On nursing homes, family visits … and resentment

Screen shot 2015-03-17 at 11.07.18 PMI should be happy (?) that my father is OUT of the hospital and back into a subacute unit of a long-term facility, aka a nursing home. But this, his third round back, is more depressing for me. He sleeps more, interacts with us less, and it seems to get thinner by the minute. There’s no other way to say it — it feels like I’m losing him.

I’m also slightly, ok maybe definitely, losing my [was it ever normal?] mind. I’m angry. A lot. It doesn’t make me want to punch anyone; it makes me want to check out and stop speaking to everyone (except my parents.)

Life goes on and, more and more, it’s only my mother and I who visit and spend hours with my father (my mother more than all of us, as she has been forced to retire as a result of my dad’s fall and hip fracture.)

My brothers, both who have children, visit less and less. Two and three days go by and no visit. And I resent more and more. I have to be there every day. Throughout this whole ordeal, I’ve missed two days. I can’t see this going any other way for me.

I’m not going to lie; I’m pissed about their lack of devotion. I do not understand how you could not visit your father, the sole reason we were even born into this country, and became the people we are today. And checking in with my mother? Not so much.

Am I going crazy?

I actually met with a friend recently (something I hadn’t really done since my dad fell and became very ill) who also has a father in a nursing home. The situation is different. This person isn’t close to death, but immobile, and being in a nursing home is because the person’s spouse simply cannot handle the complicated care.

But this friend, one of five, told me that only one other sibling visits their father. “What can you do? You can’t get mad at it. And you can’t keep asking them to visit.” That’s true, I guess.

It’s hard to accept. I feel like I have anger, acid, or vomit, hanging at bay at the pit of my throat lately. I’m so disgusted. How can people be like this? Why are people like this? How dare they live their own lives? How dare they go out and have fun? Get a haircut even? Anything, all while my dad is stuck in a room. He can barely talk. He’ll probably never feel the outdoor air or direct sunlight again? How can you not just want to sit there with me!!! Aaaarrrrghhhh.

The anger and resentment affects so many other things. It’s like a bad domino effect. (Only I’m not reacting. As per usual, I’m bottling it all in.)

For instance, I posted a story on Facebook about a guy who walks 21-miles to and from work in the suburbs of Detroit every day because he doesn’t have a car. An old friend (Let’s go with acquaintance. If we were once friends in high school but haven’t spoken since then, don’t hang out in person, are we friends, really?) comments that the man is stupid for walking that far for a job that pays $10 per hour. -__-

I want to de-friend and block this person FOREVER. But not before insulting the person’s ignorance, of course.

A nurse’s aide at the nursing home gives me a look when I nicely ask her to do something. Nothing monumental. Just, oh, I DON’T KNOW, turning and positioning my father — something that should be done so he doesn’t develop another pneumonia and worsen his bed ulcer. She then s-l-o-w-l-y obliges. I want to throw a shoe at her.

A tourist slows down and then stops short in front of me when I’m on my power walk to work in the morning? Yeah. I lied. I maybe want to punch this person.

I need a break.

I know what I need to do is just live MY own life the way I want to (which is visiting my father as much as I can) and realize that maybe my brothers are experiencing my dad’s demise differently than I do. Maybe visiting is hard for them. Maybe.

But being angry about it, which I am not saying this blog post absolves me of, isn’t the way to go. I WILL TRY to let it go. I can’t promise I will, but at least it’s out here on the record, right?

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New hip-hop by Ratking, Nani Castle

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Still from Wikispeaks via YouTube.

I’ve been a super fan of New York City’s Ratking since stumbling upon a random blog post (Complex? Vice? Can’t remember.) that led me to XL Recordings, and the single, “646-704-2610,” last year. I was pretty enthralled with this video for “Wikispeaks” (featuring the spunky emcee, Wiki, who often refers to himself as a mutt– he’s half Puerto-Rican) because it just shows a bunch of kids walking through New York City while he spits fire:

“Damn I feel like Jay-Z in ’96
Man I feel like ODB in ’93
Am I even an ’04 Ye?”

Shortly thereafter, they released So It Goes (via Hot Charity) in 2014. There was just something REAL New York hip-hop kids about it. (Btw, if you haven’t heard “Remova Ya,” get on it, as it is the quintessential song about the NYPDs now defunct Stop-and-Frisk policy.)

“To the boys in blue
Never really liked you, rubbed me rude”

Well, they dropped some new tunes (!!!) via bit torrent this week. Grab 700 Fill here.

I like how So It Goes is described in the bundle: “an exhilarating and reckless lyrical portrait of a maybe-vanishing city; part Vonnegut, part Dipset, part Suicide.” Yeah, that’s putting it perfectly. Unlock the 700 Fill bundle to get 9 new tracks, instrumentals, and a short video from Ari Marcopoulos.

Speaking of young New Yorkers who rap, and are half Latino, Staten Island’s Nani Castle just dropped The Amethyst Tape. Thanks to Nati (conrazón) for putting me onto her.

Nani Castle

Nani Castle

Get to know more about the half Chilena, whose dad came to the States as an exile in the 70s, here via Remezcla. Warning: her stuff isn’t gentle and girly. It’s pretty POW!

