Friday, 8 October 2010

Dearly Demented Dad

Dad wants to go to alf and I feel guilty.
He even has one picked out-- the one we saw that was affordable.
He is visiting us because he has a neurology appointment tomorrow.
He wants to visit the alf AGAIN tomorrow.
He doesn't know when he wants to move in yet but he clearly wants to live there in his own room on the second floor-- it's a coupla miles from our home.

Dad had five accidents in five months and thus quit driving in May (car got wrecked) and I feel guilty.
I'd tried to get Dad to quit driving a couple of years ago but failed. His wife/now ex-wife felt unable to get rid of the car. I told the state of New Jersey that he had dementia and sent them copies of his records and of his failed driving evaluation-- so they gave him his license back.
And so he had his five accidents in five months this year (thankfully no one was hurt. The last one was the worst-- he plowed into a parked car and then drove to the police station to tell them that he had an accident).
He still has his license. He says he won't "give that up."
But at least the car is gone.

Dad wants to stay with ex-wife "for as long as she has bills that she cannot pay alone" and I feel guilty.
She says she tells him to think about himself and his own needs. He says she doesn't talk to him at home or that she is "mean." He wants to get a part-time job once he moves to the alf-- whenever that is.

Dad won't take any medicine for his dementia, copd, or atrial fib and I feel guilty.
When he lived with us for several months a couple of years ago, after a very long time I had gotten him to take meds and he had even agreed to see a neurodoc up here. But the ex-wife was still his wife then and she wanted him back home so he went. Now it is two years later, he's deteriorated further and he still has no dementia meds.
His walking is worse this week than it was two weeks ago when he was here last.
The only meds he will take now are Rogaine, Robitussin, and an over the counter anti-constipation pill. He says he is taking the cough medicine and the anti-constipation pill for his copd.
His a-fib puts him at high risk for a debilitating or deadly stroke (yes I just saw that commercial on teevee. Dad didn't see it-- he is sleeping in his chair). My primary care doc told him that and he didn't seem to care. There was no reaction to that news. He says his brother takes the meds and his brother had a stroke anyways. (The brother mostly recovered from it).
Can the once again untreated a-fib have caused the dementia or worsened it??? (No, there have not been any mini-strokes). He has the neurology appointment up here tomorrow and I am afraid of the answer for that one.

Dad is here alive and I feel guilty. I have tried to protect him and failed.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Dear Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

The other day I noticed that you were adding another panel to your "privacy screen." Although I do not understand why your driveway needs privacy, it is your property over there and you have a right to do as you please over there in accordance with local laws blah blah blah. There are some grand old pines that have been growing between our driveways long before either of us moved in which provide a wind-block and a living natural privacy screen. But no matter. I digress.

I object to your tying of two garbage saplings to a third in order to avoid having to cull them before putting up the latest panel. I found these two saplings tied up to a third with baling twine yesterday. Yesterday was the perfect day to go shopping for another bird feeder, which I hung up on one of the pine branches in front of the tied up saplings and adjacent to the privacy screen on my side of the property line. Yesterday I refrained from digging up some clone saplings of the aspen in my backyard and replanting them on my side of the privacy screen. I also refrained from decorating in front of the fence with some very large bluebells which persist upon reseeding themselves wherever they damn well please. And I ordered myself not to take cuttings of some poison ivy (which seems to irritate my skin much less than most folks' skin) and tuck them in along your privacy screen. I hid the knives and scissors from my mate who had sudden urges to experiment with how much force would be required to cut through baling twine. The problem, dear neighbors, does not lay in the existence of your privacy screen.

