Posts Tagged ‘Friday’

About Mom

November 10, 2013

I haven’t written much about my Mom since September when she turned 95.  It is getting harder to visit her because she is slowly going downhill and at time she doesn’t look my Mom.  A couple of weeks ago I had a call from the nurse at Elderplace.  She was concerned because Judy sent a note in that she had noticed a sore on Mom’s left thigh.  They checked but it was close to time for Mom to leave; they decided to have her come back the next day for a more thorough exam.

They think it is because she sleeps on her left side all night and also realized there was no cushion on her wheelchair.  So Friday the physical therapist was going to make sure there was a cushion and also they ordered a hospital bed to help with keeping her feet up as well as helping diminish the sore before it got any worse.   The nurse really appreciated that Judy let them know so soon so it could be treated.

When I went the following Tuesday, I asked if Mom had gone on Friday – she had.  What amazed Judy was how fast the bed arrived – on Friday.  Now it is easier to pull the bed out and help Mom turn over to the right side often enough to relieve the pressure on her left side so the sore is resolving itself.  The hospital bed is much easier for her to pull out and put back than the other bed.

Mom is usually sitting on a dining room chair or the wheelchair because it is hard for her to walk.  Judy does her best to have Mom use the walker to go around house so she will not lose her ability to walk for as long as possible.  She is usually quiet and cooperative until it is time to get up, change her clothes, have a shower and wash her hair.  That is when she gets very feisty and resists Judy.

Mom sleeps a lot more now and even when I come to visit in the morning, she is likely to close her eyes.  I started reading a Miss Read book to her, I am not sure if she is taking very much in as I read.  I ask her if she would like to hear more and she will say yes.  In some ways I feel I am copping out a bit but it is hard to have a conversation with her because she mumbles and repeats words so I don’t know what she is saying.  I think she knows what I am asking, it’s just not going through the shorted circuits to what she wants to say.

Some days I don’t want to go, but I don’t want her to think I have abandoned her.Judy tells me she knows the days of the week I come.  She tells me Mom is aware of things even though she can’t express them in words.  I will admit, this Friday I don’t think she quite knew who I was, that I was her middle daughter.  I call her Mom and I suspect it is inside somewhere deep that she knows who I am – or at least a familiar presence.

My older sister Ellen wrote in an email – “It’s hard, but important, for me to see her as a person and not just my Mom”.  I am realizing that is also important for me as well.  she and Dad have been big authority figures for me and I’ve seen them as Mom and Dad.   But I have not really seen her as Ruth, a person with a history and experiences that don’t necessarily involve me, the child.  I know the little she would talk about, but she as always been very quiet about that part of herself.

Sometimes she has told us things but I could always tell when she didn’t want to talk about it – I would ask a question and her answer would be “I don’t know, I don’t remember”.  I have met member sod her family and know things from them,; I have met people on Dad’s side who knew him and his parents.  It was interesting to hear what they had to say, some I heard from Mom but there were new things as well.

She did talk about her family some and I loved hearing about the great aunts – I call them the Awesome Seven.  Two of them were quite interesting and I also heard a lot from Mom’s younger brother when we would visit them in Waterford.  They had a summer house there, around the corner from the nuclear plant.  Don embroidered a lot of the stories about the family, so it was quite entertaining  Whatever he talked about, he made it so funny and I loved hearing his stories.   His wife Betty had heard them all before, so when Eddie I went down to visit, he would talk with Betty while Don told me stories.

I also realize I have only looked at the things that have bugged and frustrated me about Mom, time to see the more positive loving side.  I know she loved all three of us and wanted to protect us – it was some of the ways she went about it that put my teeth on edge.  I think I wrote a post about all the wonderful things I remember about Mom; this morning I thought of another one, she taught us to make a bed with hospital corners so everything stayed put.

Mom is a loving a giving woman, I think sometimes how she was brought up made it difficult to say it in words.  As I think about it, I think it was easier to express love for us by doing rather than saying.  I realize now that Mom and Dad always made me feel loved and wanted, that Mom was home when I came home from school – so many kids didn’t have that.   In many, many ways, I was blessed with the parents I had – it has taken experience and getting older to really appreciate what I had.  My sisters may have had a different view – this comes from the middle child.

