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Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking

April 24th, 2009 (09:35 pm)

current mood: exhausted

My grandfather has been through a lot in his 94 years. He broke many bones and lost all his teeth in a plane crash. He had part of a lung removed. He buried two wives. He was diagnosed with Alzheimers. And last weekend, he suffered a stroke that partially paralyzed his left side. For a few days, things looked grim. He couldn't speak intelligibly. He couldn't eat. He had seizures. My mother and aunt decided against the totally disturbing surgery that was recommended, which would have required holes to be drilled into his skull. They also chose not to use a feeding tube. He was moved from the Neuroscience ICU to the Stroke Ward. His blood pressure was way too high, and nobody could be sure if he still had bleeding around his brain. We were discussing DNR orders, Living Wills, and funeral arrangements.

Then, to everyone's surprise, he began to improve. His blood pressure came down. His speech got easier to understand. He started regaining control of his left side. Monday he was moved to a rehab facility. Now he's eating soft foods, noticing his surroundings, and sitting up. He recognizes family members. He jokes with the nurses. Some of his conversations are lucid, a few make no sense at all, and others make sense only if you pretend it's 1940. But that was true before the stroke, too, though he's probably a little worse now. At least he can carry on a conversation and his speech can be understood. He's still weak, but the seizures have stopped, he's in physical therapy for several hours a day, and some of the nurses think he will eventually walk again. This old man is unstoppable.

My 94-year-old grandfather is the Energizer Bunny.


Posted by: dragonet2 (dragonet2)
Posted at: April 25th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Yaay, go grandpa!

Thoughts and prayers for the best outcome possible.

It's bad about the dementia. M's mom is 95, is sharp as a tack and gets peeved because her body is failing her. And she moved in with her granddaughter because she has a new pacemaker, it requires a phone to check it regularly (a lead slipped after installation) and she can't hear well enough to do the job.

She wanted to be useful, and is apparently keeping the kitchen for the kids. She had to be 'dinged' for helping her grandson too much with his homework, but she loves it and it actually made her more perky.

Their only concession is they got one of those stair seat-elevators because her osteoporosis and crooked back makes it really hard to go down stairs.

Posted by: the artist formerly known as kytyn (melydia)
Posted at: April 25th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)

That's wonderful news.

Posted by: calbraith1 (calbraith1)
Posted at: April 28th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
Candidate for ironman triathalon


As long as your grandfather's happy, this is all good. Hope you and your family are doing well.


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