It’s been a crappy week/2 weeks. I’m spending big chunks of every day with my mother in the “rehab” (the new term for nursing home) telling her over and over what happened to put her there and what’s necessary for her to escape. And all of those hours are accompanied by the nearly constant whispered requests of her roommate for my help. Her roommate is more impaired than my mother. The Roomie stares at me desperately and murmurs “Hey, you!” over and over and “Help me.” over and over. I do go over to help, and when I can understand her whispered requests, I help, but mostly I just can’t because she’s too big for me to move, and, in any event, I am neither trained, nor insured to move these folks. And, mostly, what she wants is to be moved from her wheelchair to her bed, which requires two CNAs and a special lift. And she spends a lot of time waiting. Which, as near as I can figure, is the major activity in Long Term Care Facilities, or whatever they’re calling them at any given point.
We will pass over in silence the fact that The Roomie has the exact same look of desperate grief/horror/longing that the figure holding Christ’s upper body in Pontormo’s Entombment/Deposition (it gets called by both titles):
This may be one of those few times when being somewhat intensely educated is not a source of solace… Not all cultural references are interesting–some things just make your heart hurt even harder.
So you can imagine how much I enjoy being in the room with her. When my mother was first installed in the room, the Roomie made a point of catching my eye and saying, with what I now recognize was unusual clarity, “Not much attention here.” While I appreciated the warning on some level, I was not at the time, in a position to make any sort of changes–the _________ Home was the only rehab facility that had a bed for my ready-to-quit-the-hospital mother. And, for the record, it has a long history of good care and a 5-star rating from USNews. And there is adequate attention, in fact. It just takes a particularly long time for things to happen for the Roomie because of the whole lift+2 CNAs situation. Also, while one does not ask what brought other folks to the place, it’s clear that whatever it was that sent the Roomie to the Home hurt her mind and impeded her capacities pretty seriously, so I do what I can–damn little–and focus on taking care of my mother. And, yep, there is just an appalling amount of sitting-or-lying-around-doing-ugly-NOTHING in all of those places.
But, God, it’s hard not to be especially terrified by the prospect of not only being in one of those places (I hope to God you have no idea…), but by the further-wretched prospect of being a fat patient/resident who needed a damn lift. That pretty much makes my heart squeeze like a sponge.
Sometimes, I confess, I just pull the curtain so I can’t see The Roomie. When I don’t, she has me up every 5 minutes to shift a blanket or change a channel or, or, or–I really can’t make out most of what she wants, and it leads me to conclude that her idea of adequate attention might not be altogether reasonable/rational.
My sense is that the Roomie won’t get out of her current mess alive, so along with irritating the bejeebers out of me (I’m extra tired these days and therefore extra cranky), she makes me really, really sad. I can’t wait to bust my mother out of the joint.
Meanwhile, there’s the ongoing abscess of the Steubenville rape case; the media complicity in perpetuating rape culture; the nauseating complicity of a judiciary that could barely bring itself to punish rape; the whining of folks who just don’t want to hear anything bad about football culture, rape culture, the toxicity of some of how we raise males in this culture, or anything else that suggests they quite being terminally complacent assholes. And this is making me mightily cranky.
Here’s a piece that addresses that with savage lucidity:
Yeah, I’m tired of talking about it, too. But we have ample (mountainous) evidence of what happens when we don’t talk about it. Women’s bodies keep getting treated as ground for men to till, move, mine, re-shape, mow, dump on, dig up, clearcut, and otherwise maim at their discretion–of which so many of them apparently have so little. And women keep explaining it away. As if it were the will of a sadistically twittering god whose true purpose is neither love, not creation, but the perpetuation of pain and hatred.
Really tired of 20-year old college women who shy away from the word FEMINIST because they’ve been brainwashed to believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them if they just keep their eyes shut and their asses toned.
Really tired of people who want to spend hours on line bitching because some Swedish company is making store mannequins that look vaguely like real human females–and really tired of people referring to those same sort-of-average-sized mannequins as fat.
Really tired of “good Christians” who veil their willingness/eagerness to hate in talk about how they’re “concerned” about the “Culture” overly influencing their offspring (i.e. they’re terrified that Junior might be turned into a homosexual if we let those homosexuals interact with the rest of us). You’re bad Christians and bad people. The old argument about how much they give to charity and how nice they are to family members and The Unfortunate doesn’t cut it for me any more. If you love your own hatred, you’re bad at being human. Which may put you in a BIG crowd, but the size of the crowd just means that most of us are bad at the human-as-child-of-a-loving-Creation thing (or pretty much any other sane secular or religious definition). But some of us are worse, and I will continue to insist that that List of Shame includes those who treasure their own hatreds.
Speaking of which, KUDOS to the guy who bought the house across from Westboro Baptist and painted in a rainbow. Gandhi would approve.
I have become, btw, a big fan of the FB page crankyfatfeminist and commend it to you affectionately.
Probably enough rant for the moment. It’s time to leave for the Daily Visit, anyway.