In-home healthcare, blessings, nightmares, rehab and other things…

I have never before been dependant on others like I am now because of this accident.

Okay sure, friends help out when they can, like during and right after surgery, but they have their lives and when you can’t go up and down your stairs, shower, cook meals, shop or drive, you need to get some in-home healthcare. I have always been someone that others lean on and even when I am in this state ‘certain’ friends emote, even cry, while they were here to assist me. I found myself comforting one concerning her issues on the night after my surgery. UGH!!!

And I will tell you, it is beyond bizarre to have a stranger enter your house and ‘try’ to take over what you are used to doing, and the way that you like to have things done.

The first service I went with ‘appeared’ competent. The woman who came to ‘sell’ me was friendly, helped me and ‘sold’ me on how good they would be. I had never entered this realm before, sooo here goes. The young girl they sent was sweet. She was with me the first day after surgery, after a friend left, and when I was in pain. She did everything for me including dealing with the cable TV that was out and the people refinishing my front door. Funny how things fall.. huh? No TV, just when all there is to do is to watch TV. And from downstairs, I hear loud machine noises and sanding as they work on my front door…while I am lying in bed taking pain pills regularly. That day, my arm HURT!!!! It was a surreal day!

That is pretty much all l recall of that day. This young girl came back for most the week for about four hours a day… friends took over on the days she was not here.

I soon got off the pain pills and this girl and I talked…

She dried my hair, changed my sheets, brought me my oats and berries, vitamins, etc. She learned my habits, likes and shared about ‘her life’,  which hearing about made me depressed. She has some genetic illness. She is not supposed to live long and she has a toddler who broke her foot. She and her husband were living in an econo-hotel that they cannot afford and are looking for a cheaper place to live. He would bring her to my house from clear across town. So, being a soft heart, I gave her some extra cash for which she thanked me for sincerely, informing that the money allowed her daughter to have things that she needed.
She told me that the agency instructed her not to eat or drink anything while at client’s houses. I told her, while at my house, eat and have something to drink whenever she desires.

Her goal was to go to Cordon Blu to learn to be a chef. She was starting night classes in a couple of weeks. She appeared an eager, sweet girl.

We got filets and she was eager to show me her cooking skills.(I am craving meat. I guess the protein factor in my healing process. She overcooked the meat and potatoes and the seasoning she put on the green beans…well… yuck! ( A chef…. ummm, I think not!) She had never used a disposal or a dishwasher.  I took her out to lunch and did kind things for her as she was helping me, then one day she was acting strange, more down and sad than usual and she would not look me in the eyes. I found I was worrying about her and it was too much when she she was hired to lift my burdens.

Before she left. she told me she would see me the next morning at 10:30. I called the scheduling people to confirm because I sensed something was off and am told that she was moving to a different town and would not be back. That they had just found out and were ‘trying’ to find me someone else for the next day. So, what if, I had not called, would no one have showed up? And why didn’t she have the guts and responsibility to tell me herself and to say our goodbyes?
I couldn’t fully do for myself yet and I had become use to this girl and she to my ways even though she was depressing. The original woman who sold me on the their service was not there any longer. Each time, I called there was a new person who informed me that they were new and didn’t know who all the girls were yet. It was an unorganized mess and it added stress to my stress…

So, I called a new service preparing to make a change. I don’t like being left in the lurch and certainly not now in my time of need. 

Finally, late that night, the service calls to tell me, a woman will be at my house the next day. The people from this service came from clear across town, from another world, but when I engaged them, was told they had people close to where I live. Well, they didn’t. So okay, another new person in my house. This woman was older, a country woman, rough around the edges, quiet, helpful.. but no caring connection. She did what I asked, but, I am, oh, so pleased when she leaves.

I hire a new service. The owner comes to my house late that afternoon. She is professional, and lives in the same area as I do. She feels like she has heard my name, or heard of me and we think we know people in common. Plans are made for a girl from her service to come the day after next. I fire the old service.

The next day, my hair stylist comes to do my hair. Sweet relief!  I am a girlie-girl and lying in bed for almost a week, perspiring at night as the anesthesia exits my body, only able to shower, but not wash my hair everyday, had made my hair a stinky mess.  And my hair dresser was forthcoming in telling me so. Clearly, we are way more than client and service here. She stayed with me for nine hours, doing my hair, helping me, and we order Italian for dinner and had a nice evening. I felt renewed.

