Tag Archives: Nursing home

Sometimes, ya just gotta laugh!

I truly try to find the humor in most situations.  Sometimes, it is a lot easier to laugh than cry.

Momma said something to me today, that really made me kinda giggle. 

Momma:  “Am I going blind?”

Me:  “Uhm, I really don’t think so, Momma.  Try opening your eyes, because right now they are closed.”

Momma:  “Oh, yes, I guess your right, they were closed.”

(The Farmer was sitting in the room, and he added to it.)

the Farmer:  “I just shut off the overhead light, honey, your not blind, we took your glasses off, Oh, and your eyes are closed.”

Earlier, before this one was another one.

Momma:  “I really think the Queen should have invited me to tea, after all it’s my birthday AND her jubilee.”

Me:  “Uhm, Momma it’s not your birthday today”.

Momma:  “Well it IS the Queen’s jubilee”.

Ok folks, how can you argue with that one?  

The funny thing is, most of the time Momma is Momma, but lately, uhm…not so much.  Between sleeping a lot, stiffness, a lot, and just some wierd mind things, Parkinson’s is kicking our butts.

 

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Happy Birthday to the Nursing Student!

While I am typing this it is still officially 45 minutes away from your birthday.  But It will be my post of the day.

May 9th is the Nursing Student‘s birthday.  While I didn’t give birth to her, she is my daughter.  I share her with her Momma and that’s ok.    I met this lil’ girl 17 years ago, and then she became part of my family, and I became part of her’s, when I married her Father, the Electrician.

She lived with us, and I was her day-to-day Momma, so to speak.  I had never had “girls” before.  I learned a lot. I think we both did.  We both learned together.  Sometimes, it was rough, sometimes I didn’t want to over step my boundaries. (I had an excellent teacher in My Momma). 

While I have so many memories of the girl she was, I won’t post any of those pictures, although…uhm…nah, I’m not going to embarrass her.

I am so proud of the woman she has become.  I like to think I helped with some of it.  I know one of the proudest moments in our lives, and there are a lot of them, but this one come’s to mind, was the one when she got married.  There is nothing like seeing the baby girl in a wedding dress, with her sister as her bridesmaid, and her Father giving her away, and her brother marrying them.  Yes, Folks, the oldest son is a Minister who officiated the wedding ceremony.

 

After watching all of the obstacles she overcame, with a little nudging, and a lot of praying.  She did it.    One of her proudest moments I think was this though.  This would be the day Cam-Man entered the world.

And after all of that, she is accomplishing her dreams.  She wants to be a Nurse, and is going through Nursing school.  And while, these  next few days are gonna be hard, we are all pulling for her!

But what I would like to say to her on her 29th Birthday, is this.  God Blessed me when he brought you into my life.   It has not always been an easy road we’ve travelled, but I think we did ok. 

I can’t tell you how much you mean to me.  I can’t express what you’ve done for me, but I can tell you this,  I love you girl with all my heart, and am so proud of you, and I thank you.  For your friendship, and your love.

Happy Birthday Claire!

 

Chapters in a story, it’s called life.

Something about this weekend has stuck with me.  It was nothing special, nothing earth shattering, maybe just an acceptance of sorts.

All of us have different aspects of our life, of times that have passed.  But I realize now that when I take out those memories, I look at them in a totally different light.

While I was living them, some of them are darker than other’s.  Some bring such warm fuzzy moments to me.  But I have realized that with the passage of my youth, and early years, maybe I would of changed some things, but then again.  Maybe not.

Because everything I have been through, to date, has brought me to the person I am now. The Farmer always told me, life builds character.  While I have not always enjoyed my life, especially the early years, I reached a place, where I think I am finally comfortable.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things that happen in my day to day life, that hurt me to the core. But I’ve also learned, I am one tough cookie.

Some of the things I’ve learned,  1. Not all men hit women.  2.  It is ok to have a different point of view on something and be able to voice it.  3.  EVERYONE makes their own choices in life, and I’m not responsible for those wrong choices.  4.  I have a family that loves me.  5.  Life is a chapter in a book.  6.  I have finally accepted my past chapters in my book.  7.  I’m looking forward to the next chapters in my book of life.

Maybe I have been doing a little soul-searching lately.  Why, I don’t know.  I just have.