You have a pool. It must be an elegant pool. I do know it is an in-ground pool. That much I can see from one of my porch decks. Some Sunday mornings in the summertime you have jazz and champagne pool gatherings. I actually like the jazz-- although the jazz you favor is not the N'Orlins jazz that I remember from living in Louisiana years ago-- and your drinking is not my intimate concern. Although I am brain damaged, I am not brain dead dear neighbors. I distinctly remember pulling into my driveway with the thing held together by duct tape and chicken wire that pretends to be a car and watching the last of your pool contents drain down my driveway that day in early September. I remember thinking, "How odd." This trespassing by your chlorinated water upon my tarmac must have required some finesse. Your driveway lays closer to the source of the water. Indeed I dare to point out that your driveway slopes downward in a direct route to the sewer. This event was not repeated in subsequent years as I happened to be home during the great laying of the pipeline.

You have lilacs. They hang over my yard and that's okay. How it is that you think it is perfectly alright to enter my yard with your shiny shears in hand without so much as a by-your-leave escapes me. Similarly, my rearranged brain cannot wrap itself around the three men I found one day on my property cutting some of your trees down. "It is customary for a neighbor to advise another of the necessity of entry in order to take care of things like trees," I told the workmen. "It is your employers' responsibility to have spoken with me beforehand. I would not have objected had I had that courtesy extended to me. So now that I know what you are doing, carry on."

That reminds me. You have a garage which sits parallel to a portion of my now fenced in back yard. The property line allows for you to maintain your garage and for me to plant columbines. Trimming your trees and then tossing limbs back there onto my columbines is uncool. I also object to your snide comments rendered within my hearing about my supposed need for lessons on where the property lines exist. (I have the map dear neighbors, and my property consists of a square and an added isosceles triangle). And it is difficult for me to ascertain what it is that you "will not put up with" anymore when you declare this within my hearing but fail to tell me directly about your specific objections. If you approach me and calmly state what actions of me and my mate besides breathing that you find so irritating, perhaps we can stand together like adults and work out a neighborly solution to your woes. Until then, there will be no alleviation of your troubles.

Here are some things which you may not know about me dear neighbors: I don't celebrate Christ Mas and I don't have credit card debt. I don't take out massive loans for home improvement. I save up for home repairs and I pay cash. I like doing it that way. My cash paid for the driveway to be paved, the attic to be redone, the new windows to be installed, the fence. My cash will pay for my new clunker after the current clunker gives up the ghost, the window sills to be scraped and painted, and the new linoleum in my kitchen. I never understood the "keeping up with the Jones-es" compulsion and I refuse to participate in it. I choose to live within my means, not above it. We all make our choices.

Today I have chosen this format to put you on formal notice. Dear neighbors, my actions already bespeak my intentions to enjoy life to the fullest for however long I have left on this earth in my present form. I like feeding the birds and watching their antics from my back deck. I like sitting on said deck while my quiet dog snoozes in a patch of sunlight. I like my wildflower patch. I like my trees, bushes, weeds, flowers, bees, and chipmunks. I even like the little violets that grow in my grass. I like watching families of birds in my nesting boxes and forsythia bushes. I like studying the birds and other natural events from my bench on the back deck. I like hanging out on my back deck. The dog likes having a fenced in back yard. My mate likes resting on the back deck after weeding the tomato patch. The back deck and the smaller deck by my driveway both look like two people with brain damage stained it and I like that too. My dad helped me stain both decks.

My dad has dementia and I love him. My mate is fond of sharp edges and I love him. My dog is in love with life and I love her. I am defensive and irritable and brain damaged and I love myself.

No love,
sapphoq healing t.b.i.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A Murder of Crows - Volume 29

Although I don't think anyone has a patent on inspiration, I try to get it where ever I can. Last Friday it was rainy and cold out, and that means one thing that I rarely can escape, arthritis. My elbows were on fire, and after a few naproxen and some heat wraps I was able to get it all under control. I crawled out of bed thinking to myself that the silver lining in today was that it was leg and torso day, so the flaring pain wasn't really going to interfere with my workout. This is a plus, because sometimes I, like anyone else can find any reason in the world to not go to the gym. Why should it be any different when I have what I think are legitimate reasons?

