Fighting for Justice ~ the hospital stay pt. 3
Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public.
Michael Eric Dyson
Monday morning came early just like the other mornings. It seems like dad either doesn't sleep like he used to when he was at home or he just can't sleep well in the hospital. I'm not sure which one it is, I just know I'm not getting any sleep! Over the past couple of days we had kind of settled into a routine so we went about that routine of getting him up, going to the bathroom then getting back in bed and turning the TV on to the news which was mainly for background noise. I had become so familiar with everything that I knew how to pretty well operate the hospital bed and silence the alarm on his IV at night until the nurse came in to switch the bags so it wouldn't wake him up. I'm thinking and hoping that the nursing staff was thankful that I stayed there because it made their job easier!
Once again while he was eating breakfast I ran and grabbed me something. I also called Megan and asked her to come over and sit with him so I could go over to Franklin Park and talk with the director (Meg) about what happened to dad. For the most part, during the day dad was fine with being in the hospital, he would get restless every once in a while and we would get up and walk the hall and then we'd go sit down in the waiting area on the floor he was on. He would doze off just sitting there but I think he just liked the change of scenery.
Megan arrived early that afternoon and I headed over to Franklin Park. I signed in like I usually did and the staff person at reception told me to head on back to Meg's office. When I got there we talked about the video and the person that I saw in the video with dad. She said that the individual had immediately been terminated and had also asked to talk to me but that she was told that would not happen. She let me know that all the staff had recently had training on what to do when they got frustrated or overwhelmed and she had sat right next to the person that was in the video with dad. This individual had also just received her Certified Nursing Assistant certification about three (3) weeks prior to the incident.
Meg told me that she had reported the incident to the owner of the facility who was shocked and appalled and wanted to press charges against the caregiver themselves. She also had done as they were required to and reported the incident to the state. After we spoke for a little bit we headed back to the memory care area. As soon as we walked in I was greeted with hugs from the staff there. They had all been shown the video and told me that they couldn't believe someone would do that to him, he was such a sweet man. The new Memory Care Director, Billie, came up and introduced herself to me and we immediately had a great connection. Billie, Meg and I went to dad's room and talked about what happened and as we were talking about it I actually recreated the incident (without someone pushing me down) by falling back into the chair and it took them by surprise and I almost couldn't get back up without their help. They saw how hard it was to get up and how much it would have shook the items surrounding the chair. It was distressing to all of us that someone could so callously shove him down and just walk away as he was moaning and calling for help.
I headed back to the hospital after saying goodbye to the staff. Once I got there Megan headed home and it was just dad and me again. I settled in on the "couch" in his hospital room to do some work since he had started to fall asleep. I had let my boss and everyone in my department know that I was at the hospital with dad but available by phone and email if they needed me. I was lucky that I was able to work remotely if I needed to and this was before COVID hit. One of the people in my department was a former law enforcement officer and I was texting him asking him what his take on the video was and if there was a possible case for elder abuse. He didn't want to say definitively but he said he would definitely report it.
As the day wore on and it started getting later, dinner time came and went and the inevitable happened, sundowners syndrome kicked in. He didn't want to take his meds again, but finally did when he was bribed with chocolate pudding 🤣 As it got later and I changed into my pajamas to go to sleep he was still restless. He finally fell asleep but it was just for a little while. When he woke up he was agitated and disoriented and not happy at all. This time I was at my wits end and knew I couldn't deal with it and stepped into the hall and leaned against the wall. The nurse that was at the nurse's station asked me if I was ok and I told her no, I just can't deal with him this time and she and another nurse said that's ok, we've got it. They went in but he wasn't listening to them. I got myself together and went back in the room. That's when he started in on me. He told me that I didn't care about him and that I was bitchy like my mom and this went on for a little bit until I had enough. The male nurse that was on duty was standing in the doorway as my dad stood at the end of the hospital bed, I was close to the "couch" by the window and I looked at my dad and sternly said to him...If I didn't care about you I would leave you here in the hospital by yourself and be asleep in my own bed right now but I'm not, I'm here with you to make sure you are taken care of and are alright now I'm tired and want to get some sleep so get your ass back in that bed and go to sleep! I have never spoken to my dad like that before and the nurse looked at me and nodded his head as if to say good job because at that moment dad looked at me and got back in bed.
I know it was all the disease talking but I was at my wits end and felt that all that was going to work was tough love and it did. That night really shook me up and while I tried to sleep it was somewhat elusive and I was trying my hardest not to cry about everything.
to be continued...