Thursday, April 15, 2010

Great Granddaddy

Grandaddy, Grandmother, me, Jason, Mom & Dad- at our wedding October 2006
(These are my Dad's grandparents)

I'm headed to Denton, TX with my sister today- our Great Grandfather passed away on Tuesday. (I think he was 95). We will meet up with my parents and TONS of other family there for the visitation and service.

My mom & dad went Easter weekend to visit them- here's an excerpt from my mom's post trip email - April 5th:

Just to check in about our trip to see Grandmother and Granddaddy:
We spent most of Saturday w/ Grandmother. it's kind of funny, but it's kind of like a mark of status at the Retirement Home to have guests at your table in the dining room. She was walking around introducing us to all her usual table mates. Saturday afternoon we all went to the Rehab Center to visit Granddaddy. He is staying a nice place, no funny/horrible nursing home smell. Very clean and well run place. He was in bed when we arrived, completely groggy. Not sure, but was possibly drug induced. We couldn't seem to connect w/ him in any meaningful way by usual conversation or hand holding. So, I asked Grandmother if he had some favorite songs and ended up singing to him for about the next 20 minutes, hymns that he loves. Well, his whole presence changed, his color improved, his hands warmed up, his eyes started to focus and he started to crack just a tiny bit of a smile at the end of one of the songs. He was finally "there". So we ended up having a good visit.
Granddaddy has been on the rehab wing since his admission to the facility about 2 months ago....recovering from a terrible episode of back pain. However his rehab days allotted by medicare have come to an end and he will be moved to another wing today.....which is more geared towards long term care and maintenance. He doesn't seem to be in the terrible pain now, but it's been good for the staff to get him up and into his wheelchair to sit for part of each day. I'm thinking he might be spending more time in bed from here on out. They are managing his moods and behavior via medication and so he has had some undesirable side-effects develop, which involve involuntary movements of his limbs and facial muscles. I hope these are not permanent. Some of the medications are being discontinued due to these side-effects. Others are being tried. The prevailing "wisdom" of the day in nursing care is not to rely so much on literal physical restraints to manage undesirable behaviors, (since the part of the brain that manages impulsive behaviours seems to be less functional and every idea seems good at the moment) ...but chemical restraints and medication to manage the patients are thought to be more desirable. .....So, hence we come in for a visit and find Granddaddy unable to be alert or awake very much at all., It's very tough.
Grandmother however seems to be alright most of the time. Although she did break down and cry during Easter Service when the congregation sang Granddaddy's favorite hymn "He Lives!" realizing that this was the first time he wasn't beside her in church to sing it. Even the worship leader, seeing Grandmother cry, began to sympathize with her and could barely struggle through to the end of what is normally meant to be a joyful and triumphant song celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord. I thought the worship leader was going to end up in tears.

1 comment:

~Amy said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. Praying for your family.

Oh, and Geez, your hubby is really tall!