Think good thoughts

We put in an offer on a house yesterday… please think good thoughts for us and keep your fingers crossed!!!

Other than that semi-big news, there’s nothing new to report.

We scattered Mom’s ashes near Big Tree Wayside in the California Redwoods. The area we chose had a baby tree growing out of a burned out shell of a tree, surrounded by a grove of cathedral trees. Super pretty – and I remember visiting that area with Mom so many years ago!

We also had her memorial. I gave her eulogy. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe I just practiced it enough that it became more comfortable. The weird thing about me is that I’m much more comfortable going up in front of a crowd and giving a speech than I am to go into a small group and make small talk. That’s something I need to work on, I think.

On February 23rd we had a little get together at our house to watch the first female UFC fight. I had fun and met a couple of the people DH does Jiu Jitsu with.

One of our long-time librarians is retiring, so her work is being divvied up among everyone until we can fill her vacancy. I’ll be taking over adult book displays, teen volunteers and meeting room calendars. I’m looking forward to the book displays – I’ve had a few ideas over the years. The teen volunteers kinda feels like a hydra just because of the scale, but it’s something I’m familiar with from all of my time at my old branches. The meeting room calendars are a pain, but I’ll suck it up and do it.

That’s it for now… time to figure out lunch and then see about dinner.

Advertisements

Mom is gone

My mom passed away on Sunday, January 27th. Although she was in hospice, her death was sudden.

In some ways it’s a relief because I don’t have to worry about her any more. In a different way it’s like I lost her all over again.

I started a blog that will be filled with memories of mom. It’s called Dear Mama. I think it’ll help me work through some of the feelings I have. I hope that it will keep her memory alive in some way as well.

If you’re inclined, you can visit the new blog at http://memoriesofmama.wordpress.com.

Updates…

Update on Mom:
Those of you who know me in real life have probably heard that my mom is in hospice now. Her condition has declined a lot. Long story short, her last stroke basically advanced her dementia to the point that she’s having trouble swallowing, she’ll spit out her meds if you don’t trick her into taking them, she doesn’t recognize us kids, she can’t sit up (she basically sleeps all day), and she can’t communicate meaningfully. Every time I see her I want to cry. I usually do.

Update on household stuff:
We’ve been looking for a house to buy, but we keep getting outbid. The last house we put in an offer on had over 50 bids! Insane, right? There’s just not a lot on the market right now so everything is going for so much over the asking price and there are soooo many bids!

DH and I have been working through cleaning up our house. We’ve realized that the clutter is really stressful, and the best thing we can do is start to reduce. It’s also a good thing because it means that if we ever buy a house we’ll have less to move!

Update on quilting:
I made my first minky quilt. Man, that sucked. The quilt was cute, but minky is a bitch to work with! I also went to a quilt retreat and finished 3 quilt tops and sandwiched the Christmas quilt. I haven’t done any other sewing, though.

As part of my decluttering, I’ve been trying to organize the fabric, patterns, batting and quilt books so that they don’t take up as much space and are easier to find. I discovered that I have “kits” of at least 5 different quilts, I have at least 7 different tops finished that need quilting, and I have a TON of other fabric. *sigh* No matter how much I organize and reorganize it just doesn’t make it any easier to quilt.

Update on health:
I finally went to see a psychologist. I realized that I’m pretty depressed and I have been for awhile. It all came to a head with the latest mom stuff. So I’m talking it through with a doctor. It seems to be helping a little bit.

It’s really hard to work up the gumption to run – and I have a half marathon with DH in January. He’s been good about trying to get me to run, but it’s hard to want to do it. My ankle kinda hurts after my run on Sunday. I’m hoping that wrapping it will help with keeping the training going.

So I think that’s it. I’m looking forward to the new year and the resolutions it always brings. I know at least one of them will be sewing related, and another will be health related. It’s just a matter of figuring out what I want them to be.

TTFN and Merry Christmas!

Things are bad with Mom

Mom had another stroke this week – it was a doozy. She’s pretty much lost the ability to swallow. She doesn’t understand most of what we say. She doesn’t say much besides “Mom”, “help”, “yes”, “no”, “OK”. Sometimes I can get an “I love you” out of her, but I don’t know if she’s saying it out of reflex/mimicking, or if she’s expressing actual emotion. She’s lost about 10 pounds in a little over a week. She’s bed bound now. We have a meeting with palliative care on Monday. I’m going to push for hospice. I don’t think Mom will last long.

Today when I was visiting – which is really just sitting by the bed and rubbing her leg/arm when she calls out – she reached for my face and held her hand to it. She said “love you.” I knew that she was expressing real emotion there. I cried bittersweet tears. I said “I love you too, Mama.” Then she went back to snoring.

Losing a parent is hard. I’ve sought help with a psychologist to help me through this. My husband is great and so supportive. I know things would be 10 times harder without him. (I Love you babe!!!)

