I recently went to visit my grandmother, who we refer to as Grammy, and found myself a bit overwhelmed. Grammy doesn't look 93, but she sure is beginning to feel it. Medications for all sorts of pains and aches and difficulty walking without her walker are just some of the daily issues she deals with. She recently had a spill where she fell on the tile floor in her kitchen. She did end up bruised and did hit her head, yet she did not break a bone. After the fall, she was given more medications and increased doses. Then came my visit.
I wanted to record her talking about the past (IE: how she met Papa, funny stories from when
she lived in N.C., growing up on a tobacco farm, etc.). Once my tape recorder was fixed she reminisced about all sorts of people and places that she had not thought about in years. Plus she read her sister-in-laws obit, Aunt Polly, which also reminded her of lots of good and funny memories.
But her pains, her constant medications, and my aunt and uncle popping in; we didn't get very
far. Then on Sunday, after a long night of getting up to go to the bathroom and thinking she had fallen again, she asked me,
"When are we going home?"
I didn't know what to say.
"When are we going home?"
"Grammy, you are home. In Maryland. Where do you think you are?"
She was convinced she was in Greenville, N.C., where she grew up, later she thought we were in Kinston. Soon she would remember where we were and say, "Damn. Why can't I remember that?" or "Ha. I wondered how they got all my stuff here.". After 24 hrs of this, medications were cut back, (specifically her Cymbalta) and she stopped thinking she was in N.C. But her pain symptoms did come back (they disappeared during her episode).
This episode scared me. I felt that it was my fault for bringing up the past. She had never had
this kind of episode before. The scare scared everyone.
Since my visit she has been to the doctors and they have taken her off the Cymbalta that caused her to hallucinate. On the way home from that appointment and dinner with my aunt and uncle she did, however, mention how nice her trip with me was.
"What trip, Mom?" my uncle said.
"Rachel and I. To North Carolina." she responded.
"You didn't go on a trip, Mom. Rachel was here. In Maryland. Remember?"
"Oh. So we didn't go on a trip?"
"Oh. That's right."
We may not have gone on a real trip, but we did take a trip down memory lane. She had 24 hours without pain and relived some great memories. While I felt terrible about her episode and worried that I had caused her more stress, I think that maybe it wasn't all that terrible for her. Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing for her to think she went on a trip. She's fine now, she's
more optimistic and acting more like her old self: getting up, wanting to go out and about, picking out her stylish outfits and so much more. While the changes in medications helped, but I think the "trip" did help her out a bit.
One of her many faces she likes to make when a camera is around.
Showing off the earrings I gave her to wear for my aunt's Christmas party.
Pretty in Pink
Grammy with the blanket she made me to come home in from the hospital the day I was born. Oh, and Piglet.
Big Rach (Ivey Sutton Smith) and Little Rach (Smith O'Hara) - 93 and 21