Sunday, November 23, 2008

About me

I am a 44 year old guy stuck in a nursing home in North Seattle, surrounded by residents 20-50 years older than me, suffering from dementia. I am here due to a ridiculously rare illness caused by side effects from a kidney transplant. The condition is incurable, and potentially fatal. Odds were that I was going to die within the first week. One year later I am still much alive, but now unable to walk. I am not paralyzed, but the disease causes chronic pain, and the occasional leaky wound, in my legs. I came to this nursing home too try to walk again. I'm still trying, but hopefully soon I will move into my own place and try physical therapy on an out patient basis.

Life in the nursing home sucks ass BIG TIME. The food is not only terrible, but just the smell of it makes me gag. I don't know what is worse: the smell of the food, the smell of the incontinence around me, or the smell of my wounds. It makes me almost miss my youth spent on a farm with its smell of cow pies and pig shit.

Almost as bad as the smell is the noise. There isn't a minute of the day where this place isn't noisy. Not even in the middle of the night. Someone is always yelling. If it isn't the staff yelling at each other from either end of the hallway, it is the guy down the hall who occasionally screams for no apparent reason. Or it's the 50-something year old woman, who suffered a dibilitating stroke, who has lost her ability to communicate in words, but repeatedly makes Wookie-like shrieks. Or it's the 90-year old woman in the room next to me, who doesn't yell the word "Help!" (because she has forgotten where she is) but says the word very loudly, very often, and very steadily, as if she was a digital alrm clock going off, and it makes me want to hit her like a snooze button. Or it's the 105-year old woman who repeatedly says "Where did I go wrong? Where did I go wrong? God damn it to Hell!" over, and over, and over again.

If I seem unsympathetic, I'm not. I feel very bad for these people. It is sad this stuff happens. But I have now lived here for a year and I fear I will be here for the rest of my life. I have given God every opportunity to kill me, yet he keeps me alive. So I might as write all of this stuff down.

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