Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Collateral damage update...
Somewhere in the midst of all this insanity I have forgotten to do something. I forgot to detach. As I have become weaker and Riley has become more demanding, I have forgotten to stand by my own rules. It was YOU, my commenters and e-mailers that have made me remember the only way to deal with my current situation. I read every single comment and e-mail and I’m thankful for a crowd of people who aren’t afraid to say what they think. You are my look into myself and I could not get through this without you.
The doctor’s appointment was a nearly a useless waste of time. Here’s how it went:
Getting Riley into the car took about 20 minutes. It was pretty frightening to have him nearly fall on the brick steps. But I managed to get him in and off we went.
It takes about 30 minutes to the get there, but there was some roadwork, so we had to take a detour that I was not familiar with. The detour prompted Riley to start complaining about how long it was taking. The half hour drive took almost an hour. Fortunately, I had planned to be early, so we were not all that late.
Then there was the wheelchair issue. Riley didn’t want to use the wheelchair. He wanted to walk. I refused to allow that because I knew he was not steady on his feet. I didn’t ask or plead that he use the chair – I demanded. Riley shut up and got in the chair. Of course, he had to drag his feet the whole time which made it more difficult for me to push.
Once inside the office, the triage nurse tries to take his blood pressure on his injured arm. I remind her that she needed to use the other arm and she obliges. Now inside the examining room, the PA, Erica, informs us that there is nothing wrong with his blood pressure or his heart rate. She says he’s perfectly fine, but she’ll check his potassium and get an x-ray of his arm. I tell her all the things the visiting nurse has been telling us. Erica goes to get info from the home health care agency because they don’t have their records. Before she leaves I ask if it would be possible for us to have hospice since the visiting nurse will only come one more day. Erica’s response is that Riley doesn’t qualify for hospice, but she will be sure to ask the doctor. She tells me there is nothing wrong with Riley – he’s just inebriated.
We are directed to the lab where Riley raises his voice to the lab tech. I step in and tell him not to be disrespectful to the techs. He shuts up and lets them get their blood. Riley is angry because he will have another bruise where they took the blood.
The next step is the x-ray lab. There is no problem here and we are successful at getting the film done. There is no break in Riley’s arm, wrist or hand. He is just taking a long time to heal because he is inebriated.
I ask Erica if Riley is healthy enough to detox and her response was: “EVERY alcoholic is healthy enough to detox. It is the best thing they can possibly do. It is the thing he needs to do.”
I stopped in my tracks. I was shocked to hear her say EVERY alcoholic should detox and that they are ALL healthy enough to do so. Obviously this person has never witnessed a detox. Has no experience with alcoholism at all. I didn’t want to be disrespectful – but really??? I quietly told her – Well… that’s just not so. I told her I wanted to put Riley into a long term care facility, but he would have to detox first. As she was walking away she said, “I believe that would be best for everyone.”
We left. We made the tedious adventure of getting him back into the car and home. Once inside the house, he fell trying to get into his rocker. Then decided instead of the rocker he’d go take a nap. He fell trying to get to his bed.
I was crying tears of frustration as I started making some phone calls. I called the only doctor that has not submitted Riley’s medical records and is the one thing holding up the VA application. Next, is the VA rep to find out what would happen if the records are lost. But, he’s not in – have to call tomorrow. Then I called a local nursing home that I’ve been told will give the patient small amounts of alcohol to keep them from going into detox. It was true – they will administer the alcohol, but there must be a treatment plan from a physician and the treatment plan must have a goal of getting the alcoholic healthy enough to go to detox and then rehab. Hummmmm…. I doubt that Erica or the good doctor will have any part of that.
My next call was to Gil, the friend who happens to be an addiction counselor. He was appalled at what I had been told at the doctor’s. I asked him to help me find a place where I could send Riley for long term care. I just don’t seem to be able to do it anymore. Gil tells me he has been watching me go downhill for months and was very happy I was asking for his help. He thinks we may be able to get Riley into a VA long term care facility in West Virginia.
It was late and nothing would be discovered until tomorrow. I felt defeated. I needed someone to just listen to me vent. I have been feeling more and more alone lately even though I have many supporters and can always go to the OARS members. But, I needed more. I called Carrot – only to find out her husband had just had a heart attack and they were on their way to the hospital. Georgia was still at work. I finally got through to a friend who has been in my position. She expressed her concern for my well-being and reminded me that I have not been detaching from the situation. I listened and realized she was absolutely right.
This morning I came into my office and read all the comments from my last post. When I read the comment from Jenna I knew she said it best. She understood and offered perfect advice. It’s advice that I am taking. Actually, I started doing her suggestions before I even read the comment. I’m so thankful for my followers.
I also got an e-mail from a follower who said there was an old Italian saying – Sick people live forever. I think that just about says it all.
Today will be a busy day for me. I have phone calls to make and plans to finalize. I also have to find a quiet little cabin in the woods where I can just re-charge my batteries and re-claim that strong, determined woman that used to be inside this body. Today is the day that Riley will live by my standards and I will not just placate him by being subservient. Tonight I will cook what’s healthy for me. I’m taking back my life.
at 7:50 AM