There Is No Place Like Home

Can’t you just see Dorothy clicking her heels? There is no place like home. There is no place like home…

I’m sorry, that’s as funny as this post is going to get.

There is no place like home. Most people would agree with that. Some would even tell you there are places far worse than home. Those are the places we avoid, the places we fear. The places we sometimes absolutely refuse to abide… But sometimes we’re forced into such places.

As most know I recently returned from holiday and as everyone knows (or anyone that’s ever left home for more than 12 hours) things stack up.

I was sorting through an endless list of digital solicitations when I came across an article. This article was not a solicitation; it’s a magazine I actually subscribe to. The article was written back in November and titled Patients Have the Right to Choose Death From Bedsores by Art Caplan from the division of medical ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

(If you don’t subscribe to Medscape you can see most of it here or here)

I won’t bore you with the legalities or the medical jargon but the point made was this: a person’s right to die has far-reaching effects. That in itself is not anything new but the method in which the man chose to die was essentially unheard of.  The article did not delve into the gory details of dying by decubitus but more of how one person’s decision might affect those around them. Their right to die and how that right might disrupt the well-being of people indirectly related to them.

To die from bedsores – to choose to die from bedsores strikes me as a horrendous way of exiting this life yet I must respect that person’s right as much as I would anyone’s refusal of life-prolonging measures.

Much controversy and upheaval came about due to this man’s decision. He simply refused to be turned. The poor gentleman was cautioned regarding the onset and side effects of decubitus ulcers – essentially that pressure sores would develop, his flesh would rot, infection would set in and death would be slow, malodorous and uncomfortable to say the least. Being of sound mind he declared this his fate. You see the gentleman could no longer live in his own home after suffering a series of debilitating strokes and thus decided not to live at all.

The sad thing about his choice was not only how it affected him but everyone else in the hospital. For five weeks (that’s how long it took) it is said that the odor grew stronger as he grew weaker. The room in which he stayed was treated as isolation not due to contagions but to contain the stench as much as possible.

He had one daughter.

It is not my intention to judge or point fingers, this man was of sound mind, an opinion substantiated by professional reports. I don’t intend to weigh in on the family dynamics other than to express my sympathies. I’m not up for debating Kevorkian issues, to each his own and let your conscience be your guide. So what is this post about? I’m not really sure except to possibly bring light to the reality that our decisions reach far beyond the tips of our fingers and our own demise… and the fact that there is no place like home.

Deleted Scenes

Just for fun I thought I’d share a few scenes that didn’t make the final draft(s).

Deleted Scenes

Between the Rage and Grace

“ER — this is Clara.” The anxious nurse spoke into the phone. After listening attentively to the switchboard operator, she giggled and replied, “Send him on back.”

“What have we got?” Maggie asked, without looking up from the tangled mess of yarn meant to be a sweater.

“Um… a sixty two year old male who says he took two Viagra five hours ago and he can’t… uh… he can’t get it down.”

“Well what goes up must come down.”  Maggie pretended not to notice Clara’s stammering or the red glow lighting her face. She shoved the knitting materials back into the bag and added, “That is the law of physics Clara Bell.”

“Have you ever seen priapism before?  How will we treat it?”

“Prepare the sheaths! Limber thy hips!” The older nurse announced, jumping to her feet with a fist in the air. “And let the games begin!”

**Editor yells “CUT!”**

Behind the Rage

“Mary Magdalene-” he whispered, “are you menstruating?”  She didn’t answer. Slowly he eased the blanket from her motionless body, hesitated briefly and returned the cover. She could see him floating toward the door.

“Wait!” she urged.

Without turning the priest murmured, “I can not. Your condition will make me unclean. I’m sorry.”

Frustrated that the opportunity for revenge was passing, that she would not get the item she needed to bind the perverted priest, she hissed, “Then squawk like a chicken.”

Bwaahk, bwak, bwak. The cleric pressed his hands to his mouth but was unable to silence the involuntary sounds.

**Snip snip snip and the sound of paper hitting the floor**

Unjustified Favor

“Oh, come on Maggie. Why do you have Mr. ‘Mean-ass I can’t stand nobody not even my hateful stinking self’ on my schedule?” Clara asked with an exaggerated frown.

“Because you’re low man on the totem pole.” Linda interjected, “I would go but you know I’m too fat to run from the mad dachshunds.”

“Right! And why do we even have to deal with those two dogs?”

“Want me to tell you how to handle them?” Linda asked.

“Yes, please.” Clara replied.

“Okay. Here’s what you do. Are you listening?” Clara nodded and moved closer. When Linda was certain her coworker was waiting with bated breath she continued, “Approach them slowly, and speak gently so they don’t feel threatened.”

“Okay.”

“It’s easier to contend with one of them at a time – I suggest you work with the slower one first.” Clara nodded again. “Sit down and offer them a treat, a dog biscuit dipped in peanut butter would be nice – keeps their little mouth busy and dogs like peanut butter.”

“Uh huh. I can do that.”

“As soon as one of them, remember the slow one first, as soon as he gets within easy reach grab him firmly by the neck.”

“Why?”

“Don’t interrupt; this is the most important part.”

“Sorry. Go ahead.”

“As I was saying, grab him by the neck firmly. When you’ve got a sure hold on him squeeze with both hands as hard as you can.” Clara’s eyes widened and Linda watched as her jaw dropped exposing an open mouth. She wanted to draw out the details but it was getting harder to keep a straight face. “As soon as you see his eyes bulge, squeeze harder – give it all you’ve got. Do this until his tongue hangs out and his little body goes limp. When he’s not breathing you’ll be half way done with your dog problem. ”

**“CUT – CUT- CUT!!!”**

But editor what if PETA rushes in and throws Linda to the floor and she yells “Can’t you see I’m pregnant.”

**No! I said cut dammit!”**

Where to buy the books

Between the Rage & Grace, Behind the Rage & Unjustified Favor are combined in

The Rage Trilogy