Not My Grandma Anymore

A Crazy and Wild Roller Coaster

One of the hardest things about this situation is that she just isn’t my grandma anymore. With the dementia symptoms increasing and the different drugs they’ve put her on, she has gotten worse and become different.

They stopped the treatment she had before all this started, so those symptoms are just not being dealt with.  

The doctors and nurses are convinced that her dementia is so bad and all they can offer are drugs. Every time we call about symptom management their response is, “Have you given her the drugs?”

She reacts so badly to some of them that we have angered everyone by fighting against using them. But our persistence finally got through, and they were able to prescribe something that she responds ok to. At least for a short time. Drugs never last long once tolerance builds up. 

And I’m scared that the usage of drugs has just compounded problems. She has more lucid moments than they want to believe. They think we don’t know what we’re talking about. But we know her.

But, that’s all they can offer.

We’re looking into discontinuing them and trying to go back to her previous treatment. We haven’t even been allowed to speak to her doctor about finding the appropriate treatment. What if they’re wrong? It could be dementia…or drugs…or a third factor…or the treatment she needs that they refuse to give her…or maybe a combo platter…

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

And aside from that, her handicap just makes me cry. I saw her emaciated body today when the aid was cleaning her. This was the first time I saw her whole body and she looks like a starving Ethiopian, minus the bloated belly. She’s so bony. And she has no muscle tone in her legs or arms. She’s not starving though. It’s just the result of being left in a bed for too long. That’s what happens when the elderly don’t receive the proper care they need.

We were speaking to my grandma’s neighbor yesterday and found out that his wife’s mother was abused at the exact same nursing home my grandma was at. So, it’s not just us who had a bad experience with them.

I wish there was something that could be done before they harm more people.

Getting Better in Hospice

I’ve been told that people can improve in Hospice. I got confused one night because she actually stood for 3 seconds. And I got scared and wondered if we weren’t listening to God.

Can she get better?

Should we be trying to exercise her?

I figured there was no hope since she was in a Rehabilitation center for weeks where they weren’t able to exercise her. And that’s where she was when Hospice accepted her. 

So, I wasn’t expecting it. There was one night when she tried for a whole hour to stand. She thought she was just too afraid so she persisted. And for the whole hour she didn’t give up. Until she finally got so tired she was forced to quit trying. I had prayed over her earlier that day because I kept feeling confused about the situation. And I guess she heard my prayer and tried to stand up in faith. 

But no. After I saw her body today, I am convinced that she will never walk again. She’s too old and too tired. Nine years ago she had to go through some rehab physical therapy. With the physical therapist and her daughter on her daily, she recovered and regained her strength in about three months. It was almost impossible for her then, but she did it.

Now, there’s just no way she can do it.  

Waiting for God’s Timing

I don’t know how much longer God is going to make her wait before He let’s her rest in peace. He’s taken so much from her. Her ability to walk. Her mind. Her protection from drugs. Her enjoyment of truly living. Most of her family.

She still has life in her. I’ve always said that she’s got a lot of Qi…more than people in their 30’s. And she’s still got that Qi, because I don’t think it’s actually her time to go. But everything has been taken from her. All that’s left at this point is the breath of life. 

And she’s ready to go rest with Jesus and her husband. It breaks my heart every time she cries out to God, asking why he won’t just take her. If you’re reading this, I ask that you keep my grandmother in your prayers. Whatever God’s will is for her. I don’t even know if God wants her in a facility, but just in case, here’s her GoFundMe.

The Point of my Current Blog Focus

Living in a Surreality

Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 1943 – I chose this surreal painting because it’s about confrontation.

Since the Winter Storm on Feb. 15, my life has been completely taken over by crisis after crisis. We lost power and running water for over a month. I didn’t complain. I was just happy that we had somewhere safe and close to go.

Then Feb. 18, my grandma had to evacuate when she lost her power. When our power finally came on, we saw that we had extensive pipe damage. And we couldn’t even get an appointment for 3 weeks.

Same thing at my grandma’s. The nursing home was determined to get rid of her, even though her insurance covered 90 days, which she did not get. We tried to appeal it since she still didn’t have water and we had to wait for the plumbers to be available.

We lost the appeal

The day she was going to be returned to us, the social worker at the rehab center yelled at us for not getting the plumbing done. She ended up calling the company and that morning we got it fixed.

Now, my life has completely stopped to take care of my grandma. When she came home she was so bad off that I thought she’d be dead in a week. We said our goodbyes and we helped her come to terms with what was happening. By the time our 5 day respite care arrived, we figured she’d die in their care. Especially, since they were very insistent on using black box labeled drugs.

But she’s still not dead. It’s just dragging on. And we can’t help but give life. We have life giving energy. So, she’s just trapped in a mind and a body that don’t work. And I can’t keep putting my life on hold. But I’m exhausted and I can’t find the concentration to work on art or anything productive like that.

Caregiving

I’m not actually a caregiver. I’m her granddaughter. But I have been forced into a situation where I am an untrained and unpaid Hospice worker. And it’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves. At first, I didn’t. I neglected myself, especially since she required so much care at first. Things have settled down a bit and she’s aware that we need to live our lives too. And she tries to let us.

That’s why I’m focusing on the GoFundMe Fundraiser. And I thought that maybe I could use my blog to help with that and possibly provide something productive. So, that’s what I’m gonna try to do.