... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

These aren't exactly magnets, but they were off of a wonderful wall at my friend diane's house in England...and there are a bazillion of them.

db-fridge.jpg (17256 bytes)

Left cow says: "Aren't you worried about Mad Cow Disease?"

Right cow says: "Why should I?  I'm a duck."



* Discussion *

Talk about it here.



WHAT I'M READING...

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Becoming a Man:
Half a Life Story

by
Paul Monette


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

a rehearsal of
Little Shop of Horrors


NEW

Samples of two of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
this ZDNet page

and four more are posted at Beechbrook Cottage


Pictures from our The England and Orkney trip are on my own Club Photo page.


Not to be missed:  Steve has uploaded some of his new songs to the web.  Check 'em out



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That's it for today!

 

THE MAMA CAPER - PART 2

19 October 2001

It must be a terrible job, being a social worker. In addition to being overloaded to the max, what a depressing job it must be to deal with people in crisis all the time, dysfunctional families, pain, suffering. I'm sure there are some joys, but I'll bet they come few and far between.

Today was our second attempt to "spring Mama" from the clutches of Priscilla's evil brother. Priscilla is so wrapped up in worry about her mother that she assumes I know everything, and I only get the information in dribs and drabs.

This morning, for example. She called at 8:30 to ask me where we were going to rent a truck. Huh? What truck? When we left the rehabilitation center last week, the plan was that the social worker was going to find out whether Medicare would cover the rental of a bed in Sacramento, or if we had to move the bed that is currently in the brother's house.

Suddenly, 30 minutes before leaving the house, I had to figure out how to get a truck so we could pick up the bed and bring it to Sacramento. I called around and found out it would cost a fortune--something like $230. We decided we would rent the truck one-way, and get it down there after we had all the arrangements settled.

I picked up Priscilla, and then her 40 year old son Lionel, and we headed down the valley yet again. Priscilla was in high spirits because she was going to finally bring her Mama home.

As we got closer, I discovered that we were not, after all, going to the rehabilitation center. Mama was back at the brother's house. Some idiot doctor went against the police report of elder neglect and the social service department's recommendation that she be released to Priscilla and when the brother showed up demanding his mother's release, the doctor let her go with the brother. The social service worker says this happens all the time because doctors are so afraid of malpractice suits that absent evidence of imminent bodily harm, they won't go against the family's wishes.

All sorts of alarms went off in my head on hearing that we were going to the brother's house. What were we going to find now? Was I yet going to encounter the gun-totin' brother?

When we got to the town, Priscilla called the social worker, as arranged, and she agreed to meet us at the brother's house. While we found the house, the social workers was making arrangements for the police to come to avoid problems.

When we pulled up near the house, Priscilla wanted me to park a block away so that her brother wouldn't accidentally see her until the social worker arrived, but then she told her son he could go and visit his uncle!!! I never did figure that out.

When the uncle saw Lionel, he figured out what was going on and he called the police to evict his nephew (the uncle, by the way, is 10 years younger than 40 year old Lionel!). When the police arrived, it turns out they were the same guys that the social worker had arranged to come and help us get IN to the house, so it was an interesting meeting--they weren't sure whether to force Priscilla in or kick Lionel out.

Before we could take Mama, she had to verbally tell the social worker that she wanted to go with Priscilla. But by now the uncle had had several days to "brainwash" her and despite the fact that she was essentially alone in a bare room, and still in bed at 1 p.m., and despite the fact that last week she was adamant that she wanted to live with Priscilla, all she would say was that she wanted to stay with the brother.

On hearing that, Priscilla totally dissolved. She refused to go back into the house because she feared she would attack her brother. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and screamed that they were going to let the brother kill their mother. It was heartbreaking. She said she felt as if someone had just ripped the heart out of her body.

The social service worker tried to explain that things are not over. That they are going to take it to the courts and that she is confident that the mother will eventually end up with Priscilla, but Priscilla could only hear that she had to leave her mother in "that prison" and that it would kill the mother to do so. She also told me that she knows her brother and she's sure he will move tomorrow and take the mother to another place so nobody can find them.

In the meantime, the mother apparently also said she wanted to stay with one of her other children, and then said she wanted to go home with Lionel, but she wouldn't sign the change of power of attorney to Priscilla and without that, they had no choice but to leave her where she was, even though it was obvious that she really didn't know what she wanted to do, but didn't want to hurt anyone.

So once again, we've had a 300 mile jaunt for nothing but more pain and heartache for Priscilla. If there is any good that has come out of this, it's that the police are going to conduct periodic checks on the mother to make sure she's not left alone for hours at a time, as she was before, and the social service worker told Priscilla that it is illegal for the brother to refuse to allow her to speak on the phone with their mother, so she has some legal backing to being permitted at least vocal access to the mother.

But the ride home was not pleasant and my heart just broke for Priscilla.

In all honesty, though I know she has her mother's best interests at heart, and though it's obvious that the best interests of the mother are not being served by being at the brother's house, I'm wondering if Priscilla is physically able to take care of her mother for the long run. Her cancer has spread and the doctors are telling her that if she continues to refuse treatment, she is going to die. But she's so wrapped up in worry about her mother that she has completely put her own physical health on hold (in fact, she missed an appointment with the doctor today).

I don't know where all of this is going, but it's obvious that we have not yet closed the book on The Mama Caper.


One Year Ago:
Computer Crash!


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 10/18/01 by Bev Sykes