Monday, December 31, 2007
Mom was confused and emotional tonight when I arrived home from work. She calmed down after a few minutes. She didn't know where I was for the last 10.5 hours. Her caregiver had left out some snacks for her to munch on. She told Joyce that she was saving them for me. God, I hate this disease. Oh, and remember all the problems with diarrhea? Now we have the opposite problem thanks to the Tylenol with codeine. I gave Mom some senokot tonight. Hopefully it will help and not cause the other problem. But she is frustrated cuz she can feel something but it won't budge when she tries to go.
Happy New Year everyone!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I have to go to work tomorrow :( I'm not looking forward to it. But it's only one day then I have one day off, New Years!
Olivia had a sneezing fit this afternoon. It startled both Mom and me. Mom was upset and started to cry thinking there was something wrong with her. She seems OK though. I took a picture of Lily crouching under the tree next to my Pretty Little Mistakes book.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Mom is coloring. She said her ankle was bothering her so I gave her some of the tylenol with codeine and she slept for a little while this afternoon while I watched one of my favorite movies Under the Tuscan Sun. Watching that movie makes me want to move to Tuscany. It looks beautiful.
I had both kitties on my lap today. That is a rarity.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Fish Oil Prevents Alzheimer's Plaques
WebMD Medical News
Dec. 26, 2007 -- Why does fish oil help prevent Alzheimer's disease? Your brain needs a fish oil fatty acid to make a plaque-fighting protein, UCLA researchers find.
It's known that people who get plenty of DHA, a fish oil fatty acid, have a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, note Greg M. Cole, PhD, associate director of the UCLA Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and colleagues.
Why? Cole's team had a clue. People with Alzheimer's disease tend to have low levels of a brain protein called LR11 (also known as SorLA). And about 15% of people with Alzheimer's disease carry a genetic mutation that reduces LR11.
LR11 helps clear the brain of amyloid precursor protein, essential for production of the brain-gumming beta-amyloid plaque that clogs the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
Sure enough, in live rodents and in cultures of human brain cells, the researchers found that the fish-oil compound DHA causes brain cells to make lots more LR11.
"Because reduced LR11 is known to increase beta amyloid production and may be a significant genetic cause of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, our results indicate that DHA increases in LR11 levels may play an important role in preventing late-onset Alzheimer's disease," Cole and colleagues conclude.
It may be too late for people with late-stage Alzheimer's disease to get much benefit from fish oil. But Cole suggests that it may be a great help if taken at the first signs of Alzheimer's.
Cole and colleagues report their findings in the Dec. 26 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
SOURCES: Ma, Q.-L. The Journal of Neuroscience, Dec. 26, 2007; vol 27: pp 14299-14307. News release, University of California, Los Angeles.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The ice candle did not, or would not, freeze. It wasn't cold enough! We sure do have the snow though.
Mom has been dozing off while she colors. The weird thing is that she continues to color during her dozing. She has been in a pretty good mood. And she REMEMBERS that the caregiver and Joyce stopped by today. Maybe she is feeling some relief from her pain. Or maybe this is just another bend in the road for us. It's hard to say one way or the other. I just grateful for the string of good days that we've been having.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
It snowed all day long and we accumulated about 4-6 more inches of snow. Today the sun is out.
Monday, December 24, 2007
I am attempting to make an ice candle. I have a bucket of water sitting outside waiting to freeze. I hope to have it frozen by tomorrow night. I wish I had known about it sooner; it would be fun to have it for tonight, Christmas Eve. My sister and I used to put out Luminaria (and inevitably we would set at least one of the paper bags on fire). I like the idea of an ice candle, especially in Minnesota.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Mom and I drink a lot of water so I've decided to lease a reverse osmosis water purification system. At the same time, I've decided to try a water softener. Our city water isn't that hard, but it is considered moderately hard. I figure that leasing will allow us to try it out and see if we like it. The house is 'roughed in' for it so there is not much involved with installation. I hope we like it.
Our neighbors brought over their puppy today. What a sweetheart! Olivia was quite intrigued by this strange animal and vice versa. Mom enjoyed it.
Mom is doing pretty good. Her ankle seems a little bit better. At least she's not yelping in pain too much. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas from her. I forgot to wrap something and put her name on it to me. Oh well.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Mom's ankle seems a little better today. I'm taking a cautious approach with the Tylenol with codeine and so far she hasn't been too confused. I've been giving her the Seroquel at dinner and that seems to be helping the sundowning too.
