My Oldest Friend Jim broke his shoulder in 3 places – was operated on and was moved to rehab

December 16, 2011

I saw Jim briefly today…

just  as they were going to change his diaper and throw him into therapy…I thought at 1 PM this would have ALL been done….
Since Dr Modi…had promised this was MUCH better than the previous rehab place of 2 years ago ..well I did not expect the Bel Air …but something like a Westwood atmosphere….
NOT!!!
I thought it was WORSE than the previous one…it is down just off of Santa Monica..beyond Vermont….and lord the building looks like it was designed by the same designer of the last rehab house….there is absolutely next to NO parking on this VERY busy street..
they have a tiny lot for 6 cars that was full of the help’s cars…I finally found a lot 2 blocks away…I had bought a BIG Poinsettia plant…but something told me I should wait and see what Jim’s room was like…and well I really felt I would look TOO GAY..caring this HUGE poinsettia…..among the gang type looking people…actually most of them look quite nice…but not Manhattan types….
There is a BIG sign on the front door that says it is broken so do NOT PULL it too swiftly as it might hit you….
 reception was full of nice people of various colors…talking about the latest gossip and snapping gum…as various seniors on oxygen tanks….and almost falling out of their wheel chairs are out getting the fresh lobby’s air…..(thank God my nose does not work…very well…).
They told me Jim was in room…think it was 315…which made me think it was on the 3rd floor…..but then this nice black guy covered in Tats…said no we only have one floor..so Bro ..let me show you the way…..I passed more men and women falling out of their wheel chairs…and several people screaming “HELP HELP SOMEONE LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!”
as I entered what I thought was Jim’s single room…I immediately saw to the left of the door…what I thought was an old Aztec Woman….so wrinkled that she looked like she helped build the pyramids all those years ago….her eyes were like moving in a drug type way…..her bed was squeezed against the entry wall
straight ahead of me though I heard Jim on the ONLY portable phone they have in the joint…he was behind the Wizard of Oz’s curtain….I went beyond it…he was chatting with Todd…and said Hello…and WHY was I so late…..he gave me the phone to tell Todd where this joint was……
Jims bed  is squeezed against one wall…which pins his left arm in…whereas his useless right arm (the broken shoulder)…is the one nearest the table next to the bed upon which his cell phone lies….so if someone calls him he cannot reach it………………
Nabil you would just SCREAM if you saw these rooms….the focal point as you enter is the toilet…..the holes in the walls…patched up but not repainted…….there is not a chair…that one can sit in …unless you wanted to sit in the Aztec lady’s wheel chair….I mean the room is REALLY tiny..so you have to stand..though I ended up sitting on Jim’s bed…and man the mattress is like made in some discount  shop in China…thin ..and sinks so you feel you are going to fall on the floor….
Jim  must be on GOOD drugs..as he thought the place was DEVINE…he said well did you see the wonderful Garden…and he pointed.in an Auntie Mame way ….without looking toward…….what all I could see was  this concrete patch…..outside of the only window ……
 he had a half finished can of Insure on his table…he said the food was FABULOUS……which made me think of Chasen’s….
but he told me that THAT was NOT  a woman he was sharing his room with….it was a MAN…I really did not want to invade that overworked person’s space so did not stare at her/him ….
his Mexican nurse came to change his diaper …and said I could stay…I said …oh NOOOO….!!!
I left….did NOT pull the front door TOO  fast OPEN…….so it did not hit me in the face…
.ambled down to my car and rode home with my poinsettia…..

2 Responses to “My Oldest Friend Jim broke his shoulder in 3 places – was operated on and was moved to rehab”

  1. susi said

    Ay-yi-yi… Sounds awful to see your good friend in this humiliating situation… Yet he sounds like he is fine with it. Oh the humility we face in old age… We’d better get used to letting go now, I think. I keep telling myself that and that I need to start meditating regularly!

  2. Lizzie said

    Rob, I just visited a 93 year old mother of my neighbor. She had broken her pelvis and is in a nursing home/ rehab center. As Susi wrote, what pain and humility old people face which you capture so well in your writing! But they must give them drugs that keep their spirits high, as Vivian told me she has no complaints!

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