Friday, August 3, 2012

Getting Care for Seniors


2010 was a very hard year for my family. Everything seemed normal, except the fact that my Grandmother had a large bruise on the back of her arm that was extremely huge. I didn’t think anything of It though, she was easy to bruise.

She had just retired from Nursing in May of 2010, so she didn’t have any insurance. When she got the bruise, I kept asking for her to go to the doctor, but she replied “I don’t have any money”. How could I persist? I knew how it felt not to have the money to go to the doctor.

She went finally- and when she did, they told her it was the flu and sent her home with some prescriptions to get filled. I was at my moms that day and she came over to visit while she waited for her medicine to get filled.

Little did we know that as she returned to pick up her medicine, that the police would be called on her. Someone called and said that she was swerving extremely bad. The cops found her in the pharmacy parking lot, and she was unresponsive.

She was awake but incoherent. She was looking out the passenger side window when the cop was talking to her. They immediately knew that something was wrong. An ambulance was called right on the spot.

She was taken to Bowling Green Hospital for some tests because they thought she was either having a seizure or having a stroke. When they got her to the hospital. they ran some tests on her.

It was a horrible night. Waiting and waiting on what the tests would say the next morning. I was in shock and complete grief already. This was the woman who meant the most to me throughout my life. She was always by my side and there was no way that she could be sick.

What would I do without her? The thought completely unnerved me. I didn’t know what to do or say. I snuck in the bathroom and busted out in tears. I was hoping and praying that everything would be fine.

The next morning, I was back at the hospital with her. The neurologist came in, and he was Chinese- so it was kind of hard for me to understand what he was saying.

All I DID understand was “TUMOR”. “Tumor?” How could this be? A big fat tumor lying straight on her brain was causing her to go into mild seizures because of the pressure. The longer he sat there explaining, the more I began to understand. There wasn’t just ONE tumor, there were FIVE.

Brain cancer.. that’s what it was. I couldn’t grasp the fact that she had brain cancer. They assured us that with chemo and radiation that she still had 2-3 years to live.

So she began the treatments, and within a short time, practically a week her hair began falling out. She was on more medicine than I could count and she was weak and tired all the time. She was always such a beautiful lady, keeping her weekly hair appointments to get it washed and set. Now it was falling out, and it broke her down. She was afraid that people would stare at her because she had no hair.

I felt like crying on the spot. The entire family just kept saying “Don’t let her know that you’re upset because she needs to stay as positive as possible.” So, needless to say- I never got to have that heart to heart with her that I desperately needed.

I was trying my hardest to get her on a medical card because she was suffering with only a retirement check. She was paying out of pocket for medicine, chemo, and radiation…

She was living with her husband and her sister at the time. I was told we need senior care, but her husband and sister said they could take care of her. I wish we would have gotten it though, because it wasn’t long before she took a turn for the worse.

She ended up falling in the rain and her sister couldn’t get her up, so she had to sit in the rain for 20-25 minutes until my mom could get out there and pick her up. The next day it was even worse.

I was at the community center applying for free medicine for her when my mom got a call from my grandma’s sister saying that she was acting weird and not responding again. We went out there and sure enough- she acted like she was in a coma or something. She had wet herself and they had left her like that all night. So mom and I gave her a sponge bath while waiting for the ambulance.

She got to the hospital and her oxygen level was very VERY low. She ended up coming home with my mom because we felt like her sister and husband weren’t caring for her as much as they should have.

I wish my mom would have had someone to come and help her though, because less than 2 weeks later my grandmother went way downhill. Her body was shutting itself down. She couldn’t eat, was barely urinating, and couldn’t pass a bowel movement at all.

Less than a week later, my grandmother was in a full coma and died later that night. I miss her greatly, it’s still hard to believe that she died less than 3 months after being diagnosed.

It reminds me daily to never take anything or anyone for granted, that life is short, and we should appreciate what we have.

2010-04-24 12.44.49

She was a great blessing to me, and I’m glad she was in my life until I was at least graduated and she was able to meet my beautiful kids. She was amazing, and she will always be in my heart and mind.

2012-04-30 23.16.51

Thanks for dropping by and listening--



Sparked by CareCorner.


This post was written by:

Jess is the creator of Stylish Southern Mama + Southern Rambles. She is a freelance writer + designer, Social Media Marketer, and Journalist. She has 2 amazing kids, Aidan and Adisyn, and has been with their dad Adam for 12 years, and has 2 amazingly adorable dogs; Harley + Cheyanne! :)

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