I'm not certain what triggered my pity party tonight, but I it has become a full-blown wallowing session. I'm coming out of it, and now I'm just angry about so many things. As I write I realize that the trigger may have been that I called the "new" daycare today to make certain all things were set for Billy to go there on Thursday and Friday of this week. I've learned very quickly that the person in charge of this place (I'll call him Noel which is the backwards spelling of his name, but I want to protect the ignorant for now) is very scattered to say the least. Shelley and I toured this place months ago, and Noel spent almost two hours with us showing us around, explaining how everything works, asking about Billy. I told him that I need daycare because I work, and Billy cannot be alone. I told him that I had heard great things about this place, but I never checked into it because they advertise their hours as 9-4:30. I had also heard that they might be willing to work with me on that. He was so pleasant that day to say that not only would they take him early and keep him a bit late - they would not charge me extra for that. Fast forward a few weeks. I've now decided it's time to give it a try. I call Noel, and after a few reminders, he seems to remember me. He sets up an assessment time, so their nurse and director can come to the house and see that this is an appropriate place for him.
The assessment takes place the next week, and the director asks me when I think I might start taking him, and I tell her the next week sounds good. Nothing else is said about what I need to do. The next week, I call Noel to see if I can bring him that Thursday. Oh, now wait a minute, Billy has to have a TB test, and there is paperwork to fill out. I take Billy to the CVS clinic and have a TB test done, and I await the emailed papers. When I receive said papers, I find that in addition to the novel I will need to write before taking him, I also need copies of the powers of attorney, copies of his Medicare card (because all disabled folks have Medicare, don't they - don't get me started), and his driver's license and supplemental insurance card. I write the novel. I make copies of the POAs, and I call to tell Noel that since it's Thursday, we'll just wait until the next week. By the way, Noel tells me, we are full on Wednesdays, but I'll put you on the waiting list.
No need to fast forward....just move at a slow pace, and I will call several times with no return phone calls, but I did finally catch a moment when Noel could come to the phone. We set up a time for me to take Billy, and I need to be prepared to stay and visit with the nurse for a while. I told Noel that I would drop by the day before with all the paperwork, so maybe we can expedite things. That brings us to last Thursday afternoon when I took the papers by on my way to pick up Billy. I was buzzed in, and I asked to see Noel. He came up, and I extended my hand and said my name. He looked at me and said, "You look familiar....like we've met before." Well, yes, we have when I toured the place several weeks before. He took me into the library, looked over the papers, and he asked for Billy's Medicare card. HE DOESN'T HAVE ONE BECAUSE HE IS NOT ON MEDICARE! Noel looked puzzled, and I tell him the Clif Notes version of why Billy is not on Medicare. We decide the time I will bring him on the first day, and as I leave, Noel says, "It's so nice to meet you finally." I feel certain you are getting the picture by now. I take Billy the next day, all seems to go well, and as we are leaving I tell Noel that I plan to bring him on Thursdays and Fridays. According to Noel, that will be great. I tell him that I will call this week to talk about when I need to bring him because I work. Oh, well...now those decisions have to be made by the regional manager.
That brings me to today. After leaving 3 messages earlier this week with no response from Noel, I got lucky again and called when he was available today. I tell him I plan to bring Billy tomorrow, and I have to be at work by 7:00 a. m. He asks me to hold just a moment because he has to ask his executive director who apparently is in the office with him. He covers the phone, and then he comes back to me. "What time will you be able to pick him up?" Either Shelley or I can pick him up by 4:30. "My executive director says you can bring him this Thursday and Friday at 7:00, but after that it will have to be evaluated."
I guess I've done a slow boil since then. Noel doesn't have his act together, he can't remember meeting me and probably doesn't recall saying that early and late would not be an issue. I may have been wrong about this being the place for Billy. I am not unhappy with him at the Cottage. I am concerned that as he progresses, he will be more difficult for them to handle, and because he moves around so much, I am concerned about him walking out and wandering. He's been upset and told them he was just going to walk home. He's not acted on that, but every time I drive down the highway and see those signs that say Missing Elderly, I think about him. Those people may have been trying to get home also.
In the midst of my crying jag tonight, I think I've decided that I need to leave things alone for now. I'll take him tomorrow and Friday and assess it further, but I want him where he's wanted and not thought of as a bother. The "new" place advertises that they are "family owned," but they have many assisted living homes in the US, hence the Regional manager, the executive director, the director... The Rose Cottage is owned by Howard and Maureen, and they are often at the cottage when I go pick up Billy. It's sort of like he's visiting their beautiful home. I think Billy has a crush on Maureen because he sticks to her like glue.
Yes, the drive is long, and gasoline is hideously expensive right now. But we can eat out a few less times during the week, and that will help with gasoline. I can start getting books on CD and listen to those on my rides. I enjoy talking on the phone while driving to pick him up also. This will work out just fine. And at the Cottage, he is loved. I know he's a handful sometimes, but they love him. And it's hard to find a corporation that loves your loved one as much as you do.
The tears have dried up, and I can almost breathe out of my nose now. I'll grab some shut-eye before we start the day afresh in a few hours.