Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Very Bubbe Christmas

May I presume that we all survived Christmas?  There were no casualties as a results of over-eating, over-drinking, or over-exposure to Michael Bubl√©?  

Excellent.  Well done, everybody.  I hope that your Christmas week fell somewhere in the range between fantastic and bearable, as close to fantastic as possible.  My week was good - generously filled with all the essentials of the season: friends, family, and food.  All my plans have gone well, and my gifts have been well-received.

The only thing that is not 100% is my Bubbe.  The so-called indomitable lady is not doing well.  Congestive heart failure has sapped her energy and landed her in hospital, as of last week.  Also, we (the family and her doctors) are not quite sure why, but she's gone a little loco in the coconut, just recently.  It could be the medications she's on; it could be oxygen deprivation; it could be her age finally catching up with her (99 and a half years is a long time to hang on to all of one's marbles); it could be the stress of being stuck in the hospital; or most likely it's all of the above.  Anyway, she has better days and worse days, but when I visited her on a worse day she said some pretty kooky stuff.

For example, she thought that the clock in her room was literally controlling her physical movements, and that she had to match the positioning of her hands to angle of the hands on the clock, or "they would apply a little discomfort.  Not pain, but just enough discomfort to make you have to move your hands."  So... hmm.  That's pretty weird.

She has been telling all of her family members for years that she does NOT want to be dependent.  She does NOT want to become a vegetable in a wheelchair.  She wants a nice, clean death, the kind where you put yourself to bed one night in your own home and then just peacefully slip away in your sleep.  Sure, who doesn't want that?  No one wants to be a shadow of one's former self, stuck in a hospital, connected to various tubes and machines, becoming paranoid and delusional and helpless to halt the process.

So, you know, it's difficult to watch.  We all knew that we'd have to lose her someday, but that doesn't make it any easier  It's anyone's guess how much longer she'll live, and at this point we're not necessarily hoping for a lot longer.  She's in God's hands now, as she always was, of course, although she would never see it that way.  

Despite feeling a bit uncelebrational on account of Bubbe's situation, I have done my best to drown my sorrows in roast beef with mashed potatoes, chocolate cake and pecan pie.  We celebrated December birthdays and watched the movie Elf.  So there it is.  Christmas was successfully accomplished.  Next: New Year's Eve.  Best wishes to everyone for 2016! xo

6 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

Your situation with Bubbe sounds similar to my Dads. Make sure she's having enough liquid, dehydration can make elderly people talk a lot of rubbish. My Dad was constantly dehydrated thanks to my Mum, and when he was, he talked rubbish too. It's very distressing actually. I'm also worried my mother is getting the first signs of dementia too. Roll on 2016. Enjoy the good moments.

Vanessa T said...

I am so glad you had a wonderful Christmas, Spark! Yay!

But, my heart is hurting for Bubbe. I will be praying hard that she recovers her awesome self soon.

And *hugs* for you. I know it's hard to see loved ones struggling.

DarcKnyt said...

Oh, Spark. I'm so sorry you all are going through this. Bubbe's been such a great person in your life, and yes, knowing this was coming doesn't make it any easier. I'm glad you managed some joy at Christmas, and I do understand the grinchiness you felt before. I can't blame you.

I can, however, pray for all of you. And we will.

May your New Year be wondrous and happy. We'll talk again in 2016.

Jenski said...

Sorry to hear about your Bubbe! When my grandmother's health was really failing, turns out some of the medications she was on made her Alzheimer's-related dementia worse. Oiy. Hope you all have been able to enjoy Bubbe's company, and have a happy new year!

Lynn said...

Oh my - so sorry to hear about her health issues. I know she'll bounce back - I hope so. My mom used to say about my grandmother, "You can't keep a good gal down."

Granny Annie said...

I am late reading this post but my prayers go out to Bubbe and to your family. She is one of my favorites and I love it when you write about her. Hopefully all is well and she was just dehydrated or something like that.