Monday, August 07, 2006

breaking up is hard to do

it has been a couple days since i wrote, but things have been so peculiar i did not really know what to say.

after Friday's distance and progress on transition, Grandma took a step 'back' by re-anchoring to her body Saturday. her vitals continued to stablize though she didn't seem to really make progress. mentally she was much more with us. she told stories, laughed at little quips and was generally engaged. she described with delight her new favorite show Meerkat Manor and dreamt of meerkats. she demanded coffee and butter pecan ice cream, chatted up TraV and picked on her brother. i did not write then, even though there were many 'choice moments' because i did not know what to say.

yesterday, Grandma was much more like she had been on Thursday. she was sore everywhere, unable to settle or sleep, and alternately petulant and angry about her continued existence. she had had an episode of sorts in the night and was, for a while, restricted on all liquids. she wheedled, whined, scolded, and cursed until the doctor reversed the orders.

after a couple of talks with us and the nurses, the doctor said he felt he had a much better feel for her case and that she was not really making gains. he moved her to another ward and dramatically decreased her instrumentation, transitioning more to 'comfort care.'

the new ward is very nice and the nurses so far are fabulous. the visiting hours are much wider, flowers are allowed, and Grandma has no machines around to beep and pulse, except the IV fluid pump. while we were with her she tried to bite out her IV catheter and kept deliberately removing her nasal insufflation. over the course of the afternoon, it became clear that this was an attempt at 'stopping'. since her observation is also pared down, she may eventually succeed in desaturating to arrest. then again, this may drag on one way or another at length.

i cannot yet divine whether God is not ready to let Grandma die or whether it is more that separating from one's body through death - just like separating through meditation - requires practice. the new ward visiting hours start at 11am, at which time i hope to have a better idea where she is headed.

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