Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our Bionic Relative

Well, hello. I know it’s been awhile but as usual, I’ve been completely uninspired. Today I’m just going to update you on the status of Uncle Jimdandy, otherwise known as The Robot, or sometimes The Energizer Bunny.

About six or seven weeks ago, Jimdandy, having been outside doing some vigorous spring gardening, took a fall down his outside basement stairs and broke his hip. He would want me, by the way, to add that he fell because he was wearing an ill-fitting pair of boots and for no other reason. He lay there in the stairwell calling for help for some time before a neighbour finally heard him.

During his subsequent weeks in the hospital, Jimdandy had surgery for a partial hip replacement, developed pneumonia, developed a clot on his lung, reacted badly to the medication given for the clot (involving all sorts of inappropriate bleeding), and, of course, remained 96 years of age. Any ONE of those things should have killed him, never mind the combination. Instead, he is currently in a rehab facility improving exponentially and fully expecting to go home and resume his “normal” life in a week or so. In his mind, there has never been any question of this.

They figured out very quickly at the hospital that putting him in the “old people” recreational exercise class was ridiculous and made him testy. This man who, until a couple of weeks prior, had been digging energetically in his garden, painting his doors, scrubbing his bathtub, and so on, did not want or need to be sitting in a chair waving his arms passively above his head like a sea anemone.

Other things currently being spoken of are also making him cranky. We have bravely broached the idea of an assisted living facility, especially as he seems to be enjoying the social life at his rehab place, but he is still balking because he does not want to live with “a bunch of old people”, and besides, they’re outrageously expensive. (Jimdandy has a wallet full of pennies black and blue from being pinched.) No, he has a perfectly good home and that’s where he’ll be going, thank you very much. He doesn’t even like the idea of any “help” in the home. The social worker has suggested someone will need to come in daily at first. Jimdandy is horrified. Once a week, MAYBE. If HE thinks he needs it.

And God forbid any of this should be discussed with us, his next of kin, in his absence or in preference to him. Jimdandy is in razor-sharp possession of his mental faculties and fiercely protective of his autonomy. Although his nephew, my SRH, has signing privileges on Jimdandy’s chequing account, all bills are to be brought to Jimdandy in the hospital and Jimdandy will pay them himself, thank you. After very close perusal to ensure no one is trying to rip him off, that is.

What are we to do with such a force of nature? Well, nothing he doesn’t want done, that’s for sure!

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