Monday, April 03, 2006

"I will love and have no fear ..."

Just a quick update for those who are not here:

Grandma F is still with us. Her breathing is even and her pulse is, too. Michael and Patti made the long drive back up here over the weekend, since her condition had worsened on Thursday. It was good to have them here, as things didn't get any better over the last three days. She knew they were here, and spoke to them both. She blessed her grandson Michael with the sweetest smile and showed her love to him the best she could. Actually, it blessed all of us to see it. She loves both her grandsons with all her heart.

On Saturday, a pressure sore was discovered on her tailbone. She is so painfully thin now, and nowhere is "skin and bone" more obvious than her tailbone area. There were 2 open, painful sores there on Saturday afternoon. There are three now. The hospice nurse came and dressed the sores on Saturday, and again yesterday. She ordered an air mattress for Grandma, and it was on her bed within an hour. That seemed to make her more comfortable immediately.

She had diarrhea on Sunday, which the hospice nurse said was a major drain on her energy and overall well-being. She said it was the main concern now. She said no more dairy for Grandma. Which isn't really an issue, since she was only alert and interested enough to swallow about 2 teaspoonfuls from her lunch tray. At dinnertime, I couldn't wake her to even eat a bite from her dinner tray.

By Sunday afternoon, her hands were filling with fluid. The hospice nurse explained that her heart was not working as hard to do non-essential jobs like pump fluid from her extremities. Her right hand was more swollen than her left, and her feet and ankles are a little swollen too.

Hospice has made all the difference in the world in her comfort level ... between the air mattress and the medications to slow her breathing and calm her overall, she is as comfortable as she can possibly be. Of course, the medications keep her sleeping most of the time, too ... but as I told Jimmy last night, sleeping is so much better than gasping for air. Bless her sweet, sweet heart.

I heading back over there as soon as I post this.

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