Coping w/dying grandfather

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  1. I'll try to make a long story short.

    14 years ago, my grandfather had a stroke from smoking for over 40 years. He died on the table and they brought him back, but his prognosis at the time was not good.

    However, he fought back and made it. He was in rehabilitation for a while, but never regained much speech, couldn't write or use his right hand. But, he went back home where my step-grandmother has cared for him all these years (she used to be a nurse).

    In that time, he has had to deal with emphysema and multiple daily breathing treatments. He had 2 heart surgeries before the stroke, and has since had both hips replaced, hernia surgery, multiple bouts of pneumonia, etc.

    He went into the hospital a month ago with pneumonia. The doctor thought that was going to be it. So my mom and I went to see him. He was less than 100 pounds and not doing well. He improved for a day or two, then got worse again. This has been going on for almost a month now.

    Just a couple days ago, he was moved to a nursing home and is on morphine all the time to keep him calm and comfortable.

    My mom just came yesterday since he got settled in (she hadn't been home in 3 weeks -- we live out of state) and got a call today that he isn't doing well again. He's on 100% oxygen again as his breathing isn't good again. He's barely eating.

    Quite honestly, I wish he'd pass. It's so sad and we all hate seeing him this way. I really wish I could go and be with him and my mom, but I just can't take anymore days off work. It sucks that I have to be "chained" to my desk. I can't concentrate at work and I just want to be with my family.

    Anyway, I am really just posting this for...I don't know why. Just because, I guess. I'm sitting here at work and everytime the phone rings, I'm just expecting it to be my mom telling me he has passed.
  2. Sorry to hear you are going through this. It is definitely tough when you see a family member lingering on and on painkillers and oxygen. Try and think about all of the good things rather than what is going on right now. Big hugs to you and your family.
  3. Thank you for your reply!

    I find comfort in the fact that I got to see him 3 weeks ago...and saw flashes of happiness. We had lots of family members that came to visit and they would reminisce about old times. I just loved seeing him smile and laugh, remembering those moments. That will stick with me, always!
  4. I totally understand. Right about this time last year my family was going through the same thing. Honestly, every ring of the phone still makes me a little jumpy. I'm sorry that you & your family are going through this :heart:
  5. i went through this with my gram in nov-dec. smoked for 60 years, wound up with copd, on oxygen, in and out of hospitals, and then spent her last few days in hospice care. i think waiting at the end was the worst part by far. it felt like she was already gone if u kno wat i mean (im sure u feel the same). regardless, visit as often as you can for now. i literally used to be chained to my desk till 5, then race over there, not eat dinner, and spend the rest of my night with her. i didnt work out and gained probably 5lbs but i dont regret one second of it. she even made sure to give me a last good bye that i will keep with me always.

    keep in mind all the good times, and be there as much as you can, and be sure to take comfort in your family. its amazing how close bad situations can bring you, and how much easier it is to have them there.

    im so sorry for you to go thru this (and ps im tearing up as i type this) its so hard, but as you said, reminisce of good times and be strong!
  6. I can relate.
    Have you asked for a short leave of absence so that you can spend some time with your family?
  7. I so wish I could visit, unfortunately, he is in a different state (I'm in MI, he's in IN) it's a good 4-5 hour drive.

    But, I am glad I got to see him a couple weeks ago. I left with him smiling.
    Got to hold his hand and kiss his cheek.
  8. I wish I could, but I just don't think it's possible.

    I work for a VERY small company, so there isn't anyone to fill in for me. I am the ART department where I work.

    Plus, my hubby is unemployed right now and so I can't really afford to take unpaid days off.

