Posts Tagged ‘adult family home’

Working Smarter

April 22, 2014

In February 2011, I had client ask for several quotes on short notice.  I worked my tail off for four days straight and finished before the deadline.  However, in the process I really wrecked up my right shoulder and was in such pain – I kept thinking it would soon relax and right itself, but it didn’t.  Not only was it the ice pick in the back of my shoulder, it was the stiff neck and very sore and inflamed shoulder joint.  To be honest, I was a mess.

That began the most intense three years of my life.  I started seeing Debye for massage for the shoulder pain and found it hard to do anything for quite a while.  I hurt so much and had trouble sleeping at night – not one of my of my better periods.   I started doing better after I began massages with Debye in May or June – way too long to get help – and then things began to really show up with Mom and dementia.   Around  July and August was the time when I couldn’t leave her by herself any more.  It was a very difficult time because I was recovering from the shoulder and it meant I couldn’t go out any more.  By December I was way past overwhelm and far into over my head.

I waited to long to find help – I kept thinking “It’s not that bad” but it was.  I was brought up with “Don’t ask for help, don’t bother or burden people”.  It finally hit me – I had been doing that all my life, especially with RA!  I remember talking to my sister Ellen on the phone around that time; I mentioned the Don’t ask for help thing and she had three words for me  – Ditch it, Girl!  She knew exactly what I was talking about, all three of us had been doing it for decades.  So I asked for help from the Alzheimer’s Association and finally had the help I needed.

February of 2012 I broke my hip tripping over my Mom – that sent me to the hospital and rehab for 8 weeks with another 4 in outpatient therapy.  By that time, my doctor, my family, my friends were really worried about me.  The therapists at rehab told me if I went back to what I was doing, I would be back in rehab permanently.   I realized I couldn’t keep taking care of mom without some major help.  I had arranged caregivers during the day so I could get out for a few hours a week for a break, but it was also time to think seriously of long-term decisions.

I went through paperwork to enroll Mom in the Providence Elderplace program – they would take care of all her needs and provide caregivers when she wasn’t at the Center.  It was good for her to go to the Center and be with other people – all the staff there is wonderful with all the people.    Also, her new doctor, PT, OT and anything else she needed was there.  They helped me find a really good adult family home for Mom because she was needing more and more care.  In October 2012 we moved her there and it was just the right time.  She was still able to socialize, any longer and it would have been harder.

More paperwork, then even more to apply for Medicaid – by that time I had gotten her checking account down to $2000 and sold everything to pay her monthly bill for Providence.  At the same time, we were applying for a loan and vast amounts of paperwork for that.  February 2013 Mom was approved for Medicaid but it wasn’t until the beginning of June when the mortgage went through.  Then 4 or 5 weeks of kitchen remodel for a wonderful kitchen.  So many other things still to do for the house.  I have been trying to sell the furniture so we can have our own things around us, but not much luck.  I don’t know if I just don’t know how to do it or if something is holding me back.    Plus, so much cleaning out!

February of this year I past the 2 year mark of breaking my hip.  My rheumatologist said 70% people who break a bone will break another one within 2 years.   I was determined to be in the 30% and I made it – no falls or broken bones since the hip. So here we are in 2014 and it feels like a brand new start.  I have decided to move our furniture upstairs and my parents down to the basement.  We need to paint the living room and I want Brad to create a new mantle with crown molding.  it has been raining so consistently I haven’t had enough clear days to move furniture and not get it wet.

So what does all of this have to do with working smarter?  I had a call from the client I worked with 3 years ago when I spent four days straight on her quotes.  I had a week to update them and this time, I paced myself over the week.  Yes, it meant I worked a lot on Easter but I wanted to be able to finish on Monday and feel human.  By George, I did it!  I took my time, took breaks, went out to do things and didn’t allow myself to get antsy in the that “Got to get it down” mindset.  She has a board meeting today where she will present i – no idea if the board will go for it this time or not.  They vetoed it three years ago.

