Friday, September 29, 2006

Mom was restless last night. She was up at midnight, banging around, coloring. Then she was up again at 5:00 AM. She yelled down to me, something about everybody being down there. I came upstairs to see what she was talking about and she was mad as a hornet, spouting something about 'someone going downstairs and not allowing her to go down too'. I think she was hallucinating. Funny thing is, she remembers the incident, and is adamant that she saw someone, but can't tell me what this person looked like. She has done something like this before. It's pretty common in people with dementia.

Today we went to the clinic to get her B12 shot. I had her ride in a wheelchair which made it easier for both of us. She's so stubborn though, she insists that she can walk, but she is in such pain from her hip that it breaks my heart.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Today would have been Dad's 76th birthday. I miss him.

Tonight we both got haircuts. I chopped off about 3 inches and now have a bob. I like it. Mom can barely walk, she hurts so much. Time to make that appointment with physical therapy. She gets so frustrated and upset because of her immobility. It's hard for me to see her like that.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mom has been on an upswing. She is doing really well but she is still worried about her rings. I hope that they are finished so we can pick them up on Thursday.

Our new gutters were installed today. The downspouts match the siding. Nice.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The sun is out! YAY! Last night we watched "Match Point". It was good; we both enjoyed it. Will have to rent "Scoop" when it comes out. Netflix is great.

Lunch at Olive Garden today. Soup, salad and breadsticks. Then we drove around and looked at the leaves that are just beginning to change.

Called ME when we got back. She is feeling down again, and anxious. She did not sound good. I hope she can get through this. I try not to think about recurrence of depression or 'poop out' of medication for myself, but it is always a possibility. Even when I take my vitamins and exercise as Tom Cruise has suggested. I have been using my GoLite lightbox and taking my fish oil supplements and so far so good. I really like the GoLite; it doesn't feel as conspicuous as the Sunlight and the blue light somehow seems different, in a good way, to me. We shall see if it continues to do its job this winter. Already my cohorts in the SAD support group are back full force and feeling the effects of the impending winter. I hope that this doesn't foretell a long, cold, snowy winter.

Yesterday we took Stinky to get her claws trimmed. Those claws can get lethal! She has been sleeping on Mom's bed today.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mom has been having a really good week. She is really 'with it' and is not too depressed even with the rain we've been having. Amazing.

This morning the adult care facility manager called to see if I wanted to come for an appointment. We both answered the phone and Mom listened in to the conversation. Afterward she asked about it and I explained that it was an adult day center. She said she'd like to go with me when I go to check it out. That is amazing. Of course, in 5 minutes she may change her mind completely.

It has been raining and chilly for the last few days. Yuck. I ordered a new water panel for the humidifier in preparation for the winter season. Since I don't like going to Home Depot, I thought I would check out Amazon and sure enough, they had them.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's hard to be a caregiver, especially to one's parent. I have a hard time 'parenting' my mom, getting her to brush her teeth daily, and other hygiene routines. Today we went to the dentist where she had her teeth cleaned. The hygienist kept reminding her to brush her teeth every day, twice a day. She will never remember this; I have to remind her. For someone who never had kids, this is especially hard because I haven't already been in the trenches, so to speak. And remaining vigilant about her health can be hard. AGH!

It's 7:30 and Mom has gone to bed. It gets dark here now around 7:30 too. Last night Stinky started meowing really loudly, like she was in pain. Turns out there was a cat outside taunting her. She ran from window to window with a big puffy tail and the hair on her back standing on end. It scared Mom. I can only imagine what she went through as a stray because she really doesn't like other animals, but she definitely LOVES people.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:

1. You have to believe that the nation’s current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday’s gasoline prices are all Clinton’s fault.
2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.
4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don’t deserve theirs.
5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.
6. You have to believe…everything Rush Limbaugh says.
7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.
8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.
9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn’t diminish your opportunities, but you still won’t vote for Alan Keyes.
10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.
11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don’t pray to Allah or Buddha.
12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.
13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.
14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.
16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.
18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher.

Amen, Ann.

Monday, September 11, 2006

It was a dreary, miserable day today which seemed somehow fitting for this date. Five years is a long time, yet it seems like yesterday. The memories are still horrifying.

My voice has been hoarse off and on all summer long. I'm not sure if it's allergies or something else. Have been sore today from a fibromyalgia flare. I'm not looking forward to winter as I seem to be achy and sore a lot more often when it is cold.

