My grandmother is super confused. It really speaks to how little we've seen her before she moved in here that we thought she was entirely with it. But she's forgetting things . . . scary things like how to use a fork but then other moments she will tell you a story from her childhood with amazing clarity. It's difficult to see how frustrated she is with herself when she drops words or forgets what she's doing in the middle of doing it. And it frustrates me and my mother because neither of us want her to be that far gone. I wish my mother would use a little more tact when discussing it, though, which is entirely silly. My grandmother knows she's having trouble remembering things. There's no way to protect her from that.
These are really hallmark signs of dementia and it's a word that some of the visiting nurses have thrown out there too. My grandfather had dementia and . . . it's really devastating to see someone get lost in that disease.
My uncle refuses to hear of it, though. He wants the doctors to say that she is going to be able to stay at home by herself and it's becoming increasingly clear that no one will say that. I brought up to my mother that she might need to move in with us if my uncle can't come around because if he goes in front of a judge trying to convince him that it's okay to leave her alone we might lose her altogether. My mother agreed, though she was loathe to do so because we live under HUD. Which is essentially housing assistance for low income families. Because my mother isn't working right now, she's not paying any rent. My grandmother's 1400 in social security/my grandfather's railroad pension would make our rent go up to 400. We would also have to move into a three-bedroom townhouse instead of our two bedroom one.
I don't know what's going to happen.
I have been so distracted lately. I left my keys in the car while I was grocery shopping this morning. I was driving to school and drove right past it and it took me a good three blocks to realize it.
I just must have a lot on my plate.
I've been caring for my grandmother as you all know. It's been very time consuming and exhausting. However, I've been surprised that it has been very rewarding. I change her brief, her bedding, and help her with her clothes. I make her meals and give her the medications and breathing treatments as prescribed to her.
Believe it or not, I've been feeling less depressed during all of this. For some reason, caring for someone has lifted my mood and it's almost as if I don't have time to feel depressed. I'm trying to have a positive attitude for her and I'm starting to FEEL better. New-agey, I guess.
I'm vaguely thinking about nursing, now. I like the way it feels to be responsible for someone and making them happy.
Things have calmed down a little. I'm feeling a bit better. Therapy next Tuesday and I know that will help.
Went to court this morning. Judge denied custody to the state. Grandmother is going to come stay with us. We spent all day setting up the living room. Didn't really have time to argue.
Would write more, but exhausted. Anatomy tomorrow. God help me. I'm terrible at science.
"You are not a part of this family. We do not want you and all you care about is what you can leech off us."
"I don't want you in this house anymore."
"You probably called protective services on your grandmother."
"It's your fault your grandmother was taken away because you didn't help enough."
"I hate you and my respect for you is continuously dropping."
"Go fuck yourself."
"Why don't you go jump off a cliff?"
"You're too into yourself for anyone to love you."
By the time this ordeal was done, I needed to not be here anymore. I took six xanax pills which put me down for eight hours. I have bruises on my thigh from hitting myself like a complete loon because I just couldn't take it anymore. I managed to drive over here without throwing my car into the wrong lane and letting another car hit me head-on. That still doesn't sound like a particularly bad idea. I was in a car accident once and it didn't hurt very much. Still feeling a little drunk from the xanax. Over my grandmother's now and considering taking two more so that I can just go to sleep for the night. Think it's probably safer that way.
I thought it was probably time for an update on school. I actually started a few days ago but I haven't really had the time to post/there's been so much else going on.
I actually really like it. The school is pretty strict with an attendence policy that only allows you to miss two days of class and not in a row and a policy against extra credit work. All the tests are long-hand (no multiple choice or matching) and my teachers really seem to know what they're talking about.
My pharmacy tech class is going to make me crazy. I have to learn 20 drugs and their generic form every week for the duration of the class. That's a total of 200 drugs by time we're finished and the tests on this information is a huge chunk of your grade. I figured out the reasoning for this though; turns out the tech certification exam requires you to know the 200 most common drugs. I don't have a problem remembering what the drugs are for and their brand name but the generic names are crazy jumbles of words!
My medical terminology class seems fairly easy. Rote memorization; the teacher is really upbeat, though, and says she's going to do a lot of techniques with us in class to reinforce terms.
