December 31st, 2009
I knew it would happen eventually. I finally found the NA who sucks at her job and annoys the hell outta me. The staff here is, overall, pretty amazing and so nice, patient, understanding. But for the past few days I have dealt with the exception. Yesterday she almost pulled my right arm out of its socket when helping me up from the toilet (she’s 62 and been doing this forever, she should know better). She wanted to give me a shower yesterday, and although I don’t want to refuse a shower in this place, my day IS Thursday, and having one yesterday would mean I’d go 8 days before my next one. Plus, my mom and Andrea were coming, and I had a hair appointment. So she whined the whole afternoon about how I’m ruining her day because she had time to give me a shower, but would be busy the next day. My scheduled day. Not my problem, lady. She also doesn’t know how to put on my AFO (she’s 62 and been doing this forever, she should know better). Today, my shower day, she whined that she would have to do it over my breakfast, because she “has no other time, I had time YESTERDAY, but you didn’t WANT one..” Oh, shut up. And she bitched and “oh, lordy”‘d the entire time because it was so much work. “oh, lordy, you’re so big. Oh, lordy, this is hard.” I had home care help me shower/dress daily forever, and NO ONE ever whined that it was so hard because of my size. I told the PT Asst. about that today and she was appalled. “She is supposed to use a transfer belt to help you up, she should know how to put on an AFO, and she should NEVER have made comments about your size. Yeah, Betsy is not one of my favourites.” She has fallen to the bottom of my list, too.
There was a new year’s party in the coliseum this afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00. We rang in the new year at 2:00 with blow horns and live music from a guy and a guitar. He wasn’t very good, but the people here seemed to love him. I’ve been spoiled by my friends, and Rob Szabo he ain’t. We didn’t get any champagne (no surprise) or even juice. I figured out later after not even water was available, that there are many different needs in this place and not everyone is allowed/able to drink and it’s too much for the staff and volunteers to know what’s what. Next time I will know better and bring my own. There was a girl sitting next to me with a big tray on her wheelchair, and a sign that read “please do not give any treats”. Of course I’m reminded of the “please don’t feed the animals” signs at the zoo. So sad.
I saw the old lady I spoke of the other day sitting right up front with her son, so I wheeled up to say hello, just as she left. Her son was still there though, so I knew she’d be back. I figured I’d just sit up there and wait. Then I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the old man who hit on me yesterday. I knew he was coming for me! He wheeled right up beside me, and asked me if I had a boyfriend. Why-oh-why didn’t I just say “yes”? Coach K. would have covered for me. But I said “no”, and uncomfortably tried to avoid the next question. “Can I hold your hand?” As he asked I could smell the linger of cigarettes in his mouth. He must have just been outside for one. Since my right hand was in my brace and my left hand was busy tapping my thigh to the music, I mumbled something along the lines of “no”. He told me he had lived here for a year and really wants a girlfriend, and “you sure look nice, what would be wrong with that?” Oh, shit. I told him I wasn’t looking for that, and by that time Judy (the old lady) had returned so I focused my attention on her and her son, Rob. The old man (I’ll call him Frank, because I’m pretty sure I will see him again. This is a fairly big place, but small. SO SMALL). Frank wheeled away heart broken. I hate rejecting people, but come ON. You’re probably 30 years older than me and reek of cigarettes. Is it horrible of me to say that if I knew for sure he was mentally challenged in some way I would have given him the thrill of holding my hand and let the crush continue, but he seems to have his wits about him so I didn’t want it to carry on? Because yes, Donna, it is SO MUCH BETTER to lead someone on with a developmental disability. Instead I talked to Judy and found out where Rob’s room is, and she promised he would talk to me once he got used to me and I promised I would visit him.
Oops, I just remembered that the permanent residents in Frank’s unit are aged 18-65. So he can’t be older than 65. But still, too old for me, and smelly.
I hate my hair.
Tonight at dinner I found out that Tom is 80 and Nick is 42. I honestly thought Nick was younger than me! So I think I am officially the youngest person in this unit. Go, me. Also, if Nick had been downstairs for the party, I would have made him pose as my boyfriend when Frank came around. But I think Nick is too cool to hang out in the coliseum with that gang. Every time I’ve been by his room the door is closed. Once I heard music blaring. I bet he’s a brooding loner, into heavy metal and technology. He’s a good looking fella, I bet he would have been a lady killer if he wasn’t confined to a wheelchair with severe cerebral palsy. I am determined to get to know him, however, and figure out what makes him tick. We are the closest in age in this place, I have made him laugh more than once, and there is potential for a good friendship there.
Well, I hope to be asleep at the stroke of midnight when the rest of you are ringing in the new decade. Have a good one, I’ll talk to you in Oh-Ten!