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   Tuesday, December 04, 2007  

When do things get easy?

Grandma is back in the hospital after being home for 4 days.  She was (is?) hallucinating.  She is very confused and can't remember that she's taken her medication last even though that was less than 10 minutes ago.  She starts eating and then even though she hasn't finished a single slice of pizza is just sure she's eaten enough.  She's in intense pain (to remove the cyst, they had to kind of scrape around the spinal cord and so of course her nerves have abrasions -- at least, that's the best way that I can describe all the neurological blah blah blah from the surgeon).  Because of the nerve/spinal cord issues she doesn't have perfect control of her bladder.  She thinks she needs to pee very badly when she doesn't...sometimes when she does she doesn't know it until she's starting to go and stops herself.

They took her off of the medications she was on as they feel certain it is the medication causing all the (I can't bring myself to use the "dementia" word) forgetfulness, confusion and hallucinations.  She's been catheterized.  They are doing intense physical therapy -- her back problem started in June/July, so she hasn't been doing much and by November the "not much" was nothing.

Grandpa will now have to have hip surgery from pulling her up to stand and taking care of her.  He broke his hip 12 years ago and had a pin put in but is having severe pain in that area now and will likely need to have that repaired once grandma is better.

I spoke to Grandma this morning for the first time since the night before her surgery.  She doesn't like being confused and generally doesn't want to talk to people when she's like this -- instead she makes Grandpa handle all of the phone duties and then tell her repeatedly after what is going on.  She doesn't sound well at all.  She's very obviously drugged -- sounds very tired and weak.  But she does know some things.  She knows that it is nearing Christmas and that we will be coming home then.  But she doesn't know if she feels better today than yesterday but she said she thinks she is getting better and will definitely be up and around by Christmas.

The doctors are still of the opinion that her mental status is due to the medications and that she will come back to us.  I'm terrified of the alternative, so for now I'm (repeatedly) making the conscious decision to believe that that is the case.  And with therapy and time, her back will be better -- she already walks better than she has in six months.  So...we wait.  And we cry.  And we worry.  And we hope.  And we pray.  Maybe some of you can do the same?

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  Comments about my post, "When do things get easy?":
Absolutely, lots of prayer, both for your Grandparents, and that G_d will give you strength to get through all of this. Also, my mom went through a period of confusion and hallucinations caused by overmedication, and once she was under a new doctor, and the medications were reduced to the minimum necessary, her mind recovered quite a bit and she had several more good years. Hope the same will be true for your grandmother.
Oh, this must be so hard for your family. I'm not a prayer, but will be sending your grandma (and you) good vibes.
thinking about you as I know you are me.
our thoughts are with all of you guys. hope she heals fast and you see a lightening of this load soon.

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