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Sad news...and I'm seeking advice, AGAIN - Page 2

post #31 of 60
Ghys, I'm sorry to hear that you are again going through perhaps another loss of a family member.(((HUGS))) Maybe, this story will help.
All of my life, I have lived with the fact that my father was going to die. I'm 28 yrs old and my father will be 76 yrs old this Feb. He has been in and out of hospitals all my life. Heart attacks, Insephalitis, respirtory failure at least once a year. He's had 48 surgeries and numerous hospitalizations. When I was a little, my father would promise me that he would dance at my wedding if I did him a small favor. When I became a teenager, I was really angry with him because he is supposed to dance at my wedding I just did him a favor for nothing. Now a days, I worry that he won't be around when and if I do get married. It tears me up inside, but I realized I was losing precious time with him.Instead of enjoying every moment, I was thinking about how it was going to hurt when I lost him. The important thing is, when I start thinking about him dying, is that I say to myself " I AM MY FATHER". Everything I do is a reflection of him. Down to some of the quarky things he does. He will never ever be gone. Maybe gone in the physical sense, but not his spirit. His spirit will always be with me. In the values and wisdom he's taught me,the love that I know he feels for me. These things will never diminish or go away. This is what I have to hold on to.
post #32 of 60
That was very touching Nenners, and if I am adding this up right, there is the same age difference between your father and you and my father and I. I was 34 when he died and he was 82. It was hard having older parents and losing them so soon, most of my friends are only now just going through losing grandparents, and here I have lost all of them (in my 20's )and both parents (in my early 30's). You are right to just enjoy the time you have now. I regret that there were so many things I wished I had done with my father, like to take him out to eat more often, or have him over for supper more often (although I did do these things, I could have done them more often) and I wish I had taken him to the State Fair one year, etc. things I planned to do, but never seemed to have the time, and always thought I would still have time to do them. He died so suddenly...took ill with a stroke and was gone 3 months later, and noone expected it, he seemd so healthy, even at his age. He was still even driving a tractor and helping my brother farm!

Ghyslaine....my thoughts and prayers are still with you and your grandpa, I am glad your sister called. I hope you get to talk to your grandpa very soon! *hugs*
post #33 of 60
Ghys - I am so sorry you are having to go thru this. All I can say in support is that my prayers are with you. The one thing I really regret in my life was not telling my uncle, before he died of lung cancer, was not telling him how I really felt about him. He also was not one to voice his feelings and I regret that I did not tell him how much he meant to me. I wish every day I could go back and tell him. Please make sure that you don't end up with this same regret.
post #34 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the hugs. Much appreciated!

I don't really have much more news....I spoke to grandpa briefly last night and than grandma told me that he is not feeling well. All he did say to me is that he is in alot of pain. I hope he ends up getting checked before the 14th of Feb...it seems to far away.

Grandma told me she wants me to go visit. I will this week. Apparently they have something for me. It seems odd because they are not ones to give gifts on birthdays or anything else. Other than to the grandchildren. I have a feeling I am going to lose it on the spot....maybe it'll be a good thing.

Thanks again everyone! I really wish I had more news.
post #35 of 60

Ghys - don't ever be afraid to cry. It might feel uncomfortable if you haven't let that happen with your grandparents before, but there's no shame in it. And it communicates so much at the same time, and that's what matters.

post #36 of 60
The reason I made sure I left the room is that my brother's wife could not discuss his condition without her falling apart, and he counted on having me to talk with. You know Grandfather the best, Ghyslaine. Use your best judgment. If you think tears will make things worse, go to the bathroom. If he needs to get the emotions out, take it from there. Let him guide you. If his eyes mist over, hug him.

I'm guessing they want you to have a memento of Grandad's. My mother made sure everyone knew what she wanted them to have for years before her death. She also wrote it down in a special letter. If these things have value, your grandparents will not want you to pay tax on them, and they will give them before their deaths. It's very sad and touching that they think of us at such a time.
post #37 of 60
Thread Starter 
I am sooooooo mad right now It is friday night 8:40pm to be exact and I am just now finding out that my grandfather was admitted Wednesday morning. He is back at the hospital and apparently not doing well. They've re-inserted the draining tube and remove 4 litres of water from one lung.

I had not talked to my grandparents since tuesday night because on wednesday night, I went away and then yesterday, I spent the day in bed because I was sick.

