Saturday, March 12, 2011

Finally time to catch up...

I am so sorry for the long has sort of gotten in the way.  Sometimes, stress and drama lead me to write...other times, it just causes my writing genes to dry up.

Over the past couple of months, things have continued to decline with my mom.  She became exceptionally the point we have had to change her medication to where there are days she is basically out of it.  But, in all honesty, as bad as it sounds, it is far better for her to be peaceful and sleepy as opposed to angry and violent.  My biggest fear is that she will get kicked-out of the nursing home...then what?  There's no way we could take care of her at home and we cannot afford the skilled nursing care she absolutely must have.  The choices we face are hard and ugly...and miserable.

My dad seems to be okay...he is most definitely a creature of habit...visits my mother every single day...from 1 - 2 pm.  Not one minute earlier and never stays a minute longer.  I believe he is lonely.  It breaks my heart.  All I can do is try to be there for him.  I call him twice a day...seems like nothing...but I hope it helps him.  Now that spring is on the horizon, I hope to start going home every-other-weekend again.  Maybe that can help...but...for all I know, he may like being alone and dread my visits.

On a personal note, my kitchen disaster continues...but...there's light at the end of the kitchen cabinets were installed last week, new tile floor in the kitchen and foyer this week and new appliances to arrive next week.  I am so thankful that I had the support of a good insurance company (I heart MetLife) and resources to supplement the project to do it right.  Very grateful, indeed.

I promise to go a full month and half without posting again...well...unless life decides to get in the way again.

All the best,

Sunday, January 23, 2011


My dad just called.  My mother is becoming violent almost constantly now.  She hits my dad and the staff with her fists and kicks them with her feet.  She may have to be restrained.  Today her doctor visited the nursing home.  They are running tests to rule out more infection in her body somewhere.  If there's no infection, that means her dementia is rapidly advancing.   If that's the case, we are requesting they medicate her.  She is so bad that we are afraid the nursing home will kick her out.  We have no where to take her and cannot take care of her ourselves.

Why does it have to come to this?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scary Dreams

Yesterday when my dad visited my mom in the nursing home, he was somewhat relieved to see her a bit more lucid.  Oh, the hallucinations were still there but not quite as bad as in recent days.  The demons are ever present...just more under control yesterday.  Somehow she was able to keep them at bay.

We've finally figured out that mom refers to her hallucinations as "dreams"...

Bob:       Hi honey!  How are you feeling today?

Jo Ann:   I...I don't know honey...

Bob:      What's on your mind today?

Jo Ann: know...I'm just tryin' to figure things out...I'm so confused...

Bob:       What are you trying to figure out?

Jo Ann:  Well, sometimes I dream and...I can't tell what's a dream and what's real.  I'm so scared.

I can think of nothing worse...being confined to a bed, unable to move and having evil, scary monsters paraded in front of you, telling you frightening things...yelling at you...threatening you...not being able to tell the scary monsters apart from reality.

Mother nature is a bitch.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A phone call from dad...

Sunday night my dad called me before I had a chance to call him.  He was lonely and worried.  My mother is back to hallucinating non-stop.  She accused him of leaving her...she kept saying "you're going to be getting married in a few minutes"...he is so completely worn down.  It makes me so sad and scared...scared to hear my dad so vulnerable.  He has every right to be's just that he is so strong and faces everything with nothing but positive thoughts and high hopes.  That has all changed because he knows there's not a happy ending for mom.  He commented to me that he "wonders if this is the end"...

I'm terrified.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

US healthcare at its finest?...I hope not!

It's hella early on Sunday morning...I woke up at 3:00 AM and I'm still awake...seems to be my pattern lately.  Wake up at 3:00 AM, hop online, become freakishly tired by 5:00 AM...go back to sleep guessed it...not be able to wake up when the alarm goes off.  I guess I just have too much on my mind these days.  But, who doesn't?  The world just seems to be going to hell in a hand there was what looked like a massacre to me in Arizona.  A Congresswoman was shot point blank in the head and numerous others were shot and/or killed as well.  What kind of world do we live in?

