Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday October 31st 2011

After rushing off to the dollar store to purchase legwarmers, I came home at 7:30 p.m. to a large doggie (retriever) hiding under the table quivering (I got to start doing crossword puzzles so I can increase my vocabulary) in fear. He is trembling. This big doggie is afraid of the noises of Hallowe'en. He has serious issues: he is afraid of any large noise and bolts until he runs away from the sound with me running after him or if inside he burrows into a corner under a table. Try to move/comfort a 100 pound doggie when he is afraid. I will have to spend the evening soothing/holding him. I am close to seventy years old. Do I need this. Of course I need else am I to keep active.

I was able to see Randy today. He was so "normal." We spent two full hours doing lettering, visiting with Russ, Roy, Asif and Ray, being disabled residents who dropped by, and, briefly a volunteer, GPC's carpenter in Hallowe'en dress and the nurse practioner. I am beginning to think the best thing that happened was my constructive banning.

If it wasn't for that Randy most likely would have died by now because I would just be at his bedside and he won't be forced to get up. I remember when I was saying something about me being banned someone said at least now he gets up. I can't remember who she was as there were people around and confusion and when I am under stress things fade into memory flashbacks but thank you for saving Randy's life and perhaps even my own.

I have to leave the blog as the big doggie needs me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Randy on Saturday

A friend of Randy's went to see him and she called me from his bedside on her cell. I spoke to Randy for a few minutes telling about seeing him on Monday and that on Saturday I was taking the doggies to the groomers for their annual grooming. Can't afford it more than once a year. The groomer chopped so much hair of them I couldn't even recognize them. To say the least both of them didn't seem happy as they ran to hide behind my legs when I went to pick them up. They have been such a comic relief for me.

Randy's friend said that he wrote out his initials in the air so she could see them. He really is keen to learn. There just is no one there to help him. I can't access him as much as he needs. She didn't stay long but I was grateful that she did go and see him.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Randy on Thursday/Friday

Yesterday being October 27 2011 Randy was not as enthusiastic as he was on Wednesday but he repeated his lettering, moved his wheelchair, and was social with a few of the residents who came into the family room.

Today being Friday October 28 2011 when I arrived at GPC at 2:00 p.m. I was told by Tanu that Randy didn't want to get out of bed. When I went to see Randy for my five minutes to see that he was okay (I am sorry I thought it was ten minutes but have been advised it is only five minutes)he wanted me to stay by his bedside as he said he was in pain but I told him that GPC won't let me. He would have to get up and be in his wheelchair and he would have to go to the piano room. He agreed and then I was told that there was no staff to put him in his chair and he should have told the staff earlier if he wanted to see me. (Randy for the most part cannot connect because of his brain injury cause and effect. He seems to live in the moment). It was a repeat of what happened on Monday.

GPC knows every time I go down the hall to see him for my five/ten minutes he always wants to see me. Randy is suppose to get 6.5 hours of care a day. For staff to spend five minutes to put him in his chair should not be a hardship. I am not there to visit I am there to audit/rehab which GPC has been faulty in not motivating Randy to do which which means he must have at least 6.0 hrs a day credit over one year 360 days X 6 hrs = 2,160 hours X $100 an hour = $216,000) which GPC is being paid for and Randy is not getting treated for.

Randy has had a traumatic brain injury and millions of his brain cells have been destroyed and the staff at GPC treat him as he is whole. He isn't. The staff at GPC must be very badly trained as they do not seem to understand this. He responds well to visual stimulation (like seeing me) not verbal questions (like do you want to get up in your chair or do you want any visitors). I still do not understand why when he was in acute care (VCH) he was taken out of bed each day and they didn't ask his permission but at GPC they ask him. I suspect it is easier to keep him in bed so he loses muscle mass and eventually won't be able to get up even if he wanted to.

How easy it would be to alienate his affection for me. GPC has custody of him all the time and I get to see him only a few hours/few minutes a week. I fear he is becoming institutionalized and I am helpless to prevent it.

When I left I had to pull my hand away from his grip. He wasn't crying but I was. I was told on Wednesday that he has been put on antidepressants which would dull his reactions as he usually cries when he sees me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Randy on Wednesday

I went to see Randy today and he was so looking normal. This first thing he did was grab a small white board and a white board marker and printed out "R" "W" in large letters to fill the white board. I was so pleased and so was he. I told him he can now sign cheques payble to me. And he shook his head. He wasn't going to give me any money. Unless he loses his will to live, he will survive.

Then he decided he wanted to show me his expertise in navigating his wheelchair. This is something because I do not think that OT had spend much time with him showing him how to use his wheelchair except for the few hours I did with him. Then he went further and put his feet on the floor (after I removed the pedals) and was able to navigate his chair with moving his feet although limited in distance. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy.