I can say this though.  I love taking care of my Momma who has Parkinson’s, I don’t particularly like Parkinson’s, but I can deal with Momma.  I love the Farmer.  The Electrician is my soul-mate, whom has completed my life, and yes, I am his dork.  My kids, I love em all, even the one’s that have hurt me.  The Grandkids, man, I didn’t know there was a place in my heart that needed to be filled by them.  But they have filled it. 

So, today, life is good, and I’m ready for whatever comes next.

Flabbergasted…..

I am totally flabbergasted by some of my events today.  (This has nothing to do with Momma kid’s, she’s doing good). 

So far today I have read and heard about a 10 year old person having to get a restraining order against another classmate for bullying.

I have heard about people from other countries being left in our hospital’ s because they got sick and are now here in  hospital, because there is no where for them to go.

I’ve heard about hungry kids, in the UNITED STATES, because our poverty level is well…it’s poverty.  Food, or home?

I am not a political person in any way shape or form.  But right now, I’m just…I can’t even describe it.

When I sit and think about MY circumstances, I am saddened.  My Electrician is un-employed right now, and on unemployment.  I do not work, I care for my Momma and my Grandson.  I do this by choice, and everyone is okay with that.  But at the same token, we have it so much better than other people.

We have a home over our heads, we have food on our table and our bills are paid.  Do we go out to dinner?  No,  Do we go shopping?  No.  Do we go to movies and have a good time?  No.

But, I’ll tell you what we do have.  We have the love of each other, the love of family, and we truly don’t have to have “frills”.  A  night out to me?,  The Electrician and I playing music on “You Tube” and dancing in my living room, that to me is a good time.

Bullying?  My community was rocked to the core when a young 10-year-old Ashlynn Conner, took her own life.  I know some of her family.  They still hurt today.  I don’t understand Bullying, because I guess, when I was growing up, it probably was there but I never dealt with it.    But it seems to me today, it has gotten way out of hand.  To me, it is kids, killing kids.  Where are the parents is my question.   Kids mimic what parents do, (and this is MY opinion).

People in Hospitals that maybe should be in a Nursing Home or otherwise.  Well, I just don’t know what to say about this, simply from my own experience.  Momma had Health Insurance, and the Hospital was already looking at a Nursing Home facility BEFORE we were.  We went through 2 Nursing Homes before Momma got accepted into the one she went to.  And to be quite honest, she wasn’t going to be accepted into the one she into UNTIL the Nursing Student talked to the Director of the Home as a favor.  I also called and pretty much begged.

Hungry kids in America?  OH MY GOODNESS, I can’t even address this in a sane mind.  While I KNOW what people are going through and I truly understand about parents losing their jobs and going under, I just don’t understand how kids in this country can go without food.

I know Food Banks are having problems, the amount of people coming to them is tremendous.  Bt at the same time I can’t help but think about something that happened to me in the Grocery Store about a week ago.

The Electrician and I went shopping (we ARE on a budget), we got behind a woman who had a cart of groceries.  We sat and talked while the women’s groceries were being rang up.  There were a couple of roasts, some steaks, and a couple of cases of pop, some frozen pizza’s and other stuff.  She paid….with Food Stamps. I’m not saying nothing about that.  What I am saying is that she piled her Groceries, bought with Food stamps, into her BRAND NEW FRIGGIN CAR, and I won’t even mention what it was, but the Electrician and I can’t afford it.

I’m sorry for my rant and if I lose readers because of it, I’m sorry. But We are truly struggling and I’m a little pissed off at some things going on today.

Yes, I could get a job tomorrow, and things “might” be a little easier for us, but that’s not what I was meant to do.  I was meant to be a Caretaker, of My Momma and Cam-Man.  Besides, the Electrician has told me.  “Babe, we are ok, and I’ll let you know when you need to get a job ok?”.

I believe him.

Bright Sunny day.

The difference a day makes.  After the darkness of yesterday, today dawned very sunny and bright.

Cam-Man was in a great mood today, and co-operated with me and did a lot of giggling.  We only had one serious goofy moment today.  I thought I had more diapers at the Farmer’s house, uhm…nope I only had one left.  As par for the course, as soon as I changed his pants, he decided he wanted to make a very “stinky” mess.  Folks, you know it’s bad when the kid comes up to you holding his nose saying “pewie”.

