Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not a fun one.

I'm venting here. I have support and everythings ok...I just need to get this shit off my chest.

I am off today to participate in what is being euphemistically termed a 'caregiving assessment'. This means that all the people involved in The Playboy of the Western Worlds medical crapola are going to sit him down and tell him to quit fucking around: he needs full-time assisted care.

This is a good thing and needs to happen. There's no doubt about that. It needed to happen a year ago. It won't be a difficult thing or even a particularly negative thing, since what this means in the real world is that he moves down the hall from where he lives now and gets servants, essentially.

Once he gets over himself he'll undoubtedly start doing better since he will at the very least be getting his medications regularly and won't have to spend half the day putting on his socks and shaving because he can't breather and his legs hurt.

Meanwhile this little muk is going through some changes.

I've never watched someone die before. I want it to be over, dammit. I want to stop worrying, I want to stop dreading the inevitable. I want him to get it over with already. Unfair, cold and true. He isn't going to get better, there isn't going to be a miracle so just die already.

I want him to get better. He won't.

He wants to be better. He can't.

This doesn't stop him from pretending he is better or lying about his condition. This makes him do foolish things and make foolish decisions that make him get worse. He tries to maintain his life at a level he hasn't been capable of in years and fucks himself up and then we have to come to the rescue and pretend we think he is such a brave old cuss when all I want to do is shake him and yell at him for intruding on my life and making me scared. He has a staff-a good staff, a trained staff- on call 24-7 to change his pissy sheets and empty his urinals and shear him when he needs a haircut, and yet I get called in for a 60 mile round trip to do these things. He's deaf as a post and yet he is is proud to tell everyone he's 'too vain' to get a hearing aid. This means he misunderstands his medical instructions. He shrugs it off.

This isn't cute any more. It hasn't been cute in a long, long time. This isn't spunky or feisty. This is flat out fucking stupid. He doesn't want to be a burden.
He has been one for several years.
I wouldn't be this mad if dementia were an issue. It isn't.
It isn't.
This is plain spoiled brat.
Spoiled, German, man brat.

He was only back in his apartment for a week when he ended up back in interim care this last time. Between the last time I posted about him and now, what happened was, he was in interim care he picked up a cold, which he lied to the staff about. So of course; once you're home, go walking around outside in the wind and the rain all week long and go out to dinner and party and have a bunch of close encounters with germy people. Sure, that'll work. Come Friday he passed out twice in his apartment walking from one room to the next (and that's only what he's admitting to.) Of course he didn't use the call pendant; of course he didn't use the call button on the wall above his bed to alert the staff, of course he didn't put on his oxygen. What did he do? He got on the horn and started calling his buddies and asking them if he should go to the hospital or not. Well, lets're in your seventies, you have six inoperable arterial occlusions and narrowing nerve channels. You have chronic low blood pressure, COPD, and every now and then for the last seven years all your vital signs just quit for a couple of seconds and YOU MOMENTARILY DIE...and you say you've just passed out? Well, I dunno....going to the emergency room....huh.

He had pneumonia.

He ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks. He's still in interim care and there's no end in sight on that front.

I couldn't do a damn thing for him because I had bronchitis. I could'nt get near the guy. On the one hand I'm scared and I want to protect him, and on the other hand I woke up one night and thought "maybe it would be a mercy" and "at least there might be some money left to pay off his bills if...".

I am angry at a god I don't really believe in. I need someone to blame I guess. This kind of a death is like a horrifically sophisticated form of torture...take a little, take a little more, take a little more, strip away the dignity by layers, gradually reduce the world to the size of a single building, and then to a single room. Leave the intellect they can appreciate the magnitude and inevitability of whats happening. It seems so planned. Something about it just seems well-thought out.

Screw it.


  1. Oh, crap! This is so unfair! Why don't the "shitweasels" of the world suffer like this, instead of the good people being sucked down into such an undignified end?
    I know (slightly) what you feel and I don't have any good answers, but feel free to vent here anytime.

    It's the best argument against gods that I know.

  2. I don't have any answers. Just hope you all find an easier way to bear this.

  3. I'm so sorry, FN. I don't have advice, because I don't know anything you don't about handling this kind of situation, but I hear you and know how you feel.

