Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Grandpa, A Vietnam Veteran

My grandpa's name is Blia.  I am sitting at the hospital with him, in his bed.  He's having hallucinations and seeing people whom have been dead for years.  He's seeing his relatives that he misses and he's talking to them in his sleep.  I want to wake him up to reality but at the same time I'm sure he's enjoying the fact that he is getting visitors.

I've been coming to the hospital this whole week after work.  I pick up my grandma so she can visit him.  She can take care of him so all I've been doing is translating and making sure he gets what he needs.  Today she was unavailable to come because she is feeling sick herself.  I'm sure laying in bed all day can get very tiring for him, so I decided to come and stay for a while.

Yesterday my grandpa asked my grandma "who brought those bananas?"  and she replied saying that there are none, because there really were no fruits.  He's on a strict diet, only eating things that are pureed, things that are as soft as mashed potatoes and drinking things that are thickened.

I fed him dinner, he ate everything on his plate, the only thing he didn't finish was this dairy drink which is pretty much like ice cream but thickened and in a juice-like form.  If he coughs and chokes on food it can get stuck in his lungs and he can get pneumonia. 

He is a very respected man, many relatives know who he is and know of his story.  He visited the white house and Clinton when he was still president.  He was running from the government for years in Laos and finally was able to come to the US.  He earned his place here in the states, he's been living here for years, maybe 10, give or take.

I've always wanted to know his story and now I feel like I can't get the whole picture.  He's been sick for years now and he at times doesn't remember who you are.  I had asked him earlier if he remembered who I am because he asked me if I was staying at my moms or at a relatives and I said my moms (I live there), he did remember who I am though, which is a good sign.

He's been doing a lot better than the first couple of days, eating all his meals, and remembering things that are going on.

He is a storyteller, he used to tell us stories when we were younger.  His stories were from fiction to non-fiction.  They were inspirational and motivational.  They consisted of his experiences and of stories that he had heard elsewhere.  Most of the stories growing up that I have heard are stories that were told from generation to generation.  I hope that I can remember them when I have children.

My grandpa isn't a Christian, but we pray for him a lot!  I hope, like last summer, he will get better!  

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