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Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Where should I begin? Maybe at the point where I fought my own worst impulses and raging insanity and dropped the knife before I stabbed the newest toxic aide in Dementia-ville? Or shall I work back from locking my bedroom door at night because I am petrified to sleep with her in my house?

~~ Let’s instead start where we left off last week, during the first days of the aide fixated on yelling “MRS!” As the weekend arrived, she ratcheted down the “MRS!” and amped up the belligerence. My spouse noticed she woke the patient up at 8:00 am wherein all the other aides let her wake naturally about 9:30 am. When he remarked on that, “MRS!” aide screamed, “No! I wake her at 8 because the lady tell me to do so!” She blames it on the prior aide and calls on her cell. Said aide confirms the later wake-up and gets an earful.
~~ She was leaving the patient in bed for extended periods during the day, despite the visiting nurse advising her explicitly how to prevent bedsores. The nurse calls my husband, he talks to “MRS!” aide, and she goes crazy. “No! The paper says I leave her in bed. She’s a bed patient!” What paper? She doesn’t say, no matter how you try to pin her down. She screams about “lunch” and “wiping the butt” but never listens as my husband tries to steer her back to the matter of getting the patient out of bed. The nurse is called; she confirms she told “MRS!” aide to get the patient out of bed. She also confides that she has dire misgivings about this person’s lack of comprehension.

~~ As “MRS!” aide screams about lunches, the lady, butt wipes, and the mystery paper, I am shaking. My spouse calls the agency; the case worker confirms she knows “MRS!” aide is quite argumentative. “But there’s a shortage of qualified workers,” she explains. “We’ll get her out soon.” “MRS!” aide rants and raves, I shake, my dogs cower, and my husband fumes.

~~ “MRS!” aide does the laundry for the patient without any seeming issues of machine or anger management. The next day she calls out to me* and I reluctantly answer. “I want to do my wash,” she says. I shrug and say OK, but she won’t let me walk away. “You show me the machine.” My jaw and teeth are clenched as I wait for her to load in her clothes. She then turns to me and says, “Soap.” [Yes, I was tempted to say, “No soap…”]

“It’s in the same place as when you did [the patient’s] wash,” I manage to spit out. She stands there and SHE. DOES. NOTHING. Finally, I open the closet door and remove the detergent, holding it out to her. SHE. DOES. NOTHING. So I freakin’ fill up the machine’s dispenser and I walk away to give my dogs lunch.

*I have a bigger-than-average two-story home and she just stands in one spot and yells “MRS!” as if I am hovering nearby awaiting her bellow. I do have excellent hearing, but that is completely beside the point.

~~ As I am cutting up the carrots for the dog lunch, “MRS!” aide yells at me that I wasn’t nice about the laundry. “The lady says you’re nice but you don’t even want to help me!” Grrrrrrrrr. “What lady?” “Rita. She told me.”

There I stand, knife in hand, blood pounding in my cranium. “I don’t know who Rita is and frankly, I don’t care. You are stressing me out and I need you to go do your job.” “MRS!” aide slammed the door so hard the plates and glasses rattled in the cupboards.

~~ That night, my husband asks her a question about the patient’s day and she tells him that the eggs in the refrigerator will expire in two days. Whaaaaaaaat? Long story short, he’s enraged and “MRS!” aide is bellicose. She won’t answer his questions, she screams about papers and ladies, and I am hiding in my bed with three dogs. (I locked the bedroom door once he was safe inside.)

~~ There’s a lot more, but I just can’t.

~~ Overheard: “I knew about that before, but I forgot about it until yesterday when I remembered.”       

~~ Readers know that I live with a painful stress-induced ailment. The pain on many days is manageable, but it flares on other days to intolerable. Such was the case when I had to bail out of a social engagement I’d planned with multiple friends. Two immediately reached out, privately, to inquire about my wellbeing and see what they could do to help. The others didn’t (in fairness, one of them asked days later). I know people are busy with their own lives and stresses, but these days, a cyber “Sorry to hear. Anything I can do?” takes far less than a minute. I know, because I have done it for people I care about. If you’re reading this and you have a loved one who’s out-of-sorts or out-of-his/her-mind, take a moment and say, “Hi! I was just seeing how you’re doing today.”

~~ Do you rest easier knowing our troops may now use deadly force at the border against refugees?
Dasvidaniya. Have a great weekend.



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