There has been so much change in my family the past month... it's hard to know where to start.
If you remember, my dad was admitted to the hospital the weekend before Hannah was born. He had a couple of procedures that week to stabilize his rapid heartbeat and was discharged the same day I was. He is doing well at home now. We're still not sure why he has these episodes of SVT, but I think his cardiologists are working on a permanent solution to keep his heart rate normalized.
The next week, my granddad had an accident at home and ended up in the hospital with severe bleeding from his bladder. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer a while back, but all his doctors agreed that surgery to remove the tumors was not advisable for a man of his age (he's 90). He was able to come home after a few days of monitoring in the hospital and a blood transfusion.
A few days after he was discharged, his wife, my grandmom, suffered a major stroke. She was quickly transported to the hospital in my town and underwent testing and monitoring to discover how much damage was done from the stroke. It was then that they discovered that she also had a heart attack.
The doctors were not encouraging about her situation and advised my dad to have her family come to the hospital to say their goodbyes.
Because Hannah Mae was only 2 weeks old at the time, we hadn't traveled to my grandparent's house for them to meet their great-granddaughter yet. The day after she had the stroke, we packed up Hannah Mae and took her to the hospital for their meeting and our goodbye.
This is my grandmom, Johnnie Mae, meeting her great-granddaughter for the first time.
Grandmom had not been able to open her eyes that morning, but when we got to the room she was blinking and struggling to keep her eyes open. She was able to see Hannah Mae and even held up her hand to hold her.
It's been an up and down roller-coaster of a ride since she was admitted to the hospital, but she (stubborn woman that she is) fought hard to 'get better' as she says. She was discharged from ICU and able to leave the hospital. She's in a nursing home now and is undergoing rehab to work on her speech and swallowing. Her entire left side is paralyzed and she has weakness in her right side. Because of where the stroke affected her brain, she also does not fully understand her condition. All the doctors are unable to tell us what rehab will be able to accomplish and how much she will recover.
Her husband, who also suffered from a stroke more than 10 years ago, has not yet been able to see her and he also does not understand the extent of her condition.
As you can imagine, life has been difficult and such an emotional roller-coaster for our family. My heart aches for my dad who has watched his dad struggle so much after his stroke and now he is watching his mom struggle. Could you please pray for my family? My parents, who are carrying the stress and burden of major decisions about the care of my grandparents, and please pray that however long both my grandparents are here with us- that life will be gentle and they will find comfort and peace.
I am so so thankful that the two Maes were able to meet and although Hannah Mae will not remember her great-grandmom, at least my grandmom was able to see and touch and hold her. We are thankful for these memories and pictures.
My grandmom said while holding out her hand to 'hold' Hannah that it felt different this time...to be a great-grandmom. She already has four great-grandchildren by my cousins. When the nurse asked her how many great-grandchildren she had, she responded six.
And Owen, she said.