My grandma has suffered a stroke, half her brain is gone, she has lost the strength and full control of the left side of her body and she can’t speak, not just because she can’t control her tongue, but because words don’t come to her either.
I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to have your body not listen to you. to have liquids escaping from the left side of your mouth because you can’t help it. to have had resisted being assisted, and been proud of being independent; and now be reduced to being bedridden and requiring help to walk. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have people instructing you, at the top of their voices might i add, to do basic things, like chew and swallow, sit up, repeat words, tell them who they are.
I can’t imagine not being able to remember what you said seconds ago, to ask it again because you can’t remember the answer, or you can’t remember that you even asked it; and to be shouted back at because people are frustrated that you ask too much. in fact people have asked you to shut up. and the irony is, now you can’t even talk. and now that you can’t talk, they want you to try so hard to talk. i can’t imagine how hard it must be to look at a fork, or a spoon, and not know what it’s called or what it’s used for. it pains me to see you frown every time you try to articulate something and you fail. and we ask you to try again, but you give up before you get there.
Dear God, it makes no sense to write to you on a wordpress site but I guess that’s the easiest way for me to communicate what I want to and remember how this feels (and I’m guessing you’ve been keeping up with the times). My grandma has got to be the most selfless person I’ve ever known. She has worried and taken care of every one but herself. She’s loved unconditionally. She’s gone through countless amounts of suffering and pain, and I have to admit, we haven’t been the best at supporting her at the start of this trying time. I don’t know why it has to take something major to remind us not to take her for granted.
God I pray that she may at least regain her speech… because it’s the only way she can express herself; because if she needs anything she’d just have to ask… because even if she’s complaining or griping about her situation, at least she can let it out. I pray that you may be merciful on her and put your healing hand on her; she’s the only grandma I have. I don’t think I am ready to have her leave right now…
And please, don’t let her forget me…I’ve read it’s not uncommon for patients with dementia to forget family members. I’m certain I will be very heart broken. Right now, every time I arrive at her bedside and someone asks her to identify me, I see it in her eyes that she knows who I am but she just can’t say my name. I still feel a little hurt. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when the person who’s taken the time to raise me all her life starts looking at me like I’m a stranger.
Dear God, I don’t know where this is going, or why it’s happening, but I trust your will, and that with You all things are possible.