Feeling helpless

About 3 months ago, almost to the day, I told you that my Granddad had suffered a mild stroke and was taken to the hospital.

The stroke had only impacted his language center in the brain and he had trouble communicating. Otherwise, he seemed almost unharmed. He had to stay in the hospital for a couple of weeks, he received speech therapy and when he was doing better and I could talk to him on the phone again, I was so relieved, so so relieved that he seemed to be on the road to almost full recovery. My Granddad is 87, he’s lived through WWII and he has one hell of a stubborn mind.

The fact that he was recovering so well made me feel a little better about the decision to not go to Germany for Christmas, but postpone my trip until spring after my sister will have had her baby.
I talked to him on the phone regularly the last few weeks and with every phone call I could tell that he was doing better and that his language had almost come back completely. Yesterday my Granddad tried to call me, but I missed his call. I told myself that I would give him a call back today.

This morning though, I received a call from my sister. My Granddad is  back in the hospital. From what they were told, my Granddad must have suffered another stroke while he was sleeping and is now in a “sleep coma”.
That means he seems to be sleeping (he’s actually snoring which is almost comical, if it wasn’t so serious), but they can’t get him to wake up.

The doctors told my family that they don’t know if he’ll ever wake up again, and that if he did wake up again, his life would probably not be worth living anymore. Since the stroke impacted the left side of his brain again, he probably won’t be able to communicate or move much and the longer he remains in the coma, the more severe the impact on this brain will be.

My heart is breaking at being so far away from home and from my family. I feel helpless and alone. I kick myself that I missed my Granddad’s phone call yesterday, as this might have been my last chance to talk to him ever again. On top of that, my sister’s due date is in 18 days and she’d be devastated if he won’t be able to see his great-grandchild anymore.

I don’t know what to think right now. Part of me wants to get on a plane like first thing tomorrow morning, but if I did that, it would impact my plans to go home in the spring. Also, there is no guarantee that he would wake up or notice at all that I was there.
I am afraid that he’s going to pass away without me being there, but again, nobody knows if he’s going to wake up again or for how long he’s going to be in the coma.
I feel so torn, because I want to see him again so badly, but at the same time, I don’t want him to suffer. I don’t want him to wake up and realize that he can’t communicate or move at all anymore. I don’t want him to go to a nursing home just to vegetate away for a few more months, and I don’t want him to be in any pain.

I don’t want him to wake up for my selfish wish alone  to see him one more time.
He lived a full-filled, happy and healthy life. If this is the way he’s supposed to go – to fall into a sleep coma and then pass on, I can’t think of a better way to die.
(My grandma (his wife) battled breast-cancer for eight years (she died a long time ago, when I was six) and that is definitely a more painful and sad way to go.)

If you could spare a moment and send some good thoughts and prayers (for whatever outcome) my Granddad’s way, that would be wonderful and very much appreciated.
I can only once more reiterate how much it sucks to be so far away from your family in times like this.

If I only knew what I am supposed to do now…

  1. I’m so so sorry! i keep your granddad and all your family in my thoughts and send a big hug to you!

  2. My Dearest San,
    Your Grandfather knows in his heart that you are with him. And if he is currently caught between two worlds, then I pray that his dreams are wonderful and happy ones. Perhaps of you and Nina playing as children with him in the garden, or spending holidays together with you.
    I understand the helpless feelings you have. At one time I lived in Germany and my family was on Cape Cod and my grandfather was dying. Like your grandfather he slipped into this Neverland and never did awaken. But I know he loved me, and he knows I loved him, and that is what counts.
    May I offer you many hugs and the comfort of one friend to another!
    Some times there is no right answer about what you are supposed to do.
    If you need me to talk or MSM let me know. I am here for you.
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Rainy Days =-.

  3. maus, ich hab’ gestern abend noch an dich gedacht und überlegt, anzurufen… irgendwie hatte ich ein “komisches” gefühl :*( es tut mir so, so leid und ich hoffe, dass du die richtige entscheidung triffst. hör’ auf deinen bauch und du weisst, du kannst mich jederzeit (!) anrufen, wenn dir danach ist. ich denke an dich und deine familie! fühl’ dich ganz fest gedrückt!
    .-= kim´s last blog ..pause. hiatus. break. time off. peace. =-.

