Friday, June 5, 2015

Undue Vigilance II

       I went back to my room angry enough at what had just occurred directly to me by Victoria and Edna. I was still unaware of what corporate was doing simultaneous. It only took a few minutes to catch a hint.   Marlie made her usual morning rounds. One could count on Marlie for the juiciest gossip. She did not disappoint this time around. She was the first to tell me Sonya had spent the previous day questioning Brock, Paulette, and Kendra over allegations against them stated in my letter. Details are fuzzy because of subsequent denials, but both marlie and the ombudsman's office confirm Brock and Kendra denied whichever allegations they could and blamed the rest on Paulette. Paulette was spending the current day suspended or working from home, whichever way you would like to spin t.
       It was during this conversation Marlie dropped the Humpty Dumpty bomb on me. As I said previously, I posted a joke stolen from a Far Side comic—Why did all the king's horses get the first crack at putting Humpty Dumpty back together again?--on Twittr/Facebook. Marlie told me corporate had interpreted the joke as a coded threat against Brock. Marlie did not tell me Sonya had insisted threatening behavior be placed in my care plan or, when she explained the post was indicative of my sense of humor, Sonya snapped the legal team had interpreted it as a threat. I thought—and still think—Sonya lied about the legal interpretation. No lawyer worth his legal briefs would have been so sloppy. Then again, the corporate attorneys were apparently unaware the concept of federal supremacy means the local rules of an employee handbook must be compliant with federal law, so what did those dumb dumbs know? I laughed the news off because of its silliness. In hindsight, I should have seen the sinister intentions of corporate.
       The situation blew up in short order, and was exasperated by a big accident on my part. After Marlie went off to do her thing, I took a shower. I was back in my room, dressed, and combing my wet hair at the sink when Victoria and Keisha, the Unit supervisor, came in wanting to talk to me. Keisha went over to Rambo. She whispered something to him, and then she wheeled him out the room. I assumed taking my roommate out was a privacy concern, so I did not think much of it. Things got far more peculiar when CNA began coming in and out Gathering up Rambo's belongings as Victoria talked to me.
      “I've talked to corporate. They've decided to waive the chaperon requirement. I called Courtney's mother, and she agrees to it.”
        I nodded slightly. My mind was more on why Rambo's half of the room was being cleared out. Regardless, corporate was acting as though it was offering me a compromise when in reality, the ombudsman, Michelle, had already informed corporate I was correct a chaperon violated federal law. A point which the aforementioned corporate legal team was seemingly unaware. If you are keeping count, this is the second time corporate had attempted to pass off a covering up wrong doing as a gracious favor to me instead.
       “Corporate has also decided to put you one on one,” Victoria said.
One on one translated to a 24/7 sitter again. The move was clearly a reprisal. I had forced them to forgo a chaperone for Courtney's visits, so they flexed their muscle and put a chaperone on me 24/7 whether Courtney was there or not. According to Victoria, it was Facebook posts convincing corporate to put me one on one. Rambo was being moved for his own protection, although I cannot be fully convinced it was because Rambo had pressure sores he did not like washing, so he would refuse showers for days on end. He would often smell so badly, the odor would drift into the hallway. With the inevitability of the ombudsman meeting me at any time, there was no way they wanted Michelle t smell his filth. They used to place air fresheners in his room before DHEC inspections in order to hide it. They probably still do. Making me look emotionally unstable and unhinged was a convenient bonus.
       I was incensed about corporate spying on my Facebook. “You have residents here who cannot breathe on their own. Others have pressure sores the size of a silver dollar. And you're spending time scouring my Facebook? No wonder Oakhaven has a two star rating. How about that DHEC fine. What was it? Nearly $160 grand? That will put a dent in the old bank account.”
       “I can see you've been researching online,' Victoria shakily said. She was not prepared for our conversation to take such a turn.
      Up until that morning, Victoria and I had literally not exchanged more than ten words to each other in the nearly year and a half I had been a resident. We had two extremely unpleasant conversations already this morning, and I was not enthusiastic about continuing with her. I requested to speak to someone from corporate. Victoria was eager to oblige. We were mutually eager to put as much space between us as possible.
      It is difficult to imagine anything happening between Victoria departing my room and a corporate representative coming to talk to me, but if you are familiar with my luck, you know full well something occurred. My hair was still wet and unkempt, so I went back to combing it. I was obviously angry at the time, so I was working out the knots a little too vigorously. One of the comb's teeth pierced my scalp. I have thick hair which makes combing an often strenuous activity. I have punctured my scalp more than a few times. Unfortunately, I was still anemic at the time as a lingering result of my bleeding ulcer from the summer. My blood was thin, and it gushed from the tiniest of wounds like this one. It took a brief moment to tear off one of those brown paper towels to cover the bleeding. Long enough for blood to start dripping down my forehead. I am holding pressure on this tiny pin prick geyser of blood when Victoria returns. Her seeing me bloody under the circumstances was the equivalent of being found in bed with the proverbial dead woman or live man during a political campaign.
       Victoria asked Keisha and Jennifer, another nurse, to come in with her before taking over holding pressure on the wound. I explained what happened, as I could tell the suspicion I had injured myself on purpose were already percolating. Keisha took the comb away with her. I did not think much of it until later when corporate changed the narrative from a minor accidental to beating myself in the head with a brush because I was a raving lunatic who needed to be involuntarily committed to a mental institution. The comb was no where to be found. There was no hairbrush, either, but Michelle never bought corporate's version of the story, anyway. After the bleeding stopped, neither Victoria nor Jennifer could even see the wound. It was a definitely a pin prick made to look wore by thin blood. But I definitely did not need this making things worse.

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