Sunday, December 20, 2009
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my blogger friends. I know this can be a hard time of year for all of us. My hope for all is a blessed season with the ones we love.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Recession hits Rust Belt towns hard - Washington Post- msnbc.com
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
On the weather front, we've had our first snowstorm. We've got about 4-5 inches of snow and it is blowing around causing problems with visibility. It is also bitterly cold, 8 degrees with a windchill of -15. Isn't that exciting? The cold air is pouring in from Canada (can't they keep their cold to themselves?). We aren't supposed to see temps in the 30s for several more days. Winter is here with a vengeance. I thought this was an El Nino year?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
My Mom loved the holiday season. She would bake cut out sugar cookies and we would decorate them. She would make rock candy and we kids would cut the hot candy into pieces that we first rolled in powdered sugar. I remember the burned finger tips we all had from this, year after year. Mom would put the brightly colored candy into glass jars that she decorated and give them as presents to teachers, relatives and friends. She also would make candle holders using broken green and clear glass. Our house was decorated inside and out. Christmas mini lights were strung on our fir tree (which the neighbor kids ripped down every year) and my grandfather's ten dollars would be used to purchase a lovely Douglas fir tree at the local tree lot. Many times I went with Mom to pick out the tree. Later, when we moved to Minnesota, we would go as a family to a tree farm and cut our own tree, hauling it back to the car and bringing it home where it inevitably had to be cut smaller because we had overestimated the size of our living room. Each year we vowed that 'next year we'll pick a smaller tree' but of course we never did. Christmas Eve meant a candlelight service at church around midnight preceded by a party with friends. On Christmas morning we would be surprised by the gifts that Mom and Dad had purchased for us. My brother would search the house for weeks beforehand trying to find the unwrapped presents. At first he succeeded, but Mom was wise to his ways; she would hide his presents at the neighbor's.
May the memories of the holiday season fill you heart with peace and joy.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I've started to move ahead with life, including sorting through some of Mom's things. I haven't been able to part with her clothes yet, but I'm getting there.
Meanwhile, Alzheimer's claimed the father of my co-worker on Sunday. And two more friends have loved ones who have been diagnosed with this heinous disease.
I've become addicted to Etsy.com. I've purchased a wonderful knitted aviator hat from a woman in Tasmania, an adorable charm necklace from a woman right near me and some stitch markers. I love to browse and see the amazing things that others have made. Check it out sometime.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Nobel winner tells of dementia heartbreak - The Standard
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not." (Isaiah 53:3)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Business Roundtable Report Shows Health Care Costs Will Skyrocket to Nearly $29,000 per Employee in the Next Decade Without Effective Reform
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Saturday, September 12, 2009
My friend had a yard sale this weekend. He cleaned out his basement treasure trove and sold $1800 worth of treasures. Pretty amazing. He must have had some nice stuff.
I've made my reservations for the holidays. I plan to spend some time with my sister and her family in PA for Christmas. I just need to find a reliable sitter for my cats.
Autumn is in the air here. It was warm today, but the leaves on some trees are starting to change and there is a scent of fall in the air. I hope we have a long, beautiful season.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I am too young to remember the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. In fact I am too young to remember much about the Beatles prior to their breakup in 1972. Yet they have been a part of my life; their music is so familiar yet their song catalog is huge and every so often I hear a song of theirs that I had never heard before. Today their remastered song catalog was released and I'm hoping that soon their songs will be available on iTunes.
This weekend I scanned some grade school class pictures and posted them on my Facebook page. My friends and I have had a fun discussion about our times together, sharing memories and thinking back to those wonder years. It's hard to believe that so much time has passed. We are having a lot of fun catching up.
The days are really short now. I wake up to darkness and it's not too long before twilight descends in the evening. Summer is fleeting.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
At work I am busy helping to plan for influenza season. We are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. The spring blip of H1N1 Novel Influenza (swine flu) caught us in the laboratory off guard but we were able to learn some valuable lessons from it.
