Thursday, February 26, 2015

Notes from the Home - February 26, 2015

     I'm no stranger to bad decisions,  but I normally wait until I've had a cup of coffee or two before I go forth and screw up. Saturday, I got right at it, and the moment I was dressed I did something foolish. My mistake? I took a Lexapro.
     Six weeks ago, when I saw Dr. Verson and told him I felt depressed, he gave me a prescription for Lexapro. I followed the directions on the bottle for two days and swore off the stuff. Did the Lexapro help my mood? Who knows. It did, however, make my spasticity worse. I went from being merely stiff and clumsy to being even stiffer and clumsier. I did take another one a few days later, with the same unhappy result. After that, the Lexapro remained untouched until Saturday.
     Why, you wonder, would I down yet another Lexapro? Well, at least in my case, the stuff is an amazingly effective, fast-acting laxative. A crappy reason, I know - a bowl of shredded wheat or raisin bran would have done the trick, though not so quickly. Some rapid rationalization was needed. Let's see: I have an appointment with Dr. Verson, Friday. Maybe I should give the drug one more shot. What the heck? Maybe the problems I experienced while taking Lexapro those few days were unrelated to it. Maybe there was something else going on. Whatever it was, it seemed to have lost its grip, and maybe Lexapro would give me a lift on what promised to be a gray, wet weekend. Maybe I would have a more pleasant, more productive day if I just took one of the little pills.
     "How will you know if you don't take one?" I asked myself. "I guess you're right," I replied. Oops, now the secret is out: I'm crazy. I answer my own questions when I talk to myself. But there was no time to ponder my sanity; I was going to take a Lexapro, and I was going to take it now. Which I did.
     A half hour later, my bowels commended me for bravely swallowing the pill. A few minutes after that, my legs started chanting, "Tommy is a stupid, dummy head," and they kept it up for several days. Monday evening, they gave out as I was trying to get off the toilet and into the wheelchair. I wasn't hurt, but I was embarrassed.
     They have functioned adequately since then, although not without a struggle. Lexapro may or may not have something to do with that, but the main culprit is probably the weather. Lots or rain, very little sunshine and cool temperatures have combined to make this a most uncomfortable week.

     The weather has kept me indoors this week, but it isn't the only reason I've been housebound. The drive wheels on my wheelchair are going to pot faster than I am. The tread on the left tire is shot, and the tread on the right tire is trying hard to keep pace. I called Convalescent Care Monday and was told Nick was on the phone and would call back as soon as he got off. I hurled imprecations at Nick and the folks at Convalescent Care all day Tuesday, Wednesday and until 12:45 Thursday afternoon. The last time I asked Nick a question about the wheelchair, he said, "Run it into the ground." I assumed his lack of response this time was his way of reiterating his previous response.
     As some choice words were going through my mind a few minutes ago, there was a knock at the door. It was a fellow from Convalescent Care. "Nick sent me to look at your chair," he said. He took a picture of the bad tire and got the chair's serial number.
     "I'll give this stuff to Nick and he'll phone it in," the guy said. Among other things, they're going to check to see if I'm due for a new chair. I believe I am; the chair is six-years old. Apparently, getting new wheels will make it more difficult to get a new chair when other things start going wrong. All this is nice to know, and I feel much better. But I still think Nick should have called back on Monday. So there. 

      Janet, who hails from England, was outside with a cigarette one morning as I made my rounds. "How are you?" I asked. She threw her arms up and said, "I'm ecstatic. Customs has finally released my furniture."
     So much for my assumption Janet had come to America as the young bride of a GI. That's how most of the women with foreign accents at Covenant Woods got here. Janet has been here since December. "I had to buy a few things, and my daughter let me borrow some furniture." It was too cold to stand and talk, but now I'm assuming it is Janet's daughter who came to America as the bride of serviceman. Perhaps as the weather warms, we'll have longer conversations and I'll find out just what happened.

     Al seems to be concerned about my love life, specifically, the nonexistence of my love life. Tuesday, Annie, who works in the activities department, came by as Al and I were talking in the hallway. The three of us chatted for a few minutes, then Annie left to do something. As Annie walked away, Al said, "You ought to go after that lady. Get going, catch up with her and start hugging her. It will make you feel good."
     Wednesday, as I was coming back from getting my mail, Al was headed up the hall to get his. He told me he had had to urinate four times during the night, that a woman from hospice had been to see him that morning, and as soon as he got the mail he was going out on his porch, smoke a cigar, have a glass of wine, and get his pipe out and have a toke. Before he went on his way, Al asked if I'd seen Amy, one of the servers.
     "Not in the last day or two," I told him.
     "Well, if you see her, grab her, set her on your lap and take where she wants to go."
     Al does seem to be feeling better these days. Whether it's because he is getting help from hospice or because it looks like he's going to get some money from a real estate group in Savannah that he has been involved with for twenty-some years, is hard to say. Then again, it might be the result of more wine and marijuana. Twice in the last week, Al has spilled wine on his carpet.


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