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This exacerbated her already intense anxiety and fear of being in the nursing home. As you saw in the previous photo she’s grasping the bedrails like she’s afraid of falling out or floating away; or perhaps, literally “hanging on for dear life.” Just about every time I came to visit and if she was in bed she’d be holding onto the bed rails with a look of fear on her face. I’d ask her if she was alright; in pain; nervous. She’d usually respond by saying “yes, I mean no, I mean yes – I hate it here, take me home.” Every day I visited my parents they’d ask me (often begging) to take them home. I know this is selfish / self-centered of me, but this was very agonizing; excruciating for me as I was powerless regarding my parents living situation. So, back to Mom’s daily routine. At noon, she and my dad were taken to lunch; then back to their room; more sitting or lying around; same scenario with dinner.pic10pic28 In the evenings she’d watch TV. My dad was never a big TV watcher, but he had lost interest in about everything, so often he’d just sit at the other side of the room opposite the TV and literally stare at the wall.pic25 He had even lost interest in reading (an immense pleasure he had since childhood many years before TV.) I think he was depressed and felt defeated. Here he was with his wife in a strange place and there was nothing he could do about it. My mom would be in and out of the hospital with these bad reactions to meds; or lung infections or fluid build-up. i found black mold on the windowsills directly behind the head of her nursing home bed.pic21 Several times she would be in ICU on a ventilator. The lung infection / fluid buildup had been chronic with her for some time,cropped-pic19.jpg but around March 2009, her primary care doctor told her (with most if not all of her family i.e. myself, Dad and brothers present) that her lungs were in the “best shape” they’d been in years as either the hospital stays; perhaps newer and  more effective antibiotics and diuretics cleared her lungs up. Her doctor had previously given the nursing staff instructions not to give her anymore benzodiazepines. However, on one night I had come back to the nursing home about 8:30pm. As I got off the elevator a newer nurse (or CNA) told me “you’re just in time, your mom has had a bath and I gave her some Xanax to help her sleep.” I just about screamed (but didn’t) telling this person she can’t have meds like Xanax. She said she hadn’t yet reviewed Mom’s chart so didn’t know. Well, Mom had another bad reaction but didn’t require hospitalization. On April 2, 2009, at 5:30am I got a call from my brother Bob – who was at my parents lake home – that Mom had died apparently in her sleep around 5:00am. Mark (her legal guardian) was hiking in Utah and wasn’t even available by cell phone (as he was out of range.) I note this because what if a serious decision needed to be made? As legal guardian Mark was the only person authorized to do such. Why, at this time would he go hiking so far away and to a place he knew he would be out of contact?   Go back to page 6  <<          >> Go to page 8

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