Thursday, September 29, 2011

Molly's Message (from Sept 8, first half)

We could easily speak about how Grandma Doris isn't doing well, but we can't leave out how well she is doing! Two weeks ago, we hired a hospice nurse to come in. I haven't met her yet because I've been in Lincoln and Kansas City for the past couple weeks. I called my Grandpa a couple weeks ago, expectig him to not be doing so well, but I was very relieved to hear that he sounded happy! He said the nurse is coming four days a week, which means he doesn't ever have to worry about bathing her again! The nurse tested her blood pressure, heart rate, and all those tests and found that she is at a healthy level for all of those. Hospice care is completely free for us and I'm sure that is another relief for Grandpa Carl. The days are pretty much gone that Grandpa gets scared and frustrated with his part in Grandma's care.
She is though, slowly giving up swallowing all together. About the week before I left, she stopped drinking any little sips of water. Now she just has fun spewing on us! We think she seems scared to swallow and therefore she won't do it anymore. We began feeding her juicy summer tomatoes, melon, and peaches by the ton. Along with that, hospice brought us modified corn starch also known as Thick It. The more we add, the more the water takes on the consistency of pudding and we all know how much Grandma likes pudding! The nurse said the body will still register it as water though.
Grandma doesn't have much strength, either. As of when I saw her last, she still rocks back and forth in her wheel chair and can roll around in her bed. Her legs work somedays but other days it takes a couple people to safely move her from chair to chair. Despite her immobility though, we try to get her outside for a couple hours everyday in the warm weather so she can get some breeze, sun, and smells into her system. I fear the colder weather, though. Maybe she won't mind being inside, but I would think it would get old.
She smiles constantly. She thinks everyone around her is a bit carzy, and well, it's not false. She interacts with us still sometimes in certain ways. Chrsitine was sleeping on the couch in the stove room while Grandpa was wheeling Grandma towards the bathroom. He stopped at the end of the couch where Christine's feet were uncovered and bent down to Grandma's ear and whispered, "Reach down and tickle Christine's feet." Grandma did look down and then smiled big.
Grandma smiles at all the parts it would seem "approriate" to find funny whether she's watching I Love Lucky, which Grandpa says she always liked that show, Christine spilling her syrup covered pancakes all over her lap, or she's listening to Laurie tell Christine, Devri, Eric, Liesel, my dad Allen, and I a story that happened over 30 ears ago, in which Laurie was the victim of one of Grandma's interests (such as seeing how long a snake is next to Laurie in bed!)

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