Monday, April 27, 2020

Pandemic Diaries III

12004.18 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

The Matriarch is now home.

She is in horrible shape. Much worse than when she went in. She looks like she didn't eat for 2 weeks...because she basically didn't, as they didn't start IV nutrition until this past Saturday.

Those bags I dropped off every day, with cards, tchochkes, etc? Untouched. You'd think someone might have noticed them piling up day after day, but apparently not. Her lips are cracked and scabbed over. She can barely stand up, much less walk.

With the IV nutrition, we need to test her blood sugar, and to get that testing equipment, the pharmacy needs diagnostic codes. I told the case manager/doctors this yesterday. And today. Did anyone bother to provide that info so that I could get the testing equipment? Of course not.

No, they don't have Covid-19 as an excuse. I asked several times when I was at the hospital pointlessly dropping off gifts/supplies - they only ever had a few patients.

Today's home health nurse, however, was excellent. A gem. Dawn, thank you for caring so much.

Tomorrow morning I have a telecall with the Matriarch's doctor/PCP. I originally set it up because they discharged her without letting us know what meds she's been taking and how, since she still can't eat/drink/swallow. Now, however, I have a few more questions. It will not be pleasant.

I am so angry that I am preternaturally calm. This is not a good sign for them. Vaporization would be the easy way out. #feelmywrath

12004.19 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Maybe this was Putin's goal all along, that after making fun of the Soviet Union for so long, that was what we'd become.

Because we have.
Today at Area CVSShoppe, everyone was buying the one thing that was plentiful: alcohol.

A citizen walked past me clutching a precious 4-pack of toilet paper.

Me: Omg, they have toilet paper? Really?
Him: Yes, there's still a few left, aisle 1!

This is what we've become. A shithole country where people are dying needlessly, with a lack of medical supplies, and a Dotard as president who's the stupidest most narcissistic person alive and who communicates by tweet so that he can brag about his ratings during a pandemic.

Where people are lining up for hours to get basic provisions from food banks, because the inequality that has defined this country for so long is finally coming home to roost.

We are weary.

The Matriarch slept all day, though we have told her that tomorrow we start the early-morning calisthenics. When I spoke to her PCP this morning and asked what kind of fuckery this was, I got the usual pablum: "Well, we don't know what's going on in the hospital, that's up to them, blah blah bullshit." Maybe you SHOULD fucking know, especially if you're recommending someone go to the hospital in the first place. Lesson learned: if you can avoid it, do NOT put anyone somewhere where you can't check up on them EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. DAY.

Finally, the foraging continues as we continually find new sources of sustenance in the far reaches of the District. We're not sure what kind of fruit this was, but here's hoping it's edible. Or at least not poisonous. #easycomeeasygo

12004.20 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

We spoke to the oncologist today via telecall. This is a relatively accurate recounting of the conversation:

Normal Brother: Thank you for making the time for thi…
Onc: How is she doing?
NB: Well, not great. As you know we brought her in two weeks ago and….
Me: She’s in HORRIBLE shape! Why the hell did she get no nutrition for TWO WEEKS?
Onc: I’m sure they were thinking she’d start eatin…
Onc: I’m sure they thought it would be shorter…
Onc: She started getting nutrition on Saturday….
Me: Yes and that means TWO WEEKS OF NOTHING.

So that went well.

I have established a hierarchy for our Home Nurse Citizens. Good = offering. Meh = nada. Dawn got boozy cherries. Yesterday’s, who didn’t seem to know what she was doing, nothing. Today, Nancy and James were awesome, both got boozy jam as tribute. We have standards to uphold here in CalCascadia.

I also told the oncologist that we needed a wheelchair, so that theoretically we can take the Matriarch to appts. This led us to a place called Merlin's, which brought to mind a muffler or car repair shop? Ha ha, how silly! No, Merlin's is a MAGIC TRICKS AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT emporium. I am not making this up.

The Matriarch is being subjected to the type of discipline we are known for in District 7. We have been instructed to get her to swallow protein drinks even in small amounts, and so we have called on our inner drill sergeant. The words “suck it up!” may have been uttered today. Several times.

No mercy. We are at war.

12004.21 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Kingsly has shown how seriously he takes his patrolling duties in the District, as he brought Kingsaroo with him this morning to teach the ways to the next generation. He continues to keep a suspicious and wary eye on Normal Brother; with the shortages continuing to plague the Wastelands’ distribution channels, no one can be trusted when it comes to critical items like cheese sticks. No one.

We then went to patrol the Compound, where the Elite are allowed free rein in this time of quarantine. Kingsly was pleased.

The Matriarch is more or less the same. Sleeping much, as we continue to force necessary provisions into her. We anticipate a full recovery before Ukrainian Orthodox Easter in a week, and will put her to work in the galley making paska. So has it been written, so shall it be done.

12004.22 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

Kingsly continues to alertly patrol the WasteLands. All bandits and hooligans are dispatched in an appropriately unmerciful manner.

The glucose monitor we use to monitor the Matriarch's blood sugar (because the IV nutrition is 80% glucose) stopped working. After 3 days. We bought a new one, but why is everything in US healthcare so shoddy? There were also no alcohol swabs at the store, because.....why? What the hell are people using these 1-inch square swabs for??

The Matriarch continues sleeping. She doesn't want to wake up. We are working on getting a home nurse to help out. We are discouraged, dispirited, disheartened.