This summer I have been occupied with reading the Twilight saga. For some reason I find these books to be page turners for me. It's been so long since I've been able to enjoy reading for it's sheer pleasure.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Here is an interesting link that explains who the uninsured are. You might be surprised to learn that most of them hold down a job.
And here is another interesting concept; insurance for in case you lose your health insurance.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
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End of life counseling is a hairy subject for anyone. This bill is not endorsing "killing Grandma". How many of us are prepared for end of life, especially if we become ill and cannot make our wishes known? If my mom had not filled out a Living Will, and I hadn't already known her wishes, then her end of life care would not have consisted of the excellent care given to her by hospice (and paid for in it's entirety by Medicare). My mom choose not to prolong her life via artificial means such as feeding tubes. I respected her wishes. My mom stated that if needed, she wanted hospice care. Again I conceded to her wishes. But what if I didn't know her wishes? Based on how much I loved my mom I can tell you that I would have done ANYTHING to prolong her life. But would any of this have changed the final outcome? We'll never know that, only God knows for sure.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Today is my cat Lily's 10th birthday. I still remember the day that I adopted her, she was such a little kitten. She has been through thick and thin with me, always by my side, always filled with unconditional love. We will always have a special bond.
My grief has been closer to the surface lately, I'm not sure why. But grief is like the ocean; it ebbs and flows. I've learned that there is no expiration date on grief, it just is. And it's different for each and every one of us. I've also found some solace here.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
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Also check out this web site from the Whitehouse. Do you really think that the party that has fought so hard for safety nets and social reform wants to euthanize the elderly and disabled? That's just crazy.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
— Susan Eisenhower, July 24, 2009
Today I saw a hummingbird zoom right up to my window and hover. They are such amazing creatures, I am always fascinated by them.
It has turned slightly humid here today, which feels weird; it's been unseasonably cool here for the past week. But I'm not complaining as long as summer sticks around.
More soundbites from Real Time with Bill Maher
[The Republicans] want to score a political win...But, they have no problem letting 50 million Americans suffer without health insurance. – Anthony Woods
We're going to have to find a solution to healthcare because the boomers are going to be retire soon and are going to create enormous distortions in an already distorted system. – Susan Eisenhower
I would love to have some journalist ask a Republican who talks about socialized medicine: If it's so awful, how come it's what we have for our veterans? – Bill Maher
The Republicans are a sideshow here, compared to the failure of the Democratic Party to get its shit together. – John Heilemann
The Democrats, whenever they're given a chance, controlling all three branches of the government, are tied in knots and can't get anywhere. – John Heilemann
They're not hospitals anymore. They're Jiffy Lube's with bedpans. – Bill Maher
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Today I am joining my neighbors for a 4th of July picnic. It should be fun, I only hope that the sun comes out and that the clouds move on.
I have many special 4th of July memories; during my childhood 4th of July was spent on our boat, the Water Wagon, which we docked at a yacht club on the Saginaw River in Michigan. We would usually watch the fireworks from our boat anchored somewhere on the river. Another special year was when we viewed the fireworks from the deck of the yacht Helene which was docked along the river. One year, after we had moved to Duluth, our friends Cpt. Bernie and Susie Cooper invited us to view the fireworks from the pilot house of the Edwin H. Gott which was docked in Duluth Harbor over the 4th. And then there was the year that all of the fireworks went off at once in Duluth. Luckily no one was hurt but it sure was a racket!
Happy 4th of July everyone!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
It's raining today; we need rain desperately. Everything is becoming green again.
Now that June is here, summer is going to switch into hyper speed and fly by so I have to make the most of each day, even the cold rainy ones.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I also remember my Mom and Dad and I miss them.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
ScienceDaily (May 15, 2009) — Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City believe that they have made a breakthrough connection between atrial fibrillation, a fairly common heart rhythm disorder, and Alzheimer's disease, the leading form of dementia among Americans.
In a study presented May 15, at "Heart Rhythm 2009," the annual scientific sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society in Boston, researchers unveiled findings from the study of more than 37,000 patients that showed a strong relationship between atrial fibrillation and the development of Alzheimer's disease.
