So Wednesday morning about 7:08am I get up to go to the bathroom from my desk at work right? My phone rings which is not totally outta the ordinary because I have been up since 4:30am and usually I talk to my mom at 6am. What was abnormal about the phone ringing was seeing “Dad” on the caller ID. I didn’t panic just yet. I answered the phone and the convo went like so…
Dad: Hi ya it’s your father.
Me: Whats up?
Me: DAD WHATS WRONG?
Me: with panic now in my voice and hysterically crying because the only reason he would be calling me at 7am is for something not good with my grandmother DAD WHATS WRONG? NO NO NO NO NO NO
Dad: starts crying cause he hears me freaking out
Molly: Gram is not dead relax both of you!
Me: The what is wrong tell me!
Dad: She is in the hospital she spiked a 105 fever and is unresponsive.
Me: What?!?! Why?
Dad: We don’t know yet. Go about your day we will keep you posted.
Go about your day? Seriously? Is my father on crack? My father lives in FL from October till May and my uncle now lives in Colorado. I am in NJ. My uncles kids live in PA which is where Gram is but 2 of the 3 of them are in college finishing up everything for the semester and the other has his hands full with his kid and work. I did not go about my day. I did exactly the opposite. I left work at 7:45am and made the 2 hour drive to PA to see what the heck was going on.
When I got to the hospital I was informed that Gram was indeed brought into the ER with a 105 fever and was kind of unresponsive. If I gently shook her and got all up in her face she would open her eyes for me. By about 1:15pm Gram finally got settled into her room. She was seen by the Dr. and we were told that she had a UTI and the infection had spread into her blood.They were giving her antibiotics and fluids. Well my Gram is 86 years old. She is no spring chicken and she also has the most fragile veins and nurse or Dr. has ever seen. Every IV that was put in infiltrated. We were all starting to get worried because she was not getting meds or fluids. It was about midnight and she had gone a good 6 to 8 hours with out anything by now. All of a sudden she started to come around. She woke up slightly and was talking with us. Her fever had also gone down to 100. I asked her how she was feeling and her answer was “My ass hurts.” Really Gram? She also told me that she wanted chocolate ice cream. That’s my Gram! She settled for raspberry water ice instead. Since she was doing so much better my mother and I decided that it would be okay if we left. We didn’t feel like we needed to stay in a hotel in the area like we were gonna do. I got home about 4am on Thursday morning.
Thursday I did not go back to the hospital. I didn’t get home till 4am and my phone started blowing up at 8am. I originally had plans to go to the Met game as well. Thursday wound up being a long day just because I was so tired and only running on 4 hours of sleep. My step sister Mary wound up going to the hospital that day. She said that Gram was doing better. Her temp had broke completely and she was coherent and having conversations with people. Promising to say the least! Mary said Gram even started asking about the kids meaning her great grandchildren. We as a family felt really good and thought that Gram was gonna pull through this.
Friday morning I headed back to the hospital. When I go there I was expecting to walk into her room with her up and awake and talking. What I walked into was a unresponsive Gram again. I was devastated! I couldn’t believe that she had taken such a bad turn in such a short amount of time. I spoke to her doctor and was informed that she was in renal failure and that the infection had spread to her liver as well. Not good. I was told that her only chance would be if she went on dialysis. Something we all know that Gram would NOT want. Gram has made it very clean in talks that she does not want drastic measures taken and that if her quality of life is to be compromised that she would rather us let her go so to speak. She is also a DNR. Needless to say dialysis is not an option.
Saturday I was back at the hospital. My father had finally made it in from FL and he was now making all the decisions. I was so happy he was there to take the pressure off of my shoulders.
As of this morning Gram is still not doing well. She is on a heart monitor and is down to 6 breaths per minute which is not good. We have all come to the conclusion that this is indeed the end for her. We are all on board that we want her out of pain and as comfortable as possible in the next few days till she goes. It is what she would have wanted. Gram is currently on morphine for the pain along with a fentanyl patch. She is also sedated because she is in so much pain. We were told yesterday that her chances of survival are 40%. I have had many conversations with my father and uncle and we all agree that now that they are both home Gram is going to give up and pass. We are all okay with this and we are even telling her that it is OKAY to let go and go be with her siblings.
The only thing I can hope is that she is indeed as comfortable as she can be. As of Thursday she knew that there were people who she loves and who love her with her.
Through all of this I have to say that my cousins Kyle and Rhiannon have been AMAZING! They are 22 and 19 receptively and they have been dealing with the reality of what is going on so well. I told their father that I was super proud of them because lets face it this is not a walk in the park.
However there is also the flip side. This is where I am going to ran for a minute. Kyle and Rhiannons mother is a PAIN IN THE A$$. She is controlling and is trying to pull rank and make the decisions about Grams care. Let me just point out that Karen is not married to my uncle anymore and my Gram never liked Karen. Let me also just throw this out there that if Gram knew that Karen was there she would hit the roof! Don’t get me wrong I am very grateful that she is being there for her children but that woman needs to learn to step back! My brother and his wife went to see my Gram yesterday and when they got home I asked how she was doing and the first thing outta their mouth was and I quote:
“That colorful choice word better learn to step the f*&k off. That is not her family member that is on their deathbed it is ours! Who the hello is she to keep insisting that Gram be put on a morphine drip or a medical induce coma?!?”
I needless to say was not happy to hear this and I called my father and clued him in on what was going on and he in turn spoke to Jimmy and I can honestly say that that issue has been taken care of and Karen is now aware that she is not welcomed to be in the hospital room if she can not keep her mouth closed.