Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tap Dancing on a Trapdoor

     I am under no illusions the altercations with Paulette I have recounted do not make me out to be a complete jackass. The story is being presented as accurately as possible, warts and wall, for whomever reading to make up their own minds. Just to assist you in the task, Paulette presented me with a large print Bible the Monday after our meeting. I had gotten a large print Bible a few months after my retina permanently detached in 20o4. It as one of many personal possessions Denise had refused either to return to me or replace. So the Bible was a peace offering in response to lack of progress in contacting Denise in this abandonment.
       The times do not go quite as tumultuously throughout the rest of April and into May with one odd exception which still stands as a peculiar mystery. In the middle of May, my first shift CNA, Shameeka, told me I needed to start asking for more help every so often. Staff knew I was independent, but I should ask them to do things for me. When I pressed her why, she answered it is because they were watching me. I knew about Brock questioning Ticia over the humorous comic I posted on her wall weeks prior. I had laughed it off as silly. Were they now trying to decide if I was physically too healthy to be a resident?
     It certainly sounded plausible. While Oakhaven had to step gingerly in dealing with me for a reasonable time period after my DHEC interview so as to avoid any appearance of reprisal, the powers that be were eager to get rd of me. They could get away with booting me out for a legitimate reason, such as no longer needed skilled nursing care. The original rationale for coming to Oakhaven period was the feeding tube, not any physical issues in terms of taking care of myself. While I assumed as long as the feeding tube was still in, independence issues would not disqualify me from living in a skilled nursing facility. I needed answers regardless. I went looking for them.
       I ran into Paulette in the hallways and asked to speak with her. She agreed, and we went into her office. Without naming names, I told her I had be warned I was acting too independently, and needed to scale it back some or risk being discharged. I asked Paulette if this was true. Her reaction was odd. First, she said she did not know anything about it, then picked up the phone as though she was going to ask someone higher up. But she stopped, hung the receiver up, and told me I could not be placed in another facility because of my feeding tube. She assured me nothing was going on. Perhaps my CNA just wanted to spend more time with me since she did little more than check up on me when other far more seriously disabled residents did not have her hopping. Paulette wanted to know who the CNA who warned me I was being watched was. I declined. (both Paulette and Shameela have long since departed Oakhaven, so the revelation now is no big deal.) I made some remark about the facility surely wanted residents to maintain as much independence as possible—Paulette readily agreed—and I left.
       Things did not add up. Discharges and placements in other facilities were exclusively Paulette's job. She would not have to call a supervisor to find out if I was under risk of discharge. She would be the first to know, and certainly know before my CNA. It suddenly dawned on her the feeding tube was a barrier to my leaving Oakhaven. Why did this suddenly occur to her? Maybe because she had just looked into the matter/? What about asking who told me this rumor? There was always a paranoia from management staff was telling me things I should not know. The paranoia would blow up horribly in the final months I lived at Oakhaven, but I was already aware staff were being asked about our conversations already. I had to be careful. Maybe this was nothing, but with Paulette's history of following Brock's orders instead of my best interests, then lying about it, I could not trust her.
       Shameeka was genuinely concerned Brock & company would screw me over, so I told her I had discussed the issue with Paulette. I told her as long as the feeding tube was in, they could not kick me out. I would have to either stop paying the facility be deemed a physical threat to other residents in order to override. I was safe in either regard—or so I thought. You will be surprised how creative Wilson Senior Care/Oakhaven will get trying to eventually pin the latter on me. But that is a story for another time.
       There was still much stress. So much so, my anemia became worse due to a likely bleeding ulcer. I grew deeply weak and lethargic in the couple weeks between discovering my hemoglobin plummet and my diagnosis. In those couple of weeks, events in the following two entries plagued me.

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