So here I am, 3 years older and a whole lot smarter and wiser.   I have been doing a lot of quotes and very happy to report a lot of them have turned into orders.  I am surprised to look up and find my life has changed a lot from Feb 2014 – I’m not sure how it happened, I know I have changed a lot as well.  I am better at asking for help, knowing that when something comes up, I can handle it, especially knowing I have friends and colleagues I can turn to for help.  If it hadn’t been for Dave Gagley and all his help with Mom’s stuff, I would have been in a rubber room.  So many people are willing and happy to help, now I have ways to help other people when they are dealing with some of what I have been doing.

The hardest part is going to see Mom twice a week at the adult family home.  She can’t really carry on a conversation in worlds I understand, though it is in a very conversational tone – she understands it but the circuits between her brain and her mouth have too many shorts now.  I read to her, take my iPad to play music she likes and of course, she loves the chocolate and cookies I bring every time.  I don’t ever want her to think I have abandoned her, so I visit and enjoy what I can with her.  She is usually glad to see me, whether she recognizes me as her daughter or just a familiar presence.

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Visiting With Mom

March 9, 2014

I have been visiting Mom rather than visiting with her – I just noticed the difference this week.  I have had trouble dealing with not understanding what she says and curbing my urge to ask what she means or to repeat it.  My close friend Char told me recently she had visited her Mom and didn’t understand a word she said.  So she asked her Mom “Does that make sense to you?”  Her Mom’s answer was “No”.  I thought I would try it with Mom, though Mom’s answer was “Yes, it makes sense”.  Mom is operating under a different form.  What is interesting is that although the words are gibberish to me, Mom says it in a very conversational way – she knows what she is saying, I am the one who doesn’t understand.

GetAttachment.aspxMom with Candy at her book signing.  She is very proud of Candy.

Two things she definitely understands are chocolate and cookies.  I bring some with me every time I visit and she is delighted to have them.  I have learned not to ask her if she enjoyed the chocolate or cookies after she has eaten them because she doesn’t remember she ate them.  I have been nervous about what to say to Mom, but I am finding it a bit easier now because I realize I don’t have to know exactly what she is saying.

I have been reading Candy’s new book to Mom recently, first time I have read it as well.  I know Judy has told me Mom takes in things she hears and I am noticing that reading this book.  Friday she made several comments as I read and  at one point talked for a bit – not sure what she said,  just asked “Is that so?’ and Mom agreed.  So it wasn’t necessary to know what she said, just to acknowledge and validate it.  I can sometimes tell when she  thinks something isn’t a good thing, mostly my her tone and sometimes a “shouldn’t or no that’s not good” comes across.

Last Tuesday I took my iPad to play some of the songs she likes – except it once again gave me fits.  Some days it works well and other days it looks so different and I am not quite sure what to do.  I have begun to make a playlist for her so I will have the songs she likes, though I haven’t done too well with Bing Crosby so far.  What will play on my desktop isn’t always available on the iPad.  Now I have to figure out how to start the playlist.

It’s an interesting process and I think I am more comfortable now – there are times when I feel at a loss, but  I am doing my best.  I haven’t told her about Barrie dying, don’t think it will really register and there isn’t anything she can do about it.  I also haven’t said anything about our next door neighbor, he is having difficulty and two of the sons are there right now.  We had gone to bed Wednesday night and I heard this thrum and flash of lights – the fire truck was there and I saw a fireman in their kitchen.  Shortly after an ambulance came in, so I figured it was bad enough to take him to the hospital.  He was back home the next morning bit they may have to have someone there for a while.  I’m sure Mom would be worried if she knew.

I will admit I still have days when I don’t want to go visit Mom, so I make sure I have somewhere to go and do something entirely different after the visit.  Plus, I don’t want Mom to feel she has been abandoned.  When I come and she is very sleepy or having a nap because she had a bad night, I am almost glad we won’t have a visit.  I think she is more aware of things than I realize, but I couldn’t say in what way.  I think she still knows who I am at times, I am better at not taking it personally because it is part of dementia.  Some of what is happening has to do with getting older, some from dementia – I am so grateful to Judy for helping me understand what’s happening with the things I don’t quite understand.

It has been quite a learning experience for me and for Mom – I may never know how it is for her, but as a daughter and a woman, I have learned a lot over the past 2 or 3 years.   I have learned about myself, my Mom and dementia – strangely, there have been gifts in it I am still understanding.

