May. 12th, 2017

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Earlier in the week I learned my maternal grandma was ill with the flu. She'll be 90 in December, and it's been one of those long, slow declines with her. Today I learned she was in the hospital with pneumonia. Given that she's been suffering from dementia for year, compounded by strokes, in a lot of ways I felt the person she was died over 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Gwen and she broke her hip, which has resulted in her using a wheelchair since and the removal of her colon. Before she went in surgery she was peaceful, happy, and ready to die. She knew who I was, looked me in the eye and said she was sorry she wouldn't be able to go to Brent's birthday party in a few weeks since she was going to die that night. It wasn't self pitying, she was just stating a fact. She survived, but since that day whenever she sees me she think I'm my mother. She knows my children exist, but I don't think she realizes my sister and I exist anymore. Brent and Gwen have become her grandchildren when they are really her great-grandchildren, and when she sees my sister and I, we've become our mom in her eyes. Dementia does strange things to a mind.

Her decline was starting even before then, though, with a stroke she suffered when I was a college undergrad. For about fifteen years now it seems as though every few years there's this big emergency surrounding her and whether she will live or die, and somehow, she always pulls through even if less of her mind and abilities do. Every time we all rush down bracing for the worst. When I talked to my grandpa he was upbeat and optimistic and has been insistent that we don't rush up there. At the same time, pneumonia at her age and with her deteriorated health is serious. While I don't want to bring my kids up there as she is contagious, so I'm staying put for now, I can't help but wonder if this is the time when it will be it, like the boy who cried wolf. 

For now we're in watch and wait mode, and that uncertainty is what gets me more than anything. I just want to know what to brace myself for.

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alexeia_drae

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