J W Johnston • Photography


12 -18


While in the hospital, Francisco generally remains up-beat and cheerful, but he easily gets bored. He sometimes becomes angry when the doctors don’t think he is ready to go home. To relieve his boredom, he jokingly made himself a diaper out of the absorbent pad they put on his bed. This gave everyone a laugh.

Francisco has extreme changes in mood.  At home, he can quickly go from being loving and funny to nasty and aggressive. When he has been drinking, the most minor comment (usually misinterpreted) can give him the excuse to be contentious. Of all the drugs, alcohol consumption makes him by far the most difficult to live with. Yesterday he was a monster, but today he made me smile telling me, “I’m sorry about yesterday. I was going through a midlife crisis.”


Francisco has lost most of his teeth, probably in large part from the sugary drinks he loves. He has lost several costly sets of dentures. Without his dentures, his pronunciation makes the words indistinct and impossible to  understand. He says: “Sometimes I can’t even understand myself.”