Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nova Scotia Day 2

We overslept this morning. And then the phone rang.
My grandfather was unresponsive when they tried to wake him. The
preliminary thought was he might have had a massive stroke during the
night. If we were say anything to him, we'd want to get over to the
hospital soonest. There were periods where he wasn't breathing for a few
minutes at a time.
We rushed over.
My mother held his hand and he made a noise, gutteral and
sub-linguistic, but it was an acknowledgement. There was still presence
with advice from the doctor, he was moved to a private room. The doctor,
who has an obviously forgettable name, felt that 2-3 days was all he had.
We sat with him for a while, then I grabbed a cellphone and walked
outside. I called my father (still looking after the wife back in
O-town) and let him know what was going on. I just don't see how a
90-year old man can go to the hospital and nearly die 6 days out of 10
for a month and have anyone expect it to go on.
Then I called my sister and let her know the updates. Her husband is
away in Saskatchewan, so she doesn't think she can travel, what with the
neice and all.
I went back in and spoke with the nurse for a few minutes.
We sat with Grampy for a while longer when he rolled over. Ten minutes
later he sat up.
When the nurse asked "How do you feel?"
"With both hands."
He spent the next 10 minutes cycling through his favourite lines, quips
and wisecracks as he crawled toward lucidity.
Don't think I mean he's back up to full strength. He stopped breathing
for while periodically.
At one point Mum and I looked at each other when it happened. We didn't
know what to make of it. "Then he asked, 'How long?'"
"How long until I die?"
There are no answers to a question like that.

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