Sunday, March 26, 2017 | By: BlackGargie

Another Death in the Family... (Part 1)

Another death has occurred in my family, and it was something that wasn't entirely unexpected. Lemme just start from the very beginning, with my grandma in law being hospitalised after taking a fall from the stairs.

We were away for the hols to do some Xmas shopping last year when my grandma in law took a tumble down a flight of stairs after she may have lost her balance go up or down the stairs. Fractured ribs, cracked lip, cut forehead, bruised arm, etc... were sustained from the fall, and at the time, due to the severity of her injuries, she couldn't be discharged until she gets the green light from the docs. Our maid had be busy looking after her to cook meals or do any of the household chores, so during that time, I had to pull my weight around the house while the maid was away.

Grandma in law stayed for quite a while, having to depend on the doctor results and check up, waiting for his green light so she could be discharged early. Uurrrgghhh... Doing housework while carrying a 9++kg baby on a carrier 😵😵😵 RIP backbone

Though, one good thing abt temporary not having the maid: no kids to hog the maid and no kids coming over to bother us coz there is no way in hell I'll help to look after my SIL's three monsters along with my 2 kids. Not for free anyway. A bit tedious coz I had to multitask and do housework and watch my kids at the same time, but at least when things wind down, there's peace and quiet. No kids fighting and screaming for supremacy and no maid yelling at them to STFU. Basically no drama, and no freeloaders especially my SIL and her husband.

They will have to deal with their own kids, stay at their own home, and SIL would have to take leave to look after the kids while the hubby go to work. No fucking way are they leaving those 3 monsters here, if there is such thing as a basement in Brunei, I would kick them all down there and leave them LOL

Technically if Jasmine's hubby's brother and mother still alive, at least they can dump them at Seria and let them help to look after the 3 monsters, but sadly the brother died from obesity related illness and the mom from relapsed cancer, and the wife had her own 4 kids to look after, so no one in Seria can help

During her stay at the hospital, grandma had a very sore neck, prolly sprained it from the fall, can't even move without causing a headache.You know how it is, old people, when they get hurt, it's 10 times worse than us younger people. Everything else is fine, just the neck giving her the problem.

After that accident, my dad in law put his foot down to convert the maid's room downstairs into the grandma's room, which is right next to the downstairs bathroom, then maybe extend the house backwards n build a new room for the maid to stay. She used to have her own room upstairs and my in-laws have been telling her to move downstairs for her convenience and for her own safety for years, but needless to say, old people once they're used to one place, they're very reluctant to change, absolutely refusing to move downstairs.

During her stay at the hospital as well, she had been praying for death almost everyday. Back then, just experiencing a little bit of pain, she already say "Die la, die la", and if we call an ambulance for her if she had any health problems or if we try to get her to see the doctor for her health issues, she'd just say " Don't want la, just lemme die".

At the hospital, she had been complaining "I'm dying, I'm dying, my neck is killing me", my mom in law had to scold her, "Don't say die. God said not your time yet, stop upsetting the other patients." It got to the point where one of the patients complain to the grandma saying "I'm trying to be positive so I can recover from my cancer treatment, please don't say die." Sadly grandma was too old and too deaf to hear her,so it was literally "fall in deaf ears" situation.

She was discharged about a week later, though our planned Xmas open house was definitely cancelled coz of grandma's condition. It'll be so weird and cramped if we do it, with the grandma's bed downstairs in the living room temporarily while her new room is being fixed. Even CNY open house were up in the air because of it.

Doc said bcoz of her advance age, her healing might take months. You knw how it is, old people tend to heal super slow, and then her body started to get immune to the painkillers, but we didn't dare to ask for stronger painkillers for fear of addiction. So sometimes the meds took longer to kick in and can hear her moaning in pain, asking for death again (Although technically she was already begging for death wen she reached her mid-80s 😓😓😓)

A few days later, Grandma was sent to hospital again, coz she'd been pooing black. They were worried there might be intestinal infection, but I think it's prolly her lack of eating and taking too much painkillers. We kept our fingers crossed but at the same time prepare for the worse. And that  meant another few days without maid. Pro: no little monsters; con: have to do own housework LOL

Yeah true, a little tough with a clingy baby, but I managed for a week, it's not the end of the world LOL

Xmas was a bit of a gloomy one, coz mom in law and maid were too busy to look after grandma to cook Xmas dinner 😅 At the time, there was a high chance that we had to have take out for Xmas dinner, and it was a slightly solemn and gloomy Xmas that year, coz grandma was still being detained at the hospital. We were hoping she'd recover enough to be discharged, but the looming 💀💀💀 feeling in my heart is lingered, like it was super prepared for the inevitable. Especially wen my mom in law said she looked so pitiful and no mood at the hospital, like she's "given up", as my mom in law phrased it

There were a couple of weeks where my sis in law couldn't take leave coz the auditor finally arrived at her office, and her hubby has used up all his leave for that year, and bcoz grandma was still in the hospital, the maid has to stay with her, so no choice but to dump those 3 monsters here for me to look after until my sis in law's auditor finishes the audit before she can work at home again. My dad in law made it clear to her that if they have to dump their kids here, she has to feed and clean them first before leaving bcoz I am not gonna do it for them when I need to handle my own kids, and they have to settle their own kids' meals coz I'm not gonna cook for them, not for free anyways, especially when some of the kids very picky about their food.

The looming 💀💀💀 feeling got more and more real when I overheard my dad in law talking on the phone saying that the doctor wanted to see him and my mom in law around 2pm coz grandma hadn't been eating or drinking for a few days already. It was a pretty clear indication that she'd really given up like my mom in law said. I hoped I was wrong and I'm just being paranoid, but usually when I have a strong feeling about something, it's usually right.