We are exhausted.

I often think the Fates are just a bunch of asshole bros sitting around in togas drinking shitty beer and trying to one up each other. "Oh you thought THAT was bad - hold my shitty beer, bro!"

Fuck them all.

12004.23 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

We often think of Dirty Sock and Zen as our patron saint of sorts, embodying the principle that just when one truly gives up all hope, one gets stuck on a log and is thus saved from a soggy death. So it was that this morning, the Matriarch was coherent. Almost chatty! She ate some applesauce. And then slept all day, but we’ll take it. We have summoned nursing assistance that will start tomorrow. Our goal is to whip the Matriarch into shape by, say, Saturday, so that she is able to make the Easter paska.

Later, Kingsly and I stood at the fence separating the WasteLands from FormerWorld…. and boldly made our escape. We stood among the sage plants and breathed deeply of the fresh air, and were soothed. Noting our escape route, we then returned to the WasteLands, to continue to fight with our brethren against the Dictatorship.
We also puzzled over the odd house on the hill. Citizen Amanda, Keeper of that District, informed us that it belonged to Citizens Belafonte and their 12 dachshunds. We are not making this up.

In this time of pandemic, Normal Brother is also WFH. This may be the only time I hear the following words said unironically on a call:

• Can I give you the PJ Sparkleton budget now?
• Nacho Libre will fit in the same budget.

And last but not least:

• Okay, let’s go with whatever images Baby Shark has.

Finally, other words that have never been said to the Matriarch before tonight:
“You’re as bad as Kingsly! Stop spitting out the pill!”

When the Matriarch gets better, we. are. dead.

12004.24 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

The K̶o̶m̶m̶i̶s̶s̶a̶r̶s̶ home healthcare citizens showed up today to take the Matriarch in hand and get her ready for the big paska-baking juggernaut this weekend. It seemed to go well, as she falls into line. We also brooked no tomfoolery today with the pills and crushed them into a fine powder, surreptitiously slipping them in with the daily gruel. Victory was ours.

The Matriarch has also expressed an interest in “what’s going on in the world” (cue disbelieving and slightly maniacal laughter), so we will attempt to hook up the transmission device in her bedroom so that she can watch the daily ramblings by the man-child untethered from reality, aka the Dotard. The ramblings might be considered comic relief if this weren’t the Time of Pandemic, but what do we know?

Kingsly and I continue to explore the territory beyond the fenced-in confines of the WasteLands. We plan to start our shiny new Life Beyond with our latest creation: Little Miss F’in Sunshine. As we like to say, nothing sells boozy jam like a pandemic.

12004.25 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

The Matriarch is showing signs of improvement. She is more vocal, and has been reminded to refer to us as “Favorite Child.” For some reason, this elicits chuckles from the Kommissars; we fail to see why this is amusing.

The Matriarch’s doctors are now suddenly eager to schedule telecalls with us to discuss her state. Quite frankly, we are not interested, unless it would be to tell them that we are working to get her back to how she was several weeks ago so that she can get back to her cancer treatment. Perhaps they recall that? The treatment she had to stop because of their shoddy and inexcusable incompetence? I do not namby-pamby around with niceties like Normal Brother does; rest assured, they will Feel. My. Wrath.

Between catering to the whims of the Matriarch (which is as it should be), squiring Sir Kingsly around to his Area Patrols (ditto), and attempting to keep our job, we are remiss in responding to messages from fellow Citizens. We will endeavor to return to our former steadfastness forthwith. #courage

12004.26 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

We are in a state of status quo: the Matriarch was not as active today, but is still focused on viewing the Luddite device known as a “tv.” We were unable to get the cable to function today, but tomorrow will make the supreme sacrifice which is: calling the cable tv company to sort this out. #thehorror

Our fellow citizens may be pleased to know that we will resurrect the blog for the sole purpose of recounting the conversation we had this morning with the person from the doctor’s office. #epic

After our work call this morning, a casual “team” one meant to function as a happy hour stand-in of sorts (a 9AM cocktail seemed de rigueur, no?), we realized that we had managed to convey the following: our Big Boy collection, our url hoarding, our baby goat love/obsession. #nowords

Finally, Kingsly was in his element at Area DIYDogPark, as he discovered a space that hearkened back to his ancestral caves and the Time of Hunting King Cobras. Every day he becomes more reluctant to return to the “real” world, or what passes for it these days. #can’tblamehim

12004.27 NPD, Captain’s Log, District 7 of CalCascadia

We were determined to scale the highest peak, so to speak: figure out the Matriarch’s cable tv situation. A call to Spectrum revealed that we’d need to run a cable from the kitchen to the bedroom. Fine. A visit to Home Depot revealed that there are complete morons out there who think it’s fine to spend 40+ minutes in line discussing paint swatches and trying to return something using 3 different cards and discussing fuckall whatever else. They all were placed on the Expedited Vaporization List.

Finally, however, tv was achieved for the Matriarch. This seems to have perked her up, the ability to watch the news and Wheel of Fortune. We shall join her tomorrow in our traditional viewing, during which we yell out the “correct” answers using our superior wisdom.

Meanwhile, Kingsly and I are using our panga to forge a path through the LandBeyond, even as we return to the District WasteLands at the end of the workday so as to not be discovered. We await the day our fellow citizens will join us in rising up. #Resist!

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