raloria - Screencapping Goddess (raloria) wrote,
raloria - Screencapping Goddess

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Decision Time

On Sunday we visited at the hospital twice, but he was sleeping, so we didn't go into the room. Figured it was better that he wasn't moving around a lot. We didn't go up on Monday because we had to take care of some things here at home. We did go up Tuesday evening though.

He was sleeping again and kinda pale. His nurse said he'd been pretty unresponsive to therapists who tried to get him to talk or move. They have contraptions on his legs to keep them warm, but he can't move them. He can move his arms a bit, especially his right one. The collar on his neck is gone because it was keeping him from swallowing, which now seems to be a problem. Once the nurses got him awake and even sat him up on the bed, he seemed to wake up some and began talking. My aunt had found his hearing aids at his house & the nurse put them in and it did make his hearing a little better.

We stuck around for a while because we were told the doctor wanted to talk to us. Meanwhile, I ended up sitting by grandpa's bed again. I'm the only one who can really hear and make out what he says and who he can also hear better. I was happy that while his talking was quiet due his mouth being so dry that when he did talk, it all made sense. Couldn't say the same for his conversation Saturday night! Btw, once he started talking more and was awake his color improved a lot. And while the nurse said he barely talked to anyone, my thinking is a lot of that was due to him not hearing people very well. He will "space out" sometimes even with us when he can't really hear us and keep up with our conversations and he'll be very quiet. So I'm hoping that by having his hearing aids in again (even though they don't work all that well) that they will help and hopefully facilitate him talking more.

The doctor arrived and after examining grandpa said he was kinda disappointed that he had worsened since Friday night when he was brought in. He was really hoping grandpa would be able to move his legs. So it's decision time. Do the surgery which is risky and may or may not improve the situation OR simply keep him comfortable. He laid out the pluses and minuses, but said it was up to us and grandpa (if we could get his input). We're still not entirely sure that he knows what's wrong with him. After the doctor left, it was clear grandpa wasn't comfortable with the way the nurses had turned him and his shoulder was quite painful. They turned him again and gave him some pain meds, but when we'd first arrived they'd been concerned with giving him any meds because his blood pressure was so low. It took a couple of tries of positioning him, but they finally found one that worked, or the meds kicked in, I'm not sure. Either way, he finally said he was doing better and we chose that moment to leave. His new nurse, who really did a great job of working to make him more comfortable, promised that he'd check on grandpa every 30 minutes, so that really put our minds at ease. He'd been in a lot of pain for most of the several hours we'd been there with him, so it was nice to see him more relaxed at the end and know that someone would be keeping a good eye on him overnight.

We didn't have supper (at Denny's again - thank goodness for them!) until around 10 p.m. When we drove back home we discussed the whole situation at my aunt's house. We've decided to tell the doctor to go ahead with the surgery. We figure if we do nothing that he'll just be in more pain because of the compression on his spine in his neck. He won't get better and he'll just continue to decline like he has and they'll probably have to dope him up on lots of drugs just to combat the pain he's in. However, if we go for the surgery, at least there's a chance he'll get better. The doctor said grandpa probably wouldn't got back to being his old mobile, functioning self after the surgery, but...he doesn't know my grandpa. He is a fighter. After all, he's lived 94 years and for most of those he's been remarkably healthy. Even tonight he made a point of moving his shoulder and making sure I could see it. He wants to move his limbs, it's just the compression in his injured neck and the pain he's in is stopping that. If they can do the surgery and fix that, then he might very well be able to start moving again. If he does end up bed-ridden even after the surgery, well then we'll deal with that too. But giving him a chance with the operation is better than just letting him slowly waste away in pain.

So my aunt is going to call the doctor this morning with our decision. We think then that grandpa might very well go in for the operation sometime today. Either way, we'll be driving up once again after mom's radiation treatment in the afternoon. We're all getting exhausted from constantly going up there, but what else is there to do?

Thanks again for all your lovely comments. I wish I had time to answer them, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. We never know really when we'll be going up to see him from day to day or even how many hours we'll be there. Please keep the thoughts & prayers coming my friends. Any surgery has it's dangers, but at his age, I believe it must be doubly so. I hope we've made the right decision...I feel we have and I hope the surgery works.

Tags: ramblings, real life
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