Archive | November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving?

28 Nov

Last night when Denny was bringing me over to the hospital he was talking to me and I wasn’t listening. He said “what are you thinking about?” I said “my blog and how it was going to be titled I’m not happy and I’m not thankful”. He didn’t think that sounded very nice and I said “that’s just how I feel at this moment”. We stopped at this little Mexican cafĂ© in Berryville for dinner. It’s a little family owned place that has been in the area about 20 years. Our waitress was an older lady who had that “lifetime being a waitress” aura about her. So..I started talking to her and turns out she’s been a waitress for like 20 years. She said she’s been with this restaurant since the early 90’s. Then she told us about a teenage boy who was dating the owners daughter back then and he took the dishwashing job. He is still there washing dishes and she said that he is the highest paid dishwasher around. We met the son and the owner. The son graduated from CU in Boulder. He was so polite. So after this little encounter, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt mentally. It’s so easy during this difficult time to just stay in my head and not feel very well.
Had a good night with Mom. She was once again disoriented when I got here but the nurse said “it’s nighttime and that is when Sundowners kicks in”. She woke about 5:30 am after a good night’s sleep. We are so grateful for her being able to finally sleep. When the nurse came in to check vitals, Mom gave her the sweetest smile and she said that she was the first patient to smile at her. Mom and I had a fun little chat and she gave me one of these sweet smiles that just makes me want to gather her up in my arms and just hold her.
I am thankful for the kind little hospital that Mom is in. I am still so impressed with the entire staff and feel Mom is safe here. We may be dealing with a new issue today, but I’m confident that right decisions will be made.
The sisters and I did go to the nursing home with records on Tuesday afternoon to talk to them about Mom. We all felt good about how it went and how the director was going to get right on it. About an hour later the director calls me to say they did a full body check on Mom on admission and that there was a bruise on her hip. (We have a photo which shows she has a bruises from her hip and all over her pelvic area in the front) Then she proceeds to say “This happens all the time. The patient goes to the hospital and there may be a hairline fracture that is missed in an Xray. They do a little rehab while there and then they come here and begin more vigorous rehab and the next thing you know they have a fractured pelvis” So they are already back pedaling. My next conversation with her will begin with “well if this happens all the time, why they hell didn’t you take her to the hospital and see why she was in so much pain!!!!”. Emotionally, I can’t deal with it right now but I will go back next week and talk again. Just can’t believe she gave me a call like that. I would think that the nursing home would not want to piss off the sisters with that type of attitude.
I am very thankful for many things around me: Mom, sisters, Denny, a patient brother in law who has let us invade his home, my kids, my puppies, my friends, my life.. I may not feel very happy at the moment, but I am trying to deal with all the issues a day or an hour at a time. Again, thanks for listening and I hope you all have a good day.

Nice moments

25 Nov

My blog has been fairly gloomy, doomy that last few posts so I thought I’d share some cheerier moments.
Mom is finally getting some sleep with some help of some meds. Thank goodness, she hasn’t slept for weeks. Tonight is my night to be with her. She is glad someone is with her at night because she has some scary dreams and when she wakes up she likes to feel someone holding her hand.
On Saturday, I really thought it was Mom’s last day. Her eyes were glazed, she was confused but she did know who I was. I leaned in to ask her if she knew who I was and she looked at me and said “You’re my little Jbird”.. tears, tears. She had to receive 4 pints of blood and they said it could make her a little loopy. Once conversation really made me think she was fading away. She was telling me she was going around a corner. I was doing the hospice thing and soothingly said “Go around the corner Mom, it’s okay.” Then she said “I don’t know anyone there!” and she was scared. So I said “come back around the corner, I’m here”. Later that night Billie was staying with her. Mom was restless and talking out of her head. She asked Billie to hold her hand and go up the stairs with her. Billie thought it was a hospice moment and said “let’s go up the stairs Grandma, it’s okay.” Well turns out once they got up the stairs there was a big black hole and that scared Mom. Eventually Billie had to physically move her bed so Mom would think that the black hole was covered. The photo is of Billie letting Mom know she was right there. As the night went on, Billie ended up calling me about 2 and Denny brought me to the hospital. We moved the extra bed next to Mom. Soon Billie and I were spooning in the same bed and dozed off. All of a sudden I heard something and I looked up and it was Mom trying to get out of bed. I jumped over the bed rails and Billie to stop her. Whew! That was scary. She has also had many dreams about being in the woods with Greg, (we’re not sure who he is), she has had a marijuana party at Peachtree Assisted living, she has been on picnics and she has seen many relatives who have passed on. Sometimes it’s hysterical when she is relaying her dreams. Many of our conversations are a little crazy and we just go along with what she is talking about.
We are still very upset about what may have happened at the nursing home but can’t go over there until they let us have her xrays from here at the hospital and right now they say we have to wait until she is released. I’m trying to reign in my anger.
We are now seriously in the moving mode and still plan that Mom is going to Green Acres Assisted Living. Denny will be busy tomorrow moving boxes and small pieces of furniture. I hope to have a day off. My mind is very befuddled and I keep saying weird things and actually sounding like Mom, sooooooo, I think I should spend a few hours sewing or something.
Meeko and Jumper are enjoying Judy’s house. They are getting groomed and bathed tomorrow which will be nice. Jumper is sooooo furry.
That’s it for now. Battery about dead and I am drowsy. Mom is snoring so I may be able to get some sleep.

