It all started on Monday....my grandma had taken a turn for the worse and even though we knew that she was going through the dying process, and wasn't eating or drinking much at all, by Sunday/Monday she completely stopped taking any food or drink whatsoever.
I am so glad that we did because we were able to get pictures of her with Eleanor. And, there were a couple of times that grandma reached out to hold my hand.
By Monday, it was different and I knew it was time. The nursing home could use meds and hospice care to keep her comfortable if she needed it in the last moments. And, I was concerned about how much it would affect the children to go through the sheriff and coroner etc coming out to the house.
So, my grandma was moved via medical transport on Monday afternoon. She was virtually non-responsive but was incredibly peaceful and didn't seem to be affected at all when moved to the gurney. The men that transported her were big, kind teddy bears.
I had really expected to feel a sense of relief....a lifting of responsibility so to speak. It has been difficult over the last eight months to always have someone at home with grandma. I had thought that the increased freedom and ability to be able to go places together as a family once again, would feel so good.
Later that evening, I dissolved into tears when talking with my husband and explained to him that I didn't care about the freedom as much as I had thought. I just flat out missed my grandma! And, I kept having panicky feelings of "Oh my gosh!!! I haven't fed grandma!" the rest of the evening and it is still continuing now.
The very next morning, the phone rang very early....and I knew.
It was my mom, and she stated that the nursing home had called to tell them that they might want to come earlier because grandma's breathing was becoming labored and they didn't think she had very long.
I really didn't want to go.......it just seemed so overwhelming and difficult. I had a full day of doctor appts, haircuts, and notarizing of documents that would have been an easy excuse. But, I found myself getting a resolve to face it and I numbly grabbed my clothes.
It wasn't long before the phone rang again....and I knew.
My grandmother passed away very peacefully early Tuesday morning-June 7th, 2011 at 90 years of age and eight months.
I absolutely was not prepared for how sad I would feel. I know, it seems obvious! But, I had fooled myself into thinking that since she was really elderly, has had debilitating dementia for years, was losing the ability to swallow, and was going to be able to return to be with Heavenly Father as well as her husband and child....that it would be a good thing....something to celebrate.
I didn't feel at all like celebrating. I felt sad. And, I felt like I wanted to go get her favorite ice cream and see her grateful expression. I wanted to see her face light up when she saw Eleanor. I wanted to hear her call Eleanor "sweet" and "precious" or even call her "spunky" in the middle of one of Eleanor's tantrums. I wanted to still have a grandma.
Good reasoning would suggest that I should have cancelled all appts for that day and just taken it easy. But, I was worried about all that we still have to do and I hate the feeling as it all piles up.
So, we left for our hour drive to the doctor's office. Four of my children were getting shots. Robertson was the only one that still needed his chicken pox shot. I had wanted for him to get the actual disease rather than the shot due to my concerns of how potentially ineffective the varicella vaccine is (3 of my children had the shot and all three got chicken pox anyway) And, I know the risk goes up the older you are when you get the illness.
With trepidation, I went ahead and had Robertson get the shot. We didn't get our usual nurse who is great, but instead had someone that gave a bit too much warning and was very
S L O W with the injecting. It hurt, and Robertson panicked and jerked, causing the needle to jab in and out of his arm.
I treated the children to a nice lunch at Fresh Choice and I got my hair cut. I hadn't cut my hair in about six months...to the point that the only way I could "style" my hair was not to....and just to let it frizz and be curly. It was definitely time.
Afterwards, I had to get my medical report notarized. Anyone that is reading this that is planning to adopt....*don't* do important forms on a day that you are harried and grieving! Bad idea! I think I made every mistake...I didn't sign using my middle name, I didn't obtain three original copies from the doctor, I didn't make sure that the form stayed to one page, I didn't spell out the month....It sounds like I will need to start over. <SIGH>
I got back into the car from the notary and Mary informed me that she thought Robertson had a fever. I touched his head and he was on fire. I'm pretty good at this point at telling the temp by touch and I would guess that he was about 103 degrees.
I wasn't too terribly concerned because it is somewhat normal to run a fever after receiving shots so we ran to the store, got him some children's advil, and started on our drive home.
That evening I found spots....yep....chicken pox! It was unmistakable. This is how it started out...
Robertson spent a night of high fever (every time the pain meds wore off) and tooth pain. Yep, tooth pain! He also has a cavity that I knew about but that wasn't giving him any trouble....until Tuesday. Of course! I had hoped that he would just lose the tooth because it is due to be wiggly at any time.