Well needless to say this week my favorite training partner had been coming back to the gym as the weather had been better than it had been over the winter. He had said he was showing up today, so I figured that I better make damn sure I was going to be there, so he didn't think I stood him up. Throw in the fact that he would be ruthless to me on Monday when he came back again if I was such a pussy that I didn't come in. That one mile drive that I would have to make to come in, seems nothing in retrospective of what he goes through to get to the gym and with the pouring rain today there was a part of me that thought he might not make it, but that little voice in the back of my head was telling me that I better not risk it.

If this all sounds pretty peculiar on the surface you need to know that my friend Tim is in a wheelchair, and he was born with Spina Bifida. Needless to say, helping him out at the gym adds an extra half hour to my workouts, but it is rewarding in a dozen ways at least. First and foremost being that he a cool SOB, but second and most of the rest would be inspiration. You see my one mile drive to the gym doesn't really compare to his bus ride, going through 4 towns, and a transfer, to get into the gym. He comes in and he does what he can to strengthen himself, and the whole time he does it with good cheer and humor. The extra time I take setting him up between my own sets is not a hindrance, to the contrary I have found that it has given me far greater gains in strength and growth. Again in more ways than the vain.

Here comes the fun part, but why in the name of God would he appreciate a right wing whacko, full of ego, completely anti political correctness, and often too headstrong to be of any use to anyone? Well he happens to be the same thing. As scary of a thought s that is, he likes the fact that I don't watch my mouth around him, crack jokes about his disability, whine about the same sports teams and politics, and marvel at how the hour and a half flies by. Of course I don't treat him like he is handicapped, although there are times I will ask him if some evil torture I concocted for him to do is even feasible, but his stubbornness keeps him in tune with what I am doing almost every step of the way. The symbiotic relationship helps him as well from what he has pointed out because I push his boundaries a hell of a lot more than people that are concerned with political correctness. If I used the words “fucking cripple” as much as he did I probably would never stop blushing, so that might change the dynamic as well.

“Well buddy you ruined my whole day,” I told him as he came wheeling in.

“Wait until you help adjust me in the chair and I'm making the sex sounds when the girls walk by,” he threw back at me. “Your arms hurt today?” he threw in because he pretty much knew what I meant. I had told a few people that if he showed up in the pouring rain then it would take away my sympathy for the arthritis acting up. He did end up making sex sounds when I pulled him up in his chair because he slumped, prick!

The workout was briefer than usual because he had a harder time getting in and was running late, but as I taught him, and in turn he had taught me, the object lesson is to “do it and get it over with” before you don't bother doing it at all. We both know as I have ranted in plenty of blogs that it is a lot easier to skip going to the gym when you have the experience of skipping the gym, and even a 30 minute work out will stave that bad habit off. It's getting to the point though where he is starting to get too aggressive about lifting, as he wanted to do chest and shoulders again, but as a big meanie head {or as he put it “picking on the cripple”} I had to kibosh that since he did that the day before. The “picking on the cripple” part came from the fact that I wouldn't grab the weights he wanted, and gave him the bars to work his abs. He hates working abs so that is something we both have in common too, but he did it! He also came wheeling into the gym today and the first words out of his mouth were, “So you going to be nicer to the cripple today, or am I going to have to call the ACLU?” How can you not love a friend like this? :8o)

Other Crap This Weirdo Publishes... The Crow's Nest {The Homepage of Jeremy Crow} Mental Notes & Random Musings {Daily Blog} Mental Rants & Political Rage {For Those That Like His Political Rantings} Mental Imagry & Random Perversion {Adult Stories .. Assume they are rated X} Itching For Coffee {Community Blog} Jeremy Crow on Twitter {For The Easily Amused} Blogaholics Anonymous {E-Mail Blogging Group}

