A Place Where More Things Don't Happen than Do

October 20th, 2021

Okay then, I just re-read what I wrote here and it's not super-positive sounding - still, be unconcerned. Sometimes these words come from a more emotional place


Incommunicado

Kind of a nothing day. Someone (I think it was the Physician's Assistant) came in to ask about the pain and right side gut discomfort I've been experiencing for the past several days (she merely pointed at that area, so I'll have to assume that's what she was inquiring about). I couldn't specifically hear what she was saying (too loud in here), but she may have said something about my UA results, before wandering off.

Maybe I'm Going to Dry

UPDATE 917AM: new bags arrive!!!

Tomorrow (today), I'll be down to my final formula feeding bag.. which is troubling. I tried calling the supply desk here directly, but they didn't pick up the phone. I honestly have no idea if they've even ordered the bags, much less, the correct ones (if they did).

You see, my formula bags need to be cleaned at least once every 12-hours and replaced once every 24-hours. The reason? Bacterial growth.

If need be, I can survive on straight water (by continuously using tomorrow's bag without formula - won't generate bacterial growth). It's not ideal going without nourishment, but I've got some bodily weight to work with for now.

Or if they aren't IV friendly here (and I'd rather they didn't do that here), they can transport me over to the hospital, so that I can be fed that way (via a TPN line). At least, I think that's an option. Plus the nurses there are familiar and more friendly (males and females equally), so I can up my socialization game while there.

Bush Trimming

Yes, you guessed it… the landscapers trimmed the big bush outside our window. Now I can see a small sliver of sky whenever my dividing curtain is pulled back a fair amount. I can also see Jeff's pale white toes idly twitching. Hmmm… his toenails are far shorter than mine. Should I be jealous? For me, it's been seven months without a toenail trim. Howard Scissor Toes? Maybe?

It's sometimes difficult to hire good help these days.

Sky Report

Today I witnessed a jet leaving a fast retreating contrail behind. Then later, there seemed to be a twin turboprop angling into Deer Valley Airport. Otherwise, hogh ceilings, with scattered Cirrus, with no real wind to speak of.

My Name is Michael Westin

At least he's been watching the good stuff (loudly) today:

"Burn Notice"

It's a cleverly done TV spy series set in Miami, Florida. The lead character is a former spy who has been burned (but not for real… something happened wherein he's no longer a legal card-carrying spy anymore, and being "burned" means he can't be a spy anymore because he's been "burned"). Being burned makes him sad. And angry.

Meanwhile, other unemployed spy friends desperately want to clear his name (no idea why), but it takes all of seven years and 97 episodes to ….

Okay I do not want to ruin it for you.

8 stars out of 5
Highly Recommended!!!


No Contact

No socialization today. And not much ever. I attempt to engage. I do. And it's all about them, when I do. My focus. My asking. It really it is. But there's nothing doing. No one takes the bait.

In every other hospital situation or setting (including home healthcare visits), I've been able to connect. Immediately. With many and most. But here, nobody has the slightest amount of interest or conversational acuity (besides the Psychiatrists, The Therapy Goddess, and the Assistant Coordinator of Nursing).

Well, right, and of course. There's them.

Perhaps the staff senses my underlying depression, or the sadness that is permeating my soul. Or the earmuffs, bandanas, and earplugs I often model frighten them down to the core ...of a rotten apple ..full of seeds containing high levels of arsenic.

Leading into this whole thing, it appears as though I let my expectations get out ahead of me. I am simply a disabled resident, powerless in a place full of powerless people.

We wait. That's what we do.

Speaking of Expectations ..

Sometimes when you know somebody, you send them a text message or an email and they respond. If they do not respond after several attempts over time, you assume something is up. They are either dead, or they no longer wish to associate with you.

But what does it mean when you send someone text messages or emails (and they respond in kind), but they in turn NEVER initiate contact? They never send you a text message or an email to see how you are doing, or even to tell you a story about something that's happened while waiting in line at the grocery store.

And even though they do respond, each response is brief and to the point, no extraneous details. And the conversation ends abruptly.

Yeah, I think I know what this means. And if I were still a real person, I'd have given up on this person (or these people) long ago.

It's Not Over

It may seem as though I am forever lying still (I am), but as soon as I see a doctor here, I am going to really push hard for the muscle biopsy option.

Sleep Initiated: 0113


0533

Another Covid swab. Good morning to me. And within twelve seconds of waking, Jeff fires up the Barnyard Animals Video Game. Quietly, at least.