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Crazy Weather The Last Couple of Days

November 3, 2013

One thing about Seattle weather, it is never dull.  My Dad used to say “If you don’t like what it is doing right now, wait a bit and it will change”.  Friday I went up to Future of Flight with Eddie – getting up at 4:15 and leaving a little after 5 makes a loooong day.  I was going to a birthday lunch with Charlotte, Joyce, Lois and Joanie – it’s been ages since all of us were together for a birthday.

We were meeting at noon, so I had some time to myself.  Turns out Eddie is looking for someone to paint some sign and do posters – I thought of Christi who lives near the Future of Flight.  She came about 10 and we had time to visit, then she and Eddie talked about what he needs and I read my book while they were gone.  Then Christi had to leave and I headed up to Marysville.  We’ll see how it works out.

The forecast was for rain later in the afternoon – Eddie was hoping it would wait until we got home before it started.  It was a bit windy and cloudy, some sun peeks at times but no rain.  Then in the evening we could hear the wind pick up and some rain, it was really blowing outside.  When we got up Saturday, it was really windy – I saw the little table on the porch go rolling towards the edge of the hill.  We found the chairs had slid towards the back door – Eddie put them in the little house.  The garden cart had slid off the porch, so he put it on the other side of the BBQ.

It blew all the time we were out, we decided to go a couple of places and then hibernate at home.  The wind shook the car a lot as we were driving and I noticed on the way back on the Viaduct how much the waves were hitting the docks on the waterfront.  It was a grey Sound with large whitecaps no matter where we looked.

We heard on the news that some places had lost power, thank goodness we didn’t.  The two floating bridges had waves, 520 was closed.

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This gives you an idea of what happens on the 520 bridge with really high winds.  It is closed more often than 90.

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This is what people saw if they tried to cross the bridge.  As you see, they have turned into a toll bridge and traffic was down a lot when that happened.  I think the traffic has increased again.  Don’t get me started on the replacement bridge.

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The I-90 bridge gets its share of waves.  On one of my Ike Pono weekends, it was doing this when I went over to Bellevue in the morning – a little tense.

The other one that I used to cross was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge when I was doing the medical supplement study.  I remember one particular day it was quite windy and I could really feel it hitting the car, I was very glad to cows over to the other side.

1TNBThey have put a second span for it – now there is one span for each direction.

This also is closed down when the winds hit a certain strength.  They have been known to close it when the snow and ice get to be too much.  It is quite a view as I crossed the bridge, much more fun when it is a calm, sunny day.

I ran across a picture of one of the ferries as it was going from Mukilteo to Clinton on Whidbey Island.  Looks like a wild ride.

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ferry1Thanks to Tahoma Beadworks for the photos.

Today it is very calm, I think the sun is going to do more than just peek out once in a while.  There is no telling what will happen next.

New Experiences This Week

June 23, 2013

Ellen sent a lovely beach rose photo the other day:

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I have spent so much time catching up with pictures and my kitchen remodel blog that I have not had time or energy for this one.  Working on the remodel takes more time, downloading the pictures, rotating and that need it, a little adjusting, etc.  Then it takes quite a while to upload to my media library; then it goes more quickly.  I usually have a comment on each picture – that takes the least amount of time.  I admit it has been an interesting adventure the past 3 weeks – especially now that it is definitely looking more like a real kitchen than that just my imaginings.  I am so delighted with how well it has turned out so far, Mary Ellen was such a big help in choosing colors, flooring and counter tops.  Plus I have  received compliments on the blog – I started it to show my two sisters what was happening to house we grew up in.  They have been very supportive and really like what we are doing.

Also, this week has been busy as I was putting together quotes for the new client.  He wants denim shirts, polos and tees; I put together each category in separate quotes.  Then I had my group price them for me and Friday morning they came back; then I put them in each quote and sent them off.  The proof for the lapel pin has been approved to put them into production.  He is very pleased with how well I have been doing things for him – a lovely compliment I am very pleased to hear.  Especially as  I have been having trouble delivering an item another client wants – my group has not worked with any of the suppliers and that makes them nervous.  I proposed I would pay for it and to order the one the client likes.  I haven’t heard anything yet, though that was on Friday and I can’t remember when I sent the email.