I made an appt with the doctor first. The earliest appt was late in the afternoon which meant that I would have to miss my husband's police academy grad dinner. <big sigh of disappointment>
We drove an hour to the doctors. She started out with saying that it was just a "rash" that looked kind of like chicken pox. She stated that the vaccine could not have caused it. I mentioned that there had been some suspicion that Emily had gotten shingles but the test had come back negative.
The doctor jumped on that and said that Emily had for sure had shingles and that Robertson did indeed have full blown chicken pox (not just a rash...gee, what does mom know) and that it was pure coincidence that he had just had the chicken pox immunization.
Since Robertson was deemed to have chicken pox she said that he would need to be in isolation and would not be able to attend his dad's graduation the next day....nor could he likely see a dentist.
AND, his pain meds were rapidly wearing off which meant the return of his fever and intense tooth pain.
I had to run to the store because my husband's family were coming from out of town in order to be at Robert's graduation the following day. I called my husband to pick up Robertson's pain med prescription (tylenol/codeine) and planned to shop quickly with Emily and Robertson staying in the van.
Robertson was completely and totally miserable. I couldn't give him any pain meds or he wouldn't be able to take the stronger prescription meds that he truly needed....especially since the regular tylenol wasn't helping.
He was curled up in the fetal position with tears welling up in his eyes. I told Robertson that I would run as fast as I could through the grocery store and that I would get him anything he wanted....absolutely ANYTHING! I named off a bunch of different treats such as ice cream, cookies, or smoothie....no response. He just stayed curled up...a ball of misery. Finally a tiny voice emerged from his barely parted lips that said, "Could I have a teddy bear?"
I was determined right then and there that there WOULD be a teddy bear in that store or I would make one with my own two hands!!!!
There was a teddy bear AND he was stuffed with lavendar and could be heated or chilled for comfort. Thank you Heavenly Father!!!!!
The next day, was Thursday and I had to go to my volunteer job first thing that morning and race home in time for us to attend my husband's very well earned police academy graduation ceremony. (I know I should have cancelled...but I had been ill the week before and felt I should not miss two weeks in a row)
The children were not ready when I returned home. It was good that my husband's parents and sister were there or I would have read the children the riot act! We rushed and grabbed what we needed and somehow found all of the shoes that seemed to be hiding from us and jumped in the van.....later than we were supposed to be but still within the realm of being on time. <PHEW>
We dropped the baby and Robertson off with my mom....thank you mom!!!!! She offered since Robertson was not allowed to attend. And, I knew that Eleanor would never make it peacefully through the two hour ceremony.
We made it in time to see him just prior to the ceremony
Here are his very proud daughters and built in fan club!
Robert and his brother, sister, and parents:
My absolute favorite: (I just love these two hams!)
Part of our family...I wish everyone could have been there!
All the dads! (Robert's father, Robert, and my dad)
So, I'm almost done with the week but not quite!!!
Friday morning was our homestudy visit. We rushed around and cleaned and straightened and worried about things that were truly unimportant such as stubborn streaks on a mirror. My sister in law reassured me that she seriously doubted that they would refuse to allow a family to adopt based on their streaky mirrors! But then she came down to my level of hysteria and offered that we could just have the social worker sit on a certain couch so that her back would be to the mirror! LOL!!! I was so thankful for her sense of humor!
I think it went well....no problems were mentioned. I felt horrible for the social worker though.
Mainly the local folks will understand this fully but....the social worker is from the city of San Francisco. She drove via mapquest directions that took her through Hahn road and then to Sycamore Slough. YIKES! Especially for someone that is not used to the country!
For those of you that haven't had the pleasure of being on those wonderful back roads....it has to be the most trashed and torn up, windy, bumpy, L O N G road ever...you feel like you will never come out the other side!
So, when she left, we sent her out on the highway and I'm sure she appreciated the simple and straight road home.
The week from you know where has come to a close.
Robertson is doing much better. Here is his healing chicken pox picture:
Here is his get well box that his dad brought home:
AND, even more important, Robert found temporary tooth fillings at the pharmacy and Robertson's tooth pain is gone!
Now, on to welcoming Corinna home tonight, who is coming home for the first time since she headed off to boot camp. Hooray! She has been missed!
And, two of my girls have birthdays tomorrow....
And, I need to finish up my grandma's slide show for the funeral.
Did I mention that this week was complete!?!