Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Enough Already! - A short story

Okay, I have had enough! I am now a single mother of three young children after my husband passed away a few months ago. My children have all been sick with some kind of stomach upset and now I get a call about my 82 year old grandfather. He had been living on his own until recently. Before they discovered colon cancer and did the surgery.

Now he is recovering in the hospital. He doesn't like hospitals and has never before been a patient in one. I don't even ever remember him going to visit anyone who was a patient in one. He always waited until the person was home before going to see them. Even when his grandchildren were born they told us he didn't come to see us until after we were home and he could get his hands on us and hold us.

The hospital called me to tell me that he refused to keep any kind of covering on his body. He was literally sitting around naked and refusing to cover himself up. What was I supposed to do? They asked me to come and try and reason with him. Fat chance, I thought! He's always been a stubborn man, now he's a stubborn OLD man!

I have to quickly find a sitter for my 3 young children. Thank goodness for great neighbors, and I find one who is willing to take on three little ones to her already busy schedule of caring for her own three little ones!

I back out of her driveway and head down the road. I look in my rearview mirror and in the street behind me, I see my youngest son running down the road after me waving his arms and screaming. I stop immediately and when he reaches the car, I am standing beside it and I scoop him up in my arms and try to console him. You see, he is just under three and has been frightened of my leaving him ever since his dad passed away. He is so frightened of being apart that he doesn't even want me to close my eyes when I go to bed at night. He will often sneak into my room while I'm asleep and shake me and say "Don't close eyes, momma".

I return him to my neighbor and we pry his arms and legs from around my body and she must hold him tightly so he doesn't chase me again when I leave this time. He will be fine once he calms down and realizes that his brother and sister are with him.

I drive the thirty miles to the hospital, park the car and take the elevator up to the third floor. I walk down the hallway to the nurses station and speak with the head nurse. She informs me that he is being unreasonable and I need to go and speak with him about his dignity and not sitting there in all his glory!

I enter his room and sure enough...there he sits stark naked with everything exposed. I say "hi Grandpa, what are you doing?" He replies that they have stolen every article of his clothing and they won't give it back to him and he wants to leave....NOW! I ask him to cover himself with the blankets on the bed until we can sort this out because I am embarrassed to see him naked and he obliges. He tells me to go and speak with the nurse and find out why they stole his clothes. I humor him and leave the room. I go back to the nurses station and explain to them that he is at least covered up now and they ask me to try and calm him down enough where they can give him some medication to relax him and let him sleep and hopefully when he awakens he will not remember this episode.

I return to his room and explain that the nurse and I will try and locate his clothes but it make take a while and in the meantime he needs to get some rest. I ask if it is okay if the nurse gives him some medicine to relax him while we conduct the search. He is agreeable and takes the medication. Soon he is sleeping soundly and I sit down to wait for him to awaken in a few hours.

When he awakes, he is more like his normal self. He is remaining covered, calm and has no recollection of the happenings of a few hours ago. He seems surprised to see me there and asks me why I didn't wake him when I arrived so we could visit. I am amazed that he remembers nothing of my embarrassment, but pretend nothing happened also so he won't be embarrassed either.

Grandpa passed away a few weeks after they transferred him to a rest home. Goodbye Grandpa and rest in peace.


chesneygirl said...

Hmmm. Could this be a story from your life? ;)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes all it takes is a familiar face, a loved one, a friend to help us when no one else can. Thank you for sharing that story. Hugs!

Rebecca said...

Ohhh. Your poor son... my heart broke reading "don't close eyes momma"....

martie said...

chesneygirl ~ yup, you guessed it! ;)

Editor ~ Thanks for stopping by and hugs back to you!

Rebecca ~ It was a very sad time, but he is now 33 and doesn't even remember that time.....only I do!

V said...

WOW.....that's all I can muster...WOW

And I didn't mean to leave you in suspense...test results....inconclusive...yeah, I'm a tad MAD. I have to go back Dec 7 to see him again. OH JOY. thank you for thinking about me.

whoselife said...

wow. How rough it must of been for you. My heart goes out to you for the road you had to travel. Your story brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of when my mom got very ill and thought the nurses were out to get her. She died a few days later.

I will return to your blog. I enjoyed my visit.

JD's Rose said...

Ok Martie, you keep this up and I am going to have to only come here when I am really really happy, as aposed to just happy.


That one crushed.

martie said...

jd's rose - usually stories from real life are more touching than fictional ones....I think because they contain the human element we can all relate too. Thanks for taking the time to read it.