From Caregiver to Grieving in Four Days

 

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Reblogged from 3/24/10

As the population ages many will take on the role of caregiver. One of the most challenging for me was the transition from granddaughter to caregiver. Gramps was stubborn as an Ox and felt he didn’t need any help.

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My grandfather died in 2010 at 92 years old. I spent more time with him in 2010 than at home. I cherish the time we had, regardless how painful. His health declined so fast that for two days I did not realize that he was dying now, not in a couple of weeks. He was at home under hospice care and would not get in the hospital bed until two days before he passed. He fell out of bed that morning, which forced him to move in order to eat. He was so weak when he fell, it was difficult for me to get him back in bed. I was hurt more than him. He would have not have moved to the hospital bed if he had not fallen. For him the bed meant death and he was still fighting.

My grandfather had End Stage Kidney Disease. An earlier ER trip to for his AFIB is when we learned heard he about two months to live. What they fail to tell is the older patients die faster. We knew his kidneys were losing function but I was not ready for a timeline. His doctor had not given me the impression on last visit, I asked her to review the hospitalal records. I was saddened she agreed with the prognosis. It took a couple of weeks for my grandfather to believe the doctors were right. Kidney failure without dialysis, is a silent killer and luckily not a painful one. You start sleeping more until you sleep yourself into a coma.

I arrived on Sunday afternoon after two days of relief and he looked fine. Monday I knew he was out of it by the things he was saying. I called backup. Tuesday he was sick after falling out of bed. Dead weight, it took everything I had to get him back in bed. My grandfather died on Thursday. I’m so thankful that we had time together to say what we wanted, cry for the loss and enjoy the memories. I have no regrets.

Cleaning out the house was so hard, 46 years of memories everywhere. My grandmother left notes on everything, it was like mourning her death as I found each note. Notes on back of photos, on little pieces of paper and even masking tape. I knew all the notes were there, we had looked at them many times. Everything’s being packed and house cleared. My grandparents were like parents, they were the best you could ever pray for. The house is empty but I see my life in every room. The great memories with my grandparents are everywhere you look. 

Side notes: My grandparents lived in the hood , major drug trafficking. They had little of value just antiques passed down. I would not leave the house empty at night so I stayed for two weeks until we could pack up. Everyone thought I was crazy, I thought I’m Rambo. I had my Colt 38 Revolver, would never stand up to drug lords today. I cousins husband Sgt. for department casually mentioned the houses around me where under drug/gang watch.

One night after midnight I heard this huge sound and had to check out. The streets were shut down in every direction, every yard, Black ATF truck and guy is tactical gear, paddy wagon. I had to laugh, with the whisper under his breath, I knew it was going down. I watched through the window to see what all they do is a big bust, at least 20-25 people in-house. They were zipped tied together. The entire yard was searched with high beams and guy with flashlight. 

I was having a blast, called to my husband, he didn’t find it funny. 

XO  Melinda

21 Comments »

  1. I am amazed at the strength that comes to bear when we need it most. I understand your protective nature as regards your grandparents, and their home. So glad you had that chance to be there for him at the end. Respect for you, M.

    I have a slightly similar story that I have to tell some day about the time spent with my sister as she lay in hospice care at home, in a neighborhood filled with drugs, crime and violence, yet loving and undying support for her. A fascinating contrast.

    Like

    • Hi Van
      Our life’s do match up in many ways. Taking care of my grandparents taught me more about myself.
      My granny has a birthday coming on 1-19-16, I have some ideas for a post. It’s not only my sickness, I was so close to granny. In the future, I’ll write a post showing all the little notes she left.
      After taking care of granny who had Dementa from strokes, my heart broke every time, every where I looked. It sure came in handy when time to take care of gramps.
      My life is more fulfilled because of them.
      🙂
      M

      Liked by 1 person

      • Both of my grandparent’s grew up poor and worked hard. My granny baby to raise, two dresses and washed by. She had a complex life. Had to take trolly to Dallas to pay all bills, granny was a goodie two shoe’s 90% of the time. She was crazy jealous when gramps talk to a female.She harder than I ever will, she fought hard to stay away from her oldest brothers. One joined with a traveling circus, the mafia fighting it’s own war. Her brother wars were the prixe live another day. After hearing about her brother had joined local mob, granny turned a blind eye to know they would have to find there way. Her brother Bud was killed syneide in what became my bedroom.
        She was hard as steel, in private much more reserved.
        Hope you have a good weekend.
        🙂
        M

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love reading your stories on life. I shared your 9 yr old story with my girls today and warned them of what can happen if they aren’t careful. They took the story to heart and my 14yr old got tears in her eyes. It’s good to remind our kids from time to time of what can happen and try to prepare them the best that we can. I am very open with my children and I don’t tip toe around what needs to be said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you- criminals don’t care what age and we have to help our kids understand to their ability what to look for and what to do. My mother didn’t even tell me about my period, clueless. Take an example of a terrible mother, cut her in half. That was mine, my brother was an angel, I was a child of the devil.
      I know my heart is clear. God said we had to forgive not to forget. Once I learned the difference I was much healthier.
      So happy one parent is deeply involved in the kids of our future.
      Have a great Sunday. I have an hour before church starts.
      🙂
      M

      Liked by 1 person

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