January 25, 2010

Back To The Hospital...Again

That tweet was only partially tongue-in-cheek.I made it shortly after finding out that my grandmother had been rushed to the hospital. She tripped and fell late Sunday night and her eye was swollen shut. The docs weren't sure exactly what was going on and ran a bunch of tests.

My mother called me early Monday morning to fill me in. She told me that the doctors had provided several different options for how to treat grandma. Sometimes conversations about medical issues are simple. You operate because the patient will die if you don't or you don't operate because the risk is too high.

You'll forgive me for not providing all of the details here. It is not really important for you to know and unless you are a medical expert the details won't make this any more or less interesting. And now back to our story.

Anyhoo, the docs presented my mother with several different options to choose from and reminded her that though they didn't want to pressure her time was of the essence. And so I found myself doing some basic research on surgeons and the procedures we were discussing.

A short time later I called my mother at the hospital and asked how grandma was doing. I knew from my mother's voice that things weren't great. She didn't try to hide it. If you read The Long Goodbye you are aware that dementia is beginning to steal my grandmother. It is not easy for me to see and it certainly isn't easy for my mother.

Until relatively recently grandma had been blessed with excellent health. She was very active physically and mentally so it is really shocking to see the changes. All I have to do is read Passing The Baton- Grandma is 94
and I can't help but shake my head in disbelief.
"Macular degeneration has taken her eyesight and her short term memory is a little rough, but overall she is in really good shape. She told me that she thinks that her age has finally caught up to her. That may or may not be true, but she still exudes quiet strength and she still is among the happiest people I have ever known. If you ask her why she'll laugh and tell you that life is hard and that is why you have to smile. If you press her to provide a less cryptic answer she will, but that is a story for a different day."

That is how I think of my grandmother. She tells you that age has caught up and still has more energy than most people, at least she did. That is just not reality anymore.

My children don't know her like that. They see a different woman than I know. It is life and that is ok, but it makes me a bit sad. I'd write more but it is late so I am going to cut this off here. But before I go I want to share one more excerpt from the post about grandma's 94th birthday.

"When I dropped them off at their home I had to take a moment. They both hugged and kissed me goodbye, and then without any further ado they held hands and walked off towards the entrance. When I tried to follow them in my grandfather stuck his cane out and told me not to interrupt his time with his special girl and with a twinkle in his eye told me to tell the office that they wouldn't make it to dinner tonight."
In a few minutes I'll go to sleep in my own bed while some miles away my grandmother lies in a hospital bed. Tomorrow I'll go back and visit her again and hope that she recognizes me. If she doesn't that is ok, I am a big boy, but I'd be lying if I said that I don't wonder...

3 comments:

shavuatov said...

Oh Jack, that's rough. I really hope that you see an improvement today. I wish her a refuah shleima and thinking of you and your family.

rachel

V-Grrrl said...

So sorry. These are painful life passages, but how wonderful that you could write that post about your grandmother when she was in her 90s.

Jack said...

Hi Rachel,

Thank you, I appreciate it.

V-Grrrl-

I am very appreciative of having had so much time with her. It has been amazing. We'll just take it day by day and see what happens.