Sadness again

21 Nov

Today was a full day. We had a doctor’s appointment this morning to have Mom checked out before we move her to Green Acres. It was rather traumatic.
Yesterday the nursing home set my Mom out in the hallway thinking I was going to be picking her up to go to the doctor. I don’t know how long they made her sit there, but finally they figured it out. My Mom knew that the appointment wasn’t until today. Soooo……last night I double checked that they would be bringing her to the doctor. 8:15 came and went and we called the nursing to once again find out that they thought I was picking her up, yada yada,. She finally got her to the doctor’s about 9. She was in so much pain, (sciatica in the hip maybe), exhausted, confused. The doctor thought she looked pale and a little yellow. Did blood work and gave her a cortisone shot in her back. Let’s hope she feels a little better tomorrow. She has gone so backwards the last few days that I’m not sure she will go forward again. After all of that I got to work on getting hospital beds and a wheel chair delivered to the new place. I bought special sheets, a lambs wool pad for under the sheets. I hope this helps the bed feel more comfortable. Went to the Home Health place to get her set up for in home rehab. Washed the new sheets and made her bed up and moved a few things from her apartment. What made me feel sad is that with the snafus that have happened with Mom at the nursing home, again I begin thinking about those poor souls who have no one. How long would someone else waited for someone to take them to the doctor. How long do patients wait for help when they push their buzzer. Just how impatient is the help with the patients at night like my Mom says they are. This particular nursing home has some employees working 16 hour shifts. How tired are they during the middle of the night when my Mom needs to go the bathroom. I did talk to the director at Peach Tree and was able to voice some concerns regarding checking on their people even if they are independent. Hopefully no one will ever lay on the floor for 18 hours again there. It’s chilly, rainy, foggy, dreary so I’m sure that plays into the sadness. I hate to have to move Mom again but we truly feel she will feel much more comfortable and should get the needed attention that will be required. Move should happen around 10 am. Judy and Marvin should be home around 3 and Denny should be here around 6.
Making another pumpkin cake for some comfort food.

Tidbit Day

20 Nov

Home for the evening. Actually a quiet day. Had some errands this morning and was feeling achy so I took some Tylenol and took a nap all afternoon.
Just back from seeing Mom. I asked the employees to please not keep Mom in the recliner so much, so.. when I go visit Mom tonight she tells me how they are keeping her busier and they make her do an “Ac-tiv-iteee” in the afternoon. When I walked in tonight, one of the aids said “I just put her in the recliner.” When I walked into Mom’s room she said “I just got into the recliner!!!!” Kudos for the nursing home listening to me.
Tomorrow is doctor appointment and determinations if Mom can move this weekend.
Started taking new anti depressant called Cymballta today. Thought I would read side effects. The one that caught my eye was “Abnormal Orgasm”… I’ll keep you posted if it happens. I do hope that this med helps with the feet issues which is why I am doing it. Yesterday I made many trips to my Mom’s apartment taking boxes to her room and by the time I had packed up some boxes the icky pain was all back. I felt defeeted but Denny says we are going to win the feet battle. Got a tip today from Gayle’s sister to try Strutz. We’ll see.
I drink Throw Back Pepsi. I keep finding the shelves empty when I go to the little store here to purchase some. I was in the little quilt store the other day and found out that the lady that works there buys all the Throwback when it comes in!!! Told her to leave me 1 12 pack. Love the quilt shop here.
So happy that Denny is coming Friday and will be here Friday night. Can’t wait to see him and puppies.
Have purchased a draft table, a sewing table and art display racks from an artist who is a friend of my sister. She has had to move to an assisted living place so is unable to use them anymore. She also let me have art books, quilt books, brushes and paints. She is 85 now and was a very good interior designer for her career. She took her first art lesson at 65 when she moved to Holiday Island. I love it when people aren’t afraid to try new things late in life. Anyway she is a fabulous artist and we’ve had some good conversations about some of the different techniques she has used.
Anxious to see the movie “Dallas Buyers Club”. ‘
Got lost driving somewhere today and ended up way on the hills around Eureka Springs. This is really quite the area. Little, quaint homes scattered all over. Eureka Springs only has 1500 people. It still seems very busy in town even during this time of the year. They have the horse drawn wagons all lit up with Christmas colors and they look so pretty going down the street at night. I think Denny and I need to do that while he is here.
Some excellent restaurants.
Love packing my mom’s curio cabinet. She has some of the most beautiful little items.
Have talked to many friends this weeks and I am so lucky to have such wonderful and caring people in my life.

