Thursday, June 24, 2010

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've posted. Sometimes life throws a lot out there -- machine gun style at times -- and it takes a while to deal with it, solve it, process it and write about it. That's how I am, anyway. Things happen, I create a plan (or plans) to handle it, execute said plan(s), go into a hole (because I get tired of creating and executing plans), eventually come out of the hole (because who can stay in a hole forever?) and finally write about it. These past few months have kind of been like that.

When we last left off, I was learning the difference between flushable and disposable wipes. Robert was paying the price of my lesson by wading through toilet water spewing all over his floor.

Since that time, a lot has happened. Things that are a lot worse than wading through toilet water (hard to imagine, I know). Let's review:

1. Robert's companion of 20+ years called him to say she didn't love him anymore. She said this over the telephone. If she knew how to text, she probably would have done that. For a year and a half my Dad and I had tried our best for them to still see one another even though they lived in different cities but Judy was done with it. Twenty years together, living as husband and wife, and she breaks up with him over the phone. Robert said "I'm kind of sad about it." Yeah, I bet you are, little bro, I bet you are.

2. The Home was notified of this dramatic life change and since Robert doesn't always process information the same way as other people (45 years of seizures and a couple of brain surgeries will do that to ya), I was worried he may act out.

3. Two days later, Robert acted out. He pushed his walker into a resident because the person wouldn't move and, as Robert said, "I had to go to the bathroom. I said I was sorry."

4. Less than a week later, The Home decides Robert is no longer welcome to live there. He needs to find another place to live. They "suddenly" realize he has "Mild Mental Retardation" -- an archaic label stuck in his chart which originally was no big deal but which now is a huge deal.

5. Licensing agencies and Ombudsman are contacted, letters are written and animated phone conversations are had but I decide the purpose of all this is just to buy Robert some time so I can find other living arrangements for him. I don't want him living at a place where he isn't wanted no matter how many bingo games he wins (Robert loves to play bingo).

6. Our Dad dies. Our Dad was sick, recovered from being sick, was sick again and then died. The dying actually came really quickly and surprised us. We got through the service and the burial and said our goodbyes but I think I'm still a little stunned. Robert and Dad were close but Robert doesn't express a lot of emotion (because of the brain surgeries? medication? maybe he's stunned. I don't know.) but I am concerned about him, how he will react. Again, I notify The Home. I don't have much faith in them at this point (it did not help that I received their "revised" eviction notice the day I planned my father's funeral). We have a meeting and I ask for their patience and sympathy. I want Robert out of there immediately but need to find him the right place. I assure The Home I will find Robert another place to live but need the time to do so. They agree to extend the deadline but do so with a slew of disclaimers.

Now I am working with an agency to find Robert a better home. A place that will not fault him for being slow. A place that will not be afraid of a person having seizures. A place where Robert can make friends with people his age and play games and be loved.

Robert lost two important people in his life in a very short amount of time. Robert needs love and he needs patience and he needs an advocate. There's no time for me to crawl into a hole but I will make time to write. And I will find Robert a much better place to live.

1 comment:

Rich said...

You forgot #7. Trish, Rob and Rich still around, and as tight as ever!