Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm tired now. Got lots done

5/2/06 Tuesday
It’s a rainy morning. I will start off taking Fred to Firestone to bitch about them doing a crap job on his Cadillac and see if he can get a refund for it. Time to write the letter.
Never got the letter wrote. Not unusual for me and part of this TBI. If I don’t focus and complete a job I will forget about it. I also forgot to eat but at least I remembered to take my seizure pill. Forgot that yesterday.

I took Fred to Firestone at 10:30. It went well. I was expecting a big conflict with them trying to get out of refunding Fred’s money. So did Fred. Walking in I could see the recognition in the manager’s eyes. We have been here many times and Fred can make sure folks are aware of him.

I walked up to the counter as Fred was saying “You talk to them Bob, you do all the talking”. “We have a problem” I said trying to look friendly. (I have learned some social skills since I woke up. It took a while to figure out nice works well most of the time) I concisely out lined the issues and laid out the documentation from Ed Schmidt’s service manager showing what was done wrong and including the Cadillac service bulletin regarding the injectors.

The manager briefly studied the material as I watched the wheels turning in his head. He wasn’t happy but I didn’t expect him to clap with ecstatic joy. There was no argument or even questioning from him. He made copies of the material and issued a full credit on the spot. When he brought a copy for Fred to sign Fred was at first looking for a problem mumbling about “They better pay me all of it”. I explained “Fred, they did you right. This is a full refund. It’s taken care of”. I then made sure he understood the credit would come on his next monthly statement but will probably have to remind him of that later.

After that I took Fred to the dollar store so he could get some Mother’s Day and birthday cards. Fred is good about doing stuff like that. I never think of it. This is always fun to do. First I asked him who the cards were for. This way I could key in to what section of cards to look at. The mothers day cards were for friends so that called for something a little generic. The next step is to start picking out cards, explaining what the picture was, and reading the card out loud. I always get a kinda perverse pleasure out of this when others are around. Picture a forty plus old man reading “You’re the best mother in the world” loudly to an 89 year old man. That’s got to cause a moment of “What!?” to the casual eavesdropper. From Mother’s Day we went to birthday cards. Fred wanted two, one for his friend Helen and the other for a guy he knows. As I start to pick out and read cards for Helen Fred reaches out and grabs a card on the rack saying “What about this one?”. “Fred, that section’s for eight year olds” I let him know and as he blindly stabbed the card at the rack I had to help him put it back. He was getting discouraged and just accepted the next two cards I picked.

From the dollar store I took Fred to the Pharm. There we went through the usual procedure of me giving a running commentary on what Fred was looking at. His main motivation for going to the Pharm was to get some chicken they had on sale. Sharon called while we were in the store. “Are you driving?” she asked. “No, I’m in the store with Fred” I replied thinking she would understand I was busy. She didn’t and launched into how the Zeph Center had housing and I should do this and do that to get him in. Poor Fred was patiently waiting for me to tell him what kind of chocolate syrup he was looking at but as he impatiently went to leave I had to cut Sharon off. Fred got a few other things also but was wearing out quickly. I got him checked out and took him home with just enough time to get Wayne and take him to see the neurologist.

This is our apartment building. Home for now but we look forward to the home we will build in Texas.

Wayne was surprised to see the new car, which is running great by the way. I got him to the right office this time and worked on this journal while he filled out paperwork. There was some confusion on the part of the new doctor. The same as last time, they didn’t find or have the records on Wayne. The doc asked who Wayne’s regular doctor was an who he had seen at MUO before. Wayne can’t remember who he saw when and I am not much better so I tried my best to help this doctor understand Wayne’s situation. “I met Wayne in a homeless shelter” I began. “I got Wayne into section 8 housing and on Medicaid. He hasn’t had much medical attention for years so I just want to make sure he has a good neurologist for his MS”.