0611

Take my vitals, please.

Eyes closed, my heavy pillow covers my head, in attempts to annihilate the offending light. Dear Jeff, why are the lights on? There's nothing to see here.

0631

Dammit Jeff, why do we need all the freakin' lights on at this godforsaken hour? Don't you know there's a lightbulb shortage in Omaha? Okay, usually I am up by now… so I must be crabby.

0651

I give up. Put sunglasses on. Finish up blog entry. Entrée. Eat this up. Chin wipe drool dribble drone fan backdrop voices alarms intermittently ringing out beep beep long tones high pitched wailing and the staff goes door to door distributing meal trays, dropping them like bombs from on an alternative plane of existence where they let "them" die, let "them" all perish, and me along with them, as we are no longer able to care for ourselves either way. It's unsettling how this ends for so many. Uncelebrated. Unaccomplished. Unrecognized. Unattended.

At least I know how to ease my suffering. I know where my mind needs to be. I am advantaged in that way.


doom laden scenarios weigh heavy
choose butterfly blight instead

Transmogrification
Gentrification


Be kind to yourself today. Imagine that you are healing (why? ..because you are!). Visualize it. What does healing look like? See yourself in that near future reality. Accept that you are getting better.

H

Comments

your spirit is incredible.
Thank you.

Also, a few of us really want to send a box of formula and applesauce over. It would greatly diminish your stress to have reserves in a place that is unpredictable and...we want to. Looks like a box is $43.20? Can you give us the deets on this please :) So we can get this to you?
 
Thanks. A Rollercoaster Ride sometimes. I somehow need to follow the Middle Path.

And I am now well-stocked!

I am now set with feeding tube related supplies for the next 30-days. They purchased the wrong sized bags for the machine, but they still work. :)

I have applesauce and probiotics for the next 10 days, and my wife is willing to drop these items off as requested.

Tart cherry powder, Turmeric, Ginger Powder ... check!

Fire tablet, phone, and charger...

Earplugs, ear muffs, sunglasses, and bandanas.

Yes, I travel light.
 
Oh, Howard, it must feel like you're living among robots who are unwilling to hold a conversation. The odds are, many of us here likely understand how it feels to really want a conversation with someone and there's no one available or no one is willing and wanting to talk.

If it's any consolation, you have substantially more contact with people than I do, lol, and your day is significantly more eventful than mine. I hope you will soon find someone there who will actually stop and converse with you. I wonder if Jeff would like to talk (or not🙃).
 
The Bizarre Day I am Having-Reply

You all asked, correct?

Carpet man came. After 3.5 years, and my toddler here for 7 months last year (and who may show up for Xmas). My husband who spills.

Prepping, I had to somehow push the vacuum. My husband can't. Objects had to be moved. Stuff lifted. I started chunking it out last week. He can't lift. Or carry.

(all my activity must be confined to tiny incremental units of effort).

Cobwebs, hiding in daylight. No wonder we can't breathe. I seek oxygen.

Deconditioning

I'll just say, at 68, that its rather scary. Nothing here is pretty, either. Altho my walls are less stained.

Scary, like how I imagine it might feel, knowing only two feeding bags may exist, within reach (or within Greater Phoenix)

Is this a bit like in the end time movies, when you have to have your insulin, only it must be refrigerated? Only, we don't have any electricity left? (nor can you find Insulin).

Post Steampunk

It figures a weather shift arrived, as every window is open, fans turned on, we are to wear little booties, and outside temperatures dropped 30 degrees. 24 hours of wet carpets.

Atmospheric River Predictions- well at least my state built some big pipes to move around water.

Because this River seems to be missing us, here, in this perfectly designed RAIN shadow place. So its coldish damp I'm shivering with fans and likely we won't get a drop of it.

***

Carpet man called, came early. So I was trying to eat this now cold breakfast, while holding my feet in the air, as he did rug prep.

I told the carpet man, I had "issues". (20 questions were about fragrance which cannot be tolerated. )

He responded that He had "issues". (he is proud of his non chemical, chemicals)

Later, I asked him, if he ever saw the film Parenthood. Where in Steve Martin's little boy, runs around exclaiming "I have issues".....

Yes, he saw it.

During another pause I ask if he was aware of the John Travolta's son phenomenon. (possibly damaged from too much carpet cleaning).

