Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Just Have to Write This: Has the World Gone Nuts?

Let me just say, straight up, I am old(er) and the world was once fairly predictable for me. That life-long nuance has changed into something that I just want to kick the crap out of! I am so frazzled I could just spit!

Time. I don't have a lot of it, it is precious, and I expect others to keep that in mind when dealing with me.

So... let me review the last week and why I just went outside (I did warn my one neighbor) and gave out a good loud frigging scream of exasperation.


I haven't been to one, not having health insurance (and being a former cancer patient, can't get it), for 11 years. But I spend more time dealing with doctors than a human should ever have to. I have a 94 year old mom, and that should explain it right there.

Well, mom slipped, caught her foot under the couch about 2 weeks ago, and got a mighty bad bruise and swollen foot from it all. Four days later, at the kidney doc, he looked at it, diagnosed a probable sprain, said to stay off it and keep ice on it. Of course, I had said the latter two things and said I really thought she should go to the bone doc to check. She didn't want to. Nor has she felt compelled to put ice on it to reduce swelling (my mom just doesn't ever get that one can help themselves a bit through common sense). I told her to keep it elevated. That makes no sense to her, so she doesn't.

A few days later, at the internist, we tell him about it, and he sends her for an x-ray. We wait 2.5 hours for an x-ray, and in the meantime, he sends me to get a lace up shoe for her. I thought this was an amazingly stupid idea given she doesn't wear laced shoes and I know that will be a challenge for her and I also know she will never wear the damn thing. But I go in search of the ever loving thing while she waits for the illusive x-ray.

The first place I go to that he sends me doesn't have it. They call his office. I am there for thirty minutes. No shoe. He tells them to send me to place #2. I go. The road is under repair. It makes a 20 minutes drive, one way, a 45 minute drive. I get there only to have them tell me she has to be fit for such a thing, and by now I am not a happy camper. Fit? The doc doesn't know this? I am frazzled and pissed.

So I take an alternate route back to the doctor and catch my mom as she is just being called to go in for x-rays. I wait. We leave to get the infamous lace-up shoe that she will never wear.

We wait a full 40 minutes for others until someone helps us. Fit? LOL! He looks on the back of the package, asks what size shoe she wears, takes it out of the package, bends a wee bit of metal on the front (like I could not have done any of this!) and suggests two pairs of non-slip socks, and after almost a hundred dollars, we leave with a shoe she cannot lace up (I made her try and she could not do it) and some peds with non-slip ziggies on the bottom.

I am so frazzled it is unimaginable. I got up at 5am to make the appointment, and got home at 6:30pm. I am tired, have hours of work in front of me.

I call her the next day, no she isn't wearing the shoe. Great. Doctor called and said she has a broken foot. Refers us to another doctor. And no one got that perhaps we could have done this, um, earlier while we were at the doctor?

So, today we go to the other doctor. I get up at 5am, feed the animals, clean, go to work, take off the rest of the day, drive my two dogs to the groomer, drop them off, then head to mom's, which is 70 miles one way. I take her cat and drop at the vet. I do her grocery shopping. I go to pay and ... zaap, they won't take the check like they do every single week. We changed banks. I am told I have to have a note from my mom, even though I am a signer on the account. I drive back to mom's, get the "note", drive back tot he market (this time in her car). They still won't take it... my name is not on the check. I go back home, get the old account checkbook which I left some money in, and go back, for the third time, to the market. I get the #($%&^($%()$*%* groceries, finally.

I return back at mom's, get her in the car and we head to doctor #1. We stop to pick up the x-rays which are supposed to be at one place, but end up completely at another. They never moved them. ARGH.

We then proceed to doctor #1, the foot doctor. We fill out the plethora of forms, they take her to the room, then tell us we have to go for more x-rays. Huh? Why are we even here if the x-rays don't show a broken foot? Doc says that the views are not complete. So off we go. We return, x-rays in hand, and yes, the foot is broken... the right fifth meta carpel, the most common and easy to fix break. They want to give her a shoe...

Oh God, help me.

