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08 August 2003 @ 08:44 pm
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?
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: "how soon is now" by love spit love
(Anonymous) on August 8th, 2003 10:29 pm (UTC)
In a way, boi understands...
But in a way, I don't. I didn't feel a whole lot of pain when my 'grandfather' died. As a matter of fact, all I really felt was respect, if that makes any sense. When he died of the liver cancer that consumed him, I was in the same chair as him, watching him bravely watch his family hobnob as if he was already gone. He told me that he wasn't afraid to die, and I believed and believe him completely. He died silently while I was the only one even paying attention. I didn't cry then, nor at his funeral. I was practially reproached by my brother for it, but seeing the lack of fear, and the plethora of fulfilment in his eyes, I could not feel sad for him, but only joy that he was moving on to a better place.
~ * flurr sprite * ~nkicroft on August 9th, 2003 01:57 am (UTC)
you're not an uncaring witch leelee...sometimes it's better for somebody to pass away..
blackmage runs with daggers.ruien on August 10th, 2003 08:40 pm (UTC)
my grandfather lays in our house raving half the day in gutteral sounds of his dialect only my mother understands. he has alzhiemer and is bedridden. and every other day he goes on the "i'm better off dead let me die" suicide rave because he's so damned bored.

my grandmother had terminal athsma that eventually killed her. they rushed her to the hospital one night when she couldn't breathe and stuck breathing tubes in her throat because her windpipes were too clogged up to clear effectively. she laid there the next few hours repeatedly pulling the tubes out of her throat until they tied her hands down on the bed. then she refused to breathe -- as in wilfully refused to let herself breathe. and then she died, but that was because she was too sick to pull through the night. or maybe she just killed herself by not co-operating.

my other grandmother died and i'm not even sure how. (the women in my family all appear to have hard and sudden lives... and those of my generation appear to have the perchance for eloping and running away ^^; ) the thing is, it's never been any skin off my nose. you perform the dutiful thing, appearing in black and white for a period, abstain from colours, attend the funeral, burn the joss and paper, and then hang around outside waiting for everyone to pack up and go home and ignore the prescence on the bed in the dark room where the sickly sweet smell of rot has taken root and wouldn't go away and pretend they're not there.

i think the point is... you don't have to be sad. being sad and refusing to let them go is a purely personal optional thing. the only people we do that for is for ourselves. and it's neither a good nor bad thing moralistically. it is a thing that is. why then the need for justification and guilt? - and well being horrified at me might help take your mind off it if that didn't help.
capturedcapuu on August 11th, 2003 11:21 am (UTC)
Eh, yer not horrid. I've never mourned diddly at furnerals, simply because I was taught they were going to a better place, so what's with the tears when they lucked out?

But really, my grandfather's had Alzhiemer's for three years now. One of his first signs, besides preaching he was going to go to Hell unless he killed us all, was trying to break my little brother's neck that Thanksgiving. We tried to keep him at the house, but after that, it was a little too dangerous to have an Alzhiemer's patient around with his level of former military training.

To us...with the exception of my father, he's been 'dead' for a while. I think it was at last year's family get-together that my father was explaining he's forgotten the last 20 years or so. One of my cousin's said "Hey, that's not to bad," and I snapped, " DUDE, that's my ENTIRE LIFETIME." So, yeah. I'm lucky if he knows I exist. As far as I'm concerned, he's been kept alive to keep the more sensitive assured, but I'd love to see him stop suffering. ^_x;