I got a scare on Friday evening. I almost didn’t go visit my mom, since I knew I’d be spending most of the weekend with her, but I had picked up some more Ensure and ginger ale to keep in her mini fridge, so I thought I’d just drop it off and check on her quickly. She was lying on her bed when I arrived around 6:30, oxygen canula in her nose, and she said she was feeling tired and “not so good”. I put the beverages in the fridge and sat by her for about twenty minutes, holding her hand and talking and reading to her from her book of daily devotions.

I was getting ready to leave when it occurred to me to check her oxygen level with the finger oximeter. Good thing I did – she was down to 77! It scared me that her oxygen level could be so low while she was hooked up to the oxygen generator. I went to check the generator and discovered that it was OFF. Apparently whoever had taken her down to dinner had turned off the generator and failed to turn it back on when they brought her back to her room.


I turned it on and turned the oxygen level up to 4, and I stayed with her and waited until her sats came up to the acceptable level of 90. I tried not to think about what might have happened if I hadn’t come by to check on her that evening.


2 thoughts on “Unacceptable

  1. Surely there is an oversight agency in your state, to which these matters could be reported? Failing such (states vary wildly, I know), I would contact (again, depending on who you have for these things) a state legislator or the constituent services rep for your member of congress. Regardless of their political persuasion, perhaps you could point out that many tax dollars are going to this institution and they are not using them for the stated purpose.

    • I’ve already contacted the Long Term Care Ombudsman’s office. As soon as she is safely out of this facility (next week!) I will file an official complaint listing ALL the issues we have had, with the failure in oxygen management at the top.

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