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The power of prayer


6:08 PM (7 hours ago)

to my side of the family:

So, on the 14th, 3 days after the "family meeting", I was visiting and had a few concerns, which I voiced politely to appropriate staff. After much frustration, confusion and getting nowhere, I texted younger son, who arrived prepared to advocate, watch, and quietly get work done, staying overnight. (He's done it once before, with no complaints.)

In what can only be described as him being blindsided by one staff member, a night of no sleep for my son then an episode where he feared his Dad was having a heart attack and NO ONE CAME AFTER PULLING THE EMERGENCY CORD in the bathroom; son texted me at 8:30 am, saying that while he was helping feed his Dad, he was abruptly escorted into a room with three staff members. They said he had intimidated and threatened other staff, that he was monopolizing nurses' and CNA's time so that they couldn't help others, and that they highly suggested moving my husband to another facility...they also threatened to call the cops on my son. (My daughter and I had visited briefly on Jan. 8th and we were thrown under the bus as well.) That was the day my husband was found on the floor and they were "unable to tell if he hit his head.")

Back to Fri, Jan. 15th, I basically went from sleeping to furious then drove over after first calling Dr.'s office to explain the situation. Bottom line, it took several hours to straighten out, or so I thought. The Dr, as one of the Medical Directors of the facility was not happy with how his staff handled the situation.

Son and I discreetly asked room mate and staff we've come to know; they all were shocked, having been told a totally different scenerio. Apparently the staff person who instigated this has done it numerous times before. I actually witnessed her being rude and aggressive towards an elderly woman in the Common Room, then the nurse had 2 cops come who tried to talk with elderly woman while the facility tried to contact daughter in Florida. The woman is gone, as in moved to another nursing home.

In desperation, I asked my daughter to ask the Deaconry folks to pray and she said their new Pastor produced a long and all-encompassing prayer not just for our situation, but for the staff at CH, etc. I felt slight peacefulness.

In the midst of straightening our situation out, the ceiling started to leak and the floors flooded in critical places. The Dining Room, The Common Room. My thoughts at the time, what else could possibly go wrong?

Next day was almost Biblical as I arrived to fire alarms and smoke in the wing where my husband's room is...with Fire Doors closed; I had no idea if he was okay. I sat in the lobby as 1 cop and 8 firemen arrived, me and 4 residents in varying stages of Dementia in the lobby, no coffee, no fruit-infused water, no comfort.

The poor guy at the desk (a Veteran with PTSD) and a Yankees fan, was calling EVERYONE and kept saying "I'm just the receptionist." I finally saw them wheel my husband out, with no eyeglasses plus O2 tank empty. He was highly confused and agitated as the mere handful of staff members attempted to move everyone from "the north wing" into the permanent residents' dining room, with chandeliers and Frank Sinatra singing on a CD player, stuck on "The Way You Look Tonight".

My husband was beyond overwhelmed, to say the least, refusing to eat or drink. He was worried about "The Baby", a soft-bodied doll that he likes to hold and comfort (side note: Dr. during his Fellowship was part of a study that showed men with Dementia responded better than women and needed less medication when given baby dolls to hold)!

When we were finally able to go back to his room, I asked for his food tray to try to get him to eat and drink. He was somewhat better, but having shortness of breath despite back on O2. In his words, "Can't look at you or eat and breathe at the same time." A fairly coherent and complex statement, considering.

He just wanted to "be in his bed with Baby" and "Baby was not getting enough attention", so I made a quick hat from one of his black socks. His 95 yr. old room mate asked me to pray for HIM, despite him being an atheist too, which he clarified later by saying , "I am really an agnostic; I need proof." I reminded him that I pray for him whenever I'm in a prayful mood. He laughed, "That's good enough for me."

To end on a positive note, it is snowing lightly; both sons are home and have kept the wood stove going. Thanks to all for whatever you can do to support us during a very difficult time. Love and God Bless, M.

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