Friday, July 11, 2008

Liminal Limbo...

My favorite pic of Mommy and me.

So at the last minute Mom relented and agreed to dialysis and life support. Yesterday the dialysis had to be stopped, but it went ok today. Things are not looking good, though. I have the feeling the doctors are going through the motions, if you know what I mean.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

More Mama Drama

Well, Mom was home for two very difficult days, then we had to call an ambulance because she was swelling in a way that reminded me of the girl in Willy Wonka - she turned round and blue. Ugh. The good part is, we got her to the hospital on time and she seems to be getting better, but I've been sleeping at the new hospital again. I wouldn't let them send her back to the other one because of all the problems and infections she had there.

Her kidneys are a little strained, but OK. She may have some kind of obstruction in her bowels that they are treating. The diabetes and congestive heart failure are ongoing conditions, but are under control. Her leg still, after 2 months, needs an operation. I'm really pissed about that - it was the whole reason she was hospitalized in the first place and it still isn't done.

The hospital she is in now is much closer to home - less than 25 miles round trip as opposed to 70. My 73 year old dad gets to sleep in his own bed, which is a vast improvement. This hospital is small but new, very modern and clean. They have the best of everything, and the staff is happy and not overworked. My mom's nurse has responsibility for 2 or 3 people at most and sits literally right outside her room. Mom is observed on video every minute. This hospital even has a lounge for the family to use with comfy couches, a coffee maker and a TV - it's like being in your own living room - and they provide meals for the family that's there with the patient, at least in the intensive care unit. She was in this hospital's rehab unit 4 years ago and also had excellent care then. It's the finest care I've ever seen and we've seen a lot of hospitals.

So, I have hope, we're getting some sleep and mom seems to be on the mend. There are still serious issues but (knock wood) things are getting better.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Drama with My Mama

It just goes on and on...

After she spent over 3 weeks in rehab, doing great, making us think 2 days in a row that she was coming home, they tell us they have to operate again. Fine.

They move her to a surgical floor and for some unknown reason, give her a sedative - never a good idea with her. She throws off some weird potassium readings, probably due to a kidney infection, they put her in ICU thinking her kidneys were failing. After 2 days, they decide she has double pneumonia. I sit there for a day watching her and trying to figure out how someone who was doing as well as she was wound up intebated with a feeding tube over a weekend. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that he problem was that they sedated her. I insisted that they the tubes out, which took a day and a half to make sure she didn't really need them, and she seemed fine. She was breathing well, she was starting to understand where she was and what was going on. By this time, it's been 5 days and she can't understand why they didn't fix her ankle while she was out. I'd like to know that, too.

Anyway, at this point she has been in that dirty hospital for almost 7 weeks. I tell one of her doctors that I think she needs to come home for a few days before they operate on her leg again because she has been convinced she's never getting out of there. The way this is playing out is very similar to the way her brother died in November and her sister in March. Psychologically, she needs a break from that place, she needs to be home and Dad and I need a rest from driving all the way over there every day. They made us think she might come home today. We go there - no doctor is around, no one has said anything about her leaving or moving her. We figure nothing will happen until tomorrow so we come home to rest, knowing it's going to be really hard work, especially for me, when she comes home.

10:30 tonight, Dad is asleep and I'm fighting off a troll attack on one of my Wikis. I hear Dad talking, and I know something is wrong. Turns out he's on the phone with Mom, who is extremely agitated and demanding that we come get her. Dad and I trade off talking to her while the other tries to call the hospital. Mom is telling tales of being neglected, no one comes when she calls a nurse, etc. We finally - FINALLY - get a nurse on the phone and they're totally freaked out. They can't calm her down, they're afraid of her, she's threatening to climb over the rails on the bed and crawl home. Believe me, my mom is big and mean and can be impossible to control at times. She's in danger of really hurting herself. I told the nurse to give her some ice chips, which is one of her complaints and will calm her down, and tell her her family is on the way.

I wanted to go and let Dad stay in bed, but he won't have it. He tells me to go back to bed and he'll go to the hospital. I know he's completely freaked out because he forgot his keys and had to call my cell phone so I could let him back in. So my poor father, who is exhausted from this ordeal, takes off through the damned mountains in the middle of the night and I'm here dealing with some asshole who put misogynist slurs and KKK propaganda on a wiki I worked really hard to put together.

I know Mom will calm down when Dad gets there. I'm sitting by the phone in case she calls again before he can get there, since the hospital is nearly an hour away. I don't know what the hell we are going to do. There's so much going wrong with me and my disability that isn't being addressed at all because all we can do is react to the stuff happening with Mom.