Nothing that was printed here was intended to offend anyone, and if it did, screw ya, you begged for it. If you believe that there are some measures that can be taken to change me, then please feel free to pray for me, and while you are at it yourself, because you read this far, and if you hated every minute of it, then you are an idiot, not me, or the other people who like what I have to say! .. Jeremy

Want More Free Art? ...Visit the new angelis deZines on the web at

All writings Copyright © 2010 & Beyond The Crows Nest

Monday, 22 March 2010

The Aftermath

I have not heard a peep from the VESID counselor nor from the job handler. I have heard that I am "not motivated to work." And I wonder what caused those two to arrive at that horribly wrong guess. My post-brain-damaged problems with executive functions such as initiation is NOT equivalent to problems with motivation. Idiots! I don't have problems with motivation. I have many other problems, but that is not one of them. I declare VESID as having amotivational syndrome. Not me. Cripes.

It's alright. I choose to concentrate on the next clean thing. The dishes in the sink. The dog that wishes a walk. Phone calls to make. Volunteer work. Looking for a job in a bookstore or library.

And so I find myself on this Monday morning plotting my next moves without the benefit of those two professional/paraprofessional "helpers" in my life.

And one more thing: How dare you, all of you whose job it is to ensure that we the disabled land menial mind-numbing jobs, believe that we all disabled people everywhere sit home on our butts all day in boredom out of our minds without your sheltered workshops to labor at and without the benefit of your entertainment. Idiots!

just spike

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Jumping Through Hoops

A meeting was held between the job developer and myself. We both showed up with an uninvited guest. I came equipped with an advocate whose primary function is to keep me from exploding in fury and the developer with the VESID counselor in tow who "wanted to see" me.

Many things happened during this meeting. Apparently I had met with the VESID counselor in November and we had spoken about going to school for computer repair. I do remember getting a list of questions in an e-mail regarding this and filing the questions under "totally overwhelming and just not able to get started on researching and answering." These questions allow the VESID folks to distinguish between VESID customers who are able to do the required research in order to get VESID to finance a bit of edumacation from those of us who have brain injuries and aren't able to do the extensive interviewing and looking up stats in order to get VESID to finance a bit of edumacation. [This talk of edumacation may be a moot point as I tried taking an online course in computers and stopped doing any of the related assignments after the second or third week]. At any rate, I thought the last time I had met with the VESID counselor was sometime in the summer. And thus I didn't remember to call the VESID counselor in January "after the holidaze" because I don't remember us meeting in November. I believe the VESID counselor when she said we had met-- I just have no recall of it. If I was able to locate last year's appointment book within the disorganized heaps laying around my home, then I would at least have something in my own handwriting showing that there was such a meeting.

Consequently, when the job developer called me whenever she called me to set up the recent meeting and she told me that my employment plan now says part-time work with animals like in a shelter or something I was willing to accept that. Whenever it last was that the job developer and I had a meeting I believe there was a discussion about that. Over the phone, the job handler allowed as how she would go with me to seek out volunteer work related to animals and that she would go with me to get me into such a place. Please bring the names of three animal places you would like to work at. I did.

Once the VESID counselor came into the room though, things changed. Due to funding, this cannot be. They cannot help me get volunteer work, even as a pre-requisite to seeking employment. They can get me "work tryouts" or assessments cleaning animal cages and whatnot. And wasn't I wanting to go to school for computer repair anyway? That was when I found out that the VESID counselor and I had met in November.

Along with work tryouts there was some talk about:
* a "new" t.b.i. day program,
* and t.b.i. residences,
* and the usefullness to them of having reminder notes [I have tons of lists and charts and notes but the problem is I don't remember to look at them IF I remember where they are],
*and a guy doing t.b.i. in private practice at his home evenings,
* and make an appointment with so-and-so regarding getting people in to help me organize and clean my house that isn't based upon Medicaid funding which I don't have.
I became overloaded within twenty minutes but the meeting lasted for forty five minutes.

