A sad trip

On Tuesday evening we received a phone call from Colin (my Uncle) to say that that had stopped treating my Nan. This included food, liquid, medication and observations, she had only 2 or 3 days left to live. As much as you know this would probably be the case and is in her best interest, rather than prolong the agony, it is still devastating when you actually hear it. We discussed what to do and left my Mum to decide whether we went to visit her on Wednesday or Thursday. As Nan had hardly eaten for about the last 4 days we felt it was better to go the following day rather than wait in case she did pass away. As much as I really didn’t want to see her laying there dying, and couldn’t bear to see her like that, I would at least get the chance to say goodbye which I didn’t get with my Granddad (no one did as he never woke from the anaesthetic after surgery).

We set off with me in the back and a Cody (my Labrador) who for some reason wasn’t as settled as normal. I’m sure he could pick up my apprehension of the trip, not just seeing Nan but that long journey again. We got to my Uncles where we had time to chat again and had a spot of lunch before we left Cody and travelled to the Hospital. I was building myself up, remembering what she looked like before and trying to imagine the worst, hoping that it wouldn’t be that bad. Dad came with us then left us as he doesn’t like hospitals and didn’t want to watch Mum and me struggling to keep it together. When we got there and woke her I was fine actually, her tiny eyes opened and she got her bearings a little then her head turned a little to look at me and her face changed as if to smile, then Mum spoke and she turned her head to Mum and lit up slightly again. Nan is nearly blind and very hard of hearing, she had none of her hearing aids in this time so it is difficult to gauge what she can see and hear. She was restful, not struggling or making the noise when breathing like she was before and all was OK. Half way through the visit the Nurses moved her into a side room which was better for us as we could talk louder to Nan without the whole bay being disturbed. She seemed OK at first but the longer we were there the more restless she seemed to be getting. She wanted to cough more, was making more noises while she was breathing and didn’t seem happy at all. Mum went out to fetch a nurse and while she did I tried to explain something too her. In the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force we are mainly badge the Royal Anglian Regiment. I have just changed cap badges (got the confirmation that day before I saw Nan) to the Royal Logistics Corps, which reflects my role (Public Relations & Internet Media Officer) with that of the Media/Photography Teams in the British Army. My Granddad Started the War in the Royal Artillery but because of poor eyesight they made him a cook. When the Royal Army Catering Corps was formed he was among the first in the regiment, that regiment has now been amalgamated into the Royal Logistics Corps. That said in a very deformed way I am kind of in the same regiment as my Granddad. Nan always asked me how I was getting on in Cadets so I told her in a very simplistic way that I was in the same regiment that Granddad was in now. I don’t really know if she heard or could understand but when I mentioned Granddad she seemed to hear that. Mum came back with the Nurse and had I been more spatially aware instead of looking at Nan I would have noticed that the mattress had deflated. They forgot to switch it back on after they moved her so the bed had collapsed which was why she couldn’t breath. After a while when the mattress was becoming more inflated she found it easier again and was relaxing more. Most of the time I had Nan’s tiny hand in mine, which was warmer than last time I saw her. We had agreed that while she was awake we would say goodbye and then slip away when she fell asleep again. We told her that my Cousins would be in to visit later, I kissed her and told her I loved her and when she dozed off again we left. Knowing that I would never see her again I left with a heavy heart and a few tears. You feel so helpless sitting there with her that there is nothing you can do to make if better for her. I hope that she feels no pain now and just drifts off during her sleep.

We picked up Cody and waited a while for the rush hour traffic to settle a bit before we headed home. My Uncle had worn Cody out throwing the ball for him, which would make the trip home better. I decided to sit in the back again but this time I loosened my trainer off and tried to move the foot more, which seemed to work as I didn’t get the numbness I had last time. Me a Cody had cuddles in the back till eventually he laid down with his head on my stump while I softly stroked him. I had a backache from being in the hospital as I was twisted a lot and reaching over the side bars, I did have to stand up a couple of times in there to stretch out a bit. We got home at 19:45 and I felt so tired, well exhausted would be a better description. Eventually I went to bed but noticed I had used my last OxyContin (the strongest pill I take) and went to get a new pack out of my draw. When I got there there wasn’t one, I was sure my GP gave me everything when I saw her last Friday. She did but the Pharmacy owed me some of my medication and the OxyContin was in that batch. The Pharmacy had forgotten to give me the receipt slips and I had forgotten about picking them up. There was nothing I could do but miss it out but I was sure it wouldn’t be that bad. As for Nan, all we can do is ride out the agonising wait for the inevitable phone call.

 

Sad

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4 Responses to “A sad trip”

  1. Oh Helen, my heart goes out to you and your family xxxxxxx

  2. Glad you managed to get back and see for one more time.

    I hope she has a peaceful passing in my thoughts are with you friend

    Steven

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