When I woke up this morning, I was still “flaming” after last night. I decided I would take charge and take care of all of those things I have neglected lately. Sometimes, I just have too much on the calendar, to take care of those little day-to-day things.
So, my feet hit the floor running, and I started a load of laundry, slugged back a couple of cups of coffee and got busy. Camsgranny, cleaned the entire house and did 4 loads of laundry (sheets and bedding stuff included), flipped mattresses around, and FINALLY put winter clothes away and went through summer clothes.
Apparently, something happened over the winter and that “full-bodied shampoo” I use, floated on down my body when I was rinsing, and well….somethings from last year just don’t fit anymore. It’s the shampoo, trust me!
The Electrician is all in a flutter about holding a garage sale. Our town holds an annual Garage sale town wide, and the date is rapidly approaching. Now to be truthful, I don’t “do’ garage sales, and this is all his puppy. I have been following him around the house when he grabs something and says ‘Yes, we can sell this”, and I follow tucking it into a cupboard. I have given in to some things, but well… I could secretly be a hoarder and don’t know it.
With my house cleaned and shiny, and groceries (that the Electrician bought) put away, we headed out to the Nurse’s house for a BBQ. We had a great time, with most of the family there, and then the Electrician did not feel well so we both came home. After a 2 hour nap, we are back up and at it.
We did let Ms. Baby out, and let her hang out on the porch, but when we heard all kinds of birds chirping and going off, we went outside. Apparently, Ms. Baby was stalking a baby bird and had it pinned between her paws (she has no front claws), every bird within a 2 mile radius was dive bombing her butt, and we got her to come inside, and hopefully the baby bird has made his escape. While I feel bad for the baby bird, I understand Ms. Baby’s instincts. She was a little forlorn and gave us extra loving, because her Daddy yelled at her.
My schedule is about to change, as the Nurse is now out for summer break, and Cam Man and I won’t be spending everyday together. That kind of makes me sad. I had to laugh today though, because when we were pulling up at the Nurse’s house, Cam saw his “Papa’s truck” before we had even turned the corner and had already started running. His Auntie Boo grabbed him, and he was all smiles when we got there. Of course the first few minutes were spent with Cam loving on his Papa, and then it was ‘Will you play with me Jo?”. We played and Papa pulled his truck up so Cam could hang out on the tailgate of Papa’s truck. Cam looked at me and asked “Papa Dan, he ok?” My heart kind of melted. I told him “Papa Dan is ok”, then he asked about Momma, it was so cute how he said it to me. “Jo?”, “Yes?” “Your Momma, she ok too?”. “Yes, Cam, she is ok too”.
His and mine schedule is changing, and I think we miss each other a bunch more than we ever thought we would. When I stopped by his house yesterday, he was knee-deep in mud and water and having a blast helping his parents get their yard into shape, but when I was ready to go, he went up to the Rav4 and was ready to go. It broke my heart, I couldn’t take him with me. Today, was another of the same story. When Papa and I had to leave, I had a little talk with him, and told him we were going home, and he had to stay and play with all the kids at his house, and to be a “big boy” and give us hugs and kisses and go play.
It worked, until we were in the truck and ready to go and then all hell broke loose, he came running and screaming up to the truck and clung to me, and said, “NO, I go with you and Papa”. Uncle Nate came and got him, and when we drove away Grandma Sue had him and he was waving with tears in his eyes.
What a Saturday…….I’ve also been helping a friend of mine with her journey with Parkinson’s, and trying to find ways for her to succeed in what she is doing. It’s a work in process, and still ongoing, but I will help, in any way I can.
While my mind is going 1000 miles an hour, and you can probably tell by this post, Welcome to my Saturday, Camgranny’s style….
While I have been living life ( by the seat of my pants) , lately. I have had so many Good days, that I kind of forgot about the bad ones. Things have been so jam-packed full of adventure lately, in other areas of my life, that I have kind of pushed all those PD feelings to the background, and really have not thought about them much.
