Monday, January 13, 2014

Can I Get a Refund on This New Year?

New Year's Eve Day, Dad woke up and couldn't breathe. 911 called. He'd had an acute pulmonary edema. The ambulance wouldn't take him to the VA, so he went to another hospital we don't know. I had a terrible cold, so after he was squared and wired in the ER, I called my sister to take my place. I left my brother home alone, having called his companion to get him to come downstairs to go out. My neighbor was on alert, thank goodness. Dad was in the hospital until Sunday, when I went to pick him up, with my brother who hates hospitals. The doctor hadn't filled out the discharge papers, and the oxygen order hadn't been written so we had a long wait. It took 3 women to get my father in a wheelchair. Heads up for all who witness this: there is no way you can get anyone out of the car who cannot walk. When he was in the car, it dawned on me. The aide said "call the fire department to get him in the house." Another clue. Don't do this. Got home in the snowstorm to a sidewalk and parking lot not shoveled yet. It took 8 firefighters and 2 policemen to get him in the house in a blanket carry. No help during the storm. The attending physician had let him out without the new heart medication, and it took from Sunday to Thursday to get that written. Couldn't reach the VA to talk with his primary care physician. Couldn't reach the home health people. Somehow we got through the week, including an episode of delusion and panic in the middle of the night twice. And then I started getting crazy, too. Now we have 5 people who are contingent employees of the home health organization, which means the person coordinating the schedule is me. The person emptying the urinals, and supervising the walker use is me. The cafeteria was open 24/7 until I put a stop to that. No soft boiled eggs at 2:30 a.m. My sister came over Friday and I was able to go to a hotel to stop my head from spinning. But I could still hear Dad calling me. My brother is disoriented, the dog is disoriented, and we're all confused and tired. My sister took the dog because he was barking all night. I am dreaming of a vacation. A week. It will take 2 days to stop hearing voices, 2 days to sleep, and then I can have a really fun time. For now, I'm working hard to maintain my sanity.

Friday, January 3, 2014

You Watch Your Phraseology

Picked up Yes, I Could Care Less by Bill Walsh today. The subhead is how to be a language snob without being a jerk. Got as far as page 2. Introducing us to the concept of common usage, and that some words we consider incorrect are just nonstandard, Walsh then chooses to admonish us: Language change is inevitable, so why not lie back and enjoy it? The first chapter title is are people just careless? I already have the answer to that. The last line I read made me feel sick. I don't know any other reference, or colloquialism or dialect or usage that could relate to any other understanding of the phrase. I am bloody sick of this sort of thoughtlessness. My mother, when she did explain the reasoning behind whatever punishment had been meted out, would talk about how balls start rolling. Let this go, and then there's more, because clearly it's okay through common usage to pass on this, and that pass gains momentum and here we are with every state in the US, and the government of same, trying to take rights away from women. There are cat fights on twitter and facebook about slut walks and slut shaming, which only tells me that women have jumped into the fray in a way that helps nobody. We have had a decade of more women's rights reversals than in any other decade in history, and a contributor to this affront is letting phrases like this continue to live. Women are hypervigilant, and if we're not, we damn well better start being. For me today, it's refusing to read a book that uses that thoughtless and foul reference.  Some thinking person needed to have taken that phrase out. Thanks, Mayor Shinn, for the title of this post from Meredith Wilson's The Music Man.