Archive for July, 2012

Post Coming Soon

July 30, 2012

I haven’t done my usual post on Sunday because I am without a computer.  I am using my husband’s lap top and I prefer my Mac.  I bought a new Mac on Saturday, brought in my old one so they can do a data transfer.  It seems strange to see that empty spot on the desk, yet my keyboard and mouse are still here.  I hope to have it back by Tuesday since today is the appointment with Mom’s new doctor as well as a meeting with the woman who arranges caregivers in this program.  Bus will be here in an hour to take us both to ElderPlace.

So as soon as I have my computer back I have at least three drafts I have started, so I will be writing again.

A Little Inspiration

July 27, 2012

Every once in a while I will check out Facebook and see what’s posted.  Some have posted some very  funny things but also many very inspirational things that hit me like a ton of bricks.  They came from a site called Calming Your Inner Storm.  I love the photographs and the quotes – many of them seemed written just for me at this point in my life.  I would like to post a few for this post.

This first one really hit me in the face – I have been learning this very regularly lately because I have been very good at it.  Now I find myself recognizing it more often and making different choices.

This next one is also a life lesson.

This one really reflects my progress in trusting my intuition – how wonderful to find I really do have intuition!

I have concentrated a lot on how to heal RA, but still working on being able to be in silence without so much mind chatter.  Practice makes it easier each time I do it.

I have spent a lot of my life being a pleaser because I didn’t think who I am was anything special.

Becoming aware has not always been comfortable, but I see the progress I have made and I can pat myself on the back now and say “Good Job”.

I have been impatient all my life to know who I am and what my life purpose and direction are – I am still a work in progress and  I am more open to things – even waiting.  I have also learned that asking patience isn’t the smartest thing to ask God for, better to ask for absence of impatience.

And one more.

So much of what I have learning about myself is being able to truly love, accept, approve and trust myself.  I am finally learning that I am a loving, lovable person and that deep down there isn’t a god-awful bitch on wheels living there.  That goes for everyone else, we are all loving and lovable children of light and love.  As I find other quotes, I will create another post.  Some Life lessons are necessarily uncomfortable – especially with gorgeous photos.  Check out Calming Your Inner Storm – I was delighted to find it today.

Another Ball To Juggle

July 22, 2012

Sometimes I wonder if I am in my right mind.  With all the stuff happening I have enrolled in a drug study for RA.  It is focused on blood pressure and how it is affected  by the drug.  Fortunately it is only a 35 day double blind study, then I will be on open label with the real drug.  I don’t have to go of any of my meds and we’ll see how it works.

I found out about it at the beginning of the year – it was for the full study and there was such a time crunch that it wasn’t really going to work for me to be examined and the labs before the deadline.  However, Cari told me they were doing this second part with blood pressure focus and it would be a short one – that I qualified for it because I am on a blood pressure med.  She thought it would start in March but it was only last month when she contacted me again.  Last Monday I went down to Tacoma to do lab tests, blood work, TB test, chest x-rays, examine my joints plus questions, questions, questions.

The problem of being 65 and having RA for 41 years is that I have done a lot of things over the years and it is hard to remember just when things occurred.  So when she asked when I started Methotrexate, I had to stop and think – Where was I at the time?  Then I could figure out approximate years and then what was happening at the time.  First Cari asked me a whole bunch of questions, then Dr. Ettlinger has a whole mess himself.  They wanted concise answers and I have a tendency to give all the details – probably took longer than it should have.

They said they would process the tests and see if I qualify – three days later Cari called to say I passed with flying colors.  Except that isn’t necessarily good news.  It means I have more than 4 painful joints, my sed rate is up and I can’t remember what else was elevated.  So it may not sound good in normal circumstances but in this context, it is great news.