“Welcome to my castle, Come into dungeon
Come inside, I wanna show you something.”

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21 martyrs

Coptic Church Recognizes Martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians

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The Coptic Orthodox Church has announced that the murder of the 21 Egyptian Christians killed by the so-called Islamic State in Libya will be commemorated in its Church calendar.

Read more here via Vatican Radio.

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Why the Catholic Church is losing Latin America, and how it’s trying to get it back

scenebygina:

So interesting.

Originally posted on Quartz:

The United Pentecostal Church in Bogotá is busy on Sundays. As the hall fills up, prams are parked neatly by the entrance. As more families drift in, the band strikes up a song with floor-filling disco beat. “The Lord is great”, sings the bass-playing pastor, as a bank of television screens relays the action on stage to the stragglers at the back. Together, the congregation lift their hands in the air while a boy, who looks no more than about 7 or 8, hammers out the rhythm on an oversized set of congas.

A religious revolution is underway in Latin America. Between 1900 and 1960, 90% of Latin Americans were Catholics. But in the last fifty years, that figure has slumped to 69%, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center (from which most of the data in this article are taken). The continent may still be home…

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What is a normal life, anyway?

Screen shot 2015-02-21 at 2.31.54 AMTonight I tweeted, “Will things ever be normal again?” A friend responded, “Define normal.”

I told him it had to do with my father being in the hospital (Yeah, he’s back after his blood pressure dipped and he developed a fever) and that, for the past month, my only two destinations have been work and nursing home and/or hospital.

But he’s right making me consider a definition. What is a normal life, anyway?

I can’t say my life was super ideal pre-my dad’s pretty debilitating fall and hip trauma, but I wasn’t mired in constant worry about them unless I’m completely immersed in my work. Today, even when I’m at work, they’re all I think about.

My father has had Parkinson’s for a little more than 18 years, and my mother is his primary caretaker, despite working part-time. I always went to their house to visit, but in 2014, as his Parkinson’s progressed a bit deeper, I went home nearly weekend to give her some relief.

But this is different. Going from work to hospital till nearly midnight, and back home (with mom; she’s asked me to stay with her until my father comes home), and back to work again, is EXHAUSTING. On top of that, not staying at my own apartment means a half hour ride to my place to pick up clothes once or twice a week. Then there is the mental party, constant worrying, even though he’s in a facility crawling with nurses. It’s tough.

So, no I can’t define normal. But I do know it’s not this.

Factor in my father’s inability to speak clearly (something that started about eight years ago, and has gotten worse since) and mild dementia, and I’m left mentally and physically drained.

I’ve written this in the past: None of this is about me. It’s incredibly tough on the entire family. But this is my dad. I feel like I have to be there for as many hours as possible every day. I’m also there to offer comfort to my mom, who I can tell, is scared about this all.

As abnormal as this may seem, I’m glad I’m here with her, and in frequent touch with my brothers. If I could go back time, I’d prevent my father from falling, but this closeness that we’re feeling as a result of this sad trauma is priceless.

Still, I wonder: will I ever have fun again? Will I ever just aimlessly walk around after work and dip into a store, or into a place for a glass of wine? It doesn’t seem that way at all.

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Latino Resiste Presents Salsa Choke

scenebygina:

FREE MUSIC DOWNLOAD! Great stuff from CALI, Colombia!

Originally posted on Latino Resiste:

CHOKE promo 1
Salsa Choke (Pronounced Choh- kech) is the newest approach from a whole new generation of Urban Artists to the always expanding Latin Diaspora.

Blending aesthetics from Crunk, Hip Hop, Reggaeton,and latin sounds, with Colombian Afro Pacific music,
the result is a unique approach to Salsa.

Most of the cases sampling Rap anthems and adding their own latin flavour, the result might be as wicked as this one:

The whole compilation selected by Marlong can be grabbed right here for
FREE DOWNLOAD

Being one of the most underground genres in South America, Salsa Choke style of dancing was
seen by millions when Colombia’s soccer team celebrated every time they scored.
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Triggering right there an exhaustive expansion for that unique sound.

In order to give the compilation its real credibility, we went straight to the source.

Cali, Colombia.

And asked the most prominent promoters of the genre to curate and select the…

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On ‘working’ from the hospital or nursing home.

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 4.24.53 PMWhen I am in the office, I feel distracted by wondering how my father and mother are doing, phone calls to and from doctors, insurance companies, social workers, and attorneys, and the dozens of relatives calling, texting, and Facebook messaging me from overseas to check on my dad.

When I am working from the hospital, and now, nursing home/rehab facility, I am often interrupted by speaking with my mother, trying to figure out what my father wants/needs (his difficulty speaking due to Parkinson’s was made worse by his hip trauma), and calling on nurses and nurses aides for help.

This is tough. My brain feels like scrambled eggs.

Still, nothing compared to what my parents are experiencing. I feel very faint today, and almost guilty for admitting to it, because sitting around worrying, or pacing while making phone calls, doesn’t exactly add up to rigorous exercise that would warrant being dizzy. :/

 

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