Friday, February 12, 2010

My last adventure with Grandma

It all started with a phone call from Jason (my sisters fieance) on Tuesday morning Feb 9th at 7:45. Jason had told me that Grandma was not doing well and Amy was calling into work to take the day off and go visit with her and for more details I should call JoAnn (my step mother). I called JoAnn and she told me how she was doing and then put me on the phone with her.
Christina: I love you Grandma
Grandma: the bad luck has started, I love you, Bruce and the boys.
Christina: I am going to come up and see you, do not know when I will get there but will get there as soon as I can.
Grandma: no, don't do that wait till it is over with you just had surgery and you have the two boys to take care of.
Christina: no, I am coming up! Take care and I will see you real soon.

So the frantic search had begun looking into getting a flight to Green Bay. In addition to that getting packed and Preston off to Pre-school. To make things worse there was a big snow storm and many flights were being canceled. So I took my chances of flying into Milwaukee (normally 1.5 hrs from green bay) and Delta did not have a connecting flight to Gb. I was worried that I would not even make it into Milwaukee and get redirected and stranded somewhere else so I did not purchase the flight from Milwaukee to GB thought that I would be able to when I got to Milwaukee. The flight ended up on time, even getting in 25 min early. Time then was 2:20 pm. Thought things were going good till I got to the ticket counter for Midwest (the airline that had flights to GB) and one seat was left and the cost was $416.00 crazy! So, I asked to check other airlines and they told me if I want to go from Milwaukee to Cinncinati to Chicago to GB, I could not risk being further away then I was. I asked them to go back and check on the one seat left and it had sold. So my next step was to check a rental car all but one company would allow me to rent a car and drop it off in GB. So I then looked into other ground transportation and greyhound bus line and they had canceled their route due to the weather. So the nice young man at the ground transportation spent an hr with me trying to help me find a way up to GB. In the end I decided on the Limo service company for $197.09 but with one cetch could not pick me up till 7pm. So I went and sat at a restaurant and ate for the first time that day (besides the cookies on the plane) and watched the plows clear the runways. At 6:45 Joe my wonderful driver came and picked me up. He was a wonderful older man married with children and grandchildren and also a very religous man. We talked the entire way when I was not on the phone. The service ended up giving me a free upgrade to an SUV so we would be safe on the trip to GB. And of course being the scrapper that I am had to take a photo of him (considering the crazy day I had). Joe had told me that earlier in the day he went out and measured how much snow had fallen in his driveway and it was already 10.5 inches. I think the time I got to Grandma was 10:45. She was awake.
Christina: HI Grandma!
Grandma: Christina! You should have waited till it was over!
Christina: well I am here now.
Off to sleep she went.
Rose (my aunt) and I talked for a bit and then she went to sleep next to Grandma and I went and laid on the sofa in the lounge. Could not sleep with the bright parking light shinning right into the window and the noise of the plow clearing the parking lot in addition to what was happening to Grandma. Rose was to leave about 6:15 am when her husband Dave was to pick her up on his was home from work. So I was the one who got to spend the am with Grandma. It was wonderful that I got to spend that time with her. She was on morphine to keep her from being in any pain so she did sleep allot. She would wake up from time to time and look around and sometimes say something and other times not but I did try to talk with her as much as I could when she did wake up. Here are a few of those times.
Christina: good morning Grandma
Grandma: good morning, thanks for coming all that way for me.
Christina: of course I will always be here for you when you need me, no where else I would rather be.
off to sleep....
Christina: I am right here Grandma!
Grandma: are the girls here?
Christina: no but they will be coming soon.
off to sleep....
Grandma: my slippers are slippery!
Christina: that is ok Grandma your not walking right now and you will not slip and fall. Your safe!
Judy and Rick stopped in on their way to work.
Sometimes when she would wake up I would ask her if she was in any pain or wanted more medicine or water. For the medicine she would say not yet. Most of the time when I asked her if she wanted water she would shake her head yes. I would give her some on the sponge.
Grandma: who are you? Are you a new nurse?
Christina: no, I am your granddaughter Christina
Grandma: I do not know you.
off to sleep....
Grandma: I am going to a better place
Christina: tell dad all about his grandboys! I love you!
off to sleep....
Grandma: were the boys upset that they didn't come with you?
Christina: James was already at school and when I dropped Preston off at school I told him I may not see him for a few days and he was ok with that.
off to sleep....
The decan stops by and she is asleep and he tried to wake her, with no luck. I went up to her on the other side and said "grandma you have a visitor" she opened her eyes and looked around and then seen him and she purked up and was happy he was there. I took that time to use the bathroom and get a cookie. When I came back in she was saying the our father with him and in the middle she said "I got lost lets start over" they did then she went on to say a hail mary, and 2 more sets of our father and hail mary's. At that time she was really struggleing and out of breath so I left the room again to get the nurse to see if she needed another dose of meds. Then went back to the room and Grandma asked for communion and the decan went to ask the nurse if she could have it and she could not. So he did the non host communion with her. She than was starting to drift off again and said "thank you Jesus and thank you decan" The decan told her he would be back later that day or the next morning and she was happy to hear he would come back again.
After the decan left the nurse came in the room and woke her up and told her that she needed to talk with her and ask her some questions. She asked Grandma if she was ready to stop taking her meds except the morphine and the anxioty med and grandma said "I think that would be best" and the nurse also told her that she would have to get a cath put in and Grandma the day before refused it and was now ok with it cause the nurse told her that if she didn't want to keep it in they would go ahead and take it back out. By this time she had stopped coughing and all the flem that she had always been able to cough up helped her lungs and when the nurse went to give her the meds this time grandma had lots of that flem and got that all out with the sponges and went on to give her the meds this time however they didn't add apple juice to it and so grandma didn' t want the suringe in her mouth at all and pushed it out with her tounge and the nurse tried again and this time she got it in her mouth but then grandma spit all the med out again. The nurse gave her another dose and told her that it would help her with her breathing and she kept it in. The nurse wanted to give the meds a few min to take affect beore the cath was put in. She asked for water again, I went to give her the sponge with water and she said "no, I want water!" So I looked over at the nurse and she said if she wants it she can have it. I gave her the straw and she took a big sip, then asked for another, then a third and then said "that tastes good" . I told her I brought the scrapbook I made of her and asked her if she wanted to see it and she did.
Grandma: bring it over to me
As I was flipping thru the pages we would talk about the pics and she would tell me a bit about them, where they were living at the time fo the photos and so on. When we got to the page that had a photo of her and Grandpa she said " I do not want that photo at the funeral, I want to wear that dress" she had been saying that the day before also. Twards the end of the book she drifted back to sleep again. That was the last time she was really alert while I was in the room. After that she would either open her eyes for a few seconds here and there or nod her head if the nurse asked her a question.

To be continued....

Monday, February 8, 2010

more layouts

These layouts were done at the retreat I went to in November.

Many, many, many layouts

Here are 42 of the 43 layouts that I did at my last retreat in January 2010. Hope you enjoy!