I also wonder who will be there for me if I am in this position.

Snow – Part 2

December 21, 2013

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I took pictures of Mom’s room on my phone camera – have no idea how to download them.  So I had the camera since I was taking pictures of the snow and decided to take pictures of Mom’s house.

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it’s a long, wide one story house with a white picket fence.

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This is Eddie and his Volvo, the best way to get around on sloppy roads.  No way would I take the Versa out in the weather.

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This is looking into Mom’s room from the hall – the bathroom is just across the hall.

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This is Mom’s new hospital bed, I put up the quilted hanging I did for her 85th birthday.  I had put up the two hangings on the bed to cover the circuit breaker panel, but it didn’t work out too well, so I brought them home.

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She has windows that face to the front.  If you count windows on the outside, hers is right by the front door on the left.

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At the other end of the bed is a set of shelves above the foot of the bed.  There is the picture of the two of them on their both anniversary.  On the lower shelf is a picture of Dad.

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We put her butterfly rug by her bed, she designed it herself as well as hooking it.

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Across from the bed is her dresser and she has a photo with the three of us girls and Eddie, also taken on the 50th anniversary.

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There are a couple of high shelves above the dresser.

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I did a closeup of the bureau to show the photo and also the pretty bear Luzma brought her.

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When we came home, the snow was mostly gone except for the flowerbeds.

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Even the stream looks a bit different.

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Some rain has fallen, but it is mostly toolie rain.

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Still a bit of interest here; glad I took pictures of the snow.

That was our adventure yesterday in the white stuff.  Glad Eddie didn’t drive all the way to Mukilteo to work, it made me apprehensive because of the other turkeys on the road.

From Stress To Happy Dance To Stress – Part 1

May 21, 2013

Last week was a crazy time for me.  I wrote yesterday about the week before – last week had its own ups and downs – who knows what this week will bring.  Monday I check my Soul Card reading and found these 2 cards:

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First Card is from Doreen Virtue’s Guidebook for Magical Mermaids and Dolphins:

Pay Attention

“Notice repetitious signs and your inner guidance, as this can yield valuable information. It’s not your imagination that Heaven is sending you signs and Divine guidance. Anytime you hear something three or more times, especially within a short amount of time period, it’s information worthy of your attention.”

Soul Guidance:

What is the Universe saying to you? Look for the common thread.

Don’t ignore your Soul’s guidance because she may do some “crazy” things if you don’t listen.

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Second Card is from Sonia Choquette’s Oracle Cards Guidebook:

Epiphany/Higher Self: Inspiration, Breakthrough, Revelation, and Divine Guidance.

“The flow of communication between you and your Higher Self is strengthening daily, allowing you to directly access your Spirit Guides, Angels, and Spirit Teachers more readily. As you contact with your Higher Self deepens, answers will suddenly plop into your consciousness, like gifts from above.”

Soul Guidance:

Your Higher Self is the megaphone of your Soul.

It’s so interesting to see that both cards speak about the same thing. Pay attention to what the Universe and your Higher Self are trying to say to you.

Is it time to take action upon a long procrastinated idea, or is it time to commit to your unique purpose?

Or are you guided to take a leap in moving forward?

I have been noticing my higher self coming through more – I am not listening to ego quite as much and when she comes out, I thank her and tell her I choose something else.  I feel there is something coming, not sure exactly what but it feels like something wonderful.  I am rather impatient to find out what it is, the time for it is coming soon.  I am amazed at how the cards reflect what is happening in my life.

Always a good start to the week.  I had my appointment with Dr. Cheryl for my adjustment – she has really helped my shoulder and neck so much.  I was having some problem with my neck and she made such a difference, I could feel as if there were knots and she did a great job.  It is amazing how she can give a wonderful back and neck rub while adjusting and aligning.

I had the rest of the day to myself, so I came home and had some lunch before having a lie down.  I find myself yawning and tired when I am finished with the adjustment.  I wanted to write a post since I hadn’t for a bit, but the nap turned out to be the best thing for me at that moment.