Can I just say, while others of you are shaking your head, and saying “That’s not a healthy approach to the situation”, it HAD been working for me. Up until today. I’ve been busy folks, between this and that, I haven’t really had time to do things that I normally do. I found a little time out of my day today to realize, Sometimes when I am the happiest, is when I am not focusing on Momma and the PD.
Ok, I said it. Blast me for being an ungrateful daughter, but I have learned some lessons with this thing called Parkinson’s. Momma has it, I don’t. There I said it. I feel guilty when I have so much joy in my life, and then I come back to Momma, because with Momma, there is no joy. Yes, there are certain moments that amount to it, but they are few and far between.
Somewhere along the line, I got so caught up in Momma’s Parkinson‘s, that I forgot to truly enjoy life and all of its Blessings. I was so worried about, how she was feeling, what she is dealing with, has she “pooped” today, does she have a temperature, why is she doing “x, y, z”, is she going to die? That I stopped living for myself, and focused my whole being on her. THAT is not healthy, for me, nor anyone around me.
What I have learned in the last few days (THANK YOU Cam-Man), is life does go on, no matter what. Life doesn’t stop because Momma is having a bad day, I have learned to deal with it, and adjust, whatever I can to make her feel better.
Parkinson’s is a crazy disease, that a bunch of people are affected with. It is different from one person to the next, there is no cure. period. What I Have learned, is we make do with what we have and what we know, and if we don’t know, then we fly by the seat of our pants.
Momma, has actually had some really good days lately. We have new issues that we deal with daily, But ya know what? If I go back to that saying, “God will never give me more than I can handle”, and goodness knows I can lift a semi truck by myself at this time, it’s ok. I’m not on this road alone, I have a BUNCH of peeps at my side, who will help me IF I need it.
Sometimes as Caregivers, we get lost in the giving of care. It is SO important, to remember, YOU are an individual, who is dealing with the “disease” as well, maybe not as intense as the person who has it, but you still give care. I lost myself for a while, but guess what? I’M back……
The road is bumpy and filled with pot holes, you just have to learn how to manuever through them. It is so easy to get caught up with the “drama” and the feelings, but you truly have to look at your own feelings through this journey, and trust me when I say journey, because it is.
I’ve learned so much, and given so much, and received so much. Words could not even begin to describe it. I’ve learned some very hard lessons for me lately. They were a long time in coming, but I’ve learned them. I’ve always told y’all that I was on this journey for a reason, I’m just starting to figure it out.
Today was a very good day, in all aspects of it, and I told the Electrician this, and then went on to say something else, but he cut me off, because he told me, “Quit looking for trouble, accept what you have and go with it, because if you say something silly, it will happen”. He’s right.
I’m sorry but a song just popped in to my head, and call me silly if you want to but it is Doris Day singing ‘Que Serra Serra…”.
Life is good at Camsgranny’s house. I won’t say anymore.
I’ve spent a bunch of time lately with my little dude. His name is Cam-man.
This little dude is about to turn 3. He is full of questions, LOVES all things boyish, John Deere tractors, bugs, OUTSIDE, nature, and just plain everything.
He shows so much compassion at the age of “almost 3′, that truly triggers my heart.
He loves the Farmer, and the Farmer thinks it’s because of the “Big toys” he has. Cam-Man has fallen in love DEEPLY with tractors. Not sure why, but so it goes.
I can’t tell you, over the past couple of days, Cam-man has been at the Farmer’s and all’s he truly wanted was to be outside. So, with the weather cooperating, we’ve been outside. Cam has learned how to plant a plant, tomatoes, and green peppers, and played with the dirt, and ran from one end of the Farmer’s property to the other. He did have to stop halfway and say, “WOW“. He got truly excited when we passed by the fields that all of the Farmers are out planting right now. He counted the amount of tractors we have seen, and was trying to count the fingers. On the way home today, he gave up and fell asleep at 15.
