A call from the nursing home sent us down to fix the remote that controls Grandmas TV, she was so upset, crying that nothing was working and it was a crying shame that the remote didn’t last longer, I have replaced the batteries and nothing works, just two more months would have been nice, and I bet the TV is just gone too she cried, you wouldn’t expect this much anger and depression over a remote.
We continued talking with her and listening to the woes of the day, it was still amazing that she was so upset, I couldn’t eat my supper because I just lost my appetite she said, she pointed and made mention that her roommate was gone and no one was doing anything about it, I usually speak to her roommates when we arrive but had only noticed out of the corner of my eye that she was sleeping, thinking that Grandma was confused because the roommate was actually there, I looked over and saw her head turned up toward the ceiling with eyes wide open, her face was the same color as her pillowcase and her mouth was open appearing she was still gasping for that breath which would never come, she for sure was gone.
I now understood why Grandma was so upset and we pulled the curtain closed that surrounded her side of the room, the facility was waiting for the family to arrive and make a decision on which mortuary to call, and I know there is nothing that could have been done at the time, but out of respect for this lady who had passed away, they should have at least pulled the curtain and covered her head, rather than leaving her laying inside an open door for all to see.
Different scenarios run through my head, they could have taken Grandma out of the room for a ride around the facility in her chair if nothing else, but knowing Grandma she refused to leave and the remote being broke just added to her frustration, we did our best to comfort Grandma and the decision was made to buy a new remote, we made sure she was settled and made our way out to the store, on our way out we saw the family had made the decision and the mortuary was being summoned.
Isn’t it always the case when you are in a hurry that the item you were after cannot be found, after what seemed like an eternity and several stores later we came away with a remote that offered large buttons for Grandma to look at, arriving back at the home we got to Grandmas room just as the gurney with her roommates tiny body covered by a purple blanket was being wheeled out.
I got the new remote programmed and even though the TV was now working perfectly, the sad mood in the room could not be removed; Grandma thanked us and said she was ready to go to sleep because she just didn’t feel like watching TV anymore.
If I ever end up in a nursing facility, I will go in knowing that there is just so much they can control, I will buy an extra remote with batteries and ask for a private room, and to be prepared for when the end of my time comes, I want a sign to hang in my room that states “If I die before I wake, For God’s sake cover my head and pull the curtain”