Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I also had a note from Joyce which said that Mom found a friend at Prairie. Her name is Ruth. Joyce said she has never seen Mom happier than today. Also on the daily report that Mom gets from Prairie, it said something about how great it was to see the joy on her face as she listened to a music concert at Prairie in the afternoon. That makes me feel so very happy, to know that she feels some joy while at Prairie.
It was a low key day for me. It took extra long to get home tonight because traffic was heavy for Halloween. But all in all it was a good day.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The November issue of National Geographic has a story about memory; how we keep it and how we lose it. They have a picture that compares a healthy brain to one ravaged by AD. It's so scary to see, and it really portrays just why our loved ones lose memories and other functions, slowly but surely. It really is an awful thing. Mapping Memory
This is from my sister. Makes you think.
AARP Study Finds US Has Much to Learn from German Long-Term Care System
Monday, October 29, 2007
I found this on mayoclinic.com in an Alzheimer's Blog. I wonder if Esther from the Alzheimer's boards is the author (the blogger on the Mayo site said someone named Esther wrote it)?
Declaration of Independence For Persons Living with Alzheimer's
Look at me as someone very, very special with personal accomplishments only I have accumulated throughout all my years of living; I am different from anyone else, unique and precious because I am the only one who has lived my life.
I cannot be duplicated, and what I am, what I know, what I have done, what I can become belongs solely to me. While I am here, I am still being, still becoming. I am irreplaceable and invaluable, the only one of a kind, ever, before or after.
The community where I live will grow only as I grow. Don't discard me as a worn-out, useless finished garment. Wear me out in honor and pride and don't ignore me, talk down to me, over me, or around me as if I am no longer there. Be careful how you label me and please don't call me a senior citizen, you don't call your teenagers junior citizens. When I am lying ill in bed, don't come in and say to me shall we have our bath now? There's no we or our, it's my bath.
I don't want to be humored, babied, or pampered, patronized, exploited for your advantage. I want to be regarded, not someone at the end of a journey, but, rather as one still vitally involved in the living of life in all of its possibilities, good to the last drop.
Enable me through your wisdom, to experience a 'doing', a 'being,' a 'becoming' every day of this life so that I am what I was intended, in my creation, to become, to hear my calling, and to live out my destiny in all of its fullness, expected of me. Don't waste me and make me stand with empty hands and unfulfilled hopes before my creator at the end of this life.
Help me to grow and achieve all that I was potentially able to be with your help. And give me a sense of worth, dignity and achievement, for there is so much to do, use me!
Remember, I go this way but once. Want me, love me and let the ending be as gracious and living as it was in the beginning when I first arrived.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Today was a puppy extravaganza. Mom even ventured outside to see it! But it was pretty cold so she didn't stay out very long. This is my neighbor Mary holding Bailey. Bailey and Satine are playing. They bite and chase each other around. Mary has a dachshund, Rusty, who tries to avoid the puppy extravaganza. It was a nice, sunny day, but chilly.
Mom had a good day today, but she gets whiny and crabby at bedtime pretty much every night. I don't know if this is sundowning.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I have a grab bar to install in Mom's bathroom. I need to find a wall stud though first. I want to put it alongside the commode in order to give Mom something to help her get up.
Mom was sort of whiny today. I really have to work at it to be patient when that happens. I know it's not her, it's the disease, but it's annoying.
Listening to: Carrie Underwood - So Small
Thursday, October 25, 2007
It's another glorious autumn day here. Stunning but cool.
I was reading through my journal last night. Way back in 2004 I was worried about Mom and her memory. I think that must have been when my aunt and uncle visited and expressed their concerns too. I have several entries where I voiced my concerns not only about her memory, but also her desire to remain isolated in her home. I tried to encourage her to remain active and up until the winter of 2004-05 she did a fairly good job by doing her water aerobics, playing cards with the neighborhood ladies and participating in a Red Hat Society group. She expressed several times her inability to catch on and learn the card game 500. She said she felt 'stupid'. This was clearly a sign that something was wrong. It sure didn't take long for her to begin a rapid decline. I remember how freaked out I was very soon after we moved in together and learned just how far along her AD was at that time.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Our weather has been gorgeous. It's a nice change after the gloominess of last week.
We watched the California wildfires on the news tonight. Those people are in our prayers.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I have had several bouts of major depression, the latest one was 3 years ago. During that bout, which was definitely the worst bout I've had so far, my manager was not very understanding. I admit that I felt awful and probably didn't have my heart in my work. It's hard to concentrate on doing a great job when you don't even feel like living. My manager has not gotten over that. In fact it seems like I am being held back because of it. Now, I'm caring for my mom and I feel like that too is being held against me. Luckily I've been with a great therapist for those 3 years and she has really helped me a lot.
On the plus side, today was a gloriously sunny day. The fall colors are so beautiful. And Mom had a good day too. I am nervous for tomorrow; the health aide comes and the plan is to take Mom to Prairie. I hope it goes OK. Let go and let God.
Listening to: Sarah McLachlan - Ordinary Miracle
Sunday, October 21, 2007
About 2:30 this morning Mom called out for help. She was wrapped up in the bedcovers and couldn't move. I got her unwrapped and then stayed with her until she fell back to sleep. This morning she slept until 8:00 and I helped her take a shower. I need to think of a way to warm up her bathroom. The tile floor and white walls are not very welcoming. She used to have rugs on the floor but they spent more time in the wash than on the floor so I took them up.
My coworker Nancy says that the second half of our life is about dealing with loss. True.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
It was a gorgeous autumn day today. We were out early shopping at Home Depot then we drove around and looked at the fall colors. I have some beautiful pictures but blogger is not letting me post them. I've got a great one of the red maples for Flinty.