Body Snatchers

18 Nov

Here’s the latest. Mom is going backwards. When we talked to the new place where we are going to move Mom, the suggested that we get Mom out of the nursing home as soon as we can. She’s says what they see is the longer they are in the nursing home for rehab, the more comfortable they get with their surroundings and they don’t want to leave. We do not want Mom to stay where she is. They are leaving her in a recliner for hours at a time and now she is beginning to stiffen up. I walked in this morning and she was totally disoriented after waking up from nap and it was only 10:30 am. I did go get the nurse and she answered the right questions, but…she didn’t know what the walker was. That was a little concerning. Sooo…new plan. Move her this weekend. Get doctor’s permission, get hospital bed set up in her new room. I feel like I have to move fast because Judy and Marvin are leaving for a few days. I feel like that movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and if I don’t get my Mom moved soon, she’ll be sucked into the nursing home. Wish us LUCK AND SEND PRAYERS THAT THIS ALL HAPPENS THIS WEEK.. I know you must think I am soooo melodramatic but it really feels like decisions have to be made right now. We did watch Dancing with the Stars with her tonight but she wasn’t very animated. That’s it for now.

A brighter picture

17 Nov

I want to tell you an update on Mom. She is calm. She is exercising. She is coping with drinking everything thickened. She is finally getting some rest at night. She is reading magazines. She is going to the dining room and eating 3 meals a day. I am SO proud and impressed with this truly remarkable woman. I feel bad about the description that I wrote about the other night while spending the night with her. But…that was what was happening at the time. Judy and I have had the most wonderful visits with her in the evening. That is the best time to see her. During the day she likes to take naps and has rehab, ot, speech, meals, etc. At night she is in bed and relaxed. (She is on the lowest dose of Xanax and is doing well on that. Maybe a little of withdrawal issues earlier. Will never know).
Anyway, last night we get there about 7:30. She says “Look what I have been practicing” She is pushing herself up out of a recliner and grabbing on to her walker. She walks to the restroom, gets ready for bed and walks to the bed. Her breathing never got out of control, but she does need to sit and rest before she actually lies down. Once she’s all settled, we can visit. She tells us about her day. Her inspiration is seeing a patient that is wheeled into the dining room for dinner and is hand fed. She thinks if she doesn’t do her rehab and keep working that could be her. My mom loves to tell funny story. She said her table mate was telling her about Bingo that day. The lady told her that 2 other patients wanted her 2 cards and that she was trying to hold on to them. Mom said “I am not going to play Bingo!
When you tell Mom something funny she laughs loud and squints her eyes and is so cute when she does that. She loves to hear about her new place she will move to and is very thankful we are there to help her. So….who would have known that this would be our scenario 3 weeks after we got the dire phone call that “you need to get here, she may not make it through the night”.
Today is a rest day. Getting reorganized day for me. My clothes have been scattered all over the bedroom. I have moved to the basement and can be out of Judy and Marvin’s hair all the time.
Today is my daughter Billie’s birthday. 37. Now, if you want to hear a story sometime about my delivery story with her….Just a hint. I was already 2 weeks late. I had Braxton Hicks contractions and they wanted to send me home. I lived in El Dorado, KS and the hospital was in Wichita. It was 40 min drive. There were railroad tracks that long trains came through and for some reason I kept saying, “I can’t go home because of the railroad tracks”. Eventually they gave me something to help me sleep and put me in a storage room and forgot about me. I did get found and 2 days later I had my Billie Jay. Her Dad’s name is Bill hence the name. Happy Birthday Billie!!!!!!

Saturday, Nov 16 which unfortunately I thought was going to be Nov 9

16 Nov

You know those touching commercials advertising Aricept or other meds to help the aging parents, the daughter is lovingly brushing her mother’s hair, the grandchildren are gathered around in the backyard, etc?? I want that scenario right now. What isn’t shown on those brochures and commercials is the background. First, the move out of the house after a spouse passes away. Then the decision of what type of place to move in. Then the decision they make that they aren’t ready to move. Then the decision they are ready to move. Then the gathering of kids to do the packing and the moving and the divvying. Then life calms down and things feel normal and you can have the commercial moments. But……the mother declines, has a fall, another fall, and a heart attack. There’s no time for brushing the hair. It becomes all about decisions again. “I want to go back to apartment, I don’t want to go back to apartment, I wish I had just passed, I’m too tired for physical therapy, I will go to the nursing home and try to get stronger.” Now…..beginning today…the last move begins, I think. Judy and I are going to just try and stay focused today. Get lined out what all has to be done by Thanksgiving, which by the way is just a week and half away, not 2 1/2 a weeks away like I thought until last night as I was visiting Mom and looked at her calendar and realized it was actually Nov 15 and that Billies’ birthday is Nov 17 and I haven’t even given that a thought and that now that I realized all that I just want to stay in bed all day and listen to the wind blow and now you have a real look inside of my brain when I feel the manic coming on. Wish us luck. And thanks again for your loving support and emails and texts and calls.