Imagining Sunday / Eyes, Ears, and Noise

October 10th, 2021 - 5:56am

My Day was Made

As you might imagine, not much happens in and around my regularly scheduled daily life. Lots of sameness and repetition, with few notable life experiences worth mentioning. But now, I am someplace else. And people walk in, tend to my roommate, then nod cordially in my direction as they head back out the door.

Okay, so that is different than being grounded at home, mostly by myself. People and movement, versus a random flyby hummingbird outside, my ever-loving cat (Samara) rubbing up against me, and an evening conversation with my wife (basically, a "how was your day at work?" recap).

What We Remember

Well, in life, what we tend to remember most are the unexpected events. Occurrences out of phase with our most common reality. First time things. Or basically, surprises. Why? Because being surprised puts us into a state of heightened (and sometimes total) awareness.

Woman Walking

She came in unannounced, her gaze purposely avoiding mine. Several strides later she paused, pretending to look for something to her left.. nothing there but an empty dresser abutting an empty wall. All the while she's spying me out of the corner of her eye. She suddenly reverses course, employing a flawless heel spin. Chest pushes out. Tummy in. Posture perfect. Lips, ever so slightly reset.

Honestly, I couldn't quite see her lips through the mask, but I thrive off of these types of real imaginings. Make-believe. Reality. Some amalgamation of both. It doesn't much matter.

There are times when my self esteem feels lower than the deep sea abyss (like right now) and any hint, anything at all that tricks me into believing that I retain a hint of desirability, must be milked dry. I need to feel at least slightly desirable every so often. Okay. "Need" is a strong word. But I want to be wanted in whatever capacity the wanting person wants to want me.*

I may LIKE that sentence more than I should
And so should you!

But I get it. Even if any part of this momentary imagining is true, everyone else here (my competition) is severely disadvantaged. I'm up against.. mean as piss 85 year olds with dementia. In essence, I'm merely a curiosity. An outlier. A dead fish in a dead sea, floating ever closer to the surface, as opposed to my bed bound counterparts.

But I need to think certain things. And positive proof is unnecessary, and more often than not, deflating. Just let me imagine moments untainted by today's truth.. to have and hold me captivated. Or simply hold.

Dammit! Be interested! Somebody. Please.

Angry Nurse Update

Guess what? Not angry. Cordial. Borderline pleasant. And she apologized for not changing my formula earlier this morning, noting that I was sleeping late (which I was).

And then the rest of my day …

The Cardinals Professional Football Team

I watched a football match that was made slightly more taxing than it needed to be (roommate playing his video game at full volume, as he's apt to do early and often). Yes, those damned barnyard animals again were amped up on crystal meth. Regular chatterboxes. Moo moo moo, cock-a-doodle-do!

The television screen I cannot see clearly either, as it seems tiny, perhaps even blurry. The image doesn't fit the entire screen. Perhaps that's it. Can an adjustment be made? A setting tweaked?

The people here said they'd schedule an eye exam for me. My visual sweet spot is between two and three feet away. Before and beyond that measure it's all a wee bit distorted. My on again off again glasses are older than my son.


Today's afternoon call had everything to do with my mother preparing to play bingo (on Monday) in a crowded room with 50 other senior residents.

Not ideal, right?

And she's yet to receive her booster vaccine shot (it's been more than six months since her second injection, so I am trying to arrange that for her). Then additionally, they are serving food in this crowded bingo room full of elderly not-knowing-better seniors, which means… taking off their masks. Unless there exists a newfangled mouthless method that's been kept under wraps.

So my mother is disappointed, because I told her she shouldn't go.. until after she receives the booster.. then fourteen days after that.

Timing Isn't Everything

If you were to push the Nurse Call Button at a facility like this, what would you feel is a reasonable response time?

For instance, you may have pushed the button because you fell out of bed, or you want a Dr. Pepper on the rocks?

Note: I think it's a one nurse (one CNA) per twelve bed ratio here.

Thus far, the average call response time is about 20 minutes. And the CNA is the one who responds to 90% of the calls. The response time varies between five minutes to a whopping two hours.

Die we must, sometimes sadly and very alone.

