Me, Mom, Aunt Jo, Uncle Bob, and Cousin John

Me, Mom, Aunt Jo, Uncle Bob, and Cousin John
Me, Mom, Aunt Jo, Uncle Bob, Cousin John

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Old Days

I saw this picture as I was trying to organize my albums online; and it got me reminiscing about mom, when I was growing up. She was around 46 here. She had already retired from teaching. She was quite a seamstress and tried to teach me to sew, but I was always a little intimidated by how good she was. She took Cindy and me that summer to Singer to take professional lessons. Cindy, of course excelled in the craft. Me - not so much. She also practiced the piano and organ every day because she played for the church. Our house was always filled with music...if not her playing, or me practicing vocal lessons and piano lessons(which she also tried to teach me, but finally sent me to teacher in which I didn't exactly excel in, either) we had the hi-fi playing LPs all day. I remember Alpert and the Tiajuana Brass, the Mills Brothers(no relation), Movie Soundtracks, all kinds of Christmas albums, Classical, Instrumental, Pop Orchestra, Symphonies, etc. She was always working on a new craft, making flowers, macrame pot hangers, ceramics, etc.. Mother was very social - a member of a Methodist Ladies Bible Study, a Baptist Ladies Bible Study, a Ladies Birthday Club, a Couples Bridge Club, but she was always there to take me and my friends to the movies, swimming, to the mall, or to wrap boys houses and then back the next day to clean it up. She always let me have my girlfriends over night anytime I wanted and got to have several slumber parties, til we started trying to sneak out to jump on the trampoline, throw water balloons, or wrap houses in the middle of the night. Mom gave such wise advise about friendships and boys, but of course, I didn't always think it was wise at the time. She never gossiped or said anything bad about anyone, and always told me "If you can't say anything nice about a person, don't say anything at all".
Well, this trip down memory lane has been so fun, but I better come back to the present now and reality. Til next post.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I just got back from a little jaunt over to the Dallas area to visit friends. I stayed in a hotel and enjoyed the solitude I now come to appreciate more and more. After a lovely visit, I returned to the hotel too tired to find a place to eat and not having room service; I went down to the hotel Starbucks bar and ordered a personal pizza to take up to my room. While waiting, I sat there quietly watching the CNN news. A friendly, attractive, young women began chatting with me about current events. I asked her what she was doing here. She told me she was a bank auditor investigating banks' home forclosures. Her name was Kerri and she was 28, the same age as my youngest daughter, Kinsey. She had not married or had children yet. When she found out I was a full time caregiver to my mom who had Alzheimer's, she moved down 2 bar seats to sit right next to me, and began asking questions. I found out from her that she turned down a soccer scholarship to stay home and help her mom take care of her grandmother who had Alzheimer's for 10 yrs. Her mom was single and worked full time at an 8 to 5 job then came home and took care of her the rest of the time. Kerri stayed with her grandmother during the day except when nurses and aides were there. I realized there are so many sacrifices, families all over, are making for their loved ones. We talked long after the pizza was ready and became cold. I pray God blesses Kerri and her mother for their selfless care and sacrifices and all the other that they represent worldwide.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Recent Day in the Life - from my viewpoint

7:30 AM - Yey, the nurse aide, Debbie is here! I get to stay in bed a little longer this morning. I love M-W-F. Ah, so nice! I'm glad Mom seems to like her; she always makes her smile. Except when she washes her hair; then Mom gets really mad. I wonder if Mom will eat anything today. If I can just get her to swallow a little something, I can get her laxative, stool softener, and BP medicine down.

9:00 AM - Uncle Bob's here. He set out the trash for us. She still remembers her brother. This reclining lift chair has lasted through Dad's Parkinson's Disease and 6 1/2 yrs of Mom's Alzheimer's Disease. It sure does save my back from lifting her to and from the wheelchair. She just seems to sleep all the time now. This is a good time to wash her soiled sheets and towels and clothes. I really enjoy doing laundry, especially with Gain. It makes the whole downstairs smell good. Ha, that sounds like a commercial. I guess I should get dressed and ready for the day. I don't know why I keep the TV on, she doesn't seem to know what's going on anymore, but I guess I can catch bits and pieces of Ellen, The View and Dr. Oz. Unless, of course, Davie's here. Then, it's Sesame Street and Dora The Explorer and working jigsaw puzzles all morning with Bob.

NOON - Guess I'll make tuna fish sandwiches for lunch. Bob and Mom really enjoy them. And I'll boil some extra eggs. She loves deviled eggs. Wow, she actually ate a half sandwich and a half egg, and drank a whole Dr. Pepper without any help!

1:00 PM - Back to the living room. Bob went down the street to get our mail for us. Oh, here's Nurse Denise. I hope she doesn't have to digitally clean out Mom's bowels again. I can't stand to watch Mom in pain and humiliation, but I need to hold her hand and be there with her. She pushes around Mom's tummy and Mom grimaces. Denise says there's a blockage again. Oh, dear God... I can't handle this! OK, yes I can.

2:00 PM- I'll just leave her in the bed awhile. It's time for her nap anyway. Thank goodness for this hospital bed. I'll just sit over here and catch up on Face Book, write in my journal, post a blog, or read a book. Maybe I'll take a nap. Mom was restless and scratching all night. They said it was because her kidneys aren't filtering out the toxins in her blood and she's not drinking enough liquid. Her urine is so dark and extremely odorous. I can't sleep. Oh well, it's time for The Doctor's Show, then Oprah. Oh man, what are we gonna do without Oprah?

6:00 PM- I'll just call in take out tonight. Mom likes pizza. Maybe she'll eat enough for me to get some Benadryl down for the itching. It seems like she forgets how to swallow in the evenings. She just holds it in her mouth til she either chokes or I get her to spit it out. She's lost so much weight this year. She's so weak she can't even balance herself to stand. She's just strong enough to swing her legs off the bed, but she can't even roll over on her own now.

8:00 PM- Time to unwind and de-stress. Think I'll soak in a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine, candles, and my music. I should try to watch a movie with Dave or practice some songs, but I'm just too tired. I can't wait til the weekend, so we can go to the lake house.

10:00 PM- I crawl in the bed next to Mom's. She looks right through me kind of frightened. I kiss her and stroke her hair. I love you, Mom. Wide awake! I should make a list for the grocery store and go tomorrow if Dave or Kinsey can stay with Mom. Oh yeah, and I need to get her car tuned up. Let's see... and call her dentist to let them know she can't come for her 6 month check and to take her off their list.