So this past weekend, Annie and I made an unplanned trip to Kingston to see my grandmother. She was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Typically, for seniors, pneumonia isn’t good, but add her COPD to the mix, and she couldn’t breath much at all.
When I found out she was sick, I started to have a sinking feeling. We all know that we only have a limited time on this planet, and I had been trying to mentally prepare for my grandma’s passing for some time now. Watching her deteriorate has been difficult and sometimes frustrating. I just wanted her to be better.
For those of you that don’t know, I have a close relationship with my grandma. She let me live with her while I went to college, which likely saved me from graduating with a ton of debt. She has always been supportive of my love for technology, and as a child, she basically made it rain Lego, my favourite toy.
As we raced towards Kingston, I couldn’t help but thinking that she had already passed away. On Thursday, both my mom and my aunt said they would check up on her and let me know how she was doing, but by the time we were heading to Kingston on Friday, I hadn’t heard anything. I assumed that the only reason there wouldn’t be an update, either publicly or privately was that she had passed away but they wanted to tell me in person.
I know how crazy I sound, but I live with daily anxiety, so cut me some slack.
When we arrived in Kingston, we went right to the hospital to see her. She wasn’t much for talking, and she was battling her own anxiety as panic attacks due to not being able to breath left her shaking. There was no laughter, no calm, only fear. I found the whole experience sad and scary. All of the attempts to mentally prepare myself, to harden my mind to the eventuality all went away, as though it had never really existed.
Thankfully, over the next two days, she definitely improved. Her coughing only got worse as the antibiotics did their job to break up the mucus and phlegm in her lungs, but she wasn’t as panicked when lying in the hospital bed and talking to us about various things. Annie and I even fulfilled her request for some trashy romance novels to keep her mind preoccupied without requiring any thinking. Apparently, I’m not as good as my wife at finding trashy romance novels.
Thankfully, from the discussions I had with the nursing staff, it looks like my grandma will survive this event. We don’t know what the ramifications from this are going to be, and in my research, I’ve found this to be a common issue with older COPD sufferers, so I doubt it will be the last time.
In the end, we don’t know how long any of us has, so I’m glad Annie and I took the time to go see her, just in case.