My grandmother died yesterday.
If you remember she broke her hip about two weeks ago. Initially she seemed to do okay after surgery. They were getting her up into the chair and making small progress towards heading to a rehab centre, when her heart started to act up. On Wednesday night she was having trouble maintaining all bodily systems at an even keel (her heart rate would speed up, then they'd give her meds to slow that down...but then her O2 sats would drop etc.) She died around 11 am yesterday morning.
I wish I had got to see her one last time. I feel bad that I don't think I'd seen her since Christmas, when she lives a 20 minute drive from us. Now I suppose I had a good excuse, being on bed rest for over 100 days this year, but still... I wish I'd made the time the last couple of weeks to go see her in the hospital. To be fair, I was afraid to bring any of Grama's hospital germs to Kaia...but I could have come home and showered between hospitals. She just seemed to be doing well, and I thought I would get the chance to see her again soon.
My Grama was my last living grandparent. When Aidan died last year, one of the small hurts among thousands was that I was afraid my Grama would die before I could get a picture of her with her great-grandchild. Then Kaia was on her way...then Kaia was born...and now my Grama is gone. And I'll never have that photo. It's a small thing to be sure, but it would be nice to have a picture of my Grama with my baby, so I could say to Kaia one day "that's you with your great-grandmother". I have a few photos of me as a baby with my great grand-mother. I was hoping for one for my child.
Since Grama had Alzheimer's she was often best with people and things that cannot talk...for instance she LOVED her dog. She didn't have to verbally communicate with a dog, or remember or pay attention to anything a dog said, and thus dogs for her were easy to be with. I haven't seen my Grama with a baby in years, but I had hoped she'd get some of the same satisfaction out of holding a small person who would have no demands for conversation. I guess I'll just have to imagine she and Kaia would have got along smashingly.
The hardest part to swallow about my Grama's death is that prior to her broken hip, she was in very good shape physically. Her family doctor kept telling my uncle she could live another 10 years. Mentally she wasn't all there, but she didn't have heart problems, she didn't have diabetes, she didn't have high blood pressure (or low blood pressure). She ate well and loved having 'a cup of tea' at almost any time of the day. She could still go for short walks. She didn't use a wheelchair, a walker or a cane (although now I'm wondering if that would have helped to prevent her fall). But one little (okay big) broken hip, and two weeks later she's gone.
It's things like this that make me so fearful for my family, and for me and for Kaia. Grama was fine...and then she's dead. I mean granted she was 85...but still...fine, and then dead. It's scary how fragile life is. As much as my Grama hasn't been herself since the Alzheimer's started to get bad...I'm going to miss having her around. She was an important part of my childhood, and now she's gone.
In Kaia news, she's still needing the extra whiff of oxygen. They tried to wean her off of it yesterday and she started desatting into the mid to low 80s overnight so they put it back on. I'm kind of sad that she's NEEDING the oxygen, but trying to keep it all in perspective. She's not a 'normal' ex-32 weeker. She's at high risk of chronic lung disease due to her lack of amniotic fluid, and I'm okay with her not being 'pushed'. She's also going down for her hip ultrasound today, so we will know for sure if she has hip dysplasia and is going to need a harness. I'm betting on it. What did make me feel better was that when I told my brother about Kaia's hip issue, he said that his girlfriend also had hip dysplasia as a child. Hers was corrected with surgery. I've known his girlfriend for 5 years, and I never would have known that about her. So I guess it is pretty fixable. Good news is that Kaia's other issues aren't holding her back in the weight department. She was 1990 grams as of last night (ALMOST 2KG!!!) and gained 85 grams in one day! That's over a pound since she started gaining weight after her initial loss after birth. My little chunker. At least all that pumping is going to good use.