Randy needs motivation: he needs hope; he needs a future; he needs things besides only being kept alive.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I was right.

Randy didn't want to get out of his bed to see me today. I looked at him and was in near tears as what I saw wasn't the "normal" appearance of hope I saw on Thursday. He was a skeleton with skin. When I inquired as to why he didn't want to get up he acknowledged that he wanted to go home. Although Randy changed his mind about getting up the charge nurse said she didn't have the staff to lift Randy out of bed and put him in his wheelchair and I would have to return tomorrow.

There is a letter out there written by Bob Chapman of Risk Management that says that I can only attend to Randy at his bedside for only ten minutes max and for me to have a longer visit Randy would have to be transported to the piano room. Apparently after ten months the residents are still afraid of me and GPC hasn't done anything to end the fear like getting a psychologist to speak to the residents about the fears of me. As far as I can tell no one is afraid of me.

Today I phoned at 4:15 GPC Ward 2 as I wanted to leave a message that I would phone Randy at 7:00 pm. By luck the afternoon RN answered the phone and she connected me with Randy. I was apologizing to Randy about not phoning him yesterday and that I had tried to phone on Friday and Saturday as well. I told him that the staff said he was sleeping but I knew he wasn't as I went to GPC and looked in his window at 9:05 pm and he was watching television. I knocked lightly on his window and I could see his head and knee move. I also told Randy that I would ask the medical staff that I attend with him when he is scheduled for medical treatments like physio (Randy apparently is refusing physio and other treatments) and I would be there as his support. When I said to him that I didn't understand why the staff won't let me talk to him on the phone on Sunday, the phone line abruptly went dead. For the readers, for me to phone Randy a nurse holds a phone to his ear as Randy does not have the dexterity to use a phone and he breathes heavily so I know he hears me. I never talk more than two minutes. I know the nurse hears our conversation but I do not know if it is on speaker phone or not; no difference as I am tired of being careful with what I say and how I say it. The stress is too much.

Back to Thursday and Randy's cry for FOOD. I was sick over it as I realized that the bully who cooks gourmet meals in Ward 2 must still be cooking his dinners there. The bully is a visitor who lives there except for the few hours he works. I complained prior to my banning about his "right" to cook spicy gourmet food as the smell must be torture to residents like Randy who cannot eat.(I just revisited the You Tube George Pearson Centre video and there the bully is saying he cooks at GPC). It has been ten months since I was constructively banned from GPC in the evenings and weekends and holidays when the bully would be there. I had forgotten that he must be continuing in his disregard for the helpless and vulnerable residents at GPC as long as he is "on board." The policy of GPC is that visitors are only allowed occasionally to have tea and a cookie; they are not allowed to buy food in bulk from Costco and cook it there. How can I argue with this "poster child" in the You Tube video of George Pearson Centre. He and the other bullies are all featured in the video as loving GPC. What a nauseating sequeal and true to the definition of bullying.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

When is a lie cruel?

I have been trying for three evening to talk to Randy. I leave messages and my calls are not returned. This evening at 8:25 I called again and Rick answered. He said that Randy was asleep. A few minutes later I called again as that was impossible as Randy never goes to sleep that early. Another nurse answered the phone and she said she would go and check. I heard in the back ground some discussion and she told me that Randy was sleeping. I decided to take the bus to GPC and I arrived there at 9:05. I looked in Randy's window and could see the television was on. I could see his head move. I could see his knee move vertically up. As I walked pass the nurse's station I could see Rick reading a comic book at the common table and the rest of the staff congregated in the nurses' station chit chattering. When I say to Randy I will telephone him at a certain time and the staff refuses to connect you that is cruel and everyone of them who have been party to preventing Randy from speaking to me should get fired. This isn't the first weekend this has happened. Nearly every weekend this happens. And all it does is create distrust. Randy cannot believe what I tell him. And the staff at GPC think that is okay. Well it is not. How dare they behave in such a callous way. And I have told administration and they ignore me as well.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Visit to Audrey's (home)

Yesterday Thursday 20 October 2011 Randy came for a two hour visit (his first home visit) to my small basement suite. The GPC recreation department arranged it. When I first saw Randy he looks so normal as opposed to the uncertain look I usually get when I see him. The recreational supervisor was so good with him as it was he who navigated Randy from his hospital bed to my place and picked him up at 4:00 pm.