This satisfied him so he began a rather thorough examination starting with a battery of questions. On many of them the doctor would look at me as Wayne would ramble a bit. I had introduced myself as a caregiver because I have learned that title seems to communicate why I am there well. I was able to help the doctor work through his initial interview fairly quickly. He had evidently asked the nurse to look up additional information on Wayne and it was found.

As Doc perused these papers he asked why Wayne had not gone to the physical therapy that had been prescribed when I brought him here almost two years ago. In addition there was a battery of tests that were to be performed on Wayne and never were. Now I feel bad. This a clear illustration of the problems I have helping others. I don’t remember anything about therapy or his blood tests and of course Wayne doesn’t either. The day I had brought him here before I stayed in the lobby as Wayne was examined. Did Wayne give me paperwork showing the doctors orders for lab work and physical therapy? I don’t know but regardless I didn’t find out or if I had been told I didn’t follow through. Me helping Wayne is like the blind leading the blind. I do the best I can but am always frustrated with being faced with my disability.

The doctor brought in another doc who was in charge of the department or something. He was the same doctor whom Wayne had seen when I brought him here a year or so ago. They are going to work up a full regimen for Wayne. I have to get a list of all the medication Wayne is on. I took him straight to the lab for his blood work before I forgot.

When all that was done I took Wayne to buy his monthly groceries. He is doing bad today and that was noticeable when I picked him up. The pain level is high and he is dragging his right foot behind him as he is having difficulty lifting it. Wayne toughed it out through the store despite my telling him to sit down and let me get what was on his list. I hadn’t eaten all day and was getting tired and a little grouchy. I was going to help Wayne organize his paperwork and get the medication list for the doc but just took him home and helped him put his food away. Then I came home.

I am worn out and now have a headache coming up. I didn’t get home till 5:30 so that makes a long day for me. Used to be a half day back when I worked eighty hours a week with my two companies. Sucks to not have that kind of energy anymore.

The headache made it to migraine level. Cherie tells me I have been doing well for the last two or so days so I figure I am due. I guess that’s not a real positive attitude but I deal with reality and that is I will always have these bad days. I am dramatically better than I was four years ago but I suspect I am as good as I will get. Who knows. I will always stretch myself and seek to improve. That’s just me. I’ve been fighting my whole life, unfortunately not always for a good cause, mostly out of rebellion. That spirit now serves me well as I fight my disability and for the rights of others who have disabilities. There is always struggle in life.

We got our pictures developed. It is 11:00 now so I won’t have time to upload many of them because of this dial up connection. It will take me a couple of hours to put as many on the blog as I want. Plus I have several new pictures from my son in Iraq I want to post. That reminds me. UPS came buy while I was out today so I missed them. That would have been the digital camera coming back from the shop. I hope to be here for it tomorrow. There is nothing on the calendar for me but that can always change.

Can’t believe I am up this late. Cherie is designing something for a quilt and showed it to me. Real cool I think. I like to think I have an artist’s eye. She is happy and dancing around about how it turned out. We are one so when she is happy I am also. I look forward to building her a sewing area when we get to Texas.

I think I will try to post this and put on a few pictures. Trying hard to stay awake and finish this. See ya tomorrow.

Alright, a last minute note. When I went online to publish this I noticed I had some E mails. One is from Robin, my sister in San Antonio. Some of you probably know that my relationship with my family is a little strained. That is mostly with my dad. I really don’t know my family and they don’t know me for I left home at fourteen and had very little contact. Robin I have never had a problem with and is the one that seems to not have a problem with me. My brother is a strange and strained relationship and my father just won’t talk to me at all. I must take much responsibility for this but still hope to one day mend these relationships. The blog is one of the possible ways I can do this as it reveals much about who I am. That may help me not be a total stranger to my family.


ByronB said...

You've got some great countryside round there to walk about in and enjoy.
By the way, where's the picture of Fred's Buick?

Bob said...

I'll get that tomorrow now that my camera's back. If fact I will probably go on a picture taking spree.