I think I'm in too low of a math class. The stuff we're doing seems VERY, PAINFULLY basic. And taking this math class will set me back a semester in graduating. I'm going to browse through the book and if it seems like I know everything we're covering in the class, then I'm going to ask if I can test out.
The only class left for me to go to is Anatomy and Physiology which is on Saturday.
I've been trying to find a lawyer who can possibly help us fight the state's decision to pursue guardianship of my grandmother. I'm not having much luck, though. I'm not sure what type of law that would fall under. And my searches - probably due to my terms used - mostly bring back articles about how awful some people are to their elderly relatives. I think my best bet might be to just get out the phone book and start calling local law firms and seeing if they deal with that type of thing.
So, as you all know, my grandmother's primary caregiver passed away not too long ago. We've been doing the best that we possibly can. No one can stay with her all day. She's never alone for more than an hour or an hour and a half and the phone is placed on the bedside table next to her. Her bed linens are changed once or twice a day depending on if she has a bowel movement. Her brief is changed every three hours. There is food in the fridge; she eats three square meals a day and has plenty of snacks inbetween. The house is in a bit of a disarray, but neither she nor my uncle have ever been exceptionally neat people.
She's back in the hospital after being out for a week due to a recurring blood infection. One which 'miraculously' cleared up when we declined for her to go to a nursing home just to receive IV antibiotics and instead were going to have a nurse come out and do it at home as per their suggestion. No one ever set up the antibiotics; the infection was gone! Miracles don't hold out.
Her doctor called adult protective services. They questioned her in the hospital - explaining why she's been in such a poor mood - let me reiterate; they questioned my 80-year-old grandmother who has dementia. They snuck out to the house when no one was there, entered, and took invention. Leaving only a business card on the kitchen table like some dramatic spy movie.
She was in a nursing home once; the hospital is obsessed with her going to one, always has been, claiming her small 1300 dollar check and insurance benefits. Don't tell me that has nothing to do with it. She came out with a fractured SPINE (from using the gate belt to get her out of bed), two bed sores, and pnemonia. Yeah. Lawyers were BEGGING to take the case, but my mother didn't want to bother.
My grandmother wants to be home. Let me explain what will happen in a hospital; she will not eat, she will not talk to anyone, and she will cry daily to the point that they give her sedatives. That's what happened last time, anyway. She'll be dead within the year in one of those places.
My mother asked the social worker why she was doing this. "Your mother's living environment and care does not meet with our standards." "How can we make it meet with your standards?" My mother was being calm and rational. The social worker fucking changes the subject.
My mother went up to the hospital. No doubt she will make the entire staff wish they had never come into work this morning. I advised her before she left. I told her just make sure they're aware; we will be at the nursing home everyday and the care better DAMN well live up to OUR standards. And if anything happens to her, the hospital will be involved with our inquiries to a lawyer.
Not that my mother doesn't inspire fear all on her own.
I have to tidy up the house and get some math work done, now. I hope everything works out.
Vaguely consiidering doing script frenzy. . .
Thinking that it might even help me get a lot of the bones of my novel worked out.
I would have five days to vaguely figure out how to format a script.
My grandmother is coming home from the hospital with no real caregiver at home to speak of. My uncle is adamantly opposed to nursing homes, however, so we're going off half-cocked here. I think his reasoning is that between my mother, myself, and him we can manage to have someone there with her at all times.
I don't think he's considering that summer is coming during which he works eight hour days with his lawn service. My mother already works twelve to fourteen hour days. I'll be going to school five days a week. And she can't be alone AT ALL. I'm seeing most of this falling on me since my classes only last 3-4 hours per day. Which is fine; I can take my school work over there and bring the computer with me. It'll be managable.
She's going downhill fast. She has a cancerous spot on her lung which we've opted not to treat after consulting with the doctor because she's so sick already and so frail. Her COPD is getting worse to where she's coughing all the time. When she came into the hospital originally, they found that she had suffered a minor heart attack. We really just want to make her as comfortable as possible. With our schedules, it'll be hard and emotionally it'll be taxing.
But it's not really about us.