Sunday, March 14, 2010

Update: All is not well on the homefront

So guys, I love that we finally got to go home and be on Spring Break, and that I could just be home, relax and enjoy my birthday. I had a lovely time chilling at home with my parents and my kitties, relaxing and being happy.

Saturday morning it all came crashing down. We had planned on running some errands before going to my hair appointment to get my highlights redone and then drive to Bonaventure to have dinner with my sister and her roommate before my parents would leave and I would get to stay for the weekend.

I heard the phone ring around 8 oclock. I didn't think about it, just rolled over and said "who would call that early on a Saturday?"

Around 9, my mom came into my room and asked if I could be ready a bit earlier than planned. She said that we had to stop by the hospital; my grandmother was admitted last night. All the while she was holding my hand. I sleepily asked "Is she gonna die?" to which my mom replied, "I think it is going to be soon, but we just don't know..."

Around 10:30, we get to the hospital. I think I can handle it. The last few times I've been home, she has been slowly getting worse, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw.

Recap before I continue- my Grandma has had back problems since I was in like Kindergarten. She stopped driving us around when I was like 5, and she was admitted into a nursing home on and off since I was like 12. She was still very aware and happy when I left for school in August, but apparently in October she had a small heart attack, and my parents suspect a stroke. She wouldn't eat for a while, and she lost tons of weight, weighing in at about 80 pounds. She slowly started losing her memory and nowadays she doesn't really know who everyone is. She used to be vaguely aware, and the day before I visited my mom said she asked "Where are the girls?"

However, when I stepped in to the room, all i saw was this frail, tiny woman curled up on the hospital bed wheezing. My mom said she has a sinus infection, urinary tract infection, COPD and congestive heart failure, which means her heart can't pump the amount she needs and it is slowly shutting down. Not to mention, she has fluid/mucus going into her lungs, hence the terrible wheezing. She was shivering and wheezing, but my mom said she had a fever.

My mother kept asking "Mom are you cold? Mom, do you see who is here? It's Tina, she came back from school! She came to see you and tell you we love you... How are you feeling ma? are you cold?"

My Grandma just stared into the distance. Once in a while, she would curl up and raise her head, stare straight at me and then just lay down again. She didn't see me at all. There was no recognition in her eyes, no remembrance of her little Tina...

I cried. I cried a lot. I sobbed into my mother's arms as she held me next to my grandmother's bed and said "it's ok, she probably doesn't know what kind of pain she is in... Deep down somewhere, I'm sure she knows you've visited and she knows you love her." But I just couldn't stop crying. This was the woman who used to watch Pokemon with me in the summer mornings that we stayed over. The woman we used to play jeopardy with on weeknights when we visited and who we would help with crossword puzzles and sunday dinners. And she wasn't her anymore. This poor shell of a woman was not my grandma anymore, and I couldn't take it.

I couldn't even stop crying when my grandfather came back to the room (he had been there since 2 in the morning and had gone to get breakfast). I couldn't even be strong for him. I just kept crying. He's been there for her through it all, and loved her every day of their lives together. He is so sweet. When they recount their courtship, he casually says "I knew I wanted to marry you the moment I met you!" And all I could see was the grief in his eyes, seeing what their live together had become- nothing more than hospital visits and waiting for the end.

As soon as we left, I sobbed uncontrollably, all the way to the car asking my mom how long she had, how long was she going to be like this? My mom doesn't know. It could be months, weeks or days. The cycle of modern medicine is vicious- My grandma will get "better" and go back to her nursing home. In a little while, she'll be sick and infected again- her body just can't fight. She'll be in the hospital again, and each time my mom will call me and I will wonder if this is the last time.

Here's where my agnosticism comes into play. My mom, on the ride home, was comforting my by saying soon she'll be with Jesus and my mom's brothers (Peter, Paul and David, 3 of her siblings that died shortly after birth- Peter and Paul were twins) and my aunt Julie, who died of cancer when I was in 5th grade, the same year my dad had open heart surgery. That my grandma will soon be home with God...

But how can I believe that? My grandmother was a devout Christian/Catholic for her whole life. Every time we saw her, she would thank the lord for something. So how can this all loving God sit there and let my grandmother suffer as she is? She isn't living anymore, she merely exists here with no point or purpose, no awareness of the world around her or the people who love her. Why is he letting her live such a horrible existence? I hate to say it, but I kind of just wish it was over, for her and for us. She isn't living, and it's tearing me apart. Every time I see her all I can think is that she was fine when I left for college, and I've been having fun and having a great time while she wasted away...

I don't know what to do. My mom is so strong about it. She says "I've said goodbye to my mother so many times that I am just used to it. I've forgiven her for what she didn't do and thanked her for everything she did." But I never got to say goodbye, not in that way. And now I never can, because my grandma will never know how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. Even if I told her now, she wouldn't know who was saying it or what I was saying...

I don't know what to do... Spring Break doesn't seem like much of a relaxing break at this point...

At least visiting Cesca is fun and awesome and keeping my mind off of it a bit... Ithaca and happiness seems worlds away right now...

No comments:

Post a Comment