Mom was dozing in her chair this afternoon, she woke up with start, saying 'what do you want?' to someone whom I couldn't see. It's been awhile since she's done this.
Mom's appetite appears to be back. Tonight though she had a little blood in her urine from her high coumadin level. I forgot and gave her her pill last night. Hopefully she will start to come down now. We get it retested on Monday.
Friday, October 19, 2007
While the nurse was here today checking over Mom, Olivia watched her like a hawk. She would jump up on Mom's lap frequently too. It was like Olivia was making sure that no one was messing with Mom. What a great little kitty.
It was a windy, gloomy day today. Tomorrow is supposed to our first peak at the sun in about a week. If the sun does come out I plan to take some pictures of the lovely red maples that line the street on the way into our neighborhood.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Mom has a ginormous bruise on her upper left arm. It must be from her fall on Monday. I keep asking her if it hurts but she says no. I'm thankful for that. I'm also glad that she only has a bruise. It could have been so much worse.
Tomorrow the social worker and the nurse visit from the Home healthcare agency. Mom will probably have a fit but oh well.
I'm feeling boxed in at work, like there is no place to go. Maybe that's ok. I don't know. I just don't like having options. Time will tell in that area. And then it took an hour and a half to get home tonight. I could find no other reason than the rain.
Today I talked to a woman who works with a referral service called "A Place for Mom". They help people find care or housing for senior citizens. I figure it's time to at least start looking at memory care facilities in the area. This woman told me that many places have waiting lists, which are months long, so it is important to plan ahead. She sent me a list of many different places in surrounding communities where I can visit on my own to weed out places that I feel wouldn't fit Mom. I found a link to their website somewhere on the internet. She had lots of advice which was helpful.
Thank God for my blog friends too. I don't know what I would do without your support and advice.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Mom talks a lot in her sleep. When she naps in her chair she will twitch and mumble. Last night this went on while Olivia napped on her lap. I kept watching to see if Olivia was going to get hit or something, but it didn't happen. And Olivia hung right in there with Mom. She is very protective of Mom and senses when Mom is feeling down. Animals are very intuitive and Olivia has really tuned in to Mom and her emotions.
The gloominess continues. Today it drizzled and rained for most of the day. We need a good shot of sunshine to brighten things up and lift our moods.
I just read a study about workers and depression. The highest amount of depression is found to be among people who work in the personal care and service industries, while math and computer technologies employees ranked 10th out of 17 profession categories. I wonder if the numbers are lower for math and computer professions because men tend to hold these jobs and they either don't seek treatment for depression or because more women then men suffer from depression and women account for a smaller percentage of these types of workers.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
The weather is cloudy, cold and gloomy and the rest of the week portends the same. Eh. Not my favorite time of the year. November is usually even more cloudy.
There is one big change that I have noticed since we stopped the Aricept: Mom's aphasia is much worse. She really has trouble getting out intelligible sentences. But the diarrhea is better, at least when she's not on antibiotics.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Allyson asked Joe about the bid we received for the low riser steps and he thought it was reasonable so I will call and set up a time to have them done. That should help Mom so much with getting in and out of the house.
Friday, October 12, 2007
It was cool and gloomy here today. They skies are overcast. I hope that the sun comes out sometime this weekend. We need it.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Today I was feeling down, thinking about my parents and the fact that both of them have had to suffer through hell in the final years of their lives. Dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer only 2 years after he retired. He did not deal well with this news, who would? He passed away before his 67th birthday. He and I were the 'gruesome twosome'. Now I'm watching my mom slip away. My dear mother. I've always been a mama's girl. My parents protected me from pain when I was younger, but they can't protect me from the pain of watching them slip away. I just want my mom back the way she was. I know this is selfish and impossible. And I want my dad to protect me and make everything better.
It's still cold here. From 90s to 40s in one week is just too much of a temperature change.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
It has gotten cold here. I brought my hibiscus plant into the house in an effort to keep it. I also turned the furnace on.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I made an appointment for our flu shots. The soonest that we could get in is Oct 26. That should be soon enough I hope.
The weather has cooled off nicely. It was a cool, crisp autumn evening, perfect for a fire. I'd love to have a chimenea on the patio.
Lily has been talking. She's part Siamese so this is not unusual. She has always been a chatterbox and will hold a conversation with me. Olivia has not been a talker, but I think she's learning from Lily.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
It was so hot today, 90 degrees which is about 30 degrees higher than normal. J came over, well actually Satine saw me on the patio and she bypassed George and Kathy's new puppy Bailey (who is pretty darn cute) and came racing over to see me. Mom heard J talking to me and joined us on the patio. Satine, who had been playing with Bailey, came racing over and climbed up to be by Mom. She is the sweetest little dog. Olivia and Lily observed the two puppies from behind the patio glass door. Bailey is a little black Shih Tzu. Very cute but he is teething so he chews on people. Mom was into it.
I finally received my new carpet cleaner and I just tried it out on Mom's bedroom carpet. The intake tank was really dirty so I think it cleaned up the carpet fairly well. Next I would like to do the den but I have to plan that carefully as that is the room that Mom lives in.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Joyce left a note saying that Mom cried when she came to pick her up yesterday because she didn't want to leave her friends! How weird is that? I'm glad Mom has her own thing to do 2 days per week. Sometimes God just sends the right person into your life and in our case he sent Joyce. She is a treasure.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The days are getting shorter; it's dark by 7:00 and no longer light when I drive to work in the morning. I don't like winter and shorter daylight hours. Time to move to the equator.
Flinty is right, things come in 3s. I hope in this case, they don't.