My day started off early after a VERY late night. I stayed up chatting with a couple of really good friends. I knew I had to get up early to go over and give the Farmer a little break and let him sleep in. But I was having fun chatting, so..
Anyway, I drove over to the Farmer’s at o’dark thirty this morning, and snuck into the house very quietly. I mixed up Momma‘s meds, and then went in, took her temperature (which the Farmer does every morning), and then listened to her feeding tube on the stethoscope (which the Farmer does every morning), and then proceeded to give her Med’s and a feeding and flush with water. Momma never woke up.
I came out and cleaned all of the paraphernalia, and went ahead and made up her next round of meds, grabbed a cup of coffee went into the front room and turned on the t.v. I was surrounded by the cats, both of them looking at me like something was wrong, because the beloved Farmer was not there to give them treats or pet them which I guess is the normal routine. I gave in and gave them both treats and petted both of them.
The Farmer surfaced a little while later, and I washed his sheets for his bed, and made us some breakfast. The Farmer was a in a cleaning mood, and went into the “forbidden territory of his den” and proceeded to start cleaning.
We chatted for a bit and then the Farmer took off and ran some errands, and I went in and changed Momma’s bed stuff and got her dry again, and uhm, she never woke up. I rolled her all over the bed, and she snored through it.
I had plans today, and so when I finished the cleaning I was doing and re-make the Farmer’s bed with clean sheets, put Momma’s stuff in the dryer, I went in and got ready to cut her toenails. I had the Farmer, smother her toes in vaseline last night and cover her feet with socks, so I could cut her toenails today without that much trouble.
Let me just insert here, a person with Parkinson’s has problems with their feet, and toenails. Momma’s feet have distorted and are oddly shaped now, and her toenails are, I can’t even begin to describe them. I use pedicure scissors to cut her toenails and then a device like a sander to get them totally cut back. The nails grow funky and sometimes if I leave it to long they grow back into her toes. It’s not pretty and it hampers her walking.
I cut and sanded her toenails, in the bed, while she was sleeping. When that job was done, I went ahead and gave her a manicure too, while she slept.
My next adventure was to wake her up and wash her hair. I did get her to wake up for that simply because I had to re-position her in the bed, and she woke up long enough to hear my game plan, and be moved. However, once I had her hair wet and then was in the process of giving her a really good head massage, I heard her snore. I woke her up to rinse and then gave her a bath and then she cooperated by waking up long enough to get dressed and I put her on the toilet.
She did her events and then I finished getting her up, but I think I embarrassed her, and for that I truly feel horrible. You see, when a person sits or lays 24/7 there is going to be some breakdown of her posterior skin. While Momma had some sores, they have all healed up, but she does have some breakdown in her skin.
The Farmer ordered some special thing for her chair today that will be here tomorrow, because Momma has complained her bum hurts. I saw why today. Unfortunately, I pointed it out to the Farmer, and I think Momma got embarrassed.
When we got her to her chair, and I went to get her mouth swab, when I gave it to her she was crying. Folks, Momma does not cry, EVER. When I asked her why she was crying, she mumbled something, and I asked her again, what was wrong. The look she gave me made me want to bust into tears. She told me not to worry about her, she was ok. That’s when I got a little fierce, and told her, I was worried about her because I love her, and I wanted to help anyway I can.
I walked away and went and told the Farmer, Momma needed some Farmer time. I wasn’t sure what I had done, but she was upset. I finished everything up, and then told Momma, that Beth would be there to get her up in the morning, and I would be there tomorrow night to put her to bed. When I left, I gave her a kiss and then the Farmer. As I was leaving and walking by her, she grabbed my hand and told me, “Thank you for everything, I really do love you Jo”.
I cried all the way home. I’m not sure why, I don’t know if I did something to upset her, or if she was just upset, Parkinson’s screws with people’s minds so much, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Smiling and laughing one minute and crying the next.
I do understand about the dignity or lack of with Parkinson’s, I truly hate that. I do understand from her perspective how demeaning it could be when you must have your daughter wipe your butt, and be worried about the breakdown of your skin.
I’ve come to the conclusion, that Parkinson’s truly sucks the green twinkies, and that sometimes, even when it feels uncomfortable, for all involved, you still have to take care of the person who needs taking care of, and while your feelings may get hurt by something unknown, put yourself into their shoes, and then it makes it so painful, I can understand the tears. The funny thing is we are crying about the same thing.
Because today is Thursday, and my schedule has changed a bit, I did not go over to the Farmer’s first thing this morning. Our Caregiver Beth has class on Thursday evenings, so I “swapped” my time with Momma, and Beth goes over and gets her up in the morning, and I went over to put her to bed this evening.
