The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

It has been a wonderfully pleasant weekend. I went to a Salem Red.sox baseball game with my parents last night. It was great. It was really nice talking with my mother and getting caught up on stuff. The best part of the weekend is that I was not called in today. I have not moved much off the couch today. It has been very relaxing.

The Bad and the Ugly:

My grandfather is back in the hospital. I am not sure if I posted on this, yet. He apparently has a blockage in his liver which cannot be unblocked. The pieces of information I get seem to indicate that the blockage may be somewhere between the liver and the duodenum. This could be the reason for the liver problems, and the fact that he still has a g-tube to maintain nutrition. Apparently his kidneys do not look really good, either. The heavy duty antibiotics and the parenteral nutrition have taken their toll. In general, he sounds pretty miserable. He is apparently going home on morphine. My grandmother and my aunt maintain that he wants to fight until the end. Just what they are fighting at this point is beyond me.

It is difficult for me to get a clear picture of what is going on. I am geographically and emotionally distanced from the situation. The info I get is usually secondhand from either one of two sources. Info is either from from my aunt, who is so close to the situation that she is not thinking clearly or logically. Or my mother, who occasionally goes up to visit, but is trying to keep some distance so she does not go completely crazy. My mother is not really clear about what is going on, probably because it upsets her too much to understand it. My mother does not do well with hospitals and health care in general. I cannot say that I blame her for trying to stay away from it.

Grief can make families crazy. As a nurse, I see this on a regular basis. My family is no exception. Grief can bring all the dysfunction to the surface and drive people apart. Right now, my aunt and my grandmother are so focused on keeping my grandfather alive that they do not think about other family member’s needs. They have asked my mother to move in for a while and help with my grandfather’s care. My mother is unable emotionally to do this. Apparently this is unacceptable to my aunt and my grandmother, both of whom have come down very hard on my mother. I think this is very hard on my mother, as she is grieving the potential loss in her own way. I wish I could make it better, but I doubt there is a lot I can do.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shinejil
    Aug 17, 2009 @ 12:33:16

    I'm sorry your grandfather is ill, and that your family is struggling with his treatment. It's sad, how problems in older folks can pile up and cascade, leaving those around them flabbergasted (something similar happened with my extremely stubborn granddad not long ago).I hope he finds some comfort and freedom from his suffering, and that all the family stuff gets sorted out.


  2. kate
    Aug 17, 2009 @ 20:38:40

    It sounds like an awesome weekend. I keep meaning to go to a baseball game, but the season keeps slipping past in spite of it all. I am so sorry about your grandfather. What a trying situation to be in when you aren't close enough to help physically. And yes, grief makes families crazy sometimes. I know that at a critical point in my childhood, my mom just kind of checked out for a bit when her mother passed away unexpectedly. It sucks and there's not much that can be done since we all process sadness so differently. Wishing your family peace.


  3. annacyclopedia
    Aug 17, 2009 @ 21:54:45

    I'm so sorry about your grandfather and that it is so hard on your family. I am going through my own version of crazy making grief with my in-laws right now, and I understand how hard it can be to negotiate all the complexity it can bring up – you are so right that it brings all dysfunction right to the surface. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts, and wishing you many more pleasant weekends and relaxing days.


  4. Lorza
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 04:09:12

    I am so sorry about your grandfather. I can't even imagine how tough that must be. {{HUGS}}I am not ignoring your blog award- I just haven't had time to post it onto my blog. I got a whole bunch at the same time…so I have to go back and figure out who gave me what!! šŸ˜‰


  5. Queenie. . .
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 10:52:19

    I'm so sorry about your grandfather. That's such a difficult situation, and you're right–it's one a lot of families find themselves in, and many don't handle it well. What about home hospice care? Is there such a service in their area? I know that hospice helped a lot when my FIL was very ill.


  6. ~Jess
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 12:51:58

    I'm sorry to hear that your grandpa isn't doing well again. Hopefully they can find some way to provide him with comfort…and your family is able to hang in there.I'm glad that you had a good weekend though and were able to have some fun.


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