Insane Rant

It occurs to me, after reading the writings of Jared Loughner,


that my Telephone rant is just one step away from crazy.

Make that two steps.

Okay, three - tops.



I'm not much of a telephone-talker.  I never have been.  I remember back in junior high and high school when my friends would call and could have talked all night long if I'd been receptive to the idea.  I wasn't.  Those were the days before the fine invention of call-waiting; those ancient times of rotary dials and busy signals. Depending on who I was trying to call, I knew that busy signal could potentially last for hours.  It wasn't only teenage girls who suffered this affliction, it was often their mothers, too - it's definitely a female predilection.  Frankly, I never understood it. Thankfully my mom wasn't one of those incessant, yammering yakkers; I don't think either of my sisters were, either.  I suppose there are some who might consider my phone aversion bordering on anti-social.  Maybe so.  I would counter that the diarrhea-of-the-mouth contigent are narcissistic and needy.  So there.

I know most people screen their calls these days.  I know most people don't answer when they don't feel like it.  But there's always that nagging feeling one gets when the phone rings; as if one is required to pick it up.  We had this discussion at a party the other night, and the consensus was that no one felt compelled to be held hostage to a ringing phone.  Many confessed they didn't even bother to check to see who was calling, and some revealed turning off the ringer altogether.  Wow!  What mavericks!

If someone leaves a message that requires a return call, then of course it would be rude to ignore it.  Otherwise, all bets are off.  Our informal poll indicated phone calls are now primarily placed when they serve an actual purpose - killing time doesn't count.  Well, what do you know - it turns out my family wasn't freakish after all.  (If I had been at all concerned about this, just imagine how relieved I'd be.)

While there are still some old-school phoneaholics out there who think it's perfectly normal to call several times a day and are incapable of gabbing for less than twenty minutes a pop, it now appears those mind-numbing, inane conversations about nothing-in-particular have evolved into being reserved for chatting with long lost acquaintances, seldom-heard-from relatives, and like-minded individuals who share the propensity to blather.  Thank goodness they have each other.  The problem lies with those clueless people who are completely oblivious to the cues being given by someone who is vainly trying to get off the phone.  Or maybe they aren't really oblivious at all and are so egotistical they've managed to convince themselves they're somehow entitled to our attention; that we owe it to them to listen.  Phone bullies.  Talk about being held hostage!

We all suffer from the delusion that we are infinitely more interesting than we really are, and that the world desperately wants to hear everything we have to say.  In fact, some people think they're so damn interesting they actually start their own blogs as an outlet to pontificate.  How pathetic can you get!  Oh well.  At least reading can be done at your leisure and if you find yourself bored out of your mind you can always disconnect at anyti


Another Stage

When Mom started hitting, kicking and biting, Dad was shocked.  I explained to him this was all part of the disease; that it was actually a common behavior; that it wasn't MOM.  He was acutely aware of his plight at that point, and he understood his diagnosis.  He watched Mom go through various stages of decline as she succumbed to dementia, and he was fully cognizant of the fact he was witnessing a dress rehearsal for his own demise.  So one day when Mom kicked me and tried to bite my arm for the umpteenth time, Dad suddenly turned to me with a stricken look on his face and very quietly asked, "I won't ever do that, will I?"  I can only imagine the horror, fear and helplessness he must have felt – it broke my heart then and  it breaks my heart now.  I assured him he would never try to hurt me or anyone else like Mom had.  He looked doubtful, but he so desperately wanted to believe me that I think he actually did.  I wanted to believe me, too.    

He is now hitting and kicking the caregivers where he lives.  He hasn't gotten to me or my sisters yet, but I imagine it's only a matter of time.  I wonder if this new development follows any sort of typical timeline.  Mom became combative in September of 2005 and didn't die until February of 2009.  Do you suppose this means Dad will live another 3½ years?  Probably not.  At least, I hope not.  The thought of him suffering another 3½ years is more than I can bear.

The next step, of course, is to contact his doctor to see if we can get Dad some anti-anxiety medication.  It worked pretty well for Mom in terms of ending the behavior  though it definitely ushered in the start of the zombie stage.  That sounds harsh, doesn't it?  Maybe it is.  But it has been my experience that being a zombie appears to be infinitely less terrifying than being confused, angry, and tormented by everything and everyone around you because none of it makes sense.

I know this type of medication will result in Dad being even more unsteady on his feet than he already is, and I know he'll fall even more often than he already does. But giving him no relief at all is not an option – unless you're a cold, heartless bitch. So the doctor will prescribe something, eventually we'll get the dosage right, and inevitably he will fall.  If the fall should only injure him  if he breaks a hip – then undoubtedly he will end up being wheelchair-bound or bedridden.  If the fall should kill him – well, what if it does?

I try to picture my dad walking and talking and laughing.  I try to imagine what he would say to me if he could.  I try to remember what he was like when he was still himself.

I can't.

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