I do have to say, I was at a little bit of loss this morning, because y’all know, I have a routine. So, I got up and drank some coffee, watched some tear-jerking t.v. This morning as well as tomorrow morning there are tributes being made to our Weatherman Robert Reese.
The Electrician continued with his normal routine this morning, man I love him. He lifted weights, I played on the computer. He vacuumed, I played on the computer, he did laundry, I played on the computer.
Then, he asked me if I was getting hungry, and I said yes, so he told me to get cleaned up and he took me out to lunch. Now, I am here to tell you we don’t go out to eat very often. I am not “high maintenance” either, I was thinking anywhere was cool with me.
The Electrician asked me how I felt about “Gross Burgers”. Don’t let the name fool you. The place is owned by an Ex-Marine and there is all kinds of military gear and pictures of airplanes in the place. It seats probably about 30 people tops, and the place is always hopping. I was excited and down the road we went.
My hardest decision was a choice of a fish sandwich (they are the bomb and I usually eat them during Lent), or a pizza burger, (that is as serious as it sounds), or a mozzarella burger (man it is good too). I choose a double cheeseburger with everything and a small fries (which seriously is enough to feed 4 people), and a Sierra Mist. I haven’t eaten anything else all day. I could not even eat the last bite of my cheeseburger and the Electrician had to bail me out.
We both came home and due to me and the College student breathing on the Electrician over the weekend, he is now sick with the rest of us. We both took a 2 hour nap.
I woke up and headed over to the Farmer’s. When I arrived, he was outside with someone, and I breezed in talking to Momma as I hit the door. When I rounded the corner, she had tears in her eyes, and the News was on. DAMN!
She looked at me with tears in her eyes, and asked me “What happened to BOB?” I was a little hesitant in responding, and asked her, “What have you heard?”, she looked at me as I held her hand, and told me maybe she misunderstood. I let it roll.
We then entered into a very lively discussion about where was I this morning? I explained the change in schedule to her and she took my hand and then smacked it and said I was to warn her again the next time it was to happen. We chatted for a bit, and I seriously saw Momma, from long ago. She brought things up that happened about 15-20 years ago. She was very lively for a bit, and then drifted off into a dozey land.
The Farmer made himself comfortable and I did some stuff in the kitchen, by the way, I guess that batch of Chicken and Noodles I made last night (uhm, enough to feed an army and then some) was probably the best I’ve ever made. The Farmer scarfed his plate down and burped and said thanks! He does have enough for one more meal, (while my house has enough for 2 more meals).
It was time to get Momma into the bed, and while I hardly ever put her to bed, tonite was special. I told the Farmer, we were going with the wheelchair. Momma giggled when she got her “ride” to her room. The Farmer really does need to learn to drive though.
With her evening “events” done, and me drilling her to do her “stuff” because once she got in the bed, she would not get out until I come back in the morning, forgive me for a moment folks, I was so proud of her. Simply for the fact, and I will try to be discreet, she lost about 15 pounds in her “events, and it was without any aid.
When I tucked her into bed this evening,she grabbed my hand, and put it to her cheek, and she made me lean in, looked me in the eye, and stated “I Love you Joanne, someday I will make this up to you”. “Momma, all’s I need is your smile, and the debt is paid”.
I was blinded. She gave me her truly “Momma smile”, I almost teared up, but did not want to upset the Farmer or me, so I tucked her in, and then left. I will admit to y’all though, I did cry on the way home.
Me, the one who is the tough cookie, crumbled with just a smile. I don’t care what anyone says, Parkinson’s sucks Twinkies, green one’s at that. But I do know one thing, Momma feels the love. And at this point, that’s all that matters to me.
Ok, my universe is a little upside down right now, although in retrospect, I’m not sure it’s ever been right side up.
Yesterday, I was awakened by the phone at 6:30 am. Now, I don’t know about you, but it can never be good when the phone rings that early in my house. In the olden days, (about this time last year), it was usually because Momma had gotten up in the middle of the night and had fallen, and the Farmer had just found her, and I would fly over, and between him and I, we would get her back into bed, with her face usually being the only casualty of the fall. Thank goodness, THOSE days are over, although with that being said, it’s kind of sad at the same time, because Momma is incapable of even rolling over in bed, much less getting out of it, without assistance.
The phone call was from the Farmer, The Electrician shoved the phone at me and said ‘It’s your Dad“, while he was sitting straight up in bed. I was a little nervous, but said ‘Hello?” “Joanne, i’b sick, and cough, cough, cough, I need helb” “okay, let me throw on some clothes and I’ll be right over ok?” “Can you stob at the store and get somb masks”. “Uhm? What?”
