My most sincere apologies to anyone who has lost someone recently. Please don’t read this post as it will certainly come across as insensitive. I know it’s harsh and unkind, but I am just trying to hash some thoughts out.
The hospital bed and my grandmother have now become intermingled in such a way that I can’t imagine one without the other. When I speak to the nurse about the bed, I use pronouns as if I were talking about my grandmother. The doctors are playing games with her meds to treat one failing system at a time, since the meds seem to aggravate the other failing systems. Her mind travels between someplace that exists only in her mind and sometime in her past. She no longer recognizes anyone. Psychologically, she is an infant. Yet, she is not a happy, comfortable infant. She is physically and psychologically suffering. She moans, yells and thrashes, but with less energy than a helpless newborn. If her condition stabilizes at all, she will be sent to a nursing home to waste away. Otherwise, she will go from crisis to crisis while bouncing between the hospital ICU floor and CCU floor.
My mother spends hours at her mother’s bedside day and night when she is in the CCU room. When my grandmother is in the ICU, my mother sleeps in the waiting room with the relatives of all the other medically fragile people. My mother is not young. I can see the physical exhaustion on her face, but the emotional pain is so much worse. My mother is tired. She wants this to end and she hates herself for feeling that. Why does this have to be so hard? My grandmother had a very full life and she is old and sick now. Why can’t this be a calm, peaceful journey? Must it be horrible so that the survivors can say “they’re not suffering now”? I want something better for my parents, but I don’t know what that is.