The details of the car accident that injured my 86 year old Grandma, as well as her current care situation, were revealed to me yesterday. First things first- my Grandma was in a city park, there to feed the ducks and get out of her house for a bit. She was talking (from her car) with the park ranger and when it was time to go their separate ways my Grandma gave gas to a car she had just mistakenly engaged in reverse, backed it down the hill from where she was, picked up speed, avoided trees, and was violently halted just shy of a dunk in a lake by a boulder. Grandma, have you been watching old episodes of The Fall Guy recently?
Joking aside, she has no recollection of the event; the park ranger was there and provided the details. Now, Grandma has been in hot water with the hospital for trying to take off her neck brace (which is all that’s holding her vertebrae in place thanks to her efficient job at breaking a couple of them), for getting out of bed (not a good idea for a balance-impaired and medicated old lady), and was put into soft restraints for her own good. That had to piss her off. She also admitted to ignoring the therapist who was trying to get her to answer simple questions like, what’s your last name. Look out Neil, this feistiness could be hereditary. 😉
Now that Grandma is stabilised, she’s been moved to a care facility that is described to me as being between assisted living and a nursing home. She entered there on Monday and as of last night was already in so much trouble that the family is fearing that she’ll be asked to leave the place! She’s tried the same thing with her neck brace, seriously choked on a Coca Cola she wasn’t supposed to even have (her sister is to blame for smuggling that in – I half think she might have choked her intentionally!), and got out of bed and fell. This last bit saw her back in the hospital for X-Rays. We’re waiting to see what kind of additional damage she’s done, if any.
The burden of tough love is now resting firmly on my eldest cousin’s shoulders, who will have to be blunt with her about her fragile situation. He and my mother have discussed tactics and Grandma is going to hear the plain and unpolished truth: if she thinks it can’t get any worse, just imagine if she falls and paralyses herself and then must wait for someone to come scratch her nose for her. Oh, it can be so much worse than it is now.
But this is my Grandma. She was still using a chainsaw on the fallen tree limbs in her yard a few years ago. She ended up cutting her foot with it and so one of my cousins took the chainsaw away to a safe place. My Grandma is fiercely independent and seems to be rebelling against the inevitable. I can’t blame her. I’ll likely be just as resentful of the march of time when I get to be her age. It can’t be easy to slowly lose the abilities you once took for granted. I just hope she finds some peace with it and doesn’t hurt herself further in the process.
I’ll update again when there’s news worth reporting.