When people ask me, how I deal with everything I deal with, I simply say look at this picture,
Because truly a picture is worth 1000 words.
Whenever I see Cam and Momma together, it makes my heart burst. This little dude has had a hard time recognizing who I am, much less the people I bring him to. I have since been renamed, to “Jo” simply because that is what his Momma calls me and he feels comfortable with this. He knows my Dad is his “Papa Dan” and my Mom is ‘Grandma Jo’s Momma”.
When I truly sit down and think about it, he is teaching me things. It must be confusing for a kid, to have THAT many Grandparents’s, but Cam’s dealing with it in his own way. He tell’s me every morning, ‘We going to Papa Dan’s?” “Yes, Cam we are, and we have to take care of Grandma Annie ok?” “She’s your Mom right?” “Yes, Cam that’s my Momma ok?” “Yup”.
Cam is the light of Momma, from him telling her to “poo on the potty and NOT in her pants” cracks me up. Dude listen to your own advice ok? Cam-Man stands at the front of Momma’s bed everyday when I give her a bath, and her and Cam carry on like nothing, talking back and forth, it makes me giggle.
But what I have truly realized, between the banter they carry on, they are both helping each other in a way. Whenever it is time for Momma to take those steps into the other room, Cam sits on her walker, and gives her encouragement the whole way. he tells her “put your foot down” to “breathe, we are almost there”.
Who knew an almost 3-year-old had that kind of power, especially when his main love is “Buzz light year, and John Deere tractors?”
I’ve said this from the beginning and I will say it forever, the “new” and the “old” have so much in commen, now if they could both just poo on the potty I would be so much happier…..
To the Farmer, before I get into this, I’m sorry if I have “broken” our code, but sometimes, you need to share with other’s, things that you are dealing with, for other’s that are dealing with this thing called Parkinson’s.
I’ve been reluctant to talk about it, because we are dealing with “new things”, and we are still trying to find our own way through this thing called Parkinson’s. But I had kind of moment today, call it frustration, call it AHA, call it, someone please explain this to me, or just one of those over all moments, when you facepalm your head and say, What the Heck.
I have to back up the trolley for a second and let you all in on yesterday. We changed up Momma’s schedule yesterday, and while we thought it would not make a difference, it did. We got Momma up an hour earlier than usual, and put her to bed earlier than usual. It wasn’t a major problem, other than we had to use the wheelchair all day yesterday. Yes, I lifted Momma myself ( my back will tell you I did) (Something about a little 4’11″ roughly 115lb girl lifting her 5’7″ 138lb Momma). Momma did not walk yesterday, she tried, but it wasn’t gonna happen. Momma had a good day of sleep yesterday.
Today, Cam-man and I went in and visited with Momma a few times before we got her up. Imagine my surprise when I went into give her, her meds, and I told her “Good Morning Sunshine girl, how is my Momma today?”, she replied with “Good Morning darling, not to bad.”. All the while Cam-Man is pointing to Momma and asking me, That’s your Momma Jo?” Yes, Cam-Man it is. He smiled and grabbed her hand and then carried on a conversation with Momma, to which only he and her understood, because I was looking at both of them like “Uh, what????”.
When it came time to get Momma up, she was full of giggles and “back to normal”, after her bath, the Farmer was on the phone with one of his buddies from a long time ago, and it was one of those “Oh Shit” conversations. (plain english, one of his and momma’s friends had died)
Since the Farmer was on the phone, I decided not to disturb him, and put Momma on her porta potty by myself. While it may have taken me 2 tries, we did it. Momma latched onto me like I was the last person on earth. Cam-Man was there telling Momma, “You do it with Jo okay?”.
When the Farmer arrived, Cam-Man and Momma and me were giggling over our attempts, but when she heard the news of her friend passing, she withdrew, completely. From there it was a very hard attempt by Momma to WALK into the other room with all of our help.
