Archive for October, 2012

Things Are Looking Up

October 28, 2012

This has been a better week, I am starting to sleep better, so I must have rested enough to sleep.  I still have those nights, but it is slowly getting better.  Thanks to my chiropractor and my massage therapist, my shoulder and neck pain is a lot better than it was.  I had a great massage session because I was able to release the pent up emotions in my chest and abdomen, I have no idea what they are specifically and apparently it isn’t always necessary to know the details.

The most positive thing this week was my visit to Mom on Wednesday – she was doing well and said she liked it there, the people were good to her and she didn’t ask how long she had to stay.  They all really like her there and yesterday Eddie and I went over with a cake for the house.  Kathy suggested it and I am so glad she did.  We bought one of the Panera Cinnamon Crumb cakes and every one had a piece, with some left over for another time.  Mom has said several times that she thinks Eddie doesn’t like her, so this helps dispell that notion.  I’m glad we went.  She does keep asking about her parents, do I know where they are.  I have to tell her I don’t know, then she will ask if they are dead.  I say yes, they are watching over you and preparing a place for when it is your time to go.  She keeps saying she wants to go now, so I don’t have an answer for that.  I was also pleased to hear from Jan, one of the residents, that they love having her there.  I was also glad to hear Kathy came to visit as well.

So now it is time to fill in the forms for Medicaid, when we pay December’s payment, there won’t be much left in her checking account.  It takes 6 to 8 weeks to apply , so it looks as if it will be mid December before I find out.  I have been working on filling out forms, finding papers or making changes to others – will the paperwork never end?  I am going to ask Denise, our social worker to look at the forms, etc. before I send them in to make sure they are right.

As for the house, we want to redo the kitchen, so we are applying for a loan that will cover the remodel and the home equity loan.  If Mom isn’t accepted for Medicaid, we will have to sell the house and use the money to pay for her support.  So we are taking things one day at a time – God has already created the solution, we don’t know exactly how it will show up.  We may have to go to Plan B – whatever that is.  Somewhere I heard of a book title called “Living With Uncertainty”.   Wonder what the author recommends.  Right now it is just working on the things that need to be done now, then look to the next step.  Ain’t Life a kick in the head!

This blog sometimes is the strangest thing – I find I want to write pages and pages and other times I sit her and struggle to decide what to write about next.  I seem to have come to a standstill right now, I had so much I wanted to write when I was having trouble with neck and shoulders.  I keep thinking it is because I am still so tired, yet I know I can’t be  using that for all the things that I still haven’t accomplished.  I will admit to still getting used to being in the house with just the two of us.  It is so nice not to have the time limits any more, that I can get up and go early with Eddie when I want.

I am at a point where I need to decide what direction I want my business to go.  I am not sure, plus I have some other things I want to check out as well.  I know it is important to know where I am going and what I am meant to do, but I have been thinking this is not quite the time to decide, not while I am still resting.  How strange to think it is now MY time, I have spent so much of my life focusing on other people, it feels odd to think about myself.

RA Consequences of the Move

October 21, 2012

When I wrote the post yesterday, it was mainly about the move, Mom and  the aftermath.  I can’t believe I forgot to mention that I was miserable because my right side was so painful in the neck and shoulder.  It was as bad as last year after I spent so much time on the computer doing quotes for a client.  I didn’t do much in the way of lifting or doing things, though I suppose not wearing my collar while I worked on the inventory lists on the computer might have done it.  At times it was like an icepick in my shoulder, I couldn’t move any way that wasn’t uncomfortable – even the hot tub at the spa didn’t really do it.  My knees were also very unhappy – they have been uncomfortable for awhile – could it be The Preparation from my Tai Chi lesson?  I was really hurting when I was taking stuff to the garage to put in the car.

