Friday, November 12, 2010

Grandpa Ray

Tuesday Nov 9th Spent hours yesterday at the hospital with grandpa, he has a raging infection that his body can not fight. He is now in a coma like state. Hospice care starts today ..we had to make some hard choices for his care, keeping his wants in mind. Grandpa never wanted anything done to prolong his life, he made that perfectly clear along with my grandma, who passed years back on her terms. They are treating him with heavy antibiotics to help him fight the infection but the doctors really don't feel that he can recover from this ..this time. Time will only tell if he is able to make a rebound. And while I want to give these antibiotics a chance to work ..I hate that he is in the hospital ..I want him here in richmond with us at the nursing home ..where I can visit anytime ..stay as long as I want and he would be around the people who have cared for him .. and grown to love "uncle Ray" at his nursing home. My only wishes are that he feels no pain and that he is surrounded by people who love him. I made a promise to my grandma and I intend on keeping that promise. Today will be filled with phone calls and decisions. I wish I could split myself in two and be there with grandpa and still do everything I need to do for mom and dad. I went home last night and slept most of the night but my dream world revolved around everything going on so ..I don't feel I slept at all ..my mind is racing. The hardest part of everything last night was seeing my dads face when he saw grandpa, I had no choice but to take him there to sign papers and make choices with me ..I begged him to just not go in and wait for doctors ..but my dad wanted to see for himself. It broke my heart to hear dad say ohh my buddy is going to die huh Lorri? Seeing the fear and pain in his face knowing its not just about grandpa but his own fears for his own passing. I only let him stay a few minutes when grandpa started choking and gasping for breath I had to get my dad out of there ..he does not need to see this ..hell I don't want to see this but I don't internalize it to think about myself ..like my dad does. It's understandable at his age and all of his own health issues. So I am also concerned if grandpa pulls thru will he lose his bed at the nursing home..so many questions ..so many choices to make ..I know God will lead me just as he did when I had to make these choices for grandma. I wanna give the meds a chance to do what the can do ..but I want to see him back home where he is loved and cared for in his final days not some hospital where nobody but me knows grandpa. I am waiting on calls now to see when I should or if I even can move him back to his nursing home and have hospice take over his care there. So many questions ..do I give him time at the hospital to see if meds help? and take the chance that he passes away there ..alone? they wont let me stay there with him and I can't stay there with him I need to be home here in richmond for mom and dad and if grandpa was here too I could do everything I need to do ..the hospital is only 35 minutes away but it feels far away when I have so many things and people who depend on me here. I pray these hopes and wishes all play out for him ..I want him to be surrounded by love ..every person who passes away I wish would /could be surrounded by love. If it's in my power to give that last gift to him ..I will




Update Thursday Nov 11

Today Grandpa came home to his nursing home this afternoon, where he is surrounded by the people who love him ..and he is at rest just knowing he is back in his own bed with his "Girls". taking care of him. The lights in his room have been dimmed and music is playing softly in his room ...and Hospice nurses are making sure he is not in pain.



On my way to the hospital this morning, I got a phone call from his doctor at the hospital letting me know exactly what happen to grandpa Ray..and I am still shocked at some of their findings ...

Grandpa ray has Leukemia, probably has had it for many many years. It was in his medical records dating back long before I took over his care. I was never aware of this condition but I know now that even my grandmother most likely knew. But because grandpa Ray for the most part was healthy his doctors here never addressed it or brought it up to me. But the nursing home doctors have known all along ..yet I didn't. Well the Leukemia makes his immune system weakened ..so this infection being so bad , his body is unable to fight it. His body is in septic shock from E coli most likely from feces that found it's way into his body through a open sore or through his urinary track, which happens to many elderly with incontinence issues. Normally an antibiotic can take care of this ..but with grandpa's leukemia and not showing signs of an infection till very late in the infection he just can't fight it this time. The infection has entered most his organs and they are slowly shutting down. And while in the hospital he was in a coma like state ..when I would visit grandpa would respond to me even talk with me ..so I believe for the most part he was shutting his caregivers there out and going to a place in his mind where he could just be left alone. Once back home to his bed at the nursing home he is now responding to his usual nurses just as he does for me. Grandpa used to do the same thing when living with me when he would get mad ..almost like a meditative state. While he is sleeping most the time ..he will respond to our voices when asked questions and when we say his name. He even said hello to my dad today when I asked him too. Tonight I sat with him a while alone in his room ..and we had a good talk about what is happening to him and that waiting for him is grandma and his mom and dad who he was very close to. He kept looking over my shoulder saying yeah she is waiting...and while nobody was there that I could see ..I know someone was there with him waiting for him to go home with them. I spoke to him about grandma and the end of her life, reminding him about the love and care she was given in her final days. I assured him that I would and others would be there to surround him with love too in his final days ..I assured him that I would be okay and that I would take good care of my Dad and Mom and that I wouldn't have changed a thing about our journey together. That I loved him and that these past 8 years have been a wonderful blessed experience and I thanked him for letting me be a part of his life.

While we have no idea how long this process will be ..I know that I have done everything I could. I am keeping my promises to him and grandma by doing everything I could to keep them healthy and well taken care of ..and now by making his passing something calm, respectful and loving. I will miss him when he goes home to be with grandma but my life has been enriched by the experience and the love I have for them them both...

1 comment:

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Oh, Lorri, I'm so sorry. Even though he's had a good, long life, it's hard to say good-bye. Hugs to you.