She had always been a strong lady, throughout her whole life. She may have done things slowly but always in a methodical fashion, and if it was done by her, it was done well. As it was in life, so it was in death.
Anyone else would likely have died a week ago, but she was holding on as she had too much to live for. She worried about her husband, physically he still looked like he had for the past twenty years but his ability to think and remember had started fading years ago. She had looked after him well, and had to increase her efforts since the dementia started to steal him away from her. He was still polite and kindly, but at times he would forget who she was, and would forget who he was too.
She had been told that the grandchildren were on their way back from overseas, she wasn’t able to acknowledge this. She was mostly unconscious, but would occasionally stir when being turned or when fed small spoonfuls of water. This was done with a special teaspoon which had a hollow mesh structure and the handle served as a straw.
The middle grandchild would arrive that evening, and she would do her best to hold on despite apnoeas of up to 15 seconds. The grandchild arrived and required Rapid Antigen Testing before we would let them in, a negative test would mean it was okay. The swab was taken and processed, the timer was set, 15 minutes before the test could be verified. Time drags on when you are waiting for something.
Tick, tock, tick tock.
A negative RAT test allowed the grandchild to reunite with their grandmother.
Our patient died six hours after her reunion with her grandchild.
The eldest grandchild was still making their way back from half the world away and arrived 14 hours after our patient’s death.
RIP Strong Little Queen