Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Grandmother Ola

When my parents were newlyweds,

my father's parents were in a serious car accident. After several months, they both recovered. However, my grandmother, Ola, had a relapse. It was not her last one.

When my family visited my grandparents over the next fifteen years, I never knew if Ola would be in bed or struggling to walk around their small house. My mother always told me I would have been impressed with her before the accident, she was wonderful, but I did not know her then. Our relationship was based on short visits at her bedside with my brother. I didn't know what to ask or what to say. I just knew she was wonderful before the accident.

The doctor said there was no reason she could not walk; she had just given up. She was finally admitted to a nursing home, a smelly nursing home.

If we met today, I would ask her doctors if they tested for MS. Now a diagnosis can be relatively quick. When I went through it, the average diagnosis time took between 6 and 8 years. When my grandmother could not walk, they decided she had simply given up. Of course I do not really know, but I believe she had MS exacerbated by the stress of the accident.

I am so lucky to have MS now instead of 50 years ago. I know why I can't walk. I can relate to my grandchildren in my own house. The doctor doesn't say I just gave up. I am still a person.

If we met today, I would ask Ola about her life, about her dreams and wishes, and I would tell her I don't think she just gave up. I would tell her I understand.

I am sorry I did not know you, Ola.

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1 comment:

ckays1967 said...

I have a cousin on my father's side with primary progessive MS.

I have a cousin on my mother's side with the same kind of brain tumor I have too.

How'd I get lucky enough to get both of them?