At the ER, no records were sent with my mom.

The drug was Lyrica which is a powerful & strong medication. My mother had no reason to be on Lyrica & no history of any strong medications. She was put on a strong dosage, 150MG - 3 times a day.

A co-resident told me it was done to keep my mom from trying to get out of the Brody Chair. I don’t know why it was given. Had I been notified as I’m suppose to be I would’ve refused the medication & not allowed it whatsoever.

My mother was so drugged that she couldn’t hold herself up or feed herself. She was taken to her room to rest on Mother’s Day, which was day 3 of Lyrica, 3 times per day. I found her later that night & she was completely non responsive & her breathing was terribly labored. I demanded oxygen.

Found out she had been like that for days & they just left her in the bed flat on her back. Everyone assured me she was just tired.

She was sent to the ER about day 6 for breathing difficulties. I was told then that she had pneumonia & her lungs were in complete respiratory failure & there was no hope for her. She died a few days later. She wasn’t sick with pneumonia when I left her days earlier. I believe she developed pneumonia due to laying in the bed flat on her back for so long struggling to breathe. They hid everything from me!

After her services I obtained the hospital records & saw that the nursing home medical chart did not have Lyrica listed anywhere. The medical chart for her last 2 days at the Nursing Home were hand written where all other days were typed, most likely computer generated. That seemed very odd to me. I think it’s a cover up. What should I do?

PS - I was my mother’s legal, durable & medical POA & it was documented that for any changes of any kind, I must be notified.

They had been calling me as required up until the Lyrica. The Dr said he told me, he did not! Again, I would’ve never allowed her to be on Lyrica. Why do I feel so strongly about Lyrica? Because I take it for a spinal cord injury & central nervous system disease. The NH Dr. STARTED my mom on the exact dosage that I take now. I started on a lower dosage & lower frequency when 1st prescribed Lyrica. My mom didn’t have a tolerance to any type of medication like this, or pain medication or medication for the central nervous system. Absolutely no tolerance. I can’t understand why the Dr. prescribed this medication & especially this high of a dosage!

My first few days on 2 Lyrica pills made me feel intoxicated & I wouldn’t drive until I became better adjusted to the medication. Due to my serious spinal cord injury, I must take pain medication & I have whats called a tolerance & it (Lyrica) kicked my butt! I hated the side effects but it was the only medication that gave me pain relief, it was excruciating before Lyrica.

Imagine my 82 yr old mother & how she must of felt.

FYI, I saw my mother for 4 days & 4 nights that week. She was doing so well. She was coming home in a week or two after her PT. She was only there for me to be able to get my spinal surgery testing done & all the things that happen before surgery. She had been ill for 21 months & I cancelled my scheduled surgeries to take care of her. We had no one else to care for her. My mom was my world. She & I lived together & functioned as a couple for the past 35 years. We were truly the best of best friends! I thought I could protect her with all of my legal POA’s.

The NH never called me to express any condolences! Prior to my mom in this NH I had 2 other family members in this NH so I was known around all levels of staff.

I’ve reached out to 1 attorney but not heard back. I don’t know what I should do. Attorneys advertise about personal injury or wrongful death but they want you to write your story & send it in & I don’t have any confidence in any attorney. Thank you in advance for your input & suggestions.



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After reading your further comments it seems you have a lot on your plate with back surgery. I think its better to take care of you and find peace. A long drawn out lawsuit, that may never be resolved in your favor just seems to put you more at risk. Plus reliving it all. Your mom would want you to move on with your life and take care of your surgery. So sorry for your loss.
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Very sorry for your loss. It sounds like negligence, if I ever heard it! Contact more attorneys and get all mom's records from nh and otherwise. Thier may be more involved with her health but from what you stated she was fine until lyrica. You had poa and they began med without your permission. Lawsuit. Best of luck.
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Justme44 Jul 2019
Handwritten records=Cover up!
I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother you have my deepest sympathy.
You can't bring your mum back but, definitely what they done in my eyes was neglect as well as causing her death.
I'd be investigating this home as much as you can it sounds a bit dodgy especially the hand written records. It's sounds as though this was done to make their life easier.
If you do find out enough you can help to make sure this doesn't happen to other elderly relatives.
I wonder has anything like this happened in the home before even prescribing them meds and not asking for permission . Good luck in your quest for the truth.
God bless
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I would think Lyrica would be a black box drug for the elderly - it's the worst drug I've ever taken (and then just once) - I was out of it for 8 hours.
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JewelsC Aug 2019
What does Black Box mean? I’ve never heard those 2 words before.
Thank you!
Thank you for your great feedback. I dud contact the NH yesterday & requested a conference with the Dr, DON, Asst DON & any other pertinent person. No response as if today, how long do I give them? I feel they should’ve already at least acknowledged my message.
What do you think?
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Justme44 Jul 2019
Get a lawyer. Don't meet with them without an attorney present!
Oh my. This a real heartbreaker. I am so sorry this happened to you and your mother.