I called there tonight. Thank God because I don't know when I would have found out anything.

My grandma said that she did not want to call because I work and I have the kids and...etc...etc...etc... Well, as nice as that is and I know she means well, I kind of got upset at her. I told her to let me decide when I should or should not be called and that I happen to think that knowing my grandfather is back in the hospital has more of a priority in my life right now than anything else...

I'm just really upset because it's always like this. I find out after the fact. Well...right now, with his health so fragile and the cancer, I don't think it's fair that everyone has made that choice for me. I want to know immediately when something happens. I don't think that's asking too much. Aaaargh! I am upset at the situation and upset at grandma, even if I know she means well. I didn't get rude or anything on the phone because I know she is having a difficult time but I told her not to do that.

She is relying on neighbors to drive her to the hospital etc....What are they thinking about her family????? They probably think I'm heartless and only come around when it suits me.

Anyways.....all this to say he is back in the hospital and I don't know what is going to happen. They moved him to a room on the side of the hospital that has only elderly people there. It's like a seniors home (but it's a hospital atmosphere).

They don't want me to visit because I am not feeling 100% yet. Although I am much better than yesterday. They don't want to take a chance with him catching anything because his lungs are weak.

I have to wait for news now......if anyone thinks it's okay to tell me!!!!!! (sorry.....I am really not happy about this situation)
post #38 of 60
Ghys, I would be upset too. But remember, they really don't know what to do, so it was a good idea to explain that you would like to be called.

Don't worry about what the neighbours think, (although I understand what you mean), you have enough on your plate without making up worries.

I think that you should go see him at the hospital. If you wash your hands with the antibacterial soap they provide, and wear a mask if necessary, you will not be putting him at risk, and it will do both of you a world of good.

And if you contact a support group, they will give you advice about handling the emotional issues that are sure to come up. Hospitals also usually have very good palliative care teams who will also help you deal with these things.
post #39 of 60
Oh, Ghyslaine, I'm so sorry. I have been in your position. I don't understand that kind of thinking myself, and agree completely with your feelings. If you are concerned about being contagious, visit through the glass. It's not very personal, but safe. You're in a terrible position right now, and I know your heart is breaking. I'm praying for you and Grandfather. God bless.
post #40 of 60
It is a very tough situation & emotional time for *all* involved. Your grandmother is trying to cope the best she can with the situation as it unfolds before her.

It's times like these that really test one's emotions. I'm not going to try to understand or rationalize someone's actions at a time like this. But I'm sure everyone is walking a tight rope trying to hang on the best they can.

post #41 of 60
G, no need to apologize, I would be upset, too. I agree Sammie, it was good to let them know that you want to be notified when things happen. Maybe it was too hard on your grandma to make the phone calls? Other family members might not think about calling if they think your grandma did. I'm not trying to excuse what she did, she may not know how to handle this situation.
post #42 of 60
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your support guys....

I hope you don't misunderstand my anger and frustration. It's not directed at my grandmother per say. More towards their (I'm sure grandpa told her not to call) way of thinking. I love them both dearly. I just don't understand.....I guess I need to stop trying and to just concentrate on the matter ahead.

I will see how things are in the morning. I will call the hospital and see what they say and what they suggest.

Grandma had me in tears though.....apparently grandpa was to weak to get up and call her this afternoon sometime (he's been calling her a couple of times a day to check on her)so he had a nurse call her to make sure she was ok. Isn't that the sweetest thing? She goes to visit him in the morning and then for an hour in the afternoon. She is very tired lately and cannot handle long visits.

Sammie, thank you for the support suggestion. I will think about it. I think for right now I'm okay....

Once again, I got the anger out of me and you guys calmed me down.....you are my angels in disguise!!!!

Jeanie, I'm not sure if there is glass. It's more like a bedroom with a door...it's not an open concept place. But, thank you for the suggestion. I'll know a bit more tomorrow.

Kass.....I've never been very good at walking the tight rope. I always seem to make the wrong move. So far, TCS is helping me hang on and I am grateful for the hands that are holding me up.
post #43 of 60

I have just read this thread for the first time, and while I don't have any advice I just wanted to say I'm so sorry you are going through such a hard time right now, and I will be thinking about you and your grandfather and hoping things work out.