I went back a week later  and they gave me a blood pressure monitor and a modem to take home with me – they wanted me to take my blood pressure twice a day – two times one minute apart.  Fortunately the monitor keeps the readings because the modem was not working.   Cari had been on the phone with the group with the modem but no matter what she tried, it really wasn’t behaving.  She had me take it home to see how it worked here – it didn’t.   So I called her that afternoon and told her it definitely wasn’t working, so she was going to call and see about getting another one.  She thought it would arrive on Wednesday morning, so she was going to call and let me know when it arrived.  She did call but it wasn’t going to work very well for me, but since I was going to be in Edgewood the next day for my massage, I could meet her outside the Safeway in Milton.  And so it worked out well.

I have been using the monitor since I saw her last Monday and it is going well – the modem is working and all is hunky dory.  It is rather interesting to see what the blood pressure is, plus my pulse and so far it hasn’t gone above 117.  It also went down to 96 – reminds me of rehab when they were constantly doing my vitals every time I turned around.  My pressure ranged from 97 to 132 – the last one was when I was scared out of my sleep in the middle of the night.  I had no idea everything could vary so much.

Next step is Tuesday – I will go back and give them the modem and monitor, then they will put a 24 hour blood pressure monitor on me.  I will come back Wednesday morning to give that back to them and then actually start taking the drug.  I am going to have to fast for Wednesday morning – wouldn’t you know it would be Breakfast Club.  I need to remember to take something to eat when they say it is okay, I will be hungry by then.  who knows what else they will want to do before they let me go home with the drug.  It’s an interesting process and I wonder what the results will be.  It is probably easier to just forget about it and do what I need to do, then maybe one day I will notice how much better I feel.

It should be an interesting week, beginning the drug study and my Mom will be evaluated to see if she qualifies for a program to help her with activities and another place to live.  I am concerned about the transition and how it will be for her, so I have asked God, my angels, spirit guides and master teaches to create the solution – to know it is already in place.  I am so glad I am not all alone doing this.

I Swear, There Is A Funny Side

July 17, 2012

I know I have written about the frustrations, fears, etc. about being here for my Mom with her dementia and macular degeneration – those who are dealing with it know that only too well.  But it also has its funny side, sometimes Mom comes out with the oddest things, some from so far in left field I wonder where it comes from.  I keep reminding myself to just see it as normal rather than overreacting.  As someone in my caregivers; group said, sometimes it is a bit macabre humor.

I was getting out of the shower to dry myself one morning and Mom came to the doorway.  First she had to find out if it was me or someone else, but that was quickly established.  However, her next question was so unexpected – she wanted to know if I was a man or a woman.  I know she has macular degeneration, but she was only about 3 feet from me.  Go figure.

The other morning she was up when I was making breakfast, so I made her breakfast too.  As we were eating, she wanted to know if it was all right for me to do it,  Would I get in trouble for doing it?  I told her there was no problem, the Breakfast Police don’t come to our house.

One evening a few weeks ago, Eddie went through the living room to go into our office.  Mom saw him go by and knew his name is Eddie, but she asked what his last name was.  I said it was Kaplanian – to which she replied “They’re all Kaplanians!”.

She has mentioned several times her first husband – I thought my Dad was her first and only one, the one with whom she had three daughters.  Unfortunately she isn’t able to really describe him, so it is a mystery to me.  Then the other night my older sister called to talk with Mom, but later Mom said she talked with a male cousin whom she had spoken to in a long time.  Then she said she spoke with her son, someone she has mentioned before – could he be the son with the first husband?

She thinks there are men living downstairs, sometimes women are in the house.  Lately she asks about the little girls, if they have gone to school – I think that maybe my  sisters and I when we were growing up.  Now there is an older man – he’s not very nice – and a young boy whom she really likes.  When she asks me if I have seen any of these people, I can honestly say I haven’t.  There are times when the house is beginning to get a little crowded.

When I come home and am going into my office, Mom is standing 3 feet from me and asks “Are you here?” – I don’t quite know what to answer.  I would have thought it was obvious because I was right there in front of her.  The other question she keeps asking is “Are you all right?”.  I have learned to tell her I am doing very well because apparently she has been worried about me since I broke my hip – except she has asked that question over and over for as long as I can remmember.