Sometimes Sad (sure, it's late in the evening, and "sad" is what happens to me in these hours)

Is there a professional type of person that would talk to someone like me, regarding my current relationship difficulties? ...let me tell them how I am feeling? ...let me explain the myriad ways that I am upset? If so, what is their official designation?

And if this person exists, why am I not able to talk to them?

And if they don't exist, what am I supposed to do with all of this hurt? Where do I put it? How do I parse it out?

I should probably try to sleep. When I sleep, I no longer feel.

I'm okay.
Howard Cha

my morning wall - :)



For whatever reason, It's pretty par for the course (it shouldn't be) to have a poor Nurse/CNA to patient ratio. It's been like this for a long time. Decades. What is the root problem? Skimpy funds? Funds applied not according to priority of patients needs? Too much money going to the top/Greed? Don't know. I'm sure there may be a handful of great facilities out there .......perhaps in Hollywood Hills? The whole medical system needs to be revamped.

I have forgotten............ Whatever happened to the professional you used to talk to? I think you really liked him.
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Well @Howard, if that's what you face, you certainly weren't kidding about that ugly wall.

What happened to your large screen TV? What about Jeff, you sound nice enough to him, couldn't you possibly ask him to tone down those barnyard sounds? I'm sure he's no happier about the situation than you are.

This isn't going to add luster to your day, but I've found Sunday to be the worst day of the week in these places. And even in hospitals, it seems the nurse ratio "thing" is getting worse by the day.

In comparison (not a good one, or happy in the least) but let me tell you about why I didn't want to leave my mother in a State Mental Hospital (different than where you are, by the way). The patients had to line up naked in freezing cold hallways, waiting for warm/cold showers each morning. Now the worst part is that she was so glad to be there (and away from my brothers and sisters) that it made me want to cry. Because of my family, I stopped crying many, many years ago. I wish I could, but it just doesn't happen. You know, because you've lived it, that well of sadness that you just keep putting sad things in. Then people think you aren't a person with emotions! So much for that one.

Then we spent Xmas with her one year. What a was truly enough to test one's own sanity. Then, to top it all, she never even remembered that we were there, brought her cookies (homemade, of course) and presents.

This was before the ECT that we finally agreed to out of desperation. (By the way, it cured her, as much as possible, and we took her to our house for 3 mos. of recuperation during which time I was ready to go to the State Hospital!) Sometimes I have the belief that people don't get sick so much as giving sick. Does that make any sort of sense? So yes, then we end up with these distorted senses of humor, although you're definitely on the normal scale, so don't worry.....please.

Yes, the world can be such a sad place, very hurtful also. Try as we may, it's so hard to make any sort of sense out of it and to have the knowledge that no, that's not how we'll be. But today is Monday, a whole new week and hopefully a return to the same staff. Soon you'll be playing bingo with them, too.

Kudos for trying to look after your mother. Where are those sisters of yours? I probably haven't made you feel any better, very sorry about that.

On the news front & getting out of COVID land for a time, I did have my hair trimmed this morning. Fortunately I have super thick hair for my age. Have you ever thought of curls for yours? Yes, you do look young and you know what?....we need you. Yours, Lenora.
Perhaps the shifting shadows on the wall clock, can be tolerated.

For me, if the clock makes any noise, I"ll be unable to tolerate it.

I think an issue with the wall is it leaves one to imagine what exactly was previously tacked up there? Now missing.

And thats reminding me of a scene in the film Fried Green Tomatoes. Now thats one outstanding film. That film deals with Topics that Truely Matter. Actors who can act. A rest-home.

A bit reminding me of this antique jail, parked in the basement of the museum in scenic Weaverville California, you can review graffiti, left there by some hapless souls, locked up around 1879.

I showed the wall photo to my husband. He laughed and asked if those were bullet holes?

REGARDING the need to feel that one EXISTS:

Your expressing some seriously powerful feelings, universal ones. While you were brought to this place kicking and screaming... your in a state wherein the energies are shifting, its rather alchemical.

My doctor has the miracle touch. He sees you. Your seen. its remarkable, really.

And his medicine is often: his attention. His gaze, his kindness, his actual respect for other people.

I leave there with a small pocket full of self esteem, and its the best medicine there is.

Why are so many, so greedy with their attentions? This attention is one of the most powerful tools we possess.