Later, I realize these are example of many things- 1) I am an actual extrovert, deprived of human contact; 2) I will bring up any random issue, with any random person. The problem is- the people you know. I have no problem bothering strangers; 3) its people you know. THEY are the whole problem. 4) I know at times I can be irritating. (bringing up Travolta)

As Carpet Man was leaving, I gave him a little parting gift. I've now got this probably insipid Grandmother Problem combined with Emergency Warning Systems.

And this is only a Test.

To Carpet Man I say- Your in good shape. Don't let your body fall apart, like we did. You use heavy equipment, etc etc. Use your body correctly, protect your back blah blah blah.

(I did not say- and NEVER catch a virus).....


***
Now I am sure he must think I am a nutcase.
 
it must feel like you're living among robots who are unwilling to hold a conversation. The odds are, many of us here likely understand how it feels to really want a conversation with someone and there's no one available or no one is willing and wanting to talk
there has just been alot of chaos in the caregiving world lately. Per my reading and news binging.

I am thinking- give it time.

Re the larger issue of connecting with others- people are mostly just so very distracted, busy, doing too many things, and mostly I do try to be reminded of one of life's rules:

"Its Not All About You".

But, but, I am just sure it is.
 
Burn Notice

the internets inform me this is the most underrated TV show ever?

And will be pulled from Netflix in Feb. But is on Hulu.

Thanks for the tip, might check it out.

Have you ever done the very addictive Canadian version of La Femme Nikita?

Triple word score for Transmogrification

a word I've heard of but forgot what it meant. And have never used in a sentence.


and Howard didn't use it in a sentence, either.
 
I expect the staff are finding their jobs pretty hard at the moment what with the pandemic/lockdown and the extra work it brings.
I had not entirely grasped this lockdown business. but it must just be really tough.

Failing to consider the poor patient who can mill around, can't, or go change venues, can't. And extra procedures and all that.

But probably a huge issue is staffing changes.
 
The odds are, many of us here likely understand how it feels to really want a conversation with someone and there's no one available or no one is willing and wanting to talk.
I have a new friend! Joey, is three, downstairs. And his older sister is sort of running him over. And the new baby, Micah, is very cute.

If I am strategic, plan carefully, I might make it down the stairs with some trash, I might dawdle at the picnic table, and maybe Joey might come out.

Little children will talk to us. Little children adore attention, its their drug.

So for 10 whole minutes, I turned on every possible charm I could pathetically muster, I even rumpled his crew cut.

Joey wants me to play hide and seek. Joey asked if I'd chase him round or be a monster.

I sort of explained that I can't do those things. He seems to actually pay attention.

So this kid notices things other miss. I like Joey.
 
Leading into this whole thing, it appears as though I let my expectations get out ahead of me.
I'm starting to figure out there are primarily two types of people--those with energy but a desperate lack of time and those with time but a desperate lack of energy (PwME) and, alas it seems like...

"...never the twain shall meet."

:(
 
Last edited:
Hi, @Howard

I have a really mundane and dumb question for you:

Why do things like COVID swabs and vital checks take place between 5:30am and 6:30am?

I was hospitalized last year at Esteemed Teaching Hospital, and I soon learned that the vital checks and blood draws occurred at 5 am because the results first went to the Medical Residents at Esteemed Teaching Hospital.

Then the Medical Residents stopped by my room at 6:30 am to examine me and perhaps talk to me. Sometime after breakfast the Esteemed Attending Physicians would perform their rounds, in which the eager (or was it terrified?) Medical Residents would discuss my case in my room, sometimes including me in said discussion.

Obviously, this type of schedule suits the needs of a large and busy teaching hospital, but not so much the patient's health and recovery.

So, I'm just stumped why these same ass backwards hours are imposed upon the patients/residents/clients of a skilled nursing facility.

What's the rush?

If you are bored and have the energy to respond, I'd love to know.

Does this count as engaging in conversation? 😉
 
@sunshine44

Jeff slept mostly at night, so let's hope he sticks to it!

If it's any consolation, you have substantially more contact with people than I do,
Yes. I am happy that I can at least look at people. I can't really see their faces under the goggles, masks, and other forms of protection..

Perhaps there's some way for you to incorporate more socialization. It took me four years but eventually I had the caregiver thing start up, and then different medical people would visit. Paramedics are fun people, too. And I also took a couple aborted runs at physical therapy. :)

@Rufous McKinney

I don't believe I can respond to everything, as I would like… but as always, I enjoy reading about your adventures.

Carpet Man = good

I always enjoyed having the fixer-upper people over and about.. me harassing them always

I expect the staff are finding their jobs pretty hard at the moment what with the pandemic/lockdown and the extra work it brings.
Yes, I suspect you are correct… the Covid Crunch is certainly in effect. They sweat a lot, too! All the protection.

