Thursday, January 19, 2012

Old People and Cake

Today was Aunt JoJo's birthday, and as a surprise, we got a special cake made for her. Then, we set up in the dining room of the nursing home and had someone go get her and bring her for her surprise party. We opened the invitation to any residents who also wanted to participate (we ordered a big cake).

Funny thing, mention free cake and ice cream, and the white hairs flock like bees to honey.

One lady hauled ass up to the cake table and plopped a chair right in front of the cake and sat down. Meanwhile, the staff was trying to coax my aunt out of her room, which practically takes and act of Congress. After a short while, the natives were getting restless (they wanted cake dammit!) and one guy kept eyeing the cake, the wheels turning in his head as to how far he could get in his wheelchair if he attempted a Grab and Dash.

She finally showed, everyone sang Happy Birthday, and we dished out cake and ice cream. Aunt JoJo loved it, and she even got to meet other residents (we've been trying to get her to be more social). One guy even wheeled up to her and took her picture. I have no idea if he plans on stalking her later. It might do her some good.

With cake and ice cream left over, we sent plates all around to various staff members, and a couple of residents would couldn't make it out of their room. Later on tonight, when they do their evening blood sugars, they should be able to tell who ate cake and who didn't.

It's a completely different feeling when you hang around a nursing home as opposed to being there to work. I felt more relaxed, and I didn't have to put on Nurse Face. At one point, I made a crude joke, and a wheelchair-bound woman laughed about it for five minutes. When you are employee, you have to be professional and all that, but I think that some of these people just miss real human interaction. That these people had productive lives before they came to live in the nursing home. Some even liked crude jokes.

The residents and staff seemed genuinely surprised that a family went to so much effort, which makes me sad to think that what we did is something they don't see much of. That their family members just dropped them off and forgot about them (which I think is the biggest stigmas about nursing homes). Aunt JoJo was even surprised (at one point, we thought she was going to cry), and when we thought about it, we couldn't remember the last time she had an actual birthday party. We'd take her out to dinner for her day and stuff, but nothing with cake and ice cream and friends.

Her kids suck.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lady Part Problems

Sometimes, it sucks being a girl. You got boobs that bounce around when you try to exercise, and after a while, it hurts. That's even with a "decent" sports bra. You got internal plumbing that comes with their own issues. We bloat. We get hostile. We cry at the drop of the hat and can't tell you why we are crying because we honestly have no idea.

I got lady part problems. So much, that my gyn and myself have resorted to swapping emails. Honestly, my gyn doc is the shizzle. If you need a good one, hit my up and I will send you her contact info.

Anyway, with all the lady part issues, the subject of babies are bound to pop up sooner or later. During one appointment, she asked me what my child-bearing plans were. I was stunned for a minute, because with the way things currently are, children are not even a remote possibility. You know, because you need sperm and stuff to make one.

"I'm not dating anyone right now and I have no desire to become a single mother." I replied. Good enough for the doctor. But it did get me thinking...

I'll be 37 in a couple months, and not once have I heard the tickings of my biological clock. If I see I baby in the store, I may smile at the mom and make some comment along the lines of "cute baby" (because I feel like you almost have to or something), but I don't ooohh and awww over it the way some women do. Like my mother. She's now in full time Grandmother Mode, and if there is a baby within a five mile radius, she will find it and make cooing Grandma noises. She loves small children and babies.

I'm essentially indifferent.

What the hell is wrong with me? Oh sure, I love my nieces and nephew, and if for some reason I had to, I would step up to the plate and take care of those kids if they needed it. But right now, I have no internal drive to breed. Nothing that feels like a nurturing, motherly instinct.

Where am I going with this? Well, in light of recent lady problems, the possibility exists that things may happen that will take childbearing completely out of the equation. If I don't plan on using the nursery furniture, why even have them? But then, that would take the choice out of my hands. If I didn't have kids, I want it to ultimately be my decision.

It's a choice I would like open to me, because you never know what is going to happen down the road.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Champion of Nursing Homes!

Auntie Jo is now in a nursing home. ~Sigh~

After repeated admissions to Bob's Community Hospital and Hot Dog stand, I invoked my status of DPOA (long story) and had her transferred to ACME. I could do this because my aunt was off her rocket, accusing her doctor of being a Iranian terrorist (he was from India), and had we allowed her to stay at that hospital, I strongly believe that she would have been dead by Christmas.

Nothing like a funeral to set the tone for the holidays!

So, we transferred her to ACME, where the good docs corrected everything that BCH&HDS screwed up. And they found some stuff that was missed, and fixed that too. It further cemented my belief that small town hospitals are really out to kill you.

Returning to the previous facility was out of the question, and when my aunt's marbles finally returned, she conceded that someplace closer to the city would probably be better.

Now, I don't really give a lot of thought in nursing home placement. A patient needs to go to one, we let the social worker handle all those things. Let me tell you, this whole experience has been an eye-opener for me. For the week before Christmas, Mom, Mr. Recommendation, and myself were touring various nursing homes. There's some really nice places out there, and then there are some shit holes. Some places we visited came highly recommended by various people we knew because they had family members there, and after touring the places in question, we wondered if those people actually liked their family member.

We learned the ins and outs of Medicare, Medicaid, and how most decent nursing homes won't even look at you if you only have Medicaid because of recent cuts. Which makes me wonder about the aging boomer population, and that a lot of those women were stay-at-home moms their entire lives, having paid nothing into the system that is supposed to take care of them when they can't do it themselves. What are they supposed to do if no one will take them?

By some miracle (and refusals from at least 40 facilities) we found a place for her not too far from where we live...which is nice because we can drop in and check on her a lot more often. It wasn't a fancy place, but it was clean, and the staff members were friendly. She got a bed by a big window, and her roommate is a lush who goes off during the day to find adult beverages.

Auntie Jo seems okay with the idea of being in a nursing home. She's even started nagging again, which is a good sign that she is getting back to normal. She just stays in her room, though. We gave up on coaxing her out of her room for meals and activities. Her daughter, Rosie the Militant Lesbian, is still being a shit head (which is one of the reasons I am her mother's DPOA). But that is for another blog post.

All this has really got me and Mom thinking about our golden years plans. Mom, who has worked her entire life, will probably have better options if she ever needs to be put in an assisted living situation. I, on the other hand, have decided that since any type of government program for me will be in the shitter, will retire to Belize and spend the sunset of my life in a grass hut, working my own rum punch stand on days the cruise ships come into port.

Make money, drink whatever is left over at the end of the day. I fail to see a flaw with this plan.