MY Momma is in there, trust me, I know this. While Parkinson’s does what ever it does, she’s in there. Today, was a rare glimpse into that. I saw her fight to walk, even after I had asked her about the wheelchair, and she looked at me with spit drooling out of her mouth, because she cannot swallow I gave her a cloth and she spit it out, and told me, I WILL WALK into the other room. And folks, she did.
Wherever her mind is at, I don’t know. She see’s things that are not there, she HURTS everywhere, and sleeps probably 22 hours out of a 24 hour day. But that hour or so she is awake, sometimes is hell on wheels.
Cam-Man summed it up today, when we left the Farmer’s house. I always tell him to give the Farmer and Momma loving before we leave. Today, Momma was not quite herself, but Cam-man gave the Farmer a hug and a kiss and told him, I’ll be back. Then went up to Momma and grabbed her hand and kissed it, and looked into her eyes, and said, “I Wove you, I’ll be back, be here ok?”
After reading this, it might sound pathetic, but ya know what? It’s Parkinson’s, and we are dealing with it. We are fighters here, and even Momma is still fighting. I can only hope I can show the grace, love and dignity, when this disease robs you of all it. Momma still has all of those.
I have come to the conclusion, that I am not faithful to my blog anymore. When I first started it about a year and a half ago, I faithfully typed every night, sometimes a couple of times a night. I don’t know if I am suffering from “blog burn out” or simply getting to a stage in my blog, that I cannot share everything with y’all anymore.
When I first started my blog, I was a very scared Daughter of a Parkinson’s momma. I did not know what to expect, and I honestly did not think it would bring to me where I am today. I have opened myself up to y’all, and told you about daily living, as a Caregiver for this disease.
But what I did not expect, was that my words would run dry. I did not expect to come to a time, when I find myself not wanting to share some moments, simply, because I know I am on the last leg of my journey, and I am trying to hold everything dear and near to me. I have noticed, I only post on the weekends, and that’s probably because I have more time on the weekends to give you an insight. But even that isn’t really even close to what I am living right now.
There are a lot of things that go on, that I can’t even bring myself to write about, and that’s me, because if I write them down, then it makes it so much more real. It does not take away their value, nor the reality, it’s just me procrastinating the enivatable.
So, at the end of today, while I may have gone and “filled” in for Caregiver Beth, because she was sick, and I went and took care of Momma, it wasn’t a burden, it was a Blessing. I know my time may be short, but then again, it may be longer too, who knows?
All’s I know at this point, everyday is a Blessing, and I am thankful for it. I have faith y’all, and I told y’all there is a lesson, I’m learning it. Ok so I may be hard-headed and might not be the best student, But I am learning.
This is probably the hardest thing I have done in my life so far, and at 51, I’m still learning….It’s ok though, because, I know I’ve got a “crew” on my side and a bunch of angels, looking out for me, and Momma……
While this post is a couple of days late, please forgive me. It’s been a crazy couple of days. The past week, I had been talking to Momma and telling her what day it was, and how many more days to go before her “Big day”.
It was too cute, when the Farmer brought in the balloon, Momma was just getting ready to get up, and Caregiver Beth was helping her. I brought in the flowers and asked where a vase was.
Since we could not locate a vase, I improvised and used an empty wine bottle. When I brought it in and showed Momma, she giggled and said she needed to talk to my parents. Uhm? I looked at her and the Farmer was already giggling, I said, “Uh, Momma you are my parent, whatcha wanna talk about?”. She replied, I was cheeky, but was giggling the whole time.
A fellow blogger of mine, just recently posted a blog about “Nostalgia”, I guess I am feeling it too. Over the past 32 years, I have had the BEST set of parents a girl could ever ask for. (Although in 51 years, I’ve had the Best Dad a girl could ever ask for).
The thing about Momma and the Farmer though? They truly love each other and even though Momma has Parkinson’s, the Farmer does his best to make her feel loved. The times they flirt like they are 18, and make ME blush, well, I guess we all are Blessed.
