Monday, January 4, 2016

"Caretakers" don't always take care.... part 1.

I've gone back and forth about this one.... this one has taken up huge parts of my soul.... stayed with me for so much time and still continues to linger.... This whole thing has been like something you'd see in an awful movie.... things you only see on the news, happening to other people.... not to anyone you know....

You ever sit back and wonder, "How the hell did this come about? How did I get into this?!"  I've done this multiple times in the past 4-5 months.... I'll tell you the best way that I can....

August 2015.  Grandma is 86. Friend is 87. They live in same independent apartment community, exactly 2 floors separating the 2.... If you were to go down two apartments below grammy's, you'd be in Friend's apartment.... Friend becomes ill.... Grandma mentions this to us, casually. Friend has always been completely independent. Friend doesn't have ANY family here in the states.... not a single member.... Friend asks neighbor to call an ambulance as she has shingles and believes something else may be wrong with her... She feels awful.... Friend's neighbor calls 9-1-1. Ambulance transports Friend to local hospital. Maintenance man of the property knows all residents well.... knows who has family and who does not.... Tips off "caretaker" in the building that Friend was transported by ambulance to hospital. Tells "caretaker" that Friend does not have ANY family here. "Caretaker" shows up to the hospital and tells 87 yr. old Friend that Friend's apartment building sent her to come care for and take her home, because they knew she has no family.  87 yr old Friend, terribly vulnerable and slightly confused, has no idea what is going on and agrees to leave with "caretaker," as she has seen "caretaker" in their apartment building before. ("Caretaker" is not licensed by the way, but no one knows this.... hell, we didn't even know any of this happened until way after the fact)....

"Caretaker" was looking for new "patients" because the last 2 that she had been caring for just died, within 2 weeks of Friend getting transported to the hospital.... "Caretaker" stays around the clock with Friend for what turns out to be a few weeks.... We finally find out about said "Caretaker" being at Friend's apartment by Grammy. Grammy has also been going downstairs to visit Friend at her apartment 2-3 times a day.... A few weeks pass and "Caretaker" is not allowing Grammy to see Friend as much. "Caretaker" says that Friend is sleeping and not up for company.... Grammy does not tell us this initially. Mom asks Grammy about Friend and if "Caretaker" is still there.... Everyone has bad feelings but no one knows what to do.... "Caretaker" stays....  Between 4 and 5 weeks pass and Grammy hasn't been able to see or talk to Friend in a week and a half.... Grammy tries calling Friend multiple times and someone either picks up the phone and hangs up or else tells Grammy that Friend is sleeping and not wanting any company or to talk....

Fast forward to end of September... Mom and I are sitting in the hospital while Poppa is having surgery.  We are talking about everything under the sun and bring up Friend and Grammy. Mom tells me that Grammy called late the night before Poppa's surgery, asking her to come over because she was ill.... Mom shows up around 8-9 pm to find Grammy had been throwing up....

Rewind 2 weeks before Poppa's surgery....  Grammy had been sleeping on and off all day.... was terribly confused and had even seen a neurologist because we were all convinced she was getting alzheimer's or something of the sort... She has always gotten up and ready near the same time every single day for years.... now she'd been sleeping on and off all day... She wasn't getting ready.... she was staying in her jammies all day.... It was scary!!! It all happened so fast!

NO IDEA WHYYYYYY this hits me the way it did at the hospital, but it hit me hard this way.... "Has 'caretaker' had any access to Grammy? Food or drinks or anything?" I'd asked Mom.  Mom didn't know.... We called Grammy at 4 pm, and of course, woke her up.... She was slurring and not making a whole lot of sense, but told us that "caretaker" was so kind and always making sure she ate or drank, etc.... I immediately told her not to open her door for anyone.... not to take ANY food or drinks from "Caretaker" and to call us immediately if "caretaker" showed up, knocking on her door again.... Grammy was scared.... but so were we....

I KNEW we needed to do something..... and I knew we needed to move quickly.....

(to be continued)


2 comments:

Charlene Gordon said...

Hurry up with part 2 Ashley!!!!!

Ms. A said...

Oh, Lord, this is insanely scary!