What Does My Grandma Have?

A few months back, during the winter season, my mother and I took a road trip to Virginia, where my grandmother lives.  Mom had gotten a phone call from Grandma, telling Mom that she has to come see her.  Grandma had fallen and had suffered a stroke and is now unable to speak well, or swallow.  Tests had been run on my grandma, and no one could ever tell what was really wrong with her.  Doctors and medical people all said that her speech and swallowing were due to her stroke.  But Grandma always knew there was more.

A few days ago, my mother got a call from George, a friend of my grandma’s.  She had fallen while getting the mail, and some people who were working next door had found her, and called the hospital.  A neurologist had run some tests on Grandma, and had come to a conclusion: she might have ALS.  ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  Motor neurons become depleted, and when this happens, the brain is no longer able to control muscle movement throughout the whole body.  This means that, whoever has it, may become totally paralyzed.*

This is a very tricky disease to diagnose, mainly because no two people have the same symptoms.  So, does she really have ALS?  There is a possibility that, no, she does not.  Which is why the hospital is sending her to Charlottesville (about an hour away from where she is now) to a Lou Gehrig’s facility to have further tests done.

Grandma just had surgery on Thursday to have a feeding tube inserted into her stomach.  The nurse said that she is never coming home once she has this.  But, is she really not going to come home?

If, by chance, Grandma does not make it home, someone who Mom works with said that the government will come and take the house away.  Worse, the car, and all of the money from her will.  Hey, they have to pay for a nursing home somehow.  But will Grandma really be in a nursing home?

Mom and I are taking a week off next Tuesday to go and see her, and talk to the doctors face to face.  We’re going to get down to the bottom of all of this mess.  What is really going on here?

Grandma is fine.  She still has her will, and her sense of humor.  She’s still herself.

Mom isn’t taking this well, as you all might assume.  She’s a sensitive person as it is, and then to have this happen to her own mother, you can bet she’s upset.

Me?  I’m…dealing.  I’m just going along with whatever happens.  I’m just sitting back, absorbing what is being said, taking it all in, planing my own plans.  Figuring out my own questions, making my own decisions on how to feel about all of this.  It’s hard to do so right now though, since I’m not in the presence of it all.  Now, next week is when the real test begins.  What should be said?  What should be asked?  How should things really turn out?  Or at least, how do we think things should turn out?  I’m not sure yet, but believe me, I will let you all know.

I just wanted to get you up to speed.  I will tell you more when I know more.  But for now, I shall leave this as it is.

Have a great day!

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