Last week, my grandfather took a mighty tumble on his front walkway. He banged up his knees and back pretty well, but claimed he didn’t hit his head. Luckily, my mother was in town for the holidays and was able to keep an eye on him. He refused to go to his doctor, because he’s a stubborn, stubborn man.
He spent the next few days getting increasingly sore and stiff, until he couldn’t get out of bed by himself. There was no way he could fold himself into the family car, so my mom called in a distant relative with a big van to take him to the ER.
While filling out his forms, he paused over the signature blank on one page long enough for my mom to ask him if something was wrong. “I can’t remember how to make the letter L,” he said.
The doctors gave him a CAT scan and then claimed the only thing wrong with him was that he was 88 years old. Funny, he was 88 two weeks ago and still had full mastery of the alphabet.
Back at home, my mom suggested he wind down by watching Jeopardy on television. He picked up the book beside his bed and then complained that Jeopardy wasn’t in it. Apparently there have been many more bizarre behaviors and lapses that I will be filled in on later.
Luckily, my aunt has agreed to come stay with my grandparents after my mother leaves. My grandfather won’t be alone and will presumably be made to go back to the doctor.
I’m scared and concerned and guilty that I wasn’t loving enough during my visit this Christmas. I’m aghast that this level of brain impairment can descend so quickly. I’m worried this is the beginning of the end for him.