Tuesday turned out to be MY day – the one I missed the week before because of the computer.  I slept for as long as I wanted, had a long hot shower – except it now isn’t quite as hot.  This has been frustrating because it comes and goes, so I know something isn’t right.  Eddie doesn’t seem to notice but I certainly do.  There are times when I wondered if I was going nuts.   Anyway, I just decided to do or not do whatever I felt like doing – nothing HAD to be done, just whatever came up for me.  How lovely the day was for me.

Wednesday was Breakfast Club and I talked to John the plumber about the hot water – he was at home Tuesday and if I had called, he would have come.  So we arranged for Friday morning.  Then I had to leave because I needed to be at Mom’s before 9:45.  She had an appointment to have a mammogram, as far as I know, the first one she has had.  When we enrolled her in the ElderPlace program, they did a physical.  There was a lump and they have been keeping an eye on it the past few months.  It had gotten bigger so they decided to do the mammogram.

I will admit to feeling very stressed about it, how she would do, how cooperative, etc.  Then I decided I was looking at it in the negative, so I asked the Universe to create the solution with all the words, attitudes, actions, etc. and I would just show up and get out of the way.  I will admit I was somewhat tense when I went, especially  because she wasn’t sure what it was all about.  The Tri-Med cabulance came and she ended up going to sleep on the way downtown.  I decided to do the cabulance was to be there for Mom all the way as well as be a calming influence for her rather than just meet her at the office.

 I met her at her house and Tri-Med took us in to Swedish Breast Center on 1st hill; she slept almost all the way in.  They took us up to the office and while Mom waited, I went through a dog and pony show – I  thought Providence would have everything set up, but the Center had their own balderdash.
       All of the techs were really great, very helpful and friendly, very gentle with Mom.    She wasn’t all that pleased about any of it, especially when it came to being the filling in a the sandwich.  They had trouble with the side shots – by then she had had enough.  So we went to another room so they could do an ultrasound.  They told me they didn’t think it was benign, so they wanted her back for a biopsy.  The appointment was made for Friday afternoon.  Tri-Med came back and she slept most of the way back to her house.
I was glad to get back in time for Eddie and me to go to our appointment at Apple.  I fixed up my computer for the box in the morning and Eddie was going to put it together for me.  He needed to learn to use it and I needed help with mine as well.  We ended up changing techs in mid stream so we both learned a lot.

Life Post Mom

November 4, 2012

I am so happy to hear from my older sister, she wrote two emails and sent some pictures of Ocean Grove.  They were very lucky, not a lot of damage and the sound of the furnace coming on was a sweet sound.

     We saw Mom yesterday and I saw her on Tuesday but haven’t told her anything, I think she would just be worried.  Actually, there isn’t a lot to talk to her about, so I am resorting to things in the past.  Some she remembers, much she doesn’t.  Keeps asking where her parents are, if they are dead and when I say yes, I tell her they are watching over her and preparing a place.  One thing, Didi, the owner, is amazed at how well and easily she has begun to settle in. Didi has adopted her and the other residents really like having her..  She thought there would be a lot of resistance because she had been in her house for so long, what a delight to find Mom is adjusting well.  Mom keeps saying they are very nice to her and she likes it there.  Apparently we moved her just at the right time.  I am still tired and there doesn’t seem to be much let up in having to do things for her.  This is a whole new learning experience for me as well as Mom.
I sent in the forms and papers to DSHS for Medicaid on Friday and now have to round up some other things I know I will need.    Funny, it still hasn’t really sunk in that Mom is not living here any more.  We have her bedroom door closed but sometimes when I get up in the night, I expect her to come out and want the bathroom at the same time.  I have to tell myself consciously I can make a late or early appointment, or come home later than I planned – I don’t have to fit into caregiver hours or Center hours.  Trying to live between 9 and 3 when the rest of the world doesn’t is very confining.  I wonder when “I know that I know” it is just Eddie and me?
Our eating habits are different now, we can make things with tomatoes – they really bothered Mom even though she loves them – as well as not having as much meat.  We are eating lighter and our food bills are probably lower.  Things last longer as well, Mom still has a good appetite and enjoys her food.  I think that makes it easier for Didi as well.  Didi said yesterday her blood pressure is good and she is doing very well, plus they check her out when she is at the Center.  Sometimes Mom tells me things but no one else, so I talked to Didi about it.  She wants to know so she can check it out and see what might be going on.  Tuesday Mom said she had been getting dizzy, so I told Judy the caregiver and then also the nurse at the Center – no idea what it is.  Mom has also been known not to tell anyone when something is hurting or bothering her – that doesn’t help.  Must be the stoic Yankee New Englander in her.
I must admit, it is so nice to get up when I want to, take a shower when I want to – before I had to either get up before 7 a.m. to have it or wait until after 9.  I can stand and enjoy the hot water for a long time as well, I do enjoy the new bathroom – the best room in the house.  I can also play my iTunes radio stations all the time and as loud as I want – Mom tended to find tv too much noise and would go along with the iTunes radio for a while.  I remember growing up and there came a time when we were watching tv Mom would ask for a little peace and quiet.  I have plenty of time while Eddie’s gone, he isn’t that fond of opera as I am.  Puccini is my main man!
We have also been slowly cleaning out some of the stuff that has been sitting in the basement for decades, my Dad couldn’t throw things away and neither could my Mom.  The recycle wheely bin gets filled up quite fast these days.  I am trying to clean out the office but it is slow going, seems to all come back very quickly.  There is so much to go through, I don’t know where to start.  All I know is it is one section at a time – now which section is first?  Then I need to decide what to with things that shouldn’t be thrown away.  I need to check with my sisters to see what they would like – they have first choice.  There’s no doubt about it, I won’t sitting twittaling my thumbs wondering what to do.

