Serial.println(analogRead(either x,y,or z pin));
In the datasheets.. it explains that the force of gravity (g) will always have a 'pull' on the chip..
It died. No more reading in any axis. Is that a possibility?
AnalogOut or maybe more appropriately called EXTERNAL will require you to connect a voltage to AREF pin otherwise all readings are 1023. That explained your previous observation.
For the z axis, I'm not sure. What happens if you swap the channels between the z and x or y? Will the reading still be changing as if it were the x-axis?