Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hanging Out

Nothing much to report today. It was fairly uneventful. The picture to the left (or above depending on what browser you use) is via The Slog via the Metafilter. I post it because a) I like the art and wish I knew who the artist is, and b) twice today I have residents express their desire to commit suicide. Not suicide per say, but both had expressed a desire for their families to just drive them uo to the mountains and leave them on the side of the road, like some discarded house pet.

One of these two residents is my roommate Danny. He suffered a stroke about 40 years ago when he was in his 20s and in the Air Force. Though fairly self sufficient, he has not had the use of his left arm this whole time. Now he has cancer and is in excruciating pain. But he doesn't want pain medication unless it's really bad because he knows the sooner he is off pain medication, the sooner he can be discharged and he can go home. He hates it here that much. I know how he feels. But he has no one to go home to. He has a brother who visits him often and, when he can, takes care of him. But his brother has a job that takes him out of State 10 days out of each month. Who will take care of Danny. Danny says he can take care of himself, but anyone who has observed him, as much as I have, knows he can't. He is in constant pain. It is probably never going to get better. The voters of the State of Washington passed an initiative saying that it is O.K. for a terminally ill patient to take their own life, provided that they get two doctors to say it is O.K. But getting two doctors to say O.K. to suicide is even less likely than finding one doctor to prescribe marijuana.

Now, I don't want Danny to kill himself. He is very well liked by everyone, if not loved. He is well known here, not so much as a patient, but because he and his brother used to visit their mother who lived here for many years before she passed. Everyone tells him that things are going to be O.K. But I can't. I can't tell him his life is going to get any better. Nor can I tell him going home right now is a particularly good idea. As much as this place sucks, they do take care of him. (I also confess selfish reasons for wanting him to stay. I am used to him. I hate change. There has been too much change with 70% turnover in the therapy department in the last 30 days.)

There have been times in my life, especially in the last fourteen months, where I wished I were dead. That's not the same thing as contemplating suicide. Considering killing yourself is exactly that. Thinking that you want to take your own life then coming up with a plan, whether it be shooting yourself in the head, hanging yourself, overdosing on pills, or jumping off something very tall. Wishing you were dead is much more simple. You just want to go to sleep and not wake up. Nut as painful life has often been, I don't really want to die, I just don't want to be miserable. There is always something to look forward to. Even if it just looking forward to the next episode of "30 Rock" or "Heroes." Or waiting to see some mvie next summer or waiting for one of your favorite bands to release a new album.

One of these days, hopefully before Spring, I will be leaving here and to my own apartment. I have looked in the paper, just casually, and rents are very high. I think there is no avoiding having to pay $1,000 a month rent, whether I live in Ballard or Shoreline. But like Danny, as much as I want to leave, it's not a real good idea that I do right now. As independent as I am, I can;t take care of myself. If I fell trying to get from my chair to the bed, I wouldn't be able to get back into either. I still can't get into the bathroom or onto a toilet, and except for sponge baths in the sink, I can't really bathe myself. These are my immediate goals. But as much as I want to leave. As much as I hate this place. I am scared to go out on my own. At least Danny has his brother 20 days a month to look in on him. I might get a visit from friends three times in two months. I don't even have a job to go to when I get out. Because my medical leave of absence has expired I am being forced to resign or retire from the UW. If I leave my retirement alone I can reapply to work at the UW within the next three years and retain my seniority, but due to the economy, there is a hiring freeze and who knows when that will end? And I might need to take the retirement money to get into a place, but as soon as I take the money I lose my Medicaid. It's all kind of scary. While I am here in the home, I don't have to think about it.

I managed not to spend any money today. I am down to $13 in cash and about $20 in the bank until January 1, when I will get my final disability check that doesn't have to all go to the home.

No real Earth-shattering events to report today. It's been pretty quiet actually. I had physical therapy and worked on transferring to/from the chair. I wasn't in the mood for it. I wasn't in a bad mood, I was just tired. Except for some M&Ms, some cookies, milk, and egg nog (sans SoCo) I haven't eaten today.

Thanks to the Slog I was turned onto a new blog that is all about the opening (title) sequences to movies. I sent them an email suggesting some movies to watch and they immediately emailed me back and said they would.

Not much on TV tonight besides "House" reruns on USA. I'll try to make an early night of it, though I expect many interruptions before dawn.

More tomorrow.


ray said...

man, that movie opening sequence blog is pretty awesome. have you checked out cakewrecks? i seriously read through it all. i know the uw daily is full of crazy asshole biggots right now, but every apartment i've ever found has been in their classifieds. it might be worth checking.

Larry Davenport said...

Hey "Ray"

I checked out Cakewrecks and have booked marked it. At some point I will add a bunch if stuff to my links, I just need to figure out how to separate them into categories.

Things are crazy at the Daily right now huh? I stopped reading them awhile ago, unless I am in the bathroom.

I am probably going to put ads in "Housing Wanted" in the Stranger and Craig's list.