22 March 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I was all set to write how I like being sick because (ast least before the couphing starts) I sleep all night long, this deep tired-in-the-bones delicious sleep.  But I guess that was only the first night.

Danger zone. Four o’clock, awake since three. Insomniac writing fit.

Yesterday was the perfect first day of spring. March 20th was all rain and dentistry–winter.  March 21, a grey foggy morning and then looking out my office window I saw it clear in a few minutes to brilliant day, trees starting to leaf out, most of the blooming trees already green and a few blooms still mixed in, the big American flag on top of the Wells Fargo building flying proud.

I’m getting pretty fond of my office. Out the window I see light rail trains come and go, traffic, people, city buildings, some ugly, some handsome, some old, some new, and see a lot of sky, and turkey vultures and hawks that hang out around the tallest buildings. I sort of feel like, okay, I’m in the world. And I can shut the door.

Because I was sick I decided to do only the most congenial parts of my job. No writing; only reading. So I read the regulations for Residential Care Faciities for the Elderly. (Next week I’m doing a hearing about someone who wants to be an administrator for such a facility but she has a bit too much fraud and drug dealing on her record.) I’m lucky that in some animal-at-the-trough way, I like reading almost anything.

A lot of the regs have to do with where caring for an old person ends and real medical care begins, because the facilites we license aren’t supposed to provide medical care. So you can have stage one and stage two bedsores and stay in your residential care facility, but stage three and four, you have to go to a hospital or nursing home. And there are all these exceptions for people who are dying and want to stay put, and exceptions to the exceptions. And then there’s California Code of Regulations §87625 Managed Incontinence and §87622 Fecal Impaction Removal, Enemas and/or Suppositories.

 Oh dear. I do miss robbery, rape and murder sometimes.

It makes you think about doing your kegals and eating your oatmeal then going down with a bang if possible.

I remember when Grandma Clara hurt her back and had to be on pain killers, and she didn’t take a poop for a while, and she kept saying, “That is my number one priority.”

Thank god my parents are young.