after our neighbor was left to die in the crap local hospital a month ago with a brain hemorrhage, but shockingly came back to life instead of going for the light in perpetuity…all the way, he returned to his (albeit) eccentrically peculiar dwelling to choose either his own death, or return to life, as he’d indicated rather enigmatically.
after being here for ten days, his seattle sister had to go home to tend to her life and work there, and was trying to organize a bunch of his friends to do everything that he needed done, a very extensive list of ‘needs’ indeed. but i asked her a) if he could read, and b) if he could use the telephone; she’d check and get back to me. when she did, the answer to both was No. uh-oh.
now he required either a walker or a cane to move about, and even the simplest tasks were beyond him. sister seattle finally decided to clear out a room adjacent to his garage for him to live in as the upstairs was uninhabitable and built ‘like an acid dream’ (and not in the good sense) as the plumber said so well. the bevy of volunteers scrubbed it, moved basic furniture and whatnot into it, and even fashioned a minimalist kitchen for him before she left.
we cooked for him, as did a couple others, folks stayed overnight with him for safety reasons, gave him water, directed him in using a portable toilet outside, and he did begin to do a bit better in several ways. but still he was unable to even use the teevee remote or phone with diagrams mr. wd drew for him. but aha! enter educational kinesiology! i’m sure it’s evolved since i’d first learned it jeeez…three decades ago?
but i drew a large lazy 8/infinity sign on a piece of cardboard, and after explaining to lazarus what it was for, he asked him to tape it to the refrigerator where he could see it best. i taught mr. wd an exercise to show him that i thought might actually help him to see and focus, and eventually to read: point one forefinger at the lazy 8, and slowly trace it several times, then point with the opposite forefinger and ‘keep his eyes on the prize’ similarly. they were both rigorous in their devotions to EK: mr. wd as an apt pupil to become a teacher to lazarus. after several days we added some seated gross-motor exercises to stimulate bilateral hemispheric inter-communication, which both of them loved.
and ya know what? as of yesterday…he could read, by gum, use the telephone with admittedly some difficulty, and often use his teevee remote control. woooot! guess who he called yesterday? yeppers, me. and announced that he no longer wanted folks to give him meals, nor spend the night, goddammit, he wanted to challenge himself. when i asked if he were ready to do this, he said no, but he did want to try, at least for a couple days. mr. wd and and i are all for it; haven’t heard how other helpers have reacted. so mr. wd made him a large print list of phone numbers he asked for…just in case. he delivered his last wd supper this morning (hot breakfast, actually), and stayed all day to work with the plumbers who were there, then to do an hour of EK after they’d left. the plumber’s helper is a former meth-head, and is (ahem) rather overly-kinetic and very loud, although come to that, so is the plumber, but to a lesser degree.
but i have at least Two Days of not cooking for him, mr. wd has two days of not doing anything but keep watering his gardens, and yeppers, i’m a hard-ass, and am trying to convince him not to go direct more EK. he needs to self-start, i think, and will also have therapists of different sorts to do home visits. i’ll try to catch up a bit on some of the chores that have gone begging here, and actually began a new diary this mornin’ before life had some fun with me…and derailed it. perhaps tomorrow, she sayed hopefully…
but may the gods and goddesses bless mr. wd for all he’s done to get him reading and seeing and all the karma-labor he’s provided ; there’s a long road ahead, but oh, my, what a mind-boggling difference it’s made! this song’s for him; it’s one of his faves.