Drama Queen

This isn’t going to be a funny story. Our caregiver, whom I have dubbed the Drama Queen because of her temper tantrums, ugly remarks to residents, and bad temper in general, has been at it again. Since I have been short on sleep, I haven’t been able to deal with caregiver’s teenaged behavior with my usual good grace. Caregiver always picks on me and Zelma, a lady in a wheelchair who is also afflicted with dementia, but that day she picked on Melinda, a woman born with an affliction that left her with many physical problems. She walks with a walker, but sort of drags one foot. She has a struggle, and here comes Caregiver, Queen of the Jungle, raising Cain with her because the cap on one of her liquid medications was loose and spilled. God forbid! Queenie put the bottle up, but it was Melinda’s fault. Jungle Woman blames everyone but herself for her mistakes. Me, Zelma, Melinda, even Jo, her only real friend here, as the rest of us just tolerate her. Barbara is the only one she hasn’t attacked. Barbara makes herself invisible, rarely speaking and never voicing an opinion save in the confines of her room. When Sheena, the cat woman, attacked Melinda, quiet, gentle Melinda was upset. Her hands were shaking.

I am still upset. After a week of anger strewn recklessly towards anyone at will, I don’t want to be around Juliet again for a while. My nerves can’t take it. I’m eating lunch and supper in my room. Juliet, alias Caregiver, alias Catwoman, can use her claws on somebody else. Not me. I am going to be quiet in my room and try to regain my sanity before I say anything I’m told I shouldn’t to Miss Sheena. Frankly, if I had to live in the jungle with an animal like that, I would gather the other animals together and kill the offender. Unfortunately, I can only keep my mouth shut.

Bedbugs

On Thanksgiving, my daughter Sherry came to visit and take me out to eat dinner at the local Cracker Barrel! It was fun. We both ordered the Thanksgiving dinner, which my daughter gobbled up like there was no tomorrow, and I ate what I could. It was good. Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, dressing with gravy, biscuits ( that I brought home with me) and sweet potato pie, which I also brought home with me. Boy ! Was that pie delicious! I found myself wishing I had bought a whole pie 🥧!

What does this have to do with bedbugs you say? Well, the day before Thanksgiving, Caregiver had treated a lady’s room for bedbugs. This particular room has been infested since before I got here. I was told that Owner called in professional exterminator to get rid of these little demons, but the exterminator must have been a cheap one , like the one she uses to get rid of the never ending family of roaches . He didn’t get rid of either the roaches or the bedbugs. Just made them a tad nauseous so they had to stay home for a while. So now! Here we are again!

I am told I should report this mishap on the Owner’s part, and hope that this time she will actually spend some money to rid Rose Blossom of bedbugs at least. The trouble with this? I will report the situation. Everyone will become angry with me for upsetting the status quo. Owner will call my aunt and tell her I cannot stay here anymore. Then, when State comes to make sure bedbugs are on ice, the stinking little bugs that survived the cheap exterminator will be hiding and it will certainly LOOK 👀 like they are gone. Case closed. End of story. Except for the lady in the room with the bedbugs, and she gets bit.

So what to do. Play another game of trying to get something done when Owner couldn’t care less, State won’t check the room thoroughly, and the situation will remain? Or tell the Ombudsman exactly what WILL happen and what NEEDS to happen. Then if she says , Sorry. I can only do so much, give up. I have no idea. I do know this. My mother always said you had to pass a moron test to work for the government. I believe she was right on target.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Everyone loves Thanksgiving dinner. The traditional turkey and dressing, gravy, potatoes in some form. Sweet potato casserole !!! With marshmallows on top! Yummy…not to mention green bean casserole and maybe macaroni and cheese, the way my son makes it, with some vodka in it. Delicious. And maybe a fruit salad. Homemade biscuits. Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple pie! I get hungry just making out the menu! My mother always added broccoli casserole that we all liked, and other fillers when there got to be so many of us. Us kids brought dishes, too, recipes the others hadn’t tried yet. It was fun to see everyone digging in and enjoying this feast of food and fellowship. This seemed to be the one time of year when bickering ceased. Old arguments were left at the door, and pure enjoyment had its way. This is why God instituted the art of thanksgiving in our lives. He recommends this practice highly because a constant giving and thankful attitude leaves us time to live our lives in the most wonderful, enjoyable ways ever. My father had always tried to teach this to me and to my brothers and sister, and while I know we fall short of living this way, we always come back around to gratitude as a way of lifting ourselves up in difficult times, and giving thanks as a form of discounting the bad that has happened. It works. It works for me because I trust God with my life.

