Monday, March 06, 2006

Long day Long entry

Just as this tree is coming back to life, so shall we be breathing life back into this farm. We look forward to making this home and thus leaving behind the things which trouble our hearts. It is new life we look forward to and a new life we will be building from scratch here at the farm.
I’m up and going. Cherie and I started out with a little friction when I mentioned something regarding family. Oh well. This is a part of all marriages but we know to not allow things to grow into something big. We do this by talking with each other and being honest. Honesty is a spotlight that reveals things so they can be repaired. It also is something some flee back into darkness because of what it reveals.

I called Wayne to make sure he was up and he was. He told me that Social Security doesn’t open until 9:00 so that will make things tight. I’ll have him at the door at 9:00 so we can make his 9:30 appointment with LMHA. There was a light dusting of snow but the roads retained enough heat to melt it. I reckon I should fix a breakfast cause it’ll be a long day.

Well I got Wayne all squared away. I got him to Social Security at ten after nine. There was already a line so we had to wait. I guess LMHA does their reviews at the same time cause many there were also getting their proof of income. Getting Wayne’s I rushed to LMHA, getting there at 9:37. Don’t know why I hurried cause I knew we would have to wait anyway.

The review went well as I knew it would because Wayne’s situation has not changed. He has a new caseworker named Jeannine Hummel and she seems to be pretty sharp and compassionate. We talked a bit after she learned who I was. I told the story of how I met Cherie and all that. It had the usual effect, one of delight or whatever word you use to describe the “Oh! That’s wonderful” thing. I’ll probably think of it later but can’t access it at the moment.

Right now I am at Wayne’s and will play a game of checkers as brain exercise. Wayne needs to get a copy of his bank statement to LMHA. I got confused as I do sometimes. I was telling Wayne that he needed to get a copy of the bank statement to family services. Then I went on about there was something else he needed. Wayne sat there puzzled as I insisted on this. “Wayne, you know you can’t trust your memory, that’s why you need to write everything down”. Come to find out I was the one not remembering. I got Wayne confused with Allen. I was so sure of myself that Wayne was starting to believe that he had forgotten me taking him to Family Services. Then it dawned on me. Oops. I apologized but Wayne was OK with it. We played a game of checkers and I was going to have him win. He had three kings and I only had one left but he made a mistake that I couldn’t pretend not to see so I won. Oh well. I tried.

Barb had called and asked if I would be willing to take Dixie to cash her check and get some groceries. “That’s fine Barb” I told her. Then I asked about the laundry and Barb said she was going to spend her laundry money on food. “No Barb, you need to get your clothes washed. I’ll pay for the laundry” I said in my no arguments voice. She couldn’t argue with that deal so agreed.

I finished the game with Wayne and went over there. Dixie was out and about which is good considering her tendency to hide for days because of the schizophrenia. She was kind of bock and forth about going to the store and when I asked if she would also like to get her laundry done that really made it hard. It took Barb and I about fifteen minutes to convince her to do both. “Come on Dixie, you get to ride in a Cadillac with a chauffeur. It’ll be fun and you can style in the back” I said to get her to laugh and relax. It worked so off we went.

I took her to the bank to cash her check and then we headed to Kroger. This is one of those poor memory days. When we got to Kroger I pulled up and then, looking around said “Oh man, we forgot to go to the bank”. It was one of those mind farts I used to have on a regular basis. The girls laughed and told me “We already went to the bank Bob, what’s wrong with you?”. With that I remembered and felt a little foolish but not too bad. It helps that Barb also has brain damage and has the same problem so she understands. Keeps the embarrassment down.

Dixie didn’t go to do laundry despite my offer to pay for her also. I took pictures of her and Barb though Dixie wasn’t to hot on the idea. For that matter neither was Barb but I convinced them by saying it was for my journal and would help me remember them when I move to Texas. That worked so here they are.

I got Barb to the laundry mat after heading in the wrong direction. This is one of those get lost days and Barb had to remind me where the laundry was despite my taking her there many times. I got quarters and gave Barb what she needed. Because I knew I would be taking Barb to the laundry I told Cherie I would do ours also. Getting everything going I asked Barb if she was hungry because I had to go to the bank and was going to stop at Taco Bell. She wasn’t so I took off, confident I knew where the bank and Taco Bell was. Somehow I missed Laskey road, which required me driving right past it. Once I figured out I was way off course I got myself going in the right direction. I found the bank but never did find Taco Bell so settled for Burger King.

Getting back to the laundry mat I gave Barb more quarters for the drier. Then I got my stuff in the drier also and sat down with this laptop to record events before I forgot them. I showed Barb photo’s of the farm and we talked about her brain damage and memory loss. It is pretty much the same picture as me. She said one of the good things was that she could watch the same video over and over again like it was the first time. For you new readers I suppose I should clue you in on today’s cast of characters.

Barb incurred her brain damage some fifteen years ago when two people came running out of the carry-out they had just robbed and tried to take her car. Barb threw her keys in the snow so they beat her with a tire iron, splitting her skull open. This damage was severe enough to drop her to about a ten or eleven year old level. She had already lived a hard life that included severe alcoholism and drug addiction. Now she lost custody of her children and then watched her mother die slowly of a brain tumor. She is a good person at heart, feeding and caring for many in her complex. Unfortunately many take advantage of her goodness and condition. I do what I can but have limits.

Dixie is also a woman who has seen the darker side of life. I believe she was a stripper and lived in that realm. She has a daughter and grandkids that she gets to see some. Unfortunately she is schizophrenic and is taken away on a regular basis, sometimes in a straight jacket. She has a phobia of germs that leads to manic and harmful behavior. Dixie has washed her hands till raw and bleeding and will use bleach and rubbing alcohol on everything, including her raw hands. They took all the glass cups and dishes away because she would wash them repeatedly and break them. Then she would keep washing, cutting her hands and would attack the cuts with alcohol and even bleach so germs won’t get in. She is friendly and personable when she ventures into the outside world. Barb is one of her main supports, getting her to come out and drink coffee. Barb long since hid her glasses in the freezer so all there is for Dixie to use is plastic.

These are some of the people I serve. I don’t care what they have seen of life or what they have done. That doesn’t matter now. They are people who need help with little available. They do serve as an example of the consequences of poor decision making. I have seen hundreds of these examples and am living with the consequences of my decisions. Perhaps this is why I can be so blunt with others about how they are going about life. I saw more by the time I was nineteen than most will see in their whole life and that gives me an insight, a wisdom if you will. I know many have issues with the Bible but there is some smart stuff in it. One verse says “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end of that way is death”. We all think we are doing great, we’re in control, nothing is gong to go wrong, but we all learn from our mistakes.

On the way home, by some miracle, I remembered to stop by LMHA with the bank statement they needed from Wayne. Jeanine was in the front reception area when I went in and was surprised and happy to see me. I gave her the statement and waited till she made a copy. She again said “Thank you for helping Wayne” and I was on my way. Now I am home and a little light headed. Despite having multiple brain farts I have been sharp all day. This is one of the hard to understand things about my TBI. Just because I forget what I did five minutes ago doesn’t mean I am stupid. The rest of the brain is cognizant and active. Then I have the slow downs where the brain speed is sluggish. I still make lucid intelligent decisions, just take longer to do it.

Now I am tired and kinda dizzy so probably should lay down. Cherie just got home from work but has to go see the doctor. I’ll fix some peanut butter and honey on toast incase the lightheadedness is from a lack of protein. Will publish this first. The readership of this blog continues to increase which is flattering, I think.

No comments: