Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Horse Brutality

I was asked yesterday evening if I wanted to work today. I said yes, but I ended up calling the office and telling them that I couldn't make it because of a family emergency. I got a call from my mother telling me that my grandfather was incoherent. I dashed off to the hospital at once.

My grandfather was very confused. It would appear that the combination of lack of sleep and the drugs they had given him made him delusional; he described a truly nightmarish experience occuring over the course of the night that could not possibly have happened. My grandfather can't relate to not being able to trust his own experiences, and he can not concieve that what he thought happened couldn't have. Basically, they're just flushing out all of the pain killers and anesthesia and whatnot that has been floating around in his system, and over the course of the day his disposition and coordination improved steadily.

He is due to be discharged from the hospital on Monday, a day I am also supposed to work. I've been considering calling out that day as well. The double time is nice, but I think that his well-being take precedence. Whether I do or not will depend entirely upon who is available for it. I can't trust this situation to be left in the hands of my grandmother.

Which brings us to her. This current mess has brought out the absolute worst in her on many different levels. She has been steadily driving the hospital staff up the wall, but us as well. The only time she every shuts the fuck up is when my uncle David is there, and he's not exactly the most reliable guy on the planet. She is constantly overriding anything anybody else says or does, and she has been getting steadily more abrasive as time goes on.

This would be perfectly reasonable if she wasn't almost completely off her rocker to begin with. Much of my issue with her stems from what's happening to my grandfather as she goes off in her own completely self oriented world. She pays no attention to anybody else, not even him. She constantly keeps him awake as he's falling asleep (which he desperately needs), she asks him questions about raising and lowering the heat and doesn't wait for him to answer, things like that.

She and I had a huge blowout last night. She called me up saying that there was something wrong with her phone. This is reasonable. She said that one of their lines just gives a busy signal when people call in, so I called her on that other line. It rang and she picked up, and then it was revealed that the problem was that the cordless phone in the hallway wasn't working properly. I said that the problem was most likely that the battery in the handset was dead. She asked me how to get the battery out, pulling that "I'm an old lady who knows nothing of your strange technology" bullshit. I said I didn't know, but that there had to be a hatch somewhere on the phone that held the battery.

She then said she was sorry she called, that I was being no help and hung up on me.

I called her back, furious. I asked her how dare she try to guilt me, especially at a time like this. She said that she called me for help and I wasn't giving it to her, and I asked how she can be so incapable as to not be able to open up a battery compartment. She got angry at me for asking her that and hung up on me once again.

Now, what must be understood about my grandmother is that she came from a very, very rich family in Germany. Her father got them out of there before the axe fell, although much of the rest of that side of my family were annihilated in the Holocaust. They came to America, and while they didn't have much money, they still pampered her until she met my grandfather, and then he pampered her. My grandmother has no interest in learning just about anything, which becomes really apparent if you ever try to show her how to do something. She goes limp and plays dumb. Much of this is because she knows that any of her slack will be picked up by people around her, mostly my grandfather.

What this means is that a simple task such as replacing a battery is somehow beyond her comprehension. She apparently made a bit of an effort to find the battery, because she pulled out the power backup for the phone base. I'm not exactly sure what manner of problem-solving managed to lead her to the conclusion that this was what she was looking for, but my mother, Zach and I ended up getting them a new phone today (a real nice one one with two handsets so they can page each other from different parts of the house... in theory, anyway), so true to form once again her inability to deal with the world has been covered for by other people.

I know that this is not the time for friction like this to come out, so today in the hospital I tried to take her aside and say that whatever was between us, it was not as important as what was happening with grandpa, and she wouldn't have any of it. So I've officially given up on my grandmother. She can go fuck herself, especially considering that it was her insistence that grandpa do work around the house that no doubt contributed to his weakened condition in the first place.

The reason why I live where I do, which is only ten minutes away from them, is so that if they have strenuous work to be done, all they have to do is call me. And every time they do, I make time to help them move air conditioners, computer parts and all kinds of things. Hell, I even put up with her "we're more Jewish than you" relatives (who make me want to vomit for several reasons) for them. But those calls have become less and less frequent, and yet still things get done around the house. Who do you think is doing them? Yes, she was having him paint ceilings and grout and shit like that. May I just say that over the course of the past two weeks I have done enough painting to know how taxing it is, and I'm 31. He's 83.

My grandmother is no doubt going to attempt to keep my grandfather in physical therapy for as long as possible because it would appear that she's through taking any real care of him. And the thing about it is that my grandfather doesn't - and can't - see it this way. He believes that she means well. I agree. She means well for herself.
Tags: family
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