What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a day makes!  Thanks for all of your well wishes, thoughts, peace, prayers and positive energy.  I walked into her hospital room yesterday and Granny was wide awake, chatting it up and had the whole nursing staff it stitches, telling them unfiltered stories about us.  It appears that, in addition to weakness on the left side and limited field of vision, Granny has also lost her inhibitions.  She’s telling it ALL!  If anybody had any secrets between them and Granny, forget about it, it’s all coming out now.  I mean everything.  We’ve heard about several affairs already and had a great history lesson.  She told us about a relative who was married to a woman who lived in the “big house” (translation: she was the daughter of a slave and the slave master), but was raised in the masters home and despite marrying a black man  — my great grandfather – decided to stay in the big house while my great grandfather raised their children with his mistress, the lady I know as my great-grandmother who was grandaddy’s “stepmother”).  Did you follow that?  I did and I was fascinated.  She told of more affairs like this from the late 19th century and early 20th century. 

We also got a science lesson.  One of my cousins is pregnant and she just told Granny yesterday.  Granny had her lean in as she whispered loudly, “Did you have a good time?”  I about hit the floor!  Granny went on to explain that if the woman has a better time than a man during sex when she conceives, she’ll have a boy.  When the man has more fun, she’ll have a girl.  We are a family FULL of girls 8 girls, 2 boys of the grandchildren.  My cousin assured her that she had a great time and pointed out that Granny has 2 sons.  Granny said, “I sure do!”  You could hear the wink. 

We laughed so much yesterday listening to her tell us what she really thinks about us all.  She was telling the nurse about what we cook that she likes.  This one makes this, that one makes that, etc.  When she got to my uncle, she said he makes filet mignon because he thinks he’s rich!  She also called him the biggest rat in the barn.  Does anybody know what that phrase means?  We thought it meant he was the oldest, but I was scared to ask her.

I also learned another term, “mother wit”.  She said her mother had mother wit.  She knew how to teach her girls what they needed to know to be successful women.  She is one of 12, only 4 girls (I guess her mom was having a good time too!).  She said her mother told her that all of the girls had sense except her.  She told us the story of a gentleman caller coming to the house warming his hands in front of the fireplace.  He told my grandmother that his hands would warm up faster if he put them between her legs.  So she said she went, “Bloop”.  That was the sound she associated with flinging her legs wide open.  She said the next thing she knows her mom slapped her legs closed so hard it left a hand print.  Told her she didn’t have good sense.  Granny told her mother that she had always told her to believe the truth and “his hands were cold!”

This was non-stop yesterday.  We were all relieved to see her in good spirits.  We can tell she is concerned about her condition.  She’s trying to push her PT way too fast.  She’s holding her left arm up with the right and telling it to “stay up”.  That breaks my heart, but at the same time it shows me she’s a fighter.  She looked at me yesterday and said, “I’m going to live and I didn’t have the stroke they say I had.”  Whatever you say Granny, because you are certainly a fighter and in charge of your destiny.  Who can argue with that?

She also told us that she was planning to show up at all of our 90th birthday parties to surprise us all.  I SO believe her! 

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that everyone has been so kind and gentle about my new look. Mostly I’m hearing that the real me was buried under my “other” hair, because I am rocking the hell out of this new cut. Meh, I have to say I agree!!

The only person who responded differently was my 90 year old Granny. She came to dinner with us at a Japanese restaurant Friday night. She didn’t notice my hair at first, but when Mommy asked her if she liked it, she looked at me, fell backwards in her seat, grabbed the sides of her face (Home Alone-style) and belly laughed. She told my mom she asked the wrong question because now she has to tell the truth. “No! I don’t like it. I don’t like her hair…her NO-HAIR at all. I can’t say hair because she has no hair.” She laughed so hard she cried and she took pop shots at me ALL NIGHT LONG!! She was the life of the party that lasted until they turned the lights off on us. We all laughed so hard at her, like, who knew Granny was such a comedienne. It was good times.

Bad news: Granny had a massive stroke Monday. She is breathing on her own, but was still heavily sedated when I saw her last night. When I first got to the hospital Monday morning, she knew everyone by voice (she can’t open her eyes), and when I walked in, she asked for lots of hugs and said, “Lexi, why did you cut your hair?!?!” and “Do you think it was the Japanese food? (that made her sick)”. She knew all of her grandkids (we are 10 + 2 greatgrands) by our voices. She rocks like that. She was talking non-stop until they sedated her because she punched the tech who tried to get her into the MRI (because she rocks like that). Well, it seems like (from EKGs) she had a heart attack too. She’s 90.

The first night was rough. I stayed up with her at the hospital all night. She didn’t react well to the sedation. She was restless (read: fighting me and trying to climb out of the bed all night) despite, “enough meds to take down a small elephant”. She did sleep after I left at 5:30am, and for the rest of the day. Last night she was making sense again, knew who we were and was making fun of my hair again. The lady in the bed across from her was screaming for a soda. Granny was sleep (we thought). About 5 minutes after the lady stopped screaming, Granny yells, “Give her a soda! She can have mine!” Granny had no soda, but still. You get an idea for her personality.

I was scared at first because I don’t want to see her suffer and not be her independent spunky self. I’ve been prepared for her to go for a long time though — um, she’s 90! My dad is the HR director of an independent/assisted living community — a really nice one. Hopefully, if she pulls through, she can go there so he can check on her throughout the day.

My cousin is a resident on staff at the hospital where she is now. So, we have round the clock access to how she’s doing. All of us have been there with her this week. Her nurses don’t really have to do that much with Dr. D and the rest changing her and making sure she’s comfortable. She’s weak on her left side, but has movement and we’re trying to encourage her to use both hands to do stuff. She can certainly kick both feet out of the bed, where she insists they be — to the nurses’ chagrin.

So, bad news is not the worst news. Here’s my Granny. I love her!

I love my Granny!