My Mom’s Stroke and Experience of Elderly Abuse

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

March 1st, 2009 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

My mom had a stroke in the middle of the night last night. Not knowing what was wrong, she managed to get herself into a wheelchair and go to the hallway of the nursing facility, to ask for help. My mother reports that she was then hoisted out of the chair against her will and dragged down the hall – literally, with her feet scraping the floor. The four nurses were taunting her, laughing at her inability to speak properly, and refusing to get her medical attention.

Thanks to the grace of Gd, my mother had the presence of mind and physical ability to call the only person in the area she knows. He came and demanded that my mother be taken to the emergency room. She has since been checked into the hospital for a few days.

For the first time in this three-month ordeal, I decided not to drop everything and rush to her side, because I have been sick. My body has been completely run down from all the stress; I am on my second round of antibiotics; and my pain levels have been jacked through the roof. So I took a wait-and-see approach from 2:00 am, talking with doctors every couple of hours. Fortunately, by the time I could catch the first flight out of here, my mother’s condition had stabilized.

It’s a good thing I stayed home. My pain levels came down; I returned to a state of calm; and I began to feel better for the first time in two weeks. Oh yeah, and I got to wash the dishes, clean the house, and do my laundry. (Yay for clean underwear!)

It’s hard to put myself first, but it’s that whole “put the oxygen mask on yourself first” thing. Especially when something is a long haul, those of us who are caretakers need to take care of ourselves too. Even more so when our own bodies have chronic pain or illness, and wearing down our nervous systems exacerbates our conditions.


Joyce Wieselmann March 1st, 2009

Hi Loolwa,

Good for you. Taking care of yourself is utmost. I just stopped in at the office today to get a key for a showing and am going home to take care of myself. I have to be healthy again by Tuesday for Jim Dunlap’s 90-year old birthday party!

While I was here, your mom called me by accident; she meant to call you. I didn’t try to keep her on the phone, because I know her energy must be limited. I hope she is doing better today.



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