Happy Anniversary Momma and the Farmer…. Love you both to the moon and back….
When I first entered it, I was hoping to get at least 100 votes. I truly want to spread the word of this Disease to people. Some of you have read my post “Something hit me hard”, because I was dealt a hand by Facebook, who rectified the situation.
Can I say, that after getting 627 votes (ok, some of those were from my family), I was totally blown away. By the support, and the people (and a bunch of friends, that let me in on some secrets). It seems to me, that there are a number of people, that I know, who are affected with this Disease in one way or another, that I never knew about.
So, I guess I may have raised some awareness, at least I hope I have helped to let people know, there are many that suffer from this Disease.
Let me also say, that ending the contest as number 10, isn’t shabby either. But the only reason I was able to end up in that spot, was because of all those that voted, sometimes as many times as 6 times in one day.
So from me to you, THANK YOU, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!
Today, something hit me, and touched me in many different ways. I am involved in a photo contest on Facebook, It’s from the Michael J. Fox‘s Facebook page. It is a photo contest called, I’m curing Parkinson’s Photo Contest.
I’m curing Parkinson’s for my Momma, is my photo with me holding a card stating this fact.
The Electrician always votes the first thing in the morning, and when he went to vote this morning he could not find it anywhere. It distressed him, or basically, just kind of surprized him that it was not where it was supposed to be. It was like it was wiped totally off the internet.
When I woke up and went to find the page, I couldn’t find it either, so I tracked down the page and went to the source. I was able to vote, and then when I went to share it, I was told, I could not, due to this being reported to Facebook as spam.
Uhm, what? I will admit, at first I got mad, I mean mad. Facebook throws all kinds of things at me, that I consider spam, and I just go with it and hide it from my page. I think in my whole years I have only reported one item for spam, and that’s because it was mentally, and physically disgusting.
But then I started thinking, I share this page with ALL of my “friends” on Facebook, so has the Electrician, the Nurse, and the Fisher dude. Heck some of my friends have even shared it on their pages.
It really distressed me. I answered Facebook’s questions, and I also hit them up with a question of my own. “While this has been reported as spam, I am in a contest, for Parkinson’s awareness, and you have stated to me it is spam. My question to you, is Parkinson’s spam? Because if it is, would you kindly delete it from the millions of people who suffer from it.
My photo challenge is back up and running. Thank you Facebook.
Have you ever immersed yourself so totally into something that you have found you have gotten tunnel vision? That somehow, you have forgotten to look up and just breath? You have managed to wrap your entire life around something.
These are things I have thought about the past week. Don’t get me wrong, as I have the love and support of my family. But lately, I’ve been so enmeshed in Momma‘s, Parkinson’s and so dreading the next steps, that maybe I’ve seen things, that may or may not have been there.
I do have to quote the Nurse in one of our conversations this past week, “I’ve seen them be on death’s door and then recoup and live for 3-4 years more”. So, that lead me to some deep thinking, and also to an understanding, of myself.
Instead of always thinking the worst, I need to look at the positive. I guess I had one of those AHA moments this past week. Momma was bad…she was sick, and I scared myself silly when I went in to check on her one morning. She was so pale, and seemed to me to be just barely breathing, she was weak, and I got literally so scared. I called the Nurse and asked her to come check on Momma.
I guess in all of my research on Parkinson‘s, and while I don’t have it, I think I know a bunch about it. While I have researched until the sun has gone down and come back up again, the funny thing about this thing called Parkinson’s, is no one has the answers. It affects every person differently. Parkinson’s Dementia is also a another unknown in the medical clan, and research is improving, but still sketchy.
I made a decision this past weekend. As Momma passed her 69th Birthday (twice, because she did not remember celebrating her Birthday on her Birthday, we did it twice).
