“YOU PICKED ORANGE” Chapter 14.5
and her all-girl orchestra
Sorry about that last bit; I've been itching to add it for, oh, 14 chapters now. So, there it is. Done.
Now, in re-reading this tome, I've discovered that I have failed to adequately convey my bravery. My stoicism. Certitude. That I had a cricket bat shoved up my English Channel.
Oh, I so do wish that had really been the case! Every second of every day of every week of every month of every every, I was a screaming, panicky, shrieking mess.
I suppose that's selling myself short, as the threat to Dr. A. did happen. The incident in the lonely family room with the first Lady With a Clipboard did happen. The gruesome incident on night two with his sister, Maligning Martha did happen (but in that one people, many people saw me become a blibbering idiot. I was nearly at the end of my rope with that bitch, but it was public and I either appalled the viewers, or added a little color to their day).
In the following chapters I will tell you when I am either making it up (wishing I could do something) and I will tell you when it really happened. I will tell you when I went nose to nose to people who didn't know that I KNEW what our rights are, and how quickly they folded when threatened with those agencies I mentioned earlier: elder (at 54?) abuse, Council on Nursing Homes, and, the Big One, Joint Commission Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH).
So yeah, I was tough, in public, as much as I could be, because I couldn't afford to fall apart where they could see me; that's called a “chink in the armor” and these vicious paltroons pounce on any sign of weakness. But when you lock yourself in a darkened bathroom at a hospital, or are sitting on your own couch, crying and pleading to god, and pinching yourself time and time ad infinitum to WAKE UP FROM THIS GOD DAMNED NIGHTMARE!!!! and that doesn't wake you up and the god damned nightmare is extremely real: very few people saw that.
I was a mess. Hardly anyone saw it. I had just that much strength to get through those days, but only just that much. In the car, in the parking garage, on the drive home, AT home: dribbling and shouting and scaring the bejesus out of Echo, but she would come to me when I stopped being an insane bug bomb, sit on my lap and put her face on mine and tell me, again, “It's gonna be okay, Mom.”
She's some cat, that cat.
(But wait 'til we get to the chapter when he was to be moved FROM the incredibly helpful and skilled folk on Home Hospital fourth floor that the nurses on Step-Down accidentally clued me in on, to Heritage Hellcare, aka The 6th Circle of Hell: I was a crazed, hollering, terrifying, stalking, insane bee-filled maniac ---- publicly. Very. I made small children run away and grown ups shrink under tables.
Oh, and they pulled this stunt on us at 5 p.m. On a Friday.
Non-profit hospitals, my ass.