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Grandmothers, mothers & daughters

Oct 01, 2009 - 3 comments

My 98 year old grandmother has been hospitalized for the past 3 weeks. Until then she had been physically capable of managing her own apartment, her own meals, daily care, quite astute, all her marbles and faculties in place.
She took to her bed. That sounds like such an old fashioned phrase, something that Sylvia Plath would do. She took to her bed and wanted nothing more than to sleep. She was barely eating, drinking, conversing or much of anything. She started to be confused about who people were or who had come by to visit or who had stayed the night or what had been said during conversations.
She told us recently that she wanted to move into a seniors Lodge, where meals would be prepared for her and there would be more socialization, even bingo and music. She's always loved music and singing and be a strong supporter of any of the grandchildren persuing voice, instruments or dance.  She was disappointed that there would be a four to five month wait.
The family started a 24/7 stay with her for about 10 days until her physician requested that we take her to hospital. By this point, she had become delusional, confused and disoriented. It's heartbreaking to see her, every time I leave the hospital, I sob all the way home trying to control my tears before I hit the front door so as not to upset my own children. I want to shield them from this pain, they are too young to deal with death, death of someone that they hold so dear, too young to see someone deteriorate to the point that she would not recognize them.
So nightly, or almost nightly, I go to the hospital and massage her feet and legs with rich lotion. She'll moan and say it feels good. I can feel the sinewy muscles relax over frail bones and her breathing relax deeper in her abdomen. She might say "L brought me up this lotion" and I'll whisper..."I am L" and she'll say "Of course you are".
My own mother is made of a different bolt of cloth. She tries to fix everything. She tries to correct every mis-statement her mother makes, tries to redirect ever delusion, every error of who was there and who said what. She thinks that if she does this, everything will return to its rightful order.  She has attempted the same thing with me and my bipolar disorder since I was diagnosed....if you just did this, if you just did that, you would be fine.  She is incapable of just rubbing my feet and letting me breathe deeply.


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784382 tn?1376931040
by turkee23, Oct 01, 2009
im so sorry ... i knwo how you feel.... my grandma was the same way ....drove her self to the store,went shopping, took the dog out... and then just came that day that she feel sick.... 2 weeks later she was gone.... it was heart breaking for me to be hanging out with my grandma and then they next day at the hospital with a tube down her throat and she couldnt speak, or look at us most of the time... nothing.... i would hold her hand and say " gram hurry up and get better, me and daisy(the dog) are waiting for you"... i would tell her " if you can hear me squeeze my hand", and let me tell you she squeezed. and when she did look at me, i felt so so bad, hurt, helpless, upset, angry at myself that i couldnt help her. and even to this day i kick myself thinking i should did more, even tho i know there was nothin that would have prevented this..... its been almost a year and my throat closes up and the tears still flow everytime i think about her....see an older lady... im sorry you have to go thru this....its never easy. .... try and stay strong....i know its HARD

uggggggggggggggggggggggg im here crying my eyes out just typing this.....i miss you gram ....so much

614508 tn?1265281722
by edmfender, Oct 01, 2009
Turkee23,
I am so sorry for your loss...it is so difficult as grandchildren, grand daughters especially when the matriarch of the family has been so influential on us in so many ways. My gram taught me how to sew, how to cook, how to jitterbug (LOL), how to garden, how to sing harmony (I sing in a band), how to get what you want without yelling, took me to Doctor & dentists appointments, went to church with me, lent me her wedding ring on my wedding day and so much more. My Gram sewed every dance costume I ever wore, most of the costumes my students wore, never missed a recital, competition, just this spring came to a scuzzy bar to hear me and my band play. She has always had a positive word of "you were fantastic, you sounded great, you should have won,etc" My own Mom, being a single working mom preferred comments like "you didn't try hard enough, not enough practice, she was better than you, well...it sounded okay"
Today, when I'm about to hit the stage, you can guess which voice I try and will into my head. When she's gone, when shes finally at peace, who will tell me that I'm good enough?
I too, am crying my eyes out...does this stop after 3 weeks? Can it stop before I go to the hospital later today?

784382 tn?1376931040
by turkee23, Oct 01, 2009
im sorry , guess we are sorta ion the same page here..... *****.... be there for her, as you will regret not going bacuse your to tired or whatever the case may be..... she knows you love her as did my grandma and i know she is still here with me, watching over me .....and yours will be there telling you "that you sang beautifully"...... it was great talking to you ....xox keep your head up

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