Your grandma really was doing what she thought best. When someone is so ill it's hard on everyone and people don't always make the best decisions but they are usually well meant at least. I lost my dad when I was 20, and my grandma when I was 21. My dad died suddenly so I never had a chance to say goodbye or I love you, and my grandma lived across the country and I didn't make it there in time to see her either. So while I know this is so hard for you, please take advantage of the special opportuntity you have to tell him that you love him. It really is a wonderful thing to be able to do that, hard as it may be to do.

Take care of yourself.
post #44 of 60
Thread Starter 
Sunni Jean...Thank you. That was very touching.

I think I will. As soon as I see him. I know he knows but I think everyone is right. I need to know and make sure that he knows or else I will always regret it.`
post #45 of 60

This is such a hard time for everyone. Perhaps what you can do for future emergencies is set up a calling network so no one in the family is left out of the loop, and so Grandma only has to make one call.

I hate to say it, but I have to agree with the hospital that you shouldn't go see him in the hospital if you are sick. It is so easy for someone with a compromised system to pick something up, and the last thing you need is to feel guilty that you may have given him an illness that could compromise him. When my mother was getting stem cell treatment (they gave her massive doses of chemo and then used her own pre-harvested bone marrow stem cells to boost her system), no one could go in without full cover (booties, surgical gloves, mask, etc.) and no one could go in if they had been sick at all. It was hard when I did come down with something and couldn't go see her for 2-3 weeks, but that's what had to be done for her safety. Had she contracted even a small cold at that point, it could have developed into something much worse and she could have died from it.
post #46 of 60
Thread Starter 
Heidi....you are right. With grandpa, because it is his lungs, it's preferable that he not be exposed to anyone that is sick. Why am I always sick when I shouldn't be?????
post #47 of 60
I'm sorry for posting so late...
Ghys, I really feel for you! You had me in tears reading all of this...it's so painful to go through. I really don't have much advice or anything. Just wanted you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. ((((HUGS))))

I do hope that you tell your Grandpa how much you love him. And don't forget Grandma too...she needs to know this just as much! As a suggestion on how to say it:
As you are leaving say "Well I'll see ya later Grandpa...I love ya!". I'm sure you'll probably tear up a bit ( I know I would!), but when you say it...just say it casually like you say it all the time. You never know...he might surprise you and say it back!
Once again, you are in my prayers and so is your family.
Take care Ghys and if you need anything just holler!
post #48 of 60
Ghyslaine, Sometimes we can write what we can't say. When my brother was in the hospital, I wrote to him and explained what he meant to me. It was near Father's Day, so I had an excuse to give it to him. My daughter has taken all my poems, etc. to coordinate, but it was very much like this:

Dear R-----,
I loved you when I was four because you gave me candy.
I loved you when I was six because you gave me dimes.
I loved you when I was ten because you were so fair.
I loved you when I was twelve because you knew everything.
I loved you when I was twenty-five because you loved my babies.
I love you now because you are you.

He laughed about the "knowing everything" part, and said, "That's for sure." But I know he was touched. I idolized him, and when he was too ill to read, I said, R-----, I am so glad that you're the kind of person whose family was always able to let you know how much you are loved. (What a beautiful word--love.)
post #49 of 60
post #50 of 60
Prayers, thoughts, and lots of love still coming your direction, Ghyslaine. I hope you get to feeling better also. Keep us posted on how everything is going with your Grandpa. I don't get to check in every day, but when I do, this is one of the threads I make sure I check!
post #51 of 60
Thread Starter 
Jeanie, that is too beautiful. I am actually going to buy grandpa a card and I will 'creat' comething similar. Thank you for that. Love is a beautiful word when you knwo how to use it properly and this.....is using it properly!

Michelle, Laurie, Debby.....thank you for your thoguhts, hugs and prayers.

(If I have missed anyone in this post, please don't think I have done so intentionally. I am so overwhelmed by the support I am getting here. Thanks you to all)

Latest update is that I am not allowed anywhere near the hospital (for grandpa and for the others sake) They just lifted the Norwalk Virus ban and opened the doors to the public a few weeks ago. I guess it was pretty bad on the side where the elderly are. They even lost a few patients because the flu was so bad.

I spoke to grandma and she prefers I stay away until I am 100% better. Today, I feel better. Much better.