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.

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.

Square One Again

September 19, 2012

I want to whinge so much today, I am feeling sorry for myself, frustrated and to be honest, tired of fitting my life around my Mom’s; canceling or postponing what I want to do to accommodate what she needs done.  How can one person require so much from so many people?  Yes, I do resent it and am angry at times – still haven’t taken all the emotion out of it yet.

I have spent the past few days waiting to hear if things are finally set for Mom to move into the adult family home – yesterday I had a call from the owner of the home, she has decided not to do what is necessary because it is just for one person.  So I am back to square one.  That means today  I will spend on the phone calling homes on the list to see if there is a vacancy and then go visit.  I feel discouraged but not as upset as I was last Wednesday when the glitch came up at the last minute.  I did ask God, my angels, spirit guides and master teachers to work it out – this or something better.  I was willing to start over again – not my preference – and so here I am.  That means there is something better out there.  The difference is that I have a much better idea of what I am looking for than when I first started looking the last time.  So it is “pull up my socks and get on with it”.

Before I could do anything, I needed Mom to be out of the house, but the van didn’t come until 10:30.  Then I had to call and find out how to cancel her Costco credit card, then fax info over to someone new to see if finally I can accomplish it.  Then I needed to shower and dress; wow, did that shower feel good, especially knowing I was alone and didn’t have Mom standing at the door.  Then I decided to have a cup of coffee – also had to water the roses because they are parched from no rain.  Then I realized it was after noon, so I fixed lunch and relaxed for a bit.  Then it was time to start calling other adult family homes to  see what was available.

I had talked to Denise in the morning about the situation and she is going to check 6 of the others in  Des Moines and I was going to call the ones in the Burien area.  Denise suggested giving them her name and number so she can check to be sure they meet the requirements providence has, that way I would only be seeing the ones that  would  work.  Out of the ones I called or checked out, there were 5 that were possibilities, so I told them to contact Denise for whatever information they needed.  I emailed her the names and she sent back saying she had 12 to screen.  Were they ones I sent her or did she find 6 others as well?  I really don’t know.

I have had two call me back to say they have tried to contact Denise but the center is closed today.   I appreciated that very much and I will see how it all goes.  Tomorrow after my massage, I have lists of the other zip codes they service and I will call them to see what might work.  I feel like the little girl digging through the manure pile because she is positive there i s a pony in there somewhere.  I know there is a place for Mom and also a gift for me in all this, I just don’t see it at the moment.

Most people are very nice when I call and ask about the home, if they take Medicaid and now also Providence.  I think it can narrow the field, that can be a good thing.  I did talk to one woman I really liked, she doesn’t have a vacancy but one of her ladies was just put on Hospice and may have a vacancy in the possible new future.  She suggested calling her in a while to see how things are.

