Monday, January 02, 2006


So yeah, I had Tam home again for new year's. When I got to the nursing home to pick her up I found out that she'd still been desolate and unresponsive, even after I'd talked to her and told her that I was coming. As a result they'd been unable to get her ready to go out and that took extra time, so much so that by the time I got her home it was 10:30. I can't explain where time goes when I'm with her; I'd left home to pick her up at 8:30 and then bam! Two hours were gone.

So anyways, she'd brightened up by the time we got home but then complained that she was hungry, as she hadn't eaten dinner during her uncooperative streak. Though on the feeding tube for 10 hours a day to ensure that she doesn't starve, she still enjoys regular meals in the dining room on the days that she can, and feels hungry without them. So I made her some beans and wieners and by the time I got that done, her fed and everything moderately cleaned up in the kitchen, it was almost midnight and we weren't making it to Yas' party anymore. Fuck.

I know beans and weiners doesn't sound like a lot; but by the time you puree it, thin it to the right consistency, clean the hand blender so it's ready for the next meal (which has to be done immediately because it's a bitch to clean up once stuff's dried on), nuke the meal because it's now luke warm, get her fed (itself a long process due to her limitations), clean her face, throw out all the used tissues and rinse the dishes... Yeah, it takes a long fucking time.

So yep, we missed Yas' party and watched the countdown on tv, then started watching Aliens because it was one of the few movies available on the mere 60 channels we get on the bedroom television. Two thirds of the way through she decided that it just wasn't her movie (well d'uh) and wanted to watch ET. Great, another late night in the making... I transferred her to the living room and got the dvd going, then decided what-the-fuck and left her alone to watch it while I went back to Aliens in the bedroom, since we'd only just got ET for Christmas and watched it then. That was a huge step since normally I'm afraid something bad will happen when I leave her alone (because it has more than once), but I also didn't want to stay up too late since I knew I was getting worn down, and that's been a trigger point for me really losing it with Tam in the past (which is also bad).

Somewhere near the end of Aliens I fell asleep and then got woken up around 4:00 a.m. by the thundering theme music at the end of ET. I went to the living room to shut things down and transfer Tam back to bed, but she was already asleep and wouldn't wake gently so I took another leap of faith and just left her to sleep on the couch. While there's a danger that she'll fall off of it because it's not as wide as the bed where I tuck her in right up against the wall, in some ways it's safer because she also has no room to roll over and snag the feeding tube. The way she lies on the couch is much safer for the tube than the way she sleeps in bed.

Ah blessed sleep... I enjoyed a full three and a half hours of it before she woke me up to go to the bathroom. Thankfully we made it, which is a helluvalot nicer than when I have to clean her up and change her brief. Of course then she said she was hungry and wanted to start the feeding tube. Joy. That plus getting her morning meds crushed, mixed with water, injected into the tube by syringe, and then of course cleaning the syringe so that it's ready for next time; took about 45 minutes, by which time I was wide awake and not going back to bed anytime soon.

After that we basically watched the learning channel all day, had kraft dinner for lunch (everything purees with a hand blender and the right amount of water or milk) and had a pretty cozy time. She didn't want me to leave her side for a minute, and was always calling me back whenever I was busy doing some cleanup in the kitchen from med prep or whatever, and wanted me to just lie with her and hold her hand. Very sweet, but of course whenever I tried to kiss her or cuddle up to her she'd just shy away. I don't fucking get it.

After a pretty relaxed day that had me thinking that maybe having Tam home more often again wouldn't be so bad, of course things went to shit. Tam had rather a messy accident (yes, literally things went to shit) and in the midst of my trip to the washing machine I discovered that after all the hours of cleanup work in the front hall the day before, my stupid sickly cat had whizzed again in both corners. I got Tam cleaned up, pushed her 5:00 p.m. meds (only 2 hours late, that's got to be a record), then reconnected her to the feeding pump for it to finish up the final half hour. While that ran I cleaned up after the cat, only to discover that it had also crapped under the christmas tree and I had to clean that up too...

I got to the bedroom to rejoin Tam just as the feed pump was completing it's run with a final flush of water down the tube and into... Tammy's soaking wet shirt! Fuck! I hadn't reconnected the pump properly or something and Tam was soaked in goo, water and backflow from the unclamped tube into her stomach. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! More cleaning, oh joy! Finally, with that cleaned up it was 8:00 p.m.

Dreading the answer, I asked Tam if she was hungry and wanted anything to eat before we headed back to the home. No response. I asked again, no response. I spent about 15 minutes asking and waiting but she never answered the question, though she'd answer others or squeeze my hand when I squeezed hers, so finally I started getting her dressed to go to the nursing home. Of course while combing her hair I discovered that it was all matted and sticky with goo from the disconnected tube, and had to find some way of cleaning that without loading her into the tub for a proper hair washing, which I was too wiped out to do at that point. A few minutes of combing it out with a wet washcloth later, her hair was done and we headed out.

In the car Tam was being strangely dispondent, then suddenly started sobbing. I asked her what was up; she was hungry and upset because I hadn't fed her dinner. Son of a bitch! It's not like I hadn't asked her a million fucking times! It sure made for a fun drive after that; the kind where I pray for a nervous fucking breakdown so I can check out from the world for a couple of weeks, only of course it never happens because I'm just not that fucking lucky.

On the way into the home, Dianna the PSW, god bless her, immediately recognized that something was up and when told the situation promised to find something for Tammy to eat before bed. The other PSWs also ambushed us and asked if Tam wanted a shower yet. It was magic, somehow the stars aligned and Tam wasn't my problem anymore... I didn't even have to get her changed and loaded into bed!

The drive back home was weird. At the first stop light I sunk into my seat with a sigh and my head collapsed to one side, then I was completely unmotivated to get it back to an upright position when the light turned green. I actually drove home that way somehow, glazed over with my head to the side, unable to summon the will to move anything but my feet on the pedals and my hands on the wheel and gearshift. It's like I was locked up or something... too fucked up!

I stopped to grab pizza at the place across from home and in a total fit of fuckedupedness ordered two giant slices with maranara sauce, even though I know damned well that it's more than twice what I should be eating. I got home, collapsed on the couch, ate the pizza and fell asleep in front of the tv surrounded by pizza carnage. I woke up at 2:00 a.m., had the courtesy to transfer the pizza carnage to the kitchen countertop, then watched who knows what on tv until about 7:00, then finally went to bed with the lights on, clothes on and everything.

Happy goddamned new year.

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