Wednesday, January 11, 2006


My grandfather had a stroke last night.

He and his lady friend live in Florida during the winter months here. One of the hardest things about this is that we cannot just go to the hospital and see first hand how things are going. According to the overnight report, it is considered a minor stroke. At this time he has some cognitive damage and is not necessarily using his language correctly. He can repeat what you say but cannot retrieve the right words on his own.

Tired. Needed to sit and veg. I did what I normally do with tough situations - went numb. And I stayed up to late just being numb.

When my grandmother went into the hospital, we all were there. I still remember being with her in the ER room, before she went back to ICU, watching my proud, soft-spoken grandmom literally writhe in pain, not even caring that the blanket covering her naked body kept falling off. It was so awful and the week that she was there did not get much better. We kept getting calls in the middle of the night, "This is it, come to the hospital to say good-bye," and then she would improve slightly. We learned that she had an ulcer that had been hidden by scar tissue and was now bleeding and the acid had basically leaked out into the rest of her bloodstream/organs. The ulcer was caused by the ibuprofen that she had taken daily for a while on an empty stomach. The family had stayed in that damn sun room almost around the clock, waiting for the times they allowed visitors into the ICU room. And in the end, we learned that she was not improving as we'd hoped, she was actually in a lot of pain but was not able to speak. We thought she had been squeezing our hands at various times towards the end, but it was actually mini-seizures she was having; when they gave her a tranquilizer they stopped. Then we realized that she was so much pain and we made the decision to take her off life support. We were all in the room when we did that, and I will never forget the look of peace that came over her face when she actually died. It was so dramatic, so different than how her face had been looking the past week. It was beyond hard, but a neccessary decision none the less.

Well, that was a long tangent, just hard to think of my grandpop in the hospital without thinking of my grandmom. Apparently my grandfather's bp was 201 over 199, and he was experiencing congestive heart failure (gee, with his bp so high, ya think his heart was having trouble?) and had fluid in the lungs. Plus the stroke. That's the latest.

Have to go get the kids ready for school and myself ready for my MOMS Club meeting (which I'm so NOT in the mood for today). At least my VP is in charge of this one, so I'm going to try to cut out early.

On with the day.

1 comment:

Anjali said...

So sorry to hear about your grandfather, Rachel. I'm sending prayers his way and good thought your way.