After figuring out what he meant, I got dressed and left the house. The Electrician was ever so sweet though, because he said to me “Do you need me to go with you?” and I asked “do you want to go with me?” “Uhm, not really, but if you need me to I will”. Aww. I told him to go back to sleep, after he got up and moved his truck for me.
I’m rolling into town, and have decided I didn’t mind driving through town. For one thing, on a Sunday morning at exactly 7;02 am, there is NO ONE on the roads, and if you time it just right, you can hit every green light! I stopped at Walgreen’s, and searched high and low, until I stumbled upon facial masks. (kind of like the surgical one’s). I didn’t even know they sold them. I grabbed a box and then went over to the juice isle. The Farmer had wanted grape juice. Uhm, who ever heard of grape juice for a cold? I grabbed some orange juice and then proceeded to cruise through town.
I got to the Farmer’s and snuck in the back door. I went and checked on Momma first, then made myself a much-needed cup of coffee, and then made up Momma’s meds. The kitties greeted me, and I felt the need to give them treats and we all settled down to watch some t.v. for about 15 minutes, and then I went in and gave Momma her meds (she never woke up), Changed her pants and got dry sheets on the bed (she never woke up).
I decided that since I was probably going to be there most of the day, I would go down and get the newspaper, read it, and then sweep the kitchen, and then, just because, I laid down on the couch. About the time, I’m laying down here comes the Farmer. Wow, I asked him if he got the license number of the truck that he got hit by because he really looked bad. I also informed him to drink a glass of juice and get out of here and go back to sleep, and DO NOT BREATH ON ME!!
Our weekend Caregiver Beth, showed up and her and I talked for a bit. I asked her if she would mind coming back a couple of hours earlier, and let the Farmer go back to bed, and she said that was fine. She then went in and got Momma up, and then totally cleaned Momma’s room to get any little germs out of there. I taught her how to mix Momma’s “cocktail” and also showed her how to give Momma her med’s. I also hand wrote instructions, and then showed her some other stuff. She left and assured me she would be back early to help us out.
The Farmer surfaced at about 1:30, and he had a shower and looked a bit better, but still kinda rough. I told him I had made plans with Beth and she was coming back early, when he asked me why, he got the “look”. He then realized what I had meant and was very happy.
I left about 2:15, and got back to my house, and the Electrician had gotten a phone call from the Nursing student so we watched the 2 grandbabies (Cam-man and Brayden Boy) for about an hour, and then we ate dinner and I goofed off, and went to bed early.
This morning, I snuck into the Farmer’s, and did a repeat of yesterday. I was starting to get worried about the Farmer though because it was close to 9:30 before he came out of his room. He looked better. He asked me for some breakfast, so I made him the usual bacon, scrambled cheesy eggs with toast. BIG glass of orange juice and then a cup of coffee.
I asked him how last night went, and he smiled. Apparently when Beth showed up, she sent him back to bed, and took care of Momma, giving her meds to her and getting her into bed by herself. (Hey she’s a CNA and has been one for a while). Apparently when Momma was in the bed for the night, she did ask Beth where the Farmer was and he wasn’t dead was he? So, the Farmer stuck his head in the door and said, yes, he was still alive, just sick.
While I wish I was capable of getting Momma up by myself, without having to bug the Farmer, alas, I am not a CNA, and I need help. For her safety as well as mine. So, I let momma sleep in today, but needed the Farmer’s help to get her up. I made him put on the mask, and Momma giggled when she saw him, and then asked him who he was going to do surgery on.
With everything settled at the Farmer’s house, I took my leave. When I arrived at my house, I noticed no lights on, so I snuck in, plus the Electrician said he was going to take a nap. I’m getting pretty good at this sneaking in thing, because the Electrician never heard me, nor did the Farmer this morning. That’s a BIG accomplishment for me, since I’ve been told I “clomp” everywhere.
Tonite, I made a Green Chili Stew for dinner, because if the Farmer has breathed on me, like I know he has, the green chili will burn any and all bad germs out of my body. I’ve got a big weekend coming up and I cannot get sick. period. Keep your fingers crossed for me, cuz, I’m really getting tired.
Have you ever had a day, where so many things happen, and then so many more things flash in your mind? It’s like watching a movie in your brain.
My day has been a good one. A little strange at times, but over all just good.
I got up at the crack of dawn this morning, and did my stuff here, and flew down the road. Today I was going to let the Farmer sleep in and ‘sneak” in and give Momma her first meds of the day.
