Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Life, death and miracles.


I can't believe it.  I honestly cannot believe it.  This time last week my 79 year old Nana was lying in hospital being informed that due to her severe kidney failure and inoperable pancreatitis she would have roughly 24 hours to live.  Now, on the day we should have been expecting to be holding her funeral, my Nana is being transferred to a hospice with her blood tests showing that she could very well recover..

** Warning - This post may get a little bit heavy **

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My Mum and Grandpa were both in the room when this news was given to my Nana last Tuesday.  According to my Mum, this was the first time in her entire life that she had ever witnessed her father cry. :(  After receiving this news my Nana was then moved straight to a private room in the Intensive Care Unit, where our family was granted 24hr visitor access in order to say our "goodbyes".

The next day was one of the saddest days of my life.  I cancelled all of my plans for the day and drove up to visit my Nana along with my Mum, brother, Grandpa, cousins, Aunts and Uncles who all took the day off work to come and say goodbye.  In fact, all but two of her children/grandchildren came to visit her that day, and that's only because one of them was interstate at the time, and the other one lives overseas.

Once we arrived it was like something out of a movie.  The whole situation was just so surreal to me.  To see my Nana in such a bad state and knowing that there was nothing anyone could do for her was truly heartbreaking.  What made things even harder was watching my Mum and her older sister clinging on to Nana's hands and crying for the loss that they had been told was about to come.  The trigger that opened the floodgates for everybody though was when my Uncle called from overseas and asked to speak to Nana on speaker phone.  Perhaps we should have left for the room for that phonecall, because as my Uncle cried his heart out on the phone, the whole room burst into tears. :(

Later that evening (a few hours after the time that the doctors had predicted that she would pass) my Nana woke up from already broken sleep and started screaming/crying for someone to take my Grandpa home to rest.  My poor Grandpa of course refused to do so at first, and he started crying into the covers, yelling at anyone who tried to help him up.  Eventually Nana's pleading had an effect on him though as he all of a sudden rose from the bed and asked my Mum to drive him home.  He told my Nana that he would be back in the morning, all the while believing that she would pass away during the night.  For Pa, this was their final goodbye, and he barely made it through the corridor before completely breaking down.

The next morning, after staying with my Mum and brother overnight, Mum and I took Pa back up to the hospital where my amazing Aunt and cousin had been taking shifts to watch over Nana throughout the night. Much to Pa's delight my Nana was still alive and surprisingly seemed much better than she did the day before (she was still incredibly unwell, but she was a lot more relaxed and was finding it easier to breathe).  We all couldn't help but smile as my Nana and Pa embraced - a very rare sight for the majority of the family. :)

We stayed at the hospital with Nana all day Thursday until a special visitor arrived late in the afternoon.  Turns out my Uncle from overseas who had called the previous afternoon had immediately taken a 22 hour flight to Australia with the hope of being able to say goodbye to his mother in person.  Unfortunately my Uncle's wife was unable to accompany him as she is in the middle of their first pregnancy and my Uncle didn't want her to have to sit through such a long flight, however the fact that my Uncle showed up so quickly was more than any of us could have hoped for.

Once Pa knew that Nana was in the company of my Uncle, he bravely took it upon himself to ask my Mum to drive him home again.  I knew I wouldn't be back the next day as I hadn't packed a spare change of clothes etc, so I leaned in for what I believed was going to be my last goodbye hug from Nana.  As I was doing so, Nana pulled me closer to tell me that she loved me, and then she whispered in my ear that I was a "good girl" who had "done my service".  This was Nana's cheeky way of letting me know that she didn't expect me to come back in the morning, and it ultimately helped to relieve some of the guilt that I was feeling over leaving.

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Ever since then my Nana's health has (seemingly) improved more and more each day.  I mean seriously, what's the go?!  Of course I'm delighted that my Nana appears to be on the road to recovery, it just angers me so much that doctors have the power to hand someone a death sentence without absolute certainty like that.

I can't even begin to describe how emotionally draining it is to grieve the loss of a loved one before they've even left you.. but to be forced to do this day in and day out for over a week is beyond comprehension.

Which begs the question.. is my Nana's improving health some sort of miracle? or is it simply the result of us being ill-informed by her doctor?

4 comments:

  1. Whoa. That sounds like a crazy, heavy week! That's amazing that your Nana is still alive and seems to be getting better! When you said yesterday I thought she might have passed away... but that is so good that she's improving! I don't know if its a miracle or the doctor's wrong information, but to tell your family that she had such little time when she didn't doesn't seem right to me... put you all through such heartache! :( I'll definitely be keeping you and your family, your Nana in particular in my thoughts!! xo

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    1. I didn't want to jinx it by saying that she was getting better, but she's a lot happier now that she's in the hospice, so even if she doesn't continue to get better at least she'll pass away happily. :)

      Thanks for being so supportive hun, I look forward to catching up this evening!

      xx

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  2. Aw Felicity this is so sad but amazing at the same time as its great to hear your nana's improving by the day!! It's such a shame you were misinformed like that - you must of been through hell as a family!! I hope you get some answers from the doctors soon!! Also I'd just like to apologise for bombarding you with emails about my blog design - I had no idea this was going on so I apologise if that added any extra stress or pressure!!

    I hope you're doing okay :)

    Kayleigh
    xxx.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and support hun, it really means a lot to me. :) And you have no reason to apologise at all! I'm just sorry I haven't been a very "present" blog designer lately. :(

      xx

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