Monday, February 20, 2012

120220 The Will to Live


So, I know this has nothing to do with business, customer service, or our fare city of Albuquerque in the tourism industry, however I wanted to write about something that I noticed in two very dear, very old people in my life; my grandparents.

So, as many of you know, my grandmother was in the hospital, and now in a skilled nursing / rehabilitation center; ferociously trying to get better so she can just “go home.”  What really wasn’t mentioned too much was my grandfather.

My grandfather just turned 89 years old this year.  He is the youngest of 8 siblings, and is the only one of his siblings; basically the only one in his family still alive.  This year in the middle part of January, he got really sick, and towards his birthday on January 25,6th, and 7th (yes he has multiple birthdays) he got so ill, the doctors really didn’t expect him to get much better; and this was “it” for him.  And we thought, 89 years old, that was a pretty good run, the rest of his family lived into their 90’s and 100's, we really didn’t want him to suffer any more.  He was in pretty bad shape.  Well, in all this time of him being sick, my grandmother came down with pneumonia herself, and refused to go to the ER because she wanted to make sure my grandpa was taken care of.  Well, we all know what pneumonia does, and come the last weekend in January, she wound up in the emergency room, not able to breathe, and going into heart failure herself because she had let the pneumonia advance so far without addressing it.

Needless to say, Grandma wound up in the hospital, on a ventilator, basically a heart beat away from death her self, and Grandpa at home, sick, and unable to care for himself; and having other people care for him that was not his wife.

What happens next, astounds me!  Grandpa, unable to see my grandma because he is basically bed and recliner ridden – at home; starts to get better!  (Now, mind you, the Indians have certain remedies that may or may not have attributed to him gaining his strength back, and feeling better, but it sure was working)  He misses Grandma, and wants to go see her!

After nearly (9) nine days of my Grandma being in a coma, and on a ventilator, monitoring her heart, and going thru a roller coaster of heart / lung issues, and being told she’s likely not going to pull out of this heart failure – starts to get better!  And on the 10th day the hospital removes her from the ventilator that was keeping her alive this whole time, and she is able to breathe on her own, and make her first phone call to Gramps after being separated for 10 days!  It was amazing.  My grandpa knows that he has to get strong in order to not only support himself, but grandma when she comes home; and my grandma knows she needs to get better so she can go home and take care of gramps.

This weekend, my grandparents got to spend some real time with each other (Albeit, in the nursing / rehab facility) it was very nice, and a little romantic.  To watch them to go head to head with their walkers, and lean in for that first, long awaited kiss;  I simply have to attribute this a true “miracle;” from each one having 1 foot in the grave, to recovering at a rapid pace by driving themselves with the will to live for each other.

Today, my grandmother’s recovery efforts and progress are literally doubling each day.  She went from: no strength, to: able to get in and out of bed with minor assistance in just about 4 days.  She still has a way to go, but that lady, with her strong will is doing something I haven’t seen her do in a long time; fight for her self.

It’s amazing.  I can’t wait to see them both at home.

Until next time!

Michael~

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