This is going to be long, but it can't be helped. My mother just got put in a nursing home by her doctor at the beginning of June 2010. It has had a snowball effect. I have been her official caregiver for the last four years, and my income was supplemental to hers. Now I'm responsible for all of the bills on my own. Our house will be going into foreclosure at the end of this month, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. When they do come to claim the house, we will lose everything we own, and I will be homeless. Needless to say, I am very bitter and very angry at this turn of events. Our lives are going to hell in a hand basket, and that's just putting it mildly. My mom had been a heavy smoker for over fifty years. I finally got her to quit in October of 2008. It was too late to prevent any more health problems, but she had stopped. I was so proud of her. The nursing home she is in is seven blocks from our house. Since I have no car, I can walk there and back without it being too much of a problem. I will be doing that three times a week all winter long. In July, I was filling up my mom's water pitcher with ice in the dining room at the home, and I asked one of the employees where mom was. They said she was up on the penthouse patio smoking. I said there was no way that was her because she'd quit two years ago. Come to find out she had approached one of the employees with some money and asked them to go and buy her a pack. Now, you have to realize something here. My mother is very sick because of her lifelong habit. She has COPD and PAD. She's already lost her right leg below the knee, and we're fighting to save her left leg. She gets four breathing treatments a day. She's on oxygen. She's on steroids to reduce the inflammation in her lungs. Steroids raise blood sugar, so now she's on insulin too. Despite all of this, not only did they go out and get her what she asked for, they kept it a secret from me. I went ballistic. First, I raked my mother over the coals, reminding her that it was her lifelong habit that ruined her health to the point that I could no longer care for her medical needs at home. Then I went after the staff. They told me by law they had to go and get the cigarettes for her because she asked them to. I said "If somebody asked you for a poisonous snake would you go and get that for them too? It's the whole reason she's stuck in here! What in the hell is the matter with you people? This is a health care facility! I trusted you to take care of my mother, not put the one thing in her hands that's been killing her in the first place!" I don't have a legal leg to stand on either. Even though it is a health care facility, they cannot deny people the right to smoke, even if it's going to kill them, and they don't have to tell the patient's doctor, their family or anyone else. I called her doctor, crying my eyes out. He went to the nursing home and ripped them a new asshole on our behalf. Mom hasn't smoked since.

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