Going Back – Part One – Guilt

I have decided that I have to go back to the week leading up to my adopted grandmother’s death so that I can process all that happen and all that I felt. Up till now it has been all do, do, do. Now I need to feel as well.

It started with my family leaving for the family vacation and me thinking that finally I get some quiet, alone time.  I had to do a couple things for grandma first, namely pick up her medications, then the rest of the time was all mine. When I drop off the meds on Friday I notice a couple of things that worried me – her hands were shaking, which I’d not seen before and she keep falling asleep while I was talking to her. When I spoke to the health care aide Betty, she said that she had notice that too, but she thought it was because she had caught grandma taking double her pain medicine and water pills. We (the aide and I) decided then that it would be best if we hide the medications so that grandma couldn’t find them and take them on her own.  That way we knew exactly what she was taking and when because the aide was giving it to her. This would have been fine except we changed aides on the weekend since grandma’s care was 24 hour. So Saturday, at the crack of dawn, I get a call from the weekend aide saying that the bottle for the pain meds is empty and that I need to get more. First let me say that I am not at my best in the morning. In fact, I don’t usually see much of the morning; because that is the only time I actually can sleep. So I start to panic because I know that I took a full bottle of 28 pills to grandma just yesterday, so there is no way that she could be out of them unless she took them all. I’m thinking overdose, but before I call 911, I called Betty to see where she put the pills. Betty lets me know that she showed the other girl where they were and that the bottle the girl had was the old bottle. She tells me where they are and I have to go over there because the weekend aide is stupid and still can’t find them. When I get to grandma’s, the pills are exactly where Betty said they’d be. The weekend aide said she forgot that’s where Betty said they were. The thing is, is that I tried to tell the same thing on the phone and she couldn’t find them.  At this point I should have called the agency and got a new aide, because this one didn’t have a clue what she was doing, but it was only for one more day and I thought that everything would be ok now that we had found the pills.

This leads to Sunday, I had plans with friends for dinner, so I called to check on grandma to see if she was ok, and the aide said she was sleeping and everything was fine.  So off to dinner I went, only to get a call an hour later, with grandma screaming that she needed me now, that she was in pain, and that the girl wouldn’t do anything. When I finally got her calmed down, I asked for the aide and told her to give her another pain pill. The aide told me that it wasn’t time yet that she still had a ½ hour. At this point it was a good thing I was on the phone, because it took everything I had not to lose it with the stupid girl. I told to give her the pill anyway and then I waited till grandma got it. All the time holding up dinner because of this.

Now looking back, I feel guilty. I should have call the agency and got a replacement. I should have gone over to check up on things on Sunday instead of just calling. I feel guilty because I was having fun on Sunday while she was in pain. I also feel guilty because at the time I was more annoyed then worried when I got the call, I keep thinking is it too much to ask to be able to have dinner with my friends without having to dealing this. I feel guilty because I should have done more, but at the same time would it have changed anything. I don’t know.

I think I’m going to have to do this in parts, because it is so painful.


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