My Gran had always had arthritis, but by 2005 she seemed to be having more and more problems.
Little did we know that it was the start of a devastating nightmare.
At first, specialists thought it was a side effect to a drug she was on. But as June and July rolled by didn’t get any better. In fact, she got worse.
Gran need help getting dressed and going to the toilet. She took to sleeping on an adjustable orthopaedic bed in the living room, joking that she would end up sandwiched in the middle because she couldn't work it. At least she still had her sense of humour!
In August there was talk of an operation. Doctors thought the bones were fusing in her neck. But Gran wasn’t having any of it. I visited her in hospital, listening to her gossip about the old ones on the ward. Even though she was 81, she wasn't an "old yin"!
Finally the neurosurgeon diagnosed MND, giving her six to 12 months to live. Devastated wasn't the word. I cherished my Gran. She was my only surviving grandparent. All the memories of doing the birdie dance and Agadoo with her and Granda Mac came flooding back.
We took her home five days after being given the death sentence. She wanted to die at home, with all her memories around her. But sadly she didn't get her wish.
The next day Gran couldn’t move or talk. All she wanted was to be in her bed. We called an ambulance and when the paramedics arrived, they asked if we had a DNR - Do Not Resuscitate. It was a bombshell. We couldn't believe the situation was that bad.
Casualty was horrible. The doctor had no idea what Gran was saying. There was nothing we could do except talk to her. The family stayed all night and I prayed that my Granda would come and take her.
She held on until 2.30pm the next day, when everyone was round her bed. She had only been diagnosed with MND one week. I miss her so much. I still can't believe how quickly it all happened but at least she’s with my Granda and MND free now.