A Quick Visit (Backstory #5) Oct 8, 2021 20:38:14 GMT -5
Post by ROUND II | Ross Hanson on Oct 8, 2021 20:38:14 GMT -5
Originally aired October 6, 2021 (link here)
Scene takes place on October 4, 2021
I have a lot of problems in my life with women. Fortunately, most of them have the same solution and said solution only requires me to do one thing: have some patience. But the problem I’m facing today, there is not enough patience in the world that is going to solve it.
“Come on in, Mr. Hanson.”
I was expecting this place to be completely grey and empty, but they have a nice green and blue going on with the grey as well. It's a nice touch. Then again, this is also their main intake. So I haven't even gotten to the floor that Mom's on yet.
“Sorry I hadn’t been here sooner, I have been busy with work.”
That’s not a lie. I’ve been on more planes in the past three months to last me three lifetimes, and thank God some companies tape their shit early and not everyone goes live or else I’d be missing some dates. But to be honest with you, I could have had the last three months off and I’d still be dreading this day.
“So how’s it going with her?”
After we finished the handshake, he waves for me to follow him. If I get too far behind I will get lost and probably wind up getting booked into a room by accident.
“I’ll take you up to her floor. I have to use my keycard to let you in anyway.”
"So what is all of this? I didn't know you had long term care here…"
"We didn't until about five or six years ago. But then the guys who run this place...you know, the ones who only come here a couple times a year…"
Whoa, sharp right turn there dude...I almost ran straight into an exam room. And from what I could see and hear from the window and crack in the door respectively, it wasn't something I would have wanted to walk in on. And I've walked in on two men fucking.
"Long story short, we not only have long term care as well as crisis and behavioral units, we can do outpatient treatment as well. And we can keep all of these on separate levels, totally isolated from each other save a few staff lifts."
"Very nice...and it's right here in the city too. Good location...I remember this originally being some kind of super secret guarded up business tower…"
"Yeah? Did you ever get inside?"
"Couldn't even get in the parking lot. This place was sealed up tight. First time I ever even saw the fences come down was when y'all got a hold of it, and by then I was living upstate."
The doctor and I continue through the maze that is (according to a sign out in the front lobby) one of the largest mental health facilities in the state of Ohio, now complete with permanent housing.
"We're almost to the elevator. Since your stepmom falls under the “maximum security” category, we’ll be going down an elevator into a very secure area."
"You have an underground facility?"
"It was already here when we bought the building. Nobody knows what it was used for. I just know we turned it into a place where we could care for these patients without risking them escaping the unit. It's one thing when somebody detoxing from Xanax gets caught trying to get into the pharmacy. It's another when a violent psychopath holds a staff member hostage with a surgical blade."
Dude is swiping his name badge at the door, and I'm trying to understand exactly what the hell is going on.
"Let's get right down to it. You called me, and said I needed to get down here. What the hell is going on?"
The doctor held the door open, motioning for me to enter first.
"As I'm sure you know, your stepmother came to us already showing several behavior changes that you told us weren't normal. She had been in therapy for quite some time, and we couldn't figure out what was going on. Everything seemed like it was going good."
"And then she poked the cop's eye out."
"We couldn't figure out why she could respond to therapy and medication, but would just snap out of the blue. Then someone got a bright idea to check her medical records for past history of head trauma, coupled with sending her to Grant to get current scans on her brain."
We stopped at the elevator. I had a feeling I knew where this was going. We spent months straight in the gym together, on the road at times too. I have seen much of the damage she's done to her body firsthand.
"How bad are we talking?"
"2019, comatose for three weeks after passing out in a hotel room and not waking up. 2016, grade 3 concussion and 12 stitches. 2010; grade 4 concussion, 20 stitches and temporary blindness in left eye. And that's just the ones I remember without looking at her chart."
It looks like a normal elevator for the most part. Although it looks like it could fit ten people and a Honda Civic in here.
"What's she like now?"
The doctor took a deep breath.
“...she pretty much can’t communicate with anyone, maybe a few words here and there. She thinks one of the orderlies is somebody named Jay. Is that her…?”
“Yeah. Her ex-husband. My dad. Who isn’t gonna be coming down here anytime soon.”
“No, he’s in a wheelchair. He had to get a hip and knee replacement at the same time. It’ll be a while before he can walk again.”
“I’m going to be honest with you, Ross.”
Oh, God damn it, he’s using my first name. And we’re also in the elevator, going down like Aerosmith.
“She’s down in the lowest sub-level. This will take a minute, this elevator is really slow.”
“That’s some brutal honesty.”
“I was referring to Ms. Shadows. She’s not going to make it much longer. She thinks she’s in Korea and this is part of her martial arts training. She tried to kick her way out of the window. That got her laid in bed for a few days with a broken foot. Ross, your stepmother has late stage Alzheimer’s.”
Well, that’s a cannonball to my fucking sternum.
“This has been going on for a couple years, at least. She was a professional fighter, she has suffered a lot of head trauma, and I’d bet you my medical license that she has significant CTE…"
"Which you can only look for in an autopsy."
"Correct. Every symptom she’s showing right now is indicative of late stage Alzheimer’s; triggered by both the head injuries and depression...and it’s at the point where I don’t know if she’ll see Christmas.”
“Then why’s she in the basement like a top secret government project?”
“Putting her down here was part of the plea deal. The prosecutor would have had her thrown into the general population in jail, where she would have died by now without access to the care and treatment that she could only receive from this type of facility. Don’t worry. She might not be in a typical facility for patients in her condition, but I can assure you…”
The elevator door opened.
“...Ariel is getting all of the attention that she needs.”
He gestured for me to go first. When I stepped out and first saw the underground housing facility for these long-term, high-risk mental health patients, complete with an underground reception area that was even more decorated and emotionally positive than the above ground lobby…
"Good morning, Doctor."
"Good morning to you, too. This is Ross...he's primary contact and POE for A-19, do you think we could possibly get him back there for a quick visit?"
I believed him.