So not only have I been exhausted, I have been in pain as well – let’s face it, that doesn’t help with energy.  Stress causes difficulty and flare ups; that means the body is using all her energy to fight the RA and flare up.  Not much energy left for anything else.  I have done the things I have to, some things for myself – like Olympus Spa – and on Monday I went to see Dr. Cheryl, my chiropractor.  She was able to take most of the icepick out of my shoulder, so I was more comfortable.  I saw Debye for my massage and learned I have some emotions stuck in my abdomen.  People have told me there is a lot of emotion connected with this move and the whole situation – so far I haven’t really identified it.  At the moment I am not ready to go there – though I was in the bathroom a few days ago and had a knowing there is more emotion below the surface than just the feelings of frustration, resentment, anger, etc, from the past few months and years.

I went to see Mom on Tuesday, she was sleepy and not quite with it, so I wonder if this has tired her out a lot as well.  I saw her again on Friday and she was more alert and with it.  However, both times she asked why she is there and if she has to stay.  I told her it was her home now and she is safe as well as taken care of by the caregivers and Didi.  I have no answer for her other than that – I know I can put myself on a guilt trip and although I am not boarding that bus, I felt a foot or two on the step.  I know it has only been a week and a half, it does upset me to have her ask.  She keeps asking about her parents, if I have seen them.  Then she asks if they are dead – it seems as if it is the first time she heard it.  I tell her they are watching over her and preparing a place for her, they are waiting for her.  Then she wants to know how she can get there – all I can tell her is I don’t know, no one has come back to tell us how it all works.  I don’t know if that helps or not.  I am wondering if my visits are making harder or not.  Apparently she was asking about me and she was glad to see me.  She says it is a nightmare there, but they are good to her – how accurate are her perceptions?  I need to ask Didi what works for her about visits.

I know this is stress for me, not good for the body, mind or spirit.  Several people have told me I have done a wonderful job taking care of Mom as long as I have.  Here is that negative take coming up – I didn’t do it to the absolute nth degree, I have be irritable and have yelled at her – not patient enough.  I have to stop and tell myself taking care of her has come to affect my health and my marriage, I have to protect myself or I will be back in rehab (if I am lucky!)  For so much of my life I have felt responsible for the world, of making other people happy at the expense of myself.  Now I am learning to switch gears to take care of myself first so I will have overflow for others.  Are they childhood messages or the ways a middle child operates?  Probably some of both – my older sister Ellen would tell me “Ditch it, girl!” in no uncertain terms.

As a result of the shoulder and neck pain, I haven’t been able to really use the computer or pen to write about all of it – it really bugs me because it is one of the ways I can release and clear out a lot of stuff I don’t want to hold on to any more.  I also have projects I want to work on and there is my business that has languished for two years so that there isn’t much of it left.  I wonder how it will feel to be finally rested and have energy – it is been so long.  Certainly it is easier to do things with a lot of energy – I just cleaned the new bathroom, had to rest, now it is time to do the floor.  Imagine doing it all at once and not having trouble bending and reaching, plus have the strength and elbow grease for those places that really need it.  I am looking forward to that!

A New Beginning

October 20, 2012

I have no idea what to call this post, it feels as if it has been a very long time since I was able to write about what’s been happening.    Maybe something will come to me as I write.

On the 11th of October I moved my Mom to an adult family home – I could not have accomplished it without Kathy’s help.  Mom left for the Center , then Kathy came over around 10.  She ran 3 loads of wash so everything would be clean for Mom as she started out in her new home.   Kathy knew what to pack and did a lot of it.  Most everything was labeled except a few things and ready to go.  I am not sure what I was doing, only that I was busy and time was passing by very quickly.  I think I spent time making inventory lists – except my mouse was losing battery power so it took so much longer as it disconnected and then reconnected.

By the time we were ready to leave, it was after 1.  We put things in both cars – Kathy was able to put Mom’s white chair in her car.  That way Kathy would have her car when she wanted to leave.  As we unpacked the cars, I realized it was getting near time to pick up Mom; Kathy, Didi and the caretaker Judy helped unpack while I went over to pick up Mom.  I was concerned about how Mom would take to the move – she had been fine with it when I told her Sunday night when she initiated the conversation.  So I decided I would just take it as it came and not anticipate negativity.