    Playboy is in denial, straight up. I don't know if you think it's worth calling him on that. Frankly, there are worse ways he could be handling it, like feeling depressed and waiting to die. Maybe he's hoping he'll just go one of these times and it'll be over quicker that way. Or maybe it truly is the "don't want to be a burden" trip stopping him from asking for help. Either way, it sounds like 24/7 health care it the best way to go. Just find him a cute boy assistant and maybe he'll get used to it.


  4. I don't know what to say...I have watched someone die and it isn't easy...hugs to you, FN.

  5. Having gone thru this , we will probably all be exactly the same when its our turn.
    You put down the duality of feelings down really well , its horrible to be powerless to help as its a no win situation.
    Just think tho FN many people have nothing but the playboy has got you and the biker , so I reckon he still gotta count himself lucky :-)

  6. ah, yes. i'm familiar with this game; my grandfather played it for fourteen fucking years.

    on the one hand, yes, it's stupid and aggravating that he doesn't follow his instructions and doesn't care.

    on the other hand, he knows as well as you that he's dying and he won't get better. there comes a point when taking care of yourself becomes utterly redundant, and it sounds like he's reached that point (at least subconsciously) and he figures if he's gonna die anyway he might as well live the way he wants in the meantime and fuck the fucking doctors.

    i can understand this mentality. the problem, of course, is the repercussions it has on family. there is no easy solution. i think all anyone can do is muddle through and do their best. it's just that sometimes different people doing their best come in conflict. He's doing his best to die, you're doing your best to keep alive.

    In the end, it's just a shitty, shitty world where shitty things happen to nice people.


  7. Darling, Hugs and hugs for you.
    Having also experienced this kind of thing, I have one phrase that works when you'Re just too tired and screwed to do anything else mentally and all you want to do is lose it....'Fuck that shit'.
    If it helps any, feel free to use my email as a venting zone door's always open hun.

  8. Sorry this all sucks. My grandmother had Alzheimers for years. I empathize with the wishing things would just be over. I still feel kind of off about it even now with her gone. Fucking aging sucks.

  9. Anonymous5:01 PM



  10. Because off-colo(u)r humor is my defense mechanism and way of coping with the trials of life, you should know that Stephen Neal's tears cure afflictions and disease. Too bad he has never cried.

  11. I would be really scared if I was him, so I can understand being obstinate. It won't do any good, we've all got to go, don't we, but still.
    I think if he wants to party til he drops that is ok. I think that is an appropriate way for him to go.
    And now I am gonna cry a little if I don't stop. I am glad you're brave, momma.

  12. Anonymous11:59 PM

    Oh, yeah. Been there. I totally remember that ambivalence: Just DIE already! Or get better! Whatever, but don't stay like THIS. Urgh.

    That said, I don't think this is really God's department. I am more inclined to blame the modern medical mindset which prioritizes extending life for as long as possible, quality bedamned.

    Maybe that's why he was asking his friends if he should go to the hospital. Maybe the unspoken alternative was "or just let go."

  13. Watching someboy close die is about the most tortuous thing you can go through, and in most cases it's a long drawn out affair. Been there with my mother who had chemotherapy for four and a half years, and my dad who had cancer/heart disease. In his case he was pulling stunts such as still driving despite having had aneurysms and signing himself out of hospital against medical advice.

    The Playboy definitely seems to be in denial, which is pretty awful for the people around him to cope with but is often the only way that patients themselves can get through it all.

    My thoughts are with you.

  14. Maybe I caught ass burgers syndrome off someone but I didn't find this post very amusing, yer losing it gurl.

    I understand what he is going through with the anger and frustration and not wanting to deal with whats happening to him and I understand whats going on in yer head too, its tough.
    Stay strong.

