Friday, February 27, 2004

Being Irish - and having a wickedly black sense of humour at times - I found this spoof to be very, very funny...*

*WARNING: Some of you will take offense, so if you're easily offended, "don't go there"

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Cousins sharing...
From: Del and Lee
To: Betty Thorsvig
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2004 9:17 AM

Yah my Mom is the same way. One time when I take her she is all happy & saying the home isn't too bad & she needs to be there & the next time she tries to convince me she needs to go home as that place is falling apart. The food gets lousier & lousier & is always cold etc. I have bought a pass a couple times & eaten with her & what I had was very good & very hot However I'm sure some meals are better than others Last week when we went to the beauty shop they had screwed up on her morning cereal as she loves the cream of wheat they serve her & has always been very good but whoever cooked it this time did a lousy job as it was all lumpy. So I'm sure it is off & on & there are foods she doesn't like. Meat loaf being one & they have that now & then, with fish as the alternative meal if you don't want meat loaf & she doesn't like fish either.

They have an alternative list on the wall but they don't bother to point it out to the people & with Mom's memory she doesn't remember she can order anything else & if she did remember it she can't see well enough to read it. I think it odd that they don't take into consideration that some people are there because of dementia etc. therefore can't remember things & go ask them each day do you want this today or do you prefer the other meal.

Mom is very weak in the knees & her hip is real bad again She can barely walk anymore. I don't know how much longer I can hold her up to take her out. I told them about it at the last care plan meeting & they are supposed to either put her back in physical therapy or in the restorative program to try strengthen her legs again. Part of it may be from the tranquilizer they give her too as she was so stressed out & causing so much trouble & cussing & swearing & threatening suicide etc. at first that they finally had to put her on a mild tranquilizer. It makes her very sleepy so that may be part of the problem.

Tomorrow she & I go to Las Cruces to a dermatologist to see if he can freeze some of her cancer spots off so as not to have them surgically removed. She will be 92 in July & I hesitate to keep having her put under for surgery all the time. She has had 3 cancer spots removed already surgically & now has another on her upper chest about the size of a quarter. Plus 2 or 3 more little ones that are about to start growing. I hope he can freeze them off so they don't develop.

Thanks for the pictures I sure enjoyed them. Aunt Harriet sure has aged. She looks as old as my Mom. Everyone thinks Mom looks so young & does so well for a 91 yr. old but to me she looks so old & is deteriorating fast. I see more failure everytime I see her. But I can remember the real vibrant, fun loving ,able to take care of any situation, independent, person I use to know so now she is so different it is almost like taking care of a total stranger.

Well have a good day sorry this is so long but guess I felt like talking today.

Love Del

----- Original Message -----
From: Betty Thorsvig
To: Del and Lee
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2004 9:58 PM

Hi Del,

Things are doing ok. No acting out. She still has good and bad days. We were up for a visit last Wed. evening for a hour - Bill and I - and had a really nice visit. Today I her out for a ham Sunday dinner and she was weepy, talked very little, cried a lot, slept and they cranky.

You never know from time to time.


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

When I saw Mom last, on Saturday, we didn’t go out, but I was there for 2.5 hours visiting*. She was in very good spirits. Earlier in the day, not feeling well, but was about to go to supper when I left. No, not bad at all. I’m very encouraged by her demeanor all around. Her biggest concern is that she vacillates between fear and anger about being forgotten by us. She feels she is a burden, but at the same time doesn’t want to have to beg for our attention. Although I haven’t been through what she’s going through, it’s easy to imagine that it would be tough. At this vulnerable time in her life, it’s not surprising she needs more support than ever…

*During my visit, Mom compared caring for her mother with her own situation now. Although I lived through it with her, it was helpful when she reminded me how her and Aunt Pat decided to jointly care for Grandma once Grandma couldn't be on her own. Mom had Grandma spring to fall, and Aunt Pat from fall to spring. It was as fair as they could arrange it.

Towards the end of Grandma's life (1973 or so), she entered a nursing home. Mom said, "I have never forgotten or forgiven Pat for what she did." I blinked, a dim memory of hearing this before in the back of my brain. "Never forgotten or forgiven what, Mom?" "What she did to Grandma."

She went on to explain that Aunt Pat drove up to Hallock one day to have Dr. Larter look at Grandma, left her there, and went home. Dr. Larter called Mom and asked, "What are you going to do about your Mother?" She had to learn from Dr. Larter what had transpired to this point since she had not be called by Aunt Pat. "She was left sitting in her chair in the hallway of the hospital," Mom told me. After learning the circumstances, it was arranged for Grandma to enter the nursing home. Paperwork had to be taken care of by Mom later. As you might imagine, Mom was not amused at having this dumped in her lap, as she called it. She didn't resent her mother, nor helping her, but it was how it happened. As you also might imagine, loving her sister as she did and does, she hasn't stopped loving her. But, Mom is Irish, and she has a looong memory!