The other night I swear we were in a pinball machine and someone pulled the handle so Mom went from me to Eddie and back again several times.  I was talking to my sister in the kitchen while Eddie was watching tv in the bedroom – she may have even done  a couple of trips into the office to see who was there.  It’s a strange world she lives in and a wild ride at times – they say life is the journey, not the destination and to enjoy the ride.  Hmm, I don’t like roller coasters and there are times when it feels like I am riding one.

Some days it is easy to laugh things off and just be; other times it is very very difficult to deal with it – plus all the other times in between.  At leas there are things that happen or are said that strike me funny – though I do have an oddball sense of humor.  Plus, I would rather laugh than be irritated and tear my hair out.  I will continue to keep track of the funny side of dementia and give you more examples as they come up.

If I don’t laugh about this or any of the other things I am dealing with, I would go nuts.  I don’t fancy a padded room any time soon.

My Story About The Transition

July 15, 2012

I never know where my posts are going to come from or who may give me a suggestion; any more than I know where or how they will end.  This is one of them.

When I saw Dr. Cheryl, my chiropractor – she is a post in itself – on Monday, she asked about my week and I ended up talking to her about Mom.  I said Mom was scared about leaving this life and going on to the next step – she wants so much to believe Dad and Josie are there waiting for her but is afraid it isn’t really true.   Cheryl suggested I make a story about the transition, with colors, smells, sounds, etc.  Then tell it to Mom and see if that would make her less scared.  My first thought was “What in the world would I create?”.  Not quite the usual response “No, I can’t do that”.  Strangely enough I pictured the ocean and a beach with a huge pile of rocks that looked as if she would have to climb them all in order to reach Dad and Josie at the end of the beach way in the distance.

As I began thinking more about it, I pictured her warm and comfortable in her bed, the covers making her feel cosy and secure.   Then a golden presence comes to fill and surround her with deep, unconditional love and a knowing she is loved because she is.  There are two guides to help her with her confusion, gently guiding her to being fully awake and  knowing the golden presence is real.  (I was listening to the radio an few days later and someone mentioned the rainbow bridge, so I added that to it.)  As they take her hand, Mom is feeling a little less scared and the three of them slowly move through the white light to the rainbow bridge.  On the other side of the bridge – that transition to the paragraph below hasn’t quite materialized yet.  Any suggestions are certainly welcome!

Then Mom and her guides are on the beach with the ocean waves hitting the sand , a very soothing and relaxing sound  Mom is noticing as she has been walking that she fees lighter, her body is beginning to be more comfortable and the depression has started to clear.  She hears the gulls crying above, flying in circles above her looking for food and enjoying the feeling of soaring.  The sun is warm on her back and the white clouds above look like huge puffy cotton balls.  A lovely cool breeze ruffles her hair and she finds herself enjoying feelings she had forgotten had existed.  She sees rocks coming up – a huge pile with sharp edges that looked as if she would have to climb them all in order to reach the other part of the beach where Dad and Josie are waiting for her way in the distance.

I thought of the rocks as a sort of maze, that her guides would take her to the rocks and instead of climbing over them, there was an opening no one else could see, that took her on a lovely sandy path through the rocks.  The sand sparkled as if it was made of diamonds and at each bend in the maze was a corner with a wonderful glow, each a different color.  There would be something there that when she picked it up, she would know one more piece of the puzzle.  With each piece, she would become more sure of herself and the way to meet Dad and Josie – that it is all true and not just a yearning.

 That’s it so far.   One Friday I went out to sit on the porch and enjoy the evening sunshine – Mom came out with me for awhile.  I had my eyes closed because I was facing the sun; behind my eyelids the light was glowing yellow/white, but it wasn’t harsh, it was gentle and lovely.  Some how the subject came up about making the transition, so I said I had made up a story about it – just how I pictured it.  So I told her – not as much detailed as I have written here because it is work in progress – how it came to me and she thought I had a wonderful imagination.   Whether any of it stuck with her, I have no idea, it just felt as if God had given me an opportunity and  maybe there will be another one so I can add the details.  Who knows, it is always one minute at a time, one step at a time no matter how impatient I am.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Officialdom Grinds Slowly

