In pictures of Jr in his advanced years, he tends to look like a priest in a French film. The French aren't afraid to put old people in their movies.
Yesterday he was so energized, ate a good bit, drank a couple of ensures, was up with his walker walking about, until he missed the couch sitting down. I helped him up. He went and got the wheelchair and pushed it around by the handles. His knee didn't bother him so bad. He was talking, alert and feeling pretty fair. Then this morning he felt terrible again and didn't want to get out of the bed. He got up for an ensure, and once he's had one of them, I'm satisfied he has nutrition for the day, and don't concern myself when he eats nothing else.
A nurse and an aide came by from Hospice to put some 'egg crate' foam rubber on his bed under something so synthetic it looks like the touch of a match would make an explosion, though you know it's bound to be fire retardant, maybe, called 'sheep skin.' It's not the skin of anything, but in a synthetic way it does favor that, a tough weave of fibers about a sixteenth of an inch thick and then some loose fibers about 1/2 inch thick that make a fairly dense cushion. This is to ease the bedsore he got on the left hip from being on that side 23 hours a day. He said it's the first time his bed has felt right.
Last night he said 2 different people called and told him about people dying. He didn't know who called and couldn't remember who died. One was a wreck. This happened night before last too. I checked the history on the phone ID screen and there were no calls. He asked if it might have been a dream. I said I think it was a dream. He said, 'good.' In recent days he's been telling me he wouldn't be able to make sense of anything if I weren't here telling him what things mean. When he gets worried about something that runs through his mind all the time he's lying in bed awake, he'll ask me about it and I'll tell him it's nothing to worry about. He'll feel relieved and tell me so. When something frightens him, I explain it's OK, nothing to be afraid of. He's concerned now the Hospice women who are so good to him will be replaced by others. He's hesitant to get to know them anymore, since the service agencies changed them irregularly. I tell him these women will be with him right along. 'They're here to keep you out of a nursing home, not to put you in one.' He likes to hear that. It's comforting.
Another conspiracy raising its head to get him in a nursing home is a constant fear in the back of his mind. The ones that wanted to keep him in the nursing home, for his own good, have not called or been by to see him since he's been home. Every few days he expresses his gratitude they haven't been by. In his mind, they fought to keep him in prison when he hadn't even been sentenced.
He worries over this and that, and when he presents it to me for what he can do about it, I help him out. I tell him I'm here to help him. Whatever kind of help he needs, I'm here for it. He's concerned he'll be a bother to me. I can only read so much before my eyeballs start falling out and I wish for a reason to get up. It's become a kind of mission to keep his pottie clean at all times. For one thing, it keeps the smell down in the house. It's not bad, but it's a suggestion in the air all the time, like a cat litter box. I don't like the smell, the scent of the air in Mumbai. I'm not in Mumbai and I can do something about it. Dump it and wash it out and replace it. The least in it, the least gross it is for me to look at.
This is what I mean by smoothing the wrinkles in his path. Twice a week now someone gives him a good bathing and shaves him. They are good to him like he's the Emperor. I like to keep it so he doesn't have to concern himself with anything but resting, healing, being comfortable in mind and body. I like that I am able to help him keep his mind from swirling into worry agitation. Some people in his life have minds that are all wound up in drama, people whose lives are soap operas, and everything is wrong, nothin aint right, it's just awful and what's there to do but take pain pills, talk on the telephone and watch tv? When they come around, the agitation in the air gets cranked up and up and he has to go to bed and I have to go outside or something. Then for the next few days I'm explaining over and over that these new worries presented him are of no consequence, have nothing to do with him, just drama--how to stay excited when there's nothing to be excited about.
In that way, I can keep burdens off his shoulders. When he gets concerned about not having any money, he starts wishing he had his check book back, doesn't want Ross writing his checks. I tell him Ross is honest with the checkbook all the way. Insurance corporations have investigated him through nursing homes. If he'd been acting up, it would have shown up by now, and he's got a clear record in that department. 'He is not going to take you.' 'No, no, Ross isn't going to do that.' I remind him it's in good hands and when he wants any money all he has to do is ask Ross for some. 'You'll have it same day, as soon as you want it.' And it calms his mind. Tick that one off the checklist of worry possibilities. On to the next one. One morning when he was talking about his worries, I said, 'You're taken good care of all the way around--you have nothing to worry about.' He said, 'I know it, but there's nothing else to do.' I laughed and he laughed and I said, 'Have a good time.' He put the side of his head on the pillow and was gone.