Sunday, May 06, 2007

Drug Addict Caught Red-Handed Stealing My Daughter's Morphine!

Just when you thought it was safe to read my blog something else happens. I can hardly believe it myself.

Long story short - we caught one of Jessica's home health aide stealing Jessica's morphine while one duty! Not only was she stealing it but she was DRINKING IT AND FALLING ASLEEP! What the hell would have happened to Jess if she had a crisis and her crazy aide was drugged out and not able to help her? Pardon my language but I'm quite upset. I start fuming every time I think about it. The morphine not only helps Jessica with her pain but it is what is keeping her lungs from bleeding and it's keeping her from dying right now. I keep getting flash-backs of those horrible months when Jessica was having lung bleeds frequently. I would sit with her in her room almost 24/7. She would start coughing up blood at any time. She would gasp for air and cry... looking at me with her big eyes full of fear. At night she would cry - no, wail - "I'm not ready to die!". The doctors all told us that there was nothing more they could do (after a series of tests) and a hospice team came to our home. They were the ones who recommended Lorazapam for the anxiety and morphine for the pain. Nobody knew that the morphine would help prevent the lung bleeds but it has! It is her lifeline! Jessica has only had two or three significant lung bleeds in the last 2 years! We are so very thankful for that. We rely on the morphine to keep Jessica's lungs stable and to help relieve the pain. How dare that girl steal that from my daughter for her own addiction?

We caught her on video tape Thursday. I called the nursing agency and got her butt fired. I also called the cops and gave them a copy of our video tape as proof and I wrote a report of my suspicions of this gal and logged the morphine usage all week. We may have to go to court. What's interesting is that she could be arrested on two misdemeanors and not felonies as Karl and his other cop buddies thought. I'm not sure when the police are going to arrest her. The officer that came and took our report and evidence called back and told us that he is handing the case over to a detective. We have copies of the video tape, my report and the case number.

My sweet, innocent daughter has no idea what has been going on. She would be devastated if she knew that anybody was taking her medicine. She is so innocent that she can't imagine anybody doing anything bad... well, except that "bad guys" who daddy takes to jail and are more imaginary than real to her. We haven't even told our sons what happened. No use them getting upset and feeling violated like Karl and I do.

Thursday evening I watched the video only up until the aide committed the crime. By the way, she took 25+ cc all at one time. The most we ever give Jessica is 5 cc. The aide is skinnier than Jessica so it's not like she has a lot of weight to help absorb the drug! She really was blasted out of her mind - while both Karl and I were gone. At least Brandon (13) and Austin (11) were home. So after getting home from work Karl decides to watch the rest of the tape to see if there are any other incidences (there's not). As he was watching it he says, "A crime IS being committed! THOSE BOYS ARE EATING US OUT OF HOUSE AND HOME!" hahaha! The rest of the tape shows Brandon and Austin going into the kitchen multiple times and getting food to eat. I knew it!

Here's the report I typed up and gave to the police officer when he came on Friday: (I've changed the name to protect the guilty... we'll just call her Miss Demeanor - lol)

Monday, April 30, 2007
I think someone has been getting into the morphine. I usually order one bottle that holds 500cc. I don't usually have to get a refill until more than 30 days later. Last time the pharmacy was 10 ccs short so we received 490ccs. I poured about 80 cc into a smaller morphine bottle - I take that bottle with me when I take Jess out somewhere just in case she needs a little bit. So that was around 90ccs less in that bottle than usual. We ran out of morphine sooner than normal. I thought about it and decided that it was because of the morphine I had taken from the bottle although it still seemed like I should have had more. I dismissed it and called the doctor’s office. The doctor has to hand write the prescription each time since it's a controlled substance. The doctor’s office told me that it was a little early to be ordering again; I told them what had happened and why we were ordering a little early. They said OK but that Jessica's primary care doctor was leaving the area and I need to get her into someone else ASAP because doctors don't like to write narcotics for other doctors.

The other day I noticed that the bottle was about half gone. I thought... gee, I don't think it should be gone that fast... I wonder if Karl accidentally spilled it and forgot to tell me about it. I usually give Jess her meds but sometimes Karl will give it to her when I'm gone and I was gone a couple of times during medicine time recently. So I just kind of filed that info in the back of my brain.

