Wednesday, June 23, 2004

We had a great visit with Mom tonight. Taylor and I went alone this week. We brought Mom up a hot fudge DQ sundae. She just loved it. Then Taylor suggested we go down to the main level and look at the birds. Mom and I ended up playing a game of Gin Rummy. SHE BEAT ME OF COURSE!! Insight: She was much more talkative when playing cards - it's as if it stimulates her brain. I am going to do this much more often...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Well another week gone by. I got my mother today to go to the beauty shop to get our hair done. Unlike last week she was very chipper and alert today. Eager to go out on our outing. So we got our hair done and I took her with me as I did some errands around town. Then we went to eat. We had soup and sandwich and she ate quite well. So will see what next week will bring.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

I sit here day after day wondering when or if I will get "that" call. Betty and Trish, do you too cringe every time the phone rings??? I hold my breath with "OH NO" sucked in wondering if it will be the nursing home calling to tell me Mom had yet one more fall and how bad is she hurt this time. Or if it will be that final call "your Mom is gone..."

One day I go see her and she is quite chipper but then I will see her and she is far away. I too wonder, like Betty, why our mothers have to leave us with these memories. Why can't we all leave this world graciously and with dignity rather than being reduced to next to a vegetable.

The worst part of all this to me and I'm sure you two also will remember some of it is the Hatred our mothers brought out for us when we had to find them care. My Mom wrote the most horrible letter to me and told every one at the nursing home horrible things about her feelings toward me. I know it is a state of mind and I suppose in her mind she was doing anything to "fight for her life" I also know it has to all be forgotten but I'm sorry the pain is very deep.

I had a wonderful childhood and she was a good mother but with the things that have now been said I wonder if for some reason she resented having me from the beginning. Just needed a little "venting" here, Sorry.

Friday, June 18, 2004

My mother Alberta, or Pat, is in a nursing home. She will soon be 92 on July 13th. I take her out to get her hair done once a week. We usually go on Tuesday, but I was out of town so made I it for Thursday this week. She is usually so eager to get out and after the hairdresser I take her out to eat.

When I got to the nursing home Thursday, Mom was sound asleep in her wheelchair. I called her name and she looked up at me sort of blankly. I said, "Are you ready to go get our hair done?"

She said in a very low voice that I could hardly hear, "I guess I am supposed to, huh?"

I said, "Well, we were supposed to go Tuesday, but I was gone so I have one for today which is Thursday."

She said, "What day is it?"

I said, "Thursday. Do you want to go or are you too tired?"

Again in a very weak and low voice she said, "Too tired. I guess I'll wait 'til Tuesday."

So I went alone. I'm not even sure she realized it was me or just thought I was one of the nurses waking her up to take her vitals again...

Over 10 years ago when Mom's third husband was living she had some surgery done on a tear duct. For some reason that eye lid over the tear duct is now severely inflamed. So I talked to her nurse and asked her to have the doctor look at it and maybe prescribe some drops or something. Her first comment was, who is her eye doctor? I told her who it is but I said he is in Las Cruces which is 75 miles away and I cannot and will not take Mom there as she is almost totally incontinent now and even though she has protection and I have a rubber sheet in my car I can't take her that far and be gone for that many hours with her incontinency. I just want the doctor here to see what he can do.

Recently Mom fell somehow and fractured two ribs. No one saw her or discovered that she fell but she complained about her side hurting so I took her for x-rays and sure enough she had two fractured ribs. I was then gone for two weeks on a trip. When I came home I asked how her side was and she looked at me puzzled. She had no memory at all that she had been in such pain with the ribs. Then just two days later she fell again and this time the nurse found her on the floor. She bumped her head and got a small cut over one eye. Face turned black and blue and she bent her glasses real bad so I took her to the optometrist and he straightened her glasses. I worry about the time that she will have one of these falls and really break her hip or some such thing. She is failing daily now and for a lady who never looked her years before, they are really piling up now; the age is coming through.

