Mum was taken into hospital from care facility 5 days after vomiting and not eating. The Dr had not made the ambulance urgent, they took 6 hours. I was not allowed to visit her in due to covid 19 lock down.
I asked for compassionate visiting was not granted it for 4 days.
They waited until a specialist report on the Scan.
I was told they were surprised it showed a twisted bowel as Mum had not showed that level of pain.
I was there 4 days.
It was only the last few hours of her life that she was put on a 24 hour pain drip.
Prior to that they said they start at a base line as needed.
It was horrific. 
My poor little Mother was skin and bone and convulsing in pain.
Worst was that when I was allowed to see her she had injuries, a caregiver asked me who the man was that she kept saying had hurt her.
I was only told she had fallen out of bed a few nights previously at that time.. I asked for a copy of the incident report, they said there was no record of one.
Mum had a drainage line in her nose down her throat and brown stuff going into a bag at the side of the bed.
I was told casually by a care giver that she had pulled the drainage out a few days previous.
When I saw Mum she had a round eye cover on, side of her face was bruised and when the caregiver took the bandage off Mum's eye it was protruding and there was no eye ball to be seen it was just a black ball.
The side of her face and around the eye socket was bruised black.
There was a raised lump like a golf ball on her forehead.
When they took her gown off she cried out in pain (ongoing) and she had a big black bruise half the length of her back and the width of her buttocks.
When I had agreed to palliative care Mum had no pain relief.
I was told she would have liquid panadol through IV.
I said that won't be enough to help her pain.
I was told it will stop the pain coming.
After waiting 3 hours and during that time, my asking where it was, my Mother in agony, the staff finally came back and said there was none to be located.
Mum was crying out and twitching ongoing in pain. I had agreed to Palliative care as the Dr said surgery is not an option, it is a case of watch and wait, sometimes the bowel straightens itself but it can take weeks. A nurse later said not many survive especially my Mum's age and depleted body, so I agreed for palliative care.
I thought Mum would have dignity and be pain free as possible and no anxiety. It was just the opposite, duty of care and do no harm it was nothing but. They were giving Mum pain relief as needed. It was not strong enough. She only got it after I rang the bell 3 or 4 times each time and ended running down the hall yelling nurse my Mother needs better pain relief. There were delays as the nurse had to locate a Dr to authorize the higher pain relief and each time no Dr was available or to be located,
The only time I got a result was on the last day of my Mother's life when I used my cell phone and asked to speak to the Hospital Manager on a Human Rights Complaint. I said I was going to go to the news media and complain, it was barbaric that my Mother had not been given any adequate care or pain relief.
( had asked previously why she couldn't have morphine and was told it wasn't appropriate for the bowel or some rubbish)
The Consultant came to see me only then. Mum had been in terrible agony for days.
She said "Let me explain the base line I said what base line my Mother is supposed to be receiving Palliative Care. She should have started at the top of the pain relief she should have been on Morphine, I was fobbed off again, I said she should have been on methadone. The consultant said I know where you are coming from. I said my Mother asked me to put a knife in her that she couldn't take it any more that she would do it for me. The consultant said did she say that.
ONLY THEN DID SHE change and increase Mums IV pain relief.
Another Dr said we won't be stingy at this point.


Mum in care -my guilt

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Morphine costs next to nothing. They withheld it, I would imagine as a nurse, because there was no hospice? Because to give doses high enough for relief would likely have ended your Mum's life earlier by some moments, hours, days. However, would be a mercy. The administration of medication also stops the bowel reacting if there was somewhere someone who supposed your Mum might recover. Her injuries from her fall are indeed horrific. In fact your entire story is a complete nightmare. It is fearsome. I think so many things played in, but as with so many stories we hear now, covid is a player, even when not directly. It is effecting the staff of all nursing facilities everywhere, and the doctors as well. Many are driven beyond exhaustion. Some are suicidal and admitting they cannot give their patients minimal care at this time. I am so dreadfully sorry for what you have witnessed. As a nurse my whole lifelong I think I have never ever heard such a dreadful ongoing outcome.
As far as guilt. No. You are not a felon who takes joy in the pain of others. That is the person deserving of the word guilt. Your G word is grief. Profound grief at all you have witnessed.At all you have seen. At all the person you loved so had to endure. Of all you could not do for her.
Had she been at home the same bowel obstruction could have happened. In fact, you cannot know what might have happened were she at home. We are not Saints. We are human beings. We have limitations. That is not about guilt. That is about being a human being.
I think you have witnessed something worse than most of us can imagine --most of us are not in countries with minimal or no medical services at all, witnessing our starving children die in our laps, numb as zombies. Most of us expect, at the very LEAST the alleviation of pain.
I think you may suffer severe depression, and have difficulty even now your Mum is at rest, going on with these pictures so clear in your mind, trying to divide your mind between what you feel is your own guilt and the failure of others. Please seek some help. For what it is worth. It can help you comb out and work through. I fear only time can dull some of the acuity of pain you feel, but you need a way to get through that pain, to some joy in life again. Do that for your Mum. Again, I could not be more sorry for what you have been witness to. I honestly cannot imagine how frantic and desperate you were, how full of grief you are now.

