Thursday, June 22, 2006

Grandma to the very end.

Noonie gave me a great idea for a post. One of the great Grandma stories to remember her by. Sorry it took so long to post it. It's been insanely busy here.

I had no idea that my grandmother ever drank any kind of alcohol. It is now widely known that she loves red wine. When she was living at my parents' house and Zelda was helping to keep an eye on her, she would occasionally ask for a sip of red wine.

One night, a few of us got together and were opening bottles of red wine. My grandmother came over and sat with us. Without her asking, we poured her a small amount. She lifted up her glass and said, "Yo!" (I'm probably mispelling it, but it's loosely translated to "down the hatch" in Vietnamese.) Everyone, including my grandmother, started laughing. So, we did the only natural thing we could. We poured some more. By this time, we were all shouting, "Yo! Yo! Yo!" Grandma picked up the glass and took a sip. We all started cheering. Grandma was smiling from ear to ear and laughing.

When Grandma reached the end, she wouldn't eat or drink. She wasn't lucid. We didn't want her to suffer from thirst so we had to put water on a spoon and give it to her that way. She indicated to us that she didn't want it by shaking her head. So what did we do? We told her it was red wine and all shouted "Yo!" Grandma opened her mouth and drank the spoonful of water.

Hardcore, Grandma! Fucking hardcore to the end.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Civil War

The last few months have resulted in a scaled down version of the civil war in my family regarding Grandma's condition. When my grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the family was deciding on what to do for her. Several members of the family said to send her to a retirement home where she could get round the clock professional help.

My father, being the "Godfather" of the family told the rest of the family that we would take Grandma so that she could be surrounded by family when she passes.

Now, comes the bullshit.

There are a few people in the family who oppose what we were doing. They did not want to give Grandma pain killers. They were in denial as to her condition. They didn't think she was very sick. My question to them was and still remains, "Then, what the hell is on the Ultrasound and CT scan growing from the pancreatic head blocking the common bile duct resulting in a jaundiced state? The "other side" wanted to try Chinese herbals for her health. I find it extremely funny because that happens to be my area of study. Currently, NOTHING would've helped her. Once the diagnosis of Pancreatic CA is made, the average time of death is 6 to 9 months. Mortality is 100%

Knowing this, I wanted to encourage the family to make Grandma's passing as easy as possible. Now, we all know that Zelda has quit her job to get her real estate license and to help care for Grandma at the same time. One of my aunts (who oppose what we are doing) was trying to eliminate the use of morphine entirely on my Grandma. She blatantly lied to the other relatives stating that my mother ok'd that she remove the morphine patch. We all know this is bullshit because Zelda was right there when she tried to remove the morphine patch and told her not to do it.

This was going on for awhile until I spoke to her. She told me that she thought the morphine dosage was too high and that we should decrease her dosage. I had already measured my Grandma's vital signs just before she suggested it. It was actually decent, even for someone on morphine. I told her then that morphine drops blood pressure, and what did she think would happen to her normal blood pressure if we decreased the dosage. It was simple, the decrease in the dosage (50 micrograms) would've caused pain. This, in turn, would increase the blood pressure. I then asked her what did she think would happen to her heart after that happened.

Anyways, that was just the small part of the civil war. My psycho aunt (Aunt #8)called up her youngest sister (Aunt #12), who traveled all the way from California on several occasions and accused her of trying to "Put Grandma to sleep."

Needless to say, this is a situation that the younger generation had to deal with in the past and next few days, all during my Grandma's funeral. At least the younger generation are united in what needs to be done. We know it's about my Grandmother and no one else's opinion. We all seem to think the "other side" is jealous because grandma chose to live out her final days with us instead of the others. We at least gave her everything she wanted in her final days.