It will not bring your mother back, but may help you feel that her suffering and death were not in vain, or that at least you did your best to prevent this from happening to other vulnerable elders and their families if you contact the ombudsman for your state. There may already be similar complaints about that facility. You never know. At least you will know you tried.

My heart goes out to you.

Edited to add: Do research Lirica first. It does indeed cause respiratory depression, and coupled with her lying prone for so long ...
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First of all I am so very sorry for your grief and for your pain. This is going to be such a difficult mourning for you.
You are of course correct, that lying in bed for any period of time at this age can lead to pneumonia quite easily. Your mother was 82, and apparently quite fragile, so that almost anything could lead to her demise.
You say that there are notes indicating she was not on lyrica toward the end if I am not mistaken. The doctor says that he told you. So that now you are in a "he said/she said situation". You are suspecting records have been altered.
It is very unlikely that any lawyer will, in these circumstances, recommend action. First of all, any recovery against medical malpractice is dependent almost entirely on the age of the patient, the job they worked, how many dependents depended on their (now gone as a result of malpractice) salary, and the amount of care that they require to live the remainer of their lives. The amount for "wrongful death" is, I believe limited by law for recovery of around 250,000 only and this makes a law case, with all the time and work invested, not worth it to any lawyer. And the recovery for an elderly debilitated person would be very little. So lawyers do not want to take action in cases like this. I hope one will weigh in if I am wrong.
I DO think that seeing a lawyer, a malpractice and an elder care in consult (if free) would ease your mind on all this. No one is saying that you are WRONG about all you have said, but are likely going to say that it cannot be proven.
You have a hard road ahead and I hope you have friends and support. You have lost your (as you say) partner. How lucky she was to have such profound love. Please do not take on "I should have/ I would have/ if only I had" because there is no way you could have done anything about any of this I suspect. Please now do her honor by loving her memory, by trying to heal, but finding SOMETHING that brings you seconds of relief and joy, peace, and by praying those seconds become minutes, then days, leaving only the joy and peace of the love you shared. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I suspect that pursuing this past a certain point will only increase frustration, anxiety and pain. It is so much easier to be ANGRY than to face the incredible and seemingly insurmountable pain. Wish I could just give you a hug. There is nothing else that can be done in this moment to bring you any comfort.
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JewelsC Jul 2019
Thank you Alvadeer for your words of comfort & knowledge. You’re absolutely correct that most attorneys wouldn’t feel this is a “Big Enough Case” & not understand the priceless value of my mother now thot she’s retired & not contributing in our socioeconomic system. As the hospital specialist told me, she’s pulling on our resources & the government is paying her with her earnings & benefits of Social Security. He didn’t say it near as kind but that was his message.
I haven’t bothered contacting an attorney because I’ve heard this from other attorneys in the past although mostly mostly on social media.
You’re also correct that this is terribly hard. I sometimes replay scenes & question myself as to why I didn’t do things differently at times. Hearing the reality of those harsh words that the Dr. spoke to me somewhat paralyzed me. She’s dying! There’s nothing I can do! I needed to remove her from the hospital!
Exactly a week ago I was bringing her back home! That was before the Lyrica.
I believe that the NH Dr. purposely put her on Lyrica to stop her from getting up!
Not sure that I previously mentioned this but a resident told me the Lyrica was used to put her in a state where she couldn’t get up.

My soul is not at peace. I did contact the Nursing Home & request a conference with the DON, Asst DON, Dr. & any one else that needs to be there. Almost 24 hours & haven’t heard back yet.

Thank you again for your empathy & kindness. Truly appreciated!!
Hope to chat again sometime.
Take care!

Kindest Regards,
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So sorry for your loss and under these troubling circumstances.

Unfortunately medical mistakes are a leading cause of death in the US, over 400,000 a year. A malpractice suit will be an expensive road even if you never go to trial. I would expect the attorney to want $10,000+ retainer to start and/or a large percentage of any award. Be careful about award contracts, making sure you remain the person that decides whether to accept a settlement. Otherwise the attorney may decide to settle for a monetary award when you want something else. I would search for a malpractice attorney with a history of winning at trial. Setup a disposition and get the doctor to state exactly when he discussed your mother's medication with you. Hopefully you can disprove such a conversation was possible from your phone records or appointments. There should be a note in your mother's file stating he talked with you too, not just his personal memory.

You could also pursue a formal complaint against the nursing home and the doctor with the state. This would be a less expensive alternative, but it may take a while and may or may not have significant results. In any state complaint, please emphasize the NH may be using medications to get around restraint laws.

