Photo essay: The road to recovery

Janelle Santos/Staff

Most people are afraid of growing old. Subconsciously lingering in the minds of many  is the fear of  inevitable physical aches, pains, and  especially the possibility of diminishing memory.

My grandma fell one day and broke her hip bone. Her surgery was successful, except for the mental side effects that some of the drugs were causing. She began to act different, getting into futile arguments with the hospital staff, acting moody and snappy towards anyone who interacted with her. Fortunately, her strange behavior decreased as the days went by.

But, after she was admitted to a nursing home for recovery, she began experiencing bouts of forgetfulness. We saw the true start of memory loss.

From family who had already visited her in the nursing home, I heard she didn’t recognize anyone. She couldn’t recognize faces nor recall the names of her own kids. It made my heart sink. When I visited her for the first time after a few weeks, I was afraid she wouldn’t remember me.

I remember feeling nervous when I walked into her room. My mom asked her if she recognized me, and to my relief, she did. She didn’t seem all her normal self, but it made me happy to know that she had any facial recognition at all, and that her memory was still there.

This is the documentation of my grandmother, and her road to recovery, beginning from the first month of being admitted at the nursing home to her current state at month nine.

During the holidays, I was happy to see my grandma being a part of the festivities. Although she kept more to herself and contributed less to the conversations, she remained somewhat observant, despite the occasional moments when she would drift off to sleep while sitting at the table. She would sometimes say things that didn’t make sense or didn’t pertain to what I would initially say, but I would respond as if that’s what we were talking about.

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