I find it fascinating when someone, a stranger, enters a room and the energy shifts entirely. Posture, adjusted. Something we pick up on, some kind of radar...tell us something about people who are FAR more than the body they occupy, the situation they reside in.

When Ever I Called the Nurse:

They did not show up, after you beep them, in 1968 either (the Appendectomy).

Recalling that when I managed to secure a nurse around 4 am to tell her I had a nightmare (I was 15 years old and this was very unfair) got my morphine cut off.

The little red head is screaming in pain and she is abandoned. How dare they (red heads have different pain genes).

Then, starring locally in ER, well the call button does't seem to exist, period.

If your road kill, you don't need a call button, I guess.
Hi Howard,

I seem to recall you having a therapist, already? Not so?

Well you definitely need to get signed up with at least some one to chat with about all this, teleconference style maybe?

I can get names thru my insurer, but then calling around to try to find one, is quite challenging. They often dont' return calls, dont take new patients or are otherwise...dunno. I only managed to get to one: 4 times. I did like her.

It's a very artistic photograph...the kind that publishing companies put into English composition text books and then ask students to write a story about.

You picked a good time of day to take the picture too. The angled lighting creates just enough shadowing to make those white mastic patches really stand out. Plus, the slight skew to the clock is an intriguing detail. There's also a bit of blur on the 10 o'clock side and in the grid projection behind the clock.

Very interesting.


What about your TEETH?

What happened at your appointment????!!!!
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Today has been exceedingly rough. So no individualized responses at this time. :-(

As always, I appreciate the time and effort it takes to read and thoughtfully respond. No pressure either, as I just as well enjoy responses that require no thought at all.

I performed the Commode Olympics early on and have yet to fully recover. Extremely fu$#ing loud in here today, too. Physically painful. As suggested by several, I need to invest in additional noise suppression apparatus above and beyond the earmuffs. But I kinda wonder if anything like that exists.

Otherwise, I am .. NOT going to honestly tell you how I am feeling right now - Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Clever, huh? P.E.M.

Um. I'm sure I'll be back at it tomorrow.
Sunday's are always pretty bad.....actually any weekend in a nursing facility (hospitals included) are the same. Don't tire yourself out too much, and I do hope you won the potty Olympics!

People are right....someone to talk to via the phone even, ask the social worker to actually appear in person with a list for you, could be of some help. In the meantime..... a big hug (can you feel it? It's coming from a much older woman so feel free to return it....use that imagination). Yours, Lenora.
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Heh Howard

the kind that publishing companies put into English composition text books and then ask students to write a story about.
loved Judee's verbal rendering of: the wall clock. I agree The Wall stimulates creative juices (as does Pink Floyd).

Do you recall you were looking into obtaining the reclining wheel chair?

Any chance that could still happen? You could then have field trips out of the room- to the scenic Dinner Hall or Rec Room or Patio or.....________________.
I'm so sorry about your terribly rough day yesterday, Howard. We're always wanting the best for you.

I wonder if you tried foam earplugs under the earmuffs. It's what I do, but I also play white noise, and there are many who can't tolerate white noise. Maybe the nurses have earplugs, though it could take days for them to get them to you.

Please don't worry about personal responses. I miss seeing your blog today and hope today is better for you.
Physically painful. As suggested by several, I need to invest in additional noise suppression apparatus above and beyond the earmuffs. But I kinda wonder if anything like that exists.
I've been noticing lately that I get REAL quiet and then its the most DIFFICULT to handle the noise inputs.

I"m starting to see that some background noise, a bit lessons my acute sensitivity to the abrupt, suddenly AWFUL noises emitting from my spouse (in my case).

However I'm dealing with tinnitis and cellophane brain, your possibly dealing with other issues.

A PR thread was discussing using noise to reduce the sound sensitivity with tinnitis, and I can sort of see there is something up there.

but meanwhile, I left the room because the TV was to loud.

and I am very sorry. You can't get up and just leave.
and I am very sorry. You can't get up and just leave.
But perhaps Jeff doesn't know he can quiet the sounds. Maybe they're just as annoying to him. You could try asking him in a gentle, subtle way, @Howard and then if he indicates that he thinks so too, you could coach him on getting them muted.

Anyway, just a hopeful thought.

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