The study, which drew upon information from the Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study, a vast database from hundreds of thousands of patients treated at Intermountain Healthcare hospitals, found:
- Patients with atrial fibrillation were 44 percent more likely to develop dementia than patients without the heart disorder.
- Younger patients with atrial fibrillation were at higher risk of developing all types of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's. Atrial fibrillation patients under age 70 were 130 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's.
- Patients who have both atrial fibrillation and dementia were 61 percent more likely to die during the study period than dementia patients without the rhythm problem.
- Younger atrial fibrillation patients with dementia may be at higher risk of death than older AF patients with dementia.
Intermountain Medical Center cardiologist T. Jared Bunch, M.D., the study's lead researcher, presented the findings at the scientific session.
"Previous studies have shown that patients with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk for some types of dementia, including vascular dementia. But to our knowledge, this is the first large-population study to clearly show that having atrial fibrillation puts patients at greater risk for developing Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Bunch.
Alzheimer's is a devastating brain disease affecting approximately 5.3 million Americans. It is the most common form of dementia (a general term for life-altering loss of memory and other cognitive abilities), and accounts for 60-80 percent of all dementia cases. Today, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Currently, the known risk factors for Alzheimer's are age, family history and genetics, though injury may also be linked with the disease. Heart health has long been suspected to play a role, but has not been linked. The Intermountain Medical Center study bolsters that connection.
"The study shows a connection between atrial fibrillation and all types of dementia," said Bunch. "The Alzheimer's findings — particularly the risk of death for younger patients — break new ground."
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm problem, affecting about 2.2 million Americans. It occurs when the heart beats chaotically, leading blood to pool and possibly clot. If the clot leaves the heart, a stroke can result.
The Intermountain Medical Center study looked at five years of data for 37,025 patients. Of that group, 10,161 developed AF and 1,535 developed dementia during the study period.
The study authors say more research is needed to explore further the relationship between atrial fibrillation and the development of Alzheimer's disease.
"Now that we've established this link, our focus will be to see if early treatment of atrial fibrillation can prevent dementia or the development of Alzheimer's disease," says cardiologist John Day, M.D., director of heart rhythm services at Intermountain Medical Center and a co-author of the study.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
- In 2007, approximately 34 million family members were providing informal caregiving at any given point.
- Approximately 52 million family members provided informal caregiving at some time during 2007.
- The estimated value of unpaid caregiving for 2007 was $375 billion.
- This is an increase over the 2006 estimated value of unpaid caregiving, which was $350 billion.
- $375 billion is comparable to the total sales of Wal-Mart stores in the same year.
- The economic value of unpaid eldercare was more than long-term care Medicaid spending in all states.
- In 36 states, the economic value of caregiving was more than three times as high as long-term Medicaid spending.
- The economic value of unpaid eldercare, including caring for those with Alzheimer's, was more than three times as high as spending on home- and community-based Medicaid services.
- In 19 states, the economic value of caregiving was more than ten times as high as home- and community-based Medicaid spending.
- Unpaid caregiving includes personal care and help with daily tasks as well as assistance with complex medical procedures and administering medications.
- The “typical” caregiver in the United States is a 46-year-old woman working outside the home who provides more than 20 hours a week of eldercare to her mother.
- Those providing eldercare reported spending an average of $5,531 out-of-pocket for caregiving expenses in 2007.
- Long-distance caregivers reported the highest out-of-pocket expenses ($8,728) while those caring for someone nearby reported average out-of-pocket caregiving expenses of $4,570.
The report points out that family caregivers are the “backbone” of the United States’ long-term care system. I couldn’t agree more.
Valuing the invaluable: The economic value of family caregiving, 2008 update. AARP Public Policy Institute. 2008 http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/i13_caregiving.pdf
Saturday, May 9, 2009
On another note, I hope the mothers who read this had a wonderful day today. I thought often and fondly of my own Mom today.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
In a rare sharing of its original content, HBO will offer its four-part Alzheimer’s Project to various online video services in an effort to provide greater exposure for the series.