So, I improvised.  I cut up one of Momma‘s pad’s and made a diaper and then kept it together with surgical tape.    The Nursing student laughed at my ingenuity.  Hey, it worked, and it didn’t even leak!

Momma, today was brilliant.  She did all of her exercises, and was very chatty this morning.   She walked and was a bright spark today.  She mentioned that her feet hurt, so she had a “Spa Day Pedicure”, and was given a sea salt rub on her feet, had her toenails trimmed, and then her feet buffed and polished, and moisturized.  Momma remarked at the end of it, that she had enjoyed “Spa Day” and that her feet felt so much better.

As for me, I came home and the Electrician had chopped some potatoes for french fries (he says I make the best one’s), and I put together the BEST meatloaf, I have ever made (Folks, I don’t like Meatloaf, and I ate 3 pieces).  I threw some green beans on the plate too.

The Electrician and I are watching  “The Voice” on t.v., and just relaxing.  I feel better today, since I have decided to not to worry, and just “go with the flow”, so to speak.

Have you ever had the sense of “Deja Vu”?  I had the sense of “Vouja Dey” today, the feeling I’ve never been in this situation before, and I will try to embrace it, or at least make the best of it.

So, with that being said, That’s what I’m going to do.

 

Parkinsons’s Awareness month is April.

Hey y’all, for those that read my blog, I’m sorry if this first part is a no brainer. 

My name is Joanne aka as Camsgranny, I am the daughter of a Parkinson’s patient.  My Momma was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 4-7 years ago, it is really unclear at the time, because she was mis-diagnosed several times.

So what is Parkinson’s?  The official definition is it is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons.  Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination.  As Parkinson’s progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.

Over the year’s I have done a lot of research on the topic, simply because I had no idea what the Farmer (My Dad) and I were looking at.  Momma has gone through a progression of symptoms. 

The Farmer and I are her main Caretakers.  In recent events where things had gotten pretty bad and Momma was in ICU for about 1 1/2 weeks, and then sufficiently recovered to go to a Nursing home and she participated in TONS of therapy.  Momma is now at home, and we have some people come  in and assist us with her home life.

Through my blog I have met some other people who, while are not in MY shoes, they are in their own shoes. Spouses, Sons, and some really young people who have been diagnosed with this disease.

The biggest thing about this disease, is that it affects everyone differently. Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder.  The cause is not known.  It is also not necessarily an inherited disease.  Researchers have found that people with an affected first-degree relative, such as a parent or siblings, have a four to nine percent higher chance of developing PD, as compared to the general population.

How many people have Parkinson’s?  To me the number is staggering.  An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s.  In the United States alone, as many as one million individuals live with PD, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.  Incidence of Parkinson’s increase with age, but an estimated four percent of people are diagnosed before the age of 50. Statistics have also shown that men are slightly more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.  (Someone forgot to send THAT memo to Momma).

Parkinson’s does not have a cure.  It is mainly controlled with medication.  Levodopa is the most widely prescribed medication, with often several other medications to manage the disease.

The symptoms vary from person to person, but there are four key motor symptoms.  Tremors in the hands, arms, legs or jaw; muscle rigidity or stiffness of limbs and trunk; slowness of movement (bradykinesia); postural instability (impaired balance and coordination). (I’ve seen this one first hand).  Other common symptoms may include pain; dementia or confusion, fatigue, sleep disturbances; depression; constipation; cognitive changes; fear or anxiety; and urinary problems.

The next question (at least to me) is Can people die from Parkinson’s?  Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder, and although it is not considered to be a fatal disease, symptoms do worsen over time and  make life difficult. People with Parkinson’s experience a significantly decreased quality of life and are often unable to perform daily life activities. (In our case, Momma is unable to get out of bed, nor perform bathing, getting dressed or walk without assistance.  She is also no longer able to swallow, and has a feeding tube that was surgically put in her stomach for her to get a food supplement and also all of her medications. ) There is a progression of the disabling symptoms.  People have died from Parkinson’s related complications, such a pneumonia.

While some may look at Momma’s circumstance and say that’s not a life, believe me, she has days that she will charm the socks off you, and is the life of the party.  But we also have days where Parkinson’s grips her and it gets rough.

This is the Parkinson’s Awareness quilt. What is the Parkinson’s Quilt?

