Monday, January 19, 2009

my cutie gramma

Here's a photo of my cutie gramma, Leona. She's 94, going to be 95 on March 25 if she is still with us. Knowing her, I'd be surprised if she isn't. I call her the energizer bunny because it doesn't seem to matter what happens, she always seems to bounce back and keeps going. She has been living by herself for the most part except when (because of her health) she requires some extra help (like right now) and then my mom and I are there.

She broke her hip five years ago and bounced back from that and several things since then. The last few weeks she's been declining in health and vitality and had a five day hospital stay. It was pretty serious the day she went in and we don't remember ever seeing her so out of her head. Turned out to be a sinus infection and from what we've been told, any type of infection can be serious for the elderly. It's been up and down since she went in on January 3. One day we think she's not going to make it and the next day she's ready to play a round of four handed pinochle. Jimmy and I have joked about it over the past few months and started saying, at times when she wasn't feeling very perky, that we had to make a trip to Socorro to administer theraputic pinochle to Gramma. Nine times out of ten it has worked although this past weekend despite an extreme effort on her part. she was admittedly off her game. She and Jimmy lost two in a row to mom and I. Normally, losing one game would make her very determined to put up a good fight on the next one. Course Saturday morning we couldn't get her to wake up until after 11 am and discovered that her blood sugar had dropped very low and as a result, she was pretty tired and worn out all weekend.

She's been amazingly on top of things mentally until the past couple of months, in fact we always used to make her keep score when we played games. It's been sad to see her going downhill but she's stubborn so she is always trying to gain strength and get back on top of things. When she was in the hospital a couple weeks ago she didn't even know us for a couple of days, then suddenly she was there again and you could see her fighting to stay on top of details like what day it was and find out exactly what had been happening to her.

Apparently, Leona means "Lion", which makes sense and is very fitting for her. Maybe when I have more time I'll explore that a bit more but for right now I just thought I'd offer this introduction to my little gramma and explain that taking care of her has priority over pretty much everything else in my life right now. My long absences from blogging will probably continue for a while.

After sitting on my butt for almost two months with the knee thing I wasn't exactly prepared to jump back into full time, intense caregiving but in some ways having to focus on her physical needs has forced me to recover more quickly than I might have otherwise. I'm still a little gimpy but I've made tremendous progress in the past few weeks thanks to the scheduled and the unplanned physical therapy.