When I went to the Center, I couldn’t find Mom, she had gone walkabout.  Apparently she gets a bit restless about that time of day and they take her for a walk around the facility.  So we found each other and we went to the car.  We were fine until it seemed a long time to her – she wanted to know where we were going.  I told her we were going to the new home we talked about.  She did seem to think it was a long way away – from West Seattle to DesMoines is a bit far.  I told her Kathy was waiting for her, she had helped fix up her room.  On the whole it worked out very well.

I will admit to being exhausted by then, so tired I couldn’t see straight.  Kathy had to leave to get some sleep because she was working all night.  I stayed a bit longer, then said goodbye to Mom – they took her to see John’s cat in his room, so I don’t think she noticed I left.  I was feeling a bit faint when I got home – I hadn’t had time for lunch – not a smart move.  Eddie took me out to dinner and I felt better after something to eat.  I thought I would go right to sleep because I was so tired – not that night.  I think I was too tired to sleep plus I was uncomfortable as well.  So I didn’t have much sleep that night, getting up at 4 to go with Eddie wasn’t a big deal.  I was spending the day at Olympus Spa by myself and just sit and soak, have tea and lunch there.  After awhile in the 104 degree pool I was feeling really good, I had trouble keeping from falling asleep.  After awhile I went into the lounge room and used the foot massager for awhile on both feet – boy, that was great too.

Then I went into the tea room and enjoyed some jasmine tea and lemon rooibos – sat and read – unfortunately I forgot my book in the car.  That was okay, they had magazines.  The next time I do it, I am going to take a notebook and write.  I went back to the pool for a bit longer until it was time for lunch.  One thing I noticed that concerned me, my hip scar and that area was sore – maybe too long in hot water.

I had a lovely lunch the went back for a little more tea.  After a bit I decided to do the foot massager again but they were all being used.  I was having trouble staying awake, so I got dressed and went out for some fresh air.  That helped and then went back up to the Future of Flight.  I was glad to see several people up there, it has been many months since I was last there.  Did called to let me know how Mom was doing, then talked to Mom – she asked if she could stay there and I told definitely she could.  Then Eddie was ready to go home and I slept off and on all the way home.  We had dinner and went to bed early.  Now that night I slept very well.

I did not expect this drag my ass tired, I figured tired but not this much.  Several people have said I have had a very emotional upheaval and shift – I am not sure what all that is.  To be honest, I don’t know what I feel nor does it seem to have sunk in yet.  I am just going from one day to the next until I feel more rested.  I’ve had some days or periods when I was feeling a bit rested, then back to tired again.  The last few nights I have been sleeping better – last night, not so much.  Fortunately there aren’t any things that need my immediate attention and study.  Rest is foremost on my agenda right now.

Ever Had One of Those Weeks?

October 13, 2012

Unfortunately this is very short because I am so exhausted and wiped out.  It is better today but Thursday when Kathy and I packed up Mom’s things to take to the adult family home.  It actually went quite well, but when I was done, I could barely see straight I was so tired.  Plus I hadn’t had time for lunch.  I thought I would sleep well that night, but I didn’t.  Friday I went with Eddie and spent the day at the spa – soaking and relaxing while trying not to fall asleep.  I did sleep better last night but I still want to curl up and sleep right now.

When I am more rested and feel human again, I will write more details.  Didi did call me yesterday afternoon to say Mom is doing quite well, she has some adjusting to do.  So far, so good.  I did talk to Mom and the one things she said to me was “Why didn’t you take me home yesterday?”.  I told her that is her home now.  Felt like a guilt trip and I am not boarding that bus!

