My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 4

Found journal.

 Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility.

2007-2008

Roar had a debilitating stroke on September 2005.

On February 14, 2007, he moved into room 207.

See 

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4:

[My father loved driving.  LOVED it.  After his stroke, he never drove a car again.  Amazingly, the occupational therapist arranged for an electric wheelchair.  Dad loved the feeling of being independent and free on that thing.  I always had my heart in my throat though, as dad was very unaware of his left side (after the stroke) and needed supervision.  It made for great laughs and excursions.]

Dad, el. chair

The next step at Evergreen is to start training the use of an electric wheelchair, only that it can be used if a third person walks beside the wheelchair when we are outside as a safety precaution.  I have already started a few times driving around the block and down to Lonsdale.  There has to be a person walking beside me for security.

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Soon I will start a refresher course with the electric wheelchair (Susanne) if possible I will “rent” one unit pending a time suitable for Susanne.  Once I will roll away with someone to watch me and to avoid bad things.  Thereafter, I would want to go to the park, possible with Tobey on leash and Nina [Katarina] or Fred, a guardian.  

Dad/ Tobey

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I love my room, my work table and the window facing north.  I love everyone of the nurses and staff and their positive attidue and fun talks.  I love my life.

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Stay tuned for

Part 5: bus tours!

Part 6: toilet routine!

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 3

Found journal.

 Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility.

2007-2008

Roar had a debilitating stroke on September 2005.

On February 14, 2007, he moved into room 207.

See 

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3:

My life has changed completely since it took a few weeks to get used to the care persons and daily routine.  My room 207-2 has become my office and art studio with pictures on the wall.  I now recognize all the nurses as my friends and daughters.   It is like a UN the way the nurses represent a number of nations- a total of approx. 20 countries.  All very nice and friendly.

Staff: all very nice.  Nurses from all countries- Philippines, Slovakia, Romania, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Jamaica, Hawaii, Salvador, Peru, Ireland, England, Scotland, India, Fiji, Hong King, Korea (South), Serbia, China, Russia, Uganda, Ghana, 20 countries!

There are a lot of “thieves” around, especially old white-haired ladies.  One stole the small table pushing it ahead of her out the door.  I found the table down the hallway later.

One guy, R., steals towels and facecloths carrying a big pile on his lap in his wheelchair as he goes from cupboard to the next.  The nurses tell me (they are used to this), they take all of it from his wheelchair and put it back.  The “thief” does not notice this.  He is sleeping.

A. steals everything- chairs, bedcover, cups, plates, glasses, framed pictures, Kleenex boxes.

K. runs around in his wheelchair all day shouting messages to everyone “Bingo at 2”. “movie at 4 pm”. “Church at 12 o’clock.”  He continues around the unit and repeats the same message to everyone.  K. comes into my room, “Have you seen A.?”  2 min later , K. comes in again, “Have you seen A.?”

Cleo, the housecat, sleeps on the sofa in the suite adjacent to the dining room.

Entertainment:

2 large screen TVs, always on

Telling stories

Playing cards

Bus tours

Reading

Church

Bingo

Singing

Music (piano, violin etc)

Showing DVDs

New ideas for entertainment:

Standup comedians, magicians

Group tap dancing

Painting, drawing, new art techniques

Reading from humor book

Overhead projector with slides

Roar donate equipment

World map with stickers to let each one point out where they are from.

Standard Codes (Alarm):

Movie idea:

With a proposed title as “The Greenhouse Growers” and the underline would be “we are nursing plants back to life by constantly watering all plant and feeding to cut them down for gifts and ornaments for funerals, birthday etc.”  As an opening, it is suggested that the movie “Murderball,” with old people running the wheelchairs, could be the opening or the finale showing the cured, graduated patients. 

Stay tuned for

Part 4: the electric wheelchair!

Part 5: bus tours!

Part 6: toilet routine!

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 2

Found journal.

 Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility.

2007-2008

Roar had a debilitating stroke on September 2005.

On February 14, 2007, he moved into room 207.

See PART 1

PART 2:

Next candidate for room.  He is wearing the green scrub uniform everyday.  Does not change often.  Dr. A.  (“ex” doctor) who said he practiced in Stockholm and Vancouver… Long grey hair (horsetail).  Only three teeth.  Green old “uniform” (scrub) from previous week.  It took a long time to get used to this man, snoring, pooing, farting, pooing, coughing, arguing, stealing.  He always comes into room at 2 AM (1 AM) and puts his lights on.  I ask him every time to keep his light down.  He walks with a walker and a cane, shoes loose, untied which makes them slap slap slap.  I can hear him far away.  He is smelly.  Never goes to the shower room.  His pants are soiled in the lower back.

If he was a doctor, I was the King of Norway.

A.’s room is a big mess.  A.’s room sometimes frequently is ransacked by the nurses.  Cutlery, f(?), stolen plates, figurines also food and juices.  One time they found in the nighttable a large bottle which made the girls nurses very upset.  (Only certain persons are allowed to have access to liquor (like me).

Only A. is forbidden to touch this, due to his illness, having failing kidneys.  Every third day of the week, he is taken by the ambulance to the hospital for dialysis, which is cleaning the blood through a machine.  His left arm is full of large lumps from removing blood and injection again the same for cleaning the blood.

