Wednesday, 18 April 2007


Grandma's always been a strong woman, mentally and physically. Her short-term memory's started deteriorating lately; but she's still fine, just forgets things a bit. So it came as a shock when Dad texted me on Sunday to say Grandma had had some kind of attack and been diagnosed with Bell's palsy. On Tuesday, he texted again to say Grandma had been misdiagnosed: she'd had a stroke — and now she was in hospital again. Apparently she couldn't "speak or think well" but it "wasn't too serious".

Naturally, Dad flew up that day anyway; he couldn't get a cheap direct flight, so flew to Palmy instead, and I gave him a lift to New Plymouth. We were so relieved to see Grandma hadn't changed at all, except that she couldn't say anything other than "Yes" and "No" and (when we asked if Grandma wanted anything taped from TV), "Coronation Street!" So at least she can say the things closest to her heart. She also managed "peach therapist", and was so (understandably) proud.

She still can't remember how to spell some things (success = sucuss), and has difficulty writing and speaking, but it's coming back. She's forgotten a few things, like how to use her computer; it's difficult as Granddad generally depends on Grandma — the strong, dependable, capable woman! — and now he has no-one to print off the church newsletter or drive to the supermarket or text us. So Dad's staying another week or so to help Granddad learn some basic things, so he's less dependent on Grandma.

You should have seen her face when Dad and I walked in to her ward. Overjoyed! She didn't have any idea that we were coming, and was so excited. She couldn't say our names, but she kept pointing at me and then at Dad, and hugging us, as if she couldn't believe we were actually there. She was in such great spirits; so happy to see us.

And Grandma got discharged this afternoon.

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