In the ICU bed at Froedtert Memorial Hospital. She was as my mother had described, hooked up to everything and anything possible. She couldn't open her eyes, but was able to respond by head nods. The ventilator that supports 40% of her breathing, completely enables for verbal communication. Watching her struggle to force out painful silent coughs through dried lips was heart breaking. Most of her pain right now is concentrated in her throat from the thick, obstructing breathing tube. Can you image having to synchorinze your coughs with the rhythm of air being forced into your lungs?
Besides the breathing issues, her organs have failed to "wake up" from the sidation of her operation. Her stomach is refusing to process food. She has only received saline fluids and her stomach is emptied every few minutes by a tube through her nose. Is that even enough time for her body to retrieve the vital nurtients it needs to help her immune system fight back?
The cause of her excessive fidgetting isn't quite nailed down yet. The medication combo perhaps? Whatever the cause, it's just miserable to witness her twitching, much less be personally experiencing it. It's amazing she can even fall asleep when her body refuses to settle down. It was a relief to watch her body in peace after another dose of pain meds. She is currently on antibiotics for the pnuemonia. That is still undetermined as to whether it is staph or bacterial. Once it starts to clear - the breathing tube can start to be cut back to allow Grandma to start breathing more on her own.
What must she be thinking right now? Being unable to ask questions, and yet at the same time - being just aware enough to be able to register her pain and answer a few questions with a "yes or no". Have these past few days dragged on for an eternity for her? Or have they passed by in a blurs of confusion and twitching consciousness?
Several times during my visit, I opened by mouth to tell her about my morning with Jackson. We had made plans a few months prior to meet our friends at the Milwaukee Co. Zoo. It was Jax's first time seeing all the animals. I conducted an inward battle between wanting to describe to her the morning I shared with my son that included lots of laughs and animals sounds; how his favorite animals were the monkeys and how he kept pointing at them yelling "Ah ah ah ah ".... and not wanting to make her sad about good times she wasn't able to have. I didn't want to depress her. I didn't want her to think "I can't listen to her story through this pain." So, I bit my tongue - bowed my head and prayed whil I held her hand.
I pray for strength for my grandma.
I pray for hope for my mom.
I pray for positivity for me.
I know the posts that follow will be more uplifting with good thoughts and praises for God's glory, because he makes all things new - and uses everything for good.
... but right now,
... in this moment,
... positivity is hard to come by.
Because the reality of it is, if her body, a body that wasn't too healthy to begin with, is able to conquer these complications... her next battle will be going head to head with Stage 3 Lung Cancer. Which in and of itself, is a life taker for a healthy body.