Monday, February 02, 2004

Such a sad time in our lives. The very people we could count on & turn to now passed away ( our fathers) And the one remaining now like total strangers. Our mutual Grandma aged so gracefully. She was in late 80's ( 87 or 89) When she passed away but she didn't have this memory loss of our mothers. I don't fully understand why they lost their memories like this. I kind of attributed my own mother's loss to drinking over the years. She was not an alcoholic but did have beer every day for many yrs. But since Harriet too has gone down so bad & rarely drank I can no longer feel that was the cause in my Mom. Our Aunt Irene Our mothers older sister also lost her memory like this. I am just very grateful that my Mom was able to live on her own up to the age of 90. Both of our mothers expressed such "hatred" to us for "doing this " to them and that was so hard to take when we knew we were doing good. My mother has now come to realize it was the very best I could do for her & that she now knows she could no longer live at home.

At first she claimed she was more afraid in the nursing home than she ever was in her own home But even my children can attest with me that Mom was always terrified even in her own home. She hated the dark and was so scared when nighttime came. She went on a kick for months that she was totally alone in her neighborhood. All the houses around her were empty & it terrified her. I pointed out over & over that there were cars in the driveways & lights on in the houses but the next day same story Noone else lived in her neighborhood anymore.

But now she said last week when I was with her she is glad to be in the nursing home as she isn't alone at night there. So she has adjusted very well. She swore she would never get resigned to being there but she has done very well.
But it is still sad to see her have to be there.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Cousin Delphine had these reactions to Mom's transfer this weekend...
Wow, Betty - what a beautiful place. I looked at that web site you listed. Gosh, I'd be perfectly happy there. Aunt Harriet is so lucky. I wish we had something like that here. If it wasn't so far away I would be very tempted to send Mom there. The nursing home here is OK but is a typical nursing home. They do a lot with the residents. Take them on scenic trips once or twice a week take them shopping etc. But Eventide looks more like a regular retirement community rather than a nursing home. I'm jealous as I'd sure love to see Mom in a place like that than where she is. They may have one better in Las Cruces but then that is 75 miles away & I don't relish driving to Las Cruces 2 or 3 times a week. Anyhow I feel you kids are really doing good by your Mom. So beautiful there according to the pictures.

I'm sure the pictures don't even do it justice. Hope all went well & easy today with the transfer of Harriet to Eventide. I even put it in my favorites so I can look at it once in a while.
Friends my parents knew in New Mexico have been keeping touch about Mom, even when Mom cannot keep in touch with them...
From : Betty Thorsvig
Sent : Friday, January 30, 2004 11:18 PM
To : Trish Lewis, Sharon
Subject : From Mom and Dad's friends in T or C

I sent this to Don and Nita Donner - good friends of Mom and Dad's tonight and just wanted you both to see theirs and my reply. I also included Delores, Virginia (as her mother is at Eventide too); Florence (a church friend I email that Mom and Dad knew from T/C) and our previous Pastor's wife Billie Sue - as I know they would all want to know. Bets

----- Original Message -----
From: Betty Thorsvig
To: Donner
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 11:14 PM
Subject: Re: Harriet's phone number, please

Mom will not have a phone at Eventide. They have a community phone; which I will find more about soon.
She has only fond memories of you both and the love you showed them.
Thank you for your prayers - that is what we are only asking for.
I will keep you updated, I promise.

----- Original Message -----
From: Donner
To: Betty Thorsvig
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 9:52 PM
Subject: Re: Harriet's phone number, please

Oh, Betty, this is sad and I am so sorry to hear this about your mom. We talk often of her and her wonderful sense of humor. Is there anything I can do. Please, Harriet has called us and when I ask her for her phone number, the last time she gave me an area code for NM. Please would you send me her phone number, so I can call her?

I have a sister who has Alzheimer's and she is only 65 now, when she was diagnosed with it she was only 52. Now at age 65 she is in a wheel chair and like your mom, no control over her bowels. I know the pain of seeing these things happen to your mom. I want you to know that we (the church and us personally) will be praying for her. I want you to know that we care (love) your mom very much. If there is anything we can do please let us know. God bless you and give you peace is our prayers.

Nita and Don Donner

----- Original Message -----
From: Betty Thorsvig
To: Delores; Don/Nita Donner; Florence Reddy; Billie Sue; Virginia
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 7:32 PM
Subject: Friends/Family of Harriet Short

Trish and I met with the Manor staff today and Grandma. She just laid there and had little response. She was told she will be admitted to Eventide tomorrow, Sat. at 10 am. Below is what Trish wrote just Thurs and the opening came after she wrote this. If you have further questions, let me know. Please share with any other family that might want to know.
I just wanted you all to know. Thank you, Betty