So… that’s what’s going on. NO new quilting. No training for the half marathon. Just a lot of panic, fear, worry, sadness, and a tinge of relief.

Mom again

Mom’s back in the hospital. They took her by ambulance to the ER after calling my sister. When my sister saw mom, she wasn’t responding to most stimulus. Mom wasn’t responding to words, sight or touch. She just kept shouting “Mom” like she does when she’s deep in distress and suffering another stroke.

I wasn’t there, but my sister called. I beat the ambulance to the ER. The paramedics had trouble getting her to sit still to get any readings. But by the time they got to the ER she was a bit calmer. I walked up, rubbed her arm and said “Hi Mama, how are you.” She smiled and said “Hi. OK.” That was the first thing she’d said besides “mom” in almost an hour.

She has improved a bit since then. The doctors say that she has an acute UTI, which caused stroke-like symptoms. The problem is that she’s had so many TIAs that they can’t see new ones because of all the damage from the old ones.

Once she wakes up, I’ll do her memory exercises again. Before we left last night, she remembered her own Name. She also remembered she had 3 kids, but could only really remember my name with any regularity.

Us kids have a meeting with her doctor and care team in a couple hours to talk about next steps. Hopefully her prognosis is good.

Sad, depressing, dementia post

I visited my mom today, as I do nearly every Friday. And, like I usually do, I came away feeling sad.

I miss my mommy.

A few months ago, we moved her into a different board and care facility. It seemed to be serendipitous when we drove up and brought her for a site visit. The house was on Normandy so she wouldn’t be wrong (on her bad days, she reverts to believing it’s the 70s and she lives on Normandie), and there were calla lillies in the front yard (she loves callas). There was a piano in the living room (she played piano as a child) and some of the nurses used to work at the Masonic Home, so they were super nice. We got her approval and she moved in.

Mom is calmer now than she was at the old place, but she’s less alert. Her memory isn’t as good as it was at the old place either. She regularly asks me how my classes are going (I finished school 2 years ago), she asks me how my kids are (no kids for me), and she doesn’t remember a lot of her favorite things (like recipes she used to cook all the time, the words to her favorite songs, etc.).

It’s gotten to the point, now, that I dread visiting because I know that I’ll just end up really, really sad afterwards. Of course, I visit anyway because she needs that human contact with people who love her. I cry as I drive home almost every time.

What brought today’s sadness on was that I wanted to ask her advice about buying a house, and I couldn’t. I had to settle for asking about when she bought the house on Normandie, and the house I grew up in. She couldn’t remember anything. She didn’t remember looking at houses, what made her know that these houses were “the one”, her fears about the process… nothing. I tried not to let my sadness and disappointment show, but I think the other residents saw it. One lady gave me a sad smile when I looked away from mom for a minute.

I tried to finish the visit on a positive note. I don’t ever want her to feel that she has done something wrong, when she hasn’t. I talked about running, how hard DH is working, good things that are happening at work (even though I’m so upset at work right now I want to scream), the crock pot meals I’ve been cooking, the baseball tickets I have, etc. Then I told her I loved her, gave her a kiss and walked out the door. In tears.

It’s times like this – where something big is happening in my life – that I miss her most. People who haven’t had a loved one go through dementia/Alzheimers, don’t really understand. The body is there, but the mind (that thing that makes her who she is) is not. That’s what I’m mourning. That’s what I miss. That’s what makes me cry as I’m reminded every Friday when I visit.

I love you mom. I miss you, so much.

It’s done.

Well, mom has been moved.  It happened two days late, but it happened.  I dragged my sick self over to her house to help get her ready to move.  Then I got her into the car, drove her to the new home, brought her inside, unpacked her things and left her there.  Like she was an unwanted puppy or something.

God, I feel so guilty.

I was OK until we drove away from the home she’s lived in since 1978.  I had to work really hard not to cry as I drove her to this board and care home.  I described the place to her, reminded her of the caregivers’ names, talked about her room, etc. because she didn’t remember.  She said she was sorry for whatever she did to make us not want her any more.  I tried to explain to her that we weren’t moving her because we didn’t want her.  We were moving her because we couldn’t take care of her any more.  I also told her that as her daughter and health decision maker, it was my job to make sure that she was living the best life we could get for her.  And staying at home wasn’t the best for her any more.

I don’t think she got it.

So I left her there.  I gave her hugs and kisses and left her there.  With virtual strangers.  In a house that isn’t home.

You don’t have to tell me how much better this will be for her.  Trust me, I know.  I just feel as though I’ve given up on her or something.  Intellectually I know this is a good decision.  But emotionally it’s hard.

I’ll sit here and cry for a bit longer and then get up and calm myself down.

I don’t consider myself to be a religious or very spiritual person, but I found myself praying a lot today.  I prayed for guidance and strength.  Now I’m praying for peace.  I hope I find it soon.

  • October 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • Archives