Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Another Life Lost...

My grandpa Tom died yesterday morning... He was my dad's dad. He went into the hospital about a month and a half ago (I think) and was diagnosed with Pneumonia. Due to the crappy health care system in the state of California, he was stabilized and sent home with a five day antibiotic. He didn't seem to be getting better with the antibiotic, so last week he was readmitted into the hospital with Pneumonia in both lungs and Congestive Heart Failure.

My brother called me a few days ago to tell me that Grandpa wasn't doing well, and he wanted to go visit him. On Sunday, myself, my mom, and my brother headed out to Lancaster to see grandpa. Initially going to Antelope Valley Hospital was tough for me (actually tough for all of us!). My dad died there in 1999. As soon as we walked in the doors of the hospital, I began to relive that horrible day! The elevator stopped on the second floor. My brother immediately remembered that being the place we spent the hours before our dad died. He began to tell me where the pay phone was, and how exactly to get to the room our dad was in. I had different memories. I remembered there being carpet on the floor. Maybe because I spent time lying there in the fetal position. I remember holding his hand and talking to him. Telling him how much I loved him... I had to snap myself out of it though! We were here to have a good visit with our grandpa! At first, he was sleeping and I personally didn't want to wake him. I think I was a little afraid to see the condition he was in. We went downstairs to find aunt Pam, and to give him time to rest. She was supposed to be in the Cafeteria, but we ended up running into her near the elevators, on the first floor. She was happy to see us and insisted we go wake him up for our visit!

Once he had a minute to wake fully, he seemed to be doing OK. I have to say, in all of my years in hospitals, I've seen MUCH worse!! His color was good and he was completely coherent. We all took turns carrying on conversation with him. He asked me about my kids, and I showed him a few pictures which were on my cell phone (sometimes technology comes in handy!). After about an hour, grandpa seemed to get a little sleepy. We all decided we would let him rest, so we said our goodbyes. Who would have known that would have been out last. One by one, we kissed him, told him we loved him, and headed out the door. When he said my name, "goodbye Ryan, I love you honey," it kind of caught me off guard. He knew who I was. When I think of someone old and sick, I think of their mind being confused. He was doing good. He was going to get better! I left there feeling food about our visit! No sadness, no worries. I think I'm still a little in shock!

Melissa called me yesterday morning at around 7AM. I knew as soon as I saw her calling that something was wrong. We don't usually talk to early in the morning, and when we talk... it's mostly through text messages. The first thing out of my mouth was, " Are you kidding me?" Of course she wouldn't joke about something like this, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I couldn't even cry because I couldn't comprehend what she was saying. So, I got my kids ready to leave, and we headed to Lancaster to be with my family!

I didn't sleep much last night. I thought about him the whole time! I tried to piece together all of the memories I have of him. His chickens, the olives he made, which us kids ate by the bowl full, and the different kinds of Armenian treats he would make. Then I began to think about all that I don't know about him. I don't know his favorite color, favorite movie, what kind of music he enjoyed, where he worked before he retired, what his job was when he served in WWII, and most of all, what made him happy in life. I know I will find answers to most of my questions; however, it wont be the same coming from someone other than him! We will miss you grandpa! I'm thankful that I had a little while to visit with you the other day, but as I think back, so many years passed, and I hadn't called!

It was hard for me to talk to you grandpa. Every time I heard your voice, I thought of my dad. I hope you forgive me! You are with him now looking down on us. Protect us and guide us through what God has planned. Give grandma a kiss from me and hug my brother XOXO

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Celiac Sprue

In June of this year (2010), my daughter Isabelle was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue. At first, I was devastated! My mom has Celiac, and her life has been everything but easy. In and out of hospitals, countless testing, and a billion procedures. No parent would want to see their child go through what my mom has been through. However, I have come to the conclusion that I can't compare my mom's life to what my daughter's can potentially be. My mom lived many, many, many years without the information we have today. I am on a mission to do everything in my power, to make my daughter's life great! I can't view the negatives and allow them to hold me down. My devastation lasted a day or so, and then I saw the light ahead. This is going to be a journey of greatness! Isabelle is lucky to have a family so educated on this disease. Over the years, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have learned how to ask the right questions, and to speak to the right medical professionals. My mom has also blessed me with her cooking ability. Because of her sickness and limitations, my mom has become a gourmet cook! Cooking at home, and cooking from scratch had become a must for her. As a child, we ate amazing home cooked meals on a regular basis, and never knew they were gluten free! I can only hope my kids look back when they are adults, and remember the amazing meals of their childhood like I remember mine! My daughter will be the healthiest kid in her class and on our block! She has limited options when in comes to fast food, which is great in it's own strange way. I LOVE fast food, but we all know how bad it is to consume! Our family is going to be healthy because of Isabelle! I plan to BLOG a lot about information I find, and information I do not find. My frustrations, my concerns, the good moments, and the bad. At this moment, everything is going great! As long as we stick to the diet, which we will do 150%, Isabelle is going to be fine! I look forward to your comments and shared knowledge on the subject! This is a journey for us as a community, not just us as a family!