The Parkinson’s Quilt Project is the first global quilt project to focus the world’s attention on the nearly one million people in the US and seven to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s.  The project aims to raise awareness of the impact that the disease has on people living with Parkinson’s – along with their families, caregivers and friends – and on our continued urgency to find a cure.

Over the past year, more than 600 people created quilt panels, each of which measures 2’ by 2’.  Panels include photos, illustrations and items that express each quilter’s experience with PD. 

After finding out that April is Parkinson’s Awareness month (ok, I may be a little late but someone forgot to send ME the memo).  I am trying to raise awareness for this nasty disease.  I’ve experienced it first hand, as the Caretaker of my Momma.  Somedays are frustrating, some days are outstanding.  It wears on you at times.  Somedays you want to throw your hands in the air and say I give.  But then you look at the person suffering from this disease, and you realize, if I feel like this, I can’t imagine how they feel.    Momma has expressed her feelings to me, and sometimes it’s painful to remember these conversations.  She is scared, terrified, frustrated, depressed, sad, mad.  She has good days, and bad days.  But then out of the blue, she comes around and it’s kinda like it was in the days pre-Parkinson’s, and we laugh and giggle and she’s full of piss and vinegar.  But folks, that’s My Momma, and the Farmer and I are in this for the long haul.

 

 

Camsgranny has had a day…

To all of my readers…I’ve had a day, to the Farmer, I’m sorry, to other’s who have had my back…I love you…to those that have attacked me..this is what I have to say to you…

Camsgranny has not felt well today, but to certain people, and I know you read my posts…. This is for you.  While you may attack me, I choose to not respond, because I can only hope that someday, you will understand what I do, and to also, realize that sometimes, you need to GROW up and accept what you have done, and also to not blame other’s for your actions.  At some point in your life YOU have to accept responsibility for YOUR actions, and QUIT  blaming others.    I have not responded, because dead people cannot speak.  And that is what you told me, I am dead to you.  May God Hold you close.

Parkinson’s strikes again.

Well, why I was off having a great weekend, it appears that Momma had a couple of good days, and then there was yesterday.  Apparently Momma had a bad day yesterday.

I arrived at the Farmer’s this morning (I was a little bit late, but I’ll explain that later).  I came in and got ready to give Momma her 8am meds, and the Farmer came out to talk to me.  “Hey, I gotta tell you a couple of things that happened yesterday.”  me “Uhm  ok…”  Long story short, Momma collapsed yesterday.  Apparently she didn’t have a “great” day to begin with and then when she got up (assisted by the Farmer and Sharon (CNA) to walk into her bedroom she got about half way there and said she was dizzy and down she went.  The Farmer had a hold of her, so it was a graceful drop.  They got her back up and she walked into her room.

Apparently, Momma has been having some “dizzy” spells.  Folks, I understand this.  Momma has such a LOW blood pressure, that things are just not circulating.  This was one of the issues we brought up to the Doctor when we saw him. All’s he could tell us, was that this is a part of Parkinson’s.  Well, why they make medication for HIGH blood pressure, there is nothing you can do for low blood pressure.

I came home, after taking care of Momma today.  For me, she did really well today.  Although I was concerned because she has a bed sore. ( I called the Nursing Student and asked her to come over to look at it and advise.  We made plans to go back over later in the afternoon.)  But I digress.  I came home and researched the best I could.

“Although Parkinson’s is not fatal, certain symptoms may eventually lead to incidents which are fatal. Difficulty swallowing caused by Parkinson’s can lead to aspiration of food in the lungs. This may cause pneumonia or other fatal pulmonary conditions. A loss of balance can also cause a fatal fall.” from  ehow health.

“The leading cause of death for Parkinson’s sufferers is Pneumonia and similar respiratory ailments. The argument is that if the patients did not have PD, in all likelihood they would not have developed this particular pneumonia because it is caused by the disease symptoms. The Parkinson’s patient inhales small bits of food, saliva or mucous; swallowing difficulties and choking are symptomatic of PD and they get worse as the disease progresses. The result develops into Aspiration Pneumonia and the patient often dies.

So people die as a direct result of having Parkinson’s Disease but the direct cause on the death certificate is Pneumonia. You won’t find stats on PD deaths.

Because PD is predominantly a disease which appears when the patient is 65 years or older, the life expectancy is almost what it would have been without the disease. The problem is twofold: quality of life and the fact that the end stages are neither pleasant nor pretty to describe.

