I am so grateful for your comments. I am so grateful for all of you, really I am. It means so much to me to know that anyone out there would be interested in reading about my crazy chaotic whirlwind of a life here. I've said it so many times before, but I want to be a better Live Journal friend to all of you. I read your journals when I can, but I get confused sometimes, and I rarely have the time to comment. I want to reciprocate, it's my goal to have a calmer, healthier life where I can set aside the time to do that, but this rollercoaster ride keeps taking me up and down and around corners I don't plan for, and time gets away from me. In the meantime thank you for your friendship and the gift of your caring enough to read and sometimes comment on the things I write.
I have to preface this by saying that if I were eighty-six years old and facing what my Mother is facing I would be a wreck. I love her and I have tremendous compassion for her but I just need to be able to have somewhere to vent a little bit. I try so hard to be patient and kind. I try not to let her see how frustrated I get with her, it's inside where I'm feeling ragged, and torn up, grouchy, tired, put upon, and pissed, and we're just getting started. Okay so look away if you don't want to see me complaining.
I won't even try to describe the awfulness of yesterday, well maybe I will, the pain of having to suffer condescending, hurtful brush offs from the people my Mother has entrusted with my financial care, when she isn't well enough to attend to our mutual financial matters herself. The insanity of having put myself in this financially dependent position where my income, money from trusts and inheritance, can be promised to me and then whisked away on a whim. The feeling of being kept in a constant naughty-child-like state where I have to sneak around and find desperate means to pay for things. I know I can choose not to live like this, but there are a lot of people who are depending on me right now and I can't just stop taking care of all of my obligations over night. Blah blah and more blah.
Then there is Mom and her denial about her health. She can't keep anything straight, she's totally disorganized, and misunderstands things that the doctor's tell her. I need to be the point person but it would be too much of an ego dash for her to admit this, so we struggle along with her increasing senility, something she would be mortified, no, enraged to hear me say.
It was a huge mad rush to contact all of her doctors, get all of her film from one hospital's radiology departments to the surgeon at the other hospital, and to make it all worse Mother points, insults, criticizes, and bosses us (Rosa was with us) from her wheelchair. All the while telling us to hurry, hurry up, while we are pushing her and going as fast as we can. Awful.
Then there's the fact that her undependable support staff don't really want to deal with her, pretend to care, but truly don't, and when it all shakes out there's just me, and Mom won't acknowledge this. I'm simply expected to do as she says and shut up about it. She can't hear, and won't wear her hearing aids. She can't even stand for more than a minute or two at a time. When she has to travel by wheelchair she refuses to put her feet up on the foot rests because she wants to be able to control the motion of the chair. If she wants to stop, well, then by God she's going to stop.
When I spoke with her regular doctor he seemed really upset that she hadn't confirmed her appointment with another pulmonologist for eleven thirty the day before surgery. This is her all important pre-op approval visit. While I was talking to the doctor she started yelling in the background and trying to snatch the phone out of my hands saying, "I won't go. I'm through, I've seen enough doctors. They can use the tests they've already done. I have a very important appointment at 11:30 and I'm not going to change it." The very important appointment turned out to be with her hair dresser. She had me call the nurses at the lung doctor's office and stress everyone out trying to get her in at a more convenient three thirty or four, and when they were finally able to get in touch with the doctor and juggle things around for her, she had me call them back again and flip it back.
When we finally made it to nuclear medicine, where I needed to pick up her PET scan, she was so panicked and rushed that she couldn't wait for the receptionist to finish talking to another patient in the back. She wanted me to go around the desk and drag her out. When I asked her to please be patient for just one-second she angrily got up out of her wheelchair and was going to do it herself, No one is going to make me wait! When the receptionist intercepted her she told us, "Well, you're just in the nick of time, you'd better hurry." I borrowed their phone to call the surgeon's nurse at UCLA and she said to hurry right over, that he was about to come out of surgery and needed to have them right away.
