How a Nursing Home Kills You

They start with food not worth eating. I take the lid off my breakfast tray and feel like throwing up. First, James Square is on a three-week cycle of meals. Eggs all the time. Cold, soggy toast. Today it was congealed gravy over biscuits. Juice, coffee, milk, water.

Yesterday I spent an hour with the director of Social Services and the unit nurse manager. That resulted in a visit today from occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT). They should not have sent PT; I’ve been discharged from PT two or three times. What is there to rehab me from? Rehab is for after an acute illness—stroke, broken bones, etc. I have chronic diseases—diabetes, kidney failure, systemic exertion intolerance disease—and there’s nothing you can rehab from.

I used to get OT but then it stopped. I don’t know why. OT and PT talked about seeing me whizzing around the halls in my power chair. James Square never gave me a written policy statement of where I could go and what I could do. They just jumped on me with punishment when I broke the rules that I didn’t know existed. Then they came in the middle of the night, took away my electric chair, removed the charger and batteries, and put the chair back without telling me they’d disabled it. So don’t talk to me about whizzing around the halls in my power chair. Talk to me about an immoral management team. Talk to me about a management team that wrongfully abuses their power and leaves me helpless.

The OT girl and I went to weigh me this morning. When we got back to my room, she asked if I wanted to sit up or go back to bed. They only answer call bells here about every 45 minutes. I have chronic fatigue. I get tired really fast, but they won’t put me back to bed when I need to go, so I have to stay in bed all the time. I went down to the community room for supper and then asked to be taken back to bed. No, they said, first we have to clean up from the other residents, then eat our own supper, then we’ll take you back to bed. It can be agony to have to sit up when you need to lay down, so I never again went to supper with the community.

The nursing home staff beat the life out of you and make it not worth trying, then ask why you lay in bed waiting to die.

And then, of course, there is the depression. Depression is caused by the perception that you are powerless. Which I am. They take the batteries out of my chair and then ask me why I’m depressed.

Fuck them all; fuck them.