Happy Monday, WW. What's cookin'?
This weekend was all the feels at my house. And ridiculously productive. Got a ton of spring cleaning done, did a bunch of yard stuff, made a ton of food for the week, etc. Last night DH and I agreed that neither one of us stood still for more than a couple of minutes all weekend. We were -almost- too tired for BCBC Sat./Sun.
Wooz had her first sleepover and loved it. It was so weird dropping her off, and then just having the three of us in the car. DS fell asleep on the drive to dinner, and the car was so quiet
. But it was a huge success by all accounts, and she already got me to promise that she could host the next one.
My mom came for Wooz's swim grad, and at the end of class they made a big to-do--usually, each kid gets their certificate at the end of class, and the kids who are moving up get their picture taken with their patch in front of the big flag. But since Wooz was graduating from the highest level, her teacher gave a short speech in front of everyone (in which she mentioned Wooz's butterfly perseverance), and everyone applauded. Wooz was half embarrassed and half pleased.
While she was changing afterward, DH took DS outside because he was restless, and my mom told me that my grandmother went to the doctor and was (tentatively) diagnosed with hydrocephalus
. She has been having some symptoms, so she went to the doctor, who said it looks like textbook NPH but they can't confirm w/o an MRI. However, my grandma can't handle an MRI, and if it confirmed her diagnosis, then the next step would be a shunt. And at her age, brain surgery is very risky, and apparently they often require follow-up surgeries, so the risk multiplies. So my mom and my aunt talked, and they're going to let it take its course and not put her through tests and surgery. My mom said that my grandmother is pretty much ready to go at this point: she's not depressed, but she's also accepted that at 99, she doesn't have a lot more time, regardless. And TBH, my aunt said that she [my grandma] is pretty much tired of living at this point: she doesn't go out much, can't do a lot of the things she used to do, and basically feels that she's had a good life and she's ready to let go.
I totally get it on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Her doctor said that, assuming this unconfirmed diagnosis is correct, she has "several months to maybe a year." Which, TBH, is sad but not shocking--once she's 99, you sort of don't take it for granted that your grandma will be around in 5 or 10 years, you know? And on a practical level, it throws her 100th birthday party this fall into limbo. Even assuming she's still around, she may not be able to travel or anything. We'll just have to wait and see.
My mom also said they decided not to tell my grandma, which I was kind of having a hard time with. I understand why--she's anxious under the best of circumstances, and used to lose sleep over things like a leaky faucet when she lived on her own. So they feel that she'll have a better quality of life if they don't tell her. And even though I totally understood the logic, it felt wrong to me. Then I was driving in this morning listening to yesterday's This American Life podcast, and Act 1
similar, except that the grandma was Chinese, and had been diagnosed with lung cancer. And it basically ran though my entire thought process, it was such a weird, out of body feeling.
ETA: this quote, from the podcast, summed it up exactly:
"It's not just that Little Nainai didn't want to upset her sister with
the news of her death. She actually believed that not telling her was a
way to prolong her life. Knowing Nainai's personality, Little Nainai
worried that her sister would get overwhelmed with fear and depression.
She'd stop eating. She'd stop sleeping. She'd lose interest in life.
Chinese believe that mental and emotional health are completely linked
to physical health."