Thursday, April 19, 2007

The lap of luxury?

4/18/07 Wednesday
We finally made it to the VA in Albuquerque. Took eight hours instead of the seven I thought. It’s a big place and we had to call a number on my appointment sheet to find out where to go. I was plenty sharp all the way here but that’s changed now. This is because of the new surroundings and stress of making my way through

4/19/07 Thursday
That’s as far as I got yesterday. This morning I have a pretty bad headache and am not very sharp. Running a five on the Bob scale. It is 5:31 New Mexico time. They wanted me to get another EEG done and couldn’t schedule it till this morning. I wasn’t aware that the VA covers the cost of a hotel room. That is fortunate. The drive here took a lot out of us and to head back home without rest probably would not be very safe. The doctors asked the same questions all the others before them had. As is usually the case I had to guess at some of the answers requiring memory such as how many times I have a slow down each week. I keep this journal for this but didn’t have a chance to refer to it.

I always am nervous regarding these exams, afraid they will say nothing is wrong with me and cut me off of the disability check that currently provides our basic needs. I plan on doing that myself anyway through making the land a working farm. But that will take some time if I am even able to do it. Heck, I am having a hard time planting a garden.

The drive up here was great as far as the scenery. There was an area were we saw groups of deer out feeding with little concern. Going through Roswell, New Mexico was a trip. As I saw the myriad of UFO and alien signs the proverb “a fool and his money are soon parted” came to mind. Here in Roswell there is a whole industry set up just to do that. Even the McDonalds had signs up saying “Aliens welcome”. There were UFO museums and of course one is the “International” alien museum. I must have missed the “Intergalactic” one. Leaving town there was a sign at a dirt road that claimed to lead up to an UFO crash site.

Forgive me if my thought processes jump around a bit. I’ll write as it comes to mind cause if I don’t it might not come back. Nuts, I forgot what that was leading to. Oh yeah, when they started asking about seizures I minimized things cause I am afraid they will take my driving privileges. Describing the slow downs he said they weren’t true seizures but a common symptom of traumatic brain injury. The term “Petite seizure” was not accurate. He said that “Slow down” was a good way to put it. OK. The grand mal seizure that put me in the hospital for three days in 04 was the last of them. When they asked how many I had before that and I explained I really couldn’t say. This is because I was homeless, or when in St Louis, not around anyone who could observe this. That was when my brother, Larry, had picked me up from the hospital. The doctors told him, and even put it in writing, that I was to be observed in addition to getting rehabilitation. He just stuck me in a cheap hotel and later the place in a St Louis ghetto and left me to fend for myself with the twenty bucks a week he gave me for food. I would wake up to see furniture knocked over and find cuts and bruises but wouldn’t remember a thing. So I couldn’t say for sure though it sure sounds like it.

Oh Yes, We are Living In the Lap Of Luxury now. We have hot water in this hotel. We can take a hot shower. Cherie soaked in a hot bath for quite a while last night. I am glad they have plenty of hot water cause I sure used plenty when I camped out under the shower. I think I washed everything three or four times. When we get back home it will be back to the heating a pot of water and taking what we call a “Stand uppy” where we use a washcloth dipped in the water to clean ourselves. In the winter it was particularly tough and we would put a space heater to warm up the bathroom first. I only washed maybe twice a week but with warmer weather and my working in the garden that must increase or I will be a very unpleasant person to sit near. I usually only shave twice a week before I go to church or be seen by folks who might think less of me unkempt. Reckon that would be a lot of folks but I really don’t get out much or see many people. It would be nice but hasn’t happened.

We splurged after the exam and ate at Appleby’s. Had the first steak I’ve eaten in 2007. It was great though I had to send it back to finish cooking. Don’t do rare. We even enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner and desert. If it wasn’t for selling the coin collection and the VA covering the cost of the hotel we wouldn’t have even thought of doing this.

We are getting ready to go take the EEG and then head home.

Cherie leaves for Ohio tomorrow. She talked to her sister yesterday as we drove here to Albuquerque. It is not good news. The rehab place is not doing anything the doctor ordered. Not even putting ointment on the bed sores that are starting to develop. The two new pairs of pants Cathy bought for her have been stolen and mom woke up with someone else’s pants on. They were to be teaching her to swallow and other things but mom is still has a feeding tube that is inserted directly into her stomach. The doctor was mad and may have to hospitalize her again to get proper care. Now I wish I was there cause raising hell is something I am good at. I learned how from the time I spent trying to get help from the system. You do it in writing to top level management. Verbal stuff is ignored as if nothing was ever said but written documents are a different matter as there is now proof of the matter. Poor Cathy has her hands full with mom’s surgery and dad’s behaving like a child, throwing fits and being generally a nasty ass. Treats her very badly. Through Cherie I suggested that if he acts like a child treat him like one. When he starts up as she drives I said she should just pull over and let him know she won’t go anywhere till he stops. He almost caused her to wreck at least once. “If he continues” I said “Take him home”. He sits on his but and won’t do anything, demanding everyone waits on him. This lack of exercise has reduced his strength to the point he can’t even walk far. Cherie will try to talk some sense into him when she gets there. Poor Cathy is close to a total breakdown and is even jeopardizing the job she loves so much teaching agriculture to kids. Pray for them if you could.

10:02 – We made it home. We are both exhausted but Cherie has much to do because she is leaving at 9:30 tomorrow morning. I’ll get her to the airport by 8:00 or so. Don’t want to take any chances because we are not at all familiar with the new rules as far as flying goes. We stopped at Walmart in Lubbock to get tags and fabric paint for her luggage. She also looked for the approved type of locks that she read about online but they weren’t to be found at Walfart. (no, that wasn’t a mistake. It’s my nickname for the place) She got some cheap locks knowing that they would be broken should homeland security feel threatened by something they see on the X ray machine. See ya here tomorrow.

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