My mom stopped here in Indianapolis to pick me up. She had told me she was going to this city near by but didn't tell me why. I can honestly say that if I had known what we would be doing I wouldn't have gone. Mom & I pulled up next to the car that held Granddad & Uncle Benny to see Granddad with his foot somehow twisted in the seatbelt & Uncle Benny down on the ground trying to get it out. Granddad had taken his shoes off, gotten his foot wrapped up in the belt & the belt was locked so it wouldn't pull down any farther to allow for us to get him untangled. Knowing that we had to get him undone, I walked around to the drivers side, crawled in, lifted him up and pulled him backwards so that he could pull his foot out. Finally, we did it. He had chocolate all over his shirt and pants, was hallucinating and couldn't form sentences. The nursing home had overdosed him.
We got him in a wheelchair & wheeled him into a door that a nurse had to scan a card to get into only to drop him off with 6 or 7 other geriatric crazy people. He tried to stand up and started to fall backwards. The nurse was in front of home so if I wouldn't have been standing there he may have fallen backwards. I wanted to scoop him up and run away with him. "Come on Neal, let's eat" the nurse said. He looked at the food with eyes that were clearly confused and I told the nurse that someone would need to feed him - he couldn't feed himself & I knew he had to be hungry. It was dinner time. The nurse said they would do it & then it was time to leave. With tears running down her face, my mom told him goodbye and that she would be back soon to visit. I'm tellin ya, it's like leaving a sick baby with a stranger. It hurts my heart like nothing else. I said bye, choking back the tears for the sake of my mom & we left. "If you need to call on the way home, do it", the nurse said.
Mom called often but there had been no improvement so on Friday she emailed & said that she would be going up to see him Saturday & asked if I wanted to go. Of course I said yes.
We walked into the place that he's at and there he was in a wheelchair with a special pillow shoved into the wheelchair so that he couldn't get out. He had been biting, kicking, hitting & had fallen once. He had only slept about 5 hours since he had been there the entire time. "Hi pop" my mom said, trying so hard to believe that he was fine. She wanted so badly to see him come out of this, to know that he was just acting this way to the nurses because he didn't know them & was scared. He gave her what she wanted. "Deborah", he said & she felt confident.
The nurses wheeled him into a secluded room with us where he sat in his wheel chair "working on a truck" that wasn't there. Talking to people who were dead & getting really agitated. Mom kept trying to talk to him & get him to understand. Still in denial. "Pop, you have to be nice to these people - they're trying to help you." She repeated over & over again.
I kept telling her to get out of his face. He was unpredictable & I knew that. She learned her lesson when, at a time when she wasn't even that close to him & totally out of the blue, he said, "if you have any questions, don't ask anybody but me." "Okay", she said, "do you have anything you want to tell us?" & out of no where, he got a look of rage & slapped my mom right across the face. Hard. Immediately tears began running down her face, "Pop" she said, with a quivering voice, "that's not nice." Sure, her face hurt, but her heart hurt the most. We sat there in silence for a long time before turning him back over to the nurses & leaving. Mom had gotten a slap in the face literally & figuratively. One of reality.
& Yesterday? My mom went to see him again. They had given Granddad shots to sleep & yet he had only slept 3 hours the night before. When she called yesterday morning, she could hear him screaming in the back ground. So, yesterday, the center scheduled for her to meet with a social worker. The social worker told her that he would never come out of this. That he would be like this forever. That she needed to find a place that would accept him & keep him in a wheelchair & sedated for the rest of his life.
Still, my mom refuses to believe it & she may be right. You see, just a week ago he was fine. The Klonopin that the nursing home was giving him every 4 hours is a drug that is not supposed to be administered more than twice a day. Ever. & if it is, it can cause permanent psychological damage. So whether or not he is permanently this way, we don't know. But we're praying. & we're gonna put the hurt on that nursing home. Of course, no amount of money will bring the Granddad we had a week ago back, but we're going to need a whole hell of a lot of money to even be able to take care of him now that he is so psychologically sick.
This nursing home, inevitably, does this to other people & it's by the grace of God, that my mom never took their word on anything. She asked questions. She went & got the bottles of medicine that, as suspected, do not correspond with the charts. There is a lot less medicine in the bottles than written on the charts. If she wouldn't have questioned their every move, Granddad would be in a different facility that's in kahoots with the nursing home & we would have no clue how any of this happened.
So take this as a lesson folks, ask questions - never stop. Investigate. My Granddad will never be the same because of the need for some staff at a nursing home to be able to sit around & do nothing, while the patients sit, or lay, sedated.