Friday, November 30, 2007

Last november post and five reasons not to be my home care worker

Yes, this is technically the last of the 'once a day' posts I have to do for my November agreement with the devil. But since I didn’t get the Porsche, nor was I awarded the crown of Goth Crip Queen of Canada, I may just go on posting daily for as long as it pleases me. Because hey, when I am unhappy I write about pain and death, when I am HAPPY, I write about pain and death. And on the days when I am stoned, I write about squirrels. The depressing thing is that the most popular post of the last month was about……socks: of which I know very little (except now I need some or they will call me “Stumpy”), but which my readers seem to be obsessed. The things I know a lot about like ossuaries, yuri, yaoi, and of course, pain, vibrators, death, disappointment and crazy plans: not so popular.

So, hey, I want to be popular. Doesn’t everyone? But the fact is, I’m sitting here trying to imagine what people who know a lot about socks might find interesting, and coming up with nada. So lets do the top 5 list instead.

Top 5 reasons you DON’T want to be my home care worker:

1) I might die with you watching. Personally I don’t believe this will happen, I think I will spontaneously combust one day. But from the amount of home care workers who say, “Don’t you die on me.” This seems to be a big fear. Personally I am more worried about #2

2) I will fall on you and kill you. Occasionally I have to use a walker to get into the bathroom. There seems a height requirement for being my home care worker and if you are over 5’2” and 103 lbs then you aren’t sent to me (I am 6’3”). Two weeks ago I had an “incident” with this very nice and VERY tiny college student who seems to be about 4’9”. I literally don’t have any memory beyond the first minutes so she left while I was still in lala land. I do remember keeling over from my wheelchair almost on top of her. So I asked when I saw her yesterday, “Um…did I crush you, or break any bones last time?” Thar she blows! Watch it, watch it: TIMBER!

3) I will offend you. This is just a given since not a lot of LGBT goths seem to go into home care. So many many times I have had a long enthusiastic descriptions of this boy love anime I am watching (“so then Ako dressed up as a Geisha and Seiko found and ravaged him in the garden house!”) and I finally remember I am dominating the conversation. “So do you belong to any clubs at college?” I ask the fresh faced 21 year old, “like….anime, maybe?” They get silent for a long time then say, “Well, I am the president of the Christian Student Prayer Group.” OH CRAP!

Or I will tell how Linda smuggled vibrators across the border as “toys”; or ask them if I look sexy because why doesn’t Linda wake me up for sex anymore? (remember I am home a LOT and very lonely). Or (actually happened), be showing some nice photos I took and then have the slideshow start showing some pictures of Linda and I making out to a catholic caregiver. Or I will enthuse over some skull item or start calling pictures of fairies eating from the eye-sockets of humans “cute!”

4) I have a lot of phobias and issues. And there is an actual book we printed out for caregivers (the care giver office tried to destroy all the copies but we just printed more). Here are some excerpts:

OCD: "Her particular issues are “Germs”, food (the last inch of drink is often “unclean”, food which is not “fresh” is “unclean”…."

Communication: ……“If she cannot move her fingers, call her name, and see if her eyes focus on you. If so, tell her, one blink for yes (or two for no) and ask her the questions. Make sure that her fainting isn’t taken as a “yes””

Night routine: …. “Because she has nightmares she may not want to go to sleep at 1am. So she needs the reminder if she’s not already getting ready for bed at 1am.”

5) I talk a lot; however I know nothing of TV shows from the last year or two or any current events for the last 10 months. If a bridge collapsed, I don’t know. I will however try to hide my EXTREME disappointment if you are unaware of, for example, the group of US black writers moved to Paris in the early to mid 20th century to write detective fiction. I may also just state while you are speaking, “I’m sorry, I know they teach everyone that at school, but…it’s a lie.” (really, I’m trying to cure myself of this habit but come ON, the cause of the civil war was slavery? Columbus discovered the Americas?)

Bonus: If you try to cheer me up, you are almost certain to leave depressed. I work with words all the time. So when I am depressed and someone goes all “Come on, the sun is shining!” I am more likely to say, “And how will a melenoma make me feel better?”

Linda learned early that using a “happy voice” on me is like poking a bear. And scripture? Accepting Jesus? The last time I was pissed and a woman tried to get me to accept Jesus she left telling me she would be back to prove to me that God never tried to get Adam to mate with animals. She didn’t return. I’ve read the bible from cover to cover many times and had it memorized by chapter by age 11 (my father tested me). Unless you want me to tell you the first time sarcasm appeared in the bible (Job 12:1) or all the times God’s selected people prayed for death (including Jesus), you might not want to hit that hornet nest too hard. I always find it nice to open with, did you know the third recorded relationship in the bible was polygamous? Or, “are you ready to castrate yourself as Christ asks of you?”

