Friday, July 21, 2006

Mike is insisting on going to Baldwyn with me to get Clay and Cooper and the dogs. That means Gus and Jay-Jay will have to go, too. So coming back, there will be 4 people and 4 dogs in my car. I think we need to take the Trace, since there are less traffic and more places to stop. Then there's the big dog crate that Ricky says is supposed to be collapsible, but isn't, and will have to take up at least one seat in the back. We're waiting until Saturday to make this trip and rain is predicted for the p.m. I'm hoping we can get an early start, get there in time for lunch, then get back here before supper time and before the rain starts. Church duties may get shelved on Sunday. I get tired just thinking about all this.

Betsy has decided to let Laurie and Tara take their turn at bat in caring for their father. Ricky said he would drive Betsy's car back from Dallas and follow them in the truck if she wanted to go out there and take care of the discharge from the hospital and get the truck out of impound, but she declined the offer. They're planning to leave on Sunday before noon, which should put them here in time for supper. The Premier rally is actually in Fort Worth, not Dallas. I asked Ricky to check with the Texas people on any kind of short-term or long-term care facility in the area for the mentally ill, if they have no where else to go. He said he would. The Horners, who own Premier, may have contacts that are not available to the general public. He seemed to be happy to help. He and Benji both are quite compassionate when someone needs help. They make this mother feel very proud.

I can't say I blame Betsy for not wanting to take on the responsibility for her ex-husband. I just remember how distraught she was the first time she drove to Shreveport looking for him and didn't find him. That was before she knew what living with him would be like. The actual experience of the past year has taught her she is ill-equipped to cope with the demands of someone who is disintergrating before her very eyes. I know how hard it is to deal with Mike and his physical handicap. I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be had the stroke affected him mentally. I just hope she doesn't beat herself up because she chose not to go get him.

Then she's got all of his "stuff" at her house, which she will have to do something with. She added him to her car insurance and took out liability on the truck. She got him on Medicare while he was with her. And she has access to the account where his disability check is deposited every month. Several changes will have to be made. She said he wasn't sharing the living expenses except to buy groceries, and would buy gas for her car every once in a while. He paid a couple of electric bills, but that was about it. I don't think he was cognizant of how much it takes to live these days. He could not even operate the ATM the last time he tried to withdraw cash.

There isn't much their daughters can do to help either. They were here last October when he was committed to Whitfield. The judge told him then that he needed to be grateful that Betsy was willing for him to stay with her. The list of people who care about him is very short and getting shorter. What he needs is a big, strong male nurse living with him 24/7, but as far as I know, they don't exist, nobody reputable anyway. About the only alternative left is living in a motel, several have weekly and monthly rates, and are within walking distance of a restaurant. As confused as he gets, though, I'm not sure he could find his way to and from motel and restaurant three times a day. Truly pathetic.

Well, I've worried the horns off this billy goat. Time to clean carpets and bathrooms.

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