August 8th, 2003


horrid uncaring witch i be

Daddy's in Southern California right now with his folks. Grandpa just got a pacemaker stuck inside his chest and Grandma...well, she's probably dying. **shrug** To be honest, when I heard the news my reaction was pretty much, "Finally she's cacking it!" ^^;; Yes, I know that's beyond horrible. But, as far as I'm concerned she's been dead ever since she got diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year. Her body may have been moving around, but the grandmother I knew is gone baby gone.

A copy of Daddy's update email:
Grampa is in for another night. His pacemaker is working fine but his coumadin dose isn't right yet and he had some bleeding at the incision site. He might be released tomorrow or Sunday.

Grandma is not doing well. I had to take her to the Mission Hospital emergency room last night, and she was diagnosed with a blocked intestine. The alternative probably outcomes were another major surgery with a colostomy, or no intervention except comfort and pain control. The colostomy might be a medical success but would be yet another degradation in her quality of life. Already she just tries to tune out her Alzheimer's environment as much as possible by daydreaming of her youth in Henryetta. Coping with another surgery recovery and then a colostomy for the rest of her life seemed like a recipe for torture rather than healing. In contrast, with no surgical intervention, the likely outcome is peritonitis and death in a matter of days to weeks.

With some anxiety, but remembering everything she said over the years, we decided on no surgery. There are slight chances of other outcomes such as the obstruction (a twisted colon) correcting itself, but the likely outcome is as above. She confirmed, as much as I could tell, our choice in my conversation today with her. On her own she volunteered that she thought she had died and asked for my help in releasing her from her restraints. As in previous hospitalizations, she will injure herself by attempting to remove IV's and catheters by herself, so she has to be restrained. She desperately wants to be freed from medical practice and to go home to Henryetta.

On Monday, if Grampa is released by then, he will investigate hospice opportunities, including the possibility of returning to Aliso Laguna Village which has a small hospice program, as well as considering other community programs.

She'd like to shuffle off this mortal coil so why should I be sad?
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