The sad truth is that I spend more time trying walk the meta-truth aspects of the bible than most of the people who try to convert me. It is just they aren’t yet ready to take Jesus as their Zombie leader and Christ as their lesbian lover (this might go back to #3: “I will offend you”).

Okay that was REALLY depressing; I thought it was going to be fun and funny and instead I end up with an excerise like, “Write down 10 reasons no one will ever want to be your friend.” Wow, that sucked!

Okay, have a nice weekend and go and do your shopping or partying or whatever it is norms do on weekends. I am going to try and cheer myself by watching some more horror films. I am really growing to love horror films - those zombie films are great, it is like watching how fashions and trends spread. Why did women start wearing $500 of Lulu Lemon yoga gear to sweat? Were they bit in the face and became fashion zombied? Makes me wonder?


lilwatchergirl said...

The Girl and I were reading this simultaneously and having hysterics thoughout. Funniest thing I've read all day. (Admittedly it's 8.13am and today I have mostly been reading... your blog. But yes, funny. Great Christian references. That's just me and my constant need to be sacrilegious, though. Hmm. Time to go to church...)

Tui said...

I'll be happy if you keep posting daily. :)

I love it when someone who actually knows the Bible goes up against a zealous dilettante. I mean, what was with all the smiting? Poor Onan got it just for masturbating. Sheesh, I always think God was off his meds in the Old Testament especially.

I used to repel Jehovah's Witnesses with a dorky knock knock joke I made up:

Knock knock?

Who's there?


Armageddon who?

Armageddon tired of all this talk about destruction.

A less intellectual approach than yourse, to be sure, but equally effective. Mind you, these were JW's who had taken a boat out to our tiny island to try to bring "the word" to us poor heathens on a lovely spring day.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

You are too funny! At least being your care giver would never ever be boring!
I thought you looked extra happy with those squirrels! :)

tornwordo said...

I can see why the pollyanna act would seem patronizing. I love the castration bit.

kathz said...

I wish my weekend were that exciting. One of the high points of this weekend is reading your blog. Apart from that, I'm wondering whether to go to the supermarket and whether I'm in danger of over-feeding my Facebook fish.

I'm glad you're going on with daily posting. Keep shocking the care workers - it sounds as though they'll benefit from broader horizons. The bit about falling over reminded me of the new soft drinks machine in the leisure centre - it has an official sticker inside saying "Warning, this machine may cause serious injury or death." (I think there's something below that about not tilting it or hitting it, but that bit's in tiny print.) Just think how many machines, animal and humans ought to wear a sticker like that.

Gaina said...

HAHAH! 'Fundie-baiting' as I like to call it is such a wheeze X-D.

Why can't they have a Goth Care Agency? Or A zombie lovers care agency?
At least that would give you a more than 50% chance of spending copious amounts of time with someone that *won't* make you want to cut them into little pieces and use their liver for a trampoline by the end of the day....**cough** sorry, that must be the PMS kicking in. I'm quite harmless most of the time! :P

gina said...

If only I was younger, bigger, in a different part of the world and not using mechanical devices to get around... I'd beat down your door to work for you. I can't imagine better brain food on the planet.

cheryl g. said...

After reading your list I've come to one conclusion... we would get along famously!

During the early years of my ranger career when I was working at various historic sites I drove my supervisors crazy with my refusal to stick to the sanitized accepted versions of US History.

I was also the lone punk rocker (this was the early 80's)in a college smack dab in the middle of the Baptist Bible belt and (much to the dismay of campus leaders) the campus champion at Biblical Trivia for 4 years. Never assume...

Never assume is pretty much my motto since among other things I am disabled but appear able bodied.

Keep on posting - I don't always comment but I do always read them.

Elizabeth McClung said...

lilwatchergirl: I find there is no need to make fun of people who take the bible seriously; instead just take the bible MORE serious, "So driving a tent peg nail through a guys' head if he is BAD is a GOOD thing?" Glad you found it funny.

Tui: Yeah, Poor Onan, and that starts with Z who just tried to stop the ark from falling off the cart - WHAMMO! As for meds, how about when God tells Moses, "Let's kill them all and I'll start a new nation, just from you." - Moses: "Uh, we have several million people here, how about we stick with them?"

Oh look a JW knock knock joke, first time I've heard it.

Marla: No, I don't think any of my caregivers have been bored; my favorite caregiver has a tongue stud which is why I told her I thought she was bi and she was like, "Why would you think I was bi because of a tongue stud? and I couldn't answer because, well, tongue studs and clits go well together so I just turned red instead.

