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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

JR'S BIG ADVENTURE

moon rising
Much wind today. Rain on and off through the night. The highway in the headlights was glossy black and covered with red, yellow and green leaves blown out of the trees. Every bit of paved road from my place to Jr's, Air Bellows down Brown Road to Pine Swamp and Rifle Range Road to Whitehead, was thickly speckled with these three colors. It was beautiful. It seemed like a contemporary painting that was dazzling with colors, the yellow lines and white lines made all the brighter wet under headlights, them too splashed with red, yellow and green.
The yellow and red leaves in the mountain across the highway ware gone today; some of the trees are bare already. The wind blowing in gusts keeps the trees with green leaves moving like a fire, the undersides of the leaves flickering all over the hillside like it's engulfed in green flames. A crow standing on a fence post, beak into the wind, opened its wings and lifted up into the air, flew in place for awhile and settled back down on the post.
The full moon just beginning to wane spread its silver light over the entire scene out the window in the night when I woke at 3 hearing the sound of thrashing paper coming from Jr's room. I jumped up to look and saw him in the stacks of his clothes, the towels and wash cloths the Hospice women bathe him with. He was in the wheelchair bent over throwing stuff everywhere. Tore into a package of disposable diapers, had a couple of them strewn among the absorbent pads I kept under his pottie chair, in heaps around him. I spoke to let him know I was there. He said, 'What's on the bottom needs to be on top, what's on the top needs to be on the bottom.'
He was in different clothes from what he'd had on earlier. His attention was focused on putting top on bottom and bottom on top. I looked at the mess with a sigh and said I'll let him tear up as much as he wants, and I'll clean it up tomorrow. I went back to sleep, refusing to stay up and watch. He was safe and all he was doing was changing clothes over and over. I woke later and his wheelchair was in the far corner of the room, the pottie chair in another corner and he was on the bed. I wondered how he made it from wheelchair to bed, but reminded myself to let the mystery be. I went back to sleep.
At 8:30 girlfriend called. I woke him and handed him the phone. I knew as always the conversation would end with him falling asleep, she hangs up, then the phone beeps in his ear until I go take the phone from his hand and put it on the cradle. This time I thought, hell with it, and went back to sleep. A couple hours later I woke seeing him in the wheelchair taking a long time getting through the doorway from his bedroom to the room I was in. When I watch, I can't help but give him just a tiny boost to help him through the roughest part. When he gets half way through, there's no room for his hands on the wheels, so he has to reach around to the front of the wheels and try to push down on them enough to get the chair to roll just far enough he can get his hands on the wheels again. It takes a long time. He fusses at me when I attempt an assist.
He had work pants on over black sweat pants and one sock, no shirt. I could see he was on a mission so I stayed out of his way. He's so slow that when I watch it gives me the nervous jitters. He took a great long time rolling along. It was about the rate of speed of a woolyworm. He ended up at the refrigerator, took out a strawberry ensure and drank it. Of course, that took a long time too. I called Carole while this was going on to get my mind off Jr, who was ok, just off in a world invisible to me. I needed her to talk with at the moment, because the level of my exasperation was in the red.
He kept on rolling about in the chair. He went to the far end of the house, the half he doesn't use anymore. He went back in there and stayed so long I had to go see what he was into. He'd been looking through some drawers that had old batteries in them, dead for years, still in packages. He continued in that half of the house a long time. The door closed of its own while he was in there. Next project was getting the wheelchair through the door that opened toward him. This took an extended period of time too that I couldn't watch. I could have fixed it for him in 5 seconds or less, but he'd fuss. He wants to do it himself.
After talking with Carole, I called Hospice nurse an hour or so later, while Jr was still traveling about and changing clothes. My first concern was that I've seen it and heard of it enough to believe there's something to it, that when somebody is down and out in bed all the time, then there's a boos t of energy, looks like they're coming back around, taking a turn for the better, they're dead in a day or two. She told me she'd read his his vital signs yesterday and saw nothing to cause alarm, that when what I described happens, the vital signs show it coming. She said it looks like a burst of energy and he'll most likely wear himself out and go back to bed.
He took the wheelchair to his bathroom we don't use anymore because it is so dangerous with sharp counter edges and hard things to fall on, like the side of the tub, plastic trash bucket, the stool. He sat looking into the bathroom for 45 minutes. Evidently he was trying to get the wheelchair through the opening, but it would require the door removed for that extra inch. I saw him lower himself from the chair to his hands and knees. He was going to crawl into the bathroom. I went to have a look, knowing he'd overstepped.
I found him on the floor wanting me to help him find the pin that goes through the hinge on the cabinet door under the sink. He'd taken it out. The pin was in the hinge. I told him. He said it must have been another hinge. I helped him up very gradually, sat him on the chair and pushed him backwards to his bedroom. He was tired and wanted to lie down. This was 2. Now it's 5. I've calmed down a great deal writing you about it. While all this was going on I felt like a bowl full of Mexican jumping beans on the inside.

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