@Rufous McKinney

I think you'd like Burn Notice. Heavy on the narration and explanation. Very clever.

I'm starting to figure out there are primarily two types of people--those with energy but a desperate lack of time and those with time but a desperate lack of energy (PwME) and, alas it seems like...
I think you are very right about that. :)

Why do things like COVID swabs and vital checks take place between 5:30am and 6:30am?
I suspect there are multiple reasons why they do the blood draws starting at 3 AM. Main reason? Everyone is fasting at that early hour (fasting asleep, too :)), so the blood work results are probably most accurate.

It's also easier to find everybody … in bed.

And as you alluded to in your example, when the doctors show up good morning, they already have the blood work results on hand. Although, I honestly don't know if, and when, doctors arrive here.

Yes, I feel enraged (trying to type while Jeff is literally blasting "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" while he snores! And across the hall someone is watching a competition of some sort.. wrestling, dirt bike racing? And it's even louder than Jeff's movie.

Oh, engaged???

Yep. That, too!
 
I'm starting to figure out there are primarily two types of people--those with energy but a desperate lack of time and those with time but a desperate lack of energy (PwME) and, alas it seems like...

"...never the twain shall meet."

:(

Good one, Judee.....and very, very true. If the ones with time even stop for a moment, they actually don't know what to do. Heaven forbid their list should run out. As for us, what we know what we'd like to do.....BUT!

Point being: I think it's a huge adjustment both sides have to make. Yours, P.
 
Hello @Zebra.....I can tell that even 55+ years ago it was the exact same way. I was in a teaching hospital and when a new shift comes on, the night shift comes to life. Now shift changeover used to happen at about 6:30-6:45 a.m., somewhere in there.

That meant checking all patients, making sure they were "clean enough," blood draws were started as early as 3:30 a.m. or so, dependent on how many techs actually showed up that day, and there's nothing like having a flashlight in your eyes to see if you're still dead or alive (as we used to do back then), it must have been hard on the patient.

The doctors had early rounds for a few reasons: In a teaching hospital their duties were many. The private doctors also had office hours later in the day, and they all had to converse, and apparently reach some consensus about what to do with individual patients. Did they? I sincerely doubted it at times.


Sheets were freshly changed (yes, there was a time) and everyone on the floor were busy little bees, plus meds had to be handed out. Also, if you want new meds or your old ones changed, it has to be done via your Dr. Nurses can't help with that one. So talk to a Dr. about changes. Any!

Then the day shift came on and the same things more or less happened again, except that additional duties were performed. So it's really the shift changes and the appearance (often very early) of the doctors that determined the tempo of the hospitals. A smart patient stays in bed then, knowing the doctors will be around...usually in the middle of breakfast.

If you have one of those noisy roommates not much can be done, unless the other roomie tells them to "shut up." (Which my mother did frequently...on the other hand, she would also cover her roomie up and brush her hair for her. You never knew which person to expect. My brother always kissed Charlotte on the forehead and held her hand...he was sweetness itself.) The doctors are the ones who are in charge of blood draws and believe me, sometimes this is not good for the patient. I've been a patient many times, also, so know the drill very well.

No, you get no rest....someone with A JOB is always, always coming in or out, something is always clanging or banging. One really needs earplugs, it's not a non-essential. By the time you leave, you really are ready for a rest home....but do they actually exist? I don't think so. Stay healthy and, if possible.....stay home.

COVID has made the work of nurses & other employees exceptionally difficult. Each room requires a change and everything is covered, and yes....they're hot. Also, they're at their wit's end. Last time I was in my room was a sit & stop place for the weary nurses who really just needed to sit down and talk to (as they put it) a sane person for a moment. Since I wasn't too sane at the time, they must have been really faced with some nuts or very violent people (probably the latter). It's not an easy job; and it's not easy to be a patient. Yours, Lenora.
 
Last edited:
[
I don't believe I can respond to everything
how realistic of you!

my apologies for going on. Don't feel you need to play ping to my ponging.

Or, tell me to blather on in the other thread.

Maybe I should go chat about Carpet man on the Writing Thread. which needs dusting off.

I respect every much, people with practical skills. Who use their hands, fix things, perhaps knock out a few arrowheads in one's spare time.
 

Blog entry information

Author
Howard
Views
488
Comments
27
Last update

More entries in User Blogs

More entries from Howard