Monday, January 11, 2010

Hospitals and Sledding

So this week my grandma ended up in the hospital after falling for like the 3rd time in 3 months. It's fairly clear that at some point she's going to fall and do some real damage to herself. Break a hip. Bust her head all up. Possibly buy the farm. We now all see this as an inevitability. It's a matter of when it will happen, instead of if it will happen. This may be a good thing for everyone involved. She has been in the hospital twice in the last three months, and both times those of us who care for her have expressed a certain desire for this to be the end. Grandma's life satisfaction can't be very high. She can no longer do the things she really likes to do, because she has so much trouble getting around, things like travel and social functions present more problems than fun at this point. But even though she knows this to be the case, she cannot shake the desire to do all those things still. It's sad. And while we all enjoy the fact that grandma is so "with it", it's clear that lucidity makes her circumstances harder on her. The mind is still very willing. The body is done.

Which moves the onus over to her caregivers to bridge that gap. And I for one am sick of it. I think everyone else is too. It's too hard to continue to maintain her current expectations of life, without inconveniencing your own to some degree. It builds resentment up and down the chain of relationships in my life. It strains my relationship with her, with my mom, with my wife, and with my brother from time to time. I know she wouldn't want this. But not so much that she wouldn't want her current level of life-catering to quit. We're all just stuck.

I know I have said that grandma's level of satisfaction must be low, but I also know that she has no interest in dying. She has said more than once that she wants to see "how it will all turn out." I think this is a funny concept. Like there is an ending to this story where Chelsey and I have a kid, Jude and Zoe graduate college, and Chuck gets married. That's a romantic notion. You have to like that. But it's also a little nutso.

So we continue to hope for the best. And prepare for the worst. At some point I wont have grandma to write about. And I'm sure I will miss her. But this past Sunday, because she was in the hospital, and because mom was in town to stay with her, we went sledding. For one week, we had a Sunday afternoon that was congruent with most people's Sundays. We did exactly what we wanted to do. It was fun and carefree and not hard.

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