Friday, January 5

I'd rather be at home...

I just got back a little while ago from the hospital...we don't know what's wrong so grandma stayed the night. She just wanted to go home...but the doctors insisted we just find out what's wrong...then we can decide whether or not to treat it. i don't think she wants treatment. She told us in the ER that she knows John (my grandpa) is waiting for her and that she is going to go to him soon.

It was a long, winding couple of hours as the decision as to how to handle the situation was thrown back and forth.

"All these tests don't do any good," grandma said breathlessly. "They always come up with the same thing, and it's nothing."
The nurses told my grandma that they would get her a comfortable bed, that they would make her better, that she would get to go home soon...
"That's not the problem," my mom insisted. She was exhausted and emotionally ready to crash. "She just lost her husband. I think she just doesn't want to have to deal with all this."
The nurse (her name was Candice) looked at my mom quizzically. "But if we send her home it could get worse..." and went on for a few more sentences, implying that my grandma could die.
Mom wore an expression of weariness and said softly, "Well that may be what she wants." And looked the nurse in the eye.
Candice merely glanced through the papers on her clipboard. "Does she have a DNR [Do Not Resuscitate]?"
"Yes," mom insisted, slightly taken aback.
"Oh, she does??" exclaimed the nurse.
Mom was frustrated...this was extremely important. "That should be right there with all the information."
"Well, i'm going to go talk to the doctor. I'll be right back," she said briskly and walked out.
Grandma's breathing was shallow and her heartbeat irregular. As i watched the monitors there were seconds at a time where she just held her breath. Mom and i had to remind her to inhale.
She was hot, so Juanita and i removed her warm knitted socks and slacks. She was wet so we changed her. We got her some water...

For the next HOUR things went back and forth as three or four different medical persons walked in to enlighten us as to why she needed to remain in the hospital.
My mom started tearing up as she tried to tell the doctors that if my grandma didn't want to stay she wasn't going to make her stay. "We just went through this with my dad in May," she told them. And when all the hospital staff left the room she looked at my grandma, sitting at eye level, and said firmly, "Mom, at the end it took me three days to get them to let dad come home. I fought and fought. He told them he just wanted to come home. And i am not going to let them do that to you. I want to do exactly what you want. That is my job. It became my job when i was given the power of attourney. This is all about you." Over and over my mom asked her "What do you want to do, mommy?" Grandma focused on my mom's face, and said very slowly and quietly "I think i want to go."
"You'd rather be at home"
Grandma half closed her eyes. "I'd rather be at home," she affirmed. "I'd rather be at home...I'd rather be at home...I'd rather be at home..." and she continued to repeat the phrase, growing fainter and fainter until she was soundlessly moving her lips. She did this for two or three minutes as my mom laid her head on the bed next to her.

We told this to the nurse. Then the doctor.
Very shortly, the nurse walked in with a cell phone. My grandmother's primary physycian had called to talk to my mom. "oh, i had a feeling this would happen," mom stated knowingly. At one point my she held the phone away from her face and said to my grandma dryly, "The doctor says if you don't stay the night you'll be a very naughty girl."
"Oh nuts to her," grandma grumbled, straightening her sheet and frowning. I let out a laugh from where i was standing.
"Uh-oh, that sounds familiar," i said, referring to my grandpa.
Mom kept listening to what the doctor was saying. "Mom, Dr. Moore says that she just wants one test. Just one more and you can go home first thing in the morning." When she hung up about 5 minutes later she repeated to her, "this is your decision mom. I'm just the horrible go-between."
"Oh you're not horrible," assured grandma. "You're doing the best you can, i know."

To make a very long story the time another hour had passed, after more talking, more roundabout discussion, sighs, a few more tears and one or two was finally decided that grandma would stay the night and have just a few more tests...only so we can figure out what's wrong. Not necessarily to treat it...but just so she can be comfortable. "I'm going to be a good girl," smiled grandma. "I'll stay."
At least five times my mom reassured my grandma saying, "Mom, i will be here at 9 am to bring you home. You will be out of here by 11 if i have to carry you out myself," said my mom.
"Oh, no, not if you have to do that!"

Mom, Dad and i stood around my grandma with our hands on her and prayed. Susan and Juanita stood nearby with their heads bowed. We kissed her goodnight. As mom kissed her, grandma said softly, "I want to feel your cheek on my face." And mom bent her head down and grandma kissed her 3 or 4 times.
When mom and i left she was being wheeled to a room with my dad and Juanita in tow. Dad actually just got home (2:15am). Juanita is spending the night there, bless her.

So, i don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if grandma could go within the next month...or ten years from now. it's very strange to think about. i don't think i can do it just yet...

i'm tired...sorry if there are mistakes. i'll fix them later.

Driving home it was blustery and cold, vegetation flying everywhere. The sky had mostly cleared, and the clouds were beautiful against the starry clean night sky.

It's now 2:30, i have to leave to pick up Sarah from the train station in about 3 hours. Thank goodness Pip is coming with me so i won't fall asleep driving...
i'm excited to see Sarah. (:

i'm going to try to at least get a couple of hours. oh holy mackerel.


1 comment:

Jeff said...

I have been reading this book about "the cross in the life of the believer," and in the book at the end of one of the chapters there was an excerpt from something written by this woman named Lucy A. Bennett. I have no idea who she is, but as soon as I read the excerpt I had this strange urge to memorize it. Here is what it says:

Though I be nothing, I accept
The uttermost Thou givest,
One life alone between us now,
One life--the life Thou livest.