Sharpermead - Photos and Thoughts from Scott Harper

Here are a couple of photos from my sister Jennifer taken on Thursday, August 27th. Grandma was up and about and got to enjoy the sunset. She was able to enjoy the sunset the next day as well, but her health was starting to decline. This was the last truly good day my Grandma had. Thank you for the photos Jennifer, I am sorry that you were not in it.

 

2015-08-31 17:00 Update: Grandma's health took a rapid decline. Saturday the 29th was all right, but she did not have as much energy and she had trouble finishing her sentences most of the time. I had a nice conversation with her about how I still talk to Grandpa and that I will talk with her after she is gone. I asked her to say hi to him for me. I also told her that without death that life would not exist. She said that she liked my philosophy. She woke up Sunday morning quite confused and not able to complete complex sentences. She did not want to get out of bed. By noon she was talking to someone else that was not in the room and dozing off, but waking up with the feeling of falling or yelling out "Judy" and scaring all of us (Judy is her daughter and my mother). She had such a panicked look in her eyes and the sparkle was fast gone. We gave her Lorazepam in a Frosty and she was able to relax. She had a few more ice chips and asked for some 7UP which she hadn't asked for since before she went to the hospital weeks before. The drugs allowed her to sleep without the terrors, but she hasn't woken up since yesterday. At least she is not in pain anymore. Her feet have started to mottle this afternoon. I don't think she will make it to tomorrow morning, but I thought the same thing last night. We took turns staying up with her last night and we will do the same tonight. We are all exhausted and cannot imagine what Grandma is going through. She only has reflex responses to external stimuli. I don't see my Grandma when I look at her now. The hospice nurses have been wonderful to her and to us and we are very thankful for their help and advice.

2015-08-28 21:30 Update: Grandma had a good day yesterday, but she may have had a small stroke last night as my mom was getting her into bed. She passed out for a couple of minutes and when she regained consciousness she was a little groggy; which is completely understandable since she had a long day and was understandably tired. She was able to watch the sunset out in the Carolina room with Mom, Dad, Jennifer, and myself. It was a good day, but a long one. When she woke up thus morning she had a little more confusion than usual and her speech seemed a little bit slurred. Her mind is still sharp, but she is easily losing her train of thought. We will see how she does tomorrow.

2015-08-26 19:30 Update: Grandma has had a good day today. Her appetite has started to come back this evening and she is enjoying ice cream for the first time since she got sick a couple of weeks ago. It is very unusual for her not to eat ice cream. We had a good talk today. She is comfortable and mostly pain free. She has some pain from not being able to move very much and we try to make her comfortable by readjusting her position on her chair and occasionally getting her to stand and take a couple steps with the walker. We spend a lot of the day feeding her ice chips with her helping herself to them when she can. She sleeps in a bed in her room at night and spends the day in her chair in the living room. We have lots of time to talk about a myriad of subjects. Mostly talking about good memories, but once in a while we talk about death. Fortunately we are able to talk about death without too much sadness. I told her it is her next big adventure and that death is possibly similar to what it was like before being born. She liked that thought and said that she felt that way too.

2015-08-25: I am spending late August and the first half of September in South Carolina to see my 101 year old Grandma before she passes away and help my parents around the house (my dad had both hips replaced this summer). We do not know when she will die, but she weighs very little and does not eat a lot of food. Mostly just ice chips and a little bit of pudding or soft boiled egg. She is very strong willed, sharp in the mind (although she does not hear too well), and I am glad that I was able to come here to see her. I also have a little bit of time to relax and take photos on the lake behind their house. I will try to keep adding photos to this page as I am here and update on her status. Right now she is doing quite well.