Drama Queen

You heard right. We have a drama queen here. Not a Dairy Queen. Wish it were a Dairy Queen. No, this Drama Queen is the Caregiver, Juliet. I must say she has the right name for a drama queen. She has always been bossy. Totally undiplomatic. Towards two of us here at Rose Blossom. Only two. When she is good, she is very, very good. But when she is bad , I start using conjunctions to begin my sentences . My eighth grade English teacher taught me better, but, gee, Mom, everyone is doing it! So I just jump in with my frustration and go fishing with conjunctions.

This woman will have a week or two of normal, calm, easygoing behavior, then WHAM!!!! Drama Queen strikes again! Unfortunately. At mealtime, say with spaghetti, the pasta is undercooked and the meat sauce is sparse on top of this treat. Yeah. The dishes are washed noisily and the cabinet doors are punished for allowing Queenie to open them. It hurts me to hear them slammed so hard. Then we are treated to a rundown of our faults and shortcomings. In my imagination I am stuffing something large and round in her mouth during this tirade, and eventually I go to my room and breathe. She gets on my last nerve, probably, because I know I haven’t seen the last of the temper tantrum. I have a whole week to enjoy watching her frown and sputter like a car out of gas. As for the dog, she doesn’t miss the dog. She yells at her also and runs her off from wherever she may happen to be. Thing is, we’re supposed to to just sit and take it. Take the bad food. Take the yelling. Take the banging and slamming and impatience. Until we, or I, just want to kick her and tell her to “Straighten up! For goodness sake! Who do you think you are? Someone special? You’re not. So shutup!”

I don’t though. I do what any sensible person would do when she’s having a nervous breakdown: I call the Ombudsman! Or text her. It may not achieve anything like a solution, but it makes me feel better. Then again, the Queen has been noted to calm herself after the call to the Ombudsman, so maybe some good was accomplished. My nerves began settling back in place, for one thing. I calmed down as Miss Moody calmed down. I feel more human, instead of like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I am able to think. Relax.

Drama of the nature that the Queen dishes out is definitely not healthy for her or even for her one friend here, Jo. It wears all of us out. It’s not good. I will certainly be glad when she leaves. In December, at the end. Lord, hasten the day!

I am cold

And dirty. The owner has kept the heat off, and several of the inmates here are cold all the time. One lady, with arthritis in her legs, suffers from the pain and the cold. Meanwhile, on the warmer days, my roommate and I are unable to shower since the chair in our bathtub is broken. It has been broken for 3 weeks. I was told that it is my responsibility to purchase another chair. My daughter said that she would, but this is Andrea’s place , not mine or my daughter’s. I called the Ombudsman, and her verdict is that the owner bears the responsibility for replacing the chair. In the meantime, owner Andrea has turned the heat completely off so that if we were able to shower, it would be a little chilly. Too cold. Besides, owner has been in another state, North Carolina, and was not even thinking of the dilemma here at Rose Blossom. I wonder how soon she will close it or have it taken away from her.

Medication? What medication?

My roommate had her thyroid taken out a few months ago. As a result, the doctor put her on a dosage of synthroid, a medication designed to replace normal thyroid duties. Synthroid does it’s job very nicely, too, when taken regularly. Here, at Rose Blossom, where there is no nurse, but only a caregiver with an education equivalent to a CNA, synthroid is given at breakfast. It says, plainly, on the package that it comes in, to take 30 minutes before eating. The caregiver, not finding this arrangement convenient for her schedule, ignores the directions and gives my roommate her synthroid after she has eaten breakfast. My roommate was a little upset. However, she quietly showed the reluctant caregiver the time given on the package, and then explained it in case caregiver was illiterate. Caregiver isn’t illiterate, just selfish and mean. She began arguing with my roommate, saying that the nurses ( there was only one) who had come to inspect didn’t care when my roommate got her synthroid. This was bullhockey and an attempt at cheesing my roommate, which it did. From experience, I know that an intelligent discussion with this particular caregiver is futile. She is right, She is going to have her way, and she doesn’t care who she hurts. The futility of it is what’s so horrible. Knowing no other help is available. If said caregiver does this to me, I will use all available resources at my fingertips to report her. I already reported her to the nurse who came the night before. I just hope what I have done does some good. The owner is an RN, but she is a twin to the caregiver. She simply doesn’t care. Your problem is your problem. Which, as a rule, makes it the Ombudsmen’s problem or the nurse’s problem. Your physician’s problem. The State’s problem. Get ready for a ride, Rose Blossom!

