Well, this is my first post, so I’ll tell you about myself and my Grnadmother. My name is April, I’m 28, almost 29. I live in a little town in North Alabama. Growing up, my parents both had their own struggles. They got divorced when I was 4, my Dad was a bad alcoholic and my mom couldn’t take it anymore. I mostly stayed with my mom at first, but she got into an abusive relationship, so I stayed with my Grandparents most of the time from then on out. They were pretty well off, for 2 people who started out with absolutely nothing.
They always made sure I had what I needed, and wanted. Grandma would always take me shopping, making sure I had the name brand clothing like the other girls at school. They bought me a laptop when I was 13 for goodness sake 😂 Of course, I wound up breaking it. My Grandma would wake up at 3:00 a.m. every morning to cook me and my Grandpa homemade gravy and biscuits. They were they BEST!!! My Grandma always struggled with depression and social anxiety. I can always remember her getting so aggravated at herself because she couldn’t remember something, and she would say, “I think I’m getting Alzheimer’s” Me, being young didn’t think anything about it, but boy was I in for a major slap in the face years later.
When I was about 17, my Grandma was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. They prescribed her medicine for it, and we didn’t make too much of it at that point, at least I didn’t. She was still Grandma, but slowly she got to where she wouldn’t leave the house, she actually thought my Grandpa was a stranger living in her house. She was terrible to him. She would pack random things into plastic grocery bags and put them in the oddest places. Before long, my Grandpa couldn’t find anything. She got to where she was acting “inappropriately” in public. She would take random naps during the day, which wasn’t normal for her. She would pick at the couch, her clothing, anything she could pull a little bit of anything from. She stayed like that for a good while. I got pregnant when I was 21, and I remember she didn’t want to come to my baby shower because of all the people that were going to be there. By that time she didn’t want to be around people, especially strangers.
Things took a major turn for the worse 2 years ago. She was falling a lot, and obviously getting worse. She ended up in the hospital with a UTI, and came out bedridden. She’s been bedridden since. At first she was still Grandma to an extent, but could definitely tell something had happened. So I called Hospice one night and they can out and evaluated her, and she got approved. ( Your doctor has to agree that the patient would probably die within 6 months in order to be approved ) She lost all control of her bowels and pee, so we had to start putting diapers on her. It got to the point she couldn’t feed herself anymore, so we’ve been feeding her since. She hasn’t been able to swallow a pill in over a year, so we have to crush her pills up and put them in oatmeal or something soft so she gets her medicine.
Now it’s February, 2016, on a Monday, and I get a call from my Grandpa, who lives just 30 seconds from where we live, saying Grandma had caught a stomach bug. She had awful diarrhea for 2 days, threw up once, and ran a fever. Well, after she got over that, that Thursday I go down there after I drop my son off at school and Grandma isn’t responding to us at all! We couldn’t wake her, so we called her Hospice nurse out. Her vitals were fine, but she sounded hoarse, like she was getting a cold. Well, the day went on and she still wouldn’t respond to us. She was kind of hot so it had us really worried so we called the nurse back that night. She told me on the phone there wasn’t anything she could do, which rubbed me the wrong way. She came out, and sure enough she had a temperature of 101. We have her some children’s Tylenol and the nurse said she would be fine through the night and her regular nurse would be out the next morning. Well, the nest morning she was acting a bit better. She wasn’t totally unresponsive like she was the day before, but she still wouldn’t eat or drink anything.
Now a week later, she’s and drinking ok, but not enough. She’s lost weight and when I was there earlier she just had a look to her that she was done with all of this. My Dad and Grandpa got into it over the phone and I’m sure she heard some of it. I wish God would just take my sweet Grandma so she wouldn’t have to lay there in a hospital bed, not able to communicate, or do anything for that matter. She has no quality of life and hasn’t for a long time now. I KNOW she wouldn’t want to live, if that’s what you call it, this way. I pray to God everyday to just take her hand and show her it’s ok to let go. I’ve told her myself it’s ok to let go, and that I would make sure Grandpa and Daddy were taken care of. Tonight I told her the same thing and she just shook her head agreeing with me I’m guessing. I’m hoping she lets go and passes soon. Some may think that’s morbid for me to say, but you haven’t watched someone you love so dearly slowly die right in front of yours eyes and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it.
I hope everytime the phone rings and it’s my Grandpa, he’s going to tell me she getting ready to leave us. The Hospice nurse said she could live 6 or more months like this if nothing major happened, but for what? To lay in that hospital bed day in and out not being able to do anything for yourself? I don’t think it’s fair and this disease sucks! That’s what I really think about it.