I really should be in bed right now. I (tentatively) have to be at work in six hours and 46 minutes from the time I typed this sentence.
But Mommy is next door at Grandma's. So is an ambulance, which is never good. Especially when Grandma is 81 years old and a brittle diabetic who is developing an insulance tolerance.
So, I'm sitting in my dining room, watching the lights bounce around on the ambulance, and waiting for the phone to ring. I can't sleep because I'm afraid that, the moment I go to bed, something is going to go dreadfully wrong.
Let's rewind. My mind is racing, so I may be a little scatterbrained with my thoughts.
Grandma's fasting blood sugars, which are the ones taken when she wakes up in the morning, have been getting lower and lower the past couple of days. This morning's was 49, despite my aunt trying to bring up her sugar with fruit and sweets and stuff.
Grandma was supposed to go see the doctor today, but because her sugar was so low and she (obviously) felt out of sorts, my aunt cancelled the appointment and rescheduled - I think. No one filled me in on that part. I went out to dinner with one of my sorority sisters this evening, and my mom had made bacon for BLT sandwiches for dinner. My aunt and grandma both said that bacon sounded good and Mommy had the intention of taking some down after dinner because there was plenty to go around.
When I got home from my dinner date around 8:10 p.m, my mom's car was at my grandma's house, which is unusual for this time of night. I asked my dad what was going on, and he said, "Aunt Judy called up here a while ago all upset. It sounds like your grandma's having some trouble."
Way to be specific, Daddy. Trouble could mean anything from not being able to find her crossword puzzle book to scenarios on into oblivion. I went upstairs, talked to my sisters, changed into pajamas, and went back downstairs.
Between 8:45 and 8:50, the phone rang. I started to panic because it was obvious that Mommy had been down there for a while, which could be a good thing or a bad thing. Grandma's Lifeline service was calling, looking for my mom because she's an emergency contact. Lifeline, for those who are looking confused, is one of those services for senior citizens in case they have an emergency and need help. Someone tripped the button to call for an ambulance, and ten minutes later, we hear sirens.
I live in an area with several elderly couples, with one older man around the corner who has terminal cancer. Ambulances come and go, but when they shut off the sirens as they passed my driveway, I started to shake and I haven't stopped since. They're still there with the lights on.
Apparently Grandma's blood sugar dropped really low and she started to have trouble breathing. When she started having trouble breating, they called the ambulance. The EMTs are still down there giving her glucose and oxygen. My mom says that she's struggling, but she's hanging in there. Grandma is as stubborn as the rest of us.
I'm scared to go to bed. I'm scared to get startled awake by my mom telling me that Grandma's gone. Grandma has always been next door; I've gone 23 1/2 years of knowing nothing but Grandma being next door, opening the curtains to the sliding glass door in the kitchen so that she can look up the road at our house. Or making iced tea with lemon, two packs of pink sweetner and one pack of blue. Or the way she always had stories about growing up in Johnstown. Or the way she would tell me about Shirley Temple back in her prime when she was a little kid. Grandma's the only grandparent I have left and, well, the thought of letting go gathers those tears in the back of my throat that are all phlemy and make it hard to breathe.
Just pray. If nothing else, just pray