I have learned over the years how to be quiet, and I “snuck” in the house, the Farmer slept. I went in and gave Momma her meds, today, she knew who I was and actually smiled at me. I changed her bed stuff, got her clean and dry.
I went out and played with the kitties, who were not to happy to see me instead of the Farmer, but “Spice girl” (The Farmer’s kitty) is coming around. She did her “song and dance” routine, ate the treats I gave her and then went back to being on Momma’s bed, sleeping with Momma. This is something she has just started doing. Goldie, who is Momma’s cat, has been sleeping under the bed.
I went out and made a cup of coffee and then walked down and got the paper. On my walk back up to the house, I noticed it was starting to sprinkle. I looked up to the heavens and said a prayer for the Electrician.
For the Electrician, he is in his last week of this job. While some may say, why are you happy he is getting laid off? To them I say this, this has been one of the hardest jobs the Electrician has ever done. His body hurts, his hands, he soaks every night in ice. His knees are sore. I ask a question, could you climb 300 feet in the air ever day and not hurt? He works 12 -13 hours a day. He doesn’t complain, he just does it. For his family.
But, yet again I digress. The Farmer finally surfaced, fresh eyes and squeaky clean. He had gotten up and jumped in the shower. I got breakfast made, and then the Farmer and I planned out our game plan for the day. The best laid plans, yea, I know.
I got busy with some domestic diva chores at the Farmer’s house. Duh, moping the floor was NOT a good idea when it’s raining ‘cats and dogs” outside. I say raining “Cats and dogs outside” because this is what the little weather thingy says when it is raining.
The Farmer arrived back in time for me to tell him I was getting ready to get Momma up. I went in and shooed the kitties off the bed, both of them were up snuggled close to her by now. I gave Momma a bath, and then got her up. Momma was full of giggles at this time. She actually was down right funny, and showed some of her former self.
We got her up and onto the Porta potty, and man oh man, whew, is all’s I’m gonna say. Momma was the life and the party, for a good half an hour. By the time we got her back into the front room, PD had taken over again.
I got everything finished up and was ready to roll on down the road. Today I had an appointment with a new hairdresser. Being a little nervous, hey I am really scared about someone doing my hair. Is this a woman thing? I’ve had the same person do my hair for the past oh uhm…9 years, and going to someone new, made me EXTREMELY nervous.
I arrive, and she can see I am nervous, so she tries to settle me down. I’m ok, really. Within the next 15 minutes, I am at ease and calm. And then….my phone goes off. I am searching for my phone, and she remarks “Nice ring tone“. I look at the phone and it is the Farmer. RUH ROH….
I answer the phone, and I am a little bit flummoxed. It’s the Farmer and Half of my head is wrapped in foil, and he says Momma is acting funny and he can’t understand her. My first question that I ask is “did you turn the heating pad off?”, after a few more comments, I tell him, “Uhm, Dad, I will tell you, turn off the heating pad, tell her to calm down, and I’ll be there in a little bit ok?” “OK” is what I heard.
I finish getting my head up on foil, hehe, and then I sit back, relax and read a magazine. The hairdresser has already told me I have about 35 minutes to be “all foiled up”. I am praying by now, that everything is fine with Momma, and truly in my heart I knew it was.
Meanwhile, I got my hair scrubbed, (oh my goodness…I’m kinda in heaven about now), then, a cut and then a blow-dry. It felt a little strange telling someone how I take care of my hair, because seriously, I don’t. I wash it, I cream rinse it, and I throw it up in a towel, and then let down, brush it and whammno. I’m done. But, I kept getting told, how great shape my hair was in. Something about not blow drying it, nor curling it, nor flat ironing it. Ok to be truthful, do you know who I usually see in my ordinary day? I see the Farmer, Momma and the Electrician. Makeup, pfft, yea ok, curlers, pfft…so not me.
When I left the shop, I seriously felt like a million bucks. I love my hair, and to be truthful, she nailed it. Thank you to Sarah. I will be seeing her again. She is a marvel.
But, again I digress…..sometime between the shampoo and the cut, I received another phone call from the Farmer, telling me, Momma was ok, she just got heated up, or something like that. Did I not ask if the Farmer had cut off the heating pad?
Feeling the joy of a new haircut and color, and then coming smack back dab into reality, which is my life,I’ve learned some things about my day. I’m leaving a bunch out here because simply, I live in a small town, and I don’t wish to make enemy’s.
