Sunday, December 12, 2010


Almost two weeks ago on Tuesday night, my mom's mom went into the ER in Virginia Beach. She could barely walk, she couldn't lift her arms up, and she was overall having trouble doing anything. She was immediately admitted, and went to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). I got the chance to go down on Thursday morning to see her.

The hospital entrance. I was actually born at this hospital!

When I got there, she looked horrible and she was so delirious. She was saying so many crazy things, and she was imagining things. She was insisting that Gray had been arrested three times, that I was not in the room, that sausages were hanging from the ceiling, that her ice in her cup were bubbles floating in the room, and so many other things. We hung around for a couple of hours just listening to her and cracking up, because she was not making any sense at all. She was hooked up to IVs, blood pressure monitor that checked her every 20 minutes, oxygen, a PulseOx, a heart rate monitor, a catheter, and tons of other things. She couldn't move without a nurse, so she basically laid in bed for a week and a half.

**In the ICU you are not supposed to be taking pictures, so I had to secretly take this with no flash and then make it lighter on the computer.

We didn't want to leave Grandma alone in the ICU at night, so I stayed with her both Thursday night and Friday night because mom and Gray had to go back to Fredericksburg for their college classes, my Grandpa had to give college exams the next morning, and my aunt is a teacher who had to work the next morning. That left me. It's a good thing I stayed, because both nights were rough for her.

Grandma on Thursday

Thursday night I just had the laptop and some schoolwork out, and Grandma woke up at about 12:30 am. She woke up, looked around, and started saying stuff like, "Oh, this looks amazing. Who did all of this work. This is so nicely decorated. Oh! Look at those cats and that clown! Wow, this looks like a nightclub in here! Who's party is this?" It was crazy. She thought we were really having a party in there all night and kept saying she felt so bad she was ruining the party every time the nurse came in to give her medicine or when she had to use the bathroom or anything. Friday morning around 6am, she starting acting more like herself again. Most of the confusion was gone, and she was talking like herself again, which was good.

Grandma started telling me how she thought she was going to die. It was definitely the worst and sickest I had ever seen her, but I knew she wasn't dying, so I just listened to her tell me about her life, and all of her kids and grandkids, and about when she was little, etc. The doctors figured out that some steroids she was on were shutting down her entire system, and she most likely took to much or forgot to take one of her medicines. All the confusion and random things she was saying were caused by being rapidly taken off of her medicines while the doctors were trying to get her back to normal. She had so many great doctors and nurses!

Her screen with all of her vitals and monitors

Friday day was good. Her legs were in a lot of pain--a lot. I rubbed them for hours. I switched out with my aunt and grandpa so that I could go back to their house and take a shower and go to Target and get some clothes. I wasn't planning on staying in Virginia Beach, so I had nothing with me except for the clothes I was wearing and a pair of sweatpants. My aunt took me, I got some clothes, and then I went to some work holiday party with my Grandpa. I was running on like 2 hours of sleep, and I fell asleep at my Grandpa's work party :) After that, I went back to the hospital to stay another night with Grandma. By Friday night, she was out of the ICU and was on the 3rd floor, which meant a lot less monitoring. They were still monitoring her heart, her oxygen, and her blood pressure but less frequently. She fell asleep pretty quickly, and I was sitting on one of those little hospital pull out chairs falling asleep.

The nurses were in and out of her room throughout the night, checking her blood sugars and checking all of her vitals, so I was awake off and on when they would come in. About four in the morning, Grandma woke up and couldn't breathe, so she pushed the nurse alarm button. Of course, I shot right out of bed and was up for the day. They started doing breathing treatments, chest x-rays, EKGs, etc... trying to figure out why she couldn't breathe. It was a crazy morning. Eventually she ate some of her breakfast, but just a few bites. The nurses and doctors were taking care of her, and she was doing better later in the morning, so my aunt came and took me to get some breakfast and to go take a shower. My mom came back down Saturday to pick me up and take me back to Fredericksburg.

They have these boards in all of the rooms. This was on Saturday. They expected her out of the hospital in 1-3 days, but she ended up staying five more days.

Here is Grandma on Saturday night about 5:30, right before we left. She was looking and feeling so much better.

Grandma came out of the hospital just this past Thursday, the ninth. We went back down to Virginia Beach this weekend, and she went back into the hospital this morning. This is crazy. The doctors expect to see her more often than not from here on out.

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