July 12, 2012

I have been frustrated the past few weeks working on finding a place for my Mom.  She is now at a point where she needs more care and also more social activity.  I have found a place that combines a place to live and also a day center in another location that will provide her with a doctor, OT, PT, Social Worker, Dentist, etc.  My husband and I checked out the  day center and we really liked what we saw.  It was clean, didn’t smell and people were engaged in activities.  So we decided to enroll her in the program.  I gave Corina Mom’s SSN and she fax info over for a request to have an evaluation done.  Then they would be able to better decide what would best serve her needs – assisted living, adult family home.  Then she went on holiday for a week.  I was supposed to hear from the group who would do the evaluation but I didn’t hear Boo.

It had taken 2 weeks to meet her and tour the facility, now another week before anything happened.  When she came back from holiday, the fax never went through, so she called them and they said they would have a case manager assigned.  She told me that if I didn’t hear anything by Friday I was to call and find out the name.  Another week of waiting.  To be honest, I was very antsy to put this all in place, but I finally realized that there is a reason why things are taking so long – I haven’t a clue what it is.  It is hard to be patient but I am working on it.  I called Friday, was given the name of the case manager and was transferred to her line.  She was off that day, had been out in the field the day before and the day before that was a holiday.  So it is wait until Monday.

Monday came and and I had a voicemail from the woman – except she was out in the field with a phone with no voicemail.  The Universe sometimes has a strange sense of humor.  We finally connected in the afternoon – only to find she thought Mom was ready for Medicaid and if she did the assessment (2 – 4 hours) she would have to place Mom by the end of the month.  I was trying to explain that we were told it was to see what kind of living situation would best suit Mom’s needs.  She said she would talk to Corina and tell her the situation.  I emailed Corina to let her know what was happening and apparently on Tuesday was most upset talking to the manager.  I didn’t hear about it until Tuesday afternoon when the case manager called me.  Apparently she and her boss worked it out with Corina, though she wouldn’t be able to do the assessment until July 25th.

Meanwhile I had a bio of Mom to fill out the the place – not sure I answered everything because some things I don’t know.  In between all the phone calls, etc., I went over and dropped the necessary paperwork they need.  I had a heck of a time finding it – they rent space from a rehab and nursing center.  The first time I dropped of paperwork, I went to the front desk but they had no idea who I was looking for when they checked their list.  Well, they wouldn’t because they only have info on the people who are part of the rehab and nursing center.  She sent me upstairs and I found it again from our tour the other week.  Not so easy this week, there is construction going on in the hallway that takes you to the day center.  I ended having someone show me how to get there and finally things looked familiar.  I knew I could go through the cafeteria but I could figure out which door – we had come out through it rather than going in.  The benefits were that I had a good walk and I delivered the paperwork.  Now it is hurry up and wait again.

I have to keep telling myself I have put it in God’s hands to create a solution that works for everyone.  When I keep running the squirrel wheel of worrying and trying to “fix it”, it is as if I keep snatching out of God’s hands.  It is saying I don’t trust that the Universe takes care of me and the people involved.  There other things that need attention as well and if I keep in the squirrel cage too long or too fast, I will be like the tiger in “little Black Sambo” and turn into butter.

I am getting a lot better at recognizing when I am getting into a funk and I just tell ego – thank you for sharing, I choose something else.   I am tired of allowing myself to be sucked in by negative thoughts and feelings, mine as well as other people’s.  I also am recognizing I have a choice and  when I feel it from other people, I wrap myself in my golden bubble to protect myself because it is not about me.  Even though I am frustrated and not sure how it is going to work out at times, I am definitely learning patience.