But I will tell you this…..if they are talking about me and MY life, then maybe they are leaving alone someone else who isn’t as strong as me. Go ahead and say what you will, because 1. You don’t walk in my shoes. 2. I’ve little time for your small a$$ bullcrap. and 3. If you want to be a big girl, then step into my shoes, deal with what I am dealing with and then come to me face to face and say what you want to.
I’m sorry to the $hit stirrer, but I will not be bullied, nor will I give your crap the time of day, other than to publicly tell you, forgettaboutit, Your barking up the wrong tree here.
Well, today was a good day and hopefully the Farmer will get some sleep tonite. You see, last night he was pretty upset at the fact that Momma (Queen of the Floor) had gotten out of bed and fallen AGAIN, and he got up 2 or 3 times to check on her. We don’t have a lot of options left to us. If she continues to get up and fall, we might have to put her into a Nursing Home and that is something that neither one of us wants.
So, we fixed her bed up GOOD today. Yesterday we ordered 2 more bed-rails for the bed and they arrived today at about 1:00pm. We had those puppies put together and installed by 2:00pm…hehehe… Hey Farmer…we work pretty well together huh? (Like Father, like daughter)
Well…unless Momma is a Houdini, she “ain’t getting outta there”. The rails now go along one side of her bed and also at the foot of the bed, and guess what’s on the other side…uhm…the wall. So, like I said UNLESS she can do magic her butt is not going ANYWHERE!!!!!
That is a little piece of comfort to both of us, because….Momma and the floor really do not make a good couple.
All this happened while Momma was in her chair watching the Walton’s. When we were done, the Farmer asked Momma if she wanted to watch “The cat and the mouse” on t.v. (Tom & Jerry) and Momma told him to watch it in his room because she wanted to watch the Walton’s…(uhm…Like Mother, like Daughter).
It’s been a really good day, I’m hoping that the Farmer and Momma are enjoying the stuffed pork tenderloin with apple dressing, baked tater and green beans for dinner…oh yea, and the Ice Cream sammiches for dessert.
I will sleep good tonite (well…the Vick’s vapor rub has helped along with a Hot toddy.)
Life today was good, bring on tomorrow.
Yup, if you haven’t guessed by the title, Momma got up again last night and took another spill, thus she has been renamed…Queen of the floor.
I got another one of those phone calls this morning, “Joanne”, “yea”, “I don’t know how she got there but she’s on the floor”. “Ok, I’ll get dressed and on my way.”
So, smelling like Vick’s vapor rub, and shaking off the Thera-flu effect, I threw on some clothes (Ok sweats really), jumped into the Rav 4 and hit the road. Only, to discover my Rav4 was screaming at me with the ding-ding-dong, I need gas. So, I stopped at my local gas stop, got gas AND a pumpkin spice cappuccino, and flew down the back roads (all in less than 30 minutes I might add).
Well the first thing I did when I got there was to assess the damage. Momma was ok, and I really don’t think she had been there all that long. She skinned herself up pretty good, and I’m not sure how her head got underneath the bed, but well, we got her up and back into bed. It wasn’t that hard this time. Altho I did ask her why she wanted to have a tea party on the floor at 7:30 am.
The farmer and I gave her 8 am meds, and tucked her up and told her to relax, which she did, and went back to sleep.
The farmer and I had a closed-door discussion for 30 minutes, and came up with a plan. Neither one of us can figure out just how she managed to get out of bed. But the bed-rail only covers a portion of her bed, so guess what? We ordered a couple of more bed-rails for her today and figure if we can surround her bed with rails then she can’t get out right? Well…we shall see. If that fails we do have a back up plan.
Poor Momma has no idea….I found out more of the story when I got her to go to the bathroom and she had a really hard time, she explained to me that she had stood in the same position for an hour this morning and her bones got stiff and she couldn’t move and she cursed Dr. SOD-OFF a thousand times. I did ask the Farmer who this Dr. was and he just looked perplexed until my Momma said, you know that Dr. I don’t like…The Farmer just laughed… Uhm…I seriously do not know who Dr. Sod-Off is but my Momma is British and I KNOW what SOD-off means…hehehe….
Momma was doing better when I left and I told the Farmer to call me if he needed my help this evening, I haven’t had any phone-calls, and not that I wouldn’t go if he called but I think I have over-dosed on Thera-flu, and the smell of Vicks Vapor Rub is kinda overpowering…. Sorry to the Electrician, but he is living with it.
I did see Cam-man today too, I watched him for an hour while the Nursing student went to class. He’s not feeling that great either, we pretty much just snuggled and had snacks and kool-aid and watched Curious George on t.v. The nursing student has it too, I told her about the Vics Vapor rub…we’ll see how it goes tomorrow….
But I am reminded of something…This too shall pass…..