Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Tragic Moment Of Clarity


There are times when I really long to carry on a meaningful conversation with my grandmother. Sadly, I have not had a moment like that in several years.

Sometimes it takes a great tragedy to bring about a moment of clarity in our lives. My grandmother has recently suffered such a tragedy.

Last week she fell out of her wheelchair and fractured her C1 and C2 vertebra's. She also has a huge bruise over her right eye along with stitches above her right eye and scalp. This type of break is typically know as the "Hangman's fracture"

She spent 3 days in ICU which was very hard on all of us. Because of her age, she is not a candidate for surgery or a halo vest. They did fit her with a collar to keep her neck from moving for the next 6 weeks.

Because this happened in the nursing home with the aid in the room, we made the decision to move her to another facility. My mother also spoke with a lawyer today.

The new facility is 30 miles away so it will be more expensive to go and see her what with the price of fuel these days.

The biggest concerns are with her skin. Because this collar/brace extends down her torso, we are concerned about infection due to moisture getting trapped inside the brace. Granny also has a cold and we are concerned about pneumonia setting in since she is confined to her bed until at least the end of the month.

I have not been able to see Granny since she left the hospital. I am hoping to get to see her this week. My sister has been able to make the drive with mom twice this week. On both occasions, Granny was very coherent. She spoke about her youngest daughter and how much my sister resembled her. This conversation prompted my sister to call our aunt and relay the conversation to her. I truly hope it will help my aunt put some of the past behind her once and for all.

The second conversation was only 2 words. They were turning my grandmother to clean and check her out and she told my sister "I'm scared." These words really break my heart. My grandmother has been through so much in her life and I cannot bear the thought of her being scared. How can you possibly comfort someone with this type of fear? What words can ease their physical pain and emotional distress? Just because she is speaking coherently does not mean she will understand what you are saying to her.

I am very afraid for my grandmother right now. I am helpless in this situation and I am not sure I can mask my own fears from her when I see her. I really want to just go up to this nursing home and go off on everyone I come in contact with. This was senseless and unfortunately we may never know what truly happened.

I know I have to keep all of this in check not only for Granny but, my mom as well. She needs me to be clear headed and strong for both of them right now. Thank God my sister and I have mended our own relationship so we can take turns with all of this.

I will try to keep posting updates about Granny's well being but it is so emotional for me right now that I am not sure I can be right on top of this blog.

I appreciate any insights any of you may have and would ask that you please pray for my grandmother.

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