It is an uncomfortable and discouraging experience at times, but there is also a feeling of accomplishment after going through the lists and calling.  I find myself having trouble getting started, then once I get going, I am okay.  It is easier than when I did it the first time, but I would dearly love to have someone tell me they have the perfect place for Mom and  it has everything she needs.  I’m not holding my breath for that one.  I will soldier on and see what happens tomorrow.

I am so worn out and tired from all this, I feel like crawling into bed and sleeping until the situation is resolved.  No chance of that without me doing the work and  going to see the places.  Kathy said she would go with me and that helps so much.  She notices things I don’t and I am relying on her knowledge and experience to help me make a good decision for Mom.

Now Mom Knows

September 11, 2012

SUNDAY

I just realized the post I wrote yesterday was still only a draft – I was sure I published it.  Well, now it is published for all the world to see.

I must admit, I have been dreading to day because I needed to tell Mom about the new home – I didn’t think she would be too happy about it.  Yesterday I talked to Kathy on the phone about how to approach it and she gave me some very good suggestions.  I had been wondering what to say and worried about how she would take the news.  I realized, at least in my head, that I needed to give it all to God, my spirit guides, angels and master teachers as well as Archangel Michael to help Mom have peace.  So I  had to really talk to myself about it, to release all the worrying and over analyzing, to just let it all go.  I truly had to put it in their hands for them to give me the words, actions, attitude, thoughts, etc. to tell Mom.  I had to not only just show up and get out of the way in my head – it had to be in my heart as well.  Strangely enough, I was fairly calm, though had trouble going to sleep last night.  I kept thinking about Mom, the things I could say, how she might react – second guessing about things that hadn’t even happened.  So I decided I needed something else to think about, so I switched to quilting – that actually did it for awhile.

When I got up this morning she was very confused, asking if this was her parents house, etc.  She ended up go in and out of bed 2 or 3 times – I was feeling anxious because I wanted to “get it over”.   But I knew that was only for my benefit, this had to be  about Mom and when the best time  would be for her.  So I waited until she was fully awake, dressed and had had breakfast.  Then I sat her down at the dining room table to tell her.  I mentioned the house she had stayed for a couple weeks and the lady there, Lucy; not really but that didn’t matter.  I told her I had found another home for her, a real house with a large yard, a place to be outside when it is nice and  how pretty it is.  I said the lady who owns it met her at the Center and talked to her; thought she was sweet and made her laugh.  She liked Mom so much she has invited Mom to come and live in her home.  I mentioned a little dog who loves people that comes to visit and there are some other ladies there.  She wanted to know when and I said on Wednesday.  I feel as if I had smacked her in the face, she seemed a bit stunned.  So far she isn’t angry, though she wonders how she is going to be able to do it all.  I told her I would take care of it for her.

I called Kathy and told her I had told her and she seemed to take it well.  Kathy planned to come over and visit, bring lunch for the two of them.  After I hung up, I made phone ring and pretended it was Kathy and told Mom she was coming to visit.  Mom was delighted because she really likes Kathy.  She stayed for about an hour or more, Aster and I were in the office talking.  So far Mom hasn’t said much, maybe she is trying to process it.  We’ll see what happens.

TUESDAY

Mom didn’t say anything about moving to her new home, though Monday morning when I told Helima it would be her last Monday because Mom is going to a new home, Mom seemed confused.  So I just reminded her we had talked about it the day before and she  just said “Oh”.  Then  yesterday afternoon and evening she asked if she is going somewhere and when.  She seemed okay with it – I still don’t know how much has registered.  Kathy is coming to help today and tomorrow – I think having her will reassure Mom.

As for me, I am so tired and dragged out, I find everything takes so much energy and effort.  I did go to my caregiver support group yesterday afternoon – I think I have a difficult time, but the others have so much more to deal with than I do.  I did make an appointment for a massage with Debye on thursday morning, then I need to pick up Eddie in the afternoon.  Friday I want to meet Charlotte and accept her generous offer of the weighted baby doll – other than that, I don’t know.  At the moment I haven’t planned ahead, just want to sleep.  I know things will look different when I am more rested.


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