Oct. 15th, 2007

toadnae: (Default)
I have been invisible for the last week. My grandmother went into the hospital a week ago Saturday with pneumonia in one lung and aspirated food in the other. She went steadily down hill, despite IV antibiotics and oxygen.  She went to Critical Care for 2 days when we tried using a Bi-PAP machine to give her a rest from the extreme effort she was putting into breathing.  She promptly became dependent on the machine.  Fortunately, she had a very clear healthcare directive.  We moved her to hospice care on Saturday, and she died six hours later.  

It was more than time.  She was miserable and exhausted.  When she was trying to talk, earlier in the week, she'd just tell me that she wanted to go home and be with my grandfather in heaven. My mother did not give us nearly as much trouble as I was afraid she would.  That had been one of my major stressors through all of this.  My mom is not at all comfortable with turning anything off on anyone.  She clings to every story she's ever heard of people who have woken up or suddenly recovered.  She also held my grandmother's healthcare power of attorney. I had nightmares all week of her fighting us on letting Nana go. The in-patient hospice at North Memorial is an amazing place.  She wasn't there for long, but it made a difference for her and for us.  They had a binder of very helpful articles that gave us the key information we needed to be comfortable turning off her feeding tube and IV fluids.

Right now, I'm mostly exhausted.  I had the evening shift at the hospital all week, and I was staying the night Saturday.  We're still sorting out when the funeral will be.  Hopefully, it will be this Saturday in Cambridge.  We'll then drive up to Duluth for the internment. Once I've managed some decent sleep, I'm sure it will hit me much harder.  I've been so focused on being with her and trying to sort out care needs, that normal life seems a bit surreal.  It was very odd not to go to the hospital yesterday, and I had to remind myself that I don't have to go today.  

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toadnae

September 2010

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