After Ron left Randy in my care, Randy became very vocal with his hands and mouth although no sound came from his mouth. I did not know what he was attempting to say. He was very agitated. He pointed to the letter board on the table and he spelt out with his index finger "FOOD." I didn't know what to do and I couldn't do anything. He can't swallow so he can't eat regular food and he has been hooked up to a feeding tube for the past 17 months. He was angry at me and stayed angry for a good hour until I put on a AC/DC DVD on the computer. It distracted him a bit as did the dogs. However, he didn't want anything to do with me.

I hope when I go and see him at 2:00 he will see me. He still might be angry because I did not feed him.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Learning to Write

On Friday and on Monday I spent my time with Randy teaching him how to print his initials. I was told learning to write is very difficult for the brain injured. It requires much repetition and patience. I was surprised at Randy in his determination.

Today being Tuesday the social worker gave me a "letter board" for Randy. A letter board is a 81/2" X 11" sheet of paper with the alphabet and the numbers from 0 to 9.

I spelt out Randy and Randy pointed his finger to each letter. I then spelt out my name and Randy pointed to each letter. I asked him to spell out something. He pointed to four letters: the first letter was "H"; the second letter was "E"; the third letter was "L", and the fourth letter was "P". HELP. This is the first word he has spoken besides nodding "yes" or shaking his head "no" at questions directed to him.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 9th/October11th 2011

I was able to see Randy just for ten minutes on both of these days as Randy was not able to get out of bed. He told me he was in pain. Today as I was leaving I gave him a DVD from AC/DC and he and some members of the ward were interested in it. Randy beamed with excitement that he had something he could share with others. He always liked to share. I just hope that the pain is less tomorrow so I can see him for more than ten minutes. I can only see Randy for ten minutes in his bed if he can't get up in his wheelchair to be taken to the music/family room where we visit for a few hours. The room is very unfriendly and it shuts off me and Randy from the rest of the centre. Which means we cannot participate in any activities that GPC is offering to the regular residents. There was a funeral last week and we couldn't attend. Today the Residents Council Meeting was closed to us. Randy's social skills and guality of life seem to be going downhill each day. No quality of life so why live. A resident told me that the only reason residents die in GPC is because they give up. I am not even a resident at GPC and sometimes I feel like giving up also. It is a very depressing and sad place with a little hope.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Truth from a Nurse Published Oct 4 2011

On Sunday evening I spoke to Susan Vickers a nurse on leave from the nursing profession. She told me that it takes three months for a resident/patient to become institutionalized i.e. realize that a residential care facility is the best it is going to get and for them to accept the environment. She also said that only ten percent of a resident's support network continue to visit on a regular basis. She described her work as looking after the abandoned. She concurred with management on my banning as I should have only visited Randy never mind trying to be friendly to others. Now I understand the silence I received from GPC management when I said I would like to adopt three or four residents so when I visit Randy I can visit them as well. Susan confirmed that the staff doesn't like visitors but will put up with them as they know that after three months there is a 90% chance of a visitor never to return. And in my case it was exactly three months from the time Randy entered George Pearson Centre until my banning. Susan opined that it was okay that GPC gave me short hours to visit Randy at times that were inconvenient to me and also that she didn't see Randy was treated in a discriminatory factor in that Randy was being treated differently from other residents as to visiting hours (10am to 10pm). The hours given to me were designed for the convenience of GPC and not for me or for Randy. During the weekdays there is much activity in the ward and he has stimulation but it is in the evenings, weekends and holidays that the ward is very quiet and that is when visitors should be visiting. Susan could see no need for me to stay more than two hours since he can't talk. No he can't talk but he knows that I am there and he can touch me and I can touch him. She also said that volunteers are discouraged in residential care facilities as staff doesn't want them to see what is really going on. The first day I went to visit Randy there were no chairs for visitors. Only visitors who have blinders on and only focus totally on their family member are allowed. In Open Ward 2 where Randy is there is only one visitor there from 10 to 10; 7 days a week except during the few hours he works. This bully sucks up to management and has for eight years. He is the one who makes sure visitors do not return. He makes visitors feels uncomfortable, he never shares even his newspaper, he controls the common area such as tv and food and who can even sit at the table. He spreads malicious gossip and lies. Even residents from other wards are afraid to visit Ward 2 when the bully is there. And the staff is wanting of him as then they only have to deal with him rather than other visitors or residents from other wards. What GPC should be working for is that each resident has a caring friend or two, an adopted friend, or caring relatives that visit more than once a year. There is so much humanity lost at GPC. What there is is the Stockholm Syndrome...identifying with your abusers so that you do not know you are being abused and are agreeing with them. I am told that GPC isn't a prison. I agree GPC is not a prison because when you are in a prison you know you are in prison. GPC is worse.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


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