Back To Waiting

October 7, 2012

After finally making a decision about Mom, I was back in waiting mode again.  The group at Providence had to do its business office drill and I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be.  I will be frank, the thought of having to do it a third time was not something I wanted to contemplate, much less do again.  But I put it God’s hands and asked that everything would done in a way that works.  I have been very neutral this week, not that excitement and relief I had the last time.  Maybe it is self preservation because it was such a let down with the other house fell apart.

Monday after I saw Didi the second time, I emailed the social worker to report on the three houses I had seen and also my visit to Didi.  She wrote back  “Our agency will complete the screening process and I’ll let you know as soon as I know if everything has cleared.”  I wasn’t sure what to make of that.  I thought it was settled – Didi had said the papers were ready, they were waiting for me to decide.  So I spent the week wondering – I did email the social worker to say I was a bit confused.  She wrote back that they are doing their best to take care of it and Mom – the process is slow.  Hmmm, sounds par for the course when officialdom is involved.  I had thought we could move Mom on Thursday – though I wasn’t holding my breath.  Good thing because it wasn’t moving day after all.

One thing that kept my mind off the situation was the three days John spent with his crew to cut back the rest of the jungle.  By George, we have a right side to our garage now.  I had forgotten how wide the north side of the house and garage is – it has been so overgrown no one can go through it.  John unearthed more tires and couple of car parts – had no idea they were there.  He also gave us the view back, gave the fruit trees a haircut and also the blueberries.  He kept his crew working, just as hard as he works himself.  There are other things that need doing but this is what made a huge difference.  I didn’t want to have everything done because I didn’t want to freak out Mom – I think this is more than enough at the moment.

Since Thursday wasn’t moving day, I went and had my massage, oh did that feel good!  I have been clearing out so much negativity and programs – still more to go.  What’s cool is that even though it is deep tissue massage, it doesn’t hurt as much as it did in the beginning.  I actually fell asleep a couple of weeks ago.  Debye is amazed at how different my body is from when we started, she sees it changing and healing as she is working.  She also said she admires me for doing the work, most people at 65 have decided their life is done and not interested in doing the work.  She says I am very determined to get to the truth – all I know is that I want to “know that I know” who I truly am and love, accept, approve and trust myself.

Friday I went to see my regular doc and he was pleased with ow I am doing; plus he was asking about Mom.  I told him what the situation was and he is fine with that.  I also had my haircut – not much left of it but so much easier to wash, comb and go.  I wonder sometimes if it makes make cheeks look chubbier, yet I have been given many compliments on it.  I will keep it and see what happens.

I also played telephone tag with the social worker Friday, she just asked me to call, no info otherwise.  I figured it could go either way, so I kept the neutral feeling.  We finally talked and the house has been approved, now she just wants to know when  the moving day is.  I need to call Kathy – she is on holiday and I don’t really like disturbing her.  I want her to help with the move because Mom likes and trusts her and she also has a lot of experience.  I suspect Mom may be very angry at me – if she needs a target, okay, I am it.  I am going to ask at Breakfast Club for a driver and pickup so I can take two of her chairs to the new house – she will have familiar things around her.

I still don’t have that excited feeling, very little emotion on it – wonder if that will change when the move is made?  I will say, I got a really good night’s sleep Friday night.  Last night was okay but some time I was awake in the middle of the night.  I am not making any plans for the days after Thursday, I want to be sure it is actually happening and she is settled in.  That may take a month or more, in case she needs to come back, things are still the same.

I Ran Out of Zip Codes

October 7, 2012

I have really missed writing posts the past couple of weeks – the word that came up to describe how I felt about it is constipated.   Considering my past experience with the drug study, it seems rather appropriate.  Anyway, I am still bone weary and to be honest, my neck and shoulders have been very uncomfortable even though I now use the mouse with my left hand.

