Jun 23 2013

Jun 23 2013

A Chapter by dw817
"

If I hadn't told you, Chris's Dad is in the hospital. He is suffering from dementia and me and him went to visit him last Sunday. Usually I visit Chris on Sundays so we got together again this week.

"

  Jun 23 2013  

 


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If I hadn't told you, Chris's Dad is in the hospital. He is suffering from bad dementia and me and him went to visit him last Sunday. Usually I visit Chris on Sundays so we got together again this week.

He was telling me that he was trying to find a nursing home that had good security. I asked was he afraid that someone was going to break in and steal his Dad's stuff ?

He said, No, he was afraid his Dad would break OUT. That's something I hadn't considered.

* * *



I know when I visited Rose's Mom over at Mansfield Nursing home years ago, there were all kindsa friendly folk and a few of them even said I was their son. I try to be nice to everyone I meet so I didn't disagree with them.

Anyways, one fellow seemed determined to leave who had a bandage on his head. He was in a wheelchair and was quite insistent with me it was his time to leave. Since it was my first time to visit a nursing home, I opened the exit door for him and watched him hurriedly wheel out.

There was a nurse there who suddenly stomped up to me and she raised her voice at me and said, "What are you doing !?"

I answered simply, "He wanted out so I let him out, ma'am."

She was cross, "Just a minute." and went outside to retrieve the guy in the wheelchair. He was yelling at her but she was very kind I noticed and brought him back in. Then she wheeled him past me and said, "You stay here, I need to talk to you for a minute."

Man it felt like I was in trouble at school or something ! But I replied quietly, "Okay."

Then she came back. I didn't know what I did wrong ! And - I guess at a level she realized this. Both me and her were quiet for a minute. I guess she was trying to think of something to say, finally she spoke.

"What's your name ?"

"David"

"David, is this the first time you've been to a nursing home ?"

"Yes."

"Did you come alone ?"

"No ma'am, I came with Rose. She's seeing her Mother."

"I see." She leaned back and pulled a cigarette from her apron and put it in her mouth. She didn't light it though but just chewed on it. I could tell she wanted to smoke it but we were in a sorta hospital and even I knew that would be against the rules.

"Look, David, these people - are not entirely right in their heads. They're good people - all of them, but they all want to go outside."

"So why don't you let them out ?" I asked.

"It's not that simple. If they go outside, they're going to get hurt. They're not entirely aware of where they are."

"He seemed to know right where he were."

She got cross again and took the cigarette out to face me, "Please let me finish. That was Jonathan you opened the door for. He has - " and she paused in her thoughts, "escaped several times now. He has also gotten himself hurt, that's why he was wearing bandages."

I stayed silent, she put the cigarette back in the cleft of her mouth and continued. "My job is to take care of the people here and make sure they don't get out."

"Don't you ever let them outside ?" I was curious now to know if these people ever saw sunlight.

She nodded, "Sometimes, David, but they are supervised then. We don't have enough staff to let them all out at once."

She knew I had a bunch more questions but she finished with. "If you let these people out I'm going to lose my job because I am here to make sure they stay inside, understand ?"

"Okay." I said. I started to ask another question but she wouldn't let me and interrupted.

"You don't want me to lose my job, do you ?"

"No."

She took out the cigarette and put it back in her apron, concluding the conversation. "Good. Let's find - Rose - and see that you stay with her."

I didn't know what room she was in but finally we found her. And - I had my first experience of nursing homes.

* * *



We came every week and I read to her. Mostly Winnie The Pooh as I fully believe a lotta people have never read the original by A. A. Milne and if they are in their final days, which her Mom was - they deserve to have a nice wonderful story like this to remember when the rest of them is failing.

Phoo, I'm a little emotional, gimme a sec ...

* * *

OK, well now I do remember years after that, I was in the ward for psychiatric examination and there was a woman there screaming, "I want to go home - I want go home !" over and over again.

I didn't interfere as she really sorta scared me. I learned that as a kid, you should never try and take on the responsibility of an adult especially if someone else was licensed or hadda specialty in that area.

Finally one of the staff, a woman in her 30s like me at the time, went over to her and leaned on the side of her wheelchair to look down at her and said as nicely as she could, "Honey, you are home. You are home now. Everything is alright. Okay ?"

I watched this for a bit. All the agitation in her face suddenly drained away. She was quiet then, "Home ?"

The staff woman patted her on the back. "That's right honey, you're home, don't you remember ?" She stayed talking quietly to her for a bit and then I heard this very heavy metallic door open and something about a feeling of impending doom, footsteps, and a flash of light - I don't remember much more of that scene as I was in a bad state at the time.

* * *

But I do understand the importance of comfort, of security, of letting someone know it is going to be alright. As my Mom said, thoughts are things. George Carlin says he doesn't worship God cause he can't see God but he does worship the sun cause he can see the sun. I think this is similar.

If you are agitated in your head into believing something bad and someone comes to you and can convince you otherwise, even if it's not true, it doesn't matter. They are doing a world of good for you. More and more as I get older I firmly believe, "What you don't know can't hurt you."