The doc claimed there's no problem with her stomach or whatever, no internal bleeding, so the black stool may be bcoz of her medication. She had a moment where there is traces of blood in her urine, but other than that, they don't see any other problems. But it seems like she really given up ordi, can't do anything, can't force her to feel or whatever.

I was more worried about my mom in law n how will she cope wen the inevitable happens. She had always been very in denial about grandma getting close to death and whatnot, if it happens, dunno how she cope. She's already become super devout in going to church ever since my sis in law's daughter Ashley passed away, just worried she might be even more worse if grandma's time has come

A few days later, I heard frm my dad in law saying that one side of her face looked a little bit skewed, might be a mini stroke. After an MRI examination, it was confirmed she had a minor stroke, may or may not have to make her put on the respirator tubes, u know, the double prong tube people put against their noses for them to breathe. Docs couldn't do anything anymore at this point coz she's super old, its either she gets better or gets worse. Just had to be prepared for the worst.

Sigh~~ its situations like these that makes me very tempted to rub it in on my in-laws, saying " AREN'T U GLAD I'M NOT WORKING?? " LOL If I'm working, WHO is going to stay home to look after the monsters when no one else is available? If I'm working, I'm not going to take leave for u guys for free LOL

I did feel a slight bit bad though, at the time, if the worse case scenario happens, coz the maid's new room is almost complete, 50% done. Not so much as waste, more like a little too late, coz my dad in law kept putting it off and took a 2nd fall to get him to do it. He should've done it earlier, IMO, but  he wasn't persistent enough, grandma say no, he prolly should've ignored her and do it anyways.

During that time period as well, I witnessed the perfect example of a pessimist and an optimist in the family, all I need to do is ask my parents in law how is the grandma. Dad in law says she's better coz she's eating, mom in law says not good coz she has to eat through a feeding tube coz she had no strength to chew her food. She has to use the feeding tube, and have to get her those kind of special milk that old bedridden ppl drink/eat via feeding tube. Reminds me of my maternal grandpa when he was bedridden from his Parkinson's Disease.

My 💀💀💀 looming feeling got closer when one day my dad in law said that the docs said grandma is touch and go situation, may go to cardiac arrest any day. Because of her depression, she's literally not eating or drinking, and sometimes can go for days without talking. She was hooked on IV drip to keep her hydrated, but the other day she actually ripped out her feeding tube. They tried to put it back in but she fought them, screaming and begging for death, and when the doc tried to see if she will finally eat on her own, she still don't want to eat, might have to put the feeding tube in again. The preliminary results at the time was if she kept starving herself she would go to cardiac arrest at any moment due to the declining blood sugar in her body.

At that time, I thought if my 💀💀💀 looming feeling doesn't go away, I have a terrible feeling that she might not make it for CNY. Tbh, I'm more or less prepared for the inevitable, just not sure how the rest of the family will take it, especially my mom in law.

In the WhatApp group chat when I was chatting with my buddies about the option of euthanasia, so that she could go with dignity instead of starvation or cardiac arrest. But unfortunately I don't think it's legal here in Brunei, it's considered suicide, and Muslims don't condone suicide, and my in-laws are Catholics, allowing her to die like that is considered assisted suicide/murder, its a sin, sorta. Only if you were brain dead and had to rely on life support and there is no chance in hell of coming back, they'd prolly actually suggest to pull the plug, but euthanasia shots is prolly a no-no here in Brunei.

We kept our fingers crossed that she'll at least make it till CNY, if not CNY will always be a sad reminder for my in-laws and they won't be able to enjoy it. Mom in law was still in denial, still thinks she should hang in there and get better and come home. I could tell she knew worse case scenario will happen, but she didn't want to acknowledge it, acting like as if grandma is just normal sick as usual. Even my dad in law told sis in law to bring her kids to see grandma ASAP, as if hinting us to be prepared for the inevitable.

Personally, at the time, I thought she had lived a long life, tbh, if it was her time, they should just let her go. Prolonging her life is just as cruel as taking it away.

Later down the month, grandma in law was improving, sorta, from what I eavesdropped at my dad in law n sis in law convo. She was finally sitting up and talking after the sis in law brought the kids to visit her one night. The optimist in me is after seeing all her grandkids, she finally had a reason to live. The pessimist in me is saying she favours grandsons than granddaughters, seeing as she was more motivated after seeing my sis in law's boys than my girls 😂😂😂

A couple of weeks before CNY, the latest news about grandma wa that she had a big improvement now after seeing the kids, sitting up, talking a bit and finally eating properly without the tubes n IV drips anymore. Ugh, and during that time my sis in law can't stop bragging about how well grandma is doing thanks to her kids. Like as if we don't make an effort to visit 😒😒😒 OK, I admit I'm a bit jealous, but she didn't have to show off n rub it in like that. It just makes it even more obvious that grandma loves the boys more than my girls 😞😞😞

Grandma's condition, while still being hospitalize, was on and off. Sometimes she was supposed to be discharged on a certain day but bcoz she went into one of her mood swings again, she go on hunger strike and had a fever. If she doesn't eat and her blood sugar level keeps plummeting, they had to reschedule her discharge again. Like I said, on and off, I think maybe coz of her depression, she has mood swings, and when she's like that, she will go hunger strike. At one point, she had a stomach bacterial infection and fever, and went on another hunger strike, which caused her discharge time to just keep getting pushed back further and further.

She was so moody she slapped the doctor on the face during check up, which surprised me that she had the strength to do that considering how little she ate 😅😅😅

More on Part 2...