After doing my hair, she vacuums the bathroom floor with my new vacuum and loves it. So, I promptly call my vacuum man and have one brought over to give to her as a ‘thank you’ for her extra care and consideration.

The vacuum man, I’d just met a few weeks previously, when I took in my old one for repair,  my hairdresser and myself hold hands in a prayer for my fast healing. It brings me to tears as the power of prayer creates a tingling and warmth radiating through my left arm and elbow. This is a blessing!

That night, completely relaxed,  I dreamed of the movie, OUT OF AFRICA… “Once I had a home in Africa.” One of my all time fav movies and one of my long time friends has commented that I remind them of Isak Dinesen, the author, and woman who lived this story. I have never even been to Africa, but she and I certainly think alike…

“All sorrows can be born if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.”  ― Isak Dinesen

“To be a person is to have a story to tell.”  ― Isak Dinesen

The next day, the new girl arrives and she is an African from Kenya, only been in the US for five years. We connect immediately. She is caring, intelligent and anticipates my needs. While she is changing my sheets. I mention how I like the movie, OUT OF AFRICA…to which she smiles. “My people are of the Kikuyu tribe. The tribe used in that movie. I speak Swahili.” I ask her to teach me Swahili and we laugh as she teaches me the worlds for good, crazy… etc. We have a spiritual connection. She comforts me and I feel safe with her. My healing accelerates. I can move around more and she encourages me to walk and to do for myself. She is kind and with great energy. We hug warmly when she arrives and when she leaves.

‘I’ cook filets, wild rice and green beans for us, and we have a bit of wine, talk and laugh, so different, but so similar in spirit. She is cute and dresses darling and I give her some purses and things.
She told me that I will heal quickly and well and that I am a very strong woman. She takes me to my post-op appointment.

Sure enough, the report is that I am healing great. We go out for lunch to celebrate. It feels so strange to have my left arm free, out of the bondage of the splint and wrap. And now, my orders, are to move my left arm, instead of to keep it still. I feel vulnerable having my wound unwrapped, but am beginning to feel more like myself and to recover my strength. She comes to me for one more day then is assigned another case. I only need a few hours of help a day.. so it is time for her to move onto another who needs her healing ways more.

Her last day… in a kind tone. “Ann, move your arm, work it! You will heal completely!” We hug warmly. This girl was a true blessing and will be so to anyone whom she assists.

I am downstairs eating potato chips and my famous Italian English Muffin sandwich. Hooray! I am able to do more for myself. When I hear the door open,  “Hello, come in! I am in the kitchen!” And in walks a fat-assed with attitude black woman.

I just stare at this obnoxious woman, who clearly is here to take instead of to give. “I hold my hand out. “Hi, I am Ann.”

“Hey this place is beautiful.” as her eyes scope out my house. “You can help me with decorating ideas.They told me I would like you and that you are fun, but they didn’t tell me how pretty you are!” She goes around my house looking at photos, picking them up then asks. “Where you a model or something?”

“Thank you. I had a decorating business for ten years.”

“Well, this place is really nice. I have a brown sofa this color and walls this color. She yaks on as she points. “So, what color drapes would work?”

“So you need contrast, but I don’t do drapes and I charge $300 an hour for a consultation.”

“Her eyes bug out. “Yeah, that’s the word. You know the big words. Hey, I ain’t payin’ just askin’.”

I think to myself as I get up to go upstairs. This woman is an Obama low-information, opportunist and I want her out of my house, but say, “I am going to take a shower and I need some help:”

I view the ‘contrast’ of this large with attitude woman with my small, weakened-self in my bathroom mirror. She’s fat and lazy, all she wants is to do is less and to sit…and all I want to do is more, to move and recover.

I get through my shower fine, then get into bed. 

Everytime, I ask her to do something, she sighs then huffs and puffs. She can barely make it up and down my stairs, she is so fat and out of shape. 

“I don’t know your circumstances, but this place is beauitiful and you have a Jaguar in the garage. I bet you can have any man you want.”

I stare stunned because of her comment. “Well, I am picky.”

She continues on. “I was married twice, but am into women now. You look like an angel sitting in that bed. You know I could come out and be your friend anytime. You wouldn’t have to pay.”

