December 30, 2005

It's time.

My grandmother is in the hospital again. The difference is that this time she is not going to be coming home. If she is released, my mother and aunt are taking my advice from the last time she was hospitalized and going to put her into a managed care facility, ie Nursing home.

My grandmother should have been put into one years ago. She’s been failing in health for a long time now. She has diabetes and other medical issues that cause her chronic pain. A year and a half ago she sold her home and moved in with my aunt because she couldn’t live on her own anymore due to chronic health issues. She refused to take care of her self, follow doctor’s orders and do her therapies. She continued to get worse. My mother and aunt felt it that if grandma were living with my aunt, she would have better supervision and take care of herself.

They where wrong. She would buy candy and hide it in the house, when my aunt was gone, she would eat it, thus not taking care of her diabetes. She still didn’t follow doctor’s orders and refused to do her therapies when my aunt asked her to. She just continued to get worse and worse. She can hardly walk, she can barely bend her knees and she has a form of Parkinson’s disease that is has almost completely taken over her ability to do anything on her own. The sad thing is that if she had just followed doctor’s orders years ago they know she wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as she is now.

When she was brought into the hospital a couple of days ago, over an infection she has that if she had followed doctor’s order she wouldn’t have had, it was finally determined that she can not go back to my aunts. My aunt just cannot be there all day every day to take care of her, as she needs. My grandma is not happy with this decision. She keeps telling my mother and aunt that she feels she can go home. Fortunately, my mother and aunt disagree with her.

I called and talked to my grandma the other night, I can’t visit because she is in the infectious disease ward and I don’t dare expose my kids to nasty bugs floating around up there. When I spoke with my grandma, she sounded like she had a stroke. My mother, aunt and the hospital staff convinced me that she hadn’t it’s just the medication, pain, infection and Parkinson’s effecting her speech. This is not the woman I remember fondly from my childhood. I hate seeing her this way, and I don’t like hearing about her this way.

We know she won’t get better. She may live for many more years, or she may be dead as I write this. I’ve never had any illusions that I’m a good person, but how bad does it make me that I’m hoping and wishing for the later?

Posted by Contagion in General assholery at December 30, 2005 12:39 PM | TrackBack

I don't think it makes you a bad person to wish for the latter. Sometimes, we wish our loved ones won't have to suffer, death is sometimes how that suffering ends. After watching my grandfather battle Alzheimers, I wished death would swiftly take him. It did not. He suffered for 8 years. I don't think it made me a bad person to want my loved one to be pain and illness and injury free or at peace. Don't beat yourself up.

I'm sorry for your family.

Posted by: oddybobo at December 30, 2005 12:58 PM

that last sentence didn't quite sound right, so let me just say, your family is in my thoughts.

Posted by: oddybobo at December 30, 2005 01:00 PM

It makes you human to wish for the suffering to end... for everyone. I've been there, I've felt it, and I know that just hearing someone else say what I felt won't make it any better.

You're all in my thoughts...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at December 30, 2005 01:32 PM

When the end is obvious & inevitable, it's normal to wish away the interim period.

Felt the same way when I watched my dad wind down.

Posted by: Harvey at December 30, 2005 02:07 PM


You are not a bad person. I hated watching my dad get worse and worse. I felt the same way you did. I did not like seeing him suffer.

Posted by: vw bug at December 30, 2005 04:33 PM

It makes you very human. There is nothing easy about it. But talking with her and letting her know you care - it gets through and it makes a difference. For both of you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you in this.

Posted by: Tammi at December 30, 2005 06:22 PM

I am so sorry. I am sending good thougts and prayers your way....

Posted by: Richmond at December 30, 2005 06:35 PM

I wnet through those same feelings when my Dad's health started failing this summer. I don;t think it makes you a bad person. In fact, I think it shows that you have a compassionate side you like to hide from the world. I am certain you have many reasons for that. Just know that my prayers are with you, and if there is anything you need me to do, I am there.

Posted by: littlejoe at December 31, 2005 12:09 AM

I'm glad that you had the courage to write that on your blog so you were able to know that you're not alone, bad, nor selfish, nor unique in your thinking.

It's both compassion and human nature not to want someone else to suffer needlessly. My Aunt, who died in early spring 2005, was the same sweet stubborn diabetic, parkinson patient who refused to cut life short and live by doctor's orders.

Unfortunately there pathway is very predictable way, much as you describe here. Her behavior didn't change even in the nursing home. So all I could do is go visit share old memories and smiles and hope/pray for the best.

At least we have those fond memories of them. Those are the ones I still hold onto, not her stubborn latter years.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts; having gone through this I know it won't be easy for any of you. Hugs!

Posted by: michele at December 31, 2005 11:35 AM

Parkinson is a tough disease to watch a loved one go through, especially towards the end.

Hubbies grandmother had parkinsons and towards the end she was very bad and we could only hope for her suffering to end.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by: Machelle at December 31, 2005 05:09 PM

You and yours have always been in my thoughts and prayers, and even more so now. If ever you need anything... well, you know.

And no, you're not a bad person for feeling the way you do. No one wants a loved one to suffer, and when they do hurt, we just want it to stop. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: Wes at January 1, 2006 02:27 PM