Writing this post makes me feel like my favorite nightly newscast. It’s become a running joke, so much so that half the time when the show starts the host is already laughing, that they have a whole hour’s programming put together, and five minutes before air time, some crazy new bit of news blows up and the show gets tossed. Or as a character in one of my books says, ‘plan is to trash the plan’ (more on that later)
As I said last time, I really did intend to blog toward the end of this week about Mother’s Day, and some cool books I’m reading, and a couple I’m working on, and something I wanted to do maybe next week.
I’m going to do that, I hope; but I also need to vent, because more chaos in Project Mom.
Place K’s memory care won’t take her back; she needs some therapy, to be able to do more for herself, after 3 weeks in the psych unit. Fair enough; I suspected as much. Except Place K’s rehab won’t take her either. Psych has had a seat belt on her chair when she is out of bed, to keep her from getting up impulsively and falling. In K’s eyes, that is a restraint, which is not allowed. She has to be able to control herself without a seat belt for a day or two before they will consider it.
That was dicey enough. Then last night while I was eating supper, I got a call from the hospital. ‘I want to let you know the psych unit is closing tomorrow’. Um, what? Yep. As in, today is the last day it is going to be open. Period. As in, packing all the patients and their belongings into an ambulance this morning and moving them…to another geriatric psych unit. And the closest one is in another town, 30 miles away.
I was so shocked, I couldn’t ask questions, even if the fella hadn’t clearly been in a hurry to get off the phone so he could call all the other patients’ families. By this morning, I was asking a LOT of questions. Sarah, the social worker I’ve been dealing with, apologized when I got her on the line. ‘I didn’t tell you the other day because we weren’t planning to close till the first of next month, and I figured your mom would be gone by then.’ Apparently, new regulations are going into effect, and the hospital would have to either sink a lot of money into the psych floor to bring it up to the new standards, or build a whole new unit. There may be more to it, and probably is, because Sarah freely admitted she couldn’t tell me everything, but long story short, word came down late yesterday that they had to close now.
I’m sure all the staff at both places (sending and receiving) are freaking out. And I haven’t heard a thing from rehab, though I imagine the staff at New Psych will need a week or more just to get to know mom well enough for the process of moving her to proceed. Besides that, Sarah says Place K seemed somewhat resistant to taking mom anyway. Earlier today I talked to a social worker at New Psych and made my position clear—if a facility full of trained people is having trouble managing her, how in Sam Hill do you expect me to take her home and go back to doing it alone? If K won’t take her back, you need to help me find the right place. Thankfully, she agreed. Till then, here I am, still in a holding pattern.
The thing I said I wanted to do but felt a little guilty about was going up to the Smokies for a couple of days. Mom, daddy and I always went about this time of year, and I just felt I might feel closer to both of them up there. Yes, sounds dumb, but it is what it is. A few weeks ago, I even went ahead & booked the last room open at a nice and very reasonable mom and pop place; the lodge where we always stayed is closed, rebuilding after the disastrous forest fires 2 years ago, and while I’d like to go to the mountains, I don’t know that my emotions would let me stay at that particular place anyway. I thought surely mom would be settled by now, but with everything in the aforementioned holding pattern, I don’t know what is going to happen. At least I have till Saturday to cancel.
I also planned to vent a little about Mother’s Day, because it just feels strange. Every time I’ve gone into a store in the past couple weeks, I see cards and gifts, and think about what I’d be buying mom, or what we would be doing together for the holiday. It’s hard, to put it mildly, thinking of Mother’s Day, when my mother is physically here, but really doesn’t know she is my mom anymore. The other night, the night nurse at psych phoned me, to talk to mom. ‘Here, Miss Margaret, here’s Lisa,’ I heard her say as she handed the phone off. Mom’s first words were ‘is this Barbie?’ Um, no, mom, it’s Lisa. ‘You’re Peggy, aren’t you?’ Um, no, mom, it’s Lisa. So, same old same old, where that is concerned.
In other news: I’d been sending out some job applications and heard back from one! A hospital very close to Place K needs a part-time speech therapist, mostly on weekends. That might be a good way to ease back into the work force, I’m thinking. I explained my current cul-de-sac of a life situation to the therapy director there, and she was totally understanding and said to call her back when crap settles.
The earrings I made last week for several friends turned out well, went out, and are being received, with unanimous (so far anyway) squeals of satisfaction! I’m thinking of reopening my long-dormant Etsy shop and putting them out for sale. An extra side hustle or two never hurt anybody. Stay tuned.
Speaking of side hustles, here’s the poll I alluded to. I have two more book manuscripts, basically finished. I mentioned them before; one is a horror story about an aspiring country singer who may be haunted by the ghost of his insanely jealous ex-girlfriend who dabbled in black magic, killed herself when he broke up with her, and may be trying to kill his current flame. The other is a sci-fi murder mystery about a shapeshifting alien spy with amnesia and an undercover cop grieving his PI lover’s murder. The cop rescues the alien and nurses her back to health, they become friends, and to pay him back for his help she uses her powers to help him track down his girlfriend’s killer. If you have strong feelings about which one you would rather read, let me know. I can’t decide which one to polish and publish first, now that I actually may have a little time to do it!
Finally, book review! A librarian friend has a connection to a fantasy author who is originally from around here, who has written a series of books set in the mountains of east Tennessee. I started reading them the other day and am loving them. They’re about a mysterious clan of mountain folk who wield musical magic. (I haven’t gotten far yet, so I can’t really spoil, but I’m suspecting they are fae, or descended from them.)
Anyway! The author is Alex Bledsoe, his folk are the Tufa, and here’s the first book: The Hum and the Shiver. Majorly recommended.
Whew, sorry to have spewed all over the page here. If you have stuck with me this long, thank you; if not, I completely understand. Talk to y’all later, with updates on the ongoing crazy.