The Iroquois Nursing Home, Fourth Floor, Palliative Care
When I came out of the bathroom at 5:30 a.m. a man somewhere on this floor was crying out for help. Over and over and over again, he cried, “Help me, help me, help me please, nurse, nurse . . .”
After ten minutes, he stopped. After another ten minutes, he started again. This time he cried out incessantly for twenty minutes. “Help me, help me, help me, please, nurse, nurse …”
I am told that “he has a bad bedsore and is nervous.”
What happens to employees who work in a place where people cry out in pain incessantly? Bedsores are preventable and treatable. Bad bedsores are something that the NYS Dept. of Health is supposed to investigate. Despite my complaints, there is no indication that they have done so.
Why isn’t the man being given sufficient pain medication to silence his cries? Why isn’t he being given anything for his “nervousness?” A pill, a hand to hold?
What happens to other patients who hear someone crying in pain and can do absolutely nothing? It is one of the circles of hell, this business of hearing a fellow human suffering and not even being able to go to his bedside.
Finally, I respond with numbness and depression. I sit and stare internally. There is nothing I can do.
I call for my pain medicine. It will put me to sleep and I will not hear this. I know of nothing else I can do.
Frieda, who dined at my table, died last Monday. Then Doris and Dave died. Alice, who sits across from me at table, has severe melanomas on her face. I look at that every time I eat. I am cognitively competent and living in a death house.
The Iroquois says I am on the list for a room change. I want the room change to go to Cora. Fact: in the past week there have been three room vacancies created. None of them have gone to either Cora or I. We are cast out to die in the desert of the Iroquois’ uncaring. The Iroquois administrators have no intention of relieving the suffering of either Cora or I.