Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Part 2 of Seamus and the brain tumors

This is Part 2 of Seamus and the brain tumors. Here is Part 1. I would highly recommend you read Part 1 first, or it will not make any sense to you.

I showed up on Sunday to take Seamus to lunch. When I rang the front doorbell, all kinds of dogs started barking. Seamus's sister told me that this was not a good day for him. Apparently the paper had printed the wrong date the day before. Seamus looked to the paper to tell him what day it was, and was highly agitated that it was Sunday two days in a row. He could not, would not let that go. His sister said he would probably obsess about it till the next Saturday. Also, the noise level in the house was driving him crazy. When I showed up, he could not even acknowledge my presence because he could not find his Yankees hat. He could not leave the house without his Yankees hat.

We then went on the puppy issue. Seamus ranted about the Goddamn dog that could not be trained properly in this house full of other dogs and all those kids. And the dog didn't like to do his business outside, especially in the rain, and was constantly running off to visit the neighbor's dog up the street.

When he was ready to go, his sister suggested that after lunch I maybe take him shopping, he likes to go shopping. I had no problem with that, Ocean State Job Lots was right around the corner from where we were going to lunch, we could putter around there for a while and give her a break.

As we're walking out the door, Seamus calls the dog over and picks it up. I suggested we leave Brute at home because he wouldn't like being shut in the car while we were in the restaurant. I was informed that Brute goes wherever Seamus goes, and does not get left in the car. Huh? We're going out to eat, you cannot bring a dog into a restaurant. Seamus countered that you could bring a seeing eye dog into a restaurant. But, I pointed out, that is different. His sister just shrugged it off and said that they tell everyone it's an
anti-seizure dog.

As Seamus was getting visibly
agitated by this, I agreed to keep the peace. But I warned him that if there was any trouble at the restaurant, the dog was going back to the car. Seamus, are you going to put a leash on the dog? Nope, don't need one. His sister handed me one, just in case.

He wrapped Brute in a sweatshirt to bring it into the restaurant. We got a booth way in the back, the place was packed. Seamus put the dog on the seat next to him, covered in the sweatshirt and admonished the dog to "lay still and be quiet, you little fucking bastard" while flicking the dog's skull so had I could hear the thump across the table. Now
I was getting agitated.

Brute keeps poking his head out from the under the sweatshirt, and keeps getting flicked on the head for his efforts, with Seamus leaning over and saying through clenched teeth, "knock if off you little motherfucker" and other sweet things along those lines. He kept saying to me over and over, "do you know what it's like going from perfection to this shit?"

After the food came and we were properly distracted, the dog makes a run for it. I was up and running after it before Seamus could even react. People were staring, but no one that worked there had seen anything. I hand the dog back to Seamus and suggest we put him in the car now. Seamus proceeds to ignore me in favor of flicking the dog at least 5 times while muttering angrily, and puts the dog back on the seat under the sweatshirt.

The dog waits about 5 minutes before he tries it again. I'm now trying to get around little old church ladies to get at the dog who ran under their legs. He almost made it to the kitchen when I caught up with him, and immediately proceeded outside and I put him in the car.

Seamus wasn't happy with this decision, but too fucking bad. On top of it, he was also being a royal prick. Gone was any hint of the wonderful sense of humor he had, and he was outright insulting more than once. After lunch was over, I couldn't believe it had only been an hour. I had promised his sister I would keep him out for a couple of hours, so off to Ocean State Job Lots we went.

They both behaved themselves there and the store didn't give us a hard time having Brute in the carriage. We came to the pet section where they had little doggie sweaters and jackets. Seamus got it in his head that he wanted the dog to have a raincoat because the dog wouldn't do his business outside in the rain. Of course, they didn't have any. I offered to take him to the pet store around the corner.

When we got to the pet store, Seamus opened his door and before he could grab the dog, it took off running, across the parking lot and down the sidewalk of a very busy four lane road. Seamus takes off running down the road and I hop back in the car and follow with my hazzards on, hoping the dog doesn't run out into the road. As luck would have it, about a 1/4 mile down, all traffic was stopped at a red light, and the dog unbelievably crossed all four lanes of traffic
in the crosswalk, and into a major shopping center.

The more we chased him, the more he ran. People were stopping, trying to help, it was a major traffic cluster fuck. Finally, a half hour after this started, all the way on the other side of the shopping plaza, some lady had a container of gold fish crackers for her kid that she shook to get Brute's attention and while he was eating them, she grabbed him. She looked at us to see who to give the dog to, and I said, "oh please, please give him to me."

