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Old 06-09-2014, 08:13 PM   #1
Lindsey
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Family

I have a lot going on in my family right now. My great-aunt is in the hospital with the human form of mad cow disease. From what I've heard, one day she just couldn't see and she couldn't speak. She was taken to the hospital and it took them a while to figure out what was going on. There is a one in a million chance of getting this disease and right now there are two cases in the hospital here. It can be dormant for years before the physical symptoms start to show so there is no telling where she might have contracted it. It could be from a bad cut of meat with some spinal cord from an infected animal, or it could be from medical equipment used on someone previously who may have had it because it can't be killed with sterilizing processes. She is an amazing woman and has fostered children for years. After her husband passed away, she met a man in Mexico and married him. I actually went down for her wedding. He lives up here now and he is so wonderful, but he hardly speaks English. She also has a 10 year old adopted son who was with her in foster care for years before she decided to adopt him and raise him herself. I don't know how they will get along without her. There is no cure and no treatment. She can only get worse.

My mom called last night and said my grandma is also in hospital with liver problems. She was in the hospital since last Tuesday and nobody called my mom to tell her until last night!!! So my parents are coming up tomorrow and Ronan and I will go visit her in the hospital. She has not met Ronan yet (she lives quite far away) and he was born on her birthday. I think she is 91 years old now.

Anyways, some prayers for my family members would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:58 PM   #2
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Positive thoughts and energy for your whole family Lindsey. Bad news always seem to come one after another. Keep your spirits up, everything works out.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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Thanks! My grandma was in great spirits when we visited yesterday and she loved Ronan. There were about 10 people visiting at the same time so it was hard to really get to visit. But she did get to see Ronan and she touched his foot and he gave her smiles! It was hard to see her like that, but she is doing well and will be released. The doctors want to let her go tomorrow but my mom and aunts want her in a little longer because she really has nobody to take care of her at home.

My dad visited my aunt today and said you wouldn't even recognize her. Her skin is grey, her false teeth are out, she is strapped down because she can't control her limbs anymore and they jolt all over the place. She did not wake up at all today. She is going downhill very fast. Her grown daughter and her husband will be adopting her son. We don't know what her husband will do. Maybe go back to his family in Mexico Another uncle (her half-brother) told us tonight she MIGHT have another week or two to live. Some people can live a year or more, but he is sure she is not one of them with how quickly she has gone downhill. Every day she is much worse. It is too sad to even think about.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:24 PM   #4
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What a wonderful daughter she has.

I'm sure it's very hard for ya'll to hear that type of news. Such a tragedy for a good hearted women. Hopefully she turns around and gets better.

Is your grandma not able to stay with a family member? I think it's very risky for her to stay alone for most of the time. I know she probably doesn't want to leave her house.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:20 AM   #5
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Two of my uncles actually live with her and she takes care of them! One has MS quite badly and can't move much anymore, and the other, well I don't even know why he is there. He has lived with her for years and he doesn't work or do anything. There is no way my grandma will stay in bed and rest if she goes home. From the minute she left home for the hospital she was concerned about taking care of her garden! My cousin who is a nurse said she will take her back to her house instead for a week or so but my grandma is very stubborn and would probably fight that to get home instead.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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Prayers for you and your family. So horrible for you all... I wish I had words to comfort you. But know that I care. [HUGS]
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:20 AM   #7
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Oh dear Lindsey, your family is having a hard time right now. I'm so sorry, but I'm glad you got to see your grandma. I'm glad she got to see Ronan. She is a strong woman and is used to having things her way and taking care of everyone else. It's hard when we get old and that changes.

I'm so sorry about your aunt. In 40 years in medicine, I've never seen mad cow disease. It's a horrible disease, which of course you know. I think I'm glad she won't have to suffer too long with it. I feel so sorry for her children and husband. It must be horrible to lose someone like that so unexpectedly.

