Saturday, March 27, 2010

Roller Coster Week

     My grandmother on my Dad's side is -- let's say - independent, stubborn, determined.  She is 93, lives by herself, cleans, cooks, drives, takes care of her dog, etc...  at least she did all of those things until Tuesday.
     She has been needing an operation for her bladder for awhile and keeps putting it off.  The doctor finally told her it wasn't an option any more.  My parents (along with Evan, our 6 year old) left on Sunday to go check on Grun, my grandmother, and start getting things set up for her operation.
     On Tuesday morning I received a call from my mother.  Grun was being taken to a hospital, they thought she had had a mild stroke.  Two hours later we learned she was not well at all and we needed to get up there.  We arrived around 2 in the afternoon.  I spent all afternoon at the hospital as well as all through the night with my sister, Deanna.  We sent mom and dad home to sleep.  Before my parents left for the night, the doctor informed us that the stroke was mild and she didn't see why there couldn't be a full recovery.  But, we would know more after test results came in.
     She didn't sleep too well on Tuesday night.  She wanted water about every 45 minutes and was just restless in general.  Late morning she started stirring a little more.  She was very aware of all we were saying and was able to tell us a few simple words.  It still seemed hopeful for a good recovery and the rest of my siblings decided to hold off coming up until the weekend.
    Wednesday night my sister stayed at the hospital by herself. We got a call from her early morning letting us know that it had been a rough night and that she thought Grun may have had another stroke. My parents and I arrived as quickly as we could.  We were informed by the cardiologist later in the morning that my grandmother's test showed that she had suffered a heart attack prior to being admitted to the hospital on Tuesday. He gave very little hope for recovery and kindly suggested that we needed to get the living will up to the hospital and call in family members to see her.
     My siblings were called and and those who could arrived by mid afternoon.   Abigail, Bekah, Siah and Evan were the first great grandkids to see Grun.  She perked up when they walked in the room, she began speaking a few clear words such as "I love you" and reaching up for them. There was a silent knowing looking to my Grun that said, "I'll show you all, you're not getting rid of me yet.  I'm going to recover!" By early evening she was smiling and enjoying her packed room of family members. With clear words she told us all frequently, "I want to go home!"
     My brother and I stayed through the night with her on Thursday.  I readied myself for a long unknowing night - based on the previous two evenings. If you can believe it - Grun slept so soundly except for a 'sleep-apenea-breathing pattern'.  Around 3 in the morning I noticed her lifting both arms up in the air.  Her left hand was holding her right hand (the side effected by the stroke).  I grabbed her hands and lowered them: "Grun, what's worng?"  My independent determined grandmother, in her slurred stroked voice, told me with a good amount of clarity: "I told you I could use my hand."
      My brother and I looked at each other and I chuckled: "That's great Grun. I know you can, but let's rest now and save rehab for tomorrow when the therapist comes."  She slept the rest of the night with hardly any stirring.  Around 7:30 Friday morning she woke up and asked me for coffee!
     She continued gaining strength on Friday, worked with the therapist, sat up at the side of the bed, stood while being braced by the nurses!  John and I and the kids decided we needed to head back to GA on Friday night since my parents had plenty of help with my other siblings being there.  It had been a roller coster week and a little structure was greatly needed by all 6 of us.
     I just talked to Grun on the phone.  Her speech is so much better - even since last night when I said goodbye to her.  My parents told me that she was sitting in a chair, eating well and regaining more mobility in her right side.  Amazing!
     Tuesday my grandmother had a stroke and a heart attack.  Wednesday the doctors were hopeful that a fairly good recovery could be made. Thursday we were told to get affairs in order and call everyone in to say goodbye. Friday Grun told me she can use her hand and she wants coffee.  Saturday, today, she is sitting in a chair and chatting with her grandkids.  I wouldn't put it past my grandmother to be walking out of the hospital tomorrow - which is what she wants to do!
     We are thankful that my grandmother has been blessed with 93 years of incredible health.  She will need to spend several weeks in rehab; there has been some permanent heart damage which has resulted in a leaky valve - but not so significant as to be alarming; and, she still needs the bladder operation that we are unsure as to when or if she'll be able to have.  She is an incredibly determined women. If anyone can pull through these seemingly impossible circumstances my Grun can.
      She reminds me that no matter what the circumstances are, no matter how the situation appears -- God is going to have His way.  If He wants her to stand, walk and fully recover - she will.  When HE chooses to call her home - she'll go, and not a second sooner.
    Applying this to our situation.  When God wants us in Honduras, we'll be there.  When there are days when it seems like we are paralyzed and stuck in a bed -- I grab hold of my stubborn and determined personality and remind myself that God is not finished with us yet - and in His timing, He'll supply our funding and we'll be on a plane, HONDURAS BOUND - and not a second sooner!


  1. GIRL, I have been praying and I will continue. The other day in the van Si said he missed Evan! WE MISS ALL OF YOU!

  2. What a great post!! I'm glad that your grandmother is feeling better, and I'll be praying for her and your family. And you're right--His Will be done and in His Time. Tell John "Hi"..I haven't seen him since High School..and that was a WAAAAY long time ago.