I've been trying to distract myself with the blogosphere, but I keep getting into fights with people about f-ing Hillary Clinton. The more people defend her, the more I grow to despise her.

So now what? Do I try to sleep? Do I wait to hear from Dad? Do I keep watching Ethan Hawke butcher my favorite Shakepearean play? I'm too hyper to read. My room is a horrid mess, which is not helping anything.

It's all just. too. much.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

The saga continues....

Now Mom has double pneumonia. It will be a couple of days before they know what kind of infection she has going on, then they'll know how to treat if. Fun, fun.

All prayers, well wishes and positive energy gratefully accepted right now.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Mom's getting worse~

They moved her onto a surgical floor last night and we expected her to be operated on today, but when Dad called the hospital this morning we found out they were moving her to ICU because she was showing signs of kidney failure. This is starting to follow the same pattern that led to my aunt's death in March. Prayers and positive thoughts that she gets better would be greatly appreciated. It's too early to lose her.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Checking in...

There's so much going on that I want to talk about - Obama, Clinton, Gay Marriage, Bush using the Nazi card, many more things- but I just can't pull it together. I spent two nights in a row sleeping at the hospital, and even though I was home last night, I'm stilll wrecked. I have to go back tomorrow and sleep there and I can't face it. My mom thinks I should be there every minute, but I just can't do it. I'm trying.

The rough part is that it's only going to get worse. Now we have the nurses at the hospital to help. When she gets home it will be Pop and me doing it all. She was already fairly dependent, now it will be worse. I just hope she gets to where she can walk at least a little. We're going to have to have a ramp built for a wheel chair. It's all too much. I feel so guilty about saying that, but I'm disabled myself - getting through the day is already a challenge for me.

Send me good energy, please - I'll write something coherent as soon as I can.


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Friday, April 11, 2008

Shame, Shame, Shame

There are some kinds of shame that are prevalent in our culture and they shouldn’t be. No one should be ashamed of his or her sexual orientation. No one over 18 should be ashamed of consensual sex, or having a baby, or choosing not to have one. No one should be ashamed of healthy expressions of sexuality or of any expression of sex in art. These are Puritanical values out of step with the rest of Western culture and it’s time to let them go.

On the other hand, shame can serve a purpose. It tells us that what we are doing is wrong, and hopefully it makes us less likely to do it. It can make someone aware that what they are doing isn’t something that should be memorialized on You Tube. It should kick in when you have just shown the world, on film, that you are an asshole. This is the shame I’m talking about. Psychologists call this a Super Ego. Some call it good parenting. I call it increasingly rare, and that scares me.

I recently posted a video, from You Tube, in which an Australian journalist makes absolute jack asses of some apparently average Americans. They were embarrassing, but a commenter pointed out the truly disturbing aspect - none of them was ashamed or embarrassed at their own poor education. Americans are not only stupid, we appear to be quite content with that fact.

This is largely the result of the bizarro shift in cultural values that is known as the Reagan Administration. Lies became good business, greed became good, and stupid became macho. Reagan was already suffering from Alzheimer’s when he was in office - I told people at the time to wait and see, that in years to come, long after he was out of office, they’d announce that he had it. I hate to say I told you so, but I did. It was SO obvious that he had no concept half the time what he was saying. People worshiped him and still do. (Usually not the people who had to drop out of college because he slashed the student loans, btw - as with many things Republican, it’s mostly true of the rich people. ) Reagan was a pretend cowboy - he played one in the movies, you know - and cowboys didn’t care about sissy stuff like readin’ and ritin’ and ‘rithmatic. I blame Reagan for the fact that people on TV, including journalists and media professionals, can’t conjugate a verb. If I hear one more person say they “had went” somewhere, I’m going hurt somebody. I won’t have to wait long.

Stupid is what the adults are, and that’s bad enough, but their kids are something far worse - sociopaths. As Whoopi Goldberg said in a recent comedy special: “They have raised BARBARIANS!” Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I have a tag for my posts called “generation of sociopaths.” You’ll see it at the bottom of this post, for example. I know I’m getting old, and people have been bemoaning the younger generation since ancient Greece, but this is something new. This is different. Kids aren’t just undisciplined or wild - they’re sub-human. Human beings feel empathy for others. We feel guilty when we do something wrong. If we do something wrong, we tend to hide it rather than advertise it. That’s not true for an alarming number of today’s kids.

