To answer the comments that last post garnered. Yes, there is Memory Care where we live at Fountaingrove Lodge. It is in a separate building, two minutes walk away, called “The Terraces”. Elvon has been Number One on its list for over a month, now. All it will take is for one person not to come back, and he is in. I expect that will be the case.
Transfers aren’t just difficult. They range from easy to impossible, to a fight. He never got out of bed Saturday or Sunday, until Susan arrived to tempt him out. He is starting to get testy, too. That’s new, and none too pleasant. In the care center, he will get the therapy he needs, have a recumbent bike to ride, etc.
We will never be very far from each other. We will be 10 minutes away, by car, while we are biding our time in Carmel, waiting for Fountaingrove Lodge and the Terraces to re-open. That should be by February 15. Then I will move back into our apartment at Fountaingrove Lodge, and Elvon will move into The Terraces, if there is room. It was full, but, hopefully, someone won’t move back.
We still don’t have the OK to come from Carmel Hills Care Center. I thought all but all our paperwork was in. But now they want one more form filled out and our doctor is getting balky. This needs to happen, as transfers are less and less successful. Susan’s presence was initially magic. He popped up for her and we had a lovely rack of lamb dinner. He even came up with a good bit of conversation.
Monday, nobody could get him to move. We got one transfer to the chair, but he wouldn’t go anywhere from there. I interrupted writing this to try to get him to get up for dinner. Susan was cooking and Kris, his niece, was here, too. I promised wine, and young women. No go. They bought him a commode this afternoon. It was lovely to have the help.
An hour and a half-hour later, Elvon managed to get up for dinner. Between dinner and dessert, I remembered we had put Sylly P in the bathroom, to get Elvon out the door, because we were afraid Sylly P would scoot out, and there’s another cat, here. The bloody bathroom door was locked, and on close examination of the other bathroom doors, we figured out that the cat could easily have locked herself in, in an attempt to get out.
Two hours later, four members of the younger generation had succeeded in breaking in ti the bathroom, and I had the kitchen cleaned up. It was a good thing, as my research on 24-hour locksmiths had gone south. I disturbed the little crowd around the bathroom door to get Elvon to bed. And, oh joy, while e was transferring, I heard the sound of a dead bolt moving. Sylly P was free, and we all had ice cream!
Tuesday morning, I got good news from Carmel Hills Care Center and went out to play with Candy. Elvon was cleared to move to respite care, tomorrow or the next day. The Lodge’s Memory care re-opens November 9, if the state approves, and the Lodge itself, on the 13th. All we needed was official doctor’s orders and they had sent the form to our doc.
Well! Our doctor decided to have a hissy fit, because it was the fourth time he had been asked for paperwork for Elvon. He refused to do it. (!?!) If he had not taken the week off just after the fire, Elvon would have been admitted to the first place to which they sent paperwork. By the time the doc got in, that place had given its last memory care/skilled nursing bed to another fire evacuee. That started the massive search, with daughter, Susan, Oakmont personnel, and good friends, Pat and Jo Gibbons, helping me call places all over California, from Carmel to Santa Rosa. We thought we were all set, but, as of last night, it was by no means sure that he would get the paperwork in for another week, or more.
But, the promise of a glass of wine and a nice dinner tempted him into transferring to his wheelchair again, last night. We had tortilla chips and pico de gallo, with a glass of wine, and followed it with my Rice Krispie chicken, ridiculously rich mashed potatoes, and sugar snap peas. For dessert, we had Talenti gelato, and Trader Joe’s Lacey cookies. It was all delicious, and we went to bed content.
I was awakened at around 12:15am, by a thump and a cry. He, who has been afraid to transfer to a wheelchair, had got up, used the commode for a walker, and made it in and out of the bathroom, using the floor as the commode. He almost made it back to bed, but he fell. I knew I could never get him up, so I called 911. The fire department came, and got him back on to the bed. He seemed fine, except for a lithe tear on his left knee. The firefighters stayed with me, while I got out peroxide, antibiotic and a band-aid. I thanked them profusely, and Elvon went back to sleep. I had some clean-up to do, and needed another hour to read myself down, when it was over. I turned my light off around 3:00 am.
I got up around nine, and checked in with Carmel Hills Care Center. I was hoping there was a way to bypass his recalcitrant primary care physician. They were very sympathetic, but, alas, not. No other doctor will do. I called the office manager at the doctor’s office back, and she had better news. The doc had had a change of heart. He may have deduced he was the problem. He had such a full schedule today, that he was canceling patients, but she promised me it would be done Friday, which is tomorrow.
I felt better after that, and it was time for breakfast. When I was taking last night’s sock off of Elvon’s foot, he cried out in pain. That just about never happens, so I took a look at his leg. His left knee, which has been withered since he had polio as a kid, was twice the size of the good one.
So, here I am in CHOMP, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, and Elvon is off having a CT Scan and a bunch of X-Rays. It looks like we are a shoe-in for the Rehab center now. “tis an ill wind.
I feel so badly for you. I can’t believe all the obstacles people are throwing at you!! I hope tomorrow brings you good news and that things will calm down for you!!
Diann Whittaker said:
Hell’s bells! If anyone deserves a miracle, it is you and Elvon. I wish you good luck and the strength to carry on. Love, Diann
It seems impossible that you have had to endure days and weeks under such difficult circumstances. Bob and I pray that something good must/and will happen shortly. We agree that you have endured much more than anyone should experience. After all your planning, moving into The Lodge, getting Elvon on the waiting list, and surviving the worst fire in Californiaâ¦how can this be happening over and over? Each time we see an email from you we get excited that there is a plan and you will be out from under such turmoil. If thoughts and prayers were as good as they are preach something good should have happened by now. Believe that we are sending wishes your way daily hoping for the best outcome for you and for Elvon. It was good to finally see that Susan came to see you and was a help for a short time.
I came upon a quote recently which when I read it I thought of you:
You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then go about the business of living. There is no other way. Elizabeth Taylor
There are not many people who could have done what you are doing without completely breaking down. We are proud of you!!
Since you have no other choiceâ¦just hang in there for this to will end and the pressure cooker you are living under should stop. Love and Hugs Skippy and Bob
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Marlene Rosenberg said:
We are keeping good thoughts that one person does not return to Terraces and you will be able to get Elvon into that facility so you will be close to him. Keep us posted.
Love, Marlene and Stan
Mother Theresa has nothing on you… nor Florence Nightingale…. onward and upward girl …..Tony
Sylvia Gustafson said:
Hi Helen – A writer couldn’t duplicate in a novel all the situations you have been experiencing these past days gone-by. You are amazing! Your writing must give you some relief as it’s talking to people who are listening to your words and picturing the experiences with have with Elvon daily., “You are a unbelievably wife”…as you continue to care and be concerned for Elvon’s needs. Thankfully, you have friends who who are willing to help you cope. Hopefully, all will be resolved soon! Thinking of you both and hope relief will be upon you very soon. ~~ Aloha, Sylvia G
Sylvia Klenz said:
I feel for you, Helen!!! You’re doing every right and it’s still nearly impossible! It looks as if things will get better SOON! I certainly hope so!
Warm wishes Sylvia Klenz
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Helen Megan said:
We’ll make it through. I am having quiet hospital time now with Elvon. You have to wonder what’s next, but it doesn’t compare to you and Walt losing your dream home. I don’t know how you stand it.