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Monday, February 19, 2018
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Thursday, October 26, 2017
I may have reached the age when time rushes past one in a blur. I don’t know where the months have gone, just that they are behind me, and I haven’t shared a single thought with my readers since last November.
After the holidays, I was blindside when our lawyer called me—less than two working weeks before the statute of limitations expired in our pending case against the State of Georgia for what we believe was Parrish’s unlawful death—and said he didn’t have a medical expert who would testify in court that Parrish wouldn’t have died anyway. I immediately found another attorney who was willing to take the case, but with only ten working days, he simply didn’t have time to get the material to another expert, have him study the documents and give an opinion. To say we were shocked at such a last-minute bailing out on the part our attorney is to state the obvious. I felt then, and still do, he had to have known well before January 2. I’ve never been a cynic, but I have to wonder if he was hesitant to take on the state.
Although the case was never about money, if you’re interested, to the State of Georgia, a human life is worth two million dollars. The case was about exposing the negligent way Parrish was treated at Gateway Behavioral Health Care’s crisis stabilization unit in January, 2015, how he was over sedated and not monitored and allowed to fall into respiratory arrest. It was about how the medical examiner’s report stated P died from a multi drug overdose administered by Gateway. It was about there being no record of anyone checking his respirations or listening to his chest while he was so heavily sedated. It was about him being knocked out and being ignored to death. It was about getting the word out in this community that Gateway isn’t a safe place for your loved ones with severe mental disorders.
I obtained the medical record from the facility and read it carefully several times. The only thing I could document from what was only the skeleton of a chart was that Parrish received massive doses of Librium in the staff’s attempt to sedate him, and that he had been assaulted by another patient, leaving his left eye purple and closed. There we no indication his vital signs were monitored closely because of the heavy sedation. When I was a working nurse, one cardinal rule of record keeping was “If you didn’t write it down, you didn’t do it.” In spite of his enormous medication load, nobody wrote down anything in that chart about checking on P frequently. I will never forget seeing his beautiful face so damaged when I walked into his cubicle at the ER. He lived only about ten more hours, deep in a coma, never having attempted to take even a single breath.
There was that to get through. I wrote volumes in my journal about my feelings and disappointment, but for some reason I didn’t share it here. Maybe I was afraid of sounding like a whiner. I don’t know. The whole thing is in the past now and easier to parcel out from this distance. And that’s all I can do, just this little bit. The loss of my only child, even though he several times attempted suicide, was the single worst event I ever endured. But as time goes on, it’s easier to sort out the good memories and feed on them, pushing those images of him on the ventilator, face bruised and misshapen, to the back of my brain.
I’ll be back in a few days to continue catching up. I have no idea why anyone would be interested in following this self-indulgent recap, but I have a need to write it down—here.
© 2017 cj Schlottman
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016
The squirrels in our neighborhood had babies this spring - many babies. At first they were cute. Aren’t all babies cute? They’re also smarter than their parents, because it didn’t take them long to learn how to climb up the shepherd’s hook, position themselves on top of my squirrel-proof bird feeder, and hang upside down to help themselves to all the sunflower seeds they can stuff into their little squirrel mouths, without touching the perches.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
Friday, June 3, 2016
There is no greater thrill than watching children catching crabs. Their squeals of feigned fear and pure delight will stay with you forever. Imagine your children or grandchildren, brown as berries from the sun, taking turns wielding the net, scooping up the crabs and running to shore with their catch. And yes, there were the arguments about just whose turn it was to hold the net and just who let a big one get away, but they were happy, so very happy.
We had a Boxer named Toma who would wade out, sit down in the water up to her chest, and watch over the kids. Once, when out of the innocent curiosity only a Boxer can have, she stuck her muzzle into a jelly fish and her whole face swelled up like a manatee. I had to take her home and dose her with Benadryl, but she was okay. We were all okay. We were all happy.
I got off on a little tangent there, didn't I? So, here's the story I intended to tell in the beginning.
© 2016 cj Schlottman