When we got back to the car, I went to put Brute in the back seat, but Seamus wasn't having any of it and wanted the dog up front with him. While the dog was on the floor, Seamus started stomping his feet at the dog, muttering that he was going to break the dog's mother-fucking legs. I had finally had it and told him to STOP. That is ENOUGH. I put the dog back into the back-seat and we drove back to the pet supply store.

I am apparently nothing if not a glutton for self-punishment, but I didn't want his sister to have to deal with the rain coat issue if I could fix it before I dropped them off. It took less than about three minutes for us to get from the parking lot where my car was to the parking lot where the pet store was. When we pulled up in front of the pet store, Seamus casually said, "Wow, it feels like we were just here." I'm thinking, thank God, he still has a sense of humor, and I look over at him with a great big smile on my face, ready to believe this has been a bad dream of a day. He was being totally serious. I needed a minute to wrap my brain around that one.

I said, "Sweetie, do you really not remember what just happened?" He said, "No, should I be upset about something?" "No, absolutely not, there is no reason for you to be upset, about ANYTHING."

I made sure Seamus had Brute in his arms before we got out of the car this time. We went into the pet store, where they did not have any raincoats, or any doggie clothes of any kind. They tried to explain to Seamus that it was May, they do not sell dog clothes this time of year. Seamus very loudly tried to explain to them that it rains all year round, which I thought was a valid point. This went on for a little while before I was able to get him out of there.

On the way back to his sister's house, I told Seamus I would try to find a raincoat on eBay for Brute. The second we got back to his sister's house, he again didn't have the dog in his arms before he opened the door, and the dog went running up the street to visit its friend.

I went right into the house and gave his sister back the leash and gave her an update and was ready to be out of there. Seamus was so agitated by the dog that when he got back he couldn't say goodbye to me. I called a couple of days later to let him know that I had ordered a raincoat for Brute, but he said it had already been taken care of.

I may be a terrible person, but the truth is that I cannot even remotely deal with this. That was May and I haven't called him since. I know myself, I don't have the extra empathy capable of handling this on a regular basis. I don't even know how he is doing and feel so guilty about it that I am ashamed to call and find out.

What would you do?


JoJo said...

I am so, so sorry for you, Seamus and his family, and esp. for his poor dog who is just being a dog.

I have heard that this often happens when someone has brain surgery or a bad brain injury, that it destroys all that was good about the person and they become difficult, surly and mean.

You did what you could. What a stressful day it must've been for you!! I'm surprised you didn't have a massive headache by the time you got home. You tried to be a good friend, you tried to help out his sister by getting him out of the house.

But there's not much you can do, my friend. His personality is forever altered, thanks to the tumor and surgery. You can pray if that's your thing, you can remember the good times, but there's nothing you can do to help him or "fix" him now. The Old Seamus is, unfortunately, gone.

I wouldn't try to get in touch w/ him again to see him, but you can still send letters or cards to him. Maybe a little token on his b-day or Xmas.

It's clear that his sister needs help though. I worry that Seamus is going to snap and harm the kids and pets. You could offer to help her out I guess....maybe bring over a casserole for the whole family or something like that, if she's struggling; help her w/ housework or yardwork... The ideal thing would be to get him into some kind of group home. The situation is only getting more toxic for everyone.

Sorry for the long comment.... ;)

Imez said...

He isn't your Seamus anymore. That's not your fault.

Most people don't deal with people like that unless they have too, unless they are obligated. You aren't obligated. And you shouldn't feel guilty about that.

You can continue contacting him if it soothes you at all, but if it doesn't, guilt is a waste of energy.

Anonymous said...

OMFG... Seamus was part of your life..THIS Seamus is a while different story. You only have to be there as much as you want to..and feel like. If it doesn't upset him...and why should it since he's not going to remember... when YOU FEEL like seeing him..call his sister. Once a year.. OK.. Once a month.. whatever. Maybe you can write to him..stories of your past. SEND it to him.

kate said...

qWow. That is a crazy story. How sad and frustrating for all involved. And that poor dog...Is it any wonder it runs off at every opportunity?

I agree with the others that you should help his sister if you can. Maybe take HER out to lunch next time. As for Seamus, remember him as he was. And don't feel guilty for not being able to handle the way he is.