    In the meantime, it's not out of the question to drive down for a weekend visit. It's tiring and makes for a long weekend, but I may have to plan on that soon. I could at least take a personal day on Friday and see him again.
  9. l think that would be a plan go friday, just a few days, then if the worse happens you have been and seen him......but in the short time since your last visit,he will have got worse, it may be unpsetting so please think about how you want to remember him........l hear so many say, l wish l had not gone.....It might sound like l'm being direct, but l would really like you to think about your visit....l also feel it is good for you to share here, and talk about this, so many have been through it, and can relate to you sadness. Also we live in the real world, and while it would be nice for you just to go, you have a job which pays the bills, and while others might think that going is more important. l feel you are being very sensible about it.....l will keep you in my thoughts, and hope whatever you do, it will be right for you xxxx
  10. I'm sorry to hear that. I mentioned it because I know exactly how feel sitting by your desk with your mind and your heart someplace else. It can be torture. I have taken leaves of absence before because of family issues. I didn't exactly ask the boss; I told the boss I needed to go and that was it. I never got fired or got into trouble. I was super responsible, organized, quick, efficient, so maybe they thought they would rather see me gone for a few days or weeks than lose me altogether. I hope at least you're able to do the weekend trip(s).
  11. I know what you are saying and that is one of the other reasons I have hesitated going. My mom says he is a lot worse than when I saw him...and he wasn't great then. But I at least remember leaving...and he was smiling. Just holding his hand one last time and saying "see you soon" felt like good closure.

    The only reason I am considering going is to be there for my mom. There is a lot of family there with her, but her and I are best friends, so I know it would be a comfort to her. Sometimes seeing her hurt is worse than my own hurting, if that makes sense.

    My uncle passed away a few months the funeral, I could barely contain myself seeing my dad cry. I don't recall ever seeing him cry, so it just upset me beyond belief to see him filled with grief.
  12. l had a feeling why you seemed hesitate to go.....that makes perfect sense..........How does your mother feel, do you sense you wants you to make the trip, l know its not the drive, but sickness is quite frightening....Yes its makes perfect sense, especially seeing your father cry, that is the worsed......l cant tell you what l think you should do,but l know you will give it a lot of have fond memories at the moment's with him, we all grieve and do things differently, and you have to go with yur heart. Because at the end of the day you are the one that will still be here, and have to cope with the worse case senario......sorry if l'm talking about death so matter of fact, that is not my intention, but l see it most days at work, and all what you are feeling is perfectly can also PM if you wish l realy dont mind. l will check back take care :smile: x
  13. Two years ago, my grandma had quadruple (I can't spell) bypass heart surgery. She went home on a Thursday, packed her bags to go live with my Aunt, saw grandpa for a few minutes and left.

    The next morning, my mom got a call that he needed a doctor, desperately. He hated doctors, but had to go. The ambulance picked him up and took him to the hospital. That night, they put him in a nursing home. When my mom left that night, he was fine. I talked to my dad on the phone that night and asked if I needed to come home. He said no, that grandpa was just fine.

    The next morning, I woke up to DH telling me mom was on the phone. I knew right away what happened. That next morning, 8 am, my other aunt showed up, talked to him and went to get coffee. When she got back, he couldn't speak. They called my mom and she was with him when he died.

    I 100% your feelings for the relief that everyone will feel when his suffering is over. My grandpa suffered for years, and probably needed to be in a nursing home 5 years before he went. And I also understand your anxiety when your phone rings...

    Just know that we are all here for you. Anything that you need. Cyber hugs are amazing. PM me if you need.

    God bless!!! I will think of you and your family in these times ahead!
  14. Thank you everyone for all your kind words!

    I just spoke with my mom on the phone. She wanted to call before she took her nap. He's not doing good. He's on 100% oxygen. Morphine to keep him calm. He's not eating. No IV fluids. Blood pressure is low. Blood sugar was 40 last night. They gave him an injection of sugar yesterday, which brought it up to 130..but it has since dropped back down to 80. No more sugar injections as it's just prolonging it. Eventually his sugar will drop low enough that he'll go into a coma...and stop breathing. They have been suctioning stuff out of his lungs...but everytime they do that, the lungs secrete it's a losing battle. At this point, we're looking at a couple more days at best. I'm ready for him to go peacefully w/no more pain!

    My mom seems to be holding up quite well. She's had 3+ weeks to come to terms with this and the fact that he won't be in pain anymore. One of her cousins has been there by her side...staying with her at the nursing home. Thank goodness for her :smile:
  15. deleck, is he able to have a phone held up to him? at least then you can tell him that you love him. I used to do that when I wasn't able to come up and see my grandpa. Although he couldn't talk back to me I could hear him nodding on the other end of the phone, and mom always said he got so excited when I called.

    That might give you some peace of mind...even if he can't talk back i'm sure he can hear you