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YAGU™

For those new to my journal since the last YAGU™ post: YAGU = Yet Another Grandparent Update. My maternal grandmother fell ill and had a series of serious medical problems in 2003 and I did updates on my journal to keep family and friends updated on her condition.

I haven't felt the need/desire to post in a while, because it's mostly been status quo. But lately, the quo is dropping. Nanny is a dead weight at this point. She is almost completely unable to use her legs, so getting her into and out of her wheelchair or the bed is getting progressively harder, and neither Granddaddy nor my mother is able to handle her, even together. They took her to the doctor last week and he did a CAT scan on her head and did some other tests to see if we could narrow down what her problem is.

The results are back: it's not a stroke—there was no appreciable difference in her head, and a stroke would definitely leave some trace. She does have a raging UTI, though. When she was in the second nursing home a couple of years back, I recall trying to help her eat and she couldn't hold the silverware, and I realized something was just wrong, so I called the nurse and we discovered she had a raging UTI. So we're hoping that the UTI is the reason for her rapid and sudden decline.

She sleeps most of the day, now, and seldom interacts with anyone. If you speak directly to her, she will sometimes respond, especially if it was Granddaddy and he said something that pissed her off. She still has quite the tongue when she's inspired to show it.

Speaking of Granddaddy: he is convinced that Nanny is purposefully not helping herself, and that she's perfectly capable of using her legs, but just won't, so he's getting more and more cross with her, and handling her more roughly. She's covered in bruises. (Let me be perfectly clear, here: he is not hitting her or anything of the sort; he is having to literally man-handle her out of bed, onto the toilet, and into her chair (and vice-versa). He's 95 and she's 93. He's always been strong as a horse, but as he's aged, he's gotten frailer, too, but he will not admit it. So he just gets rougher trying to move her around.) My mother can't handle her and they have both dropped her a couple of times. My mother finally convinced him that it was time to get outside help just to move her around. He has done so, but we don't know how long that will last. He's so stingy when it comes to money that he'd rather drop her and fall on top of her than pay someone to do it safely.

Speaking of falling, he's doing it a lot, these days. He fell in the bedroom and narrowly missed cracking his skull open, breaking his back, or other dire consequences. He used a cane for a few weeks because his leg hurt when he hit the bench in the bedroom.

No, he's not rational. It's time for her to go back to the nursing home, but he won't even entertain the notion because it costs too much money.

He's getting more and more belligerent. He can't hear at all. So the nurse at the doctor's office the other day beckoned my mother to come closer so she could tell her something, and as she edged in so she could hear, Granddaddy shoved her out of the way. They had a little scene right there in the doctor's office.

I've brought up Assisted Living a couple of times, but he won't even hear it. He's absolutely convinced that he and only he can take care of her, and it has to be in their house and on his terms.

I'm not in the mood to hear "commit him" or "have him declared unfit" either, so please don't suggest it. You don't live it; my mother does. Those options would be untenable for reasons it would take me pages to explain, and I don't have the desire. I don't see them often at all, now, because of life and gas prices and general avoidance. The only thing I can really do is offer suggestions and offer moral and emotional support for my mother and try to keep her from sinking into a deeper depression over the whole thing. She pretty much can't stand Granddaddy (her father), and he can't seem to stand her, either, because she won't give up her life, move in with them, and thereby give him a chance to do whatever he wants while she stays home with Nanny. He resents that she takes time to visit friends and do a little part-time work at the local paper. He's nasty about it. He tells people around town (it's a small town) that my mother is loaded with money and refuses to help out; that she doesn't seem to care much for her mother, etc. He also lies to our relatives up in Arkansas about my mother and she's tired of having to set it straight when they call and ask questions in that cold tone. She has a couple of allies that have caught on that he's telling tales, but....well, we don't see them, ever, anyway, so what does it matter?

Frankly, I don't like to be around Granddaddy, either (see "avoidance" above). I'm the only one he's not nasty to, but he and I have had our little confrontations, as well.

<sigh> Trouble is brewing. I don't know where all this is leading, but it's not to any place good. Someone's going to end up in the hospital, and it's a toss-up whether it'll be Nanny, Granddaddy, or my mother.

Nanny's doctor told my mother that she should feel free to call Hospice any time she wants to. Translation: he doesn't think Nanny has much longer. But she's a tough old bird, and we've heard that before. Several times. And in spite of Dr. Miller's repeated attempts at murder, she survived. So we'll see.

I hate to be a downer on your friends list (hence the cut and the warning), but I felt the need to report since I realized I very seldom talk about it anymore, here. It just drains me, so I avoid it. Just typing this made my blood pressure go up and I feel a headache starting. And I never get headaches.

Actually, I'm turning off comments. I didn't post this to get sympathy or suggestions, however well-meaning they may be. Just to report.

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