glad they pushed it back a couple of days so they don’t have to traverse a weekend with no services should they need them (as skimpy as they may be).
And my John is headed out there in less than two weeks to be boots on the ground prepping for the move.
And I’ve slept (assisted, but still) the last two nights. AND got my appointment with the Sleep specialist moved up a week.
AND the sun is shining today, in beautiful–still cold–central PA.
Sprinkling in some photos of this zuchinni pasta dish I made from Stanley Tucci’s CNN show on traveling, and eating, through Italy. It was delicious! And while eating it, I looked at my bald, cute husband in his black T shirt and said “It looks like I’m even eating with Stanley!”.
We attended a staffing on John yesterday and he will be heading home on Friday!
He’s continued to stabilize and has been basically back to his old self for about a week now I think, so he’s ready to get outta there.
Of course we’re concerned about any follow-up “care” with his program Terros, who has messed up in almost every single way they can with him. Both my husband and I let the “case manager” (yes I put this in quotes because there is very little management going on and what happens is mostly mismanagement) exactly what we thought. Words like “I’m a Psychologist and appalled” and “step aside Allison, you are not telling the truth” were uttered.
I was furious at how she tried blaming John AND my Dad for her failure in her job. She claimed John wasn’t showing up for appointments and not answering his phone, therefore that’s how his meds got messed up. Um, if you have a patient in the program that was disconnected and unreachable, you just leave them out there dangling for months? Their office is in the same town that John lives in–about a 15 min. drive in traffic. That’s if what she said was true, which I don’t believe. She’s backpedaling, poorly.
She claimed my Dad told her that day she came out during the crisis and did a sum total of nothing, that John had been off his meds since June or July. That is a bald faced lie. I was on the phone with my Dad the whole time she was there, and the opposite–he reviewed with her the meds John was taking–including two psychotropics prescribed by their rotating, inconsistent cycle of Psychiatrists– and noted the main one needed was not included in his regime. We will never know how/when/why that got dropped off, but a clinician blaming the patient AND his father is unconscionable. Trust me, if my brother had been off all of his meds for eight months, there would have been a crisis point hit long before.
I’m a typical Scorpio. I hate liars.
I let her know that John wasn’t stable for nearly 8 full years by being non-compliant with his meds as she claimed, and that somehow he was making it to all of his other programs–the ones that were open during the pandemic–seamlessly, but only seemed to be “missing” appointments at their office? Bull. When my brother is plugged in to a routine, you can set a watch by him. He will be there and be on time. And he takes his meds daily. They just messed up which ones he was to be taking. When I say they, I’m really referring to the inept case (mis)manager specifically.
Still, even if you take her on face value, it’s pure negligence. I just can’t wait to get him unplugged from that dysfunctional system (if you can call it that too). It’s just pure chaos there. Trust me, there will be reports filed once we get John fully disconnected.
BUT we have to rely on them to fill John’s meds in the immediate (meaning for this weekend after he’s discharged), and the interim time, before we can move them here, as well as necessary bloodwork he needs. He can’t get his meds without the blood draws and we are the mercy of that nitwit to schedule those lab appointments. We are approaching it assuming she will screw it up, so trying to cover as many bases as we can with the excellent social worker at the hospital, before he’s thrown in to that abyss again.
Do I sound bitter? More like exhausted and having zero f*cks left to give over those people, who count on their mentally ill people to not be advocated for by family or other people who care about them, so they can bring in the revenue off their illness while failing to provide services. Most reviews on Glassdoor/Indeed by former employees state that and I believe them 100% by my own experience.
Here is one example:
1.0HorribleCase Manager (Former Employee) – Tempe, AZ – May 7, 2020Terros management at priest is terrible and it all starts with the ceo and trickles down. The company only cares about money and it shows in all aspects. Clients suffer and so do employees. You will burn out within a month on the job and there will be no support or help. There is literally not one good thing about this company. Clients and prospective employees should find a company with morals
Anyway, that’s my John update. It’s looking up in spite of my rant right there. I just had to get that out.
My sleeping issues persist (God I got less than two hours sleep last night–it’s really pretty maddening). If I sound cranky, that’s why. I was able to get a referral to a sleep specialist near me in a couple weeks which should be interesting. I gotta do something here–this is ridiculous.
And we’re still not sure if the Continuing Care Community will accept our family here yet, but we’re exploring other options as well. We will get them here one way or another. There will be a place for them to belong and be near us, even if it isn’t what we originally thought.
Ok, gonna head back to bed here to see if I can catch a few more Zzzzzz’s.
Well, yesterday was just one good day. One that we needed. It feels like solid ground is placing itself at our feet finally, and we are all starting to trust it.
We started our day with my generous husband handing out gifts he’d brought back from his recent trip to Sedona. He likes supporting the Native American artists at their roadside stands, so always comes back with silver and turquoise bracelets, necklaces and hair accessories for Lillian. And always crystals and healing stones. We’ve all begun sleeping with them in little pouches.
