Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Well, for the past month or so, I've anticipated doing a post today about my Nana (my mom's mom), as today would have been her 85th birthday, September 1st marked two years since her passing, and also because this past summer we finally got to work at her house and had an estate sale and are preparing to put it on the market.

But then a week ago on September 11th, my Grandma (my dad's mom) somewhat unexpectedly passed away. That morning the staff at her nursing home found her unresponsive, and when they got her to the ER, they found she had pneumonia, low blood pressure, and low blood oxygenation. She came to and was complaining to that her stomach hurt, and after further testing, they found that her small intestine was twisted and causing fluid to back up. Some time that afternoon, she slipped back into unconsciousness. Under normal circumstances, the doctors would correct this with surgery, but due to her condition and age (89), they didn't know if she would make it through and/or recover from surgery, but they would do it if we insisted [which we did not]. From there, the nurses explained that we had to decide whether we wanted to try to otherwise treat her by giving her fluids and all sorts of other things through her IV, or if we just wanted to give her pain medication and dopamine to keep her blood pressure up [until family could make it to the hospital to say their goodbyes]. The family unanimously agreed on the second option, and everyone but my brother and one cousin (both out of town) made it to the hospital. When I first arrived around 7 that evening, her breathing was labored, she was kind of curled up on her side, and her blood pressure was registering on the monitor. When we left her room around 9 while a new patient was transferred to the next bed, her breathing had slowed, she looked very peaceful, and the nurse was having a hard time finding her blood pressure. At 10 or so, a nurse came to the waiting room for us. I was confused when we went back in the room. Her body had seemingly straightened out in the bed and it looked like she was breathing, so at first, I thought she had come back to consciousness. But she was gone. She has been visited, memorialized, buried. Everyone has come and gone home and back to their regular schedules.

I was incredibly close with both of my grandmothers--all of my grandparents, really, in different ways. And I was very lucky to have all of my grandparents until I was 22, but now at 30, they are all gone. There is so much more to say here, but I don't think I've even started processing this to a point worth sharing.

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