And while I can't claim to entirely understand dementia, I do understand hallucinations. I know better now when something is happening and it's not really there. I used to have problems with this, but I don't as much now.

* * *



Like there was the time last week, when I was with Chris and his Dad and we were back at the hospital. He was in bed and told Chris that he was going Ice Skating and did Chris want to go with him. And Chris said sure, and then his Dad leaned back - and I guess - he was ice skating then.

He has Parkinson's, the same thing my own Dad died of 3-years ago.

* * *

But back to yesterday, I understood what Chris was saying now. He didn't want his Dad escaping cause he did actually get away several times at the hospital - and - well I'll just say he got into a lot of trouble and that he thought he was entirely somewhere else.

Today (Monday) Chris said he is going to be looking at some more nursing homes and I offered him to call me and we can go together, but he hasn't called, and that's fine - that gives me a chance to write all this out.

After Rose headed out yesterday I called him and that evening we went to Del Taco. My own digital camera is in pretty bad shape. I told Chris I'd like to have a photo for my new friends in Writer's Cafe so he said, okay, and took this one with his own camera:



Today he Emailed it to me along with another (below). And I guess I have a lot still to learn about elderly, dementia, and trying to understand what happens when the mind starts to fail. I know my own Dad said and did some very strange things - and it really hurts to watch it happen.

But no-one lives forever, not really. I mean I'm 46 today, almost halfway through my life and I know I still have a long ways to go yet. I guess that's why it's so vitally important to spend every minute, every hour, and every day with our loved ones.

Cause you will need these wonderful memories later in life to carry and support you through the difficult and lonely and painful times that await all of us - in our Autumn years ...





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© 2013 dw817


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Featured Review

good journal. you are a keen observer and learner too who is still a kid at heart and that's good :)

i too had experience of spending time with my grandma in her last few years and during her couple of last months she had loose motions and she couldn't control or whatever.... and used to spoil her bed and smear herself too.... though generally it was my mother who cleaned her i remember once i cleaned her when my mummy was not at home.... don't know how but she has smeared her legs and hands and strangely too.... it seemed she had done it purposely as the area in hands and legs where her potty was smeared couldn't have done if it was not done purposely... but i cleaned her and she was happy too that i did it nicely... but it was only once i did.

anyways you write nicely.

your t-shirt shows You Are a kid at heart :)

best wishes

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Prritiy

6 Years Ago

Wow its wonderful work, you are an artist. :) And the description too :)
dw817

6 Years Ago

I didn't do the art for Barrier, that is CPT's fine work. I can definitely do things that are mathem.. read more
Prritiy

6 Years Ago

ok :).....


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Reviews

good journal. you are a keen observer and learner too who is still a kid at heart and that's good :)

i too had experience of spending time with my grandma in her last few years and during her couple of last months she had loose motions and she couldn't control or whatever.... and used to spoil her bed and smear herself too.... though generally it was my mother who cleaned her i remember once i cleaned her when my mummy was not at home.... don't know how but she has smeared her legs and hands and strangely too.... it seemed she had done it purposely as the area in hands and legs where her potty was smeared couldn't have done if it was not done purposely... but i cleaned her and she was happy too that i did it nicely... but it was only once i did.

anyways you write nicely.

your t-shirt shows You Are a kid at heart :)

best wishes

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Prritiy

6 Years Ago

Wow its wonderful work, you are an artist. :) And the description too :)
dw817

6 Years Ago

I didn't do the art for Barrier, that is CPT's fine work. I can definitely do things that are mathem.. read more
Prritiy

6 Years Ago

ok :).....
Wow. This was a very moving story. I love the structure, its easy to follow and gives great description without giving away too much. I can relate a little as well. I remember my grandmother and visiting her almost every weekend as a young child before she died. I hated the vibe I got from the nursing home...the smell, allthe nurses and medical staff, watching other people in the halls. I have mixed emotions so I can relate a little bit. Very good though!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

7 Years Ago

Actually this is a BLOG. I know there is a blog ability in WC but it has even smaller margins than t.. read more
Angelphires

7 Years Ago

Oh, sorry. It kinda sounded like a story of some sort. lol. Yeah, hospitals are okay..just have some.. read more
dw817

7 Years Ago

Wow, I'm on Seroquel and one definite side-effect it has with me is I lose track of time and days. T.. read more
Awesome write. Im glad I read this

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

7 Years Ago

I'm glad you could visit ! *Grin* While I can't promise a BLOG entry every day, certainly when I get.. read more
Very nice story! I didn't know anyone with dementia but I am sure it can be hard on them and the people that are going to take care of them. I hope everything goes well with your friend Chris.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

7 Years Ago

Chris offered me to try and take care of him - but I'm not a professional or anything and - well, he.. read more
MandaBear

7 Years Ago

True that! Well I wish you both well anyway!
dw817

7 Years Ago

... I may be spending several days with his Dad when he gets back home. I'm retired, Chris is not - .. read more

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Added on June 24, 2013
Last Updated on June 24, 2013
Tags: davidw, dementia, nursing homes, hospitals, mental wards, wheelchair, helpful nurse, parkinson's, alzheimer's


Author

dw817
dw817

Fort Worth, TX



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