Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Feisty and Very Beloved Mrs. D. (1914-2006)

My Grandma passed away at 2 a.m. this morning.

I said earlier that my grandmother was fiesty and tenacious. She was like this to the very end. I can say, especially as a bipolar - an illness that many copout of life on - that she left me the very best example of what it was to live life. And how to leave it.

It was not easy, the things she went through. She really lost the life she knew about ten or less years ago when her husband died and we uprooted her to live with us. She broke a hip and that started the less mobility and hating to be confined because of it mostly to her room here. Hip replacement. Somehow at that point they realized she had dementia. Now living in the nursing home, the CNA's did not listen when she told them her leg was cold and waaay too much time went by before it was dealt with. CNA's lied to my mother and told her the Dr. was called already, when in fact it took another 48 hours. Grandma had blood clots in her leg. My mother was given two choices: Grandma's leg or her life.

So, leg now amputated below the left knee with dementia and an already having a fiesty personality, she could be sweet or an occasional terror on the hall. She still played her keyboard, watched lots of Animal Planet and loved seeing us and our dogs. That lasted awhile. She was lonely and depressed but she kept going.

She had a sort of mini-stroke about a month ago. Speaking was so difficult and it frustrated her to no end. I would listen close and look right in her eyes and sometimes I could understand her. We would both be happy when that happened. The speech difficulty was a tongue difficulty and they had her on this awful nectarized diet where everything was gooshy and frankly, gross. I assume mostly that she was not eating much because she did not like it or merely out of protest. So they tested her, I went to this farce where I was supposed to get to help her. Instead they put me behind a plate glass window where she couldn't even hear me. THAT made me mad, but to have two 25-year-olds (the speech therapist and the radiology tester) immediately decide that she MUST have a gastro tube (stomach tube) inserted really meant the end of everything. They whisked her off, inserted it, took her back to the nursing home. She kept trying to get out of that bed! They medicated her, thinking she would stop, but NOTHING would keep her from wanting out, either into her wheelchair or somewhere.

My last time seeing her was after the gastro tube was in. I would sit by the bed trying to keep her leg in! Never have you seen a person try so hard, I'm talking about her! I went to her other room (she was just in that one for skilled care after the operation) and brought her pictures of her beloved dog (passed away), herself, and color drawings that she had done herself. I told her I loved her and she replied right back, "I love you, too!" and I got very close to her, looking her right in the eyes and I said with all my heart, "YOU are cared for!" to which she turned her head toward me and replied in her characteristic sarcastic way, "Oh, Reeaally?!" and I said, " Yes, Really!"

It was so sad for me to leave her that night. But that is the way I will remember her. I am so glad that I felt inside that I had told her what I wanted to say.

I wanted to be there when she passed or close to it, because I wanted her to know that we were there, that she is loved and that she wouldn't be alone. My Mom did that. Mom said that Grandma was already slipping into shallow, fluid filled breathing but that she squeezed Mom's hand every time Mom asked her if she realized she was still there. Grandma squeezed Mom's hand when she asked her if she could still hear the music (Statler Brother's and another CD played until the end). That was up until 7:30 pm last night.

Why would I tell you this long saga of these last year's and days of Grandma's life. When I started this blog I said I hoped I could help people, maybe even prove I (or You!) are not the only freaks in this world. If you ever come to this blog because of your own pain, then I am sure you know what its like to suffer, in your own way.

I've been making fun of suicide recently because of many reasons: its angers me for people to be so selfish and it angers me that a person would take out their own light and forget that it was put on this Earth for a reason. And damn it, it's too easy!! I've had those feelings myself but obviously I beat them as needed. My grandmother is a literal example for me of taking it to the end. I am so proud of her.

I will miss my Grandma here on Earth. I know I will see her in the next life. I can't help thinking that there's a boogie-woogie joint up in sky with someone guiding my Grandma, "Come this way, Mrs. D., Coco's here! (her doggie) and this piano's been waiting and ready for you! Get down, everybody, Mrs. D. is gonna rock the house!"

Honey, I know she can do it too!


Raine said...

I am sorry you lost her, she sounds like a character I would have liked to have known. I have to say- for a woman who sometimes gets down on herself for being "mental" you have like THE most awesome way of thinking about your grandmothers death I have seen. I salute your thought processes. I hoe this doesnt come crashing in on you later but if it should happen that it does- dont forget you have friends here that care.......

'Tart said...

Thank you Raine! And you are so right. I am already feeling funny after the first night of sleeping after it: super bizarro dreams. I felt so close to the psychotic state. Then I finally get up and really have no one to talk to (Mom's here but in her room as usual). I went outside and had my cigs and said to the empty chair in front of me (we have two rocker chairs that are always there) well, no big deal (having no one to talk to), just like usual eh? and hit the bottom of it so it could say yes.

So yes, thank you very much for understanding. I thought jeez, I made it sound easy as pie for getting over, and its not. The day that it happened I felt that she deserved a dedication. But I hadn't started to feel the aftermath yet.

My dreams are actually searching for her, like an underworld or something (not to say she went to a bad place or anything)and I feel much closer to that world than usual right now, but the truth is, Death is like a wall. And it doesn't give anymore clues and it doesn't discuss it with you. People go all the time, just like people get diagnosed with our crap (or not technically) and get left out in the wind all the time. On a totally different note, I realize that I have never MET anyone who's had psychosis like me, not at age 16 or any OTHER age. That's why it heartened me to even find a definition of it, as though it might have existed for some other poor sap. But that is ME, yet it all taps into being alone, handling it yourself, maybe you'll get over it, just take it, that's what we all do.

So has the crash started? It does when I close my eyes at night. But you are so smart Raine to see the truth. I'm glad to have such friends.