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Carol Perkins: When it rains . . . (that's how it's been)

A crytic message from her brother continued several trying days for columnist, coping with concerns along life's passages.
Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: Locked out of the house - and the car

By Carol Perkins

My brother recently had surgery at the VA Hospital in Lexington, and once he thought he was himself again, he pushed to go home. The problem was he had no one at home to care for him. His children live in California, and he couldn't come with me because I was leaving for a week. I told him he had to stay in an extended care facility. He didn't want to come to my house anyway; he wanted to go to his. He took control behind my back.

"I'm going to Rudy's (his neighbor) and stay a few days and then go home," he informed me. I argued that Rudy (in his eighties) could not take care of him, but my brother is stubborn. In truth, he never went to Rudy's and never intended to go there. Big mistake. Before 48 hours passed, he was back in the hospital with kidney problems.

In the meantime, Guy was in Lexington on business, so he went to the hospital and talked to the doctor. "He was near kidney failure," the doctor said. If he hadn't been about to die, I would have killed him. I knew he needed to have extended care because Guy had been through the same surgery, but my brother (who worked for thirty years in the medical field) thought he knew more than anyone and could take care of himself.

On my way to Lexington for the second time, he called with this cryptic message. "Carol, I'm coming down home to your house to recuperate." My reply was, "We'll talk when I get there." I knew he had something up his sleeve.

Sure enough, the doctor wanted to release him (the second time) but insisted he have a place to go. My brother was appeasing the doctor when he made the phone call with no intention of coming to my house. He was up to his old tricks.

"You need to listen to me and don't say a word," I scolded as I stood over his bed, looking at all the tubes running into his arms. "You are in no shape to go home or travel to my house where I'm not even going to be. Here is what is going to happen." He listened.

"We are going to meet with a social worker, and you are going somewhere until you are able to take care of yourself. They (VA hospital) can't put you out on the street! Don't you say a word about going home. Tell them what you aren't able to do." I waited all day for a social worker, but when I needed to leave the attending nurse assured me he would not be released without somewhere to go. "Lots of people need places to be cared for."

A few days later, he notified me that he had moved to a perfect facility and was receiving the therapy he needed. That was a relief; however, lightning struck again. After two days into my trip, my uncle (whose care I have help with since his strokes) fell and was in the Medical Center in Bowling Green. (He has since stabilized, but will require twenty-four-hour care.)

To top it all, I had forgotten I was to dog sit Winston, the bulldog, for a week. With my brother settled and my uncle stabilized, I picked up the slobbering, snorting bulldog in Bowling Green, and he is now snoring behind my chair. When it rains...well, you know the rest. Did I mention Guy had a virus for three days?

Carol's latest book, A Dog Named Fluffy Sam, is available at in both book form and download. It is also available at the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, Wall Works in Edmonton, and the Lighthouse in Sulphur Well. Those of you may remember Carol's accounts of Fluffy, and now she has a book of her ten-year journey with this special Maltese that is funny and sad.

On Friday, September 29, 2017, from 2pm-4pmCT, there will be a book signing at the Metcalfe County Library, 201 S Main Street, Edmonton, KY. Watch for other signings at various locations to be announced.)

This story was posted on 2017-09-28 05:52:20
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