Sunday, June 03, 2007

That's the Dumbest Thing I've Ever Heard

The last time we chatted I was headed out of town to visit my grandmother, Mama Jo, who was on the verge of death. I really don't want to bore you with the details, but to appreciate the outcome you need to understand what brought us to this point.

The beginning of May a virus attacked Mama Jo's brain that caused profound memory loss. She spent the next three weeks in the hospital having a very strong anti-viral pumped into her body. During the first few days of this ordeal, the doctors said that after six days of taking the anti-viral they should know how much memory she regained. Well, when day six came she still had a large memory deficit. Most days she didn't even know she was in the hospital.

On May 23 she completed her course of treatment and left the hospital to move in with my aunt and uncle. Within 24 hours of being out of the hospital, Mama Jo started going downhill quickly. That's when my mom and her brother got the call that if they wanted to see her alive, we needed to go back to Indiana asap.

By Saturday, she was still bad but death seemed less imminent.

When we left for IN on Sunday, we were pretty sure she wasn't going to die. Our trip was more to decide if she should be cared for in a nursing home instead of in my aunt's home because of her lack of mobility.

We saw her for the first time Monday morning and she seemed to recognize us, however, she was unsure of much else. She was sleeping 18+ hours a day, could barely keep her eyes open when she was awake, needed assistance walking, and couldn't remember details like her husband's name and where she lived.

Tuesday brought a little improvement and we decided that we should hold off a week or two before we placed her in a nursing facility. She was walking a little better, eating better, and had more moments of lucidity. However, we decided to bring in a caregiver a few hours a day to help my aunt care for Mama Jo. So we contacted three agencies and scheduled interviews with them for the next day.

And that brings us to Wednesday--or breakthrough day, as I like to call it. At breakfast we were all talking about what time the different care givers would be arriving. All of a sudden Mama Jo looked up and asked why they were coming. That was the first question she had initiated on her own. My aunt explained why they were coming and then, in perfect form, Mama Jo said, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of." She never has been big on needing help.

Well, the mere thought of having a caregiver did wonders for her resolve. She began walking on her own, eating on her own, staying awake for longer stretches of time and engaged in more conversation. She was a new lady who was determined to prove that she didn't need a caregiver.
Thursday brought even more improvments. Friday? Well, Friday my aunt took her for a blood draw and then they went shopping at Target.

Yep, that's Mama Jo!! Near death one Friday and shopping at Target the next.

Although her progress has been tremendous over the last week, she will remain living with my aunt and uncle for the long haul. However, you can never count Mama Jo out---she really is like a cat with nine lives.

Thanks for all your prayers. Please continue to lift her up as she works to regain her strength, memory and mobility.


Melissa said...

So glad to hear from you and that Mama Jo is doing so much better!

We have one of those at our house, too. Sometimes I walk in her room and have to check to make sure she is still breathing!

Promises Fulfilled said...

So good to hear that Mama Jo is doing so much better.