Friday was an important day for my Mom – we went to the oncologist to find out the options for her breast cancer and treatments.  She doesn’t really know what is going on and I am not sure she would understand, so I haven’t said much to her about it.  I have explained what we are doing but I think it is confusing for her.  I am amazed at how calm I have been about the whole thing because I am usually a worrywart about things.  The part I have been somewhat apprehensive about is how she would deal with the whole experience.  Many times she has asked why are we doing this but so far has been fairly calm and cooperative.

I went over to the house by 1 pm when the van was due.  I had brought my bag again with kleenex, cookies and chocolate plus my book.  The van didn’t arrive until about 1:45 – our appointment was for 2.  By the time he secured Mom’s wheelchair and I finally got in, we were off.  The van is a high one and I couldn’t quite bend my left knee enough to  use the bar to pull myself up.  Ricky must be used to it because he held my right leg and lifted me up and there I was!  Traffic was somewhat heavy, so by the time we arrived, it was waaaay after 2.  The traffic was somewhat heavy but we moved most of the time.  I was surprised we were at the Polyclinic – that is where my rheumatologist is and Infusion Therapy .  We had gone to swedish 1st Hill for the other two appointments.  I was able to slide down to the curb, much easier coming out than going in.  The office is on the 5th floor, not too far from Infusion Therapy, so I felt on more familiar ground.

The doctor is a young Chinese man, though I have to say he looks like a high school kid.  He is not that tall and has no wrinkles in his fave, but after a bit I realized he had some grey in his hair, so he can’t be that young.  He was very nice and had all the records, so that helped a lot.  He examined Mom and asked questions and had some good news for us.   He is not one for invasive or heroic measures.  He said the stains show it has to do with estrogen – good news – and intermediate aggressive.  He recommends Tomoxifin (I think that is right), a once a day pill.  It keeps the estrogen from turning on the growth message to a cell, so the cell dies.  He thinks it may even shrink the 1 1/3″ cancer – too big to  just scoop out and having surgery to remove it would be very hard on Mom.  He feels this is a good option for Mom.  He has spoken with Dr. Myre and she will arrange for the prescription.

We were finished about 3:30, so I called Tri-Med to pick us up – it was close to 5 before they arrived.   Darryl was very friendly and helped both of us into the van.  Mom sat in front because she couldn’t bend he right knee to have all legs in.   It took some doing for me to get in the back seat – I couldn’t get my right leg to bend enough to be tucked in.  Finally I found a way to do it and had to side sideways and out my feet in the middle of the van; then would be the how do I get myself out.  Even though it was 5, the traffic wasn’t very heavy going south – usually on a Friday everything is so backed up.  I called Eddie to let him know where I was and what was happening, then I would call when I was ready to leave Mom’s house.  That meant I would have to figure out how to get out of the van.  Finally I realized I could put my left foot on the floor and stand a bit until I had my right foot out enough to  leave the van.  however, it wasn’t easy to get to the ground because I needed enough leg length to reach the ground.  I felt myself falling backward but found Daryl was behind me to keep me from falling.  Those Tri-med guys are so great.

By the time I was ready to leave for home, it was almost 6.  I told Didi what the doc said and that Dr. Myre would be sending the pills.  She has received the anti-psychotic pills and has been taking them for  a few days.  Mom was really tired when she came back, but they decided to give her dinner first and  I suspect she went to bed early.  They had given her a small can of apple juice at the doctor’s office but was able to drink it until we were finished.  I asked if she would like a cookie and she was definitely open to that.  I brought three and it probably held her until dinner.   Never did get to the chocolate, I’ll save it for another day.

I came home and Brad was gone and Eddie was taking me out to dinner.  I didn’t feel so tired and worn out this time, that helped a lot.  We had a quiet dinner at California Pizza because going into Seattle wasn’t appealing at that point.  I had a chance to take pictures for my blog afterwards and just stand and admire the kitchen.

That was my week.  I loved Ellen’s beach roses but it was hard because she also sent a gorgeous clematis.  So I’m putting in both photos.  Thank You so much Ellen, you have such lovely pictures.  Next time it will be Candy and a set of really wonderful photos.  Won’t tell about it, so wait and see.

