Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Family

I have to apologize for not making an entry yesterday, but I have a good reason. But I want the 5 of you that read this to know that I really do appreciate you and don't want to slight you any randomness that crosses my mind. I wasn't funny or cynical or especially sarcastic yesterday. I may not be today. For one, I was sick. My stomach was upset and I had major vertigo. Hard to type on moving keys. And I swear, I had not been drinking. I'm a little better today. The world is not spinning so I can deal with the spiny urchin that appears to have taken up residence in my stomach. It's really not that bad, I'm exaggerating for effect. But that really wasn't the biggest reason I didn't make an entry. I could have griped and moaned and acted pathetic so you would feel sorry for me. Although the sympathy is nice, I really don't need it.

Shortly after I got home, my mother called. She was telling me that they are transferring my granddad from one hospital to another for a biopsy. My granddad has been sick for some time now. He had a bad fall Memorial Day weekend and nothing has been right since. He spent the summer going between hospital rooms and a nursing home. We all really thought he was doing better though. Last Friday, he got to go home. The summer's ordeal has left him weak, but he has been going through rehabilitation and could get around to a limited degree. Although nervous, we were all glad to see him get to be home. On Saturday, he was in so much pain that they called the ambulance. In the ER, they discovered that he has three compression fractures in his spine. There is a nifty sounding procedure for that involving a balloon and cement. If it works, it should give him immediate pain relief. In the work-up for that, they found a couple of spots in his liver that they fear could be cancer. The big scary C word. They transferred him to another hospital to do a biopsy. The frightening part about it is that he has grown so weak that just putting him under the anesthesia is a major risk. There is a definite possibility that he will not wake up. They have signed a Do Not Resuscitate order. Everyone is in agreement that it is time. So we spent the afternoon to evening with the rest of my family in the hospital.

Granddad still has his sense of humor. Without that, what do we have left? He made jokes with the doctor and all of us. He can't wear his teeth right now and is hard of hearing, so he is very difficult to understand. He's glad to have all of us around. He may be having hallucinations, but he still has hit wit.

He has a really great doctor. This guy had really done his homework and studied Granddad's records before he arrived. He has phenomenal bedside manner. He welcomed all of us into the hospital room and talked to all of us. He didn't make us go away while he talked to Granddad and asked him all the medical history questions. When he started that, Granddad smarted off to him saying that he had all the records, he didn't need to ask. Said with a smile. The doctor laughed along with us. The doctor said to Granddad, "As long as you are here, you are Dad to me. And I will treat you that way." He also told him that he may be the captain of this ship, but God is the admiral and whatever happens, God is the one running the show. Then he joined hands with all of us and prayed. He signed the form saying that it is a medical necessity for Granddad to have a private room. He let all of us ask questions and talked frankly with us. He told us what he knows and what he does not know. He said that if we needed to talk to him, to leave a note on Granddad's chart. He told us that he would rather give no information than wrong information, so he would call when he was sitting in front of the chart. I was so very impressed. This doctor helped with a lot of stress for all of us. It was very emotional and everyone cried. He asked Granddad that if God were to call him home whether or not Granddad wanted the doctor to try and bring him back. Granddad very clearly said no. We know the time we have left is likely short. It is wonderful that God sent us a doctor that will handle it with such sensitivity, dignity and respect.

I heard from my mother today. They will not be doing the biopsy until tomorrow. The doctor thinks that Granddad may have double pneumonia. Since Granddad has refused a feeding tube, if he's got it, there really isn't anything they can do. We hope the prognosis is better, but that's in God's hands.

It's just not in me to rant about current events or just stream random thoughts. Please bear with me. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming soon.

Update: He can't swallow. Not water or pudding. They are deciding now whether or not to do the back surgery. Realistically, there wouldn't be much point. They probably will not do the biopsy. They are making arrangements with hospice to make him comfortable

10 comments:

ppearson said...

I am sending you my prayers for you and your Cowboy Grandpa. ~ppearson

Anonymous said...

Oh Jennifer, I had hoped for a more positive update. My prayers are with you & yours. Amanda

Jennifer said...

Thank you. They are doing another swallow test today, this time under an x-ray. Maybe they can figure out why he can't swallow. Hopefully there is something they can do. We met with the hospice representative last night. We've worked with him twice before so he already has a relationship with the family. It's nice to have someone we already trust.

Terri said...

Jennifer, as always, you and your family are in my prayers. Remember,like the doctor said God is the admiral and what is His plan is what is going to happen. Love Terri

Rubia said...

Jennifer, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather, especially when he seemed to be doing better during the summer. But how wonderful for him to have all his family around and to have such caring professionals to help. You're in my prayers and thoughts.

Lioness said...

You writing had me crying at my desk at work. I have to say you are very blessed to have such a wonderful doctor come to help take care of your GrandDad and ease his many issues and possible passing. Many hugs and prayers to you and your family at this trying time. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. (from Karin in Alameda, CA)

Jennifer said...

Well they did go ahead with the biopsy. He came through fine. He has been sleeping all afternoon. They put off the next swallow test until tomorrow. Hopefully we will have the results of the biopsy then as well

Anonymous said...

Jennifer,
You, your Grandpa & your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sara (Booger And Mercury's Mama)

Anonymous said...

Like a 2 edged sword, God's word can cut us free from life's struggles. May you and your family find faith, hope, and peace in these scriptures. Pslm 42:11, Nahum 1:7, Pslm 32:7, Pslm 73:26, Pslm 18:2, Jer 17:14,1 Peter 2:24,Pslm 46:1,2, Prov 3:5,6.I will pray for you.Love B

Anonymous said...

Jenni, I am sorry to hear this. I will keep you and your family in our prayers. Shalah