Thursday, October 18, 2007

Life in the ICU

This week has been bittersweet.

Bitter because I have spent much of it sitting in the ICU waiting room while my grandma underwent tests after having a seizure Monday morning. Luckily she was already in the hospital when her blood pressure spiked, causing the seizure. Initially she was there because of severe dehydration from some mysterious cause. After much frustration, the hospital finally did the correct tests and found that she has an obstruction in her colon. This is actually good news because it means that she did not have another stroke and, hopefully, she can be treated and sent home soon.

The sweet part of the week came as family gathered to await the news of grandma's health and for the occasional visit. It got to visit with cousins that I haven't seen in a while and with my Uncle Clayton that I haven't seen in two long years. It made me realize how much I miss not seeing my family on a regular basis like we did when I was younger.

There are nine of us grand kids and, as Jim describes it, we have a very "social sense of humor" -meaning that when we get together, our senses of humor take on a very quirky, cliquish edge. Even our parents think it's weird and offbeat (except Uncle Clayton - I think that is where we all developed it. Maybe it's God sense of humor showing itself). Even in situations that are depressing or serious, if three or more of the "kids" get together, we will find something to laugh about. And grandma in ICU was no different.

It happened when Patrick and Brandon, who are 22 and 26 year old brothers, went into grandma's room to visit. As they were leaving, grandma, in her hospital daze, told Patrick, "Do what needs to be done." After thinking about this for a short time, Patrick, now back in the waiting room, turned to Brandon and asked if he heard grandma correctly. After telling us what grandma said, I asked if she kissed his cheek when she said it. We came to the conclusion that she meant either (1) water her plants or (2) settle the family vendetta. I'm sure you've all heard tales of how vengeful those Nova Scotians are. I mean it's practically legendary.

Well, at least we lightened the mood for a little while.