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The Party Continued

October 2, 2011

For a birthday celebration we didn’t really plan too much, it turned out to be quite busy.  Sunday was a quiet day for all of us except Eddie – he went up early to the Future of Flight for the delivery of the 1st 787 and I didn’t see him until Tuesday afternoon.  Our neighbor Luzma next came by in the afternoon to ask if we liked ribs – we said yes and thought no more about it.  Candy and Ellen went for a walk and a while later Luzma appeared with ribs, potato salad, baked beans, BBQ sauce and corn muffins. When Ellen and Candy came back, the five of sat down for a delicious and messy meal.  We all had a good time and really didn’t want much to eat later.

Monday it was pouring all day – no big surprise in Seattle.  We all go on the theory “If you wait for a sunny day to do things, you won’t be doing very much”.  Unless it is blowing a gale or torrential rain, we go out and do whatever the weather.  Ellen invited us all out for lunch at Anthony’s Home Port in Des Moines. We had a table by the window looking out over the marina – wonder why there wasn’t much activity.  We were warm and dry, enjoying a lovely lunch and each others company while the rain came down.  A very delightful and unexpected treat.  We came home and decided to watch a video in the afternoon – Ellen had given Mom one about living with bears.  It was a 3 part – we saw the first two parts Spring and Summer.  It was delightful and quite amazing that in the back woods of Minnesota, researchers working to conserve  and protect black bears were able to be among them without a problem.  Gordon Buchanan was able to film the bears up close once they  recognized him.  He followed one particular young mother and her cub during filming, as the young came out of the den for the first time until it was time to hibernate for the winter.

We had a light dinner and watched the 2nd part – it was Wednesday afternoon by the time Mom and I watched the  3rd part.  Then Ellen and Candy had to pack and get ready to leave in the morning.  I had a breakfast and Showcase that morning, I was able to do it between 2 sisters.  Ellen needed to be at the airport by 7, the breakfast was at 8:30 at the race track and at 9:30 the Showcase was open.  So I had 2 hours to visit as many promotional suppliers I could – 2 hours of walking and standing on concrete really started to get to my knees and feet.  I didn’t have time to meet several suppliers I wanted to talk with, but I did pretty well for 2 hours.  I left around 11:30, was home by 12 – Candy and Mom had some alone time, so it worked out well.  We took her to the airport and dropped her at Departures and then we came home – we were both quite tired after a delightful weekend of birthday.  I was about to have a lie down around 1 or so and suddenly Eddie appeared, tired as well but had a great time.  The delivery went well even though Monday it poured, but a good time was had by all.

It has taken a few days for me to rest a bit, I was too tired to sleep at times and that doesn’t help.  The next three days I was up early, 2 networking meetings and Friday I saw the study doctor.  Looks like I may be coming to the end of the line – I am to go off the medical food and supplement for 6 weeks and then see him to let him know if there is any difference.  I was having trouble with the new capsule, my intestines didn’t seem to want to accept it gracefully.  I started it a year ago and I will say I am doing better than when I started.  I will also admit it is hard to remember back that far and how I felt – maybe it is true that pain has no memory.  I will continue doing a shake in the morning, I just have to decide what to put in it.  I have liquid calcium and liquid Vit D, I also can put in some yogurt, banana, maybe some whey protein powder, ground flax seed or chia seeds.  I bought some almond butter to put in a teaspoon or so, maybe a tablespoon.  We’ll see how it goes.  Instead of milk, I might do coconut milk.  I will file a report  in 6 weeks with the results.

As I was driving home from Gig Harbor – an hour away – I was listening to the alternative talk station KKNW.  They were talking about IDA, something new to me.  Who is IDA?  IDA is a what, a non-profit for Invisible Disabilities Association.  For those with chronic illness and similar conditions, most often we don’t look as if anything is wrong.  We look perfectly healthy and people don’t really understand the difficulties we have.  I feel I have been beating  my head against the wall for 40 years and now I have found a group who has been able to put it all together.  Hurray!!!!!!!!!  I have put up a profile in the autoimmune Disease group – I was amazed at all the different groups they have.  Check it out atwww.invisibledisabilitycommunities.org


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