18 May 2010

Working Backwards To A Funeral (Part I)

Insomnia is once again my best friend.

The last few days have been full of fitful sleep and vivid dreams, making me toss and turn throughout the night. Finally, I'll give in and get out of bed sometimes wasting the extra hours of unwanted time, like this morning, on the Internet, surfing through the flotsam and jetsam on Facebook or one of the many news sites I subscribe to, reading up on the same stories that I am hearing, simultaneously, on Good Morning America. Then there are the other times I'll get directly out of bed, grabbing cleaning supplies and getting my weekly chores done in the early morning hours before everyone else wakes up.
Although today wasn't a total waste of time, I did begin my laundry and had to wander out in the rain, collecting the lawn furniture and trash bins that blew around the yard and driveway. I'm concerned that the heavy rains and winds may have damaged the new plantings but it'll be a while before I can make an assessment.
Later today, I have to get to the gym and then it's off to Hammonton for a little get-together with Stephen Moore. He's taking me out for a belated birthday celebration, the details of which I'm not privy to but I'm sure it will be a great time. I'm glad I woke up in good spirits today...

...unlike yesterday. I was exhausted from the day before and thought I'd sleep like the dead but I was wrong. I was up every half hour and never got to the R.E.M. sleep that's crucial to providing the benefits that a deep sleep possesses and because of that, I was in a foul mood the entire day. I was getting pissy reading people's Facebook status updates, I was getting annoyed at the cat who only wanted the usual attention he gets in the morning, I hated the coffee I was drinking, I was irked at the dogs for wanting to play, my hair was thisclose to being shaved totally off my head, my elbow was inexplicably hurting and I could barely bend it, I was just a completely miserable, hateful person. I sat at the computer and stewed in my bile, wishing something would come along to salvage the day. The only saving grace was that as the afternoon wore on, Claudia didn't show up. Helene's pet project has assumed that she can come here each and every day, whether Helene's here or not, and sprawl across the couch from ten in the morning to ten at night, pontificating on and questioning every movement I make in my own house. She's actually a nice person but she can be a busy body and ask too many questions. And she is a huge mooch.
So, that being said, I was damned glad she wasn't there and I didn't have to deal with her in my dark mood.
Even with my elbow hurting me, I decided that I would go to the gym. That's always a great place to work out your frustrations and get some Zen. Maybe throwing around some heavy objects in the name of Narcissus would spur the manufacture of some endorphins to elevate my mood.
I got ready although I procrastinated, taking my sweet ol' time. The gym would be there and the overcast skies and my elbow weren't helping with my motivation. I finally left the house and began walking to the gym, listening to my mp.3 player along the way, scrolling through the songs one after another because they were all annoying me. It would have been a good day for some speed-metal or gloomy Goth-rock but, sadly, I had downloaded mostly upbeat songs, sixties girl groups and some eighties New Wave.
I was around Richard's Avenue in Ventnor when my mobile rang. I thought it was Miss Patti, who usually rings me when she's walking to work but I was mistaken, it was Helene. I answered and she wanted to know what I was doing and I told her I was on my way to the gym. She said, "Okay, never mind" and hung up and I breathed a sigh of relief because, knowing her, she had something for me to do, something I probably wouldn't like and with her "never mind", I was off the hook. But before I could count my blessings, she rang me back and went right into her request. And I knew by her tone that I had no choice but to agree with whatever it would happen to be. I girded my loins and asked her what she needed from me.
Doris, her other pet project, had to go to hospital, NOW and I had to go with her! She's been having trouble swallowing and just threw up her breakfast and was coughing and choking. I halfheartedly tried to get out of going, reminding Helene that I was on the way to the gym but I knew that it was a lame excuse and I turned around and began the trek back home. I got the final details from her and hung up the phone and my mood, which was rather dark to begin with, turned pitch black.

Doris has early-onset Alzheimer's among a long list of other ailments which I won't go into here. Her daily pill regimen would kill a bull elephant. Helene wanted me to go with her so I could talk to the hospital staff on Doris' behalf and listen to the diagnosis and inform Helene of everything that transpires. Doris is very forgetful, especially in stressful situations and she would have gotten the entire diagnosis wrong. I understood the reasons she wanted me to go and I agreed with them (better safe than sorry) but I was in no mood to do this. I also knew that it was going to be a waste of time, that it was Helene's overreaction that was sending Doris to hospital, not Doris' condition. I got home and changed out of my gym clothes and put on jeans and a hoodie and off we went to Shore Memorial Hospital, driving down the island and going over the Longport bridge to Somers Point, where the hospital is located. Doris' driving is another matter altogether! She's a madwoman on the roads, very aggressive and rarely follows even the most basic traffic rules. Like speed limits. Like red lights. Like turn signals. Like signs. So driving with her is another drama-rama to add to my already lovely and lighthearted mood.
We finally got to hospital, which is under construction, and she was complaining that all the parking is gone, driving everywhere trying to find a spot. Complaining as if they actually started the construction months ago and tore up the streets and former parking lot because they knew that on Tuesday, the seventeenth of May, Doris would need to park at the hospital and it was their goal to annoy her.
We finally found a spot and went to the packed emergency room, filled out the forms and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

You see, she's presenting no actual threat to her life, since she's talking and breathing with no problem so her choking complaint is low on the triage list. So we waited.

And waited some more.

Finally, they called her name and off we went to the back so she could get the "once over". Suffice to say, after prodding, poking, orifice eyeballing and an X-ray, they concluded she needed to see a specialist. Which she already has an appointment for on Thursday.

To sum it up, it was a COLOSSAL WASTE OF MY TIME!!! By now it was six at night, too late for me to get to the gym (they close at seven p.m) and my day was completely shot.

We left and I rang up Helene and left a message about Doris' condition and had Doris take me to Wawa so I could get some provisions and she went about her business. I walked home through the drizzle and I opened my front door and noticed the telly was on and I heard a "Hello" and realized that my hateful day just got even worse:

Claudia was sprawled all over the couch!

I simply greeted her back, curtly, grabbed my things and went to the bedroom, where I hid until she left, at ten-thirty.

I took my Lunesta once she left, climbed into bed and that brings me back to the beginning of this entry.


  1. 1. If Doris has early onset Alzheimer's, how in the world is she still allowed to drive? This scares me...

    2. This entry reminds me of a Seinfield episode

    3. Nyquil is great for getting some REMs...in fact I'm going to take some now :)

    4. Love and adore you

    5. I've been inspired to write in my blog again (ok, I'm bored facebooking and looking after my fish)