Grandma was unresponsive for a few days. Things were starting to look up though. When I went and seen her on Monday, she was starting to respond to yes or no questions by nodding or shaking her head. And she was responding to commands. She seemed to be understanding everyone. We really thought things were turning around.
Tuesday, she was starting dialysis to help clear her system. We were told that she probably wouldn’t need it forever. She was talking some and even said her birth date. She wasn’t talking in complete sentences, but it was a HUGE improvement. I wasn’t able to get there on Tuesday because I didn’t have the car during the day. By the time I got the car, I wouldn’t have had time to get there before visiting hours were over.
I went to Mark’s work. And I was eating some pizza. All of a sudden, my mom called and said, “Get to the hospital now.” I asked her what was wrong. She just said, “Something went wrong, you have to get there.” Then she hung up. While I’m on the phone I threw my pizza at Mark and was trying to clean up my mess as quick as I could and ran out to my car. I got there in 8 minutes.
They were two hours into dialysis and her blood pressure dropped, her heart rate increased, and she started bleeding into her rectal tube. They had to put her on a vent and moved her to ICU. She bled about a liter out. They were giving her blood. We talked to her a little bit before they sedated her. Mom was asking her if she knew her. Grandma nodded. Mom told her that Aunt Carol (Grandma’s sister) was there. Grandma nodded. She said, “Callie’s here.” And she started shaking her head, like she didn’t want me to be there to see her like that.
A little later we talked some more. Mom was asking if she was mad at her for letting her be on the vent because she told Mom before all this that she didn’t want to be on anything like that. She just shook her head. I’m at the end of the bed rubbing Grandma’s feet, and I have always hated feet. So Mom told her that I was rubbing her feet and Mom said she tried to smile. That was really the last that we got to talk to her.
There was no changes on Wednesday. My mom found out about all the codes about life support and everything. She set up a meeting with the doctors for Thursday morning. That night, my mom decided that if the bleeding wasn’t from a polyp, she was going to put her on Code 3. Code 3 is taking her off everything besides a morphine drip and Adavan (for anxiety).
Thursday, we talked to the doctors. Decided to do a colonoscopy to make sure it wasn’t a polyp. And to see if there was anything else that could be done. Her doctor said that she probably won’t get better and to put her on Code 3 to respect her wishes.
We did the colonoscopy. She had stopped bleeding finally, but it was from the C. Diff. The doctor that did it said that he wouldn’t suggest surgery, if she was even able to have surgery. Then her doctor again assured us that she wouldn’t get better and wouldn’t be the same. And I’m thinking, “Well, she doesn’t know that for sure.”
So, we went in to say our goodbyes. I asked for a minute alone with with her. I told her that I love her very much and that I would miss her more than anything. I said that I would let my son know how much she adored him and that I would try not to cry too much.
The priest came to do Anointing of the Sick (we’re Catholic) for the third time (this time was so that we could be there for it and to pray together). Her doctor stayed with us for that. I was crying my eyes out and the priest made me read Psalms 23. I’m sure it was impossible to understand me. The priest and her doctor then sung Amazing Grace.
Around 4pm, they took everything off of her. She was gasping for breath and I just kept screaming in my head, “Someone please help her breathe.”
I was terrified for her. She didn’t want to die. How did they know that she wouldn’t have made it if we tried everything again? They fucking didn’t.
I have a lot of issues with my faith. A lot. And I was SO scared for her. What if there isn’t anything after this? What if it hurts her? What if that really wasn’t what she wanted?
She got moved to a hospice room. She lived for another seven hours. I wasn’t in the room for her last breath. I was in the room until bile started coming out of her mouth a bit. I got in there and she wasn’t breathing and I thought I was going to pass out.
I know everyone has to die, but not her. She was too stubborn to die. She was going to be the only person to live forever. Nobody thought she was going to die. I got to say my goodbyes again. More than anything, I didn’t want her to die.
Yesterday was her funeral (well, it is after midnight, Saturday, June 16th) was her funeral. She looked 20 years younger. She was so beautiful. My mother opted for cremation. I hate the idea of it all around, but that’s what she wanted because it was cheaper. The mass was good for the part I wasn’t zoning out to.
Jean Ann (1931-2012)
My beautiful grandma. This pic was taken sometime in the 90′s and is how I will always remember her.
Right now, I am listening to Feist. And I really don’t give a fuck about books or reading at this period of time. But alcohol, I am drinking cake vodka and diet root beer. Tastes like a root beer float and is delicious.