The last time I posted, my mother had been taken to the hospital from the nursing home with pneumonia.  Now, mind you, this was based upon a physical exam by HER doctor and a review of chest X-rays taken at the nursing home.  The hospital started her on oxygen and IV antibiotics.  Based upon review of their own X-rays, they confirmed pneumonia.  After 3 days, they were perplexed that she was not responding to the antibiotics...Hmmm...let's about we run some blood work?  I mean, we wouldn't want to rush anything...Yeah...after 3 days, let's run some blood work for sure...WOW...what's this???  Looks like some sort of infection...Hmmmm...let's do a urinalysis...UH OH....she has a raging urinary tract infection....let's look at those X-rays again...well, shoot...what were we thinking???  She doesn't have pneumonia.  She has a urinary tract infection.  

So...after 4 days in the hospital and being given IV antibiotics focused on clearing up pneumonia, my mother was sent back to the nursing home with a urinary tract infection.  I am clearly not a physician do you confuse a urinary tract infection with pneumonia, especially after viewing two different sets of X-rays?  Wouldn't you think somebody would've figured it out before 4 days of being in the hospital on potent drugs...the wrong potent drugs for the infection she REALLY has?  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful it's not pneumonia but this just does not appear to be healthcare at its finest.


Monday, January 3, 2011


Today I was in a meeting at work.  My cell phone kept ringing.  The first couple of times I didn't even look to see who was calling...just turned the ringer to vibrate.  After the 3rd call within 10 minutes, I finally had the God given sense to look to see who was calling me...what on earth could be so urgent?  How rude!  Didn't people realize I am busy?

It was my dad.

The nursing home called my mother's doctor yesterday once they saw the extreme mental decline, marked increase in confusion and severe hallucinations.  The doctor came to see her early this morning and quickly saw that something was wrong...bad wrong

He ordered a chest X-ray.  Comes to find out, my mother has pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital where she is getting oxygen and IV anitbiotics.  

The call from my dad made me so sad.  I could hear the panic in his voice.  He said, "It used to be that pneumonia meant the end.  Do you think it's still like that?"  Of course I responded with "NO"!  I explained that with today's advanced antibiotics and treatment, outcomes are nothing like they used to be for pneumonia.  But I could still hear the fear and worry in his voice and the thoughts I knew were going through his mind.

For some reason an old memory popped in my head has nothing to do with being sick at all...not sure why I couldn't get this off my mind.  I remember at even the youngest age...probably 4 or 5, I always felt very protective of my mother and knew that she needed to be taken care of.  I honestly remember at 4 years old, trying to mother her.  Even back then, I looked at her as my child.  My parents never had much money...they were very frugal.  Growing up I never had everything I wanted, just everything I needed.  (Which, by the way, is exactly as it should have been and should be today, in my humble opinion.)  
Every summer I would get one pair of sandals and one pair of tennis shoes.  We would get them at PicWay Shoe Store or "Pickaway" as my mother would pronounce it.  I remember loving the smell inside the, probably not leather...just vinyl with rubber soles or pleather or whatever the shoes were made of...but it smelled so good to me.  I can vividly remember one summer, before I was even old enough to be in school, we went on our annual trek to get new sandals.  I quickly picked out my favorite pair and my mother took me to the checkout counter.  I remember the worry...panic...that my mother didn't have enough money to pay for the shoes.  I can recall pulling her arm as we walked to the register and whispering, "Mommy, are you sure you have enough money to pay for this?"  I knew she never ever had much in the way of money.  I don't know why I had this fear as a child...she had never gone to pay for something without enough money...but I always wanted to spare her any embarrassment.  I worried so very much about her.

I'm still worried about beautiful Jo Ann and my true and faithful Bob.