Monday, May 29, 2006

Status on Grandma and General Musings

I went to see my grandmother again this weekend. I also brought my daughter to Granbury - mainly to help out my folks. They've been sitting vigil on Grandma all last week and I think they really needed a break. I sat with Grandma all Saturday and briefly on Sunday.

I am truly amazed. She's stated to eat again - if you can call it that. Remember, she can't swallow and the doctor has pulled her off of food. Since my mom is now back, she signed the papers to put Grandma on Hospice. Basically, Hospice will let her die if she becomes distressed instead of taking her to the ER and doing heroic measures.

Observations: Her verbal skills have declined dramatically. Last week when I sat vigil with my uncle, Grandma was able to tell stories at length. She can barely speak now. It's very breathy. But she's completely aware of what day it is, who's supposed to come, etc. . . It's as if her mind is completely intact, but her body is totally failing her.

Since Grandma is now eating, she's also defecating and had to be changed the last time I saw her. The nurses that take care of her do a wonderful job and Grandma tells me that she's very happy there.

I was also able to feed her lunch and dinner. I'm still impressed at how much better she's looking since she's now eating again. I know it's not something she's enjoying. She's really trying hard to keep it up.

I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with her.

I finally told M about how Grandma was doing - i.e., she's very sick and will pr0bably die. M is asking me about why we die and when we will die. I tell her that we (her parents and her) won't die for a very long time. She's been asking about when will Grandma get out of the hospital. I tell her that Grandma is sick and won't be getting out of the hospital. I also told her the reason why I've been going to see her is because we think that she's not going to last much longer and that I wanted to spend as much time as I could with Grandma as she's going to die some day soon and that I won't be able to spend any more time with her again.

M was really gracious and came into see Grandma - which is not her favorite thing to do. Part of the main problem is getting to see Grandma. Many of the residents get so excited about seeing a young one and they tend to pounce on her - which is really scary for a four year old. Once we're in Grandma's room, M is just fine. My cousin found an alternate entrance - but it's not always open and is often locked.

I think I'll try to make it to Granbury next weekend to see Grandma again. If anything, it's to help spell my folks as they've had to take care of Grandma during the week. Having M at their home definitely lifts them up.

This has been difficult on everyone in the family. I think my biggest guilt is over how I want the whole ordeal over - i.e. When is she going to finally die?

I feel horrible about these feelings. For me, dead is dead. I will no longer know my Grandmother as I know her now. She will cease to exist. Thus, the real reason why I wish to spend my weekends with her. Once she's gone, she's gone. I miss my kind Grandpa Homer as he passed away about eight years ago. I know all to well what it feels to miss someone so dear.

On another note, I'm very proud of her. She's really rallied and is forcing herself to eat and drink - which is really a chore for her. I was really amazed at how well she looked this weekend - you see, the last time I saw her, she had not had any food for about 12 days - she was so lifeless and pasty. Eating food has given her some color to her face and I've notice that her strength has returned. The only thing I see as being different is her ability to speak.

I love my Grandma. The older I've become, the more I've come to respect her.

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