Dixie Peach: Just Watch It, Fella

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Just Watch It, Fella

Let me start off by saying that I'm sure I'm making too much of this and I'm likely reading more into the situation than it warrants. But you know if I'm going to get carried away I may as well go for a long ride.

I'm starting to get to the point where I'm getting anxious about my trip and it's more than just the latest thwarted terror activity. I'm at the point where I get concerned about how B will be taken care of while I'm gone.

I've said before that I'm quite territorial and that territory extends to B's care. I'm in charge of it, I do virtually all of it and I take full responsibility for any good or bad results. Since I took over his care he's been very sick a couple times but the last time was six years ago and he hasn't had a pressure sore in nearly ten years. I do a very good job, if I do say so myself.

While I'm gone my MIL will take care of B. She was the one who cared for B before I ever came along but she also had the help of B's dad, who has since passed away, and she hasn't had to do it full time since the last time I went home for a visit three years ago. She's also getting older and that plays a part since taking care of B can be physically demanding. However Gerd, her gentleman friend, will be around to help her out. And luckily Gerd has care giving experience. His late wife had Parkinson's and later due to a Parkinson's induced fall she was a quadriplegic. And while everyone with a spinal cord injury is different it should all be at least somewhat familiar to him. I'm sure he's going to be a great help to my MIL while she takes care of B and this should all give me some peace of mind.

But there's one little niggling thing.

Tonight B's mom called us to check in and chat and she was talking about some mutual friends who came to visit her and Gerd and have supper tonight. She made a variety of salads and cheese soup for supper. In the background we could hear Gerd going on about how great this soup is and how much B would enjoy it, blah, blah, blah. Okay - except for the fact that B doesn't like cheese soups or sauces. He won't eat cream sauces. I couldn't get him to eat macaroni and cheese if it meant saving his life. He doesn't like any white sauces, with or without cheese, with the exception of Hollandaise.

B said "Oh I wouldn't like that soup." and Gerd asked why not. B replied that he doesn't like white sauces and Gerd replied "Well when your wife's gone your mom can cook some of that cheese soup and I'll make you eat it.". B and I looked at one another with expressions that said "Wrong answer.". I know Gerd was just kidding around. I mean I feel like I know he was anyway. But still, that statement grates on my nerves.

Those who are handicapped are dependent on those who care for them. They're completely vulnerable to their caregivers. We can exercise complete control over them. There's a bond of trust that's built between a caregiver and the person for whom they care and it's one that shouldn't be abused. I don't even like joking about its abuse. To say, even as a joke, that B will be made to do anything, especially eat something he finds repulsive, bothers me a lot.

But I have to let this irritation go, else I can't make this trip. If I can't trust someone to come into my precious territory and care for B for 2 1/2 weeks then I simply have to stay home. I have to have faith that my MIL can handle, with Gerd's help, taking care of B. I know that our family physician is available at any time should B become ill in any way and I could be back home in about 24 hours if there were an emergency. I have to know that my MIL will keep B's interests in mind and her loyalties will be first with her son. I have to have faith that B will be the strong, willful person he is now and won't allow himself to be pushed around or neglected or abused by anyone.

I like Gerd and all. I think he's a very nice man and he makes my MIL very happy. I think he would do all he could to take proper care of B. I have to have faith in it. And Gerd better have faith in the fact that if I find out he's put one foot wrong and has compromised B's trust or care in any way, I'll plant my foot up his ass so far he'll think Birkenstock started making hats.

When we hung up the phone tonight B said "Gerd says something like that to me again, I'm gonna tell him to roll me over and kiss my ass.". That's my guy. Don't go down without a fight.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Gerd needs to be told that you are leaving your most precious (and mine) asset behind and although you are perfectly aware that he was kidding, as his wife and primary care giver you take everything relating to him seriously.

If you put it like you wrote- I think Gerd will get the message that B's condition is 100% priority and no laughing matter.

D Mollie

11:59 PM  
Blogger Katya said...

As soon as I read what Gerd said, I didn't like it. I took it wrong just reading it -- I can't imagine what it would be like if I actually heard someone say something like that. I think Mollie is right.

1:48 AM  
Blogger BetteJo said...

That is a pretty thoughtless remark to make about someone who IS dependent like that. Gives me the willies.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

As snooty as that comment was, it might be best if you try to put the focus on the knowledge that his temporary caretakers DO love him and DO want the best for him... and that it's so much preferable that Gerd and his mom care for him that some social service worker.


4:30 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

The terrorist thing caused me to have you in my thoughts all day, that is just an awful thing to have happen so close to your trip. The remark was awful. It sucks that you have to be torn like this between seeing your Mom and brother, and the rest of your family and friends and feeling vulnerable and afraid B will have to pay the consequences for your going. What an awful position to be in. Lots of prayers being sent your way.

4:51 AM  
Blogger sari said...

I hate it when someone's sense of humor just strikes me WRONG like that. Because I have a hard time letting go of it as well.

I'd love a photo of that Birkenstock hat you've designed. I'm sure they'll do very well.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Mahala said...

I know it can't be easy to leave B in anyone else's care and I understand that no one will ever care for him like you do. I'd be frustrated too.

3:00 PM  
Blogger christina said...

I think you were right to be concerned about that disrespectful comment, BUT I also think that B really will get only the best of care while you're gone. Gerd should know, however, that you thought his "little joke" was out of line.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Diosa said...

I share everyone's feelings about Gerd's comment, the Birkenstock hat, and B's care being no joke.

But when I read, "...I'll tell him to roll me over and kiss my ass" I felt that B will be a force for Gerd to contend with in your absence.

Love to both of you.

6:26 PM  
Blogger BarefootCajun said...

I have faith that your MIL would stand in the way of Gerd doing anything stupid. And I love B's comment. You tell 'em, B!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Rositta said...

I understand your fears completely. When my Mom was alive and we went on a trip I hired a caregiver for the duration. I made it very clear what was and wasn't acceptable and luckily it worked out. The terrorist thing is kind of scarey, I heard about the stuff in Germany. I'm heading that way soon and I'm sure all will be well...ciao

8:40 PM  
Anonymous pkb said...

I got a choking lump in my throat the second I read that, Dix. I can't imagine how you must have felt.

I know you have a very hard time leaving B for a few hours, let alone over two weeks.

People say some pretty inappropriate things when we are feeling particularly vulnerable, don't they? Just seems to sharpen the sting a little doesn't it?

I won't even pretend I understand what this must be like for you, but I sure will be glad you did what you had to do to come home because I cannot wait to see you.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I know this was a serious post, please don't take what I'm about to write the wrong way. I was serious reading it. After what Gerd said my mouth was dropped open and stayed open from that point on and an unexplainable grudge began to form given I don't know the man and will probably never meet him. However, when I got to the point where B said "...roll me over and kiss my ass..." I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time. You get 'im, B. (what a man!) :D

p.s. Considering the reaction this caused in all of us I think that Gerd person better watch his future moves.

2:07 PM  

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