The last time I wrote was almost 2 weeks ago and I was back making calls.  Providence has certain zip codes they serve from the West Seattle site, so I went through all of them – though decided Beacon Hill was just a bit too far.  I looked at a place in Seatac, a house run by a woman, her mother plus she has a 13 year old special needs son.  she only takes 2 people, the woman there had a stroke but moves around quite well.  It has a family feeling and maria has experience with dementia, my only concern was there really wasn’t enough socialization for Mom.  Back the the lists.

A lot of places are private pay, they can’t afford to pay their caregivers on Medicaid.  I can understand that, though I would like to have seen the Star Lake one – bet it was nice.  The social worker emailed me before she left on holiday a name and number, so Eddie, Kathy and I went out to see it.  It is near where the other one that fell through is and it wasn’t hard to find.  Didi is a RN and only takes referrals, she doesn’t advertise.  Mom would have her own room – a bit small – and is right across from the bathroom.  There is a living room where she can be quiet if she likes or spent time in the tv room with the other residents.  There are 5 others there and one man has a cat in his room.  Didi says she is very generous in sharing the cat.  The other residents are well functioning and eat together as well as games and other activities.  it is a quiet street and Mom could go walking when she likes – they would make sure she has someone with her.  She would also go to the Center, probably 2 days a week.  I must admit, we all had a Yes and No reaction to it – I know no house will have everything perfect.

So I went back to my lists and spent a day calling – I found 3 more and went with Kathy to check them out.

The house in West Seattle  is a small house for 6 people – with a urine smell.  It feels too small for the number of people and the tv is on the wall of the bedroom.  There’s really no place for her to have some quiet time.  All residents are from Providence.  Kathy feels it is warehousing and not the right place for Mom.

      The first house in Kent with Gloria is a nice, clean place but she would be sharing a room – there really isn’t a space of her own.  The bed is open on both sides and Mom needs to have the bed against the wall for her feeling of security.  Gloria and her husband live there, the other residents don’t seem all that alert.  They do take the people on outings and there is some interaction.

       The other one in Kent is on Railroad Ave – right across the street from the tracks.  It is not a nice neighborhood, though the house is new and spacious.  The room they showed us isn’t certified yet – it is rather dark and she only has a curtain on the door.  There is another room with another lady, the shared door means Mom goes through a corner of the other one’s room.  It is Saliem and her husband and two young sons – they live upstairs and the residents are downstairs.  It too has a family feeling like Gloria, but not much access outside.  If you just want to stay inside, it is a good place.  Not sure how much interaction because the two guys in the back prefer to be in their room and the other 2 we met said Hello.

I had to sit down and write out for myself the pros and cons of each.  I crossed off Railroad Ave right away – the trains are loud and it really isn’t for Mom.  When I looked at Gloria’s, it had a lot of good points but more drawbacks.  I decided to go visit Didi again , that wasMonday.  I had a nice talk with her and she had said she  felt after observing and talking with Mom at the Center that Mom would fit in.  Didi said she only takes people she feels will fit in with the other residents – she has had several people look at the room but they weren’t a fit.

I have been having a lot of pain in my left hip all week – I looked it up in “Feeling Buried Alive Never Die” to see what she had to say.  The first one on the list is “fear of making a major decision”.  So spot on!!!!   It is one thing to make a major decision for myself, it is more difficult for someone else.  I had a hard time saying yes, not sure what was holding me back.  But I finally told Didi yes, I would bring my Mom to her home.  She thanked me for trusting her with Mom.

A Post Will Be Coming

October 2, 2012

There has been a lot happening over the past week and I haven’t had time or energy to write – I have wanted to express it and in some ways feel frustrated.  So I haven’t forgotten to write posts, nor have I lost interest – I could use a good shot of energy right now.  I could also use another neck and set of shoulders, they have been bothering me as well.  However, I have decided to be a glass half full person and thank God for all the gifts and blessing each day – both the comfortable and uncomfortable ones.  I prefer to think of all the things I get to do and the wonderful gifts they bring me.  It’s a work in progress.

Thank You for understanding!


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