Sixteen days ago, I thought Gran was faking being sick in order to make meats home from work to take her to the doctor. I called her doctor, and they suggested I take her to the ER. Her blood pressure was dangerously low, so they admitted her. That was a Wednesday evening. She was progressing well on Thursday, so we planned to discharge her to a rehab facility on Friday. That’s when all hell broke loose. She snapped, and totally lost herself. She punched a nurse, threatened to kill me, and cussed anyone within ear shot. They had to sedate her to keep her calm, and because of her behavior she couldn’t go to NHC. Friday and Saturday, I was pretty sure she was dying. She was totally gone. She didn’t know who she was, who I was, where she was, what date it was, anything. She could really barely talk at all. She couldn’t sit or stand, she couldn’t even feed herself. The only lucid thing she said in those 36-60 hours was, “Sunday is Mother’s Day, I want to go home so I can go to the graveyard and see Pam (my deceased mother, her daughter).” Then, on Sunday, she was back in the world. She had a little more strength and certainly knew what was going on. On Monday, she was discharged to NHC. Even at that time, it didn’t appear that Gran would ever be able to come back home to live with us. But, God once again had another plan…..
I can’t say enough about NHC Franklin. For one, I was blessed to have a friend of mine doing Gran’s Physical Therapy. I didn’t even know she worked at that facility. But, to have someone who knows us and knows our situation was a huge blessing. She had round the clock care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and companionship with “people like her”. I’m pretty sure they missed the part that Gran was on a cardiac, diabetic diet; because, she talked about how good the food was every day. They gradually worked with her on gaining her strength and balance. The biggest concern of mine was having her to be able to get around the house by herself. Even though she lives with us, she is home alone a good 6-8 hours during the day. I just can’t be worried about her falling and me not knowing. The last 3 days, I couldn’t believe the strides she was taking. Less than 10 days before, she couldn’t even lift a fork to her mouth, and now she is walking 100 feet unassisted while curling weights. Granted, they’re like 2 pound weights, but still. She hasn’t been able to exert that much strength in months, maybe a year…. And, mentally, she is totally with it. She’s told me about 500 times to get her an appointment to get her hair done. But, I think that has less to do with her forgetting that she has already told me that, and more to do with that she is going to ride my tail until I give her what she wants. She’s very similar to the parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18.
So, we checked out of NHC this morning and came home. All the staff were loving on her, talking about what an amazing patient she was, and talking about how much they would miss her next week. It’s amazing what one can do when they want to be granted parole. She was home by herself all day today. From the looks of things, she even cooked some lunch. I don’t know that she has operated my stove more than 3 times the whole time she has lived with us. When the kids got home from school, they ran right up to her and gave her a big hug and told her how much they had missed her. I’m pretty sure this made her month. It’s no secret Gran and LK aren’t BFF’s, but they hugged and kissed, and both seemed genuinely happy to see each other. It blessed this mama’s heart like no other.
I don’t know how long we’ll have happy, healthy, mentally stable Grandmother with us. But, for now I am counting my many blessings that she is back and our life has resumed our crazy version of normal.