Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ring, Ring, Ring, Banana Phone!

With the Auntie in the nursing home, Mother apparently felt the need to get her a phone. You know, so she could keep in touch with family and friends.

And that she does. All day. Every day.

You see, when Auntie lived independently at home, she hibernated in her house. You would either find her in bed, watching TV. Or sitting on the couch...watching TV. With periodic bathroom breaks in between. Meals on Wheels would bring her food. Friends would stop by and check on her. Towards the end, she hardly ever left her house. When she did, it was a big production, which she would dramatically recount later.

So, I don't know why we expected more of her when she was placed at Happy Trails Nursing Home. Her nursing home life is pretty much the same. She stays in her room in bed and watches TV. Meals are brought to her. We stop by periodically to check on her. And she is never interested in leaving because it would require some effort on her part.

At any rate, Mother gets her a phone, so in the event of an emergency, she can get a hold of someone. Or if she just wanted to call her daughter, Rosie the Militant Lesbian. (On a side note, her own children stop by once a month to visit...and they live in the same area.)

Now, Auntie, holed up in her room and not coming out for anything but her scheduled showers, she makes full use of her cell phone with unlimited calling and no long-distance. How she chooses to spend those unlimited minutes is to call Mother frequently during the day for mundane things such as what she had for lunch. Often she complains that Happy Trails uses a lot of ground beef in their food (she apparently hates ground beef) or that they are always bringing her something with lemon in it (she hates lemons, too). Sometimes, she tells Mother all about the massive bowel movement she had that morning.

It's enough make a person want to have a nervous breakdown. Namely, Mother. Usually the calls happen while she is at work, and now there is an office pool taking daily bets on how often she will call.

The calls are getting more frequent, and more intrusive. "What are you doing?" "Where are you going?" "Who did you go with?" "When you come see me, bring me this, this, this, and this." (Without saying please.) Auntie was always a nosy, busy-body type, and as people age, some of their traits become more exaggerated. Nosy Auntie is now Nosy Auntie in High Def.

She doesn't call me. I think that may have something to do with the fact that she called me once (while I was sleeping) to ask me how to use the phone that she was calling me from. I may have come off as a little cranky (let me call you while you are sleeping at night and see how you like it), so she avoids calling me unless it is a true emergency (like what button to push on her thermostat to make the fan go on).

We understand that she is probably bored and lonely. We also understand that there is a big calendar of stuff to do during the day at Happy Trails. Part of her boredom is of her own design, and sometimes we can't drop everything and cater to her, which is what she kind of expects. And out of guilt and familial obligation, we do. It also pisses us off that her own children are not more involved. Oh sure, when Auntie does decide to put in for the God Consult, her kids will be wailing and beating their chests over losing their mother, and how much she meant to them.

Meanwhile, Mother is going to take a baseball bat and shove it up their ass.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Iiiiiiiii Wanna Do Crack With Somebody!

So Whitney Houston went belly up. She took too many of something you shouldn't take too many of, chased them down with something you should chase things like that down with, and met her demise in a hotel bathtub. At least it wasn't death by ham sammich.

I was shocked...but not surprised.

We heard about it at work, and I think the general consensus of the nursing staff was, "Dumbass". Our second reaction was to kick ourselves because none of us had her on our Celebrity Death Pool list for this year.

You may question our cavalier attitude about her passing. Sure, I feel bad for her family. But here was a woman who was given a gift, and with that gift came a lot of benefits and perks. Wealth. Fame. The world laid at her feet on a silver platter. And what did she do? She pissed it away, like celebrities who burn too bright, too fast. Surrounded herself with enablers, ass-kissing idiots who go along to get along.

Meanwhile, I have lost count of how many patients and families I have stood with while their loved one died from something that was no fault of their own. Who am I going to save my sympathy for? A woman who should have known better, or the patient who had to marry her childhood sweetheart in a hospital because she would not be leaving the hospital alive to do so.

Yeah, she was a great singer, but years down the road, she will inevitably become the punchline. Just like Elvis. Just like Michael. Just like Mama Cass and her damn ham sammich.