I feel like a grown up toddler. A groddler if you will. A groddler in dire need of a time out. For a week. In Paris……with wine but no email or phone. The only way people can reach me is carrier pigeon. That’s my idea of the time out needed.
Things are changing fast. We are going up against the very basis of a very broken system in which our elderly are cared for. I got chastised by the social worker the other day that I wasn’t around enough. That’s cute. In addition to this…I have 18 other things to address today. Oh while you’re lambasting me on my social etiquette of dealing with dementia…have you done your job yet? No? Dad isn’t placed and he’s still restrained to a bed because you’re blaming anybody and anything else; because you want another facility to do the job for you. Or my mother. Or me. You may as well lay a human being on my dining room table and tell me to perform open heart surgery. I have not a clue as to how to navigate this. But sure, tell me of my shortcomings. I’ve NEVER heard those before.
But that’s my groddler talking. I’m mad.
I’m mad at the hospital. I’m mad at the healthcare system. I’m mad that my father worked like a dog his entire life and this is what it boils down to; which facility will take him only because it’s lucrative for them. I’m mad that our culture denies the elderly basic decency. I’m mad that I can’t talk to my father anymore on anything other than a 50 word basis. I’m mad that nobody is equipped to deal with the very harsh reality that sometimes, Alzheimer’s patients get violent. They’re not doing it on purpose, but the family is left with the aftermath of these events like we personally cultivated a psychopath; as if we planted the seed and have been waiting in the wings with a watering can and fertilizer waiting for this particular whackoblossom to bloom. You can buy those psychogardens on QVC on easy pay right? Of course! They grow well right next to rose bushes and honeysuckle vines…that way they have something to perfume the stink of all this BULL CRAP that they are handing these vulnerable families who are terrified for the safety and well being of their loved ones. That somehow, this very unpredictable facet of Alzheimer’s becomes a character flaw on the part of said patient and/or family.
I don’t know the rules to this game. I don’t know why he’s doing this. The man spanked me once in my life. Some would argue that I probably should have had more than a few spankings, but there is the reality. He spanked me once and it was the equivalent of being whacked by a feather. That was the blunt force behind that disciplinary action (TEENY THWUMP…let that be a lesson to you). This is not a violent man. He’s trapped in his own mind and sadly has little say in the working of said mind any longer. But because it’s a smaller portion of patients who do actually have this awful consequence, there is little in place to help them or their families.
They don’t offer classes on how to steamroll headlong into the system so I throw baby tantrums. It’s never without purpose. I don’t throw myself on the floor and wail. But I do this. If anyone in power is reading this…anyone in healthcare or government or care facilities that are supposed to care for patients…shame on you. I hope you cry when you read this.