Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Labor Day Weekend at the Westward Ho

It takes a brave woman to wear a bathing suit in public who has thunder thighs. But my headquarters are still down at the swimming pool. Went swimming yesterday. Kind of cool, but Bill and I enjoyed it. I am just going to take my camera out there soon and see who I can snag to be on it with me. Bill would be a great choice. He was hit hard for a stroke over ten years ago. He said the first time he went swimming in our pool he pulled his wheel chair to the edge and just fell in. He stayed in there all day and then he could not climb out due to his stroke damage. He finally got a guy who lives by the pool to come out and help him. Then he said he learned how to get in using the bar and has been spending hours every summer in the pool. He uses noodles too to keep afloat, since his left side is more or less frozen. Sometimes his nurse friend comes over and joins us. He is one of the most frequent users of the pool.
I got to go pick up my meds today as I ran out of leviothyroxine. Somebody stole a bottle from me, so I had to jump the prescription ahead and pick it up separate.
Some of the residents have been planning a party for days. They decided to hold it in my neighbor's apartment, so they were up early out in the patio making some last minute preparations for that. His apartment can only hold so many and I was not invited, but I am not up to picnics yet. (bad for me) I told them I would not have gone had they invited me, but I have been kidding them about all of those they had to leave out. Trying to put them on a guilt trip.
Today I am going to go to Mary's and Paul's apartment to see ID on cable 104 I think under the name Wicked Attraction which is on the victims of the Phoenix Serial Shooters at 4 pm. So I got to be back by then. Paul was a shooting victim of the killers, shot three times. He still has 80 pellets in his body. A shocking thing happened when Mary, his mom and caretaker, and I were talking about it under the trees yesterday. Another resident Gary who lived here was listening to us not saying anything. Then he suddenly spoke up and scolded Mary for talking about this, said she had to forget it and move on and quit talking about it! I know he hurt her feelings. I was so upset as they are part of our Westward Ho community and I have been urging her to talk about her feelings out in the patio. She is still very tied to his care as she has to do things for him he can't do for himself. He is finally walking some. She was talking about how she got away for a while on a ride on the fast transit to the mall. Now here this guy was telling her to quit talking about this! She argued with him and told him that the effects are ongoing as Paul had a stroke while he was attending the trial and he said the damage of that was worse, as part of his skull had to be taken off and left for a few days to relieve the pressure.
This is the point I wanted to make about the victims of gunshot wounds who go on suffering for years, every bit as bad as if they had some crippling disease. We all talk about our aches and pains so why not her? After she left the guy repeated his criticism of her to me again. I decided if he lacked basic compassion I was not going to argue with him, but some of the others associate with him more, so this morning I brought up what he did and said I was very concerned about the wound Mary received for talking about her son. I had encouraged her to talk and she was part of our community. They quickly agreed and my neighbor said he was going to talk to him as he was coming to the party. I think he analyzed him very well, said he had probably not been listened to so now he has no patience listening to others.
I am also interested in rehab and since this man is also part of our community, I thought we needed to talk about how to reach him as they have had some success in humanizing his responses. We all keep track of the schizophrenics off their meds and talking nonsense. Or suddenly cursing some poor hapless resident. If they get too far out it can be grounds for eviction, so everybody tries to rally around and curb them before that happens.
A woman who took Pierre's cats I was tending four years ago passed by, so skinny she hardly made a shadow. I said the HUD coordinator asked me if I wanted the cats or cat as one died back as this woman was not taking care of it. She is not even feeding herself. Another time somebody took the cat and she said to me, "I told them, they are not getting my cat, no way!" She had a stroke so it is either damage or early dementia and that is so sad because they never want to leave here and go into a more controlled nursing home. I cannot take care of a cat either at this point, so said I could not take it back. It is a wonderful cat. I hope Pierre from the other side watches over it as she said she might have to send it to the pound. Fuzzbut was his baby and she is the only cat I have ever seen who retrieved. He would throw stuff and she would go fetch it to him. She would do anything for him. This poor fading woman said this cat had kept her from going off her rocker completely. I don't doubt it, but it is getting close to decision time. I am thinking of my former cat. Another woman took the cats originally and then moved and gave them to Linda, the present owner, now unable to take care of her properly.
A lot of lonely people in here have pets. They are devoted to them. Part of the morning ritual is pet owners walking their dogs. They have little sacks available to them and are supposed to clean up after them.


Anonymous said...

I think she should have the cat until she dies or go to a care center. Animals are known for helping people through death. Maybe you could just check on her sometimes and make sure she is feeding it.
That place is amazing with all of it's different problem people. You are going to have to live long enough to write a book about the Westward Ho.
You have always been good at getting people to talk. I remember the great group you had meeting in the daytime at my bar on Bell/Cave Creek Road. You were the only bartender I ever had that I could trust my money with. The rest were theives...either with money or drink. ...Linda (these message won't print unless I say anonymous. On other

Paula said...

I'm so glad you are still enjoying the pool and I'm still jealous. Wish I had one so handy.

salemslot9 said...

maybe, Doc can
take care of
Fuzzbut if needed said...

If there is any way this lady can keep her cat, she should. My granddogs are sleeping in the chair behind my back..we will have to take a walk soon. Pets are a positive in life.
I envy your pool myself. I am definitely missing mine. What's may be gone forever!

Jeanie said...

Gerry you look amazing in your swimming costume! I am so envious of your swimming pool too.
I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the facility and catching up on the lives of the residents too. Such a shame that the lady was told to shut up. It's better out than in I say. You are obviously a very good listener.
I hope this hasn't put your friend off from confiding her concerns to you. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Jeanie xx


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