Today when I was getting Jessica's morphine ready I noticed that we only had 100 ccs left! Out of 500 ccs we had only 100 left. I checked the bottle and sure enough, it has only been 10 days since I filled it. How could we have used 400 cc in 10 days?

I started doing the figures.

Jessica usually gets 5 ccs at 9:00pm, 5 cc at 10:00pm and between 2.5cc – 5 cc at 1 or 2am (if needed). So at the most, Jessica gets 15 cc a night. On rare occasions she will need 2.5cc – 5 cc during the day. In order for Jessica to have used 400 cc in 10 days, she would have had to take 40 cc a day. That’s much more than her normal 10 – 20 (max). I know full well that she has only had 10 cc most days. So she most likely has only taken 100cc – 140cc in 10 days. So where did the other 260cc or more go?

I got to thinking about it. We have a fairly new home health aide who’s been with us a few months. She works here on Mon, Thur and Sat. What's interesting is that I don't remember how much morphine was in the bottle on Sunday but apparently when I saw it today (Monday) it shocked me how low we were - almost as if there was a big difference between last night and today. The new girl, Miss Demeanor, worked today. I started remembering that several times Miss Demeanor has been so sleepy while at work that she could hardly keep her eyes open. In fact, she has fallen asleep. I have woken her up and she has claimed to only be resting, not sleeping.

I start a morhpine log:

Monday night: April 30:
morphine level at exactly 100cc

May 1, 2007 (Tuesday)
Karl and I set up a hidden camera after discussing it at length. I am very worried that more morphine will go missing and Jessica will be out. We have an appointment with a new primary care doctor on Thursday. I hope I am able to get a new prescription for morphine without any problems. I’m not sure if I will have to explain why Jess needs more morphine again so soon. We decide to only video tape during the time that
Miss Demeanor is here since we don’t suspect any of the other aides. A different aide works today so we don’t record the video. I check on the morphine numerous times. No morphine goes missing.

Morphine log:
Gave Jessica 5cc at 9:00pm
Gave Jessica 5 cc at 10:00pm
Morphine level at 90cc

May 2, 2007 (Wednesday)
Miss Demeanor
does not work today so we do not record on video. I check the morphine numerous times throughout the day. No morphine goes missing.

Morphine log:
Gave Jessica 5cc at 9:00pm
Gave Jessica 5 cc at 10:00pm
Gave Jessica 2.5 cc at 2:00am
Morphine at about 77.50cc

May 3, 2007 (Thursday)
I take Jessica to see her new primary care doctor.
Miss Demeanor is scheduled to work at 2:30pm. Karl starts the video recorder at about that time. Jessica and I get home at 2:54 and Miss Demeanor arrives at the same time.

On the video it shows that I make a phone call at 3:05. I call the pharmacy to see if they have enough morphine to fill the new prescription that the doctor had just written for me. The pharmacy asks what strength it is so I take out the white morphine bottle and read from it to the pharmacy. You can clearly see where I put the morphine bottle into the cupboard (the middle shelf) and it is a white bottle – the ONLY white bottle on that shelf. I then leave to go run errands and tell Jessica and Miss Demeanor that I will be gone for a few hours.

I came home after Miss Demeanor had left. I looked into the cupboard and the morphine bottle had been moved. I checked the morphine level right away and it was at about 50cc. I just stood there in shock! About 25 cc was missing! So I turned off the video tape recorder and took the player into my bedroom to see what had transpired.

Here is what I found:

At 3:49 Miss Demeanor turns off the lights in the kitchen. She then looks around, reaches into the cupboard and picks up the morphine bottle…. looks at it and puts it back. She then walks over to where the dining table light switch is and turns off the light over the dining table and looks into that room as she passes in front of the video camera. She comes back into the kitchen a few minutes later and at 3:52 prepares some food for Jessica.

