May 29, 2011

Updates and Grandma

I feel like I have so many things to blog about, that I'm not sure how to organize my thoughts.  The first is that our homestudy has officially been scheduled.  The visit will be next Monday.  So, if anyone wants to see the crazy version of me, come and visit next weekend just before the visit! LOL!!  I am really looking forward to it and looking forward to moving another giant step forward.   

We were also able to get our passports done this last week.  Hooray!!  I had no idea that it was going to be so expensive...over $300!!  I guess everyone can tell that I have never traveled outside of the U.S. except for Mexico and Canada.  And, obviously, even that has been awhile...since I believe that now you do need a passport. That is also why the idea of travelling so far is exciting and daunting all at the same time. 

Here are the mug shots!  I love my wind blown cocker spaniel hair!

Okay, (deep sigh), I will talk about what is really going on in our household right now.  Plain and simple...end of life issues are hard.  My grandmother is continuing to not do well.  The problem is...none of us are.  We all have some kind of stomach bug and it makes me wonder now if my grandma is just responding to the flu more than being "in decline" as so many professionals have said to us so many times.  The problem is, they have said this before when she was just sick with a virus and we were able to get her well again. 

The even bigger problem is that due to her age, advanced Alzheimer's, and her refusal to eat one wants (or feels comfortable?) with providing much in the way of medical treatment to extend her life.  I could go on and on with how many internal wars and differing opinions I have within myself on that and it seems to continue to change....but it would probably not be very productive or helpful.  We are considering placing her in a nursing home to have hospice care.  I have also considered bringing her to the hospital but I know that we will get a lot of grief over the fact that most of the doctors feel that they should not be providing any life sustaining medical procedures.   

The oddest thing about it all is that she is mentally more clear and seems physically stronger than she has in a long time.  She has been virtually non-responsive and not able to communicate for the last several months.  Then, a couple of nights ago, I was holding Eleanor near her bed and she suddenly looked up and locked her eyes on her. 

Now, I have to go backwards in time for the story to hold it's true meaning...Eleanor was born only a couple of weeks before we brought grandma out here to live.  And my grandma absolutely adored her right from the start.  She would always draw in her breath and exclaim, "She's precious!" or "Sweet!" and she would stroke her hair or reach out to hold her.  It helped make the move from Arkansas a lot easier on Grandma since the Alzheimer's had already made her unable to know where she was or who she was with.  Eleanor was an adorable baby and that was all grandma cared about.  

Thus, Eleanor grew up feeling very adored by her.  And, Eleanor was amazingly patient with the sometimes uncomfortable position that grandma would hold her in or with the fact that grandma would want to hold her just five minutes after she had just squiggled to get down and crawl.  And, Eleanor would often seek grandma out and reach to hold her hand or "help" her walk.  Even once grandma was so sick that she was mostly bedridden....Eleanor would often say, "see maga"  which would mean that she wanted to go visit grandma in her room.

Okay, so back to present....I mentioned that grandma has been mostly non-responsive.  Unfortunately, that meant that she was eventually not even responding to Eleanor.  So, as I said....a couple of nights ago....out of the blue, my grandma looked up and locked eyes with Eleanor.  Eleanor exclaimed, "MAGA!"  and grandma actually smiled...not just a slight smile, but a huge smile with her eyes absolutely lit up!  She said with a clear as day, "OH, goodness!"  and then she reached out her hand to touch Eleanor, and said "your face...." and then she spoke more words but we just couldn't understand.  She stayed enraptured with Eleanor and kept the smile on her face for her entire trip to the bathroom and back to bed.  And, was gone and she was sound asleep.

I don't know how to end this post other than to say that I am so glad that I have this written down.  I plan to make a family book of our blog eventually so that the children will actually have a keepsake to remember.  I am so thankful for the time that we have had with my grandmother...even down to the last days and minutes.

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