Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mom spent the afternoon with Elizabeth, one of her favorite caregivers. Mom and Elizabeth color together and Elizabeth loves our cats. We are lucky, Mom's other favorite caregiver, Terri, loves our kitties too. Tonight, however, Mom is fussy. I think she's sundowning. I hate sundowning. Mom has been in excruciating pain from her osteoarthritis in her hip. You can hear her joints and tendons snapping when she moves. It's sounds so painful. She's never been one to complain; that's how I know that it's hurting her so badly. The doctor has prescribed Tylenol. It doesn't seem to make a dent in her pain. Even Melissa the PT commented on how much pain Mom seems to be in. She is going to try to figure out if there is anything we can do for the pain. Mom's orthopedic surgeon said that unless Mom has a hip replacement she will be wheelchair bound. I don't think she'd be able to go through the surgery let alone the rehabilitation period. When she had her other hip replaced she worked very hard at her rehab, but it was not easy. I still remember how she was up and moving around the day after her surgery. It was one of the few times that I have seen her crying in pain. I can't imagine putting her through that now, when she is so confused. I wonder if being in an ALF would help her improve her mobility or would it make it worse?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Last night Mom and I were treated to a concert from our neighbor. He plays guitar and when he saw us out trying to cool off (it was 85 yesterday here) he brought his guitar out and played. He's really good and Mom really enjoyed it. She loves music. We are so lucky to have such good neighbors here.

My allergies and asthma kicked in big time yesterday. I haven't been able to breathe and have been coughing nonstop. Today I went and purchased some allergy meds finally. Mom seems to be OK with the exception of her usual ALZ mood swings. She slept in her bed most of the night last night. Lately she usually wants to sleep in her chair. I'm glad she slept in her bed though because she needs to keep her feet up. She's up with the sun however at 5:30 AM.

Today it was cool and overcast which was OK with me. I'm not thrilled with hot humid weather.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Several of the bloggers that I know are such amazingly talented writers. Esther, Terry, Betsy and Joanne to name a few. It makes me think that they were chosen to write about their experiences for a reason. It saddens me that they have the Alzheimer's experience in their lives. I would give anything to have it disappear forever for all of us. Why were we chosen to experience this awful, painful thing along with our loved ones?

It's finally here, Memorial Day weekend. How ironic. A holiday called Memorial Day. So many of us with LOs with Alz remember them on this day at a time when they can no longer remember themselves.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mom's infection is gone. And we've had several days of sunny weather. It's been wonderful. I'm looking forward to a relaxing long weekend.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Today the afternoon aide and the PT were able to collect a specimen from Mom and I dropped it off tonight. Cross your fingers that it comes back negative. The aide said that Mom was in a great deal of pain today and did not want to go to the bathroom. Mom was upset and called the aide a bad epithet. This upsets me because this is not characteristic of my mom. She's always been a very gracious woman. I suppose it must be hard to have to be helped in the bathroom and perhaps she is just voicing her frustration. Afterward, the aide said Mom had returned to her usual, sweet self. I am so grateful to the aide and to the PT for taking care of this for me.

I cannot believe that next Monday is Memorial Day. It seems like I spend all winter waiting for spring and summer. I savor every minute of these seasons. But before you know it, spring and summer are over.

Today was a cool, cloudy day. Our crabapple trees are blooming and they are beautiful. I bought an Endless Summer hydrangea. It's so pretty. I'm not sure if I will plant it or leave it in a container.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Caregiving...It's not for Sissies

This is getting harder to do. Mom has so much trouble walking, I think if anything, that is going to be the major reason for placement for her. It is such a struggle to get her to and from the bathroom; getting out of the house is nearly impossible. Plus I have to obtain another specimen to make sure the UTI is cleared. I don't want to be desperate when the time comes to move her. She is going to hate it and be mad at me and I have to work up the courage to face that. And I have to work up the courage to live by myself again and get on with my life.

Our weather has been gorgeous these last few days. This morning there was a beautiful red cardinal at our feeder and last night there were hummingbirds zipping around our neighbor's patio. We also see lots of goldfinches and have even seen a bluebird.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I've been trying to 'embrace the suck' this week. At work. Things at home are fine. I don't know why I bother talking to my management, they just make me feel worse about myself and my job. I have to stop letting them do that to me. I have enough to keep me occupied without having to deal with them too. You see, I've had several bouts of depression and during the last bout I wasn't a model employee. Looking back I realize that I should have gone out on disability; live and learn. Anyway, my management won't let me forget that. But I have to move on and try to do the best job I can now that I feel better. I have problems with concentration which doesn't exactly lend itself well to my job. And the fact that I am a caregiver doesn't make things easier.