After we picked up the x-rays Mom suddenly got a hankering for, "a cookie or a mint or something." I told her that we couldn't take the time and that we needed to hustle these films over to UCLA, and we were trying to make it to the bank before closing to cash her checks so that Rosa and Carla, her housekeepers, could get paid. Nope, she was going to have that cookie. She pointed to the hospital's cafeteria, which we could see way in the distance, down this long hallway, and started scooting her chair towards it. Rosa started to push her in that direction, and when we couldn't go as fast as she wanted I finally stopped her and said, "Mom, I think this is a bad idea, but if you have to go get something to snack on fine, we'll take you, but I am a big person, I'm not in great shape, and I can't run along side you." It went on like this for the rest of the day.
I love her so much but the way things are, with her wanting to be in charge all the time, unwilling to trust or surrender even the tiniest bit of authority to anyone else to help her, with her asking people to repeat everything three and four times, well, it's just maddening. It's comforting to know though that I'm clearly not the only person dealing with this kind of thing. I've met so many nice people, the nurses at the hospital for example, who are around my age, maybe a little older, (I was adopted super late in life), whose parents are going through the same thing. I'm not so arrogant that I don't think I'll be the same way, if I'm lucky enough to live as long, but Lord let me be easier on my kids, please.
One of the most upsetting things that happened today was when I had to call my tenant to ask why, for the fourth day in a row, he had promised to deposit his extremely overdue back owed rent, and not done it. I asked him before we went to Hawaii and he promised he'd take care of it. Scott helped me write him a memo to remind him. Then when I got back I called him again and every day he'd promise to put it in the next day, and every day he'd let me down. This is Art, the owner of the nude bar, the man who rents my building and pays me the rent that allows me to have an insane number of pets and not have to work a nine to five job anymore. He always screws with me.
When I called his home at three, which is when he wakes up from his nap, I ran in to his girlfriend or wife, I honestly don't know what she is. I just know that she hates and resents me and is usually super rude to me. I don't know why, I've always been kind and respectful and let them get away with all kinds of things that any other landlord would have booted them out long ago for. Although in her case she seems to think they're doing me a big favor. Yeah, I love that the little lunch restaurant I inherited from my granny has turned into a sleazy strip club. It's so much fun having to nag them for rent they're legally obliged to pay. I love worrying about getting sued because Art refuses to pay for his liability insurance. I love toothless strippers, (I'm serious), jealous boyfriends and girlfriends, bar fights, prostitution, and drugs, weeeee. Here's how the conversation went.
Me: Hello, is Art there?
Barbara: Who's this?
M: It's Jacqui. (Shuddering with fear.) Hi Barbara.
B: Jacqui, what the hell do you want?
M: I'm calling because Art promised to make a deposit today and he didn't make it.
B: Well, I just put a thousand dollars into your account, and if that's not enough for you then that's just too fucking bad!
M: Umm, thanks Barbara but Art promised to deposit the $2,500.00 that he's owed me for more than a year now. He's been promising to deposit this every day this week. You're fifteen hundred dollars short.
B: What the Fffffuck do you want from us? Who do you think you are? We've been keeping you alive all these years. As far as I'm concerned you don't deserve another dime. You and that Mother of yours didn't put anything into fixing up that place. When that building of yours needed repair you didn't do a God damned thing. We did it.
M: Barbara that's not true. I spent about forty-thousand dollars putting that place back in shape and when we were done I painted the interior and the exterior and turned it over to Art. When we drew up the new lease part of the deal was that Art would be responsible for all future repairs to the building inside and out. Besides, any improvements he makes to the building need to be cleared with me and I never heard anything about this.
B: You know something Jacqui (said with utter contempt) I don't need to fight with you. I've got more important things to worry about than you. I had open heart surgery last December and I sure don't need to spend my time fucking with you!
M: I know you did and I'm really sorry. I've asked about you many times and told Art to wish you well but this is business. We all have problems. My Mother is having lung cancer surgery tomorrow. I really need this money.
B: So what! I don't give a fuck about that. I don't care about your Mother. I don't care about you or your Mother. If you want your money you can fucking talk to Art about it.
Click, she hangs up on me.
Now I have to go to my Mom's house and help her pack for the hospital. How's your day going?