  15. I'm on the opposite side of this in a way, my mother has an inoperable condition. She doesn't want to go into a hospital, and having seen her come down with an MRSA infection a during a brief visit a couple of years ago, I don't want to see her go in either. She wants to carry on living in her home doing as much of the things she enjoys as possible. This means occasional moments of crisis, such as last night, when something affects her and she needs assistance, but I would prefer that we go over to help her out every now and then to her being in a care home where she is effectively subject to a regime (even though it's for her own good) and forgotten about. I had forgotten lately that she was the reason I stopped my software business and came back to live at home. I want her to carry on refusing to just lay down and die, and I accept that viewed from another perspective, both she and I are refusing to admit that this is the inevitable, but I see this as spirit, not as denial.

    In your case, I like the sound of the rascal's spirit. I know I'm possibly reading too much into your writings, or that I'm ignoring the pressures it puts on you, and one day I may even change my position. But at the moment, I'm just letting things turn up as they do.

  16. Sorry to hear it FN, but this is pretty textbook. I think CB put it perfectly.

    Whatever happens things never stay the same - I know exactly how you feel, I went through a similar thing. You wish it was all over and then feel guilty about thinking that.

    You will cope. In the end everyone does.

  17. I have some advice for you and you probably won't like it - let go. Just let go. Be a friend, walk with the Playboy as he travels down that last road in life but let it go. He is obviously a man who wants to live what's left of his life hell bent for leather and so he shall. All you can do is give him an atta boy and remind him to use his care takers as needed and use his friends as friends.

    Here's the really hard part. When he crosses the line - when he is indisputably on his way to his last breath he will tell you he's ready to toe the line. He will tell you that he's going to get stronger and make a come back. It will just about kill you when he does it. All you can do is remember that death is our reward for living. We all die. All we can hope for is the love of our friends and family as we make the trip.

    If there are any hospice people involved spend some time with them. They will help you - a lot.

    I hung out with my mother after she refused any more treatment for cancer. I was with her when she weighed 80 pounds because she had quit eating weeks ago and then decided to tell us she was going to get strong so she could drive her car again. We took her to the doctor for one last emergency rescue and the hospice people told us to just stop - to quit trying to intervene and prolong the inevitable and we did and it was much better for everyone. I held her hand when she died. We all die.

    I'm sorry you are suffering through this but I really encourage you to let go a little. Maybe read "Dying Well - Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life" by Ira Rock, M.D. I know you said you had support but in times like these you really can't get enough and listening to people who see death as a normal part of life is enormously comforting.

    I hope you find some comfort somewhere.

  18. I have some good drugs if you're interested.

  19. You're doing a bloody marvelous job and it's thankless, so so so hard and so unfair on you (both), but FN his final fling would be so much harder to bear without you and that, I guess, is why you do it.

    He's a lucky cuss in his hour of desperate need to have you to care.

  20. I love you all. you are all wonderful.

    go be happy now and raise one to the Playboy of the Western World.

  21. Anonymous2:27 PM

    I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. My mom is 84, and fine at the moment, but I'm already feeling like we're living on borrowed time. The phone rings, and I always wonder for a moment if it's my sister calling to break some bad news. And I know it's going to get worse before it gets better. I hope you can find the energy to continue to deal with this. It sucks.

  22. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Hi. Sorry to hear about this. Still it's always good for me to poke in here now and then, always gratifying to see you at it and to read comments from the nice folk here.

    About five years ago four of my friends, one of them my partner became ill and they all but one dropped off. Sounds like I should maybe be investigated but it was cancer. These people were all pretty hard core rockers in the redneck Canadian school who would really have enjoyed your posts.

    I'd like to say I got through it all with the help of friends and family and Jaysus, Lord knows but on another level I know it was learning to cut up a morphine patch in four and tape it on my ass with duct tape to get me through a shift at the hotel up the street up north, until I could afford to take the time off to straighten out.

    That was some time ago. I'm doing fine mostly. Nice to see the snow. But I live whole afternoons sometimes while I work pondering the process you describe in your last paragragh there. Trying to attribute the planning as it were. You do good here. I'll write later when productions here slow. thankyou.

  23. it took me a while to post this because i know what you are feeling to some extent...i had wished death on mine as he was told for 7 years prior he would be dead in 2 weeks...and he kept got bad...hard...very hard...and at the end i wanted it to end...until it did...i have no words of wisdom here...just know that there is someone else who has felt it and can relate...and i am sorry you are having to go through this...IT IS NOT FAIR!