The Journey Is Coming To An End

July 9, 2012

It is very difficult to watch my Mom go deeper and deeper into dementia – frustrating, irritating, sad, upsetting, maddening all rolled into one.  I think I have finally accepted that she very seldom knows who I am, though I am someone familiar to her.  Tonight was “one of those afternoons into evening” – several times I wanted to shout at her to give it a rest, yet I know she is not doing it on purpose.  We go through the 50 questions, mostly on the same subject until I could scream.  But she just couldn’t hold on to the answer – I can’t imagine how that feels to her.  She keeps saying she is stupid because she can’t say what she wants to say – what she is thinking can get to her mouth to express it because there are short circuits and blocks  on the pathway from her brain to her mouth   She definitely isn’t a stupid woman; on the contrary, she is very intelligent and perceptive but her circuits don’t allow her to talk the way she wants.  She keeps asking why she can’t say what she wants to say – would she understand if I told her?  Quite often now she seems to mumble things that don’t make sense, still working on a good response for that.

She constantly asks “Are you all right?” – it is not just since I broke my hip, it has been like that since we moved here 10 years ago.  She will ask many times a day, but now I understand that telling her I am fine, I am getting better every day is the better answer than “Will you stop asking me that every five minutes!”.  Since  we have caregivers every day, now it is constant asking asking asking who is coming.  I tell her no one is coming tonight, Kathy will be here tomorrow at 9 and your ladies will be here at noon.  That is for Mondays.  She has lately been asking me where my sister who was here is now, or about the man in the other room, or the other people in the house.

She keeps standing in the doorway as I am ready to go out of the room – believe me, I watch where I am stepping because I fell and broke my hip by not watching where I was stepping.  She thinks everything has to do with her, if I am on the phone she keeps coming in to listen so I have to tell her it is my phone call.  Tonight I was talking to my younger sister and she must have come in at least 4 or 5 times.  It didn’t seem to matter she spoke with her first, chances are Mom didn’t remember.  Then as we were watching tv in our room, Mom must have come in at least 9 or 10 times about who’s coming, am I all right? and some she mumbled things we didn’t really understand.  I invited her twice to join us but she wouldn’t – maybe she was restless or bored.

She doesn’t want to be here, she misses my Dad and their cat Josephine.  My sisters and I have reassured her they are waiting for her – she keeps asking how can she get there.  She misses Dad so much and doesn’t like the life she has right now.  As Kathy put it, she has a life here she can’t live any more.  Sometimes she will talk about slitting her throat or ask me how can she kill herself, but I don’t think she would do that, no matter how desperate she gets.  She wants to leave this world and be with Dad and Josie but she is scared – my opinion is she is scared it isn’t true, that they are there waiting for her.  I talked with my friend Monty to ask if he had any insight – he told me they are  preparing a place for her and that there will be guides to help her through because she will be confused.  I told Mom about it and her question was “Are you lying?”.  I said I wasn’t lying at all – she wants to believe it but she isn’t quite ready to allow herself to believe.    I want to fix it and make it all better, but I know I can’t.  It hurts to see her this way but I also know she has to work through it herself.

She keeps asking to go home, yet she doesn’t know where home is or how to describe it.  She keeps asking how she can get out of here – yet once in a while she wants to know if she can spend the night.  She thinks she has only been here for a short time – could it be a result of three weeks away while the bathroom was redone?

I am working on finding her a place to live because she is now at the point she needs more care than we can give her.  It seems to be taking a long time to put things together – people on holiday, not receiving faxes, etc.  I keep telling myself there is a reason it is working out this way, I just don’t know the reason.  It may be clearer in time, right now I need to get the appointment set for the assessment to see if she qualifies for the program.  We’ll see what happens after that.  I will admit that both Eddie and I are getting to the very end our rope, we have no privacy, no home of our own and not much of a home life.

Odds & Ends

July 8, 2012

Some days it is so easy to write, other days – like today – I feel all jumbled up and not sure what to write.  There are several unrelated things I want to write about but there isn’t enough for a full post on any of them.  Hence the Odds & Ends title.

I am very frustrated because I cannot get my photos to be small enough so I can add a picture of Bunny to my post “There’s Something About Bunny”.  Mobile is closed on my Mac and I need a new computer, but I am waiting until the upgrade to Lion is in – I bought this computer just before leopard came out and so I had Tiger – but bought it just a little too soon to get the free upgrade.  This time I am going to start from the beginning.  Unless you have a Mac, no doubt what I just wrote makes very little sense to PC users.

