Thursday night I received a call from my mom saying that my great-grandmother was taking a turn for the worse. After talking to my grandmother (who’s been her primary caregiver for nearly 18 months, every other week…oh, and did I mention she has chronic lymphocytic leukemia? Yeah…), I concluded that I should make a visit up there. Nothing anyone told me could have prepared me for what I experienced. Our last visit was in March or April, and while she was slow moving and kind of absent-minded then, she was essentially the same person.
When we got to her house, my sweet, dear Granny was in a hospital bed, restrained by tightly tucked-in sheets, mostly deaf and blind, writhing around, and talking nonsense. She has no clue who anyone is, and often calls out for (or sees) people who have been dead for decades. She asked me to grab things that weren’t there and wanted various sharp objects (knives, scissors, or a pocket knife) to “cut herself out of here.” When I told her that cutting her clothes was probably a bad idea, she said, “I’ll safety pin it back!” I had to laugh, but it was pretty tragic. She couldn’t articulate it, but she felt trapped in a mind and a body that had failed her.
I wouldn’t wish this on my sworn enemy. They say she won’t make it a week, and for her sake, I hope they’re right. No one should have to suffer like this, especially not her.