(The days and nights of a life loving person living with Chronic Lyme Disease)
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The Empresses' New Clothes
No clothing posts yet! Just back home yesterday from another emergent surgery. What a nightmare.
This stay my room mates consisted of the following (thank God I was only in a two bed room!)
The first one. A middle aged Spanish speaking woman awaiting dialysis who, at 3:00 AM when I was wheeled in vomiting into one bag and pushing that morphine drip with the other hand, had the TV blaring some "cha cha cha" station with overweight, overbleached, over made up women squeezed into little its bitty baby doll halters and "swim skirts" gyrating around an aging man. Not a good look. On ANY of them. I asked if we could PLEASE angle the TV so I didn't have to watch this. Morphine is good, but only to a point.
They got her to agree to angle it. Why she need to agree,I ask? Does my medicare not pay the same amount hers does? Of course it does. But she isn't old enough to have medicare and she certainly isn't working. Must be on medicaid. The dreaded of all dreaded. The need based. The shunned. I feel a political rant coming so MUST DIVERT. Let the television dance begin! I turn it down, she turns it up. I turn it down. She begins to cry. Did you know one can cry in a language? I did not know this. Now I realized she curses on the "down side" of the loud sobbing. I buzzed a nurse who spoke spanish to come into the room and asked, "Is she swearing at me?" She cocked her head, looked at me and said, "She HATE you!" I said good, maybe should could direct some of her hatred on my kidney stones and encourage a little action. THEN at too early o'clock she begins to make noise. NOT exactly singing, maybe praying? She throws open the curtain (good morning) and asks, "You Christian?" I shake my head yes. "You speak tongues?" I give the blank stare. She goes back into it. Maybe she's still cursing the kidney, who knows.
Finally, around noon she leaves for dialysis. Ahhhhhh. But when she comes back she is crying. HARD. I asked the nurse, "Does dialysis hurt?" "No." Who knows. Maybe the thought of sharing a room (her side had the window) with a non-tongues speaking, no-spray-on-tan loving woman withOUT red lips (just toes ... one does not need to remove nail polish presurgery) threw her over the edge.
Finally she left. I actually do know the general dialysis story. These women come into the country and their husbands leave. They raise 5 or 6 kids on government aid and then get kidney disease. They drink hard, smoke hard, lead a HARD life. And then all medicaid will do is "treat" them. Kind of like fishing: catch and release. So they get into a medical crisis, go to the hospital, get dialysis until they are stable, and then released. All the while the family doesn't want them back. (I only know they because my one of my dearest racist nurse friends even admits the way older Mexican woman are treated is horrific! In FRONT of them their families say, "We don't want her anymore, YOU keep her!") So maybe she was crying because for four hours in dialysis she felt "ok" and she knew she was going to go home and have to reach the "not ok enough" stage to go back to the hospital, where they feed her, care for her, and make no demands of her. Or maybe she was just in a bad mood. I certainly was.
The second roommate only spoke DUTCH which caused much positive attention. People swarmed around her asking where was she from in the "motherland." Excuse me? Now I think her attempts at English sounded VERY germanic indeed. Of course, English speaking Dutch DO sound germanic. Apparently SHE had kidney issues as well and her sister was coming from the Netherlands today for a party on Saturday. Her big concern was that the house wasn't clean enough and there wouldn't be enough food. She complained the sun was too bright so shut the curtain (remember, I'm on the OTHER side of the room with the curtain between us already drawn.) The good nurse closes the curtain and the woman begins to snore. And I mean SNORE. I can't turn the TV on (rude) and I don't speak in tongues. Dang. So I just lay there playing Suduko on my iPhone while 15 people walk in and out to see her. Many of them her many children with their adult children with them. I listen to one young women show off her photos of MONSTANTO where they make the GENETICALLY ALTERED hybrid corn seeds for her and her husband's farm. Do they realize what they are doing? Yes, getting the biggest bang for their buck. I shake my head. Only in America.
She's exhausted (kidney issues really do leave one feeling like dog doo ... when one's body doesn't filter out the toxins correctly it really is yucky.) So on she snores and the friends come to ME. I say, "She has a stomach ache and is tired." (I've heard this often enough. I'm not a nurse ... screw HIPA. I used to be a teacher ... we're mandated reporters. So I dutifully document.) I whipped out a paper towel and suggested to her visitors that they sign a nice note she can read when she wakes up. THEN her minister comes to visit, wakes her up, reads b the one of the lamest of verses I can IMAGINE and tells her to envision the vista (not visa) God has planned for us. And he prays a prayer anyone could have said for free. I wait four more hours for someone to sign me out. Four long boring hours. I knew I was leaving in the morning on Wednesday. Who sleeps in a hospital? The door (my side of the room) is just as much a disturbance when HER nurse walks in then when mine does. Can they not keep a similar schedule for those with room mates? Of course not. That would be silly. Why not just come in twice as much ... so maybe every 20 minutes in the night to check vitals.Why not, indeed.
WAIT. Here comes some clothing news! I so wait for four hours in my non- vomit proof black tunic that has now hung in a "closet" for over 24 hours, my leggings, and no longer chic looking back Uggs. I realize I wore them when I off roaded in my Honda Accord on my "country" property a few weeks ago and had never cleaned them. Who cleans when writhing on the floor midst kidney stone attack?
So I got home. Turns out His Highness, The Baby is going to see his father in a play. Hugged me, asked if there were clean towels, must have showered and left. Must be the same play Alpha and the DIL came to see ... but forgot to come see me.
I'm a little more than pissed at these children who are so lovely to others. What do I do? Text them and divvy up the amount they said they'd get me for Christmas? (Contribution towards an iPhone. I totally WRECKED their best Christmas surprise ever. And the ever thoughtful DIL did get me a SEPHORA gift card. I am so glad Alpha married that woman!!!!) The Musician presented me with a great hand made photo album of the cool places he frequented in his "hood" in Laurel Canyon. I've never been in CA and miss him like crazy ... we moms love envisioning our kids in their environs. I love thinking of him living in this beautiful area full of rustic beauty. Able to be musician by night/appt. and neighborhood resident the rest of the time. The musician is a peace lover and he lives amongst peaceful people. Moms like that.
So ...yes, I know exactly what I'm going to do today. I'm tired of having my feelings hurt ... yes, my feelings will still be hurt but at least I won't pine for being "owed." ReleaseTHAT into the Universe!
I slept fairly well last night ... but I wish I had slept about 12 hours more. Maybe if I get in another six tonight I'll feel slightly human for the stent removal tomorrow.
That's my life .... I am miserable. It's my job to figure how how not to be. I think the secret lies in loving yet not caring about being loved in return. How does one get there?
Oh. In case you read this blog because you want to hear about my DYT style antics? You will. You'll also get to hear about my steel beamed Barn I'm going to live in and all the nifty green ways to NOT poison oneself within four walls.
But mostly? You'll just hear about my days. Which are not filed with decorating, child rearing or any other humorous thing. You'll hear a lot about invisible chronic illnesses that befall hard working, graduate degree owning individuals (mostly women) and how our governments AND our churches are willing to let them slip through the cracks of their own lives ... because it's so much prettier for them that way.
Me? I'm not even that angry about it anymore. Just determined to slip through that crack ONLY when every breath of fight is gone, grasping at the edges with my unadorned T4 nails.