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Click above to help sponsor Walt in an ALS walk, October 1. He is a "designated walker" for someone who had signed up and then can't participate, but Walt's good friend Bill Cunningham died of ALS and he was more than happy to do the walk. Let me show him that my readers are stsanding behind him! (The name on the account is Lion-Carlos Carvajal and the team is the Yolo Sunset Lions Club). Thanks!!!
EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTERS
21 September, 2011
7:53 a.m.: Text message from Tom: "We're heading to the hospital." I call my mother and send e-mail to Char. Walt asks if I'm going to drive to Santa Barbara. I consider it, but I had made plans with Peach to visit Kathy and Walt needs the car tomorrow, so I decide not to go, figuring that baby will probably be born before I can get there (it's an 8 hr drive and this is a second baby). Wait for updates.
10:14 a.m.: Text message from Tom: "10 min apart. May induce. More later."
11:00 a.m.: Drive to Sacramento to meet Peach and visit Kathy. We watched her sleep for about 25 minutes and then, when we were beginning to leave, they delivered her lunch and Kathy came to instantly, sat up and started eating (more than we have seen her eat), chatting constantly.
The business of dementia is very strange. Though she made sense throughout, she was talking at great length concerning the fantasy she is living. Author Michael Connelly now owns the home where she is. He hides in her closet at night and wants her sexually. She has decided not to commit suicide (this is the first we have heard the word "suicide" mentioned) and instead is going to get healthy so she can go out to lunch with Peach and me, but she is going to continue living at the center where she is. She is also going to fix all the problems of the care center because she has "access to a lot of money."
We just agreed with everything she said, but when I thought about it later I decided it was like someone took her brain and shook it up in some cocktail shaker, allowing the most important things in her life to rise to the top. All of her life Kathy has been the caretaker, the one who solved all the problems. She recently was the executer of her mother's estate and handled all of her siblings and half-siblings and their eagerness to get their inheritance.
She is also an avid reader of crime novels and was the only who introduced me to Michael Connelly. She also loved him and had read all of his books.
So it's like all of these very strong elements of her history came together and created this delusional fantasy that is her reality right now.
Over lunch, Peach said that the doctor says that what is happening is that she is taking deep breaths, but because of her diminished lung capacity, she can't exhale completely, so CO2 is building up in her body and affecting her brain. She will eventually suffocate, but it may take several weeks for this to happen.
It breaks your heart, but by the same token, I am glad that we can be there for her for as long as she is still with us.
2 p.m.: Arrive home. Walt has had word from his sister, from the hospital, saying that contractions are now 5 minutes apart.
3 p.m.: I take a nap, holding my cell phone in case there is news.
6 p.m.: Word comes from Alice Nan: "Laurel is having contractions about a minute apart but no other news. Water hasnt broken. Baby isnt coming yet. They arranged to go to the hospital today and so is hopeful the baby will arrive before the end of the evening that is the plan. She hasnt begun pushing yet."
I watch the season return of NCIS and NCIS-LA, both of which were very good. I'm glad to be seeing new episodes after a summer of marathon reruns. Decide that I don't know if Unforgettable is a good new show or not, but 3 different crime dramas in one night is kind of "overkill" (pun intended)
9 p.m.: Word from Alice Nan: "She is progressing slowly. Not pushing yet."
I send back question: "And contractions are a MINUTE apart?"
"I think so," responds Alice Nan.
I decide not to post this entry until we have a baby, so putting it on hold until I can make the Photo of the Day of my new granddaughter... I am also thinking I worked in ob/gyn too long..and just enough to be concerned. I'm also sorry, now, that I decided not to drive down.
9:30 p.m.: Message from Alice Nan: "Pushing." I reply "Yay!" Alice Nan reminds me that last time she pushed for 3 hours.
10:00 p.m. Walt says he's an old person and has to get up early in the morning so he is going to bed.
10:30 p.m.: I get a text message from
Tom. She's here. Lacie Ann. No stats yet. I run to stairs to call up to
Walt, who has also received a text message and is running to the stairs to call down to
PHOTO OF THE DAY