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Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Surreal Conversation With Grandpa

We arrived at the hospital yesterday to a distraught Grandpa who insisted on going home. Here is how the conversation went...

Us: Hi Grandpa!

Grandpa: I wanna go home now. I am unhappy here. They aren't doing anything for me medically.

Meanwhile, an antibiotic drip is delivering antibiotics into his bloodstream.

Us: Grandpa, you cannot go home yet. Your foot infection has not cleared and you need the antibiotic drip.

Grandpa: I don't need an antibiotic drip. It doesn't help. Let me go home and self-medicate.

Us: Grandpa, you can't go home now. You still can't walk.

Grandpa: I could walk before you put me here! Now I can't walk anymore. This place is worsening my condition. They aren't feeding me the right things. I need to eat sweet potato. I slept like a baby before you put me here. Now, I cannot sleep! I wanna go home!

Grandpa has diabetes. He cannot eat sweet potato. He hadn't slept well for an entire week because of the pain.

Us: Grandpa, you cannot go home. If we don't clear the infection out of your foot, it could  turn  gangrenous and then we would have to chop off your foot. Surely you don't want to lose your foot?

Grandpa: Nonsense! It is just a bit of swelling and will go away after a good long walk. If you bring me home, I should be able to walk again. I want to go home means I want to go home.

Us: Grandpa, the doctor says you cannot go home yet.

Grandpa: I don't care what the doctor says. That doctor is so young he could be my grandson. He doesn't know anything. t want to go home. I just want to go home. The doctors and nurses here are very bad. They are not looking after me properly here. I want to go home and look after myself.

Dear me!  This looked a lot like a Terrible Twos tantrum. So, we decided to handle it the same way we handle Terrible Twos tantrums. We walked away and went home. Then Grandpa called Grandma and complained that we had abandoned him at the Nursing Home. Then, he pleaded to come home saying that he had always been a good person and didn't deserve to be abandoned in his old age.

Okaaaaaay... so much for our desire to respect his self-determination.

We had in the past tried to give him dandelion tea to improve liver function. Attempts to give him kefir met with no success. We had to change strategy.  No more self-determination. We are going to trick, cajole, coax and bully him into doing what is good for him. The doctor agreed to give him the very lowest dose of sleeping medicine to help him sleep.

Then, I put 4 tablespoons of water kefir grains in a jam jar and immersed them in a stevia sweetened solution.  Then, we told him that it was Birds' Nest (which is a sought after delicacy in Asian cuisine). Then, we sent The Daughter to charm him into eating the ummm... Birds' Nest.

Tomorrow, I will make a pineapple smoothie to which I will add a teaspoon of milk kefir grains and a tablespoon of milk kefir. He likes pineapple and he will finish that bloody @#$%&@!!! smoothie without knowing that he is imbibing kefir.

He will eat his kefir everyday and I will have my way in this. To hell with that nursing home meals on wheels thing. I will make his meals, buy attractive plates and pretty bowls to display the food AND the grandchildren will coax him to eat what I cook.

He doesn't really like me, you know. Like Grandma, I am bossy and controlling. His grandchildren, however, are nice. He never ceases to praise them. Apparently, it has never occurred to him to praise me for having raised his grandchildren to be nice people. Whatever it is, I dislike having the house in an uproar every time he has to go to the hospital. Gee... I spent SEVEN hours on Thursday last waiting around at the A&E as he went through test after test and one intervention after another.

He will eat what I cook, and that is THAT! I will evolve into the best bloody con woman in the world, employing every subterfuge just so that he won't waste my time again waiting around in an Accident and Emergency Department.  It was no joke either, having to support all 55kgs of him (who could not walk and was only half conscious) onto the wheelchair and into the car.

The Husband was busy!

When he had to go to the toilet to pee and poop, it was NOT pleasant for us. I certainly couldn't see myself fiddling about with my father-in-law's private parts so it was a good thing my son was on holiday and my son is now a strapping young lad with good strength. Even then, the poor boy felt really weird about fiddling with his Grandpa's private parts. My son has exams coming up and he spent 7 hours at the hospital with me (away from his books) and though the dear boy did not complain, I could tell that he was worried about the lost time.

This ain't just about Grandpa's self-determination. It is also about OUR quality of life.

@#$%!@#!!!!!






2 comments:

Theanne Crossett said...

At least you care enough to try...no matter how Grandpa feels about you. Getting people to do what I want them to do has never been my strong suit and believe me I do understand. My husband Don was 17 years my senior, he had health problems when I first met him. He eventually developed Psoriatic Arthritis and a neurogenic bladder (he could not pee on his own and I had to catherize him several times a day) on top of all of his other medical conditions. He became bedridden and we spent a great deal of our time in Emergency Rooms. We had always made decisions together and had always worked well together as a team. Then I had to be the decision maker. But I was quite fortunate...Don pretty much went along with whatever I said we'd do to keep him as healthy and comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. I hope you and Grandpa will reach a level of detente and that your beautiful children will be able to convince Grandpa to do the things that will help him.

Petunia Lee said...

Thank you Thane, for sharing your experience.