I tell them that if a five year old cannot do it, my mom can't either. They ask if mom is using a walker. She says yes, I say no. (Mom hates the thing and doesn't want to use it, and mostly doesn't. I get the dirty look.) They don't have the right shoe size. They have to find one in storage. They return with a men's small, and eventually someone comes with a woman's large. It has two Velcro strips. I make her take it off and put it on to see if she can do it. She can.

She's hungry, I find a place to eat, but it is lunch time and there is no seating available. I get her back in the car and we finally find a place to eat near doctor #2 (where they are trying a new treatment requiring we go every week for 12 weeks). This, fortunately, goes decently.

I return mom home, get her settled, and head to the vet to pick up her cat. The cat was $499.86. He has a flea allergy and a heart murmur. Giving him a cortico steroid could cause heart failure (even in a young cat--or a dog--this is the case). They do an EKG and three x rays to check his lungs and heart. Everything looks fine. They give him the shot. The actual highlight of my day is having the vet spend 30 minutes with me explaining this interesting ratio/calc on heart size/weight... it really is interesting. He knows I love vet med stuff.

I get back, call the groomer. No I didn't get your four messages (I forgot my cell)... One of my dogs collapsed during grooming and had to be rushed to the vet. Vet gave this dog lasix to save her life--she had a heart attack. This is a dog I found wandering on the 55 mph road late last week and picked her up. She is totally blind, about 16 yo, and has probable glaucoma (she has to go to the eye specialist), which means probable removal of her left eye. She is matted to the skin, covered in foxtails (which I stay up until three in the morning pulling out), and her toenails are beginning to embed in her foot pads. Bastard that left her here to die or be eaten by a predator... you bastard.

I have to call the family of the person that committed suicide last Friday in my mom's front apartment (she owns a triplex) I was supposed to be there for an hour last Friday and was there for 12 hours. I couldn't leave her there amid the police tape and zillion cops by herself. I call. They have some really odd caller ID. I call number #2 number, she just left work. I give up. They want to know how long they have to move stuff. Well, after three bounced checks, you have 24 hours... but I calculate the rent, by day, and leave the figure with my mom. She will forget. This will end up a nightmare. There is blood stained carpeting and walls. She blew her brains out, or it was a homicide. They are still investigating. This will be a nightmare for me. And I know it and am bracing myself for it.

I jump in the car speed to the groomer... thank God she is still there. At least the dog's body is shaved. Her ears are two inches thick with matted fur, though, and she didn't get to her feet or nails. I can finish that... I hope. But her vet says this poor doggie probably needs to be PTS, her heart is so bad that she could never take the anesthetic to do the eye surgery. I wonder why my vet didn't catch this... I have to call vet tomorrow on this.

I get home at 6:00. I missed the tree trimmer. This is very, very bad. I will now be fined by the fire department. They have been patient.

The tree trimmer #1 was doing me a "favor" to trim my trees after I took care of his dog for a month. That would be "this" dog. I have taken care of this one, Joey, three times before for long periods, not to mention the others. He is back on drugs. He doesn't show. I contact his dad, (tree trimmer #2). He didn't show when he was supposed to either, now, TWICE. Both times I changed plans to be home. Why I keep believing these folks, after 30 years of dealing with them, is evidence that I am fatally hopeful, and incredibly stupid.

I then head out to buy food for the fair. They forgot my order. I have to go back tomorrow.

I swear. I must have the time curse. I have hundreds of pounds of food to cook and have ready by Saturday morning. ARGH.

I have two things to say about all this: Our healthcare system totally sucks. I lost my job during a fire started by an arsonist, was evacuated for 13 days, and could not get unemployment because I was 1099. I can no longer work a regular job because of my mom. Okay.

So I get a bunch of small jobs to be able to cart my mom around from doctor to doctor and take care of every part of her life, AND mine. There is exactly zero help. I am the sole survivor of my family. I have the whole burden. The system doesn't help, and actually makes things worse sometimes as they give doctors about 5 minutes per patient and thus they don't ever do a thorough or right job as evidenced by this post. I have story after story about this. And I am sure I am not the only one.

I'm praying and piecing my life together at this point which is stressful beyond comprehension to begin with. My ex just asked me to pick up the entire payment for the house AND all the taxes, raising everything significantly for me. I will manage it somehow. I always do.