YouTube, iTunes, MySpace and Facebook will all offer portions of the four-part series, which runs on HBO over four consecutive nights beginning May 10, as well as 15 supplemental films surrounding the series, according to HBO documentary films president Sheila Nevins. The two-year project takes a close look at the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on those that suffer from it and their families, as well as scientific discoveries and ongoing efforts to fight the disease.
“We do certain public-service programs that are of value to those that are and are not HBO subscribers,” she said. “It’s a corporate outreach effort dealing with subjects that we feel have been underserved by the media, including cancer and addiction. We felt Alzheimer’s was perfect for a public service outreach campaign.”
As part of its outreach effort, HBO will make the full series and supplemental shorts available on HBO.com, beginning May 8. The videos will be made sharable and can be embedded for anyone who wants to post on their own Web sites.
HBO on Demand will also make the entire series and supplemental films available beginning May 8, the network said.
Outside of HBO, Apple’s iTunes Store on May 8 will offer an exclusive preview of the first feature film, The Memory Loss Tapes on May 8, with subsequent films available starting May 11. The same day, an exclusive preview of the second of the four films, Grandpa Do You Know Who I Am, will run on HBO’s YouTube site.
MySpace will run trailers and clips from the project on its MySpace Impact channel beginning May 8, part of its Alzheimer’s Awareness Week presentation. In addition, MySpace will run an exclusive preview of the third film in the series, Momentum in Science, on its Myspace page (www.myspace.com/HBO), according to the network.
Facebook will offer a dedicated page to the project featuring an exclusive preview of Caregivers, the last of the four films. The social networking site was slated to launch a Tribute Wall May 1 that would accept user-generated photos and memories of loved ones, as well as to serve as an interactive, personal account of the disease.
In addition, the network will work with local organizations to co-host over 20 community screenings and provide 5,000 screener kits to select organizations to host their own events.
Nevins said the special should appeal to a cross-section of viewers either experiencing the disease themselves or through a family member. Nevertheless, she said that overall HBO viewership of the project will not in itself determine the success or failure of the undertaking.
“I don’t know how you can measure the numbers in the traditional way that says X number of people watched it because it’s not a conventional show — you can access it when you want to watch it through the various platforms,” she said. “But I think it’s already a success just being out there because it’s needed information for many people.”
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I am very proud of my colleagues at the health department. In the past they have cracked many stubborn cases of foodborne illness, tracing the origins to peanuts and serrano peppers. They are a world class group of scientists and professionals who take their jobs very seriously and they work very hard to protect the health not only of this state but of this country.
This could turn into a serious situation. Around 36,000 people die from influenza every year in this country. With a flu pandemic that number could skyrocket. In 1918 hundreds of thousands of people perished from the Spanish flu. You can read more about it here in Wikipedia. The current strain is of the same subtype, H1N1, as the 1918 outbreak, but it is a strain that has never been seen before and that is why it has been given special attention.
It is important to be cautious yet remain vigilant about this outbreak. There is valuable information on the Centers for Disease Control's website.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Last week I ordered a Move shirt from them.
We had an absolutely gorgeous day today. It was 85 and sunny. And I thought of Mom, of course. The last time it was this warm was on Labor Day 2008. A weekend of struggling for me and Mom. She was immobile and I was exhausted from caring for her. So much can happen in a short period of time. Remember to stop and smell the roses in life. This moment is our only guarantee.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Tonight is the premiere of "The Alzheimer's Project". I hope Annie is having a good time and her Mom is doing fine at the spa. I can't wait to see the documentary even though I know it is going to be painful to watch. I'm sure I will go through many kleenexes.
Friday, April 17, 2009
It seems that the embedding feature has been disabled, probably by the producers of 'Britain's Got Talent' So instead you need to click to see the video on Youtube. It's well worth it.
Fairy tales CAN come true! This is a heartwarming story and I love the look on Simon's face when he realizes that she is an amazing singer! Bloody fantastic, I hope she goes all the way and wins the contest.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I had a very nice Easter. My friend invited me to join her at 'the orphan's holiday' and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The orphans are all people who are from out of state or who are students. I felt comfortable right away with this group. And I even received an Easter basket for the first time in many, many years. It made my first Easter without Mom a little bit easier and I'm grateful to them for thinking of me and including me in their celebration.