I told them-- the VESID counselor and the job developer-- three times that I was overloaded with information. The VESID counselor informed me that she wanted me to ask questions if I didn't understand something. I was at the point where I was catching only isolated words of the conversation between the two of them. After the third time of stating that I was overloaded and adding that I was done and had to go, the meeting was brought to a close.

Once in the parking lot, the advocate commented that she was getting overloaded in there-- and she doesn't even have a brain injury. She also said that these two were not "getting" me as far as she can tell and some other things like that. Their whole focus was to push me into working (even as a "cashier" or someone who puts together uretha catheters-- I can't imagine myself succeeding at either occupation). Meanwhile, a friend of mine who lives in the same town was found a volunteer position by the job handler and a couple acquaintances several counties over were both directed by their job developers to do specific volunteer work at specific places related to their job goals.

At any rate, the job developer is supposed to contact me about the next deal-- work assessments cleaning up after animals-- at some point. For those of you whom VESID or O.V.R. has proven useful, that's cool. This has been years now of non-useful for me. I who used to access services and develop resources for others to utilize have been unsuccessful at utilizing services my own self. Ain't that a kick in the head.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A Murder of Crows - Volume 28

Well I was really proud of myself the last few weeks because I took all of my IRS booty and set all of my affairs strait. I paid off all my credit cards, cell bill, and socked away the rest for my auto insurance and the cost of registering my cars next month. Now this is on top of the extra things that I had done along the way, like getting Valentines gifts the debt left over from having to rebuild my computer last month, and paying for the myriad of “extra expenses” that I have to procure for my kids involving school. In the the end there is a really good feeling that comes over me just being at zero for a change instead of miles away from it. Of course that should teach me to feel good huh?

Well to make a long story short, I was on my way to work last night in that wonderful global warming that you couldn't even see through. Again I did everything right and was proud of myself. Needless to say I had no respect for everyone else on the road that were doing everything so horribly wrong. Accidents abound. Driving at 10 mph and sitting at every intersection for about 10 minutes waiting for the line of traffic to subside so that you could get on the next road made me damn late to begin with. So much for that extra half hour I added just in case huh? Of course I didn't sweat that, if I'm late I'm late because I never am anyway. Oh I was late alright.

I finally got into the clear, and was driving along at a brisk 20 mph, which by the standards I had gotten to that point, was NASCAR like, but still quite controllable. When I finally got to that nice bend in the road {at a bridge of course for added drama} my car decided it was going strait no matter what I did. I didn't everything right again. Tapped the brakes, tried to roll against it, and what was worse than all of that was most of it was seeming to work because by the end of the slide, it was in such amazing slow motion that I could have drawn pictures of it. I was even noticeably happy that when I hit that curb in about 15 minutes, I am not going fast enough in the least to even flirt with going over the bridge. I finally hit the curb and bounced away from it about a foot at worst. Fortunately again I was at a point where there was no traffic, so I didn't have to get bounced around by oncoming traffic or the usual genius in an SUV tailgating you. I breathed a sigh of relief and started on my way again. Guess what?

The front end of the Cavalier was practically hopping up and down as it drove along, so I was thinking flat tire, and some things I'm not going to put in a rare G rated blog out of myself. I pulled over in a spot where the road looked wide enough and found the hubcap to be shredded and hanging off in one spot so I ripped it off and noted that the tire was perfectly fine. Again a sigh of relief and again I was driving a Compton Low Rider that hopped along the road. I continued along to work bouncing along because I was already late enough, and then went in to start my shift. Of course I still had to come out an hour later to drive my poor little Government Motors vehicle across the street.