Mom is having a good week. She's mostly sleeping through the night. I need to pick up stuff for another urine analysis to make sure that the antibiotics worked. She seems to be better. I think that the sunny weather helps too.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I spent a small percentage of my Bush-bate on a GPS navigator for my car. I haven't decided whether I'm going to spend the rest of it or save it. I do need a new TV in my room; the one I have is at least 25 years old, it was my grandmother's. I need to upgrade to an HDTV I guess.

My strawberries arrived in the mail this week. I planted them in the strawberry bags today. I hope they thrive and produce berries this summer. Supposedly I can winter the bags in my garage and next year's crop should be even better than this years. Mom joined me on the patio and because it was such a nice day we soon had a slew of neighbors who stopped by to visit. Mom especially enjoyed seeing 3 year old Katharine, and the puppies. It's supposed to rain this weekend so it was nice to be able to get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Mom received flowers for Mother's Day from my sister and my brother. They are beautiful! The roses are so incredibly fragrant. Happy Mother's Day to all my friends who are mothers.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Embrace the Suck

My Bush-bate was deposited into my bank account today! Woo hoo! Now I'm headed out to stimulate the economy. What should I buy? Gas? Groceries? Electronics?

Mom had a good day, though Nicole said she got a little bit testy in the afternoon. That's what happens with this disease. She woke up at 1:30 AM and wanted to get up and dressed. She slept the rest of the night in her chair in the den. Sometimes she's just more comfortable there. My dad slept most nights in his chair (the same one that Mom sleeps in) because he was afraid to go to bed. Towards the end he finally started sleeping in the bed. But he would fall out. One night he fell out and neither he nor Mom could get him back into bed. He was just too weak. He was down to skin and bones by then. That was the beginning of the end and he was gone two nights later. I miss him.

Monday, May 5, 2008

To Sleep Perchance to Dream

Another night of restful sleep! For both of us. And a beautiful, sunny warm day. Who could ask for anything more? Mom did her exercises today and is in good spirits tonight, in fact she was all day. I too am on the mend. My throat feels nearly normal. Everything is blooming or about to bloom around her. We may get some rain overnight tonight.

This is a shot from a bridge web cam. They say that the construction is ahead of schedule and they expect the bridge to be finished by September. Amazing.

We should receive our strawberry plants soon. I put the pole together yesterday which we will use to hang them.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I was able to get nearly a full night of sleep last night. Mom only woke up once; with an accident, the one downside of antibiotics. It felt good to sleep for 7 hours. And today is a beautiful day! Sunny and warm. I hope this means that spring is finally here. Mom is napping for the first time today. She got herself up and out of bed on her own this morning, either I was too tired to hear her or she was capable and didn't need help.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another UTI

Mom's PT called today. She said that Mom was weak and didn't want to do her exercises this week. She suggested that Mom might have a UTI and sure enough, after taking her to Urgent Care and testing a specimen along with blood work to make sure she wasn't anemic or something else, she does. She's now taking an antibiotic and hopefully it was caught soon enough so that she won't have to be on multiple courses. I'll bet this explains her restlessness from the other night. The UC doc was a male and Mom liked him. She's so anti-male doctor, but she always likes them when she gets them.

It has been raining very hard here today, all day. And it is cold. Not the best time to have to take Mom to the doctor, but it worked out OK. Tonight I said to Mom, 'it's pouring rain outside again', and she said 'I don't care, I'm inside nice and warm'. My crocuses are blooming and the grass is really getting green. The trees are leafing out and my allergies and Mom's are kicking in. I don't care, I'm so ready for spring.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Last night Mom was restless. She was up 4 times; twice because she was wide awake and twice because she had to use the bathroom. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep. But I was too keyed up to sleep anyway. Mom was whimpering too last night, I'm not sure what might have made her uncomfortable. She's fine now, nearly herself again.

I think the antibiotics are kicking in; I'm feeling better. But guess what? There is SNOW in the forecast for this weekend. I won't even comment.

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...