Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, it's been an exciting few weeks....but not necessarily the good kind of exciting. My Grandma Joan (who has been on Maui for an extended stay to help out with my Dad's care for the past 6 months) hadn't been feeling well for several weeks, mostly due to a flare-up of her on-again, off-again low back problems. I had taken her to the ER here on Maui once and they treated her with the standard cocktail of pain meds and anti-inflammatories (to which she had some weird side effects) and she seemed to get better for awhile. But a few weeks ago, the pain was back again with a vengeance and nothing was helping. She was also having a lot of nausea and stomach complaints (which is really not too unusual for her as she has a pretty sensitive stomach), but she was also just not seeming like herself cognitively. Instead of getting better, she just seemed to be getting worse. Mom and I decided it was best for her to go ahead and head home a month early so she could see her own doctor and figure out what was going on (we were still thinking most of the problem was with her back). So we changed her plane ticket home and bought me a ticket to accompany her. Grandma and I left Wednesday night and arrived in OKC Thursday morning. She went straight to her doctor who asked a lot of questions (mostly pertaining to her back symptoms) and examined her. He ordered some tests (both on her back and some scans of her brain) for the following week and sent her home. The next day her dear friend Bobbie stopped by to check on her and called me to tell me she just didn't seem right. I spoke to Grandma briefly and it was obvious something was very wrong (she was talking pretty crazy) so I told Bobbie to call my cousin Hillary and see if they could go ahead and get her to the ER and have those tests run right away (some brain imaging specifically). Anyway, long story short is that she had a mild heart attack and possibly a stroke and ended up needing a stent put in on Saturday morning. (something to note is that her ONLY symptoms of these events were severe nausea, loss of appetite and some mild cognitive changes - absolutely no chest pain or shortness of breath or the other standard cardiac or stroke symptoms we often hear about). She's doing well now, but probably going to have some long-term deficits. Our fingers are all crossed that this isn't going to be the beginning of a decline into dementia for her. She's always been so sharp and fit and healthy - it's very hard to see her like this. Fortunately my cousin Hillary and her fiance David are amazing - they will be moving in with Grandma and caring for her either temporarily until she's able to live on her own again or permanently if it turns out she does not fully recover all of her former cognitive and physical abilities. It was all very scary for awhile and stressful to imagine Grandma being on her own like this. I'm so thankful Hillary is willing and able to step up and take over right now. It's hard being so far away and knowing that Grandma lives alone - now knowing Hillary and David will be there really puts our minds at ease knowing she will be well cared for and looked after for as long as she needs it. We're not sure what is in store for the future, but we're doing lots of positive thinking right now and hoping that she is able to make a full recovery. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, before I left, Dean had a fun Sunday afternoon with the little girl across the street, Riley. They played in a little kiddie pool for about an hour and had a blast splashing around and dumping water on each other! They're so cute!! Here are a few pics we took...

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