I love animals in case you already haven't figured that out from my previous posts. They always greet you with such joy and happiness, they make you feel like at that moment you are the most important person in the world. The are never judgmental and they are always glad to see you. They give true, unconditional love. Tonight I saw my neighbors and their dogs. These dogs always greet me with such love and happiness. It makes me feel good. My cats are my blessings. I love them so much.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
My sister told me something that Mom said one of the last times they were together. She thought I would be offended so she had never told me about it. Mom, in one of her lucid moments, told my sister that she didn't understand why I couldn't keep the clutter under control in our house. This is classic Mom for me and rather than being offended I was thrilled that my Mom was still in there. My sister said she felt the same way, thinking 'my mom is still in there after all'. Love you Mom :)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Spring seems to be more of reality now. It's been sunny and in the 40s and 50s. We even had rain on Friday. The big huge snowpile near the end of my driveway is gone. That doesn't mean that we won't get any more snow, it just means that if we do, it probably won't stick around for very long.
I found Mom's sunglasses today while I was doing laundry. I held them for a while and thought about her.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I met one of my neighbors at the mailboxes today, one whom I hadn't seen all winter. She asked me how Mom is. I told her the news. Sarah has a four year old whom Mom adored. Mom loved it when kids would come to visit and Katharine was not exception. It was a sad moment for both of us, and suddenly I missed Mom so very much. It was one of the moments that you who've lost loved ones know all too well. I've been trying so hard to remain positive and upbeat and so far I've been pretty successful. But sometimes my grief just washes over me like a tidal wave. My mantra is one day at a time.
I've been keeping myself distracted with my new iPhone. I love it! It's become a little addictive though and I have to stop using it all the time. It is awfully nice to have everything I need in one small device. I can listen to music, make phone calls, play games and keep up with my Facebook friends. I've even installed the free Amazon Kindle software and surprisingly the preview book I downloaded is easy to read. It's one more great feature that I will use extensively. I thought about purchasing a Kindle, even placed the order, but then a friend convinced me to get an iPhone and I'm so glad that I did. I canceled my Kindle order and instead upgraded my cell phone to the iPhone. There are tens of thousands of apps available for free or a nominal fee (usually less than six bucks). Some of the apps I have include a white noise generator (which is great to use at work when I need to concentrate), a sudoku game and an app called Yelp that pinpoints your location and lists restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations or whatever you need that are in your vicinity. There are recommendations from fellow Yelp users too. It makes me want to download the developer's toolkit and come up with an idea for a new app!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Today it is 65F and people are out walking in my neighborhood. It's a welcome sight. The huge snow pile near my driveway melted away today. Mom would have loved today, she and I always looked forward to the first truly warm day of the year. I miss sharing that with her.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
It's snowing tonight. A cold front is coming through and by morning the temperature is expected to be in the single digits above zero. Ah Minnesota, so exhilarating. You've gotta love it. Unfortunately I am so over winter and ready for spring in a big way.
The story of Verne Gagne continues. I realize that the incident must be investigated because of the involvement of vulnerable adults. But just because he is famous he and his family are being dragged through the media. It's so wrong. I'm heartbroken for all involved, especially the family of Helmut Guttman.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I'm also feeling out of sorts due to the switch to Daylight Savings Time. This earlier switch really stinks. I was just getting used to having daylight in the morning when I head to work and bam! now it's back to darkness. Does it really save energy?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I think about Mom everyday and I catch myself trying to remember to tell her things that she would find funny or enjoy. Then I remember that she's gone and I tell her anyway. I still haven't brought myself to go through her things; that will keep, I'm in no hurry. I would like to move my things into the master bedroom soon. Soon. It's still hard to believe she's gone from my sight.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a very sad story about two residents in a memory care facility here in Minneapolis. It seems that one of the residents did something (pushed?) to another resident resulting in an injury. The resident who was injured eventually died and they have ruled this a homicide. As someone who has loved someone with dementia, I am heartbroken by this entire situation. Not only am I sad about the individual who passed away and for his family, I am also sad for the other man and his family. You see, this other man was former pro wrestler Verne Gagne. We who've loved someone with dementia know that our loved ones are not totally in their right mind. This situation is tragic all around and my heart goes out to these families.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Things in Detroit are pretty bad. You can see the impact of the problems with the auto industry everywhere. It makes me sad to see so many people struggling. It's easy to blame the Big 3 automakers but the effect is like a row of dominoes. The economy is really struggling there. I hope things turn around soon.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I spoke to the lawyer today. She told me not to lose sleep, the situation was fixable. I told her the sleep had already been lost.
