Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sorry if this post is totally out of order and rambling.Nana Boop passed away last night around 8:15. She had been so sick for so long. She had a Whipple Operation in 2000 and things were never really the same since that. She had a really bad fall this summer-ended up under the deck fighting the mosquitos, and things just kind of went downhill from there. She had chronic pancreatitis which caused her so much pain and suffering over the past year. She was in and out of the hospital for dehydration and pain.I truly think she knew the end was near in December. Her GI wanted her to get an ERCP performed to determine what type of damage had been done by the Whipple and to just confirm the whole anatomy of her digestive system. She insisted on having it performed in Boston. I think she needed one last trip to Boston to see her family, to visit the beach. When she returned home it went downhill continuously. She was able to spend Christmas with her family tho alot of the time she was in bed but she did get in alot of smiles and laughter. She did alot to make sure we were taken care of-bought my grpa a new computer and made Anthony go get measured for a suit. She insisted we go thru the house and mark the things we wanted-we refused.Over the last month she constantly mentioned death and that she was just tired, so tired of fighting the pain and knew that she would never take a painfree breath. She wasn't eating and took only a few sips of 7Up each day. We fought it-refused to believe that she was actually dying and instead tried to get her admitted to a geriatric psych unit. Thank Heavens God knew the plan. A blessing came when they did not have a bed available at the unit and Nana would have to wait another day. That night she woke Papa up screaming in pain, a pain that was different from before. He took her to the ER and she was admitted. We honestly thought she was going to beat it again-she always came out of it after getting fluids and pain meds. We had planned on having her transferred to a skilled nursing facility so they could physically build her back up and then she could come home.The doctors were gently trying to advise us that she really might not overcome it this time. We held out hope but as the days wore on we realized how much she was suffering and we just wanted her to be peaceful. Sunday we took Bella up there after church-it was the only time of the entire hospital stay that Nana was truly alert, cognizant and alive. Soon as mom told her that Bella was there, she sat straight up, her whole face was alive, her heart smiling thru her eyes and she said, "OOHHH MY BELLLLLLAAAA!!!" Bella sat on the bed with her and Nana just smiled and looked at her. My aunt and uncle came up on Sunday and we were all able to be with her. On Monday us girls spent all day with her and it was so nice to have that time with her, especially when she was able to communicate with us. We made sure to call all the important people that couldn't be there. We put the phone up to Nana's ear and let them talk to her. With each person she would open her eyes real wide-the only real responses we got all day. And she would whisper "I love you" to each of them. Her breathing was extremely labored and she was in and out all day long. We finally made the decision as family based on Nana's wishes to have the oxygen and nutrients removed and treat for comfort only. At first they gave her meds every 3 hours and we pushed for 2 hours and she was finally able to not be so restless. Mom left to try to take a nap at home and I had gone into the lobby for a bit of a break when the nurse ran to get me. Nana was trying to sit straight up in bed and was VERY alert. She joked with us and laughed and smiled, gave us a few glares like only Nana can and gave me a sweet kiss. She was telling us goodbye and that she was ok. She was waiting for Papa to come back. We all went out to eat while Papa and my uncle got to spend time with Nana. They said she was taking fewer and fewer breaths. Papa was praying that she would pass quickly so that they wouldn't have to transport her to the Hospice House in the morning. They said she took a breath and then didn't take another so they started bawling and then she took another breath and they cracked up laughing. She finally took her last breath around 8:15pm, a few minutes before my mom and aunt got back to the hospital. I was able to lay in bed and hold her for a bit afterwards but kind of lost it once I really grasped that she wasn't breathing. I bawled in the lobby but then a sudden peace came over me when Nana told me "Oh sweetie, its ok, its ok, I'm alright now." The Chaplain gave a beautiful prayer, Papa grabbed Nana's things and said, "Lets get out of here." We spent all evening crying, laughing, and telling jokes about our Nana memories. I hate that she suffered so much those last few days-the dying process is incredibly exhausting, but I'm so so so so thankful that she will never ever again have another headache, backache, stomach ache, or curl up in a ball and shake from the pain.I have soooo many beautiful, silly, wonderful Nana memories that I'll blog about later. It hasn't sunk in. We made all the arrangements today and I kept seeing her name on the paperwork and kept thinking, "Why is HER name on there?!?!" I'm ok knowing that she will never again hurt but then it just feels like she'll be home from the hospital in a few days and everything will be ok. We got to see her again today-she looked so good, like she was just taking a snooze and would be back in the kitchen any minute baking her famous pies. She looked like she wasn't in pain anymore-last night she looked like she had fought, today she was peaceful. I lost it when Papa held her face and said, "Goodbye Sweetheart". They were married for 51 years!!!! That is a lifetime. He loved that woman with an intensity that I've never seen anywhere else. They were beautiful. k gonna cry dangit!!!

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