Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hopice:That was Yesterday/This is Today/Tomorrow is Tomorrow/


We meet with the hospice rep in the hospital room of the man who loves me. Immediately, with a sad-eyed dog look and a honeyed voice, he blurts out a bunch of shit about how the hospice “can be there for us 24/7.” 
"Well, stop right there," I say. "So there could be someone 24/7 at my house if I took D home with me for hospice?” I'd already spent two or three days figuring out that wasn't possible. And that the 24/7 would be necessary since I also care for my mom.
Mr. Hospice Guy, henceforth known as The Tool then tells us nope, well, not really and begins talking about respite care only he keeps saying respice like it was a weak rhyme with hospice. If we need respice care, that’s 24/7, he says.  For maybe 3 or 4 days. Tool. He calls D “young man.” Tool. He keeps saying transition and transitioning. 
"You mean death and dying," I say. He keeps confusing Medicare and Medi-Cal every single fucking time he speaks. Could we please change the names of both of those programs? How about ElderMed and PoverMed so Tools can get it straight. When he leaves, I would chug a glass of poison if I could get my hands on one. Bartender, drinks are on me. A round for everyone at the bar.


A woman in an exquisite rose-colored polka-dot dress comes to fill out the hospice forms. She manages somehow to be simultaneously all-business and kind. After I get D settled in at the nursing home, the hospice nurse comes. She's wearing a pink smock with the name of the hospice and scrubs with hearts, but she's direct. Full of information about pain meds, and hope for being comfortable without being a zombie. She's asks if the goal is to get D to return home. "I would love to have him at my house," I say, giving her the facts of my seemingly impossible situation.
"It might not be impossible," she says. "Talk to the social worker. They have lots of community resources."

Tomorrow: Who the hell knows? For tonight, the man who loves me is in a nursing home. I'm sitting on my couch. Watching HGTV. I watched endless hours of HGTV after my divorce, never changing the channel. Maybe a couple of weeks from now, he'll be next to me, and the two of us will be staring a TV show where people obsess over granite countertops and his and her closets.

The Pie:

I was gone from 10:00 a.m. until after 6:00 this evening. M and her girlfriend stayed with my mom, bought groceries, reminded her to drink her Ensure,  made her dinner, AND they made a pie. Mixed berry. Gluten-free crust. It was beyond divine. Maybe this is a harbinger of the love and support that awaits us.


Ms. Moon said...

I am sorry about The Tool. Most hospice people are not tools but in my experience, angels. So eff him and let the angels deal with you.
Angels who know what they're talking about and angels who make pies.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But I am glad there is help.

Allison said...

Our hospice people were good, but there are tools everywhere. I'm so sorry you need hospice.

37paddington said...

You are dealing with so much. HGTV can be very soothing, as if somewhere life can be as simple as back splashes and open concepts. I wish things were not so hard for you. Sending love.

Elizabeth Harper said...

I want to say first that my heart is so sad that you need hospice care for the man who loves you. I can't imagine the heartache you must be feeling.

Second, not all hospice folks are like the "tool" sent to explain things to you. I have met some like that and I'm sorry that you had to have that experience added to what is already a heart breaking one.

I was working for a hospice when I met my husband and know that some are better than others. I hope the people who provide the daily care will be better. They are usually are "angels" as Ms Moon said.

I am so sorry, I had hoped for something miraculous.

ain't for city gals said...

We had Hospice for eight months when my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer...we took advantage of every moment we had left with my dad. Hospice took care of everything for us...mainly making sure of the meds and equipment. I know my dad really hated having Hospice because know but he remained home the entire time and passed away in his own bed peacefully....and we didn't even call hospice...that is how much we learned from them. But even with Hospice remember that he and you are still in charge...every thing is still his decision. I am so sorry it is going this way for the man who loves you..I too hoped it would all turn around. p.s...much better to be home with hospice than in a nursing home.

lily cedar said...

I'm sorry Denise. It's beyond awful watching someone you love die.

Last week I sat beside my girlfriend and we cried, both of us knowing that her cancer will kill her but neither of us wanting to say it out loud. I love her and I don't want her to pass out of my life. She has three young daughters. Nothing is fucking fair!

Elizabeth said...

Your sense of humor through all of this horror is sublime. I am sending you and that dear man love. And more love and more cherry pie.