Thump Thump Thump I went along being rather miserable that my problem didn't disappear like all the rest never seem to either. Of course my mind was seeing all of that money I saved for insurance and registrations sprouting little wings and flying away. I got out of my car across the street and looked at the tires to see that one was at an awfully strange angle. Oh great, that little love tap completely bent my axle at the best of circumstances. Needless to say the fact that I was able to hop the whole 45 minute drive home is reasonable evidence that it isn't the ball joint or something that would have made the wheel fly off. This is the only freaking car that my grandmother will drive so that means one thing. If I'm lucky I'll only be short the auto insurance and the registration fees without going into my credit cards again, because it is the only vehicle that I can't just leave in the driveway until I can afford to fix it. YAY Jeremy!

Can I just be honest here? These are those times when you just want to throw your hands in the air and scream that you just don't give a crap anymore. “I GIVE UP!” went through my mind quite a few times as I was hopping the whole way home. Of course this isn't an option, and it never is. I don't have the options that my wonderful ex-wife has of floating from house to house, refusing to take care of myself and demanding that others do it for me. Yeah Yeah Yeah .. childish of me to start throwing around others faults, but seriously, I am always one “Oh Crap” away from destitution, being the mother and the father to 3 kids, and it always comes down to that no matter what happens. I have no right to a piece of mind at any time, and YES I do want to throw my self on the floor and bang my rattle and demand things myself sometimes. I do everything in my power to do the right things, and the forces of evil do nothing but sit around and peck at every one of my faults. They delight in my failings, accidents, insecurities. I just don't get that option, and I probably never will. I have to do the right things, and I will never get credit for doing “most of the right things” because it's all or nothing. On a brighter note, I've been broke, and I only have to wait another year to get caught up for a few days! Someday I assume that the satisfaction of doing my best will set in, or so the psychiatrists tell me. ;8o)

Other Crap This Weirdo Publishes... The Crow's Nest {The Homepage of Jeremy Crow} Mental Notes & Random Musings {Daily Blog} Mental Rants & Political Rage {For Those That Like His Political Rantings} Mental Imagry & Random Perversion {Adult Stories .. Assume they are rated X} Itching For Coffee {Community Blog} Jeremy Crow on Twitter {For The Easily Amused} Blogaholics Anonymous {E-Mail Blogging Group}

Nothing that was printed here was intended to offend anyone, and if it did, screw ya, you begged for it. If you believe that there are some measures that can be taken to change me, then please feel free to pray for me, and while you are at it yourself, because you read this far, and if you hated every minute of it, then you are an idiot, not me, or the other people who like what I have to say! .. Jeremy

Want More Free Art? ...Visit the new angelis deZines on the web at

All writings Copyright © 2009 & Beyond The Crows Nest

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Still Sorrow

1. Dad continues on a cognitive decline. In spite of his own anguish (he is aware of his dementia),
he still remembers to send cards for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. As I bear witness to the crystallization and shattering of his brain, my heart breaks.

2. My mother called today talking about arrangements after her death. I have regrets. It is difficult even now for me to live with what could have been. I am frustrated at my own inability to do the correct thing-- to make the common gestures that society dictates.

3. Money worries can swallow up folks around me and make for a certain harshness. These are times of tough decisions and priorities. I must remain my own priority. When all is said and done and counted, we are all alone in our own skins. I have not been able to work since my car accident. I blame myself for these financial messes.

4. I directly requested that a couple of people refrain from publishing/perpetrating the latest "computer virus" HOAX in one of my second-life-is-trying-to-eat-me groups without checking to see if there was any truth to the latest circulating piece of crap e-mail and instant message "warning" us not to open any e-mail or attachment that says "Black in the White House." This is an old HOAX that has been around since the year 2000 in various forms. A simple check with snopes dot com reveals all.
Why is it that intelligent people get all giddy at the prospect of impending doom and then feel compelled to spread the word? I am sick to death of the irrationality of the co-inhabitants on this planet. This latest piece of crap is just one example.
My directness appears to be in conflict with expected web behavior. Am I supposed to beg folks to not engage in mindless clone behaviors or what? I don't get it.

5. I feel like cutting and running. Once again, the poet retreats to her lair with nothing for sustenance but her words.