Tornwordo: You worry me; last time it was, "love the smell of poison smoothy" this time it is "love the castration" - wow, well, whatever makes you happy.

Kathz: You can get fish on facebook? Yes, I think I should have MANY warning labels on me.

Gaina: Yeah, the problem is that the goth caregivers only want to work at night, and turn up looking sicker than the people they work for - still, I love the idea. Then people wouldn't have the reaction I got yesterday when talking to the guy who recommended cemetary man to me when I was saying, "Who can't get exciting with an ossaury, but if she has sex with you on her husband's grave, that's not a good sign" (much head swiveling from people nearby), "And you know if she only likes dead bodies's not really going to be a good realationship for YOU." (People openly staring)

Gina: Well, with that precise description, breaking down doors and talking about me as "brain food" - I would have to assume you are a zombie and you will get the barricaded door and the shotgun just like the movies taught me (even Shaun of the Dead).

Cheryl G: that's sounds like a sweet job, the ranger one, get to tell people the truth, when your supervisor isn't around. Go punk rock! Woo hoo! Bible belt skary! Never try to hitch a ride in the bible belt, that's what I learned....also never stay too long in a car with girls who play around too much with handcuffs. Okay, that was a bit off track - thanks for reading (and commenting).

saraarts said...

Oh, please, this is a very funny post. And congratulations for finishing the NaBlo with a perfect attendance record. Not everyone who signed up could do it, and few of the ones who failed could scrape together excuses nearly as interesting as you could have had you needed to.

As for prizes, well, you could still win one. There were over 6,000 participants, and someone has to go through and figure out which ones actually blogged every day, because only those are eligible for prizes. There are something like fifty prizes, which will be awarded by random drawing. I don't think Mrs. Kennedy is going to use tiny bits of paper and a big blue glass bowl, though.

And don't forget, there may also be super secret runner up prizes for certain privately held, not entirely affiliated contests, if you know what I mean.

Now please don't be disappointed with me; remember I'm a college dropout (five times over!), but I never heard of the group of US black writers who moved to Paris in the 1920s to write detective fiction. But you know what? It's never too late to learn. More information please! Names! Recommended books!

Thank you very much! And thanks for the last thirty days, in which you have greatly amused me (and I daresay many others) and made me think, too.

Anonymous said...

The message of the bible is God hates our guts. Very well said.
I've asked for death a zillion times, empathy for anyone who feels trapped in their body, (raises own hand)-richina

shiva said...

er... was James Baldwin one of them? I know he lived in Paris, as did a lot of African-American radicals from the 50s/60s era (Nina Simone, that other jazz singer woman whose name eludes me right this minute...)

If i was female and lived in Canada, i'd work for you... actually, thinking about it, half the disability bloggers i know are female, some sort of queer and live in Canada. Maybe you could ask some of them for PA recommendations?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Sara: good, I am glad it was funny - and yes, I made it, do I get a perfect attendance prize (oh the girls who got those at school, I loathed them - what is that, the "good genetics award?").

I as I said, am just continuing onward - once I decide to do something I do it (usually until taken to the hospital or ordered to stop by doctors or public petition).

Good on you too - if it hadn't been for you here supporting me, I don't know if I could have made it.

Rachina: Well, I haven't counted that high, but I did court death a lot, then not so much and actually grew to like and plan on being alive and now big pain, big hurt, not so fun anymore. Sorry that you have to count so high.

Shiva: Actually I am not opposed to male caregivers who don't give off wierd vibes, I had a male caregiver in respite who was pretty cool (he was also very gay, like brought his boyfriend to work with him). Yeah I should follow up on that Canadian queer caregiver thing. Oh, this isn't good because at 1:45 even I can't remember anyone but James Sallis and Chester Himes and (ahhh, who were the rest) - but both definately worth looking up.

alphabitch said...

Well, I have known a few home care/hospice-type workers who would find caring for someone like you an entertaining day's work. They tend to be the more experienced/cynical ones, not so much the younger, more earnest types.

I do not have a terminal diagnosis at this point, nor even a particularly debilitating one, just annoying and chronic and incurable. But I've spent enough time fretting about the other possibilites, and finally (a long long time ago) came to the conclusion that, whatever they come up with, there's no difference in terms of the way I want to live.

alphabitch said...

oops, part of that was for the other post. You get the idea.

ms.cripchick said...

i think my favorite line was about no queer goth people going into healthcare :)

i'm looking forward to a bigger, less conservative city in hopes that the PA pool will be bigger!

shiva said...

Actually i know a few queer and alternative-culture-type (probably more hippy/crusty/punk than goth) people going into nursing or healthcare or working as PAs... sadly all in the UK tho, i don't know of anyone who would fit that description in the US or Canada...