This I Believe

Tiffany - Parsons, Kansas
Entered on December 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

I believe in family values. Family is very important in my life. Family is defined as a group of people who are closely related. That definition is very accurate to me. My family is extremely close, and we always come together to help each other. If someone needs something, we accomplish whatever it is. For example, recently my grandmother had open-heart surgery. The surgery went very well and the doctors thought she would recover fine. Two days after the operation, her kidneys started failing, and her breathing slowly weakened. The doctor informed us that, in order to live, she needed to be put on a respirator to help her breathe. My grandmother always told us not to put her on any device that would be life support. We had to make a decision that would change all of our lives. My aunts and uncles came together and quickly decided to have her put on the respirator. Every single day, one or two of us would take off of work or school to drive to Joplin to be with her. We didn’t want to leave her alone. Every long, drawn out day, the doctors told us that she would be slowly weaned off of the respirator. The days were very hard considering she couldn’t talk to us or comprehend what we were saying. Every so often, she would nod her head and open her eyes. My Uncle Robert was there the first day the doctors tried to take it off. He hysterically called everyone because he was frightened by what had happened. She went into convulsions and it scared him really bad. We all frantically jumped into our cars and sped to Joplin. By the time we got there, she was fine and back on the respirator. The doctors didn’t tell my uncle what to expect during the weaning process and it wasn’t a major concern. She ended up being on the respirator for fifteen, lengthy days. She didn’t remember anything that happened or anything that we said to her. Once she was off of the respirator, she didn’t have any strength at all. Someone had to be there for every single meal to help her eat. We all came together and took turns being there to feed her. We made sure someone was there at all times. After she got out of the hospital, she needed someone to be at her house with her to help her walk, eat, clean house, and bathe. My mom, who lives in Topeka, decided to take off of work for six weeks to stay with my grandmother. If my mom needed to do something, someone would be there right away to take over. She still needs lots of help doing things. She can’t drive for up to six months, and I take her everywhere she needs to go. I help her do laundry, clean house, fix meals, and do anything else she needs. She is slowly getting much better and now attends physical therapy three days a week. She is gaining back her strength a day at a time. We are all very thankful for the doctors and most of all each other. Without the support of everyone in our family, this could have been a very awful tragedy. I am and always will be very appreciative of every loving relative I have.