31 "Through Someone Elses Eyes"
How I feel someone feels staying in a care center
Through Someone Else’s Eyes
Here I am lying in a care center for the elderly and sick. This is a place I always said I would never be, but I am here.
A lot of the people are here just because they have no one to care for them. They have no family that can come visit them or they just have no family. I feel sorry for those poor lonely souls. But, the ones I really feel for are the ones that actually have someone but they are here because that someone doesn’t have time for them or they just plain don’t care. If they are lucky, they will get a visit once in a while. Most of the time the patient just looks lost, they look like they couldn’t care less if they live or die. And you should see them light up when that someone does take the time to pay a visit. It seems to me that the special someone thinks that just because that person is old they have no feelings or need for some attention. When that someone leaves after they have spent a few minutes out of their week to pay this out of the way visit, that poor little old person is lost again.
I am not here because I have no one or because no one cares. I am here because I am 83 years old and I had some medical complications. I was living with my daughter, who was taking very good care of me, when the complications started. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and then they placed me here for rehabilitation. I was only supposed to be here for a couple of weeks. I know it’s been longer than that. It feels like it’s been forever. I want to go home with my daughter. Even though she works, she does a better job of taking care of me. Besides, if it’s my time, I want to go at home, not in this God forsaken place.
I have six daughters that take care of me. One is alive in my heart, Linda, and she does almost as much for me as any of them. We lost Linda November 23, 2004. I have one that lives in Colorado, Roe, one that lives in the state of Washington, Betty. They live a long ways away and I know they do their best to help and they do come see me when they can. I have one that lives in San Pedro, Garnett, that I get to see once a week. She’s the baby. She doesn’t have a car but she does take the 3 hour bus ride each way to see me. I have one daughter that lives in Orange, Sue Ellen, and she helps take care of me a lot. Then there is my daughter that lives here in Anaheim, Eva. She is the one I live with and she has really taken care of me most of the time. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for her.
When I was living at Eva’s house she would get up in the mornings during the week and make sure I was comfortable. Sue Ellen would come and spend the day with me. Then Eva would come home from work and spend the rest of her evening taking care of me. Weekends, I would take up almost all of Eva’s time.
Now Eva comes to visit me in this God forsaken place for 2 or 3 hours in the morning before she goes to work and then at night after work she is here until I fall asleep. Sue Ellen comes during the day. The girls do most of the work for the nurses. They even change my bedding. They make sure I eat at meal times. I just don’t see why more people can’t take time to spend with their older parents, or even grand parents. I know it has been making my last years on this earth much better just knowing that I have family that loves me. I even had one week when I had all 6 of my daughters with me. Of course Linda is with me all of the time. I know she is actually waiting for me on the other side.
Then there is one other child I would love to see before the end of my time. It is my one son, John. I haven’t seen him in a long time. He served in the Air Force during the Viet Nam war and spent a year in Viet Nam. He was such a loving son and always very close to family before he went in the military. Then he never was the same after he returned. Over the years he became very short tempered and withdrawn. Now, just a few years ago he just moved and we lost all contact with him. I know that all of the terrible things he encountered in Viet Nam finally got to him. God knows I would love to see him and let him know that I still love him, no matter what.
I have been begging Eva to please take me home. I tell her that when my time comes, that’s where I want to be. I absolutely don’t want to be here.
Just so everyone knows, the lady this story refers to had a relapse and went back in the hospital. She has now been allowed to go home to her daughter's house where she is comfortable.