Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm back.

We got back from Utah yesterday from a 2 and a half week trip.  It felt like 2 and a half months!  Not in a bad way.  More in a, wow-that-trip-went-much-different-than-planned, kind of way.  We left California on Friday the 17th, stayed the night in Vegas.  I learned that we are not a one-room family.  Addie woke up to every little sound, and Garrett jumped on the bed until 2 am.  He slept with us because the hotel ran out of cribs and we didn't have an extra bassinet.  It was delightful.

We made it to Salt Lake just in time for my cousins wedding reception and I got to see a lot of out of town family, including my favorite cousin, Morgan.  I guess we shouldn't admit to favorites, but we do, and we're both each others faves.  He's a doctor in Florida, so I never see him.  My cousin that got married is adopted from Ukraine, so it was a very traditional Ukrainian wedding.
 A cute Ukrainian family.

 Favorite cousins.
 Paul motioning to me that it's time to go!

Sunday and Monday were our relax days, and then Tuesday we were headed to our time share in Wolf Creek for a relax week.  Water skiing, pool time, golf, crafts, games, hot tubs, etc.

Tuesday morning, before we left for vacation, my mom got a phone call from my Grandpa.  My Grandma had fallen down the stairs.  My mom rushed over to their house.  Grandpa was just getting off the phone and an ambulance was on the way.  My Grandma was unconscious at the bottom of the basement stairs.  My dad told me what was going on and he headed over.  He came home a few minutes later and told me that the EMT said it looked like she broke her clavicle, but she'd be fine and it wasn't life threatening.  My mom came home and was overwhelmed.  She also told me Grandma would be fine, but that they found her in a pool of blood and vomit.  And the clothes from the night before.  And her bed was still made.  After a lot of putting pieces together, it was determined that she'd been there all night.  My Grandpa has his own room on the top level of the home.  My Grandma has her room on the main level.  And my aunt lives in the basement. My aunt's a nurse and was gone on a grave yard shift.  My grandpa had gone to bed, and it was after that, that she fell.  She was there all night, and the next morning when my Grandpa came in from his early morning walk and wondered why she wasn't up yet, checked her room and saw her bed was made, but she was no where to be found.  They rarely go down stairs because it's mostly just my aunts space, but he finally found her there.

Paul offered to stay with the kids and my mom and I headed to the hospital.  I kept telling her not to worry and we'd get through this.  My Aunt Shauna called my mom while we were on the freeway.  I didn't hear what she was saying, but I just remember my mom saying, "Oh, no."  She began crying, and repeating, "no, no, no!"  I began crying and holding my moms arm, saying "it's ok, mom."  Even though I could tell it wasn't ok.  She hung up and still crying was barely able to say, "She broke her neck.  She's not going to make it."  We both sobbed, and I think I tried to say comforting things, like, "She'll be so happy!"  Even though inside I was pleading with God, "Not yet, Lord.  Not like this!"

We got to the ER at IMC and rushed in to see her.  She looked awful.  A lot a dry blood on her nose and ear.  And a breathing tube down her throat.  I cried and cried.  I called my brother and they all left work and headed to the hospital.  They moved her to the ICU, so we'd have a more private room to say our good-byes, and they would take her off life support.

She had severe brain damage.  And was still completely unconscious.  I called Paul and told him to head to the hospital.  Several cousins started showing up.  The nurse said we could go bad 4 or 5 at a time and that kids 12 and under were not allowed.  To make a long story short, at one point I left the room and our nurse was sitting at his computer just outside the room.  I said to him, "I'm really sorry we suck at following rules."  I'd just counted, and there were 37 people in my Grandma's room, 8 of which were babies and kids under the age of 8.  Our nurse was awesome and smiles and said, "It looks like quite a celebration of a special lady in there."  It was.  We talked, laughed, cried, and sang.  We spent hours sharing favorite memories of Grandma.   

My sweet Grandma, and her four daughters.
Garrett getting a little shut eye in the waiting room with Uncle Dave after a long day in the ICU.
My Grandpa (right) and his best friend, Bobby, that he gardens with.  Two peas in a pod.

Backing up just a bit, I was the first grandchild there and I got a minute alone with Grandma.  I held her hand and leaned over and said, "Grandma, favorite Grandchild is here!"  She squeezed my hand and turned her head towards me and tried to lift her head.  For years, whenever I call my Grandma I say, "Hi Grandma!  Favorite Grandchild calling!"  And she always responded, "Well hi, Andrea!"  It's an ongoing joke that I'll get to later.

She was constantly trying to pull the breathing tube out, and at one point I grabbed both of her hands and said, "Grandma, it's never too late to learn patience."  We knew she was uncomfortable so we called the doctor to remove the tube, thinking she's be gone in a matter of minutes.  But she held on for 18 hours, and then, early the next morning, with just my Grandpa in the room by her side, she finally let go.

I still have a couple things to write about the week of my Grandma's death, but I think I'l break it up over the next few days.


Heidi Rogers said...

Wow, so traumatic. I'm glad you were there. I will pray for you and your family as you continue grieving.

Dana said...

Sweet friend, I am in tears reading this. I've been praying for your sweet family. I'm so sorry for your loss..