Case in point: Florida recently saw a case where 6 girls and 2 boys conspired to beat a young girl so it could be taped and posted on You Tube. They picked their victim, Victoria, because, they claim, she said something “unfriendly” about them when they went into the restaurant she worked in, but they taped it so they could show it on You Tube and be “popular.” Knocked into unconsciousness at the outset and continuously beaten by the 6 girls for half an hour, poor Victoria has lost the sight in one eye and part of her hearing. The news is continually showing the video, and it is disgusting. Note that they don’t just show it once, they keep running it over and over while they talk about it. I actually heard people saying the girls might not be too badly punished because it was a first offense.

So far, they have been charged as adults with kidnapping and misdemeanor battery. They could face life in prison. Not nearly enough, as far as I’m concerned, but here’s my point: they never seem to have thought that beating up another girl was a bad idea. This was planned, and video cameras set up around the room to catch the action. When the girl was unconscious, they kept hitting her. Get that? The sight of an unconscious person, whom they had just knocked out, didn’t slow them down. No remorse. No empathy. No little bell in their head going “ding, ding, ding - this is not a good idea!” They didn’t have the instinct to stop. They didn’t have an emotional response to her suffering. They were so proud of what they had done they uploaded the video to You Tube to brag about it. It apparently never occurred to them that this was a CRIME. That, my friends, is the textbook definition of sociopathy.

So, why am I connecting this to stupid Americans? I believe the two issues are intimately entwined. An uneducated person might feel empathy, but not necessarily know how to foster its development in a child. They might not know that their teenager shouldn’t have access to social networking sites like You Tube, or even know what You Tube is. I’m a firm believer that if you want to raise a kid, you need to be smarter than she is. That’s not the case in most families I see. How do 8 people conspire to do something like this and none of their parents knew anything was up? Are you going to tell me that 8 sets of parents didn’t know their kids were this fucked up? Stupid.

Isn’t anyone afraid of their parents anymore? If I had done something like this when I was young the police would have been the least of my worries. I’d be afraid my mom would find out, and there was no wrath greater than the wrath of Mom. I wasn’t particularly concerned about being “cool,” and I went out of my way to avoid cliques of any kind. If I did do something wrong, I wouldn’t advertise it. I’d know that putting something on the internet is like making a global confession. But then, I’d also know that fighting is wrong, and a planned team assault is nothing to be proud of. If anything, it’s cowardly. 6 on 1 makes the 6 look weak, stupid and incapable of independent thought. Three qualities I think makes them ripe for life in prison. These kids are in their mid-to-late teens. They aren’t going to grow a conscience at this point - they’re a done deal. The only choice society has is to lock them away with other equally damaged people and let them victimize each other. We’re producing so many damaged people that we’re going to have to legalize marijuana just to make room for them. I’d much rather my kid smoke a little weed than commit an assault.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. These kids have spent half their lives with a pResident who is a war criminal. With an administration that conspired to torture people in violation of international law. They probably can’t remember a fair election, if they even know what an election is. I’d bet money none of them could find Iraq on a map. I don’t see any Rhodes Scholars coming out of this crew.

OMFG! I’m watching Bill Maher and he’s saying this is not a big deal! That it’s “kids being kids!” What an asshole. I used to like him, but I’m reconsidering that. He thinks the film is funny! Ugh. I'll never think he's funny again.

I have nothing more to say. This country is going to hell and nobody cares.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Sad, Sad, Sad

Well, it looks like I won't be going away. My aunt, bless her heart, passed away this morning. We'll be having yet another funeral here. I hope the Universe gives us a break after this - too much sadness.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

I may be going away for a while...

It probably won't prevent me from posting, but just in case I wanted to let you all know what's going on. My aunt is dying. You may recall that we just lost her brother before Christmas. She's in Hospice right now, but they're going to bring her home where she'll be more comfortable. Because her daughter (my younger cousin) has to work, and she'll need 24 hour care, I'm going to go to Ohio and stay with them for a bit. I may leave as soon as next week.

As I said, I should get to post some while I'm there, but just in case I get too distracted, you know why I'm not writing.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Update about Dad

Thanks so much to those of you who have offered your prayers and well-wishes for my family. Dad had his surgery yesterday, and came through it very well. He was making smart-assed comments in no time. He has a bandage on his neck and head that looks like the hood-like things nuns wear that only shows their faces. He says he's in no pain. We'll get the biopsy results next Friday. He didn't say it, but we (mom and I - dad doesn't talk about it) don't think the doctor is optimistic. I'm trying not to think about it, but it's adding to my difficulty sleeping.

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