At my age, I've been to my fair share of funerals, memorials, or celebrations of life. Let me tell you, nothing short of losing a child or twin, prepares you for the death of a husband who was in a sub acute rehab facility FOR A FRACTURED HIP.
Yes, he had Alzheimer's, but he eventually went through all of the stages during a 31 day period...and that's not a normal Alzheimer's death. Because there was no autopsy, no lawyer will assist me in proving wrongful death or negligence. I have one lawyer who might help me with breach of contract, then slide all of the medical records in as evidence.
So many people have told me either "it won't bring him back" or "he's no longer a burden to you, so move on" to the more religious, "he's in a better place, or worse, it was God's will". My smoldering response is always the same: his daughters, his sisters, our sons, my daughter and her entire family, including three grandsons, plus all who knew him as a neighbor, from his job as an environmental educator to the Adult Day Care Center staff and other clients...we lost a gentle spirited man too soon, and far too abruptly.
At the hospital, we were not informed regarding Hospice and were blatantly lied to regarding almost everything at the sub acute rehab nursing home and what Medicare would cover, as well as his daily regime and condition. I'm still processing this horror.
The problem seems to be a nationwide lack of accountability in sub acute rehab short and long term staffing, incorrect dosages of medications to keep patients comfortable, yet not comatose. When I eventually had to pay for my husband's charts, I was stunned by the mistakes, the lack of information, plus the "recorded later" info, as well as duplicates and missing information.
Today, it's barely seven months since he died and I'm no closer to answers than I was before. However, I do have Medicare EOBs that don't quite make sense, bills from an eye doctor and a dentist, that I insisted on after he fell in the facility, video of my husband struggling to breathe, with my voice saying, "I think he still has pneumonia. I don't think they gave him antibiotics long enough."
Little did I know at the time he was already dying...on their watch. Some other people have said, "he and you were spared the eventual, awful decline of Alzheimers'", which may have been true but as a family, we had prepared for that, more than prepared, the Hospice nurse later told me.
I would say, from my perspective, I am still grieving but I'm beginning to get my fight back.
August 16, 2016 would have been our 30th wedding anniversary. I slept poorly the night before, unsure how I would spend the day. (Or top last year, when it was so hot; I made a picnic in a bed we no longer sleep in, and watched a TV three hour tour of Graceland in air-conditioning.)
A midday phone call from my Mother's assisted living forced me to dress, head to the ER, another 92 year-old cardiac sudden event which turned out to be life threatening. I do all of everything from a place of love, which is more taxing than I'd like, but allows me to turn off feelings and function.