A hard time for my family

My grandfather is not doing well. He had a rare stroke which he survived, but then developed dementia shortly after, and he has been battling the on sets of Alzheimer’s before the stroke, now it’s really showing. To make things worse the stroke has left him blind, he could see out of one eye the last time we saw him, but he had to hold the eye open with his finger to see anything.

As if that all wasn’t bad enough, they have found he has a tear in his throat that is not letting any foods/liquids in. They were going to repair it but found out that it’s too badly damaged and his options is not to do anything and basically die from hunger, or have a feeding tube hooked up to him. He’s already told my mom he doesn’t want to do anything, so I don’t know what’s going to happen or how much longer he has. I don’t want him to be in pain, that’s no way to live, but it’s very sad thinking that he is dying. I was close with him. He’s 89 years old or at least will be in September if lives that long, but I doubt he’ll live until his 89th birthday.

He was in the navy, and station out in California but never went to war. He was married to my grandmother for over 40 years until her death in 2001. He then married his second wife, who also died (Grandma had diabetes and other aliments, and his second wife died of pancreatic cancer). He graduated from Notre Dame and for most of his life worked in finances. My mom was born in California, and several years later he and my grandma had my uncle. He was also very active in his church, even though my Grandmother was Catholic he never left his Presbyterian faith.

It’s hard to think of someone who was so strong (mentally) be in the state he’s in now. It is not who he was. It is a bit selfish if I say I’d want him to stay alive on feeding tubes, but I know that is not the type of life he deserves. I wish I could do something to make sure he is not suffering, or will not suffer for much longer. I also know how hard this is on my mother, and how hard it must be on my uncle. My uncle has been given power attorney of my grandfather’s finances, but my mom has power over health. It’s a very unstable time for my family, and this is why I made my post earlier about taking some time away from the site. We’re going to Chicago to see him this weekend (if he survives that long), I just don’t know what I can do to help.

I am sorry to hear your grandfather is suffering so much, sohare1981…Sending the best vibes I can to you.

I’m sorry for you. 89 is a high age. All my relatives have died young (65-70). He has seen and experienced a lot.

Talk a lot with him and be there for him. Then his death won’t be as heavy to cope with. When my grandfather was dying of cancer I sat at his bed and watched F1 racing. Not my interrest at all but I did it for him. And we talked a lot about death and the bible. When he died I felt good that he finally stopped having so much pain. He was free at last.

I’m sorry your grandfather is going through all this as well as you and the rest of your family. Things like this are hard on everyone. Just being there is sometimes all the help that is needed.

Sending you and your family positive thoughts. We all have to go through good days and bad days. Do what you can do to help your family and rest is not in our hands.

Try to remember your grandfather as he was when he was young. Remember that he had a long and productive life. Respect his choices and try to make his last years comfortable.

It’s hard and heartbreaking to have to watch someone fade away like this. I know you’ll do what you can, and you’ll be there for him as you can. Good luck and remember, take care of you too.

Sending positive thoughts your way.

My father reached this point before he died last year. He wanted to go. He could no longer do all the things he used to do. He found it hard to follow a conversation. The best thing is to go and see him and talk about all the good times you spent with him. Make him know that you have those memories and so that’s how you will always remember him. His life was meaningful for you and its good if he dies knowing you all recognize that, and you love him. That’s all you can do now isn’t it?

I am sorry…you just being there will be so helpful.
prayers to you and your family OO

I’m so sorry that you are going through this. My grandfather had many strokes when I was younger, and that combined with his Parkinson’s made it very difficult for him to eat. They gave him the option of a feeding tube and he declined. So we used thickening powder and thickened liquids to help him, but he aspirated a few times and needed to go to the hospital. I don’t understand exactly what you’re going through of course, because I’m not in your shoes, but I imagine it’s very difficult and I can relate somewhat. What you can do is be there for him. My grandfather towards the end of his life wasn’t able to talk, or walk, and he was barely able to hold a pencil. But he still found laughter and joy when surrounded by our family. Perhaps your grandfather can experience that.

we’re supposed to be going up to Chicago to visit him this weekend, but I think it depends on if my uncle can send my parents money or not…because we also have rent due this week and we’re bit strapped for cash. I wont know for sure if we’re going until the weekend, the dementia is kicking in strongly with my grandfather. When my mom called him Monday he told her he was staying at the Bank of America, and that’s where she’d find him. I hope we can go see him this weekend, I don’t know how much longer we have with him.