Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bad Day in the Institution

The institution and I butted heads today, and of course the institution won. Actually, I had a nice day up to a point. I got a shower, went to PT, did my thing for a long time, did steps right left right left instead of one tread at a time, went for a walk, did the various machines, etc. Came back to my room and it was Italian Day -- that's what they called it... in the main dayroom downstairs they tried to make it into a luncheon and celebration but I didn't take part. Ate my vegetable lasagna (lasagna with frozen peas and carrots and the ever present broccoli), a piece of carbohydrate they called "garlic bread" and then spinach. I'd give it a D. Saving grace of Italian day was we got the restaurant quality cheesecake - and when I say a "sliver" I don't mean one molecule more.

Oh, by the way, for breakfast, there was no bagel but the world's smallest croissant. On the menu slip it said CROISSANT - FRENCH

Yeah, in case we were getting an American or Hungarian croissant. I've eaten croissants in Paris and this one did not transport me to gay Paree. Made me long for sweet butter and brioche and French roast coffee with warm milk.

so I eat my Italian Day lunch and then Russell visits and we had a nice visit, talking about lots of things, including the future of cameras (obsolete) and photographers. When he left, I did some work-work and was in the middle of writing a press release for Brad when they wheel in my new roommate who turned out to be none other than the screamer from two doors down.

I literally burst into tears. How much am I supposed to take? How hard can they make this road for me? I go down to the nurse's station who also couldn't care less. It was during a shift change and the night nurse comes on duty and I said to her, "Myrna, they gave me the screamer for a roommate, tell them what she's like" and i saw Myrna's face fall. Then this aide named Juan strolls by and I said, "Juan tell them about the screamer who is now my roommate" and he said "yeah, she's pretty bad" or something like that. I said it wasn't right to burden me with someone who belongs in a psychiatric hospital. I really couldn't stop crying.

I feel as if I try to stay upbeat. I put on a cheerful face and try to go about my day cheerfully. I give 100% in PT and OT. I get that I'm not in a private room, that I'm going to get a roommate, but I said to them, why put the lowest functioning person (the screamer) in with the highest functioning person (me)?

They called the social worker, more to pass the buck than anything, and the message from the social worker was that she'd "talk to Miss Luebke tomorrow" about it. I said to the screamer when I went back to my room when she said something, "Don't talk to me" I pulled the curtain.

The problem is she was in a wheel chair and it was blocking the door to the room's bathroom and I had to go. She refused to move. So I said to the nurse, "Tell me if you'd like me to use a bedpan or just wet my pants. What would be convenient for you?"

This aide took pity on me and said that the room across the hall (a private room) was empty and she'd open the door so I could use that bathroom. Makes sense, right? This toilet turned out to be a normal toilet and not the "commode" style like I have. Well, at least now I know I can sit and get up from a normal toilet so it wasn't a total loss.

Amy called and she overheard me saying that she was blocking the door to the bathroom and she protested (listening to my phone call) that she wasn't doing that. But she and her wheelchair made it impossible for me to enter my room's bathroom.

So after I talked to Amy, David called me and I left the room, went down the hall and talked to him. Then I called Brad who I had  called when this originally happened since Mary was at work and we talked and then I called Mary. I have since regained my composure, but I am on thin ice.

What scared me, and genuinely so, is when I was sitting in a wheelchair outside my room, I felt this scream forming in the pit of my stomach and I could hear myself coming out with this huge scream and I had to hold on not to do it, but I was close.

Now I'm back in my room. I ignored her coming in and she had partially opened the curtains between us and I closed it again.

I have to say that I had considered just peeing on the floor -- a nice puddle they could mop up -- it is so childish but you don't know what else to do to get someone's attention.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Oh I know why you didn't answer when I called... What a frustrating day. I hope they will consider an alternative tomorrow! At least the toilet accomplishment is one more step on the road home. Keep you sights on the 17th... Soon to be only a week away! Hugs.
PS.. Why would they move the screamer from one room to another? If they can move her, they can move you damit!