I think to myself, ‘And you look like a demon from hell.’

Her phone rings and this pig woman blabs on loudly to someone as she walks into the hallway. I say, “Hey! You can go on now. I don’t have anything more for you to do.” 

As she exits, I call the service and tell them about her attitude and that I need to wash my hair tomorrow, or I would not have her back in my house. These services have trouble getting people for a few hours like I need…so, I am at their mercy.

The next day, she is a bit more subdued, (The head of the service must’ve talked to her)  I get my hair washed and am in the shower with fat-ass sitting on the bench at the foot of my bed watching Lifetime. She can barely stay on her feet, or even fit her ass on a seat.

I ask her to wrap my hair up in a towel and she tells me that she doesn’t know how. I ask her to get some clips out of the ‘jar’ on the counter. She opens a ‘drawer’. I shout over the bathroom exhaust fan, “No! Jar!”  (It is disgusting to have strangers rummaging through your drawers.) She hands me the clips with her ‘usual attitude’ and I wrap my hair in the towel securing it with the clips then wrap myself in a towel and get out of the shower.

To which this rude pig says. “Don’t shout at me with that attitude.”

“Excuse me?”

“You are shouting and giving me orders.”

“I was talking over the exhaust fan. I was not shouting. You are here to assist me, right?”

“Yes, that’s why I am here.”

“You are being paid to do a job and it’s ‘your attitude’ that’s the issue.”

“If you talk to me that way I am going to leave.”

Here I am dripping wet, can’t fully move my left arm, using a crutch, and I have this vile woman threatening to leave. So, I say, “Go on, leave!”

This woman told me that she had been in the in-home healthcare business for 26 years. I can only imagine the horrors that she has inflicted upon those in her care. She was sizing me up the moment she entered my house to see how she could  over power me and take advantage.

I chuckle, as I ponder, should I call 911…? “Help me! Help me! I need someone to dry my hair!” Then I picture my 911 taped-call being played on all media outlets. HA!… Hysterical!!! Like those fools who call 911 when they get the wrong order at a drive-thru…

I call the head of the service and tell her what occurred and that I am sitting here with wet hair. She tells me that she will be right over.

Determined, I begin sectioning off my hair as best I can to start the process of drying my hair on my own. I am surprised at how well I am doing as I get more pissed. I dare that fat-assed woman treat me in the manner she did and in my own houseThe blessing in this nightmare is this nasty woman made me even more determined to do things on my own.

The head of the service came over and helped me finish-up my hair and did a few things around my house.  She apologized profusely and told me she would get a very sweet woman to help me the next day…which was to be my first day at rehab…

The next day, I get up, shower on my own, make my breakfast, empty the dishwasher, write, get dressed and put on make up and find I have more range of motion in my left arm.
The goal to do my own hair is going to be what gets the full range of motion back in my arm. “Vanity, thy name is woman.” Right?!

The next woman arrives and I was told by the manager that she is 15 years younger than me, but she looks and moves like she is 50 years older. (I find out later this woman is 70 and she is frail with a fragile broken wrist, Hardly someone I need to depend on for care. So, the manager lied to me about the capabilites of this woman.)  I move better than she does even using a crutch. I send her to pick up some groceries then we head out for rehab. She drives my car, because I am not sure that I am ready yet. But I can’t stand her driving my car. She appears weak and not like someone to depend on. I feel disoriented being out and about after so much time spent in my house and being in traffic is scary, but the rehab place is only five minutes from my house.

And it is great!

I am there for two hours. They say I am doing fab! I got past a 90 angle on my left arm and was told by next Monday that I will probably have full range of motion. HOORAY! I am on my way back. I am going to rehab three days a week for six weeks. 

I am in, as good as, or in even better shape, than many of the trainers and everyone asks me what in the world happened to you? 

Later that day, I drive around my neighborhood then a bit into traffic. I will be driving myself to rehab the next time.
I am going at it hard. I want these in-home ‘healthcare’ people out of my house and life. I want my independence back!

In a few months, I will be fit as a fiddle and will take a bikini-clad photo and Bamboo Bob will wish I was a liberal, so he can ‘spank’ me… HA!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and kind wishes. This has been rough… but I will prevail.

To be continued…