Showing posts from December, 2014

Al, Isabelle and Amy

Early Monday afternoon, as I was stuffing the evening's menus into the folders, Sherrie, one of the nurses' assistants, came by and said the EMTs were upstairs with Al. His heart was racing, she said, 122 beats a minute.  Al had asked her to let me know he was going to the hospital. Hoping to see him before he left, I headed to the B building, but I got to the door just as the ambulance left.
     "He was cussing out everyone," Sherrie said. Others who had seen Al earlier that morning said he seemed fine and wasn't cussing out anyone, at least not to an unusual degree.
      Penelope saw Al this morning (Tuesday). He was still in the emergency room. The doctors want him to remain in the hospital and were waiting for an available room. Al is less than delighted with the situation; he wants to come home.
     Penelope said she had spoken to the doctors about prescribing something to help Al deal with his anxiety. I have known Al for almost three years, and sev…

Notes from the Home - December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014 was delightful. Karen's mom, Penny, and step-dad, Mitch, were down from Indiana, and her sister, Colleen, was up from Florida. Tuesday afternoon, Russ fetched his old man and hurried him to their place for a taco dinner. There are many, many very nice, very interesting people at Covenant Woods. Talk to any of them long enough, however, and the subject of the conversation will turn to the state of their health, or to the state of world, both of which, they will tell you, are going to hell in a hand basket. It was nice to just talk about stuff, and hear a few embarrassing tales of Karen's youth. Mitch is a rabbi, and Tuesday was the last day of Hanukkah. After dinner Penny lit the eight candles of the menorah.
     Wednesday, Christmas Eve, we exchanged gifts. But before we did, we enjoyed a dinner of brisket, Swiss chard, asparagus, and cauliflower. I went home with a new seat pad and arm rest for my wheelchair, along with four books:Allegheny City: A Histor…

Someone is Watching

In this wired world some computer somewhere is aware of what I do even as I do it. I know this, but there are times when it is more obvious than others. Last week was one of those times. It started Wednesday, when I called Express Scripts, my pharmacy benefits manager, as it likes to bill itself.
     OK, I guess it started a month ago when Express Scripts sent a letter telling me that Dr. Miller had not responded to their request to send them a new prescription for my blood pressure pills. I called the Columbus Clinic, but after spending what seemed an eternity listening to Columbus Clinic commercials interspersed with assurances that my call was important to the Columbus Clinic and an operator would be with me just as soon as one became available, or once hell froze over, which ever came last, I hung up. I tried again the next day and got the same result.
     A quick check of my pill supply, however, indicated that I was not in imminent danger of running out of Atenolol, the m…

Notes from the Home - December 20, 2014

Last week, Isabelle moved from her two-bedroom apartment in the B building to a room in Personal Care (nee Assisted Living). She had not been looking forward to the move, but now that it is done, she seems to have relaxed.      A month ago, when she returned from her second week-long stay in hospice, Isabelle was told she should move to Personal Care. Arranging the move would take time, and she would need a caregiver with her twenty-four hours a day until she moved. From three thousand miles away, her daughter and son-in-law, who live in Oregon, worked out most of the details of the move.
     The caregiver helped Isabelle with showering and other necessary chores, for which Isabelle is extremely grateful. Mostly, however, Isabelle spends her days on the recliner watching television, and the caregiver spent her days on the loveseat watching Isabelle watch television. Living with a person to whom she was not married or otherwise related to took a toll on Isabelle's nerves. H…