Warehouse living—or whatever happy-ass euphemism a clueless social worker might use—routinely dehumanizes residents. What’s more insidious is that warehouse administrations blame the infirm for their own subjugation. Before the warehouse consented to admit me, they insisted that I scrawl my misshapen John Hancock on an assortment of legal documents that gave the staff legal permission to open my mail, snoop through my drawers, administer what they deemed “appropriate” medical care, and generally butt into my business. They also required that I authorize the state government to address my benefit checks in care of the warehouse, and permit the administration to disperse my dough as they saw fit. more »
Archive for June, 2007
Read Part 6
. . . an orderly wheeled me to the rehab floor, where I spent the next couple of weeks in a private room. My newly-appointed caregivers structured my days basically the same as they’d been at the previous rehab hospital. A social worker I met the first day good-naturedly laughed: “This place is just like boot camp.”
Though I still felt exceedingly nauseated and debilitated, I noted a pang of giddiness—at least temporarily, I wouldn’t have to endure an unwashed batshit-crazy roommate. The rehab floor far outshone the warehouse by providing: a clean, intelligent, and hard-working staff (most of them anyway); slightly better than decent food (and lots of it); reasonable frequency of assisted showers (daily instead of biweekly)*; competently prescribed and executed physical therapy. (As always, I found the accompanying occupational therapy a waste of my time albeit a welcome respite, like study hall after calculus.) I’d forgotten that the fairly well-managed department of a health facility can be somewhat lively. more »
Read Part 5
My appendix had burst, resulting in toxic shock syndrome; I’d barely sidestepped death. As far as I’m concerned, the incompetent fuckwits that wildly misjudged my symptoms shoulder responsibility for this avoidable disaster. After I’d snapped out of my unresponsive state, “they” moved my extremely ill ass to another part of the ICU in the hope that my condition would stabilize.
Eventually my condition stabilized to the extent that the enthusiastic interns ordered me schlepped to a standard room. I’d just returned from a sort of metaphysical anteroom separating life from death and felt supremely weak and nauseated, exactly like when I’d woken from the stroke-induced coma years earlier. Catholics managed the hospital that treated me and, like the Jews that oversaw the warehouse imposed their religion—they believed the only religion OK’d by the cosmic big gun himself—on helpless captives. An in-house TV channel (to which a robotic nurse automatically tuned upon my arrival) broadcast mass from the hospital’s chapel every morning. The rest of the time it featured the static single camera shot of the unmanned dimly lit altar. Though my new surroundings symbolized a vague semblance of normalcy, hallucinations reminded me of my tenuous health. I interpreted the fixed scene as a foreign art film; then as the commercial for a fall line-up on Fox that boasted reruns of The Monkees, created with a nod to the 1950 movie Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion. more »