Poor Mom, she tries to help but she can barely move because her hips hurt so bad. I will make an appointment for physical therapy tomorrow. Hopefully that will give her some sort of relief. I'm afraid that she needs a hip replacement but I don't think she would consent to it. The right hip was replaced and she went through a long rehabilitation with that. I'm not sure that she has either the strength or the stamina for another surgery. She is usually up before me in the morning, and she is not thrilled when I say I have to go to work. I feel guilty about leaving her. She also has taken to wanting to go to bed at 7:00 pm. I try to make her hold out until at least 8:30 or 9:00 but she gets petulant so I give in and hope that she doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night. She says she is tired but I think that she is actually bored so I try to entertain her. Most nights I am too tired though. I really wish I could find a job closer to home.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

It seems like Mom is asking when her rings will be done every five minutes. I'm trying to be patient. She is very emotional about those rings! I hope they don't take the full 2 weeks to size them otherwise I may go crazy . God, I hope nothing happens to those rings.

We are in the midst of an airshow. The planes are flying over and it is pretty cool to see old WWII planes and bi-planes in the sky. Dad would have LOVED it!

Speaking of Dad, last night I was sorting through my scrapbook stuff and found this picture of him in his speedboat racing uniform. Pretty handsome, eh? He bought a former Gold Cup race boat (I think it was the Miss Great Lakes?) and tried to fix it up to race it on the Detroit River. They'd put an allison aircraft engine into it and he tried to get Guy Lombardo (the bandleader) to race it for him. Very cool. He hung around with Al Fallon, Dan Arena and all those guys on the waterfront. Then I found a website, that had a whole history of the Miss Great Lakes I and the owners and drivers. Very fun. I wish I knew more about Dad's time in racing. He LOVED it.

Mom is obsessed with what she wears to bed. She will tell me every night that she only wears certain things. She will also ask me what I wear to bed. Tonight she had 2 servings of tuna casserole which is more than she has eaten in a long time. Usually she can barely finish one small serving so I am glad for that. The tuna casserole, by the way, was pretty darn good if I do say so myself .

Friday, September 8, 2006

Mom is restless a lot of the time. She moves, slowly, between the den and the dining room. Today we took her rings in to be sized down. About 2 years ago she had had them sized up but now they are way too big for her finger. It will take 2 weeks for them to be done at the jewelers. Mom keeps asking when her rings will be done. I have given her Grandma's ring to wear (G gave it to me before she passed away), but Mom will look at it and wonder where her wedding rings are. The jeweler is also going to appraise the rings for us. Sometimes Mom will seem perfectly normal, but then she will say or ask something that shows her confusion or memory loss. It's really, really sad.

Today it is overcast and much cooler than it has been in quite some time. We went to the clinic for Mom's INR (it was too high so we have to go back in a week) and then we filled up with gasoline (the price has dropped nearly 60 cents a gallon!) and dropped the rings off at the jeweler.

Talked to Trog last night. He is doing well but J is nearly incoherent and very agitated. She needs to be hospitalized I think. I feel so sorry for Trog, A and J; they really have not had a normal life since J got really ill. I know that it's impossible to pull yourself up with your bootstraps when you are that ill. I really wish that more could be done for her.

M loves being a freshman at Syracuse. I think he enjoys the freedom and the classes. I hope that he is careful.

Monday, September 4, 2006

So sad that the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, has died.

Tomorrow it is back to work. I already feel sad about the end of summer and it's not official yet. Why does summer have to go by so fast? I really need to move to a warmer climate.

Mom does seem better today; much more cheerful, more energy and more of an appetite. I hope the B12 shots help. She was declining much too quickly. I'll say it again, dementia sucks!

Well, I'd better start thinking about bed. Goodnight.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

I don't know if it's just me, but Mom seems better today. Maybe it's the B12 shots or maybe it's just a good day, I don't know. Yesterday she was very emotional and very upset. She thinks she's stupid, but I told her that she is forgetful. And I told her that she has dementia. She seemed to take that pretty well considering. I love her so much. I don't want her to suffer or to feel undignified. She loves her cat so much. It's so nice to see them together.

It has been a rainy weekend here. Cool too. We heard from Aunt ME today. She was lonely. Seems everyone went to fishing camp and left her alone. I hope that she does OK this winter. The season is so tough on us. I hate that depression runs in our family. On both sides. It is an awful affliction. I thank God that meds work for me. I hope to never experience 'poop out'.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Beautiful sunny day today, 9/1/06. Took mom to doc. She has low B12, so she is getting b12 shots. She complains about going to the doc. And I spend a lot of time cleaning up after her with her incontinence. I finally got her to wear adult briefs but I forgot to hide her underwear so tonight she put it on and took the briefs off. But she does love her kitty.

I saw my therapist today. The stress and worry of caring for Mom is taking its toll. It's important for me to have someone who is supportive of me and talking to her helps me to deal with transition from being a daughter to being a caregiver.

Nine Years and Counting

Mom has been gone for a little over nine years. This blog was a huge mechanism for helping me cope with her illness and daily downfall. I...