You have to try this...Emma swears by it! Much better than any ointment we have tried ever....

Miracle Skin Salve 2oz

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Daddy

So much happened from when Big Daddy went into the hospital and the time he died, I know I have forgotten so much that I learned during that time. But I want to capture some of it.

It was the day after Bubby's adventure to the hospital that we started realizing that we needed to take Big Daddy to the hospital. He did not get out of bed that Saturday. By the middle of the afternoon, we made the decision to take him thinking he probably had pneumonia. Sure enough, he did. We were up at the hospital until around 1am. It was a very long night. Miriam, his aid, graciously agreed to stay with him for us. I came back the next day early to relieve her. He had been sleeping more and more and was having a lot of trouble breathing.

Long story short they discovered that he had been aspirating his food and aspirated almost everything straight into his lungs. Then came the hard decision of whether or not to put in a feeding tube or not. It was either feeding tube or constant pneumonia. After much confering, it ws decided to put in the feeding tube. He also came home with a catheter.

When Big Daddy did come home, it was different than the previous year. He was very weak and require total care for any of his needs. It was so hard seeing him like this. I remember him carrying me around, tossing the ball, working on the farm. Now he his body was reduced to a lump in the bed, unable to do much anything, even swallow his own secretions.

Those six weeks he was back home were some of the longest and hardest of my entire life. I was literally responsible for his care around the clock even when others were here. I had tube feedings, catheter care, suctioning, exercising, positioning and countless other chores. Just a few short days at home, it became evident that someone would also need to be with him all night in case he choked. So I was also staying up all night as well as taking care of the kids during the day.

There were days I did not know how in the world I would make it. In the middle, we did get a repreive and got to go to Florida for a few days rest. Right prior to leaving, we made the decision to put him in hospice because it was obvious he wasn't getting any better. He was sleeping 23+ hours a day.

I have been around death quite often as a nurse. It does not intimidate me at all. But I began to get nervous as the signs became more frequent that his life was drawing to a close. I wanted to be able to keep him comfortable and for him not to suffer. He was at times drowning in his secretions and struggling to breath. Medications helped some but not a lot.

My Aunt Fran and Uncle Philip came to stay with us and ended up staying almost two weeks. It was such a relief having a little help now and then. And I know Big Daddy was glad to have all of his kids together. He got to see his dear childhood friends, and brother and sister in law also.

It was the end of October and he was getting worse and worse. His blood pressure was steadily dropping. It was Halloween and he was seemingly slipping. Mom had mentioned she just prayed he did not pass on Halloween. Mark was able to come home from Crossville. He and I spent Halloween night sitting by my grandfather's bedside just visiting and reminiscing. Mark mentioned how thankful he was to make it back to say good bye.

Big Daddy was slipping even more. We decided that it would be best if Aunt Fran and Mom took turns sitting up with me that night since things were looking worse. Aunt Fran's shift ended right before midnight and Mom had come in.

It was 12:04am on November 1st, 2008, when Big Daddy had his first seizure. I helped him and then called hospice to find out what meds to give him. I have him a few medications. He did have one more seizure. By that time we had gotten, Uncle Philip, Aunt Fran, Mark, and my dad up as well. Big Daddy slowly quit breathing and at 12:34 I listened for a heartbeat but none was to be heard.

Gathered around his bed were Mom, Aunt Fran, Uncle Philip, Mark, Dad, myself and sleeping on the floor, Emma Grace, Big Daddy saw Jesus face to face. All of his kids were there, his two oldest grandchildren and his oldest great grandchild. I then called all the hospice people and we spent the next few hours getting arrangements made before crashing to sleep.

The funeral was beautiful. Such a perfect fall day. Emma stood in the cemetery, dancing around during the graveside saying, "Big Daddy is in heaven". That summed up my feelings.

The last few years Parkinsons had taken my grandfather, so that day I did not mourn but rjoiced that he was restored! I do miss him, but I had said goodbye so many many months before and over and over through the time he lived with us. It is just angering to see how disease so ravages a body. And so reassuring tht we have a Redeemer!

I am still processing, and probably still will be for awhile. I am glad for that experience. It taught me much. Until we meet again...

Time to update

I have so much I want to record from the past year and I just haven't done it. So many memories to share, record, save. I have made a mental list of all the things I have wanted to share. I think I will start with all the fleeting memories of last fall.

It was in August when one of one of the most awful flus hit our house. We were so very sick, EVERYONE. Miraclously, Big Daddy, my grandfather, whom I cared for and was living with us, did not get sick. It knocked us all out of comission. Just as we were all recovering from that, Bubby took a plunge down the stairs. It was a day I won't soon forget. We had not been anywhere in over a week because of being so sick. I had finally and just declared us all well enough to venture to Wal-Mart for much needed rice milk and diapers. I decided James Elliot needed a diaper change before leaving. I then decided my shoes were not sufficiently comfortable enough. As I round the corner to go back to the stairs, I realized I had not put up the baby gate and James Elliot was at the top of them. Just then, he teeter, tottered and literally, as his overall strap slipped out of my fingertips, he fell head over heels down the stairs bouncing and hitting along the way.

He, obviously, was not happy with the outcome of his plunge. He screamed for quite awhile and then finally calmed down and I kept a close eye on him. It wasn't until the next day that he was in the car and started throwing up. After conferring with the Pediatrician, we decided to bring him over to see her. She took one look at him and sent us to Lebonheur. JOY JOY.....we spent the next eight hours in the Lebonheur ER. He was fine for the first two or three hours as we waited there. They checked us in immediately and then promptly forgot about us! Poor baby, they would not let him eat anything or drink anything until seen by a doctor. So he had thrown up several hours before but now was hungry and thirsty 1 1/2 year old. Nuther Momma joined us and eventually Daddy when school was out. Uncle Matt had Emma and hung out with her!

After an IV, catheter, CT scan, X-ray and a C collar, he was declared healthy enough to go home. He had a concussion and a neck sprain but other than that was okay. We got him a good, healthy meal at McDonalds! He then came home and played like a wild man. Enjoyed Grammy, who came to visit, and the rest of his peeps!

The next week I got a call regarding his CT scan. The lady was uber dramatic and said, "Mrs. Ewing, they found something on his CT scan." She then paused for a way longer time than needed, plenty of time for me to thumb through my index cards in my brain of all the things that could be found on a CT scan, before saying, "A sinus infection, and we will be calling in antibiotics for him."

So he survived!

I think the most heart breaking part of the entire fall was during the CT scan, I began to cry. I was pregnant with Maggie Jeanne and therefore could not go in with him. I sat in the wheelchair that they were using to cart him around and just bawled. How could I be such a bad mommy. He had been pretty uncontrollable and crying a ton until they finally put the c-collar on his about four hours after being there. It had just really gotten to me. When he got out of the CT scan, he was laying in my lap and reach up and said, "It okay, I okay" My baby boy had not really talked much until that moment. His first real words and actualy sentence type words were to reassure me when I should have been reassuring him. He is so precious! (except when he pulls Emma's hair, bites her, punches her, etc!)

So Bubby has logged his first trip to the ER and hopefully his last!