Monday, August 13, 2012

on my "nanny"...

I have some really fun pictures of M and I's day at the fair recently but they have yet to be edited and its been a rough life-day so I'm saving that for later in the week. I need to let the words flow out right now.

In March/April-ish I posted about my grandma in the hospital after a heart attack. It ended up being 3 heart attacks when all was said and done. They could have done open heart surgery but determined at her age (85) and size (she is 4'10" and weighs 85lbs), if she made it off the table, she wouldn't last much longer. It was essentially a go home, eat good foods, read good books, spend as much time with loved ones as possible and enjoy life. They put her on meds to keep it under control but assumed she would eventually just keep having small attacks until they stopped for good...

She lived with my parents and I for a month or so and then headed home. Since, she has been gaining back strength and getting back to life on a new set of meds. We take her to and from her hair appointment every Friday and to the grocery store every weekend.

Two Thursdays ago, while my family was 3 hours away camping, I received a phone call from my grandma telling me she felt nauseous and dizzy and wanted me to take her to the ER. I flew down the road and got her to the ER where we spent 5 hours before she was admitted. I was with her for 3 days straight until my family got home and she went home on Tuesday. Then this past Thursday, she called my mom in even worse shape and she was rushed to the ER by ambulance. We have been in the hospital since. And today the bad news came.

Let me back up. When I brought her in a week and a half ago, they found she had Diverticulitus which is essentially an infection in the intestines. She has had diverticulotis for years and when it becomes itus, that means its infected. They gave her IV antibiotics for all those days, then sent her home on oral medication. When we came back in, they originally thought her body just wasn't handling the oral meds well.

They have determined that they think a medication they put her on for her heart is causing all of the gastrointestinal problems. If they take her off that, the heart attacks will start up again. If they don't, she will spend every waking minute as incredibly miserable as she is right now. End story... she's dying.

*deep breath*

My sister and my dad left work around 2 today for us to all meet with a hospice company. Apparently hospice isn't just for people who only have a week left anymore. Its for anyone who they determine most likely only have 6 months or less to live. Essentially they come in and make things more comfortable for them and are the first response when they get worse.

Its a lot to take in.

Unless something is found in one last test they do tomorrow, she will most likely go home to my parents to a hospital bed and get comfortable to try to enjoy life as best as possible until the end comes.

I would be lying if I said this hasn't hit me incredibly hard today. I felt it coming as I wasn't seeing her bounce back like she has done every other time in the past but it doesn't soften the blow when the words are said from a doctor.

I have no idea what tomorrow or the next days are going to look like but I know it won't be easy. But then things like this never are....


Jamie said...

We did hospice with my mom last year when she was passing and it was a really great experience (as far as the death situation can be positive). Hang in there. Hard times.

Lins said...

Hospice came in with my Grandma last year. It's such a wonderful service - it truly does make the process as positive as possible.

Enjoy every single second with your grandma - take nothing for granted and spoil her rotten! You'll be surprised how many memories you'll look back on fondly from this season in her life.

Praying for you and your family.

Bre said...

:( I'm so sorry, Ash. I am thinking of you and your family and hope that your grandma pulls through miraculously. If not, I hope she really is comfortable and happy for the rest of her days. Cherish this time with her.

Lin said...

I'm so sorry. My grandma was put on hospice about 6 months ago after a stroke & trouble breathing but she's still holding strong. Truthfully, it seems that having a nurse come to the house every other day & personally take care of her has really helped. I'm not saying not to prepare yourself for what may come but also don't give up hope because your grandma could decide to stick around for a few more months, or maybe even a year, like mine :) Stay positive hon.