I've had a mild cold for the last two weeks, just enough to not feel like doing much of anything but not bad enough to take off work. As weak as Aunt Sallie was I didn't want her to catch it so I didn't go see her at all for a week but Jean said she was getting really bad so on Monday I got a mask from the nurses supply closet at work and decided that I could wear it if talking made me start to cough and I would just be very careful to wash my hands before I went in and not to touch things.
When I got to the new nursing home --- but wait, let me backtrack here.
When she was ready to be discharged from the hospital a week ago Wednesday the nursing home that she had been in refused to take her back because we had complained about her care. The complaints were that the staff who changed the beds consistently left the nurse call out of her reach and failed to replace the pillows under her legs that the doctor had ordered due to the continued edema.
The PT was so inept at transferring her from the bed to a chair and back that she'd knocked the skin off both of Aunt Sallies elbows and the one transfer I observed broke just about every safety rule in the book. I've worked at a rehab hospital for eight years so even though I'm not trained to do transfers I do know how they should be done just from watching the staff and if one of our people had done things the way this girl did they would have been written up for it.
Aunt Sallie had also developed a bed sore, not too bad but something to watch, and they were not following the correct protocol for that either. When my cousin meet with the treatment team and the management the treatment team lied through their teeth and nothing changed.
So, instead of correcting the problems with their staff they took the first opportunity to get rid of us and she ended up in a more clinical looking nursing home but one that provided a much better level of care and had employees who actually smiled and residents who were actually socializing with one enough instead of staring at the walls.
When I got there Monday they had just taken Aunt Sallie to the ER because of respiratory distress so I headed over there. My cousin and her daughter were there with her and I spent a couple of hours with them and sitting with Aunt Sallie while the ER people figured out what to do. When they took her for x-rays around eight my cousin told me to go on home and they'd update me.
The next morning there was a knock on my door and it was her telling me Aunt Sallie was gone.
The visitation was Thursday and we buried her yesterday morning.
I'm dealing better with this then I would have five or six years ago. I've gotten way too much practice since then in coping with loss. I'm really going to miss her. She moved into a small mobile home on our property when I was about six and lived there until after I graduated from high school. I was in and out of her house several times a day. We would do craft projects together like making table top Christmas trees out of old Reader's Digests. She taught me to play Gin Rummy. I played the piano badly for her wedding to her second husband. We were part of the family team that took care of Granny the last few years of her life. She was a big part of my life.
I did see a couple of distant cousins at the visitation who I knew well in our teens but I haven't seen since and it's a big shock when you see someone for the first time in over twenty years and they aren't teenagers anymore. Some of them are having a worse week than we are since one of my aunt's first cousins died last week and her funeral was Tuesday. I didn't know her very well since she lived an eight hour drive away but there are people who were close to both and have had to deal with two family funerals the week before Christmas.
I'm going to put up a memorial to Aunt Sallie like I did for Mary in a bit but I wanted to get this done first. I was hoping to find a digital picture I could include but I don't have any and I don't have a scanner handy.
There are some of you reading this who are going to be getting Christmas presents and cards in January because I did not finish my shopping in time. I'm not feeling guilty about that since I know you understand, just wanted to let you know.