Friday, March 13, 2015

Up the Long Ladder & Down the Short Rope

     It definitely was a long weekend. I received my first increased dose of Lexapro on Saturday morning. The dizzy spells returned, which is always nice. They eased off after ten minutes or so, but it was still irritating. I wound up laying around all day with a new sitter. Her name was Patricia. She was...unpleasant.
     Patricia, like Deborah, had been hired at Oakhaven after the Department of Health and Environmental Control closed down the nursing home at which they were previously employed. Word is the facility had been closed down due to the mishandling of residents' finances. I had suspicions there was more to it. Five residents from the closed facility came to live at Oakhaven. All five were particularly aggressive towards both staff and residents. One engaged in several physical altercations which landed her in a mental institution for short spells each time. Their behavior hinted at suffered abuse. A number of residents with whom I was aware had suffered abuse from their previous caregivers acted in a similar fashion. So was Patricia abusive? Yes, I would say so.
     She had been what could be politely described as obnoxious all day long. Annoying enough to make her unlikable, but not so bad it could no be considered a personality clash. I was not in the mood for talk anyway, so th day was filled with quiet toleration on my part. Until the evening, that is. Patricia left me alone in order to eat. She was gone for about fifteen minutes. Not particularly long, but against the rules when one is a sitter. I was just barely allowed to close the bathroom door at the time. So when Patricia returned, I needled her about it.
     “You know, you're not supposed to leave me alone,' as told her as she walked through the door.
     “It don't matter,” she began. “You ain't going to do what we're here for no way.”
      “And what's that?”
     “Kill yourself. You ain't going to do it. If you were--” Patricia grabbed the nurse call button by its long cord attached to the wall “--you'd'a wrapped this thing around your throat already. Or smothered yourself with a pillow.”
     I was taken aback. The previous day, my doctor threatened to dope me up so much I would not be able to even think about suicide. Now here is a CNA who thinks it is all a joke because I had not killed myself yet. As bonus, she offered advice on how best to go about, albeit stupid advice.
      “So you think this is a waste of time, huh?” I asked.
     “You ought to be glad anybody will sit with you. Ain't nobody want to do this. Just sitting here. It's boring.”
    “Regardless, you aren't supposed to leave.”
     “Well, how was I supposed to eat?” she asked.
      “Everyone else eats in here.”
     She snorted through her nose loudly. “You can forget that. I'm'll take my break. You'll just be dead as a doornail.”
     I did not say anything else to her the rest of the night. When her shift ended, I informed the night nurse of what had happened. She, in turn, told the unit supervisor. They were both shocked, and shared the worry if Patricia will say something like that to me, what is she saying to dementia residents who cannot tell anyone what she has done? Suspicions residents at Patricia's previous place of employment were abused felt more confirmed. I was not expecting to see Patricia again.
     But it was the weekend. The wheels turned too slow for change, and I wound up with patricia again on Sunday. She acted as though nothing was amiss from the previous night, so I laid a little reality on her. I told her she hd been reported to the night nurse and her supervisor. Furthermore, I was seeing Paulette first thing Monday morning to switch doctors. I was going to take the opportunity to report her. Paulette would nform brock of the incident. I thought it best for patricia to not speak to me, and I will not speak to her.
     “Okay,” was her response. She was simmering on the inside. She was furious at me, but had to know she had screw herself over with her careless attitude. Nary a word was uttered between us the rest of the day.
     I did report Patricia to paulette the next morning when I went in to switch doctors. Paulette wrote everything down, then went into brock's office with her notes. Patricia never worked again. I assumed she was fired over the incident with me. But five months later, I would learn Brock never heard of the incident, and Paulette would deny I ever reported it. I am not sure why either of them wound deny such things. There was a CNA shortage, so perhaps they hoped to retain her anyway. They were about to smack me around some more, so I guess it could have simply been no big deal. Whatever the case--and whatever actually happened to Patricia—was about to become a quaint concern compared to what was about to happen.  

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