After Bob told me she had died and was off the phone I was initially enraged so much so I pounded the wall with my fist so hard it left an impression in the lath and plaster wall. I was angry at my brothers for putting her in that nursing home; I was angry because with just a little more time maybe I could have gotten her out of there and home. But, I was most angry at myself. If only I had hired a better lawyer to fight the guardianship; if only I had been more assertive / aggressive in getting her home she’d still be alive and I firmly believe if she’d been in her home away from the intense fear and anxiety of the nursing home she would have lived significantly longer and happy. Yet again, I let her down.
I was mostly left out of the funeral arrangements by my brothers. They did ask that I write her obituary. I guess I should consider this an honor and privilege, but it wasn’t exactly easy or pleasant.
So, there was a Catholic visitation; funeral; and burial at Glendale Cemetery. Mom was gone. Gone forever.
Because of my unassertiveness; lack of persistence; inability to hire competent legal counsel – is why in the bye-line I say I killed her.
Again, I’d like to back up a bit. After my mom was released by Mercy Hospital where she had the respiratory arrest; and had been moved to the nursing home I was concerned about her condition. I asked staff how often they would check on her. They said every 15 minutes but I never observed that. They said they would do CPR. I asked someone whom I thought was a nurse where was their “crash cart” (medical “stuff” specifically for cardiac and respiratory arrests.) She said she didn’t know what a crash cart was. I thought “that’s great.” So, she went and got someone whom I also thought was a nurse. She said the crash cart was in a utility room right off the nurses’ station. I asked to see it. She took me to the utility room, but said she didn’t have a key to let me in. Again, I thought “that’s great.” But, the issue quickly became mute. I looked thru the window of the utility room door at what the nurse had told me was their crash cart. I observed a white cart with 2 maybe 3 shelves. On the bottom was a small bottle of oxygen. On the other shelves there were small boxes. There was no defibrillator; no EKG harness nor monitor; no catherization materials; no endotracheal tubes nor E.T. scope; no chest compression board; etc., etc. There never was a plan to check my mom every 15 minutes. The home didn’t have enough staff to do such. There was never a plan to do CPR.
Note: my mom and dad were on a unit within the nursing home specifically for skilled care as opposed to a unit where people get minimal care and are basically waiting to die.