It's been exactly a month since I've been relegated to (mostly) bed duty… I may have had covid-19 (they didn't test me back then, but they are testing residents and staff now because we have several active cases in our hallway).
I shall make it known that I am feeling okay while in bed, and I am able to get into my chair two or three times per day, in order to go outside and into the direct sunlight. During those excursions I am able to stay in my chair for up to 15 minutes sitting upright, and a wee bit longer if I'm reclined in my chair (laying flat).
There was a vast improvement yesterday, as I survived (out of bed) three hours total! And I believe the excess direct sunlight exposure is finally taking effect, helping to calm my autonomic nervous / autoimmune systems.
Basically, I am a little more hopeful at this point, and shall continue my all out sun exposure as often as I can.
The feeding tube debacle continues unabated. Well that's not entirely true … if I turn off my formula feed, avoid all gum chewing, avoid my semi-nutritious anti-everything gummy bears, then (and only then) the intolerable pain, bloating, and leakage subsides.
Otherwise, it's Codeine City.
As it stands, there are no solutions.
The best I can do is zinc, magnesium citrate, ginger powder, probiotics, and simethicone drops - I've also got some turmeric and cumin, but I'm not sure how much to take of each, or if they're going to do anything at all.
Oh, and showers. Hot showers. They debloat me 1000% of the time. It's too bad that I only get one or two showers per week.
I had extremely limited interactions with other humans in the past month. Which makes sense, right?
A former employee has dropped in for brief visits a handful of times, the cousin of another resident checked in once, the regular weekend nurse queried within (several times), and yesterday's floating nurse and I directly interacted for an extended period of time.
The latter two nurse people are both awesome and fantastic and are capable of holding varied and wonderful conversations. Yes, they're engagement is top notch, and them talking to me made me feel momentarily enlivened.
My former wife has also been very supportive, texting me each day. And that goes a long way towards wherever something like that goes. And then of course I have my long distance essential phone friend (who also goes way beyond those constrictions) - she's been checking in on me now and again, helping keep my head in the right place.
The rest of the time in devine recline I've been working on a new song ("Rabbi Beaner-Flipple"), watching something easy ("Burn Notice, again), and investing brain time in a book of lists ("The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists - Explained").
If you're interested in purchasing that book for yourself, you probably shouldn't be. Amazon has it priced out at $977.87! Although, I have seen it as cheap as $225 for a single paperback copy (I'm assuming half the pages are missing, and the other half of the pages are dipped in molasses, then cryogenically frozen).
So that's what I've been up to, beyond and besides listening to my roommate audibly and demonstratively defecate up to six times per day.
The window is open slightly, something to throw off the unfortunate forever scent dominating the room, but that window being open allows all the cigarette smoke to flow in freely. We've got 15 olden smoking residents out in the adjacent courtyard doing their group smoking thing four times a day. And then also (now and again), employees doing the same.
And I shan't go into the air conditioning debacle.
Okay, perhaps briefly I shall.
Go Ahead and Make Me …
The other day, the high temperature was a fairly tolerable 99° outdoors. The next morning I woke up and … the f****** heat was on. Yes! The heat!
Sure, many folks here in the Arizona desert consider anything less than 100 degrees Winter Time, but to me, turning on the heat in September is absolutely ludacris.
So for two days (48 long lasting hours), I had to deal with a heated room. So how did I compensate? Nakedness. As soon as the indoor temperature hits 80°, I get naked! That's how I operate. That's my rule. And that's what I did (approaching dehydration is less than ideal for a person like me, especially considering the amount of perspiring I've been doing of late). And finally, it got somebody's attention. A staff member. Someone who does not enjoy seeing my nakedness.
And now we're back to 72 sensational degrees!
So you know, there's a math equation involved. I can tell the room temperature, or the temperature of my environment based upon the color of my urine. Basically, how dehydrated I am. Of course, that only applies if I am eliminating other factors and potential variables. But let's not delve into the scientific method here and now.
Over in this here unit (The Palace of Permanent Residents), we are treated differently.
Our room wasn't cleaned for ____ days (try to guess how many days we went without - the answer shall be provided hence). Our room wasn't mopped, dusted, scoured, sprayed, scraped or wiped down. There was random garbage and spillage on my floor, next to my bed, and underneath my bed, for nearly two weeks, something that no one addressed, nor attended to.
I decided not to say anything. I decided not to complain. I was conducting a social experiment. How long would it take? How long would it be before someone did something, anything?
Back in the old neighborhood, back in unit number one, they cleaned our rooms daily. Mopped the floors. Made everything spic and span. Wait, spic and span? Wasn't that the name of a dishwashing detergent from back in the olden days?
But where I reside now, it's all different. It's not the glorious and glorified rehabilitation unit. It's not a place where they take perspective resident family members on tour, trying to sell them on our product. Nope, we are secretly stashed away in a place where no one knows we exist. We are beyond concern. The goal / objective, these people alive, we need the income. But I won't explain how and why that works, not right now. You'll have to buy my forthcoming investigative novel - "The Nursing Homeless - How to Alienate Residents and Influence People"
The answer is 12 days. That's how long it took. Anybody guess 12 days?
So yeah, not much else happening. Nothing anybody would find entertaining in the least. I just simply need to get better. I need to get back. I need to get out of here. I need to become a real person again.