You have had to deal with a lot of chaos and change these last few months. Take care of yourself!
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:50 AM   #8
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Well my grandma is not happy with my mom or her sisters. They asked the doctor to keep her until Tuesday, when someone will be able to take her home (my cousin who is a nurse will come pick her up and take her to her home for a few days) but my grandma overheard that and knew she was supposed to be released earlier. The doctor had no problem keeping her but she was ready to pack up and get out of there. My mom told me she can't even get in and out of bed on her own, and she is incontinent. But my grandma was convinced she could go home and can walk between her bedroom and the bathroom without issues. If she needs medical care, she needs someone to come to her or take her to the hospital. My uncles who live with her don't drive, and none of my family around has a car anyway, except my cousin who lives at least an hour away. It really just isn't a good situation all around but my grandma is really mad that she is still in the hospital.

Oh and her hip was really sore too. They were going to do x-rays yesterday. I haven't heard how that turned out. My mom thinks she probably fell at home and hurt herself but didn't want to say anything. My grandma is the stubbornest woman you will ever meet.

The mad cow thing is crazy! I am going to be so careful about the cuts of meat I eat now. Like I had no idea it was even common but after doing research there are around 30 suspected cases in Canada every year. In the UK it is VERY prevalent. And when I talk to people about it, almost everyone somehow knows someone who also had it, like a husband's cousin's mother in law or whatever. It seems like everyone has heard of it! Also when researching it looks like there has never been a case in the US! But there is no way to trace it back so we can't ever know where she picked it up, especially since it can stay with you for years. They just spent a month in Mexico too.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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I was staying with my parents for this week. On Monday night we got a call that my grandma took a turn for the worse. She had been doing great the couple of days prior and was able to even get up and walk around with a walker, and was talking and joking at eating well. Then she went down. She was in ICU and they figured the growth on her liver was liver cancer. Everything started shutting down. On Tuesday morning my aunt called again and said the doctor thought she only had a couple of hours left to live. They moved her out of ICU and into observation. My mom and I (and Ronan) jumped in the car and drove over 2 hours to the city. When we got there, my grandma was awake. She smiled a couple of times. But she was in pain and she needed to rest. She finally fell asleep. We stayed until 10:30 last night. My parents stayed all night until 10 this morning. She is still holding on. But she won't wake up again, she is on constant morphine and they are just keeping her comfortable now until she passes.

I just got a phone call 5 minutes ago that my aunt just passed away.

Thank goodness Ronan is napping because I am a wreck.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:49 AM   #10
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My parents went home last night. My grandma was still the same as she was. I am heading home today.

I talked to my mom this morning and she hadn't heard any updates about my grandma yet so I assume she is still just holding on. For only having a couple hours left two days ago she is really hanging on. My grandma is the strongest and most stubborn woman I know. That still hasn't changed.

The last night I saw her, I had very vivid dreams about her. In the last one, I visited her at the hospital and she was sitting on the side of her bed, looking completely normal and healthy and in her regular clothes. She said she had to go. I said she should stay and rest, she just went through a lot and probably shouldn't be leaving already. She said she has things to do and she got up and walked away. Me and the others who were visiting went out in the hallway and she was gone, and we looked in rooms and everywhere for her and she had disappeared. Maybe my grandma just wants to visit everyone in their dreams before she goes.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:20 PM   #11
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My deepest condolences for the passing of your dear aunt, Lindsey. She is resting peacefully and no longer suffering.

Keeping your grandma comfortable is the best thing they can do for her. Maybe she might come out of it, but if she doesn't hopefully she leaves peacefully.

I know it must be very hard for you to be going through this. It is stages of life that we have to go through sooner or later. I think you have a very supportive family that will help each other out. Many hugs to you and your love ones.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:04 AM   #12
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I'm so sorry you are going through all of this right now. It's really hard when we lose family. The mad cow disease thing is really scary! I think it is usually picked up from hamburger meat where part of the spinal column is ground up in the hamburger. You can cook it enough to get rid of it, so maybe I'll just stop eating hamburger!!!

I hope things settle down with your family, you've been through enough!
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:10 AM   #13
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My grandmother has held on this long. I am at my parents' house again and was going to a friend's bridal shower today but just got a call that grandma is worse, her lungs are full of fluid and she will be gone today or tomorrow. We are skipping the shower and heading back to be with my grandma.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:26 PM   #14
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Positive thoughts and energy Lindsey. XOXO
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #15
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People like your grandma do things on their own timetable. I hope you got to spend some time with her.
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