Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Day Everything Changed

Me and my mother were talking a few days ago about how she has the phone ringer off in her room, because she doesn't want the phone to take her up in the middle of the night. If there's a phone call in the middle of the night, it's always something bad. And what are you supposed to do in the middle of the night? Her theory is you might as well face tragedy with a good night's sleep, because you won't be sleeping much after you find out.

My opinion is, what if the tragedy is preventable, but you didn't hear the phone and then it's too late? It's just too bad that the phone ringing out in the kitchen is enough to wake me up from a deep sleep.

I went to bed sometime close to 2:00 a.m. on November 25th. I couldn't see the clock when the phone woke me up. I took one look in the direction of my window to see that it was still dark out. Too early for someone to be calling to chat. Whoever it was hung up as soon as I got to the phone. My first thought was to actually check the time. It was somewhere around 5 a.m. I was ready to barge into my mother's phone to get the phone that has caller ID when the phone started ringing again.

I didn't know who it was at first. I don't remember much of the conversation. Just the words "He's okay, but Pepe had a stroke." Pepe is my grandfather. It was my uncle on the phone. He asked if my mother was home, then started explaining to me what happened but I couldn't listen. I went and got Mom.

Before 6 a.m., we had both called work and were on our way to the hospital - two hours away.

Most people said he was fine earlier that night, when he was at Bingo. A couple of people who saw him in the day said he seemed a little quieter, but no one noticed anything really wrong. He drove home after Bingo. When Mom was in his house, it was obvious that he was getting ready to go to bed when he figured out something was wrong. His bed was pulled down, like someone was about to get in it, but hadn't actually gotten in the bed. The blind was down, and we all know he always makes his bed and pulls up his blind in the morning.

Sometime between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. he took a mild stroke.

He walked over a small ditch to his neighbors house, where his brother's wife still lives, to knock on her door. She thought he was drunk, and wouldn't let him in. She called Pepe's sister who lives across the street, who picked him up, realized something was wrong, and called an ambulance.

We don't want to think of what would've happened if he had been driving, or if he hadn't left the house to find help. He lives alone and no one would've thought to check on him until he didn't show up at Bingo the next day at dinner time.

When me and Mom got to the hospital he seemed excited to see us. His right arm and leg were a little weak. His speech was bad. The only words he could say were his curse words like "God Damn", "Oh Shit", "Lord!" It was sad, but hard not to laugh when he tried to talk. He was laughing too. He tried to talk to us but couldn't. We got him water, but he didn't want help drinking it at all. He spilled some of it fighting to hold it himself, and spilled more when he tried to drink it.

They took him (and me!) to a town an hour away to get a catscan done. My mother, uncle, cousin, and great-uncle all came. It was a long wait, but the test results were good. He didn't need any kind of surgery. It was confirmed that it was a mild stoke. Just a blockage, not bleeding, which is better I guess. They say he won't be able to drive again. He probably won't be able to live alone again.

I'm trying not to think of the future because I don't know what's going to happen to him.

He was always really active. He got up early in the morning, went down to the little convenience store for some daily old man gossip, worked at the Community Hall, fixed up my car, chopped wood, visited family, walked, and went to Bingo every night. He was always busy. He won't like another lifestyle, we don't think, but he's been in a great mood throughout the past couple of days. Always laughing and being playful, even though we don't understand much of what he says, and he doesn't understand us much.

He got sent back to his local hospital for the night. Me and Mom spent the night with him. He hadn't slept more than an hour in almost two days, but he still didn't seem to sleep well. He ate great though. He ate by himself, and did it very quickly. Everytime someone new would stop by to visit, he would get excited, and it really seemed like he knew who they were. He talks better on the phone too.

He got moved to the city that I live in (two hours away) because he got a room in with the stroke team where he'll have therapy 5 days a week.

I got to stop in and see him (after visiting hours were over!) last night for a little while. He was doing better. Tracing letters and drawing shapes, when earlier that morning he didn't know what to do with the pen. We put him to sleep, and this time he fell right to sleep, and was snoring, then me, Mom, and sister went home.

I felt sad, thinking he might wake up alone and wonder where everyone went, but Mom was up and gone back to the hospital by the time I got up at 7:20 for work.

As long as I don't think about it too much, I don't get too sad. I'm just happy he's okay.

That, and besides not being able to say many words that make sense, he's acting almost the exact same as he always was.


Caro said...

He seems so sweet, how old is he?

He & Me + 3 said...

I hope that he is back to his old self soon. sounds like he is a fighter though. Such a sweet picture of him.

Shell said...

How scary! Sending prayers for him.

Design It Chic said...

Will be praying for your grandpa, Venassa. Hope he will get better soon and won't have to ever get through that scary experience. Much love and blessings sent your way!

Design It Chic
(following your blog via Tuesday Gone)



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