Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Inhumane Treatment???

My grandfather (whom I mentioned had a stroke last week) is in pretty critical condition..well, sort of. Critical condition from a different perspective. He is 95 years old and has had a pretty healthy life. He has been in a retirement/nursing home, but on the independent living floor, with minimal nursing assistance. The stroke he had was caused by an infection/abscess on his head (melanoma). He has had this skin cancer for several years now, but it has not really caused any trouble. The infection caused swelling in his brain, which caused the stroke. The treatment: IV antibiotics for several months.

Unfortunately, my grandfather gets very confused when he is in the hospital. (this happens to a lot of people, and hey, he's 95!!). It has been sort of critical lately, and his wife (2nd wife due to loosing his wife to cancer in his 40s) has decided that he basically doesn't need to live any longer, and she wants to stop/discontinue all antibiotics. This has been very trying on our family. My Mom, along with her other 3 sisters are having a tough time. And one of the sisters is in complete agreement with my grandmother ("step-grandmother"). He does not hallucinate all day, nor is he confused the entire day. He has been fine around my mom multiple times, and is being as normal as a 95-year old person can be. He has had some bad episodes, which I understand is hard to "watch.", but it hasn't necessarily affected his "health/recovery."

My grandmother doesn't want to let him do anything. He asked to shave, she told him there is no need to. So my grandmother met with a social worker and doctor to voice her final decision (not even discussing it with 2 of the daughters (my mom and aunt); This is very heartbreaking for me. It's not like my grandfather is on life support (ventilator, etc.). But if he doesn't receive these antibiotics, then he will die, and it will be a painful process. The doctor said after the infection clears (or clears up as much as it can), he will be back to his "normal" self. He has a PICC line, allowing him to finish the IV antibiotics back at the retirement home or skilled-nursing facility. We are not sure if he is competent enough to understand exactly what "she" (grandmother/wife, etc.) wants to do. I feel so sorry for him. I know he is old, but this just seems wrong to me...inhumane treatment. My grandmother I guess is just tired of taking care of him, although she does very little. She claims she is exhausted and that "this" has been going on for about 10 years, with the last 3 being the worse. And this is a bunch of CRAP!!! I don't think she really "loves" him in a God-loving way right now. And it seems that she has clearly not prayed about this situation at all. We (the entire family) are praying and trying to seek God's word and guidance in this situation. But it is a very difficult one, and hard on the daughters, as two of them are against their step-mother's decision.

If you could please pray for my grandfather, for his health and the infection to get better; but also for the right decision to be made here, and preferable, everyone be in agreement. If the antibiotics are stopped (or I guess I should say when they are stopped, since she says that is a final decision), that the "dying" process will not be painful. That God will comfort him and ease his suffering. I haven't been able to visit him (yet), because I've been pretty sick and do not need to be at a hospital setting.

Here are a few pictures!

My mom and I with him this year-Father's Day.

Father's Day in 2008-My Mom and Aunt

Holding his great-granddaughter: Katherine/Katie (last March) (#13 great-grandchild)


Kellee said...

Ok Katey Im so sorry to hear this.
I will be saying extra prayers!!

Aspiemom said...

Katey, this is just heartbreaking. It must be so hard on your family and I hope it get's worked out soon!

I hope you are starting to feel better on your IV's.

Jane said...

Oh, wow. I'll keep your family in my prayers. No one should have to go through this.