I strongly recommend your get some counseling to help you navigate your pain and grief.

It is very sad that your mother did not get the pain relief she needed in her last few days. We were lucky when my step dad was on palliative care he was on a morphine drip and it was increased as needed.

I do not know what cased the bruising on your mother, I do understand how distressing it is to see. My Granny had Chronic Leukemia and bruised easily for several years. In her last week, if anything put even the lightest pressure on her, she bruised. She was on an O2 mask, had IVs and a catheter. Her face was black with bruises, her arm had bruises from the slighest touch as they checked her IVs and her legs were bruised too. I was horrified by them. When I helped the nurse to turn her her back was black and blue too. None of them were from neglect, but they were ugly and I was only 26. I worried that was how I would remember her, frail, bruised, barely conscious. But now, 29 years later I remember the woman who took me hiking, swimming, berry picking and more. I remember days spent at the beach and her hermit cookies.

I don't know to lose guilt but it's a common thing for people to say "If only I had.."

There is so much out of our control & no way of knowing where other choices may have led.

What if your Mom was at home with you instead? You take her to the Doctor on day 1 of vomiting instead of day 5 after vomiting and not eating. Probably sent home. Say you go back day 3, given laxatives, maybe a referral for a scan. Scan done. Wait for specialist to review & then all the rest.

You did nothing to feel guilty about.

I'm so very sorry it wasn't picked up earlier.

There are countless people looking after their elders st home & they still fall, get cancer, have heart attacks.

I get that you wish things were very different.

In time, hopefully you can start to connect to happier memories. (((Hugs)))

I’m so sorry for your loss of your Mom and the very sad circumstances during her last days. Thank God you were there to advocate for her to finally get the care she deserved. You are a wonderful daughter. Hopefully with time, those horrific moments will be replaced with good memories of your Mom. Sending a big hug to you.

Thank you all for caring. The guilt of not having Mum live with me is killing me, she kept asking me. If she had been with me I would have taken her to the Dr when she first became I'll and it wouldn't have gone the way ii did.

Oh my gosh, there are no words to make this better.

I am so very sorry for the pain that your mom and you endured during this horrific experience.

I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts and hope you will someday be at peace.

We all grieve when we lose those that we love but you have the additional grief of your mom not receiving proper care to deal with.

I am terribly sorry for your loss. May your sweet mother Rest In Peace.

Patchie, I'm at a loss for words, or even to contemplate what might have or should have happened.    But I am so sorry to learn of the anguish you and your mother have suffered.  And I do think the facility could have handled the situation much more professionally.

I wish I could think of something comforting to offer, but all I can write is that I just know that people here are sharing their sympathy for you and your mother's experience and grief.

I just want to hug you. i am so sorry for your loss. I want to run up and down the halls and help you - I am you and have been you and I’m sorry that you were alone and having to beg for proper care. You are an Amazing daughter and human. Our medical system is a failed one and it saddens me. I haven’t lost my mom but I had to act like you and start to threaten people to get baseline care. This country should be ashamed at most of the care being given. I just kept thinking “at least I am in this room with her as I watched other people have nobody to be their advocate”. I just want you to know that you did not fail and your mom knew you were there for her. My deepest sympathy and the biggest hug.

I am so very sorry that your mom had to endure such horrific pain at the end of her life and you had to witness it. It's sounds very inhumane with the lack of treatment, and medications she received. I would certainly investigate more where all her bruises came from, and report the abuse she endured while at the hospital. You did nothing wrong however, so please don't beat yourself up. You thought you were doing what was best for your mom. That's all any of us can do. Again I am so sorry. My husband who was under hospice care in our home, was in excruciating pain during his 6 week dying process that hospice could never get under control, so I know how helpless and horrific it is to watch someone we love suffer so. Please get some grief counseling when things settle down a bit. I wish you the best.

I am so sorry you Mother passed in this way.

I think in cases like these, grief counseling can be very useful. It can take time to work through all the trauma. You are at the beginning & everything is raw.

The 7 stages of grief;
Shock and denial.
Pain and guilt. ...
Anger and bargaining.
The upward turn.
Reconstruction and working through.
Acceptance and hope.

I wish you peace in time.

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