We are due for some snow tomorrow. Today it was very mild and there was some melting of our current snow pack.
Listening to: Rosemary Clooney - Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I received a copy of Coach Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers today. I scanned it quickly and it looks interesting. I'll have to take a closer look at it as time permits.
The weather is mild today and the snow is melting a little bit. We'll still have a white Christmas though because we have lots of snow.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I ordered 2 Christmas pop up books and they came today. Mom has had a great time looking at them. One is about Christmas around the world and the other is about the nativity. They are lovely books.
Tomorrow I'm taking Mom to the doctor to find out if there is something wrong with her ankle. She has been complaining for about a week of pain and I finally narrowed it down to her ankle.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I'm sick of commuting to and from work too. The ride home at night is taking much longer and I'm getting home just in time to deal with Mom sundowning. Oh joy. She was laughing during Raymond tonight though. And she ate the big salad that I made for dinner.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Tonight I talked to my uncle who is my dad's brother. Halfway through the conversation it struck me how much his voice and pronunciation sounds like my Dad's. It was comforting somehow. I miss my dad. After his passing holidays were never the same. It's like he was the glue that held us together. I always think of him but I especially think of him and remember him at Christmas. Now it's usually just Mom and me at Christmas. And Mom has never really been that into the holiday since Dad passed away. So we probably won't do anything too exciting on the day.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Yesterday I went out and bought gifts for Mom's caregivers. I am almost done with my Christmas shopping and birthday shopping (both my niece and nephew are December babies). I bought coloring books for Mom of course, and Sander's hot fudge for my siblings. Sanders is a Michigan tradition, specifically a Detroit tradition. My grandfather worked there for 50 years, he managed a downtown Detroit store. My great-grandfather also worked for and managed a Sander's store. The best things from Sander's include their colonial buttercream cakes and their Christmas cookies. Each of us kids had a First Birthday cake from Sander's where they put our baby picture on the top of the cake. Mom has pictures of each of us with our Sander's cakes. Yummy stuff. Another Michigan tradition is the best ginger ale in the world, Vernors. It's the best and they finally sell it in Minnesota or you can buy it online. My sister found some in Pittsburgh and bought some and hoarded it.
It's sunny but very cold here in Minnesota. It was -2 today when I got up and headed out to Target. but the sun makes a world of difference. It's warming up right now. Even Mom's mood is brighter when the sun is out.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It's cold but sunny here today. The wind has picked up and the windchill has dropped. Winter in Minnesota, never a dull moment.
Listening to: Mr. Big - Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I had a good day too, though I was tired this morning. Some days everything just seems to click. Today was one of those days.
The sunset tonight was beautiful. Bright oranges and pinks. Very nice.
I keep thinking about Cinnamin and her vigil with her mom and praying for peace for them.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Mom seems to get more agitated around dinner time and I suppose it's sundowning. Around 4:30 PM she started wanting to go to bed today. I told her she could take a nap if she wanted but she didn't want to. I think she gets bored. Luckily my sister called and that distracted Mom. She was saying that she didn't know what she was supposed to be doing (we've heard that before, right?). She also has developed a sensitivity to the temperature of food. She used to like her meals piping hot, but now she complains. I try to make sure food is thoroughly cooked though but I let it cool before I give it to her. She also doesn't like things that are too cold, like ice cream. She used to LOVE ice cream. Her sweet tooth has pretty much vanished, though she does still like an occasional treat.
Mom and I saw Michael Buble on CBS Sunday Morning today and Mom really liked him and his music, so I downloaded his new album from iTunes and we are listening to it now. I will eventually put it on Mom's iPod. She's got her eyes closed. Even Olivia seems to like it.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
It is COLD here and the snow is deep. I'll bet we have at least a foot of snow. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.....
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thank you Nancy for the info about the washable bed pads. I ordered 2 today! I'm sure they will help me and Mom.
I visited the final memory care facility and met with the director and the head RN, both of whom I liked very much. I put a deposit down so that we can be included on the waiting list. Now it's in God's hands.
It's sunny but cold today. We have so much snow, it's amazing. Just one week ago we had none. The roads, however, are mostly cleared.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I called my neighbor who has a tall ladder and he volunteered to come down and change the batteries for me on the smoke detectors. What a great guy!