[Posted for Delphine]
We're all going to die. The question is, until then, how will we live? Kitty spent her last months doing the things she loved with the people she loved. She endured pain and discomfort as her body broke down, but nothing overwhelming, thanks to modern pain medications. And in her last days, the people surrounding her, her family and her hospice caregivers, were determined to treat her with dignity, tender care, and love. And that's exactly what they did.
In connection with yesterday's post, I came across this today. It made me think of how Betty couldn't understand (can any us?) why God allows people to hang onto life past when they want to be here. The story addresses how people can make the very end more comforting, that compassion is so important because when we help others we're helping ourselves. But it still doesn't address what comes before. What comes between 'life', and 'the waiting room'. For many people, one doesn't transition neatly into the other. Sometimes there are periods that can last for years where people's bodies are here, but their spirit is gone.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Da Mouse says:
want to hear about Mom today?
BettyBoop says:
Yes, write me about it and I will be right back.
Da Mouse says:
Picked Mom up at 2pm, wasn't awake. Got her up by 2:30 (!) After much hassle with wheelchairs and walkers and parking and...sigh...got her there 5 min late to have her have to go potty. Eventually saw Dr. Tufte. Glacoma good, eyes not bad. Got subscription that couldn't be filled there. Had to go to vision assoc in center mall. more hassles. Got ice cream at ColdStone, more potty trips...and poop mess I had to wipe her down and clean best I could...her glasses will be in in 10 days, I pick up or they mail, can't remember which. I took Eventide staff to task about losing them before and risk now. I was told to talk to management. I'll research what other institutions have done for kleptomaniac geriatrics and suggest they do the same!! Someone stealing hearing aids, dentures...and glasses, three of a person's most expensive things, as they say happens 'often', is NOT acceptable...
BettyBoop says:
Wholly cow what a day!! You have more patience and love to handle Mom than I am afraid I do. I am ashamed to admit. Where was the poopy mess at?
Da Mouse says:
Coldstone
BettyBoop says:
How did she react?
Da Mouse says:
We just laughed because it smelled so bad and I made a big fuss about that as I cleaned her up, better to laugh than cry...
BettyBoop says:
so true. Would there have been anyway at all to have had Eventide have her at least ready? I have you have tried before but man!!
Da Mouse says:
I pointed out to Eventide that no glasses directly affects her quality of life, she has little that makes her happy and reading is one of them and she can't read if her glasses keep getting 'lost'
BettyBoop says:
And, did she have a diaper on? What did they say then, about the glasses after that comment?
Da Mouse says:
They had her dressed, but she was sleeping...yes, she had diaper on...I took pad for carseat, but forgot spare diaper this time and will try to remember next time, IF there is a next time...They didn't say much, but looked sheepish. What CAN they say? It was shortly after that that she suggested talking to 'manager', and I said will they have anything new to say, I doubt it...I said that out loud to her face...muttered, asked if there was anything else she needed to know about Dr., said goodbye...
BettyBoop says:
at least you spoke your peace
Da Mouse says:
yes, I did, and I didn't lose my cool, but I probably sounded disgusted and frustrated, but nothing wrong with that. I think it would be wrong NOT to stand up for Mom. I will keep you posted after talking to Eventide management, and after I finish research. I'm finding there is a lot about kleptomania and the elderly, but haven't found any ideas for dealing with it in nursing home setting yet...
BettyBoop says:
I have a question.
Da Mouse says:
The thing is, they care for them with love, but they are not trained for addressing mental issues and they have many to deal with, with a dementia unit. Eventide doesn't appear to be very advanced in that regard, unless they're hiding their light under a bushel basket and I'm just not aware of it!
BettyBoop says:
I have often thought myself and wonder if Mom thinks of it too......people want to feel loved and needed. BOTH. When you are in Mom's position in life you do not feel needed anymore. So why does God allow the elderly to have to live this way? I am often puzzled by this. I only ask for others input.
Da Mouse says:
I was just thinking that today myself. Mom often asks it, too, did you know that? She feels there's not point to just existing, and that's what she feels she is doing. I dunno, Betty, I really don't. Maybe it's just the way it is for some people because of their mindset. Maybe if Mom had the ability to get over the hump about missing Dad, she would feel better about herself and life in genera
BettyBoop says:
But why? Why, does God still want them here?
Da Mouse says:
She told me today when I said, I always thought of you as strong and having a great self-esteem, and she said, "No more..." Well, that just makes me think that as nice as her love for Dad was, it was in a way unhealthy. You shouldn't wrap up your whole life in one person. You need to be whole yourself before you can give yourself to another. Grieving for Dad is one thing, but Mom is in a way grieving for herself, for the person she wishes she had been? or was?
BettyBoop says:
For some benefit to us??
Da Mouse says:
Hard to say...The weird thing is, she grieves like someone who has no hope, which if you think about it, if she was thinking like a Christian, she would have comfort in seeing Dad again, just miss him now. She grieves like there is no hope...
BettyBoop says:
I agree with what you said above. I think about Bill and if he dies before me; I cherish him as much and now we have lived together 35 years and hopefully make it to 50; but I want a quality of life even after. I want to grieve but not wallow it forever. [I know. I have seen the same in her and she even questions heaven and God...her whole being of her faith and desire for anything of God is gone.]
Da Mouse says:
Which isn't surprising since she has had anger as a friend all her life, to coin a phrase. Where it came from initially, I would love to know. Anger just doesn't appear out of nowhere. There is something way back there, and darned if I know what it might be...
BettyBoop says:
me either....but I never thought she would end up like this.
Da Mouse says:
Dad saw something in her when she was in the flower of her youth, a happiness he brought out in her, and she reflected back at him. He saw something we'll never see, but I can imagine, and when I look into their faces in their early photographs, I smile, because I can glimpse a wee bit of it then, and know they were so happy...
BettyBoop says:
I feel just the same. I see in Mom's eyes and lost soul. One with fear and saddness.
Da Mouse says:
yep
BettyBoop says:
a lost soul and a sadness that swells over me; that I don't want to embrace... and have no choice.
Da Mouse says:
ain't it the truth...you can abandon your parents, but they'd still be in your mind and heart...
BettyBoop says:
thanks for being there and listening. Bets
Da Mouse says:
same here. I sound tough, but I'm a softy at heart
BettyBoop says:
OHHHH, I know that