I also met with my therapist. She suggested taking a break as I seem to be coping well with Mom's death. I miss her so much but I know she is whole again and Alzheimer's can no longer hurt her or the rest of us.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Otherwise, my weekend was pretty low key. I did some window shopping at the mall on Saturday and I visited with my friend M who recently had surgery. It was nice to spend time with her and her family as usual. They are good friends.
I'm not really keen on heading back to work tomorrow, but it gives me a diversion from thinking about Mom. We are supposed to have an ice storm tomorrow. That should make the commute to and from work very exciting to say the least. I'm growing weary of winter. Today we had a taste of spring; it was near 40 degrees. I hate these teasers, I just want the warmth and sunshine of spring.
Friday, February 6, 2009
On the plus side, it was 40 degrees here today! I hope the trend continues so that I can experience it this weekend. And, I also heard from old neighbors from my childhood. They sent me a stack of photos including some I had never seen of a trip they took with Mom and Dad back in 1980 on the Arthur M. Anderson. The Anderson was the last vessel in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald. It meant so much to me to hear from them. Thanks for the letter and the photos Pat and Al!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Today I spent more time trying to sort through some of Mom's paperwork, making sure bills are paid and taxes are up to date.
I re-read some of my postings from December. Looking back I see an ominous pattern indicating Mom's decline. Of course I cried as I re-read this. I'm so glad that I spent as much time as possible with her. And I'm doubly glad that I documented those precious memories.
It's back to the deep freeze for us temperature-wise. However the forecasters are predicting 30s by the end of the week. I'm so over the cold weather.
Monday, February 2, 2009
This website also has some interesting information as does this one.
Today has been a difficult day for me. I have been thinking about Mom a lot and am sad.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
In February I'm going to Mom's sister's 80th birthday party. I'm excited to see my Michigan family. My family is very small; Mom's sister married Dad's brother so we have double cousins. It's fun and we are close because of that.
I think I'm done with all the thank you's from Mom's memorial service. It doesn't seem possible that it was 3 weeks ago today. Cherish the moments with those you love for time is fleeting.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I've created a memorial page for Mom at the Alzheimer's web site here. It seems like a nice way to remember her and perhaps it will help lead to a cure for this awful disease.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
During our vigil, I put Mom's iPod on continuous play. I set it up to play music with sounds of the ocean and nature in the background. Several of the songs that played were ones that Mom particularly liked or ones that she played on the piano. I hope that this helped her somehow. Hospice kept telling us that one of the last senses that a person is left with is hearing. We tried very hard to make the sounds around Mom peaceful, yet familiar. I called all of Mom's loved ones and let them tell her they loved her on my cell phone's speakerphone. Her eyes flickered open for both my nephew and my brother at those times. And we would talk to her often. She knew we were there with her and that we love her forever.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thanks for all the notes of concern. I am doing amazingly well. In fact, I'm doing so well that I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop because I can't believe that I'm doing so well. I feel calm and at peace. Is this normal? I think everyone, including myself, thought I would be much more of a mess. I feel Mom all around me and for now that is very comforting.
Before Mom passed away, so many people told me that they wished they still had a part of their loved one. Well, that sank in with me, and I kept a lock of Mom's hair. I'll have this piece of my Mom forever. I think my sister thought it was weird. But I don't care. It comforts me.