Tuesday I went to Good Company Lunch – a networking group of people in Alternative Medicine, etc. – to some it’s the “woo woo group”.  I was sitting with my friend Kathie Brodie, a hypnotherapist and very close friend, and Brad Simkins, a therapist and intuitive who has a radio show.  We were at a restaurant that really isn’t conducive to our group because we were out in the restaurant with noise and at a long table.  So you could only talk comfortably with the people next to you or possibly across the table.  However, I know there was a reason the three of us were at the end of the table together.  They were asking how Mom was doing and I suddenly started getting drippy – fortunately it is a loving, supportive group and non-judgmental.  Suddenly Brad asked me “When did you first become your mother’s emotional support?”.  Ye Gods and little fishes!  I had no idea I was!  Well, let’s face it, the tough questions are what bring up what needs to be resolved.  They both knew some people who remember from an early age when it started; I don’t really know.  Nor did I ever think about it.  This is one of those to give it to God, Spirit Guides, Angels and Master Teachers for help and guidance plus put on the back burner and let it simmer.  Wracking my brain about it really is productive and I have enough to drive me crazy without adding another one to the mix.

Then Friday I had a lovely time with Kathie at Queen Mary Tea Room for lunch.  We went there a while back for their wonderful breakfast – what a delight they remembered me to make reservations.  We talked about Brad’s question, plus I had had my massage the day before and told Debye and Monty about it.  Monty had another question for me – “Where is it lodged in your body?”.  Great, just what I needed, another bloody question I hadn’t a clue about the answer.  What was so cool about Kathie was, she said to just ask my body what color it is, where is it and does it have a shape?  Then I can do psychic surgery on it to take it out.  She imagines she touches each fingernail and a sharp knife comes out, then she scoops the “stuff” out and gives it to the beings in Mother Earth who consume it and turn it back to positive.  These beings thrive on our negative stuff, plus then return it to the atmosphere in love and light.  Sometime it can be a spigot that one turns to drain it out – whatever works.  Right now I am listening for the color of it, then see if there is a shape.  It make take several times to clear everything – I’ll let you know when things happen.

I had the foundation of a crown done a couple of weeks ago – this coming Wednesday I am due to have the permanent crown put in to finish the job.  I will tell you, he did a real number on the right side of my mouth.  I expected the gum and jaw where was working to hurt, but good Lord, did the rest of that side have to hurt too?  I had a sore in my cheek, sores on my tongue and the whole side was really tender and uncomfortable.  This in addition to a sore I have had for a month behind my front teeth.  Having an over bite certainly didn’t help.  So I have been chewing on my left side and being very careful of both hot and cold things – pain shoots right up through the tooth where the temporary crown is.  Well, I am happy to say I am feeling a lot better and the right side of my mouth isa whole lot better -just have to chew on the left.  What a relief to have things more close to normal and comfortable again.

I have been going to visit Dr. Cheryl lately – she is the neatest chiropractor because he fingers not only feel what is going on, it is as if they can also see.  She is very gentle with me – none of the crack and pop stuff – because she knows me.  She sees me as a whole person and surrounds me with loving kindness.  It is a pleasure to lie on her table and see and feel what she is doing.  What’s interesting as well is that she has intuitive sights into me – she asked if I sang and I said I used to, though sometimes I sing in the car with the radio.  She said it would help for me to sing, that is no problem for me because at times I can’t not sing.  Also she mentioned flutes, to help, so I have been listening to bamboo flute music on Youtube.  I find Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Thai, etc. and also I check out pan pipes because I love those as well.

This seems to be more like a newsletter or a bulletin – that is how it has come together this week.  As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and any suggestions because I enjoy learning about new things.

