I texted my cousin in the early afternoon to find out how my grandma was doing in the hospital. She warned me that I probably didn't want to come up. She had a near fall at the hospital, she was yelling at family and staff alike, she was resisting all medication and treatment, and was having hallucinations and couldn't identify who certain family members were. Obviously I had to go and see her.
I received permission from my boss and left work half an hour early. After a quick change of clothes at home and grabbing some get-well flowers and a drink, I drove the hour and a half ride to my parents home town to the hospital where she's staying.
I greeted my frazzled looking mom and sat with my grandma. It was a very surreal experience to see someone who was once so sharp and on point change into someone who couldn't piece together one moment from another. It was like watching a DVD that couldn't ever make it past the first 5 minutes and rewound to the beginning over and over again. She asked me (or I had to remind her) roughly every 5-10 minutes that she couldn't get up from bed or leave the hospital because she hurt herself badly. Sometimes it went okay and she nodded, understanding somewhat. Other times she was much more hostile and insistent. The injuries alone warranted her staying, not even including the fact that she couldn't remember my name, my mom's name, my cousin's name, and was "seeing" things in the room. I would watch her move her hands in a motion like she was sorting through a cupboard.
"Grandma, what are you doing?"
"I'm looking for the keys!!"
"Grandma there's nothing there. What do you need keys for?"
"Well how ELSE is your grandpa going to get into town if I don't drive."
"You're not driving into town. You're in a hospital."
"Well...what's that...what's that horse doing out there? Where are those tracks going?"
She'd often gaze at the ceiling or into the distance, asking who a person was, or why farm animals were places they weren't supposed to be. Sometimes she'd see a little boy or girl run off somewhere. I didn't have answers. It would've almost been funny if it wasn't so heartbreaking. She would begin to fall asleep and then move her hands to her mouth and move her tongue around like she was eating something. For a solid 20 minutes she insisted on ice cream. I tried to help her eat it by herself but she didn't seem to have the hand-eye coordination to hold the spoon, dip it into the small container, and then move it to her mouth. Eventually I was able to feed her some until she held her hand up and said, "No more. I'm done with that now." Minutes later she was asking for ice cream again.
I was there for a bit over 4 hours and they felt excruciating. It's difficult to sit and watch knowing that tests aren't moving as quickly as you'd like, nothing seems as urgent to anyone as it does to you, and above all watching a family member you love deteriorate.
According to what my cousin, aunt, uncle, and grandpa can piece together, she had a really nasty fall. My grandma had a dentist appointment yesterday so she got a quick shower in. As she was getting out, that's when the fall happened. She broke 2 ribs, ripped her knee and ankle up pretty badly, bruised her arms horribly (that is no exaggeration - full greeting card sized strips of her arm were completely black), and she has a brain hemorrhage.
We are mid-process in trying to move her to a better hospital with one of the best neurosurgeons in the country. There's so much red tape to muck through that most takes feel like you're trudging through mud to get them done. As of now there's nothing more that can be done until we are given more test results tomorrow.
This is a space separate of my house blog. Here is where you'll find a little bit of everything. I'll try to avoid vapid posts - but no promises.