Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not ready for Good Bye

My family learned some depressing news this morning. My grandmother called to try and get a hold of my mother, but she called my phone instead. She sounded so stressed out and urgent that I ran the phone to mom.

My grandfather was in the hospital the other day for a regular check up, which he has been getting since his second stroke a year and a half ago. For some reason, and mom can't even figure why (she is a Nurse Practitioner, so when I say she knows this stuff I mean it), they did a chest x-ray and found an aneurysm in his heart. Its literally a time bomb just waiting to go off. If he goes into one of his coughing fits he could rupture it and he will die almost instantly. There is an option to have surgery to remove it, but its a very small percentage that he would live through the surgery, let alone the recovery after. He doesn't breathe well right now and this surgery would have him on a breathing tube during recovery and they don't think he would be able to fully get off the machine. His health has dropped considerably since his last stroke and no one thinks he could recover fast enough or fully to leave the hospital with out help, either by a breathing tube, or by a wheelchair. If he even gets recovered enough to leave the hospital at all.

My grandfather had VERY specific wishes when he was in the hospital the first time. He does NOT want to be on a breathing machine, or kept alive. He does NOT want to be resuscitated if he should die. He doesn't want to have to live his life like that and he doesn't want his family to have to care for him or see him that way. His parents went that way and he hated every second of it. It's a horrible thing to see people you love slowly dieing and you can't do anything.

The doctor told him the options and the first thing my grandfather said is, "Oh good, so I'll die." There is no doubt that he is ready for it. My grandmother on the other hand is seriously not. She called to ask mom to tell the doctors to do it. Mom told her she can't do that. He is still alive and perfectly capable of deciding this for himself. If he doesn't want the surgery there is nothing she can say to make it happen. My grandmother has power of attorney over their legal affairs, but grandfather put mom is change of his medical power of attorney because she would know better about what would have to be done. Mom was not thrilled about this gift 2 years ago when she saw him in the hospital from his first stroke. I think mom is terrified that some how grandmother might convince him to do the surgery and it will end up being  mom's decision about what happens after. I know she would not waver from his wishes because she is a nurse and she knows what its like, but its not easy being the one to have final say in something like this.

My grandfather is an amazing man and I love him so much, sooo so much. I don't want to lose him. I'm terrified I'm going to get a call in the middle of the night, or at work, saying he is gone. I'm just not ready to say goodbye.
Sweetest man ever. Funny and kind, always there to make you smile. Best hugger alive. Just huge full bodied hugs. Sarcastic, but adorable in every way possible. Hopelessly devoted to his family. Beloved by his friends and family, more than anyone I have ever known. Just a sweet hearted man.

Grandmother and Grandfather Spaight at my Aunt Trish's wedding in 2006.

My Grandfather with my two cousins Maddie and Olivia.

I just not ready to say goodbye. Just not yet.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry about your Grandfather...he sounds lovely!...May you find hope and peace in God's eternal promise...Peace be with you...