A third option would be to make all your mother's records available to a local investigative reporter and see if he/she is interested in investigating the NH and/or doctor for a story. This might also pull in the state investigators with a real motivation to find out what happened.

Whatever path you choose, it's not going to bring your mother back to you. Anger is a part of grieving and you definitely have a reason to focus that anger outward. Looking at your profile information, you surely realize you weren't going to have your mother around much longer, at least not with a real quality of life. Pneumonia was once called the old person's friend since it was a relatively quick death. Maybe someday soon you can accept that even if the manner in which your mother developed the pneumonia was unacceptable, the pneumonia itself may have been a blessing that saved your mother from the experiencing the ravages of late state ALZ.

I will pray for your recovery during your surgeries and your long planned move. Your future seems to include some wonderful days with your children and grandchildren. Please don't let your anger and guilt over your mother's manner of death cloud those future sunny days; she would not have wanted that. You have nothing to be guilty about because you did nothing wrong. You placed your mother in what should have been a safe place. The fact the NH wasn't as safe as it should have been is not your fault.
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JewelsC Jul 2019
Thank you for the wealth of information. I’m impressed with your advice. You’re right, I didn’t expect my mother to live forever but she still had life & I’ll quote her, “People to see & People that wanted to see me”! Those were her final words when the decision was made to move to Hospice for a few days to see if the antibiotics could help her. She remained clear & alert until she arrived at Hospice. I thought, Mom & I thought, we had her every possible aspect of her Living Will & Advanced Directive protected to where any, every & all attempts towards any medical intervention had to gain my approval! She had mild dementia however in a hospital setting she became more confused.
I was dead wrong! I’ll always wonder would her outcome been different if it weren’t for the first bit of time that I wasn’t present at Hospice. I detoured while she was still in the hospital with an hour of time before she was scheduled to be moved. I went to my home 10 minutes a way to pack a bag & get my medicines & personal needs. When I arrived, she had been medicated & was breathing on her own with very little discomfort. She somehow didn’t require the 3 huge # 10 tanks to breathe that the Dr. told me she had to have or she couldn’t breathe.

So imagine my distress walking in & seeing her without any oxygen support. I could clearly see that she had been drugged.

So backtracking a second, I had been at the hospital Wednesday-Sunday night & for the first time ever I felt like I couldn't provide the level of care that she needed. Had the Dr. told me that a bi-pap machine would provide the oxygen & comfort she needed, then I wouldn’t of been afraid.
I was instead told she required the 3 huge tanks & should she attempt to get up out of bed without me waking up it would go very bad & I wouldn’t want that memory.

Im sorry if I’m bouncing a bit. This causes me huge distress so I keep it inside & pretend like I’m letting it all go so I can take care of myself & my surgery.
I’m reaching out to tell someone the whole story,
It exhausts me, mentally & physically.
I had no intention of telling you about all this. I’m sorry if I’ve intruded. If you’re following along by choice, thank you.

My children & friends want me to let go & not pursue this any further. It’s not that I’m afraid to ask for a conference & seek information or answers, my kids don’t want me to waste my life & health because in the end it won’t bring Grandma back but will consume life from me. They feel they’ve already missed out & they see that I let myself go while caregiving. They’re worried.

This surgery I’ve mentioned is complicated & dangerous. I’m not sure anymore that I can do it, It’s opening my spine from my neck all the way down to the last lumbar & installing various medical metal support pieces & devices to reconstruct my spine & then I need at the least, 4 lumbar fusions. What’s scaring me, oh yes, like that’s a walk in the park, I’m very afraid! Recovery is long & will top caregiving in difficulty.

However, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare, NeuromuscularbDisease that’s causing all the muscles in my arms & legs to die. It’s extremely painful! I’m able to walk a few steps but need a cane or walker.

Somehow you sparked something in me to talk to you about how horribly wrong my mother was treated. I fought Hospice for 5 days but I had no power & that baffled me with all the legal docs I had. I’m trying to settle but EVERYDAY I think of her & miss her & how she was denied medical care!! she was discriminated People become complacent & accept whatever! The medical reports were so upsetting & contained false info & listed one of her causes of death as breast cancer.! The Lyrica wasn’t reported! The Drs inappropriate behavior! Do I let these injustices to my mother & me go unreported? My mother didn’t have to die! When the P.A. Came in I immediately expressed that my mother didn’t want to be medicated. Told her I was POA & these weren’
My husband was put on Eliquis without my knowledge. Eliquis is a good medication but it is in excess of $450 a month and insurance doesn’t cover it.

If this nad happened to my husband, if he had such a severe reaction, I would have immediately called a care conference and found out why this happened. When I was in Lyrica, I was on one a day. Four seems very excessive. If I’d had the conference and not gotten a satisfactory answer, my next step would have been to consult an attorney for their advice.
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