Later, after spending a couple of hours at the flower shop, and meeting the pastor of the church with the choir I mentioned earlier (with his funny husband), I popped by my two cutting garden plots to check for any action.
My tulips and double curly daffodils are peeking out! Also in this experimental garden plot are 5 garden roses and I think 6 peonies, some lilies and whatever gladiolas I didn’t manage to pull out in the summer. Maybe two thistle plants if they come up again. Fingers crossed no critters find it as it’s a lone Spring plot in the field.
On my way to the flower shop, I phoned my Dad to check in and share some feelings–about how I felt this all crumbled for a reason and that we were now gaining a new foundation–all four of us. None of us came through this tumultuous time unscathed, yet now we are reforming and forming new bonds, which will support us going forward.
I felt back to my old self and my core philosophies–that things have to fall apart before falling together sometimes.
“If the door at the one community closes, it just means it’s not what was meant for us, and we will keep looking for the open doors,” I told him.
There are two other similar assisted living communities near us, and we will approach from a completely different place if need be. I just know they will land here–the how/when questions are still floating, but they will land too.
I had my first experience with Uber Eats! It was a little different than GrubHub so I ended up making and cancelling my order three times, but the fettuccini alfredo with chicken and broccoli made it to the hospital! I bumped up her tip to about 75% as she had a hard time finding the exact building to take it to, and anyway, she said on her profile she was doing Uber to buy herself a motorcycle. Vroom vroom!
I called John forty-five minutes after he received the order. “Oh, I know I have a sister who loves me!” he opened the call with. He detailed how the restaurant had packed every element of the dish in separate containers–from the pasta to the sauce to the chicken to the mushrooms to the broccoli and how he had fun making a meal out of it. How he was too full to even touch the bread, but “it smelled so good”.
We spoke for thirty-five minutes, right up to the moment where the nurse came by and pointed him to the sign by the phone saying phone calls are to be limited to ten minutes. Oops!
He did most of the talking–about the meal, about playing basketball earlier in the day, about different movies and TV shows they watch there “Are you watching The Bachelor?” he asked.
We also reminisced about trips we’ve taken together--the wild one when we drove to Mexican beach border town and could only find this “Roach Motel” with a shower with no shower head, a cockroach in the tub and, as he reminded me “Rocky Mountain pillows” that pushed our heads in to 90 degree angles to the bed. He remembered how the band at the cantina seemed to be on top of our room, playing loudly in to the night and how I kept checking out the window to make sure my car was still there.
What a memory! When I asked him if he remembered what we did on the four-hour drive down, he said “Oh yes, I told you the whole movie of The Silence of the Lambs!”. He scared me so much in just the telling of the movie, that I pulled the car over at one point to gather myself.
He reminded me of the time we went to Sedona together–about twenty years ago, long before we had our house there–and stumbled across a Miss America pageant on TV. How I put on my bathing suit and heels and called myself “Miss Sedona” making him laugh parading in front of the TV.
“We’ll have to watch another pageant,” he said. “Hopefully Miss Sedona will show up again.” Big hearty laughs.
He talked most of those thirty-five minutes and I chimed in when I could.
Told him how glad we are were of how well he’s doing after he detailed to me all of his medications, and how he will likely be discharged pretty soon and back at home with Dad. He generally just seemed cool with the process–not anxious being there and not pushing to leave.
It’s all just chemistry, as it is with most chronic diseases. Getting the right dose of insulin for a diabetic, the right antibiotic for an infection, the right cocktail of meds to support a cardiac patient. It’s just that the mental diagnoses hold more stigma. Other than that, it’s all the same.
I slept well again last night. Not gonna lie, I’m doing a trial of my friend’s eleven-year expired Ambien which is the one thing that has given me a full night’s sleep. I’m hoping getting a few nights under me, will recalibrate my system to go back to remembering how to do it on its own. My nervous system is calming down more and more each day.
One more funny thing from yesterday that has me still laughing–I love autocorrect gaffes. Lillian and John went for a bikeride in a town about thirty miles away where they have a Wegman’s grocery store. That’s where he stops to get certain special things like my Barrett’s ginger ale and now, Jeni’s ice cream after we found out it’s Joe Biden’s favorite. This was just a funny text exchange we had that might give you a giggle.
Had a fun morning with Lillian cozied up together in this chaise I’m sitting in by the window, playing with Snapchat and watching funny videos on my phone. I can’t stop laughing at this one, a month now.
Well, that’s about it. We haven’t had this level of a hard crash as a family in I don’t remember. But all of our bonds are solidifying. We are talking more than ever. We are softening to each other more deeply and creating a new, more inclusive and healthy unit moving forward.
And, I’m learning more and more about myself through this forced rest right now. For that, I’m grateful.
Have a great Sunday everyone. Hope we all find some magic in this day today.