She actually told me that they may consider sending grandpa home in a few days. They removed the IV last night. He can get up and walk short distances. And, since they drained his lung, he does not seem to be fighting for oxygen as much so......things are looking up. Apparently they feel he will be better off at home because he spends so much time worried about grandma also.

I had a really long talk with her. She talked about her fear of losing grandpa and that it is on her mind every day. She spends her minutes wondering if today is the last day. And, she says she does not want him to know she is scared (I told her she needed to tell him just so that he will open up and talk about it). They are both very aware that there is no cure for him. Also...she told me that he is leaning on not taking the chemo because it will not do anything other than maybe extend his life for 2-3 months.

I am anxious to see them. I know I could just go and say I am ok but I'm afraid if I am not 100% and one of them gets sick and passes it to the other then I will be responsible.

Thanks again for the continuous support here. I really appreciate it and I apologize in advance if I write so much.......
post #52 of 60
Not that it should be a deciding factor, but chemo also supressed the immune system, so that the risk of getting ill from visitors is much greater. He has to decide what is best for him, but you will have a better chance for quality time with him if he is at home, receiving lots of care, but not chemo.

And remember that this is precious time for all of you - a chance to say everything you need to say to each other.

It is hard to bring up the conversations, but what i think works well is if you just talk about how many wonderful memories you have.
post #53 of 60
Dear Ghyslaine,
I´m honestly sorry you have to face such a hard time.Ibelieve it might come as a relief for your grandpa when he can speak about his illness and not avoid it as probably everybody prefers doing.Perhaps you can make a few suggestions about how you could spend some time together doing something that he likes.Sorry that´s all that comes to mymind. I now it isn´t much it was just an idea that might help you and your grandpa.Ido hope from all my heart that there are still times that he can enjoy.So, all the best and I`LL think of you Elisabeth
post #54 of 60
Elisabeth is so right! Sometimes love is a game of checkers. (especially if you normally hate the game!)
post #55 of 60
Thread Starter 

Just got a call from grandma. Grandpa is home!!! And he is apparently excited to be in his own surroundings. They let him some home although he is still attached to a draining tube and will have a homecare nurse come over and check on him daily.

He still does not want me to go over there yet but I totally understand. I'll head over there one night after work to see how they are.

It'll give me time to go out and find the prefect gift for him....I need to find something special....

Sammie, elisabeth, jeanie, thank you for your kind words. I am reading everything and taking mental notes on how to handle all of this. All of your tips are helping me along. Thank you.....
post #56 of 60
Ghyslaine -

I am so glad to hear he got to come home! That must be such a comfort for everyone. I pray that he is comfortable as long as possible.
post #57 of 60
I'm so glad your grandpa's home! It sounds like he'll be better off there. Emotional health is SO important when faced with such serious illness. I'm glad he's with your Grandma now. You concentrate on getting better Ghys, so you can go visit them.

My heart reaches out to your Grandma. My Dad has Type I diabetes. He was diagnosed with it in 1940, I think just one or two years since the discovery of insulin. He was nine. He was given 15 years to live. He just celebrated his 71st birthday. My mom gave him his shots twice a day since they've been married. She has had to live with the fear of his death since Day 1, basically. It is a very, very difficult thing to do. In 1994 my Dad had a heart attack - it resulted in a quintuple bypass. It is amazing that people CAN "beat the odds." But at the time of the heart attack, everyone was so worried about my Dad. When we all left the hospital, one of the nurses gave my Mom a hug and asked her how SHE was doing. She totally broke down and started crying. She'd been so "tough" and so stoic - and we all forgot to make sure that she was OK, too. We all were so focused on Dad. So make sure you take care of your Grandma, too. If you're getting Grandpa a gift, you might want to get one for Grandma too. What a wonderful woman for being able to voice her fears. My Mom was too emotionally protected, and when someone reached out, it broke that wall down. Now we make sure to devote equal attention to both of them!

post #58 of 60
Get well and go see Grandfather bearing gifts! I'm praying for him, you, and Grandmother. I'm so glad he's home. His state of mind will be so much better when he can lead a more normal life. God bless!
post #59 of 60
I am so glad to hear your Grandpa is home!!!! That is great news! I hope you will get to feeling better soon so that you can go see him!!!
post #60 of 60
Aww Ghys, I just saw this. I am glad your granddad is home now. My heart goes out to you and especially to your grandma.

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