Friday, May 23, 2008

Worn Down, But Home

I got home this morning at about 01:30 from Orlando and needless to say I am running on fumes. Tuesday morning we had a 09:20 flight to Orlando with a stop in Charlotte. At about 15:00 we finally boarded a plane for the first time that day. We had been re-routed through another city as our flight had mechanical problems and eventually wound up being canceled. We finally landed in Orlando at 23:30. A mere 10 hours after we were expected.

Since we landed so late we went straight to the hotel and crashed, seeing my grandmother for the first time the next day. I held my tears in check when we walked in as I was expecting a very different scene. She recognized me immediately and smiled her best "stroke enabled" smile. For about two hours that first day she tried in earnest to talk to me and listened to what I had to say. I tried to only ask her yes and no questions as it was easier for her to nod and shake her head, but she tried very hard to speak and I understood a bit.

She is dying and in a lot of pain, but I was expecting her to be completely out of it. I never expected to see emotion in her face and excitement when I talked about a special jewelry box she had sent me that was dear to her heart. I never expected that she would know me and be happy I was there. I never expected she would try and talk to me, even if her words were jumbled. It was hard to take.

After she mumbled, "Oh Lord" a couple times I asked her if she wanted to pray. We were alone in the room and I felt very led to pray with her. After I was done she said, "pray again". I asked her to repeat herself in case I had heard incorrectly, and she verbalized the same thing. She complained of her head hurting and responded positively when I asked her if she would like water (she only gets it on a swab) and bit down ferociously on the water laden sponge. She would doze off and frantically open her eyes to make sure we were all still there. Mentally she was still there, for the most part.

The medical issue is that she had a hemorrhaging stroke that affected a large portion of her brain. Once it starts to heal it will expand and she will be brain dead as it presses on the brain stem. Her stroke is fatal and death is imminent. It is just so hard to know that she is still "in there" somewhat.

We went back on Thursday before our flight and it was a different day altogether. She was given high doses of morphine to help her through the pain and she was the grandmother I had expected to see the day before; asleep and non-responsive. My guess is that the day I had with her on Wednesday will never be repeated. But I was very blessed to have it.


Susie said...

I'm so glad you were able to have that time with her, Angel!! Praise God for that! And I will continue to pray for her -- and for you -- as the end draws near.


Jamie said...

(Wiping the tears from my eyes)

How precious that you had that time with her, what a gift from the Lord. My IRL friend Angie (on my friends list) recently lost an aunt and had some special time with her before she passed. How blessed!

Praying for you all!