Sunday, November 1, 2015

Breaking the Silence

       It took a week and a half for Chrystal to get back to me regarding my next step in the transition from Oakhaven t...wherever. As noted in the previous entry, leaving me alone to contemplate my situation while being influenced by surrounding events was enough to convince me as I was not getting a fair deal. I was not certain what my next move would be, but I was determined to assert as much control over my fate as possible. Wilson Senior Care/Oakhaven were famous for asserting control even as they lacked the skills to maintain it. Friction was bound to occur. Case in point: the aforementioned next encounter with Chrystal.
       It was Wednesday in late January. Resident rooms were in the process of being repainted all month long. My room was scheduled for painting, so I had to occupy myself out and about for eight hours for the whole process. In late morning, I was set up in the East wing dining hall with my laptop. I was approached by Chrystal and Marlie. It was well known I liked Marlie. She was likely there o not only serve as a witness for Chrystal's benefit, but ease any tensions that might arise. There is a split decision on the success of her inclusion. In fairness, my toughened posturing did not help matters. When Chrystal asked how I was, I replied I was enjoying my reprisal. She looked puzzled. Marlie translated: sarcasm. Chrystal nodded in understanding, and did not miss a beat before getting down to business. It was going to be a long morning.
       Chrystal held several brochures and web page print outs. They were from two assisted living facilities and a nursing home. The latter raised a red flag. The express agreement was my relocation to an assisted living facility only. My intention was, if the feeding tube must stay in, there was no way I was enduring a hellish adjustment period in another nursing home which might b even worse than Oakhaven. Better the evil you know than the devil you do not. The only person I had said this to was r. Lilly. His response was “We'll do whatever yo want.” Maybe he was being genuine, maybe he informed the powers that be and they opted to add a nursing home choice into the running. I do not Chrystal was miffed at my forcefulness. know, but my weight was noticeably dropping. The decline was making people nervous about the necessity of the feeding tube. I was still miffed over the general principle of supposedly ethical medial professionals backing me into a corner over pulling the feeding tube regardless of my weight.
   “No. I expressly said no nursing home. Been there, done that. Got the emotional scars. There is no point in even looking at the brochure,” I said.
       Chrystal was annoyed by my forcefulness. Then again, I had yet to have an encounter in which she did not demonstrate an irritation for taking part. So...no big deal. Yet. She wanted me to view an embedded video on one of the assisted living site's home page. I obliged by turning my laptop towards her so she could type in the address. The web page slowly came up, but the video wooed not stop buffering. Both Chrystal and Marlie remarked on the glacial speed.
       “This laptop is seven years old,” I said.
       “Really? They couldn't have given you a newer one?' Chrystal asked.
       “I asked to buy my own. Brock said no.”
       “Why?” Marlie asked. “i don't see why we couldn't have ordered it right off Amazon and taken it out of your account.”
       “It was Brock's decision. She doesn't need a reason,” I said.
     The pair opted not to comment. Chrystal suggested she go to her car to retrieve her laptop. It was newer, and should have an easier time loading the video. But she soon returned with it and we figured out even a newer, faster computer does not help. The culprit was the slow Wi Fi. Oh, the delicious irony. After claiming the laptop and Wi Fi were excessive measures to increase my quality of life, one of the corporate reps who threw the claim in my face was now being screed over by the inferior laptop and Wi Fi.
       “Is the Wi Fi always this sow?” Chrystal asked.
       “Yep. This is the Wi Fi you keep insisting I grovel for,' I told her.
       “No one is asking you to grovel,” Chrystal said.
     Chrystal herself had brought up the Wi Fi as an expense nursing homes should not cover weeks prior when I was placed under sitters. Her assertion fit right in with the chorus of what a waste of resources I was—and I still had the nerve to assert my rights granted under federal law. I could not let this one go.
       “You're right. This isn't about grovelling. I'll tell you what it is about, though. There are 88 residents living here. Ask all 88 what 42 CFR 383(10) says. Eighty-seven of them will tell you they don't know. One will tell you it is a federal statute granting nursing home residents he right to have any visitors they wish without interference from the facility. The 87 who don't know that can stay. The one who does has to leave. That's what this is all about,” I said.
     Chrystal was silent for a beat. “Would you like us to take your blood pressure?” she asked.
       “You're turning red,” Marlie noted.
       I held back a laugh. It was painful to do, but I managed. I needed to get that off my chest. Someone from corporate/Oakhaven needed to hear what I really thought about the situation. Chrystal and Marle were stunned, though they tried not to show it. The relief of finally getting it out there combined with their reaction was finally. I felt inner pressure deflate. The two must have noticed, because the subject of blood pressure was dropped in favor of walking to Marlie's office to view the video on her computer using the employees' network.
       I did not show one iota of interest in the video, but sat in Marlie's office chair slowly swiveling back and forth for the seven or eight minute video. The highlight had nothing to do with watching the video, but the hilarity of Brock stepping into Marlie's office blissfully unaware of my presence. She stopped dead in her tracks, gasped an “Oh!” and dashed back out without acknowledging Chrystal or Marlie. This time, I did not bother to stifle. It was never clear if corporate told Brock to stay away from me or if it was her choice, but the steps she took in avoiding me were absurdly funny. Chrystal and Marlie could sense the awkwardness in the air, but refrained from comment. They were probably anticipating sarcasm would b the response. It was a good call, if so. My inner voice cried out “Run, Forrest, run!” as Brock rounded the corner and down the hall. Self-discipline, folks. I haz it.
       Chrystal told me we were spending Saturday visiting the two assisted living facilities. I cannot say I was terribly thrilled at the prospect. I doubted there was a huge difference between one facility or another. Wherever I wound up—assuming the feeding tube was removed—it would be the same no matter what. I did not care to hear a phony, rote sales pitch—twice--, either. But at least I was not going to suffer a nursing home tour on top of it all. My lack of enthusiasm was palpable. As I was leaving Marlie's office, Chrystal asked if there was anything that would make my remaining days at Oakhaven more enjoyable.
       “As much as you all complain about what you've already done? No, thanks,” I said as I turned the corner towards the hallway like Brock had moments before.

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