Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When The End Of Time Comes

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”

23 comments:

  1. Oh.....I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
    Crying for the confusion and sort of sadness that comes with all the confusion.
    Laughing because I EXTREMELY like your last paragraph!:))

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Dawn, It was a Laugh and Cry situation for sure, still not sure how I feel but I am serious about the last paragraph :^)

    ReplyDelete
  3. that was a tough one! If I do start to lose it, I want to lose it all the way...
    My mom died in a nursing home. In the fifteen minutes it took me to get there, a bunch of her stuff was stolen...How about giving these folks a bit of dignity! Needless to say, I love your last paragraph.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes Sir Pat, Give these folks some dignity, I think this is what bothered me the most, I hate to hear your Mom's stuff was stolen as you already know this should have never happened, anyone deserves more respect than that.

    Thank You my Friend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is sad, Jimmy. My daughter's favorite patient (at the nursing home where she works on breaks) passed away last week. She was sorry that she is at school and was not able to say goodbye to him. Please know that there are kind and caring nurses and aides out there who do respect their patients and give them the dignity that they deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There's just no excuse for that behavior in a nursing home. The living patients feelings are of no importanace anymore. They could have moved the body to another room/area. Or Grandma for that matter. How cruel.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is freakin' horrible! How traumatic! For everyone involved. I don't think I'd ever be able to get that image out of my head.

    ReplyDelete
  8. that was so sad and i feel horrible for your grandma. the nurses should have had a little more respect fot both your grandma and her roommate. seening good thoughts your way.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Like Dawn, when I first read this I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry because of your last paragragh. Which was excellent, btw.

    My mother use to work as a nurses assistant in nursing home and she couldn't believe some of the insensitive stuff that went on. It both angered her and saddened her.

    Like you shared Jimmy....Give these folks some dignity. It makes so sad to hear when elderly people are not treated with the respect they DESERVE.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How sad that they left the woman there for so long and how upsetting it must have been for your grandmother.

    I am pretty sure you could sell a lot of those signs, Jimmy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How insensitive of them. I feel terrible for your Grandmother. I certainly hope you filed a complaint with the administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Bijoux, This was totally out of character for the facility, they are usually right on top of things and I really think the whole thing was a fluke, no excuses though.

    Cindy has also had some experiences with losing those she got close to working as a CNA; it is very hard and harder when their dignity is put aside.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree Barb, If nothing else they could have taken Grandma to another area and closed the door until the lady was taken care of, seeing someone like this was upsetting for everyone involved.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tress, This image does stick in your mind, we actually saw a lady we were really close to pass away a while back, and the sad thing was Grandmas roommate had the exact same look on her face that we saw before.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank You Becca, Respect is the whole thing here, I feel like you that it should have been given for both the living and dead just the same.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Ron, Thank You Sir, The Nursing Assistant jobs are very hard I know, and the things these people see are very hard to deal with, you get so attached to a lot of your patients and I have a hard time even thinking that our elderly are given anything less than the dignity and respect they deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Betty, I am not sure exactly why it was handled in this manner; simply closing the curtain could have helped in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Welcome Sam, Thank you so much, we did talk with the people working at the time and I know for sure the discussions are not over this soon. This is a good facility and I really feel that it may have just been a fluke, which doesn’t change anything but it should never happen again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jimmy-- WOW! I am horrified. I can't even begin to express the Sorrow I feel for your Grandmother..and You as well, having to experience that.

    No amount of excuses will cover the fact that someone--was totally disrespected, in the last seconds, minutes, hours of Life and Death.

    Wow-- I have to shut up now and find my remote!

    Praying for your Grandmother!

    Love to You Both.

    John

    ReplyDelete
  20. How unsettling for poor Grandma. And I love your sign!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Amen John, “No amount of excuses will cover the fact that someone--was totally disrespected, in the last seconds, minutes, hours of Life and Death.” It’s all about dignity and respect which is rare now days.

    Reaching for the remote…

    Love Ya Bro.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank You SuziCate, I felt bad for her, as she shouldn’t have had to go through that, I just may have to make up a sign for myself now just in case Cindy ships me off anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That's terrible! Jesus. I can't imagine living with a roommate in a nursing home and having your roommate just up and die and then not having the body moved or even removed from view! No wonder she was upset! I think I'd be hysterical.

    ReplyDelete

I am glad you stopped by, feel free to join in, tell me what you think, or just say Hi, thank you for commenting.