Lately things have been just a little on the hectic side of the fence. I don't know just how far back I want to go with this, but...
Centenarian is getting worse. No surprise here, the lady is well over one hundred years old. When the old chassis started to fail Main Lady took Centenarian to the ER where she was examined and admitted with a problem in the boiler house. She stayed three days and came out in worse shape than she was in prior to being admitted. That's the beginning...
...and you can read about it here, in Centenarian Update. Suffice to say that Centenarian is quiescent some of the time, but the trouble is that when she isn't she needs attention from a patient, understanding care giver, which pretty much lets me out right away. That means Main Lady is working whenever she's at home, which is now Centenarian's house. She gets help from a professional care giver who puts in about 20 hours a week, and who is augmented by Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail when they can put their own lives on hold for a long weekend and help out. Note that they can't be in town all the time.
So last week Centenarian had an extremely bad three day stretch where she couldn't sleep for more than an hour or so at a time, and then would only sleep at odd intervals. When she was awake she'd go through anxiety attacks coupled with dementia. Between the sleep deprivation and the stress of not being able to comfort Centenarian, Main Lady ran out of energy. Just ran right out.
So at four in the morning the situation had gone from unbearable right past completely unbearable and into the middle of tortuous, and I didn't learn a thing about this situation until later. Fortunately for all of us Excellent Rachmaninoff was there and offered Main Lady some comfort and sanity, proving once again that the outside of the dog is good for the inside of the man. Or in this case, the inside of Main Lady.
Centenarian's condition has improved since then, largely due to a very competent nurse and a medical doctor who makes house calls and who is very particular about balancing the quality of Centenarian's life against the suspected length of that life - truly a rare individual. The MD admitted that she'd gone through a similar situation with her own mother, and by the time she reached her mother's home and was brought up to speed on the situation a lot of damage had been done by a team of medical personnel who failed to communicate with each other effectively and whose list of priorities were a whole lot different than the patient's or the patient's family's priorities. Quality of life was on one list and not on the other.
Those of you who can bring my Cast of Characters to mind might be asking where Ding Bat is during all this. Well, I'll tell you. Ding Bat is sitting in a Florida hospital recovering from a perforated colon, said perforation being caused by an infection that (I guess) ate its way through the wall of her colon and is now raising merry hell with whatever is in her abdominal cavity. Ding Bat is being treated, and that's all I know - except I know that Ding Bat was taken to the ER by her husband DC Law, who waited around for a while then informed Ding Bat that it was pointless for him to stay, so he was going home to have dinner and an extended cocktail hour. Six martinis a night, I'm told.
Not that Ding Bat would be a lot of help, but something is generally better than nothing. Well, the last time Ding Bat was in town she informed Main Lady that she, Ding Bat, didn't feel qualified to look after Centenarian while Main Lady went to the store. Not to put too fine a point on this, but Centenarian doesn't remember Ding Bat these days, a fact that Main Lady refuses to divulge in the interests of familial harmony, and she's probably right about that.
The Church hasn't provided whole bunches of help either. Main Lady and Centenarian have been faithfully attending the same Church for over ten years - I think it's closer to twenty years - and by faithful I mean that they don't miss many Sundays. Maybe two or three a year. So you'd think the pastor would look in on them every once in a while, but that is not happening. The only person to call or stop in and see how things are going and offer a little help, consoling conversation or prayer is a retired minister who visits their Church irregularly. Main Lady tells me that she feels a little abandoned by the Church. I don't much blame her. I spoke to my own pulpit pounder, Pastor Skypilot, about this and in his not so humble opinion he hears this story a lot more than anyone would think. I think his words might have been, "That's pretty common."
You'd think a church that was full of pastors, deacons, elders and other officials would have a few people who would at least call and check on a member who hadn't been seen in several months, but I guess not. Shame on 'em, I say.
Flopsy is coming into town this weekend and we're going to see about having her move into Centenarian's house on a temporary permanent basis. I'm encouraging this, as Flopsy lost her job recently through no fault of her own. Her boss had a short talk with her last payday and confessed he was flat broke and busted. He had just enough money to pay her and that was it. So maybe Flopsy could move in for a while. There's plenty of space, Flopsy is very good with Centenarian and Main Lady really needs the help.
As for me, I'm taking Main Lady out dancing this Friday, and if I can wrestle her into a position of submission I'm going to check us into a nice hotel for the night, sleep late the next day and have breakfast in the room.
If you got religion, I would appreciate a prayer. If you don't, pray anyway. In my opinion the Lord is always glad to hear from us.