Many times he is irritated and cussing, swearing, making accusations about people stealing “his things,” which he stole himself from the dining room.

Because of his condition, there is no use to argue with him even if he gives nurses hell most days of the week.  During treatment days (3/week) sometimes he comes back around 1 AM after visiting sis brother in Surrey.  At such times he comes back drunk, which makes the head nurse furious.  “This is unacceptable.”  After such days, he sleeps to the next morning to 10 AM or almost the whole day.

A. one day coming back from the hospital, he looked at his room.  “Where are my plates?   Who stole my plates?  This is straight stealing.”  A. stole those plates in the first place.

A. never reads the papers I give him.  He just puts them in his pile of stuff.  He sits all day long at his table in the dining room eating, watching the big screen TV, not talking… For friendship I have given A. several photos I took of him.  They are still in his drawer.  No one to show them to?  

Stay tuned for Part 3!

My Dad’s #journal recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Rm 207. #residentialcare. PART 1

Found journal.

 Roar Thorsen recounts the daily trials and tribulations in Room 207 and the halls of a residential care facility.

2007-2008

My father passed away in Room 207 on October 25, 2012 at approximately 9 PM.

To share this journal is incredibly healing for me, for as I type it, I feel I am sitting with Dad in our favorite spot in the cafeteria, discussing and laughing and sharing with each other.  I learned about the importance of journaling from Dad.

PART 1

[I have kept crossed out words as they show his process and I am using only nicknames and initials for residents and staff]

“Careful what you wish for.” Dad’s birthday card glued onto first page.

Feb 25, 2007 [date may be wrong as my father had difficulty with numbers, dates and mathematics after his stroke]

Items for preparation proposal of for new movie.

Script for Fredrik Thorsen & group

Prel. title proposal:

SERVICE STATION

THE REST HOME

THE HOME

002 NORTH

THE GREENHOUSE GROWERS

Starting procedure:

#1: signing in-forms

#2: viewing rooms 1-2 pers. rooms (“cells”)

#3: meet nurses and other patients

Examples of typical patients:

“Speedy Gonzales”: old lady, can’t talk, runs fast, fast wheelchair runner.  [Dad adds later note]<– Gonzales has stopped.  Only sitting in her wheelchair.

“Collector” R.: steals towels

Old lady: “Please.  Please.  A lady fell.  Please.”  Man: “Nobody lives in that box.”   Old lady answers: “I know, I am just checking for the body I put in the box.”   Man: “Oh?”

White hair old lady come into my room and ask, “Who the hell are you?”  I chased her out.

Often a white hair bandit comes into the room looking.  “Where am I?”

K. spits paper balls.

Monday Feb 25:  Moved to presidential suite due to painting of 407 [sic] for 2-3 days.  Door to dining room could not be closed.  In the morning, an old man rolls in asking, “Are you Mr. Bunsen?”  I said, “No.  Try the kitchen.”  “Thank you.”  

View from the suite very depressing looking through the glass door.  All you see is a collection of old people in various stages mainly sleeping in chairs with open mouth, staring at nothing.  Large TV is always on.  Nobody watches, except an old lady which [sic] sits always in in front, approx. 2′ from the screen!

My old “cellmate” dies (M. from Latvia), about 3 months after I entered Evergreen [Roar entered Feb 14, 2007].  He snuffed it.  No more snoring (thanks).  As a routine they placed him in the “transition room” which is used for the family to be with the person for the last days.  I called it the “elevator,” next step heaven or hell.  The transition room contains oxygen for use.  

Administration were looking for suitable replacements after M. died.

“Candidates” were proposed:

NO 1. Mr. J. Typical English snob from London.  “Can you please dampen the light?”  Can you please turn down the TV?”  “There are going to be changes around here!” he said.  After notice to the nurses, he was moved the next day to the room he came from.

NO 2. Mr. R.  A big man rolled in on his large electric wheelchair.  When he came in all the way into the room, he could not run around and was banging the wall and bed.  “Could you please move your bed so I can have better space?”  I said, “No.”  He was moved back to his room the same day.

NO 3: Dr. S...

Stay tuned for PART 2!

See also:

Life has no opposite

Healing sock monkey watching over Dad

Document it.  All of it.

We’ve become a band of gypsies

Dad’s inner work

Dad’s last day

A pencil box. Regarded with reverence.

Change.  What does it mean?

Saudade- the emotion of missing

I miss the mundane to-do lists

These days when I dream of Dad…

Drawn Together

Scenes from Level 2 #DrawnTogether #strokerecovery #artheals

My father draws inspiration from books, television, newspapers, his life… including residential care.

Excerpt from Drawn Together:

Dad, how do you stay connected?

ART. 

A shot of whiskey.  A cup of black coffee.  My pens and my paper.  TV on in the background.  A view of Grouse Mountain.  That’s all I need.  

I have now been in my room for five plus years.  Roommates have come and gone.  Most of them have died.  And the last one will be shot.  

I’m supposed to be nice, but I can’t!  I have no patience!  And I’m sorry to say, I cannot look forward to being “one of them.”

WE NEED HELP TO BRING THE BOOK TO THE NEXT STAGE!

Please consider supporting our project.  Much love, Katarina and Roar

THANK YOU to all our supporters!