Friday, January 9, 2015
New Year 2015
Many of our family and friends have asked me to beginning blogging again about mom's journey.
I've thought long and hard about the request and I think that it will be helpful for not only the friends and family, but also for me to put my thoughts to paper (or the internet :)
Mom moved back in with Shawn and I in February of 2014 after a one month stay at a live in facility.
The move to the live in facility was best for me at that time, but it was not what was best for mom. She declined rapidly while at the facility losing more than 20 lbs and losing every little bit of her personality that was left.
I tried everything to make the live in facility work, but when it became a matter of safety.... That is where I drew the line.
Mom was placed in the hospital on February 14 for a 4 day stay and never returned to the facility.
She came back to live with Shawn and I. Gary and I put our heads together as to what to do during the daytime as going back to the Daycare facility was not an option either.
I reached out to an AMAZING women by the name of Teri who mom had become very close with while in the Daycare program. I knew that Teri was not happy at her current place of employment, so I made her an offer. HAPPILY she accepted and has been caring for mom during the day ever since her 2 week notice was up.
She is AMAZING for not only mom, but for this entire family. We love her like she has always been a part of this crazy family..... Honestly... I would lose my SH%$ with out her.
She is the most reliable, sensitive, caring person I have ever met. Her patience with mom is like noting I've seen or able to do myself.
So let me bring you up to speed on where mom is within this horrible disease. She is no longer able to feed, bathe, or toilet herself. She requires help for all of these things. Her communication is at a minimum and most times the words are all garbled together. But.... Funny enough cuss words are still clear as day. Mom was a cusser while I was growing up... But now she is a sailor! We cant help but laugh sometimes. What can I say---I come by it honestly :)
We have to crush all of her medication before giving it to her and we have to mix it in with pudding. Getting her to take even the pudding use to be a challenge. I can remember a time when I literally had to plug her nose and cover her mouth so she could not breathe, to get her to open her mouth. I had to quickly shove the spoon full of pudding in while she was gasping for air... Horrible I know ... But you do what you have to do, sometimes. Now she has progressed so far that she takes it with no issues.
She needs supervision when getting up to walk around even the house. She is very unstable and has fallen a few times. Luckily all on carpet and not into anything. She gets up from the couch on her own and wanders around the house, but has never tried to go outside. Just as a precaution Shawn changed all of the exterior doors to require a key to get out. Multiple locks on the sliding glass doors.
She never gets out of bed. Once we put her in bed, I don't think that she realizes that she can get up, or maybe no longer has the strength to. We have to go and physically get her up in the mornings.
Teri talks her out for a walk just about daily even if it is only to check the mail. We use a wheelchair for her on some occasions when she gets too tired and is no longer able to walk.
Noises use to really bother her. When we would go out for dinner or anywhere when someone dropped something or banged plates or glass together she would freak out and yell... Not anymore. We are able to take her to dinner or out and about with us most always.
Mom experiences vomiting a lot for no known reason. She has had scans done in the past but nothing additional was found. We are going to see a GI provider this coming week. This is one of the more difficult things to deal with. No warning, all over the place, and for hours.
Shawn and I keep her sleeping propped up to prevent her from aspirating if she gets sick during the night.
Mom walks with her head down and seldom lifts her head to make eye contact with you. Her neck muscles are so tight. Her left arm is also minimally used as she had a mini stroke and that is the lasting effect. She holds it very close to her body at all times.
She still bits her nails, but only on her right had :) At times the noise aggravates me so much that I have to put a sock over her hand to prevent her from chewing them.
Lots of people always said to me that things happen for a reason. Living through this journey with mom, I am now a true believer. I can not even begin to wrap my head around the though of dad still caring for mom during these late stages. I always laugh at the thought of me caring for mom with a child.... I guess now I know the reason I was not able to get pregnant when we tried.
I am blessed each and every day to walk through this journey with mom and help care for her. I'm not going to lie... It is trying at times and sometimes need a break .. But all and all.. I am grateful.
She would have done this for me... Hell she did, through my whole childhood.
I love this new woman Georgiana has become. I refer to her as Georgiana, because that is the only name she responds to. She does not respond to mom at all. In her mind she is no longer a mom. She is Georgiana. It was weird in the beginning, but now it is just natural. Gary still has a hard time with it and calls her mom at most times. But she is not responsive.
As I said in the beginning. I will do my best to update weekly or at least when something new occurs.