At 3:53 after getting out some paper towels and placing the food into the microwave, Miss Demeanor takes the morphine out of the cupboard and pours it into something. She takes it into the hallway and lifts her arm and tilts her head back as she is walking away as if she is drinking it. (We have medicine cups that hold up to 30cc. We suspect that Miss Demeanor used that to pour the morphine into)

Later tonight Jessica tells me that she hopes that Miss Demeanor made it home ok. I ask her what she means by that and she said that Miss Demeanor’s eyes were bothering her. I asked her if Miss Demeanor was rubbing her eyes and Jessica says no. I asked her what Miss Demeanor was doing with her eyes and she shows me that her eyes are closed. Jessica tells me that Miss Demeanor said that her contacts are bothering her and she is keeping them wet by keeping her eyes closed. I asked Jessica if Miss Demeanor fell asleep and she said yes. Jessica started talking about her favorite show, Avatar. She said that Avatar comes on at 4:30. I asked her if Miss Demeanor was asleep when Avatar was on and she said yes. I tried to find out how long Miss Demeanor was asleep and Jessica didn’t know.

As you can see I have been so worried all week about the morphine. What if too much disappears and I can't get more for Jessica? What if the new doctor won't prescribe it for her so soon? What if the pharmacy won't fill it again so soon or if the insurance company won't cover it? What if Jess has to go through withdrawal and ends up in too much pain without it or the lung bleeds start again? What if we don't catch her (Miss Demeanor) in the act and we have to keep letting her come back into our house knowing she is most likely the one taking it? What if she finds the video camera? (Karl did an awesome job setting it up though!) Or worse... what if it is one of our own children taking it?

Other stresses have been what if we don't like the new primary care doctor? Fortunately he seems to be pretty good. We'll just have to see how he handles a crisis. I've also had to get ready for a CM workshop that I host and I haven't been feeling well. (Did I mention that we had the concrete poured for my craft room this week too?) And of course my sons have had scouts, school, reports, work, oldest son not putting the oil into the pick-up (that he uses) and it was dry, and a zillion other stresses that most households with 4 kids deal with on a daily basis.... including the teasing and crying and yelling. (that was for you, Mel) lol

Pray that my family and I are able to have a peaceful week!


DriedPapercutsAndChickens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chelle said...

OH MY! I cannot believe a "professional" would do that!! I used to work with individuals that were on many different controlled substances, and a. I am not a druggie so of course I would not steal from them, b. How could you chance making a vulnerable person suffer for your own greed?!?! c. Why on earth would you work with people if you had no compassion or respect for them?!?!

People that do these horrific things to others make me sooooo ANGRY!!!

Good for you for being on top of it all, video taping it and taking it to the police!!!

I am not sure, but taking it to youtube may hinder the case ... ?

DriedPapercutsAndChickens said...

You might consider forwarding the video to the aide's licensing board, too. They may only walk with a misdemeanor, but without a license they'll never be able to steal drugs from patients again
(comment stolen btw....)

~Jennifer said...

Unbelievable! I suppose that type of job could be a draw for a drug addict, just like pedophiles are often teachers or scout masters. They tend to be in places where they will have access to their vices. Thank God you figured out what was going on before something really tragic happened!

Nancy said...

It's really interesting... she was always asking me for everything. Once she asked if she could use a glass to get some water. I thought that was a little much. She was trying to get me to think that she was so honest that she didn't want to even dirty a glass without asking me first. Well, it worked for awhile.

This gal had uterine cancer and I imagine that she got addicted to morphine then. I think that she started taking small amounts of our morphine from time to time and when I didn't seem to notice she started taking more and more.

I'm still very upset about the whole situation but I really hope she gets some help.

Nancy said...

Chelle, what is weird is that she seemed genuinely concerned about Jessica. She would tell me how sweet Jessica is and she would chat with Jess about all the things that Jess was interested in. I think she did care about Jess but she cared about her addiction more. She must have been really desperate.

Rene said...

Oh my Goodness, Nancy! I cannot imagine what you are going through. Thank goodness you were able to catch her on video. I hope that will help if there is any insurance disputes. I hope this girl is able to get some help.

How is Jessica taking her nurse leaving?

Mama Bear June said...

Wow, I'm stunned. Praying that the rest of your week will be restful and uneventful. We've dealt with hemoptysis, too. Scary stuff.

Awesome Mom said...

Shoot! I hope that she gets the help she needs to get off drugs. I hope that you guys have a much nicer and a lot less stressful week.

Nancy said...

Thanks everyone. I appreciate your comments.

