Sitting in the living room with my daughter, laughing at some funny cartoons. The phone rings. Jon is having a "not good day". Heart rate is up, breathing is down, blood pressure is off. Urinary tract infection because they always use a Foley catheter instead of a Texas catheter. They could use diapers or towels and a plastic sheet, but that means more work for the aides. So they shove a plastic tube up his penis and every now and then innoculate him with a bacteria. Fever of 102.7. If it goes higher should we send him to the ER? Yes, please. High fevers mean seizures. We'll keep you informed, just wanted you to know.
Now the laughter is gone, the smiles are gone. I have a headache. My back is tight. It's almost time to take some pain meds. Sleep will come in one hour slots, I suppose, as I worry about the fever.
If we lived in Sweden, Britain...even Finland, Jon would not have these fevers and I would not have this pain. Jon would be sitting in his chair watching the cartoons with us, his family. I would have a nice new disc in my back, or a pump squirting in low doses of morpheine or something to kill the pain. Jessie wouldn't be borrowing $100,000 to go to college. My car would have a rear bumper or we wouldn't need a car. The roof would not be leaking. Mold would not be growing on our ceiling. If we lived in a civilized country.
I can't get high enough to kill the pain without killing myself.
How to learn to love the pain, to admire the folly, to feel no remorse? They don't teach you this in those nice meditation classes. I'm not trying to learn how to relax, I want to stop hurting. Why won't they let me stop hurting? Why do they have to hurt my son?
There is no "why". It's just the way it is, here in America, the best of all possible worlds. Tomorrow the rain may be gone, the roof may stop dripping, the back may loosen up. I may just go eat some pills, maybe double up on the pain meds. Find a way to find a way.
Tomorrow or the next I'll dose up, hop in the car, drive 100 miles to hold my son's hand and tell him I'm sorry he hurts and try to convince them to make the effort to reach him, not to maintain him, but to reach him and explain why it's so important to shove a tube up his dick and make him sick. To give him fevers and seizures and a shorter life span.
Ancient blessing: Grandfather dies, father dies, son dies.
Live to see your grandchildren, have children of your own, your children live on after you have gone. Something like that. I still have a chance to have grandchildren. I can always move the family to Sweden if they let us in. Time to take some pills and watch some cartoons.