Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The good news is that I don't have strep throat. The bad news is that I do have something—probably terminal sudbunny's disease—for which the doctor prescribed sulfa drugs. I complained that sulfa always comes in such large pills. I already have a sore throat. The sulfa molecules are apparently very large, so they have to have a large delivery system—rather like the difference in sending a document by Kevin Bacon on a bicycle and sending a nuclear missile by railcar.

This is not swine flu. I might get some sympathy for that. No, this is just spring allergies getting out of hand and opening the door for even nastier stuff. One of my co-workers has been muttering about the "Days of the A'pork'alypse" and 'Ham'ageddon. My niece says one of her co-workers reminds us that there were a great number of people prior to the presidential election who said there would be a black president when pigs flu. Black president—swine flu....

Anyway, today I am working from home. I will not post a photo; it would not be a pretty sight. Suffice it to say that I put my laptop on the hassock in the living room, in front of the most comfortable chair in the house. Speedy decided that he wanted to join me. "Off" I tell him... several times. We finally come to an accomodation. So, I am on the front edge of the chair and he is curled up behind me. Every time I need to go to the kitchen or bathroom, Speedy has to get up, too. (He has separation issues.) Then when I sit back down, there is jumping, shaking and shoving until he is comfortable. This is one of the reasons I usually go in to work.

The word of the day for May 19, 2009 is "streptococcal" — Pronunciation: \ˌstrep-tə-ˈkä-kəl\
Variant(s): also strep·to·coc·cic
\-ˈkä-kik, -ˈkäk-sik\
Function: adjective
Date: 1877
: of, relating to, caused by, or being
streptococci [a streptococcal sore throat] [streptococcal organisms].

Our quote for the day is from Anne Landers:
You need that guy like a giraffe needs strep throat.


Sunday, May 3, 2009



Claudia Mair Burney’s Amanda Bell Brown is a delightful lady and excellent sleuth. Too bad her life hasn’t been on a smooth path lately. Still, in Deadly Charm, she perseveres—with God’s help—through an intervention, an exorcism, and a possible murder to get her marriage and life back on track.

Burney has written an engaging cast of characters who carry the reader through the plot with verve and grace, giving Deadly Charm both style and attitude. Her grasp and depiction of milieu is excellent. I found this to be a thoroughly satisfying read.

That said, I feel I must tell you that I don't read much in the Christian Fiction genre. The writers of CF tend to think that they must write perfect people. However, of the people I know who lable themselves Christians, the ones I tend to like the most are the ones who don't claim to be perfect. Most CF novels tend to be about as interesting as having to sit on the end chair next to your name-dropping aunt at Thanksgiving dinner.

Ms. Burney is certainly a welcome change from novelists who think that just inserting the name of Jesus every third paragraph makes a book Christian, and also from those that think dialogue full of curse words makes a character sound macho or evil.

The word of the day for May 3, 2009 is "sassy" — Pronunciation: \'sa-sē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): sass·i·er; sass·i·est
Etymology: alteration of saucy
Date: 1833
1 :
impudent 2. 2 : vigorous, lively. 3 : distinctively smart and stylish.

Our quote for today is from Anna Quindlen (20th century), U.S. journalist, novelist. Living Out Loud, “Baby Gear,” (1988):

The best thing about Sassy Seats is that grandmothers cannot figure out how they work and are in constant fear of the child’s falling. This often makes them forget to comment on other aspects of the child’s development, like why he is not yet talking or is still wearing diapers. Some grandmothers will spend an entire meal peering beneath the table and saying, “Is that thing steady?” rather than, “Have you had a doctor look at that left hand?”



Saturday, May 2, 2009


This is a loooong post. It is mostly so I can keep track of what happened this past month. The short version is that placing an adult in 24 hour care is very difficult if that person is neither violent, observably aggressive, incoherent nor comatose when persons in authority are in attendance. Legal problems you never thought of will arise. Insurance won't pay for nearly anything. Paperwork to prove anything is never where you thought you put it.

I'm still working through a number of things, but I am getting where I want to be: physically, emotionally, mentally, socially.

The word of the day for May 2, 2009 is "diatribe" — Pronunciation: \ˈdī-ə-ˌtrīb\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin diatriba, from Greek diatribē pastime, discourse, from diatribein to spend (time), wear away, from dia- + tribein to rub — more at
Date: 1581
1 archaic : a prolonged discourse. 2: a bitter and abusive speech or writing. 3: ironic or satirical criticism.

I could not find a quote for today, so you get the diatribe:

Sequence of Events Concerning Placing Lloyd Combs in 24 Hour Care:
1. In the weeks before March 13, 2009, Lloyd would often refuse to eat what I fixed and left for him. He claimed he could get his own lunch, but would not eat or take his meds unless reminded by someone in the house.
2. Jimmy Fields of Home Instead Senior Care warned me that Lloyd was denying that he was married to me and also that Lloyd would refuse to eat if he thought I had fixed the meal. However, most afternoons, Lloyd would take his meds at Jimmy’s direction and would eat a snack and supper with me after I got home from work.
3. On Thursday, March 12, Lloyd demanded to know why I thought I was in charge. I told him because I love him and wanted the best for him. He said I didn’t love him and then denied that we were married.
4. The morning of March 13, Lloyd had a difficult time, he had one of his anxiety fits about 4:00, but settled down. At 6:00am, I could not rouse him to take his meds and eat his breakfast. He had several more anxiety fits before heaving himself to a sitting position. He got out of bed, but fell forward into the bathroom. He did not hurt himself, but managed to pull himself up to sit on the toilet.
5. I took his glucose reading, gave him his meds and left his breakfast for him, as I had to be at work.
6. I came home at 11:00am as customary and found that he had not eaten his breakfast. I fixed his lunch and left.
7. Per prior instruction, I called Mrs. Roberson, the nurse who usually attends Lloyd’s examinations by Dr. Buth, and told her that Lloyd had fallen. I also explained about the anxiety fits.
8. Monday, March 16th, I made an appointment with Elizabeth Henry to discuss obtaining guardianship and conservatorship for Lloyd because I knew that he would resist being put into 24 hour care.
9. Tuesday, a nurse from Dr. Buth’s office called and told me to make an appointment for Lloyd to see Dr. Buth. The first available time was on Thursday, March 19th
10. March 18th, I met with Ms. Henry and explained the situation. She said she would go to court the next Monday and get me temporary guardianship.
11. The 19th we saw Dr. Buth. Lloyd was given a mini-mental test, on which he scored 12 out of 30, a definite decline from the past mini-mentals he has taken. Dr. Buth told Lloyd that I would need to arrange 24 hour care, as I was no longer capable of giving him the care he needed.
12. That evening, Lloyd asked repeatedly if Dr. was joking. I answered, “No, you need more care than I—even with Jimmy’s help—can give you.”
13. Lloyd refused to eat or take his medicine—both pills and insulin. He also refused to allow me to do the blood glucose check. He threatened to call the police on me.
14. I called Dr. Buth and explained the situation. Dr. Buth told me that if Lloyd refused his medicine in the morning, I should call EMS and have him taken to Via Christi/St. Joseph for a psychiatric evaluation.
15. The next morning, the 20th, Lloyd refused to eat or take his meds, again threatening to call the police. I called 911. An EMS unit was sent out, but they would not take him as I had no guardianship order in hand and by that time, Lloyd was not violent nor unresponsive.
16. I paid Ms. Henry to start the guardianship proceedings.
17. I looked at a couple of nursing homes and talked to staff at several others and settled on Sandpiper Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
18. Angie from Sandpiper came out to do an assessment.
19. Thursday, the 26th, from the Agency on Aging came out to do an assessment. Pamela Thompson, who was assigned by the court to represent Lloyd postponed her meeting with him until the next Tuesday.
20. Tuesday March 24th, Ms. Thompson came and served the court papers on Lloyd and talked with him (making her assessment).
21. I went to sign admittance papers to Sandpiper for Lloyd, Thursday, April 2, for admittance the next day. I asked what I should do if Lloyd refused to go to Sandpiper with me. They told me to call EMS and have him delivered to St. Joe’s.
22. When I got home, Lloyd was dressed and wanted to know when “the lady was going to take [him] away.”
23. April 3 Lloyd refused to go with me to Sandpiper. I called 911 for EMS. Even with the guardianship papers, as Lloyd was neither violent nor comatose, they wouldn’t take him against his will. Fortunately, one of the EMS personnel persuaded Lloyd to get in the ambulance.
24. I followed to see that Lloyd was properly admitted to the Senior Behavioral Health unit.
25. After admission to the hospital, Lloyd decided that he did not want to talk to me.
26. April 9th, Lloyd was transported to Sandpiper.
27. I took the dog to visit Lloyd on Friday, April 10th, Lloyd was overjoyed to see us.
28. Monday the 13th, I received the court order that I was to post bond and sign an oath for the conservatorship.
29. I visited Lloyd at Sandpiper again on Saturday morning (giving him a shave) Sunday evening and again Tuesday, the 14th (again shaving him)
30. The nursing staff said he wasn’t taking his meds or eating and they had done a blood test at Dr. Bryant’s request.
31. April 15, 2009, James from Sandpiper called to let me know that Lloyd had fallen while being helped to the toilet in the early morning hours. After getting back to bed, he had one of his anxiety fits. When James tried to help him, Lloyd “turned over and started trying to punch” James.
32. Dr. Bryant was called. He ordered that Lloyd should be taken to St Joe’s.
33. I arranged for a bond policy, which I will sign April 16th.
34. At some point on Wednesday, the St. Joe staff was told that Lloyd hit someone at Sandpiper.
35. Lloyd told me that he had had a fight with “one of the black men on the staff” at Sandpiper. He had to defend himself as he “didn’t want to be beaten to death.”
36. I went to the Wednesday staff meeting anyway. The dietician, Donna, witness to Lloyd’s episode. She said he was sitting down in the day room when he cried out for help and started shaking all over as though he were having a seizure. James, a nurse, went to help him. When James touched him, Lloyd pushed him against the wall, pinning him between the chair and the wall, and came up swinging. He also said, “You want a piece of this?” Donna called to him: “Come over here, Sir. You’ll be safe here.” James escaped during this distraction. Lloyd looked at Donna and said, “Why would I want to do that? You’re just as bad as the rest of them.” Then he sat back down in the chair as though nothing had happened.
37. Visited Lloyd at St. Joe every day.
38. Dr. Marsh put him on Haldol for “paranoid delusions”. The staff also worked to get him to eat with the others and attend in the day room instead of hiding in his room.
39. April 28, Lloyd was released to Sandpiper again.
40. I took Speedy to see Lloyd. Lloyd told me that the male nursing staff were a bunch of thugs, that I had made a mistake by sending him back to Sandpiper because the men were talking and conspiring against him.
41. I gave Lloyd a shave and told him that I would see him Thursday. He was upset, and did not want to go in to supper.
42. Thursday, Lloyd was cheerful and there was no mention of conspiracies. However, someone asked the name of his dog. Lloyd said, “That’s not my dog, it’s my mother.” The nurse said, “What’s your mother’s name?” His answer was “Cybil.” Not sure if this was a joke, a memory lapse or an attempt at a joke when he recognized a memory lapse.
43. I’ve asked that Sandpiper do his laundry. Doing laundry all week is too tiring for me.