Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The vacation that wasn't a vacation

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned my vacation yet... I wasn't going to as I'm still emotionally recovering from what was the most exhausting (and by exhausting I do not mean exhilarating) vacation of my life.
My beloved grandmother experienced flu-like symptoms shortly before my arrival; nothing to worry about, just a little bug. Except the day I arrived, something was off. Except my grandmother is the type of woman who raised 11 children - 6 of them not biologically hers - who suffered from various handicaps (some physical, some emotional). So she refuses to be knocked down by anything - especially a tiny little flu bug. We were all muzzled from expressing our concerns on her health that day and decided Day 2 would be much better. You can probably predict this next sentence: She was not better; she was worse. Way worse. She was in and out of consciousness, didn't recognize any of us, even her favorite sister and was so sick, she literally could not sit up on her own. There were several hours of pleading, arguing and demanding before her favorite sister sat on my Gram's bed and said if she didn't go to the hospital, we would call 911 and that would create a big scene at the campground. A few more hours pass and we've finally got her into the tiny but efficient hospital. Assuming she is simply exhausted, dehydrated and with flu symptoms, we conclude "they" (hospital peeps) will keep her overnight with IV fluids, a couple of bottles full of pills and send her on her way. Turns out she was suffering from pneumonia and was bit by a (non-deer) tick and was very, very, very ill. She stayed in the hospital 3 more days - more than half of my time in Vermont.
I can handle physical illness - give me your best puking, coughing up phlegm and bleeding from limbs and I'm ok. I don't do emotional and mental illness well. Especially from my grandmother who's been a strong, sharp and quick personality in my life. Gram was confused. You could see it in her enlarged eyes; it was terrifying. I could not cry because crying meant something was wrong and there was reason to be scared.
I rented a car and took Olivia to a couple of planned visits throughout New England and to my sister's house for a sleep over with her cousins. We had a nice visit with my sister and spent a lot of time with my favorite Great-Aunt. But I still couldn't cry. Because we only cry if something is wrong and nothing can be wrong with my Gram. She's fine.
I was relieved to leave after seeing her gain a tiny bit of strength every day. She was able to keep food down a little more every time and was even enjoying some time outdoors.

She's still not 100% better. I'm afraid to wonder if she'll ever get back to 100%. We were in Vermont to celebrate her 70th birthday and I just cannot bear to even consider the facts of her age, illness and recovery rate.

I did finally cry for about a week when I got home. She's not going to die, you know. She's going to get better and live to see many, many more great grandchildren. I have to believe that because when she dies, it's going to be the most horrific experience of my life. And I don't know how I'll survive it.


Carianne said...

Hospital peeps! I friggin' love you! I hope she is feeling better and send them our love!

Heidi said...

Oh I am so sorry for her and for you.... Hope she gets back to 100% soon.

Happy Mommy said...

Girl our whole last year was like that! I hope all will be better soon!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm so sorry. An illness like that is never easy. Peace and blessings to you and her.

The Source said...

So sorry your grandma had to go through all of that. I hope she's on the mend and feeling like her real self very soon!

We are THAT Family said...

OH, I'm so sorry you had a hard time...I hope it's better now. Sometimes a staycation is the best choice-ya know after the real vacation goes bad.

Shannon said...

I am sorry to hear that, and I hope that she is doing better. Know that thanks to your words strangers have you and your family in their prayers.