Sunday, November 3, 2013

3 November 2013
Sunday evening

Still I find myself here,
   no better off, contrary to everyone's mistaken belief

I ought to write, its been a while. I did the free system upgrade that Apple offered back on the 19th of October. It does add some neat little features and some mighty nice big ones. But there was one drawback – my speech dictation program won't even mount. I checked their website and was led to believe that the newest upgrade will and won't work. I called the toll free line to get the straight answer. But like so many events in the world today, straight answers are relative. I should know better, especially if the exchange of money is involved. If that is involved then truth is usually the casualty, and people (like me) are more like collateral damage.

I was told that the new software was great, I could do so much more with it. Golly-Whizzbang stuff. So I sent off some money. That money was hard to let go of, I have so little any more. Not only am I institutionally made and kept poor (such is the way of being swept up into the Medicaid system) but family seem bent on becoming exceptionally stingy under these conditions. This never used to be their nature, so it has been a shock to see the change that has come over them lately.

The software arrived to great anticipation. I unwrapped the package and loaded the disk. The machine hummed and did all of the work itself. The moment arrived to see how the attributed wonderfulness took shape. It didn't.

I clicked the icon, everything proceeded, then a pop up window appears telling me that this newer version of the speech dictation software doesn't work with the latest version of the OSX. Damn! Lied to once again, or at least sweetly encouraged to believe what the corporation wanted me to believe. It was Friday, late enough that a phone call wouldn’t do anything anyway. I checked the web site, only more pages of how the latest version of the speech dictation program is needed with OX 10.9 Well, that is what I have - and it still isn't working. I have had to go for weeks without writing, waiting for the new software, now it is here and I still have to poke out the letters one at a time.

I used to type like the wind. Back when I could sit upright before the keyboard in the correct ergonomic position. That is all gone now, as is my nice big 24” iMac which rests at my brother's house about ten minutes away. There is no place for it here. He said that he would make a support frame to hold it next to my bed – ten months ago now! No frame, no computer, and hardly any brother visits. He begs of that he's too busy, or his feet hurt, or … You get the picture.

I hate being lied to. Most advertising does just this. Although those in that business will call it enhancing the positives. One of the curious things about words is that they are very powerful in that the can develop pictures in our minds, good authors make good use of this. So too can advertisers, to the disadvantage of those being pitched to. Most of us in this culture have been subjected to advertising to the point that many of us have unconsciously picked up how the techniques are used. The problem with this is that it becomes very easy to lose track of the fact that the other person is a human being, not an object to be convinced, manipulated and influence.

This has occurred to such a full range as to change the way most people speak to one another, and to some degree the way they think about one another as well. For if you consider for a moment our speaking is often indicative of how we think. Many people don't catch this and so their speech often belies what is rolling about inside of them.

This morning I noticed that my briefs did not survive the night unviolated, although this is exactly what they were designed to do. So I asked the CENA this morning when breakfast was delivered if I could, after breakfast, have a brief clean up with a washcloth and a new brief? No problem, I was told, after the breakfast trays were collected. The person who delivered my tray was not the one who collected the tray when I was finished … about the time the lunch trays were to be delivered. It was the first shift nurse bringing my first medications of the day, she took the tray away. I told her of the brief that still had yet to be changed. She said she would remind the CENA.

Second shift began and I grew weary of waiting so I rested my eyes and found myself waking a few hours later. I pressed the call light and after forty minutes a CENA came by to see what I wanted. I told her of the briefs and that every time I peeled the covers back to use the urinal, the ammonia fumes about knocked me out. She said she would be right back. No one came back and I grew sleepy again so I soon fell asleep. Dinner arrived with a different CENA. I restated my wish to have the now completely sodden briefs changed. She informed me that she will let my CENA know, then left.

[Apparently the CENAS do help one another out during the shift with some chores like passing and later collecting meal trays, but when it comes to actually working hands on with a resident the boundaries are suddenly strictly observed as to which resident is on which CENA's care list for the day.] With all of the, “I'll get your CENA.” talk going on there must be a lot of forgetting going on, either on the part of the message bearer or the receiver. Either way I spent most of Sunday in soaked briefs.
By the time the CENA assigned to me arrived to see if I was okay in bed for the night, one of the duties of the second shift crew I was ready for the Easy Stand to lift me to the commode to release a bowel. Now it would be easy to effect a change of briefs as I would be vertically suspended for a while. In the course of using the easy stand and sitting on the commode, I personally experienced which easy stand to use as only one of them any more had the required chest strap that holds the victim resident securely in position while being lifted (no one has been able to find the missing strap, oh you mean like the one that has been left languishing over there in a corner of my room? No, that one is for the legs.) A borrowing of the battery pack from the Easy Stand I was using to power the other Easy Stand temporarily as its battery was dead. There was a comment on how the corporation no longer had chocolate to mix in with the coffee (the coffee is beyond drinkable by itself). The latest box of tissues is an even cheaper variety than the brand used before, this variety has all the softness of newspaper. For lunch today two hot dogs were served, the only condiment was salt and pepper, I considered the hot dogs to be salty enough. Dinner was meatloaf, the CENA offered to find some catsup packets, none were offered with the meal. The CENA's are talking, complaining really, about how this outfit used to have more CENAs per resident, now with the high resident ratio to CENAs more of them are getting hurt on the job. Ah yes, and the more residents per CENA the frustration of the CENA's mounts as many of them would like to do a good job, but they are too harried to do that. And the more the CENA's have difficulty helping the residents, the longer the response to the call lights the more unhappy the residents become. I hear it every day as more residents are cursing the staff for taking so long to respond tom the call light.

This does not even take into consideration the complaints about the food since the kitchen has been shifted to a different company. Yes, it has been a long slow slide into oblivion, a state of being degraded and forgotten which few people can see what is occurring or do not have the will to make any adjustments any more. Seems as if this were coming from several different points of causation but no one wants to stand up and do anything to stop it. I point out the problem to one and all, but if they aren't listening, for whatever reason, the assurance is that nothing will get done. Somehow I suddenly feel expendable. As long as this facility gets its money, nothing will change. As long as the software vendors get their money they will coast on their past as long as possible. As long as the CENAs continue to receive no clear support from the company and see their cohorts slacking off without recourse, the will just hunker down until they can no longer take the demands and the poor level of care to which they are subjected.

I used to see this sort of activity going on, but I had the ability to take myself to another situation. Now I no longer can move of my own volition. I require help to get out of bed and into a wheelchair. For months I could no receive permission to even go out side of the building. If I get out side there is nowhere to go. I need special transportation to travel anywhere. The overall message is that I am a burden to just about everyone for most of my activities of daily living and many of them dislike having to provide me with even this. If I am not seen as a burden, then I am some rube destined to be descended upon by those who see in me a purse with limited funds that they figure is theirs only in waiting for the moment to make those monies find their way to them.

I must be good at disguise for very few see me as a human being. Or maybe they have a difficult time showing it.

Let's hope for a better week ahead.

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