Do you remember my tales about my neighbour E----- T? We share a driveway.
She's the one who has been at war with the world for many a long day.
In her oral skirmishes with me I have been accused of a sinful relationship with my mother (I am NOT a m/f ), and she has voiced some incorrect descriptions of my mother character (I am NOT an S.O.B.).
I am the least of her victims, but I decided some years ago (for safety's sake) that conversation with E was unproductive, so that when we encountered each other I limited my words to a simple :good morning" or "good afternoon".
It was probably eighteen months ago that she called out "I think that we should talk again". I told her that I agreed - but I remained wary and "watched my words".
When sometime last year she became very ill (congestive heart failure and many complications)
I was glad that she and I were talking again. This made it easier for me to visit her in the hospital.
She was half an inch away from death.
At this time I was able to get to know one of her brothers (a retired Judge) who came down from Detroit with his wife in order to clean up E's filthy home (urine soaked mattress, dried up faeces etc).
The Judge and his wife, together with another brother were surprised beyond words when E had recovered enough to be able to return to her home, with support from various social services.
I too was shocked -- and a wee bit dismayed,
Yesterday afternoon I heard yelling in her home. This did not surprise me - it fitted into a well established behavioral pattern in which she has berated and yelled at various vendors, social workers, Medicare officials etc.
(Yes indeed, I have heard her part of these conversations from inside my home. She does not have a gentle voice!)
I e-mailed her brother with the wry comment that E was back on form.
When I got up at 4:30 a.m. today (Wed 14th) I could still hear her loud voice and her yelling.
I thought "with whom can she be mad at 4:30 a.m.?
At 5:00 a.m. there was a load and urgent rapping on my front door. It was my neighbour - Ed B. He was "up and at it" early in order to drive one of his friends to Tampa Airport. At the start of his early morning drive he saw that E was lying down in the driveway of another neighbour, and that she was "yelling like crazy".
Because of his airport run Ed did not have time to call 911. and to wait for the ambulance. I was glad to do so.
'I covered E with a blanket and called 911. The responder asked me nine or ten very appropriate questions ( designed I think to "suss" out possible prank calls).
( I passed the test, even though I could not recall my own 'phone number!).
I stayed with E until the ambulance and EMT's arrived. She was telling me that one brother was trying to blow up her house; another brother was about to kill her with a pistol; and that persons unknown had stripped her naked. It was at this point that I realized that her yelling yesterday afternoon and this early morning was part and parcel of her hallucination.
The Sarasota County EMT's arrived after no more than eight minutes. They were cool, calm, and very professional.
They questioned me and attended to E and decided to take her to the hospital in short order.
Yes folks - GOVERNMENT WORKS.
I waited until 7:40 to call the Judge in Detroit in order to tell him about his sister's emergency hospitalization . My call meant that he, and his brother were "in the loop".
The Judge added this to our conversation: that E has chosen a new Doctor who refuses to prescribe Librium - the one drug which provides balance to her mind. (This Doctor thinks that Librium has harmful side effects).
The brothers had worried that their sister was indeed heading t'wards another breakdown sans Librium.
DAMN it's so difficult . Just as long as E is deemed to be legally competent ( and is perceived not to be a danger to herself or others) she has the right to her own medical decisions even though they may be flawed and unwise.
Awkward and inconvenient as this is it is to be infinitely preferred to any system which, as a matter of course, would remove the onus away from the patient and towards the "authorities".
That was part of my May 14th day's work.
There was more to come
Later in the day I visited with my "early sixty something" friend Jesse. He is dying from cancer.
This should not be happening to a man who is in his early sixties ( I speak from my heart - my dear and beloved father was only 63 when he died from cancer forty years ago)
Please keep Jesse in your prayers,