Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Off to See the Wizard

No snakes to rescue today, just a lot of waiting for Dr.'s and such. Uncle John was spotted trying to brush his teeth with a razor, so they decided that we needed no further recommendations for some good old psych eval. I made my position clear-I wanted him comfortable and happy-if he needs some good old medicinal marijuana or whatever, FINE. Let him light up and relax.

I am really disappointed in the neurologist, who is only concerned with shaking hands and stumbling. I'd rather he be unable to walk if he could enjoy a good TV program.

I will also take him to be evaluated, I don't want him "swept away". When the only thing left is just to be there for someone, that's what you do. I've often thought of becoming a hospice worker, which is really kind of odd. When something beloved dies, I go nuts with grief. Hell, I get misty eyed thinking of dogs who have passed.

My background as troubled teen, mother of troubled teen uniquely qualifies me to transport Uncle John to the nut hatch for evaluation. I'm just really good with crazy people, what can I say. Crazy people are far more interesting and honest than sane ones.

Why, it was only a week ago that I drove up suddenly on the site of a former mental incarceration. Later, and ex was on the burn ward of the same institution and what I remember most was the eyes of a badly burned man and going downstairs to pick up the ex's tranquilizers and taking two right at the counter. "I need them worse than he does right now" I explained.

The man was burned over 90% of his body and was being treated in the tubroom while I was being trained in the fine art of wound debriding. We made eye contact, and I didn't look away, but smiled. The gratitude in his eyes made mine mist over. By keeping eye contact and smiling, I acknowledged the human being trapped inside the wrecked flesh.

I was relieved when I heard he had passed away, because that is what he told me he wanted in that moment. But I was also proud that I could still see the man inside the carnage, and I've made it habit to look for that ever since.

5 comments:

Switchsky said...

all human beings inside our flesh...wrecked or otherwise...

I think I'd like your Uncle John.

Debra Kay said...

Uncle John is way cool, and there are times when he still has that twinkle in his eyes.

Mim said...

Getting old is not for sissies, and watching others get old is almost worse. I don't know if the right word is Proud or Grateful, but you should be one of those with the ability to look into that man's eyes and make contact.
I worked in a nursing home and loved just about every resident, whether they were lovable or not, but it was hard work - physically and emotionally. The people who got treated best were those who had very attendant relatives. You keep pushing for Uncle John - he does sound cool.

Forever Young said...

my parents both died in their fifties,and i was in my early thirties, so i don'thave an awful lot of experience with the very old, they scare me a little, don't know why.death doesn't worry me but getting old and senile and yet having some 'sane' days must be hell.

Debra Kay said...

FY, that is a fear I think we all share. A lot of people shun the elderly because they don't want to face what they will become. It really scares me more than the idea of death.