Out with family illness

Discussion in 'The Sump' started by Anemone, 28 Mar 2011.

  1. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been on the forums much this past week. I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve been spending my time with my grandmother who is ill.

    For those of you that don’t know, I moved in with my grandma a year and a half ago when she was diagnosed with dementia. She has been in and out of the hospitals since December for dehydration. All this is caused from a swallowing disorder. A month ago she became so weak we had to put her in a nursing home. I go to the nursing home several times a day to feed her. Each feeding takes about 1 ½ - 2 hours each. Each day her intake is less and less. The last two days she wasn’t able to keep anything down. It is against her wishes to be kept alive with a feeding tube.

    We are going to find out if the problem with the throat can be surgically fixed. My guess is that at almost 93 years old and in her condition, she isn’t a good candidate for surgery.

    Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
     
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  3. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    Sorry to hear this You and your Grandmother are in our thoughts and Prayers
    God Bless
     
  4. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    A few days after I posted this we were told that grandma was not going to survive and that she only had two weeks to live at the very most. Prepared to let her go, we called in hospice to make sure she would have only "comfort care." For days she laid in a vegetative state while we waited for family to arrive so that we could sign the papers to officially put her on Hospice. With just being hours away from signing those papers my grandmother woke up asking for food and to go for a walk. The feedings failed with her choking on the food. I did manage to get her in a wheel chair and take her for three walks that day.

    With grandma fully awake and alert I discussed her outlook with her. She communicated that she wanted to give it one more try and face the surgery that doctors previously stated she wouldn't survive. For the first time in a very long time she seemed to understand what was happening.

    She survived the throat surgery but doctors were unable to actually fix the throat. Two days later another surgery was done to put a feeding tube in place so that she could build her strength back up to eventually undergo a more intense throat surgery.

    While she was doing well and regaining her strength being fed through a feeding tube, I took advantage of the free time and took a little vacation. Unfortunately my power cord failed me and I was without internet for a while.

    One hour before I made it back home grandma was taken to the hospital for pneumonia. Apparently her feeding tube is backing up and causing aspiration pneumonia.

    I am spending most of my time at the hospital with her. She let me know when I walked into her hospital room that I was not leaving her again!!! She also refuses to get out of bed or follow directions from anyone except me. If I leave, she declines. When I'm there she gives it her all. For now I'm grandma's hostage! :)

    She is getting stronger and I hope she will soon be released from the hospital and go back to the nursing home where we can again work on regaining strength and walking again.
     
  5. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    All the best there Brenda .... I always say give it all you got .... Life is full of surprises And who knows ... maybe grandma missing that naughty neighbour with the smokes ..... My thoughts and prayers are with you and Grandma ......
     
  6. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    Thanks Chikaboo!

    Funny thing, after grandma woke up from her last surgery she was really drugged up. She kept putting her fingers to her lips as if she was smoking! I asked her, "grandma are you smoking a cigarette?" She replied, "Yes, you are making me a nervouse wreck!" :lol: I said, "Ok, but no smoking in bed!" You should have seen the look I got from her! :eek:
     
  7. Dane

    Dane

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    Wow brenda, I'm so sorry to hear you are going through such a difficult time. Its fantastic to hear you speaking in such a positive note and I hope your grandmother recovers quickly and fully. Sending lots of good mojo to you and your mom!
     
  8. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Hi Brenda, all the best to you and grandma and may she get well soon. God bless :)
     
  9. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    You, your family and your grandma are in our prayers.
     
  10. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Hey Brenda sorry to hear about grandma but it's great to hear that she's getting stronger. LOL shame she really wants that smoke hey. Holding thumbs hope grandma recovers well. Be strong;)
     
  11. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    Looks like we’re back on the roller coaster ride!

    Grandma’s doctor suggested today that hospice take over. His reasoning is that if they start tube feeding again grandma may aspirate and get pneumonia again. Apparently this doctor thinks starving to death is a better solution than making a second attempt at tube feeding. To no surprise this doctor and I have butted heads a few times. In addition the nursing home failed to keep grandma at the suggested 30 degree angle during feedings. It is possible that the aspiration could have been avoided. The nursing home and doctor of course are not going to admit this. Today a formal complaint was filed with the authorities for multiple reasons and a formal investigation of the nursing home staff will be completed.

    This evening the doctor was told that we are moving grandma to another hospital for a second opinion tomorrow. The doctor of course is not happy with us moving her, and immediately ordered tube feeding! The doctor is also doing his best to delay the process. He’s using the, “you have to find a doctor to take over care” and “have to make sure a bed is available.” I’m guessing he thinks I haven’t thought of that and that I’m not capable of putting grandma in a wheel chair and getting her in my own car and driving her to the hospital myself.

    If the second hospital refuses to feed grandma through the feeding tube, I am going to take her home and do it myself. At this point I have absolutely nothing to lose. At the very minimum she will get to spend her last week or more in the comfort of her own home….with me of course giving her whatever she wants (minus the cigarettes)!

    I’ve been told for a few years now that grandma is going to die soon. She’s 92, eventually someone will be right. I’m just not convinced this is the time, or that this is the way I’m going to let her die. My grandmother is currently sitting up, alert, and begging for food. The thought of watching her starve to death without a fight just isn’t sitting well with me.
     
  12. crispin

    crispin

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    feel like some bedroom reading while grandma sleeps brenda?

    grab a copy of 'tuesdays with Morrie'. its a short very easy read with some great messages.

    Ive just lost my dad four weeks ago and its always near the end that we wish we could do that little bit more. Best of luck with grandma, fight for her all you can, get her as comfortable and in as a familiar setting as possible in her state and enjoy her company when she is present.
     
  13. colbar

    colbar

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    Wondered where ya been. Sorry to hear what you have gone thru but you certainly are "Grandma's girl". You have her fighting spirit as well. Wishing you all the best and you are both in our prayers. Keep strong!
     
  14. colbar

    colbar

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    Crispin, so sorry for your loss. Its really hard losing a loved one. Hope you are healing and have fond memories of your Dad.
     
  15. crispin

    crispin

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    thanks colbar :)
     
  16. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    If I get time Crispin I'll look into the book. Your last recommendation was excellent.

    Sorry to hear you lost your dad. I lost mine in 2006. I still miss him very much. I don't think anyone ever gets over the loss of a parent.
     
  17. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    Thank you everyone!

    Grandma and I have always had a special bond. As a child I spend most of my time with her when school was out. I grew up with three brothers. I couldn't wait to get away from them to be with grandma! From what I'm told our bond was formed the day I was born. Apparently Grandma waited a long time for her only grand daughter to be born! ;)
     
  18. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Give grandma a big hug from me & be strong for both you & grandma. ;)
     
  19. Anemone

    Anemone Thread Starter

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    Grandma is coming home tomorrow...against medical advice!

    Grandma found out two days ago that I was taking her home in a few days. Since then she got out of bed twice and walked with assistance! If memory serves me right its been about 5 or 6 weeks since she's walked. It's good to see her trying again!
     
  20. crispin

    crispin

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    great to hear she's got some spark back :)

    sounds like a fiesty old bird :)
     
  21. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    It's great that grandma is going home but will she be ok? She is a tough cookie though & a great fighter I hope all goes well!!!!:thumbup:
     
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