A Glimpse Into Death's Waiting Room, The Nursiing Home
edited: Sunday, November 01, 2009
By J. Glen Howard
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009
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This is the story of my 27 days in a nursing home,including the lies I was told to get me there, the misrepresentations that were used in attempting to keep me there, and the unlikely alliance with my roommate that eventually liberated both of us.
I was 67 years old and I could no longer walk, having finally conceded after a 38 year struggle with ankylosing spondiliitis, a disease that causes the moving parts of your skeleton to become fused. I had not given up without a fight. Over the years I had undergone five joint replacement surgeries, three skin grafts, two hernia repairs, transplanted a piece of bone from my hip to my spinal column to strengthen a fractured and compressed vertebra, wore a halo traction for four months and twenty days (But who counted?), and endured various and sundry procedures and treatments recommended by my doctors. My longest hospital stay was 91 days; my longest stay at a rehabilitaion center was 190 days. And while all of this was going on, I managed to find time to get married, buy a home, earn a graduate degree, and start a business which I ran for 21 years. Then my legs stopped working.