One Simple Rule: If you can't be kind , begone.
This is an extremely tense of upsetting situation. it so much better than I am (especially from people who have never in this situation, let alone dealt with the side issues Like in-law problems. However wonderfully rational and sweet you think you would be in my shoes--you wouldn't be. So keep your lectures to yourself. If it gives you pleasure to feels superior to a woman who is dealing with enough stress in just the last 2 weeks to reach the point on those old stress charts (the ones where they assign points to life events and the total tells you where are and how much stress you are under) where I am at a rsik for serious illness. Pat yourself on the back, feel smugly superior00but don't share your "insights" with me in this diary. I am notin the mood.
I woke up at 6 o'clock in the morning with a screaming headache, the kind that make you nauseated you want to throw up. I got myself some milk, and took a T3 and a Dramamine. Eventually I got some sleep. Didn't wake up till MiL pounded on the door.
On the way ti the hospital, I asked her as politely as I could NOT to do the "pretend it never happened" bit. I explained that it is not helpful to someone with PTSD, reminded her of the horrible things Ben had to deal with in 93, and pointed out that it's very bad advice for someone who also grew with an abusive father. She didn't even answer. She is now in full-out passive aggression mode which means Jesus could appear to her and she wouldn't listen to him, either. That is one stubborn little woman.
We get to the hospital. No spaces. She dropped me off and went to Ben's room. It's probably a good sign that he's Grizzly with several thorns in each paw and a nose that got stung by a half dozen bees. I am the only person who he can safely take it out on, so I got the full brunt of his anger (like many men who have always been very healthy, he does not handle being ill and powerless at all well). Now, mind you, I've been stick in a car with MiL in flat-out passive aggression mode, never pleasant for me because I will take a shouting match over that behavior any day. I told him about the quilt, and that cheered him up, but when I tried to tell him about Barbara who had saved me from saying something I'd regret, he announced that he didn't want any damned chapalin period.
MiL showed up and there was only one straight-backed chair and the recliner he was sitting up in him (also a good sign). I went to the desk to request another chair so both of us could sit. I explained that I was dealing with a headache and couldn't stand, and MiL is 78 and SHOULDN'T.
And that is when it went to hell.
decided to be unhelpful. I know what her job description is. I have had friends who did that job while in high school and college--one of them did it at age 16. It doesn't even require a high school diploma, and consists of answering phones, giving room numbers to visitors and direction to that room and help family members when needed .
That's it. All of it.
And I noticed something very peculiar. In hsopitals staff have photo IDs. They are required to have that ID in view on their person. Hers wa turned so neither her name nor photo showed. I think now I know why.
However I don't think she much cares for the part about "helping family members." he announced with great superiority that we could only have the recliner and one straightback chair. I pointed out that for the 4 days prior to surgery and ICU, the staff BROUGHT us an extra chair without our even having to ask.SHe refused. It was against the rules---FIRECODE. She kept repeating "firecode" like Darrell Issa chanting "Benghazi".
I then asked her name. She ignored me and stared at nothing. I was polite the first two times.By the third time, I was unhappy. She sat there in stony silence and wouldn't even look at me. SHe knew I was gonna file a complaint. I always thought staff members HAD to wear their IDs with the name showing and HAD to give it on request. Apparently these rules don't apply to her (except when she wants them to).
I went back to the room. I told Ben that the very young woman at the desk had been less than helpful and wouldn't get us another chair. MiL said it was the firecode. I pointed out we were only a couple of rooms down from his old room, and there had been no problem then and that she refused to give me her name which is normally the rule in a hospital.
Ben got angry. He feels warmed-over cat food and he basically told us both to go home.
