Thursday, March 01, 2012

Mad At The World and Sick About It

I know how Sisyphus might have felt….rolling that giant boulder to the top of the mountain, getting just to the top…and then having it fall back on you. Then, you start the process all over again.
It took us days to finalize the next destination for our stricken family member.

Before the whine continues, here are a few declarations: Obviously, references to the Sick Person are cryptic. I’m not identifying him specifically because he has no idea I’m venting on the internet. The people who know who he is know who he is. In response to several questions and many assumptions, I will reveal that it is NOT my father, who at age 85 is just fine these days.

I’ve been saying the Sick Person is very sick and will probably stay that way, so let me clear that up a little. He fell. He fell hard, apparently more than once. He has a brain injury. It has affected his eyesight, speech, short-term memory and mobility. It’s bad.

Today, he left the hospital where he had been since February 4th and was transported in a van to a skilled nursing facility.

Who knows how long he will be there? To ride in the van, he was in a wheelchair. He was also wearing clothes, which was nice to see after a month of looking at nothing but a hospital gown. But, it was all window dressing. The ride and the emotional toll took it out of him. Last time I saw him, he was in his new surroundings, still wearing clothes, but flat on his back in a bed in a room in a building completely foreign to him.

Phone calls, e-mails, text messages, site visits, difficult conversations. The process of choosing this place dragged on and on. We plowed through at least five facilities which either determined that they could not provide appropriate care for his injuries/ illnesses or didn’t like his insurance. I thought the top of my head was going to blow off. I think it didn’t only because the pressure was relieved in an unpleasant fashion from another part of my body.

When I find myself under this kind of pressure, I don’t like myself very much; and I’m pretty sure the people around me don’t like me, either. I just can’t help myself. Under stress, my voice gets loud and people think I’m yelling. Asking me not to raise my voice is like asking me not to breathe. It just happens.
It’s also intensely frustrating to be unable to efficiently find solutions to the problems presented to us.

I am grateful to the many co-workers who have endured my ranting over the past several days. As always, My Spectacular Wife goes out of her way to help. She knows when to rein me in and also knows when to step back and stoically let me yell a little.

The sad reality is, this current stop just buys us a little time. In three to four weeks, we’ll very likely need to make more difficult decisions. If you see me waving my arms around like a wild man and/ or speaking with a raised voice; please don’t be offended. Don’t be frightened. I’m just struggling. A pat on the back or a little hug may go a long way to getting me to be a little less loud.

Sometimes, it seems like I’m mad at everybody. I know it’s me. I keep talking to myself. Too loudly on occasion, of course.
I wish I could cry, but I can’t.

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Jo Foster said...

Cyber hugs, Darrell. It is a difficult situation. I am sorry you are having to go through it.

Unknown said...

you know we are thinking of you all... we love the real Darrell and Claire---yell, scream, cry, laugh... we'll take it all

Joan Mack said...

Darrel...this is Joan Mack...jus finished reading about Rev. Cooper & what a great story you wrote...I have know Martha and Ken for many years...just visited with Martha a few days ago...IF you have picture of Ken...would you please e-mail one to us..? thank you so much for a beautiful story...Joan Mack