The Rachel Files: Weeks 4-6 and the black eye

Black eye (orbicular bruise). Crop and Rotatio...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, I did not give her the black eye!

As I mentioned in my previous post about my temporary roommate, Rachel had apparently been making inroads into my son’s snacks even though we talked about separation of our food. Now, I don’t mind so much when someone messes with me. But when my son approached me, shaking an empty package of cashews with a look of sad hunger in his eyes, I decided the woman had to go.

We had another small summit meeting (similar to the one we had about her excessive toilet paper use) and discussed the importance of keeping to our own food. It went well, but the mother lion in me was stirred, so I decided to take a few days to figure out how to tell Rachel that I could not keep her for the full time until a housing unit opens up. We had never set a specific amount of time for her stay, but I had been hoping to do that for her.

I do want to say that it has been great having Rachel walk my dog during the day, and hearing her tips about cooking and cleaning. She is a pleasant person on a difficult journey. But she is crossing lines that are too hard for me (and my son) to adjust to, especially since I have a choice in the matter.

While I was considering how to tell her she had to find another place to stay, Rachel, who has more serious mental health issues than I realized at first, started taking new medications that pretty much zonked her out and upset her balance. One morning, at 2:30 a.m., I heard a crash downstairs where she stays. Because she sometimes does things at odd hours, I didn’t think much of it. Plus, it sounded like something had just fallen off a shelf. I was too sleepy to get up and investigate. It wasn’t until the next day when I came home from work in the evening that I discovered the cause of the sound. Apparently, Rachel had fainted in the bathroom and fallen flat on her face on the linoleum. When I entered, she sat on the couch with a bag of ice on her eye, which sported a HUGE shiner.

I felt bad A) For not caring enough to investigate the crash, B) That this terrible thing happened to her, C) That she didn’t let me know about it in a timely manner so I could get her some help. And I’m sure she wasn’t too comfortable, either! I asked her if she had a doctor she should be calling, and offered to take her someplace, but she assured me she had it covered. Although I wasn’t so sure, I was in the middle of moving my elderly parents to an assisted living home, so I took her word for it.

In her medicated befuddlement over the next few days, Rachel was also leaving burners and lights on. I had a work trip coming up where I would be gone for four days. Guess how confident I felt leaving her home alone for that long? Thankfully, she was open to the idea of having a network of people check on her and go out to lunch with her, which we put into place before I left.

That seemed to go well. My house suffered in my absence, however. More on that in the next installment!

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