The car ride home was dead silent until I finally got fed up and turned on the radio because angry silence from MiL was pushing every button I have. When we arrived at my house, I thanked her, expecting her to leave. Nope. Instead she announced that she was going to clean the kitchen, vacuum the rug, and clean the cat room which he felt too lousy to do and I can't do because it aggravates my back problem. I just wanted her to GO AWAY. She pretty much dug her heels in, and when she is behaving like this, nothing works. Having lived in her home, I have learned this the hard way (this is why we ended up with a house we couldn't afford and which is now being foreclosed; she's like a Class 5 hurricane and NOTHING works).
I took another T3 and told her to do whatever she wanted and crawled into bed. And stayed
It turns out that Ben's major problem--the one he can't do anything about--is that they keep him giving him saline solution for his sinuses, which doesn't do anything except leave him with fluid dripping out of his nose. He can't breathe--not because of open heart surgery, but because he needs nasal spray. They won't give it to him. I tried explaining reasonably that they most likely can't because I think it contains epinephrine which likely isn't good with the meds he's on. He ordered me to bring it. I told him I can't. He was very unhappy. I told him to tell his nurse that the saline isn't working and it's making it impossible to breathe and could she please get orders for something that will make it easier to do the deep breathing exercises. I think he treid that and SHE refused.
Still now news about when he'll be home. Likely,. I suspect Friday because it's 4-5 days usually and he stayed an extra night in the ICU. Tomorrow morning I am calling our GP and begging on my knees for a prescription for Valium or somwthing similar before lose it completely. ANd I really, really, really want the name of that desk person. It is precisely the kind of crap I dealt with with Dad and feared would happen again.
I have constructed a new rule: the amount of help a low-level staffer will give is directly related to the level of power they actually have; the lower the power and rank, the less helpful they will be. They will use every bit of it if youu ask them to do something they don't want to do, and in at least one case, they will even construct lies to back themselves up as the sitter did with Dad when she refused to give me her chair. "My job is to sit here and watch him. You can't the chair I am supposed to sit in." Actually the term "sitter" refers not to sitting in a chair, but to babysitting a patient with Alzheimer's. She could do it perfectly well standing for the 15 minutes we were gonna say because Dad was so drugged that he thought I was my mother.
The good news is Ben is well enough to be at the really grumpy, angry state and to be pissed at me for refusing to bring the Afrin for him without permission from the nurse. He's being sweet with the nurses, just pissed off at the one person who kinda has to take it.
And when the crisis is over and when he's well on his way to recovery, I am gonna demand at least two months with no MiL visits or help because I am on my last nerve with her. I'll call him around 8 after I've eaten. Tell Him "I love you" and endure MiL insisting on cleaning my house. I can'[t stop her and apparently Ben doesn't care and won't back me (he can't get her to do anything with her wither, probably). Once she gets her motor running, you cannot stop her. I think my new nickname for her is "Hurricane Katrina." I know she she means well, but she really isn't helping. I originally tried the advice Bob Love gave me, thanking her and changing the subject. Failure to attain liftoff. I pray that doc will give me something that will allow me to smile and nod and walk back the Desk Person and not want to do bodily harm.
As I said before, this hospital has mostly decent staff to excellent staff but when you run into one doesn't want to be helpful, they are impossible to deal with and go passive aggressive. I got the sitter fired. Maybe I can get her at least spoken to. Because if we could have an extra chair for 4 days without even asking, I do not understand why we can't now other than sheer stubbornness on her part.
I can deal with Ben's being pissed off. I can mostly deal with MiL, but some little ( fill in with non-sexist epithet of choice) getting on her high horse is kinda one too many.
But I just keep telling myself that his crankiness means he's better, and MiL is doing what she thinks is helpful, and this is HER way of dealing with all the crap. and unlike the ( ) she actually is trying to help, feels helpless and need something to do that makes her feel useful.
This is a rant that is venting. Nobody is listening to me as per usual. I am simply gonna go eat and watch mindless TV. It's about all I can manage.I am also gonna hve a really stiff drink. I have MORE than earned it. The one good thing other than his feeling well enough to be a bear, is that he was genuinely moved by the community quit.