Saturday, December 19, 2009

A reality show I'd love to escape from ... but only if I can take Dorian with me ... .

We're still far from answers, and the grim reality is beginning to penetrate the recesses of Dorian's mind -- fears I believed she would be spared by her limited mental capacity. Not so. The words we're now dealing with are frightening to us both. I'm facing questions like "am I paralyzed, Mom?" And for the first time in this morning's wake up phone call at around seven, "the toes on my left foot are numb, Mom, and my foot is swollen -- will it be amputated?" The grim reality is beginning to set in, and I'm just not ready.

She has always had an unexpectedly varied vocabulary, and, given the nature of her brain damage, occasional signs of intelligence beyond her apparent intellectual capacity. These little bursts of "normalcy" have always been the source of pleasure for me, and enabled us to talk about abstractions in ways that demand complete honesty from me in order to continue to provide a dependable and logical base upon which she can grow. It has worked so far. We've maintained a close and loving relationship despite the difficulties we've encountered along the way in working in an often unsympathetic and unknowing professional medical/mental system.

I'm blogging now wearing blinders of a kind required in order to keep us out of an adversarial situation with others. I've retained an attorney since there are considerations beyond my capacity to deal. I'm calling in all of the markers possible, and my community of friends and neighbors and co-workers and associates are responding rigorously, and with the kinds of help needed in order for me to wade through all that must be lived out in the short term.

The police report is now ready but not yet released. We have a second follow-up appointment at the hospital on Monday morning. We'll be transported by ambulance, and I'll then know a bit more about her prognosis.

Her Kaiser Permanente coverage has been reinstated and will be re-activated on January 1st. It had been allowed to lapse as of August 1st by those responsible for the daily supervision of those who share life together in her group home; just one of the many glitches we've encountered since the accident. She's being covered as a handicapped person under Medical/Medicare -- and you can guess that I've been more than casually caught up in the Senate debates over the past week. Watching the idiocy played out on CSPAN day after day added to the nightmare that we're currently living. It is almost surreal.

Now I'm off to the nursing home to try to raise Dori's spirits a bit; just enough to get us to Monday morning's appointment at ten o'clock. I'll pick up a tiny Christmas tree along the way. Maybe that will buy us a few hours of joy and peace on earth, the moon, Venus or Mars, and most of all -- Vintage Estates Nursing Home, Richmond, California.

Now I'm off to see the Christmas Tree Wizard!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We're at a point where the unknowns are so threatening, and when fear outweighs all else ... .

I hesitate to put anything into words now since that old childish suspicion that giving voice to these awful thoughts will give them life ... so I'm carrying around fears that -- were I not so unsure of my ground, would easily be tossed off with the first breeze that wafts by. Reality is pretty stark right now, and all the bromides in the world won't make a dent in the gloom that lurks around every corner.

Except for Dorian. If you'll look at the photo in that last entry where she is just starting to crochet an afghan -- and compare that to the work she's completed over the past ten days (her accident occurred on November 27th, the night after the Thanksgiving Holiday -- you'll have some idea of just how productive and engaged she is. She is working on Christmas gifts for the staff of the nursing home. They're absolutely staggered at her generosity and busyness in the face of the pain and anguish she must be feeling when the meds wear off and she finds herself in that strange setting where she knows no one and where English is everybody's second language. The confusion she must be experiencing has to be an additional complication for her. But you'd never know it. She's adjusting in her own way, and a fine way it is.

I visit with her on the way to and from my office, and try to stop in at lunch time. I've given up all attempts at holding to any kind of separation. Now is not the time to work on "independence." To hell with being "best friend." I'm back in my mother's role with a vengeance, and I figure "the World" will just have to back off and adjust!

She did ask yesterday, " I going to be crippled, Mom?" She knows what that means. Her NIAD world is peopled with friends who are seriously physically handicapped. Wheel chairs are a fact of life in her everyday existence. Such thoughts must fill her nights in this strange nursing home with these strangers who "talk weird" but tend to her needs with care.

And at this point, I have no way to reassure her.

I truly don't know... .