I know it was the good vibes.
When I wrote on Saturday about dreading my trip to San Diego, explained why, and asked for your positive thoughts, prayers, and good vibes, you, my dear readers, were quick to respond. You commented on my post, replied on facebook, tweeted your support.
— Ellen K. Butler (@ellenkbutler) October 14, 2012
It made me feel stronger.
I met my sister at her friend’s house in Carlsbad. Our uncertainty (dread? fear? uneasiness? So many word choices.) about our upcoming meeting with Aunt Lois almost, but not quite, took the joy out of our reunion. I haven’t seen Lisa since last Christmas, so we were really happy to see each other. It was the circumstances that were bringing us down.
On our drive toward San Diego, we discussed what we wanted to accomplish. First and foremost, we wanted to get into the room without Lois getting very upset. screaming, and kicking us out. I asked Lisa what the plan was if that happened. “Wait her out,” she said, “she’ll have to stop eventually.”
We arrived at the rehab center, which seemed a reasonably nice nursing home close to downtown (and not too far from Lois’ apartment). It was clean, the people seemed nice and caring, and it smelled like food, not, well not some of the bad things you could imagine.
Without going into details, I will say that of all the things that Lisa and I imagined happening during our visit, what actually happened was not among them. After warning the on-duty nurse that there might be some “issues,” Lisa and I warily entered Aunt Lois’ room and…nothing.. She greeted us like it had been a week since we’d seen her. She was excited and happy to see us. She even told me that she’d expected to see me on the 19th. Huh?
As the saying goes, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. We had a nice visit. As I mentioned in my last post, Lois is smart and funny, and can be a joy to be around. It is that damn brain injury that gets in the way. You never know what you’re going to get, wonderful, funny Lois, or angry, sad, disturbed Lois. We spent several hours with her and were able to discuss some of the issues, including long term care, with her. No decisions yet, but we’ve made a start.
She’d be happiest if we could move her back to Los Angeles. She’d lived for a long time in Encino, in the San Fernando Valley, and she’d love to be back there. So Lisa and I will look into it. We also have to learn about Medi-Cal, Medicare, nursing homes, and a lot more.
But, we’ll be doing it with Lois’s blessing and cooperation. At least for now. She’s trying to focus on putting on some weight and getting stronger (to that end, we picked her up some vegan chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes calories are calories.)
I feel like we’ve opened a door of communication, a path back to our old relationship, a chance to help her without her fighting us all the way.
And it’s all because of your good vibes. Thank you.