We are back in the deep freeze here in Minnesota. It's very cold but very sunny. My sister is convinced that Minnesota has a dry cold.
I've included a photo of the memory board that my sister and I made for Mom's memorial service. She was such a gorgeous lady. Miss you Mom.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Days before Mom's death I had a feeling that something was up with her. I visited her Tuesday and Wednesday evenings after work. Tuesday night she did not eat but once we got her back to her room and into her bed, we raised her bed and she sat up and drank a glass of juice. I had met with the hospice nurse just prior to seeing Mom, and we had decided to try to lower her dosage of lorazepam (anti-anxiety) to see if Mom might become more engaged. On Wednesday evening I stopped by at dinner time. They had Mom up and sitting at the dining table however she wasn't awake. I tried to get her to eat a few bites of food but she was totally uninterested. We took her back to her room and put her into her bed. I was worried and scared. Thursday morning I awoke with a start and looked at my clock. My alarm did not go off. When my carpool called to see if I was riding, the phone didn't ring; it had somehow been unplugged. I decided to take the day and spend it with Mom and I'm so glad that I did. This was the last day that Mom was awake and able to sort of communicate. She would not take her eyes off me. I fed her ice chips and water from a tooth moistener. She was very interested in the ice chips and water and asked for more. Hospice stopped by, including the social worker and the nurse. The nurse prescribed morphine to keep Mom comfortable. If my phone and alarm had been working I would have missed this time with Mom. But someone had a plan and I am so grateful for this time with my Mom. I kept a vigil near Mom for the next 4 days. My sister arrived on Sunday. It was such a relief to share this vigil with her. The whole time that this was happening I had so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind; one that was everpresent was this feeling that my friend and his wife, who were expecting a baby on the 15th, would have this baby on the day that Mom passed away. Guess what? That baby arrived two days early on the day that Mom passed away. Later my cousin informed us that her brother-in-law and his wife also delivered a baby on this day. Both of these babies were boys. This was reminscent of when my dad passed away. His hospice nurse was expecting a baby which she delivered on the day that he passed away. These events are comforting to me as I know that He has had a hand in this.
My sister and I stayed with Mom from a little after 9AM until a little after midnight. The caregivers felt that Mom had more time and it seemed true; her color was better, her lips were pinker and her hands and feet showed no signs of mottling. We decided to head home for some rest, planning to return early in the morning. We both kissed Mom and told her we love her and then we departed. The carers checked on Mom at 12:30 and she was still with us. When they went back around 1:15 AM she was gone. I'm convinced that Mom waited until we left to depart this world, always the mother protecting her children.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
|Sally Ann Riley|| |
|Riley, Sally Ann age 76, of Eden Prairie, formerly of Duluth, MN, on January 13, 2009. Preceded in death by husband, Richard; parents, Hans & Ilse Deckert. Survived by daughters, Allyson (Joseph) Debes and Robyn Riley; son, Douglas (Janet) Riley; grandchildren, Matthew Houck and Angela Riley; sister, Mary Ellen (William E.) Riley; niece, Jill Bachle and nephew, Christopher Riley. Memorials preferred to the Alzheimer's Assoc. or Fairview Hospice. Special thanks to the staff at Clare Bridge, Eden Prairie, Fairview Hospice and LivHome. Memorial service 11 AM Saturday, Jan. 17, with visitation one hour prior to service, all at: Washburn-McReavy Eden Prairie Chapel 952-975-0400 7625 Mitchell Road (1 blk N of Hwy 5)|
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
My sister arrives tomorrow. I cannot tell you the relief that I feel.
Please continue to hold Mom and me and my family in your prayers.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Mom is still resting peacefully. Thank you for all of your prayers and hugs. I can feel them in my heart.
I am crying a lot and everyone keeps telling me to hold it together. I just am one of those people who cries ALOT. I know Mom is going to be OK but I can't imagine not having her with me. It scares me but I know that she wants the best for me. Still, I need to cry.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
It has been sunny here but cold. I've enjoyed the extra days off from work; it has been relaxing and has given me the opportunity to visit Mom during the day.