Monday, July 14, 2008


I got a call from my dad on Saturday morning saying that my grandfather, Pop-pop to me, was in the hospital. He had been complaining about not wanting to eat, or being unable to swallow, for about a week. He had an appointment with the doctor on Friday to evaluate the situation and decide how to proceed. The doctor decided that he didn't want to scope Pop at this time because they'd have to sedate him, and since he's 94 they want to avoid that if possible. Pop was scheduled for a barium test next week, but took a turn for the worse Saturday at around 2 am.

It looked very grim on Saturday. He was non responsive in the hospital for most of the time that my parents were there. Pop has pneumonia and was very weak from not eating for days. My parents went home for dinner and the hospital called them an hour later, saying that Pop sat up and was asking for food. They went back over and were able to talk to him. He was trying to eat and wanted his glasses. Things were looking up.

Then I got a call Sunday evening saying that he was unresponsive again. He hadn't produced any urine in around 48 hours and his legs were swelling. It sounds like he's in renal failure. My dad said that he would thrash around a little, open his eyes, move his mouth, then settle back down and not move. It was pretty awful and my mother was having a hard time with it all. She's definitely daddy's little girl and is very upset to see her father suffer.

Pop has said that he does not want to be saved if things go downhill, and doesn't want to be resuscitated or hooked up to any machines. So they are giving him oxygen and are trying to give him his daily medications, but if he isn't responsive to take them or refuses they are not forcing them. My mother has power of attorney and will use that if she needs to.

Now I'm just waiting for "the call". It's just a coincidence that the girls and I are planning to fly to my parents house for a week on Wednesday. My sister is already out there with her two girls and we were all planning on having a great time for the week. We had hoped to visit with Pop, who my girls call Grandaddy, but I don't think I want them to see him in the hospital like that. Of course that's assuming that he lasts until we get there. The way it's sounding he's not going to make it much longer.

So I'm very sad today, because I'm about to lose my last living grandparent. I'm very lucky that I still have a grandparent alive at my age. Most people I know who are as old as I am have lost their grandparents years ago, if they ever knew them at all. I was very close to my mom's parents because we spent lots of time with them when we were kids. My mother says that Pop has a special place in his heart for me because I remind him of his mother. My great-grandmother was one of only two people in my family who had red hair (the other being a great-grandmother on my father's side) and I inherited that hair. And apparently the fiery attitude to match. I guess my great-grandmother Myrtle was quite a pistol, and Pop likes it that I'm like she was.

The fact that my kids have red hair is a bonus too. The last time we all saw Pop Lily spent a lot of time sitting next to him on the couch and bringing him stuffed animals so the two of them could play. He is and has always been a quiet man, so while he didn't say anything you could tell that he was just overjoyed to play with her. And when I started telling the girls that we were going to go see my parents (Nana and Pop-pop to them) one of them would always say "And Grandaddy too?"

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to explain to them why we can't see Grandaddy. I'm also pretty certain that we'll be attending a funeral. Unless Pop rallies and comes back from this, which he has done before. He's a tough old guy. Maybe he'll pull through.

If you want the truth, I think he's ready to go see my Nana. I'm sure she misses him.


Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Praying for your family . . . and Pop . . . and all who love him.


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Lil Kate said...

I'm so sorry to hear that news. I do hope that your Pop is as comfortable as he can be. It's a great testament to your family that you are all so close and loving. Know that I'm thinking about you and your family, hoping for the best.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear your Pop isn't doing so well. I lost my grandfather at age 85 (Who we also called Pop Pop). It sounds like he's lived a very long and happy life. I hope that he is comfortable and content.

It's been a pretty terrible month all around- huh? If you need anything please feel free to call me.

halfpassgirl said...

My sympathies during this difficult time.

Jenflex said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my grandfather last year, in similar progression, and it's never easy.

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