I told Jess that the aide has her own health problems that she needs to take care of and won't be coming for awhile. Tonight Jess said that she hopes that the aide can feel better soon because she likes her. Jess also wants to invite the aide and her boyfriend to her birthday party. I just don't know what to say to her that won't upset her. I did tell her that the aide will probably be out for awhile and that she just needs to take care of herself. Fortunately Jessica's favorite aide is coming tomorrow. YAY!

June, when we first found out what was causing Jessica to cough up blood (hemoptysis) not only were we devastated but we wanted answers. The cardiologists (there are 6 in our group) hadn't dealt with the exact same situation as Jessica and neither had the pulmonary doctor. The pulmonary doctor told us that she hasn't had any patients with the heart/pulmonary artery defects experience hemoptysis. Most kids born with as severe pulmonary artery defects and collaterals as their main source of blood-flow to the lungs have died long before they reach Jessica's age. The doctor went on to say that usually it's kids with CF that experience hemoptysis and they go in and close off the bleeders. They can't do that with Jess because that's the only way she is getting blood to her lungs. Is that what happened with Kendall? Is he still having to deal with hemoptysis? It is very scary.

Mel said...

Thanks for the mention . . . ha ha!

I'm just so glad you caught this addict! I hope she gets prosecuted and then gets some help.

Ruth said...

Oh no, Nancy! I'm SO sorry your stress has had to be added to by this. I'm glad you caught her.

Mama Bear June said...

Since Kendall is on coumadin, any change in his meds seems to mess with that level. The lungs get scarred with CF and it can abrade the arteries or blood vessels when there's an infection. Increased coughing can make them rupture. Fortunately, it's always stopped on its own and it hasn't been an artery where surgery was required. Last time was in March, right after he got out of the hospital. He was on extra antibiotics and his coumadin level got way high.

yerdoingitwrong said...

oh wow. Oh wow!! People can really disappoint. I understand addiction, but how low do you have to go to steal from a precious little girl???? gah. Hang in there, girl.

Nancy said...

June, I'm so glad that Kendall's lung bleeds have stopped on their own. Jessica had two blood vessels coiled off to see if it would help stop her lung bleeds but it didn't and only caused her to be more cyanotic (blue). These kids of ours sure keep us on our toes, don't they?!

Jessica's chest x-rays are very interesting now. Not only does she have some staples (that they put in to close her chest after heart surgery) but now she has the coils that light up. They are all very small but it's very interesting to see.

The Special Zipper said...

This is almost unbelievable .. a work of fiction .. something out of a stupid soapie like Home and Away (sorry home and away fans but you've had one too many things happen in the Bay).

On the positive (yeah cause there is heaps of those) you folk were very attentive and came up with a good plan of action. I'm sure there would be many, many other families that may not have had the same ability to work the situation through.

Here's hoping this one is a better week for you all ... and hoping the birthday part fades for Jess and doesn't cause any upset.

jenny said...

Ok, everyone else (although I have to point out that Dan has not commented has been nice enough not to say it, but you know me, Nancy...

I say, WTF?? I am so angry at this girl, I am ready to come to your house, beat her up, and take another photo of your cat.

Sheesh! I do hope she gets the clinker!

Ok, if you have to delete my comment, you can....ha, ha...

Nancy said...

Oh Jenny, you crack me up! Go ahead and come to my house and take another photo of my cat but you won't catch that girl here! I don't think she's dumb enough to show her face around here again!

And yeah... where is Dan? I would think he would be having a hay-day on my blog. I guess he's gone missing AGAIN. He not only missed his Musical Monday but was going to start something called Friday Face-Off ... but nothing.

Anonymous said...

Oh my word - I am so sorry I haven't been around. What a truly horrendous thing that you have been having to deal with. It makes me so Angry - I can't believe that some one would do that, knowing how much Jessica needs it. Oooh I want to spit nails for you. I also feel sorry for her, and I hope that she can get help and control her addiction - maybe the judge can send her to rehab or something - counseling anything to help her, because not only is she injuing everyone else, but herself too.

I am sending you hugs Nancy, and I really wish you the best with this situation. You are all in our prayers.

Flawed & Disorderly said...

Oh my freakin' gosh!!!!! I would want to KILL that woman!!!! I am sooooooo sorry for you guys, but what a hero you are for catching her and filing charges against her!!!! I am .....STUNNED! UGH!

Jenni said...

Oh My Goodness! That is crazy!

Are there some kind of criminal charges you could pursue?

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