Twilight Zone, Day 1
Its been a day like in the Twilight Zone.
If it weren’t so serious it would be hilarious – fun stories – the stuff that grandma does. Things like, well, for example, if she kept a loaded 45, where would she keep it? In the freezer of course. isn’t that where everybody keeps their pistol?
Coffee supply? In the bedroom dresser, lower drawer. And so on.
Has absolutely no memory of stowing away anything in any unusual place that is soon forgotten. But it’s like a daily treasure hunt.
This morning though started with a long incoherent “goodbye note”. She was having a stroke and knew it, and tried to say goodbye. I love so-n-so and also love … say goodbye to … went through various relatives.
(brings a tear)
Included in the note were instructions for making coffee.
Went back to bed.
Note sitting on kitchen table.
My brother in law gets up hours early. Finds note. And freaks out!
He checks in on her. Yes – having stroke she says.
So off to the ER they went. My wife met them there. Went in with her.
So later she has absolutely no memory of writing the note. But said she could not figure out what was wrong with the coffee maker because the coffee grounds wouldnt fit into it. She claimed my brother in law also could not figure out the coffee maker. In reality he did make coffee and gave her some. So she is hallucinating those events.The other day she woke up and my grandaughter was in bed with her. My granddaughter lives in another state. It is a hallucination.Well anyway, there always is a goofy story. and one wonders what life is like for the person who sees reality this way. It might seem disturbing to them — but only if they remember what was going on at the time.Its a little bit like living with the United States of Tara. Today was a bit more serious. Its a blessing she does not remember the more traumatic moments. They gave her an IV line and a drug that instantly brought her BP down to normal…and she has turned lucid again. Overall it is good news to hear this is not dementia at work. They took her BP every 2 hours for 12 hours. That ends at 3AM this morning. They said she is in AMAZING shape for a 94 year old. Way better than many of their 60 year old patients on the stroke ward. I’m kinda glad to hear that. I feel like it is poetic justice!!!!! These Vikings can be tough old birds.
Twilight Zone, Day 2
I read something about Stoicism. It had to do with being comfortable with uncertain outcomes. That, to me, is indeed a sort of a goal. I am OK with not knowing how things turn out.
Thats part of “zen”. Its part of “letting go”. It is also part of FAITH.
If you have faith that ultimately God will handle things (because he promised and is faithful) you can let go. You realize today’s outcome or tomorrows outcome is not the ultimate outcome.It is being focused on this faith that lets us relax. And not react so darned much. So this is a goal anyway. Lots of things can get us off track, or off center.Its very easy to plunge into a depression without even realizing it is even going on.So, we do know we will need long term medical care. And be fragile in our old age. We can plan for that! Well, some of us plan for that.Grandma’s wheelchair situation … hmmm…I do have a wish list. i wish we had built a deck off the back of the house. Why? So, when in a wheel chair she could go outside and be in the sun. So a ramp could be built off the back of it. Nobody in the family can physically lift a wheelchair person up and down the entrances as they currently exist. So … egress is virtually impossible. OK, so by starting with denial…and not planning….it is an impossible outcome. Handling the outcome this way makes all future outcomes horrifically expensive.
OK, so by starting with denial…and not planning….it is an impossible outcome. Handling the outcome this way makes all future outcomes horrifically expensive.
Well that is a worry, but its not my worry. I just let it go.
The lady across the street just fell over dead one day. One might say “how aweful.” But that lady was spared the wheelchair bound phase of her life. The nursing home phase. Was that a blessing? I see it that way. Her demise involved very very minimal misery. A blessing in disguise?
The thing that hurts the most seems to be the tight fisted grip on trying to control the outcome. Well we cant control the outcome. Not really. What we can do, could do, is contingency planning but without getting too invested in any one particular solution.
That is the way i do things. But they (grandma and family) dont, and now they are sort of stuck. I have no idea how they will choose to handle this. I dont think they are prepared.
I think just having a shrug is a really good thing to do right now. That is what I was thinking about overnight. Everyone is in such a sense of panic. I myself dont feel panic at all. But their panic surrounds like a fog.
Twilight Day 2, Supplemental
Grandma has her BP under control and is recovering. She is getting OT and PT. They will keep her in the hospital until she can pass certain tests.
They recommended transitional care. She refused. She wants to go home. But she needs 24 hour a day supervision while on blood thinners. So, my wife will stay over there for three weeks. Well, there goes her long term substitute job – POOF!. Grandma will get OT and PT and nurse visits at home, paid for by insurance.
If she needs a wheel chair – oops. Ingress, egress, etc – well the house is just not set up for handicapped living in general. There may be certain things that can be done. $$$ involved in all that.
My son and family are coming to visit for three weeks. I guess it is good timing on that. Our vacation time together may be rather mangled though. It cannot be helped.
We all hope she becomes long term stable. But one more event might just be the very last – the straw that broke the camels back. Everyone pretends it will not happen.
I think the best approach is to try to be resilient and pivot.
There is no way I can even try to mention such an approach. They handle things this way: Lie. Deny. Lie some more. Pretend. Deny. Lie. Pretend. And so on.
I know resources about this. Books, audio books, blogs. But there is no way to share any of that. Roadblocks have been set up to make it impossible. So, what I can do is let it go. I will hear about it after the fact, and from afar. And feel sad. That is all I can do. It will have to be enough. Well, this is what you do with an alcoholic and an alcoholic’s family. Your responsibility is to live well yourself.
What I mostly think about is pondering what a elderly person experiences when a physical condition causes hallucinations and befuddlement. I don’t know a lot about geriatrics. Or how to handle these situations. I am really glad the hospital is involved. They should have had PT and OT and counseling and nurses a long long time ago. Life would have gone so much better for her if she had gotten some services.