Wednesday, May 29, 2019

We Hear Your Silent Cries For Help, Carol

Seventy three today. Your life has taken many turns. 

Your only child, a son, died within hours after birth. 

No family except a cousin who lives halfway across the country.

I took you to the Tatoo Parlor Christmas before last to have a beautiful Monarch butterfly with your son's name and birthdate put on your left arm, not too far from your heart, which has always held him close. 

It was your fondest and greatest wish to do for years. 

I barely had saved enough money since the challenges we faced after going through my husband and Mom's medical, physical and challenging end of life stories.... but using it to give you a piece of happiness was well worth it all.

We met by chance when I moved Mom from one facility to another. 

It was meant to be. 

We grew to know you and found many common bonds .....even our attending the same college. 

I remember all the times we asked you to join us when we brought picnic lunches to the facility to give Mom a change from the food that was far from palatable but you and she had no other choices .

We took you out to dinner -- I remember how much you wanted a steak and how we saved for a long time to give you that "wish" while we shared a far less costly item on the menu.

I took you to Dr appointments and shopping at The Dollar Store.

Like for my Mom, we found ways to "make it happen" even when both daughter and I were using a very old car, gas was a luxury and a quarter was like finding a five dollar bill.

We were struggling, daughter and I, to find a way to keep our home, to find work that paid more than minimum wage, me because of my age and daughter because she left college when I needed help and there was no way to pay the college tuition and costs. 

We attended your concerts with the Meadowlarks... a singing group you were so happy to be a part of. 

We encouraged you as you took piano lessons..a gift of another friend. 

We spent every Holiday with you at family dining events as the only "outside" friends -- up to last Christmas. 

We continued to visit you after Mom passed in January 2014.

The facility cancelled Easter -- they said they didn't have enough people interested. 

We came to visit with you and remembered the times when you wore "ears" and handed out plastic Easter eggs to everyone. 

Now we play music for you to remind you of earlier times and esp Patsy Kline who you loved to listen to.

We came for Mother's Day. You had just thrown up. Interesting.....

They told us this day you had thrown up when we last visited and you consumed a small milk shake.

They knew we were coming and had signed up for the dining room.

Why would you have "just been fed"?

They didn't want to put you into the special chair, the one that's far more costly.....

They didn't want others to see you, Carol.

They close your door, they pull your curtain.

They isolate you. They don't have the courage to show the world what they're capable of doing so they hide it (you) from view.

Yet,we saw two or three others in these very expensive chairs in the dining room being fed by a family member.

So many people go through this facility so much faster than they used to. They come in walking, many of them. Within days now, instead of the weeks it used to take, they're in wheel chairs. Then you don't see them. They're "bedridden".


Didn't think of it then but now ..... how coincidental you get "sick" from "overeating" just as we arrive for the Mother's Day Family event we were all going to attend.

You love celebrations. You love people. You were the "belle" of the knew everyone and everyone knew you.

Now you're alone. Isolated in a room with a woman who is either out for long periods of time --drug induced I'm sure because when she's awake, she wants to "do" things and is constantly calling out for someone, anyone, to come to her room---she needs social contact and she has the capability to want to do things.

Both of you are being silenced. 

You more strenuously than her but she's so "demure" as they used to say, so compliant. 

And the facility?  So uncaring.  

They give her cups with no lids and no straw and so she spills everything and no one comes, no one knows. 

Her call button, like yours, is on the floor, under the bed, disconnected or some way "not usable". 

And she, drugged enough to be "compliant" and "docile" doesn't always realize she's spilled something.

They give you 

Glasses and cups and you can't use your hands.

A very small boxed liquid "Boost" which tastes like chalk (I know because my husband was given this in the LTC he had to go to for rehab after 100 days in the hospital) -- unopened,

They leave the food.  It's not hot/warm when it arrives. 

It looks like excrement from your body.

Green, brown, orangy yellow.  

Foods you wouldn't choose if you could.

I remember the "conversation" from the CNA who criticized me on our last visit .....

 "How could I treat her this way? She cared for my mother."

Imagine the facility has put everyone "on alert" as they've been visited by the DHSS and have compliances to do.

Typical fashion they will appear to "tow the mark" for however long they feel is needed and then rapidly reinstate all the practices harming the residents and hindering anyone from having a "life" beyond what THEY determine is financially feasible for THEM.

How can she and the others who have worked in this facility for a long time not be whistleblowers?

How can they, each day, watch the negligence and abuse -- for a paycheck? 

If that is where we are as a society, where we believe we "have" to work in abusive situations, we're losing more of our freedoms each day.

It's really hard for me to visit. My hands are tied. I see chemical restraint and neglect and yes, abuse and reporting it really does little good. 

Drug companies are being sued for their part in building distribution of the same or similar drugs to what has been prescribed for Carol.

How about Doctors who do this? 

Why are we holding this "profession" above the law?  

What about LTC's who use drugs as a means of "control" to lower "costs" and have less "hassle"?

Who will speak for our Seniors?

Who will care about those whose voices are being taken away, silenced?

I'm coming, my friend. I will put on a face. 
I have no voice. No one seems to be listening.

I know. ...You deserve better. 

Everyone at the facility deserves safety, security, quality care and being free from restraints -- especially drug induced control of mind and body.

READERS:  Please read the entry prior to this one dated
May 26, 2019.

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