On to Skilled Nursing

It has been a busy time and yet a slow time. Mom, my 96 year old grandmother, has been in the hospital almost 2 weeks. She has been very, very sick, but is making progress. The intestinal blockage has resolved itself and is no longer an issue. She is still receiving liquid food through the NG tube to catch her up nutritionally. Mom is having less pain and is no longer on morphine. Her blood pressure continues to be on the low side and her heart is under some stress. I see her doing things and not doing things which bring back memories of the time when my mother’s body was gradually shutting down. She is sleeping with her mouth open and her jaw in the dropped position. Her fine motor skills are becoming less and less refined. Though her mind is still very sharp and her eyes very expressive, she seems to be losing ground verbally. Part of that is due to the tube down her throat, but I think it is also partially due to the ‘shutting down’ process. She seems to have less and less to say even though physically she is doing better.

The doctor prescribed a clear liquid diet for her and so we are working on being thankful, not that she has beef broth or chicken broth to eat, but rather being thankful that she can eat at all. Tomorrow she will be moved to a skilled nursing center. This is a good choice because it is going to give her the opportunity to get therapy and gain strength before we decide on the next step for her, that of going to a nursing home or going home.

She continues to wink, grin, and make her eyes sparkle at every nurse that comes in our room. She says ‘Thank you’ for every pill, shot, bed bath, and posterior wiping she has received. Yesterday I saw a couple of tears in her eyes for the first time. I talked to her about how strong she had been and that it would really be alright if she cried. I asked her if she had been afraid as she endured all the pain of the illness, the pain of all the procedures and the pain of just being in bed. She said that she had not been afraid at all. She just ‘asked the Lord to be with me and He has been”.  Such an amazing woman.

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