Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where Things Are…

Shall I catch you up on the current family drama? I shall—simply because I’ve invested you all into it already, so why not go the whole humiliating and exhausting hog?

My mother is crazy. That’s about the summary of this whole missive about my parents. She acts like my father never existed, and has been getting increasingly bitter and angry; and on top of that, she decided *not* to take the medication prescribed by the doctor for her heart… and because of her subsequent heart-failure, her legs swelled up into twin Michelin-man sausages. It was gross. I told her to call the doctor to tell him about this symptom, which naturally she did not.

My husband took her in for an appointment for her gastric issues on Thursday, and when they listened to her heart, it sounded like a jackhammer, and they naturally freaked out. They sent her to emergency, where she was kept.

You see, two years ago, my mother’s cardiologist did an ultrasound when they discovered her accelerated heart-rate. He told her that such a fast heart rate could damage the heart, and so he prescribed a medication to regulate it. As expected, my mother thought she was above such trivial things, and did not take her medication, and now her heart is so damaged, that the doctor told me Saturday that her heart is now 50% less efficient that it was in 2008. What a shocker…

Meanwhile, while my mother was being run through tests, etc, my developmentally disabled brother was alone locked in the house. “Uh, honey… they want to keep her overnight, she could stroke any minute if they don’t bring down her heart rate…”

What does one do? I can’t leave him alone overnight, or any time, for that matter.

State of Oregon, Multnomah County to the rescue! (Extensive phone calls, whining, tears and panic notwithstanding) I managed to find a way to change my brother’s status enough so that he would be accepted under the crisis program, rather than just being in limbo in the intake process. He was accepted despite his lack of paperwork at this point (still waiting to get birth-certificate, certificates of guardianship, school records etc… since Mom didn’t bother to bring them from New Hampshire).

I managed to get him placed!!!!!! OMG. And the BEST part is, he’s placed in a really amazing adult foster care situation. He lives with only three other DD adults, and the home-owner/care giver is AMAZING. A man named Ephrem. When we went to get John, it was nearly 5 PM and he was sleeping. I shook his shoulder and he slapped my hand away… so I reached for the blanket and yanked the whole thing off. I rummaged the house to find some reasonably clean clothes (a challenge to say the least—I will spare you details), and made him change into them.

His fingernails were a half an inch long, his beard like the Brawny Lumberjack guy… he smelled OMG, the poor kid. I told him in sign that he was going with me to the car, and we drove him to the foster home, where he was immediately welcome. Saturday, I went to Deseret and got $120 worth of clothes for him (trust me, at Deseret, $120 will buy a whole wardrobe). I bought him shoes, socks, underwear, shirts, pants, shorts, polos… I figured he had nothing to his name, and he deserved to have some dignity.

We unpacked his new clothes and hung them in his little closet and put them in his dresser. His hair was trimmed, his face clean-shaven... his fingernails clean and short. He was in fresh clothes, and looked relaxed. Just seeing that brought me to tears. At least he’s okay now, and in good hands.

I also inherited my mother’s evil-infection-on-paws, Jack. Her dog is from the original stock of Jack Russell Terriers she used to breed, which means he’s an aggressive jerk. He also is losing teeth out of a rotten mouth, is infected in nine different places, only 11 pounds from malnutrition, and meaner than a black mamba. Of course, that meanness has melted away a smidge now that he’s not around Cruella. He is pretty vulnerable next to my healthy (somewhat… Flower still has some symptoms lingering from her very long illness) dogs, and he’s quiet around them. He tried to bully Simon once, and learned that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea seeing that my little fuzzy roastlet outweighs him by seven pounds and his as fit as a fiddle. Jack is trying to socialize himself to our ‘pack’ and lies wedged up against me in a bony, ugly pile but growls out of fear if I pet him. I guess we’re getting another medical liability with a tail… urgh. At least my Mom is footing these vet bills. Wait ‘til she sees the $700-$900 estimate for his dental procedure. ::smirk::

Oh, more from New Hampshire… My husband is on his way there to go and assist in what has become a cleanup of the century. My mother left pretty much everything behind, and she left it in the worst condition you can imagine. The house looks like something from those really bleak cases on Hoarders, the TV show. What happened to our brass-rubbing plaques… the tapestries, the antiques; it’s almost painful to think of it all. My mother used to be so obsessed with appearances… a hirer and firer of maids… but that’s faded over the years, and she slowly slipped into an increasingly uncaring mode. Looking at the pictures from real-estate lady, my mother was living like the Beales of Grey Gardens. It’s hideous. All that’s missing are the raccoons (maybe not… we’ll see what the clean-up-team digs up... you never know!).

I apologized to my husband profusely for what he is about to experience. My mother lies languishing at the Adventist hospital in Portland, being verbally abusive and combative to the nurses, refusing medication and being an all-around pain in the ass while we, sisters, husbands, scurry to clean up the trail of devastation and destruction she’s left behind. The dog, my brother, are like prisoners, freed from her misery; enjoying more care and dignity and attention than they’ve received in forever… And mom… mom, mom, mom… killing herself with neglect… what to do? What to do?

Christine is right. Dan is a freakin' saint.
This is my favourite picture of him, when we first moved into our house
and he was finally free to get his own dog. That is baby Flower there,
his very first puppy. ;) I love this picture because it shows what
a sweet soul he has.


Christine H. said...

What to do? First, nominate your husband for sainthood! After that I don't know.

Hungarican Chick said...

Well Christine, that's a given. He already in the running for canonization when he stood by me like this bastion through the highs and hells of their arrival, my father's death and everything else.

I told him not to do this, but he insisted since he's not working and I have no available vaca time or anything left... he's doing it because he is an angel. I'm adding a picture of him (my favourite one) to honour his saintliness.


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