I have decided, that instead of looking for the end, I will cherish each moment I am given and when God calls Momma, then so be it. I am tired at looking at “signs”, because they get me all upset and torn up, for nothing. No one knows when someone will go “home”, and while all the “signs” can be there, Momma is like a rally squirrel. If she’s not ready, then I’m keeping her here.
Are we tired? Hell yes we are, the Farmer is tired, and I know this. But what happened between the Farmer and Momma today, made my heart swell. When I was getting Momma up, and I needed the Farmer’s help, and he came into the room, and told her how beautiful she was, and she asked who that “good looking man was”, I felt truly Blessed. The love they have for each other, even with this horrible disease, made me happy.
Parkinson’s affects every one differently. We have lived with it for a while. We’ve only dealt with the “bad” part of it for about 2 years. But when I look at everything, I try to place myself in her shoes, and try to feel how she feels. I can’t do it without totally feeling helpless. It’s not a good feeling. I can only help as much as I can, and try to make her days, better.
I know she loves me, she tells me everyday. We share so many giggles, even when she is not feeling her best. One spark in her day is her love for Cam-man, (who is my Grandson), they share a bunch, to who can go on the potty, instead of in their pants. To holding hands and giggling together. The young and the old…..there is so much to be said for that. I can’t even begin to tell you.
I don’t really even know where I am going with this post, but this is just an insight of my mind, going through some stuff.
Today has been my what I like to call my Long day Thursday. My usual routine is thrown totally our of whack. I get up early and head over to the Nurse’s house and then fall asleep on the couch waiting for Cam-Man to wake up and then go back to my house, and start my day.
Today was a little different, first of all, I don’t have the beloved Rav 4. I have the Farmer’s “truck”. Now folks, I am used to driving my Rav 4, or the Electricians’s Chevy S10, but I am sporting the Farmers Chevy Silverado with a king cab.
This is not the Farmer’s truck, but it looks kinda like this. Okay, for the record, I am 4’11″, and had to use the “crawl” bar that is on the Farmer’s truck to just get into the cab.. Why am I driving this? you ask, well, let me tell you. After the Nurse’s car “blew up” so to speak…I asked the Farmer to borrow his “Truck” (which I may add has been neglected because he is sporting a new Toyota“) Was simply because the Nurse had to have her car go to the Auto Dr. and have it fixed.
I volunteered my Rav 4 to the Nurse, and begged the Farmer for the Truck, (which has been neglected in the garage, but I will get to that). When the whole thing went down, I asked the Farmer if I could borrow his truck for a few days, and HE LET ME HAVE IT…..ok, forgive me for being silly, because I am not usually allowed to drive his vehicles, and I am truly honored, that I got to take his beloved truck for a day or so.
While I may seem like I am being nasty, I really am not. I am just telling the Farmer in my own way, I LOVE YOUR TRUCK. Was I scared, YES, folks it’s a BIG truck. I managed to drive it, AND park it back into the garage it is housed in. Uh… I have NEVER parked a car, truck or even a lawn mower in a garage, because well…I haven’t.
I’m a little loopy, because this is my “long” day. But what I do want to say, is, Thank you to the Farmer for entrusting me with his truck, conversations throughout this morning were tense. It’s been raining in my area today, and some serious rain at that, and the Farmer although I know he trusts me, was worried some about his truck. I can say the truck and me came out fine, (although I did have him park in the garage for the last time, because I might have or might not have cut it a little to close the last time I parked it in the garage.)
I lead an incredibly Blessed life, folks, I’m not kidding. There are no words to describe, my life in the past 24 hours…..there is a bunch more to this story, but…I’m, pooped.
To My Momma, who thought today was her Birthday, there are no words to describe the Love I have for you.
To the Farmer, there are not enough words to even begin to describe how I feel about you. Arguing, and giggling, and just the warm hugs, our love for Momma, shining through, and I was paying attention to what you told me, and I hope you were paying attention to what I told you.
I am the daughter of a Parkinson’s Momma, with the love of her and my Father….tomorrow is another day….