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Crooked Smile Update #4

Last night, I cried myself to sleep. And, Travis held me, and Pepe laid his head on my hip, and I cried myself to sleep.

St. Mary's has decided that my grandfather is not strong enough to do the intense rehabilitation program that they offer. It is three grueling hours of work everyday, and he just isn't ready for it right now. They have requested that he be transferred to a temporary care facility (short-term nursing home) where he can rest, recuperate, and get daily speech, physical, and occupational therapy suited to his energy level. He goes to a nursing home Wednesday. The visitation hours will only be 10AM to 8:30PM (due to Homeland Security laws, or so I'm told). So, it will greatly hinder my being able to see him Friday nights when I make it there after work and Saturday mornings when I get up early to come back. He will stay there for up to 20 days. At that time, he will be sent back to St. Mary's for their rigorous rehab; or, if he is not strong enough, they will send him home. The latter is a death sentence, if you ask me.

Which, I guess, is how I got to crying myself to sleep. My Mom's Dad died in 2000. He got very sick after having flu-like symptoms for several months. They admitted him to a hospital in Athens, and moved him shortly thereafter to Emory Hospital in Atlanta. They thought it was everything from Tuberculosis to cancer, but they never reached a diagnosis. On the day he died, I called around lunch. I didn't get an answer. I meant to call back, but I forgot. He was given a blood transfusion that afternoon (one of his symptoms was that his red blood cells were greatly depleted), and it killed him. I can't say whether it was medical malpractice or if the stress just did him in. There was no autopsy, and we do not know, to this day, the cause of death or the illness from which he suffered. What I do know, though, is that he died before I ever got to call him back. I forgot to call him back. I forgot about my own grandfather. And, it haunts me. Everyday. It makes me miserable to think that I let him die like that--not knowing that I loved him and I missed him and that I still love him now and I miss him so so so much. I feel very guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel like I have to do this right this time around. I can't let my Pawpaw Tommy die without knowing how much he means to me.

So, I'll make another trip home this weekend. Somehow. Even though I have a party to put on for Travis. Even though I am exhausted and barely functioning. Even though I will hardly get to see him and gas is still an arm and a leg. Because I just can't let this happen again. My dad says I should get on with my normal life, and I should not feel guilty about what happened to my other grandfather or not coming home this weekend. But, I can't. Travis and I haven't been scuba diving once this summer. And I can't even fathom going now. I'll feel so guilty the entire time because I'll be out having fun, and he'll be lying in a bed half-paralyzed, unable to talk or eat.

1 comment:

  1. sorry to hear about this... just have faith. It is hard but know that people are praying for you guys and here if you need us.


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