Trapped

Well, here it is, autumn, or fall, as we call it in the south. It’s getting dark at 7:30 pm now, and I must go to my room early. My roommate is already asleep. I am wide awake. If I go to bed now, I will wake up at 1:30 am with no hope of further rest. Everyone here at this personal care home retires by 8:00 pm. Bummer. There is nothing for me to do and nowhere for me to go. I really don’t look forward to a whole winter of bedtime at 8:00, sleepy or not. I don’t look forward to staying at this place anyway. There are no activities planned for us to do. The one common television has all of one channel-no cable. Owner makes us responsible for everything she can think of. Our bathtub chair is broken. The legs wobble and the back is halfway off. I told caregiver about it, and she relayed owner’s nice message to me: ” Bathtub chair is your responsibility, not mine. However, if you will give me $50, I will get you a chair. ” Generous soul. I looked on my Walmart app and found a bathtub chair for well under $50, and my daughter is ordering it for me. Now, if, by buying this chair myself, I am expected to put it together myself, then I will call the Ombudsmen. This is getting ridiculous. I was left, when I was switched to this room, to move all of my things in here myself, and this included a box, a medium sized box, of books. I was being moved to this room because I was not getting adequate sleep and rest at the room I had been in. Fact was, I was exhausted. My roommate snored, got up several times a night, and sleep became precious to me. On the day of the move, caregiver, the same one who has moods the way other people enjoy Cokes, set my bed up with the mattress upside down. Said it was fine and left the room. I turned it over. She left the springs pushed too high on the platform where they sit, so I was banging my shins in metal forms as I made my bed. She never once offered to right the situation until I mentioned it to her in my mean mother’s voice. Who is this woman, anyway?? Well, it just looks fixed. It’s not. It rained in the window yesterday. The window was closed. I was busy enjoying my cell phone and all it has to offer, so I didn’t notice until, getting up, I set my phone on the bed and found my throw on it soaked! I got up to investigate and found it raining ☔️ on my hand! I fetched Miss Moody, and she put plastic garbage bags over the window and mopped the floor. Later on that afternoon, I was permitted to dry my quilt and throw in the dryer. How nice. I can only wash my clothes once a week, so I thought Mood Mama would tell me to wait, but she just made me wait instead. Caregiver doesn’t bother with verbal communication. Why go to the trouble when we’ll figure it out sooner or later, and if not, she can blame us for keeping her from doing her work! Once a week I wash my jeans and towels, washcloths, etc., so I never am afforded an opportunity to wash my shirts. Neat, huh? I haven’t figured this one out yet. Jo, the golden girl, washes whenever and as many loads as she wants. Me? One stinking load. It’s not fair, and I am resenting this favoritism. I am resenting the scolding lectures Moody Caregiver gives me. I am nice to her. I am beginning to believe she has some sort of mental condition. High as a kite one week, angry as a lion in a cage the next. This woman has also begun cutting down on our food. I am always hungry. Everyone has their own food. I have to go back to Walmart to get some food because, for instance, soup on Saturday night. Bowl of soup. I got 1/2 small bowl with some corn chips. Brownie for dessert was not large enough to call anything more than a taste of a brownie. She’s selling food again. I am so tired of this arrangement of living. This arrangement? Get treated ugly and respond nicely. Right. Go to bed hungry and like it while the owner shucks her foster kids and one adopted kid and goes traveling. She doesn’t care what happens here. I froze today along with the other 5 because caregiver turned on the air conditioning in 55 degree weather. I am angry. I am weary of being mistreated when my kids tax money is paying for me to stay here. These places are nothing but scams.