Clearing The Garden

July 1, 2012

This has been quite an interesting week.  Last Friday John Van Zanten  of Van Zanten Landscapes came by with his crew and spent from 7 a.m. to almost 4 p.m.  chopping down the jungle.  Unfortunately the yard had become so overgrown that the blueberries were being squeezed unmercifully by blackberry vines, holly and the wisteria.  Meanwhile, the raspberries were lost in the tall grass.   When they emerged into the daylight, they were small and rather sparse but with berries on their branches waiting to ripen.  The pink dogwood was buried in tall grass with a small alder tree growing right next to it – that bed is clear and the Fontinia stump has some sprouts coming out of the top.  We have a big stickery bush on the corner of the front window that grows so tall it blocks the view – so does the forsythia at the other end.  For the moment it is trimmed way back but will be growing again with more energy.  It is  quite a difference now – they even unearthed the McIntosh apple tree by the hedge – poor thing was so overwhelmed it kept sending branches farther out into the yard for sun.  Now it has sun but the back part is all bare.

John and his crew came back on Monday to do some more clearing – there is still a third in the back by the street that needs clearing out as well.  I asked Nancy of Artistic Garden Concepts to come by and give me some ideas about plants for the bare beds.  I want good looking plants that are very low maintenance and she had some great ideas.  So we will work on a 2 stage plan – otherwise it is  a lot in one go.  So I will check with John to see how soon we can replant with low vibernum and a couple of other lower growing ground covers.

While they were out clearing the undergrowth, I was in the process of clearing out and organizing the office.  I accomplished a lot in those two days, though it didn’t really show on the surface.  Then I had my haircut much shorter than usual – I like not having to fuss with hair dryer, styling and hairspray.  It may not be as short as Judi Dench or Jamie Lee Curtis, but not a whole lot longer.  I have spent the last year or so clearing out old stuff inside me with my deep tissue massage – would one say it is a good spring cleaning all around?

We are in the process of finding a place for my Mom to live, she is at the point where she is very, very confused and really needs more care.  She is getting close to the late stages of dementia and we want to do the best for her and for us.  We found a place in West Seattle that has Adult Family Homes and Assisted Living.  I am not sure which will work for Mom.  There is also a Day Center for them to go during the day, plus she will have a doctor, OT, PT, Social Worker, dentist, etc. to make sure she is well  and is at  her best.  Once I get the paperwork in – the young woman was on holiday last week so I have to give it to her on Monday.  There will be a case worker to assess what suits Mom, then they will recommend places for us to see.  We will probably choose two and show those to Mom to see which she likes.  Kathy has been laying the groundwork and has been an enormous help and has also become a really good friend.

I will admit to being close to the end of my rope, even with caregivers every day.  If she is up for breakfast with me, we go through 50 questions and after the 8th time she has asked a question, I am ready to tear my hair.  She can be stubborn, ornery and contrary at times, other times she is quite cooperative.   She wants to leave this life so much, but she is scared and confused – she is scared there won’t be anything after she is gone.  She so wants to believe that Dad and Josephine the cat will be there to greet her, but isn’t ready to let go of this life she doesn’t want to live any more.  It upsets and hurts me to see her like that, I want to fix it and make it all better – but I know I can’t.  I reassure her they are waiting for her – I asked Monty on Friday if he could see anything for Mom and he said they are preparing a place for her with guides to help her through the transition.  I believe it but even when I tell Mom that, she doesn’t believe it.  Is it too good to be true for her, therefore it must not be true?  Maybe deep down she doesn’t feel worthy.

Someone told me awhile back that this is the hardest part – no kidding!  I have been going to caregiver’s support groups and I realize I am quite fortunate that Mom is not violent, doesn’t wander off, isn’t incontinent or swears at everyone.  She sleeps a lot and that also helps too.  But it is difficult to see the woman who has been such a big part of my life not recognize me except occasionally and is as confused and unsure as a 3 or 4 year old.  When she is finally able to truly let go and join my Dad, it will be upsetting for me.  I also will know she is no longer confused and scared, instead she will be free, light and filled with joy.

I have been feeling that all this clearing out is also in preparation of all of us going into a new life.  Hanging on to the past and all the “stuff” from it  means there is no space for new things to come in – I am working on that just in my own life as well.


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