  4. Muss mich als stille Mitleserin jetzt auch mal outen. Es tut mir so leid. Mein Papa ist vor ein paar Jahren gestorben. Und auch ich wohn ueber den grossen Teich von meinen Eltern – und so kam dass ich nicht mehr mit ihm reden konnte, obwohl er das wollte. Ich weiss,wie du dich fuehlst. Ja, distance sucks. Ich wuensche dir alles gute und dass du die richtige Bauchentscheidung triffst.


  5. San,

    I can imagine how helpless you must feel.
    No one can tell you what you should do, but listen to your heart and your instinct!

    Maybe he`s waiting to say “Goodbye” to you in an non-communicating way…or maybe he wouldn`t want you to fly all the way…you know him. What would he say? Stucked between the “worlds”, try to talk to him like he would be right next to you. It seems you had a strong bond between both of you.

    Like I said before…listen to yourself.
    Sende Dir und Deiner Familie, besonders aber Deinem Großvater ganz viel Kraft!
    BIG HUG!

    The Abbotts

  6. i’m sending you a big hug and lots of prayer your grandad’s way! I’m sooo sorry you’re going through this right now!

    i wish i knew what to tell you or in what way to advise you, but unfortunately that can only be your decision. I just hope that you can find resolve and peace with whatever you decide. I hope that things get better…truly and sincerely!
    .-= Carolina´s last blog ..It’s All About Me!! =-.

  7. I’m with Tabby who said that you have to listen to your heart and go from there to decide what is best. I think this is one of the situations where you can simply not know the outcome. I’m keeping you and your grandfather in my thoughts and sending you both strength. I hope you make the right decision.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..A sunrise of fire =-.

  8. I’m so, so sorry. I’m sending warm thoughts to you and your family tonight. And internet hugs!
    .-= Terra´s last blog ..February. Still the shortest month. =-.

  9. I’m so so sorry to hear that!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll be thinking of you and your family!!!! BIIIIIIIG HUG!!!!!
    .-= Tinka´s last blog ..Random Thoughts =-.

  10. Dear San!
    This is definitly the hardest part by living so far away from family!I can’t find the right words to tell you how really sorry I feel for you, your family and your Granddad! I send you a big hug and may the best for your grandfather is going to happen.

  11. hallo sandra,

    es tut mir sehr leid von deinem opa zu hören und ich kann mir nur vorstellen, was das für eine verzwickte lage ist, in der du dich befindest, was du machen sollst. was sagen denn deine eltern und deine schwester? ich kann mir nur vorstellen, wie schlimm du didch fühlst, daß du seinen anruf verpasst hast. aber denk einfach immer daran, daß du auch hättest in deutschland leben können und hättest diesen anruf verpassen können und da hättest du dich bestimmt genauso schlimm gefühlt. drück dich

  12. süße, ich denk’ an euch! es tut mir so, so leid!
    HDGGDL! <3
    .-= kim´s last blog ..pause. hiatus. break. time off. peace. =-.

  13. Hey San, I am so so sorry. I am thinking of you and your family. Not knowing what to do and just being able to wait and see what happens without giving that person you so dearly care for a hug is the worst. :(
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Moments that will be remembered forever. =-.

  14. I’m so sorry to read about your granddad :( You and your family are definitely in my prayers! Like everyone else has said, do what YOU think is best. When my grandma passed away in 2008 my parents were adamant that I not make the trip home for her funeral and I regret it. I hate being so far away from my family!

  15. I am sorry to hear that and i can understand that you are torn between going and not. I hope you can make the right decision for yourself.

  16. aw san i’m so so sorry to hear that, i can’t imagine it’s in any way easy to deal with that whether you are close or far away. i hope everything works out for the best and you don’t have to make such a hard decision.
    .-= katelin´s last blog ..Weekendtini on the rocks. =-.

  17. Try to stay positive, despite the situation. As you said, he lived a great life, he knows the love he has in your family. I wish you all the best and hope you will see him in may. x

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