Mom is in a good mood today, but then I'm home so that helps.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Speaking of Christmas, I ordered a 24 inch teddy bear for Mom for Christmas. It might help to calm her down to have something to hold. I also ordered a Barry Manilow concert DVD for her. We were watching his show on PBS the other night and it really made Mom happy. She is a big fan. For her sake, I can put up with it. I just hope it doesn't turn into something she wants to watch all of the time like Everybody Loves Raymond. I think I know each show by heart now.
Why do builders put smoke detectors so far up that you have to have a cherry picker to change the batteries and test them??? The one in Mom's room is chirping. Did I mention that we have vaulted ceilings? I had called to get someone to change the battery and they wanted $110.00! What?? To change a BATTERY? I'm buying me a huge ladder and going into the business! Anyway, tomorrow I get to try to find someone to change it or disable it. I'm going to start with the fire department. I pay taxes, shouldn't they come and change a battery? We'll see.
Mom was frazzled this morning when Terri came. She had soiled herself and her bed again and she was confused about how to clean herself up. Terri came to the rescue, got her in the shower and then got her settled in. Starting tomorrow Terri will be coming for 3 hours each day. That should give us some better coverage and help me out a little. I'm sure all my caregiver friends can relate to this scenario. I've washed sheets every night after work this week and I'm tired. Especially after a long time stuck in traffic in the middle of a snowstorm.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Rick mentioned on his blog that his mom said she didn't know what she was supposed to be doing. My mom has said that exact same thing on several occasions. Mom also thinks that she's 'been bad' if she soils herself or some other such thing. I do everything I can to assure her that she is not bad. I wonder if this is something cropping up from her childhood? I may never know. I just know that it breaks my heart to think that she thinks she is bad.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Meanwhile I talked to my aunt and uncle tonight. My uncle said auntie fell twice in the department store when they were out shopping. I worry about uncle, he has his hands full too. He is in pretty good health and I'd like to keep it that way.
I hauled the tree up from the lower level today. Now I need to decorate it. Mom will help do that, I hope.
We are due for more snow, around the evening rush hour tomorrow. Yuck.
I finally scanned in the one group shot that turned out. Here is the whole motley crew from Thanksgiving.
Joyce stopped by and Mom insisted that I hang with them. Joyce is a retired cop and boy does she have the stories, especially ones about local sports stars. Before she retired she dealt with a lot of stuff from these guys, including our old friend Kirby Puckett. She was involved in the investigation at a local restaurant for good old Kirby and his 'groping' incident of which he was found innocent. She pretty much said the same thing; the evidence was not very substantial on the alleged victim's part.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Olivia has figured out what the word 'chickadee' means. She will come running when I say 'chickadee dee dee dee' right for the window to stare out and see the birds. It's really quite amazing. Lily knows what the word 'outside' means. Her ears will perk up when she hears that word or her name. Smart kitties. I could never part with them. I'm a firm believer that adopting a pet means that you've adopted them for life. That means providing for them when one can no longer take care of them. I know it would break Lily's heart to be separated from me. In fact, knowing she needs me has helped me get through bouts of depression. She is my baby.
Tomorrow we have an appointment with the neurologist. Mom will probably not want to leave the house. I'm going to have Terri come, as scheduled, in the morning. I don't want to get Mom out of that routine. I will work from home. We don't have a lot to report to the neurologist other than the fact that Mom seems to have declined quite a bit this autumn, both mentally and physically. She also may need to have her med upped so that she is less tearful at daycare and with Terri.
We still haven't put up the tree, maybe this week. I've got the snow village up though.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
You know you're a true Minnesotan when:
1. A snowstorm sends shivers of excitement and anticipation up your spine.
2. Camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness is your idea of a vacation.
3. Going to the beach means a trip to Lake Superior.
4. There are only 2 seasons; winter and road construction.
5. Driving in 10 inches of snow is not daunting.
6. Fire hydrants in your neighborhood have tall stakes which allow them to be easily located when they are buried in several feet of snow.
7. You're sick of snow by February and are ready for the next season (road construction).
This photo was taken at 12:30 PM in the middle of a Minnesota snowstorm. You might be able to notice the little flags that mark the curbs and driveways. My sister claims these flags are not nearly tall enough.
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