Many elderly people die as a result of the complications of a fall. Falling is the 2nd leading cause of PD patient death. Because of the balance and physical stability problems, the freezing and stiffness characteristic of Parkinson’s, the risk of falling is considerably higher than an average cross-section of older persons. Remember that not all PD sufferers are elderly, although they are in the majority.

Just as there is dementia in Alzheimer’s, so there can be in Parkinson’s. This is not a pretty dementia, it is frightening to comprehend. Another problem is that in PD it is coupled with a myriad of other neuromotor problems including possible loss of intellectual capabilities. While this is not death in can be a form of living death for the patient and for the family.” By Stephen Moon

Now that I have suffentially scared myself silly, I’ll go back to my day.   For me, while at first when I went in to give Momma her meds, she gave me the “deer in the headlight” look, like she did not recognize me.  She let me give her meds, and change her bed stuff, and get her into some dry pants.  I left her alone for a while, and then went in to get her up.  She co-operated with me and did everything I asked her to.  The Farmer came in and helped with the final stages of getting her up.  I will admit though, I was a little hesitant about when she got up to walk into the living room.

Momma did it, I made her go slow, and she was pushing to go faster.  We did some therapy and then I found out that Momma had told the Farmer that she “took Sunday’s off”.  To which the Farmer got a “talking to”.  Therapy is very important.  We HAVE to keep those muscles moving.  When Momma has therapy she is so much better.

I left the Farmer’s and went home for a bit, there was a crisis in my home I had to deal with (THAT will be another post).    The Electrician and I went to the Nursing Student’s 1. So he could do some electrical work in their garage, and 2. so the Nursing Student, Cam-Man and I could go back and check on Momma.

We got to the Farmer’s and the Nursing Student and Momma had a re-union, Momma was a little confused because the last time she saw the Nursing student was in the Nursing Home.  The Nursing Student could not believe how well Momma looked, and remarked upon that fact several times. 

I had the Nursing Student take a look at the bed sore, and she told the Farmer and I what to do. It’s already healing (which means it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was).  I understand the Nursing Student’s feelings.  She is a busy girl, and I know she wants to help out more but with working, school, taking care of Cam-Man right now she doesn’t have the time.  I told her to settle down, and that when she gets out of school for the summer, her Grandma will still be there and we would love the help.

Momma is doing better than she was, but it is one day at a time, but to the Farmer, don’t listen to Momma, THERAPY, THERAPY, THERAPY.  I know she doesn’t like it but she HAS to do it.

Parkinson’s is a disease, that is different with every patient, no two are the same and that’s what makes it so hard.  What might work for Momma might not work for someone else, and vice versa. 

The only thing I know, in my world, we are doing what we can.  Because I still believe there is a lot of  life left in her, and I want to share it.

 

 

 

 

OOPS Camsgranny is in trouble again…

Oops, I have not worn my original wedding ring for a while, I’ve worn the “imposter” because well…I knew I was gonna get in trouble.

This is the imposter:  The circle band is the one that I bought when my  other ring went to get sized and banded together.The Emerald, was one the Electrician bought me.  I’ve worn these rings on my wedding finger for about a year, simply for the fact that the original ring that the Electrician gave me.  Well, I’ve lost an emerald chip and I am scared I could lose more.

The first time I lost a chip, the Electrician told me that’s it, we gotta get a divorce….uhm…YEA right!!!!!  It’s not my fault that I wore this ring everyday and uhm, yea I may have been hard on it, but I expected it to hold up….

The ring is kinda like the marriage, you don’t expect things to get loose and disappear, but they do.  While some women like diamonds, I don’t.  AT ALL,  The Emerald, well, it makes me feel good, it’s not my birthstone, and there is no connection  to me other than I Like them

The Electrician asked me if I really wanted him to take pictures of my old hands…Uhm. yup, my hands might be old, but guess what…They are my hands…they have been through a lot, and I kinda like them.

I love my wedding ring, the Electrician had it specially made just for me.  That is special   The ring came up in conversation this weekend, when the discussion came about proposals.  You see the Nursing Student didn’t know that I actually proposed to the Electrician.    Yes, folks, I proposed to him.  Uhm…He accepted and then floored me by presenting me with this ring.  What can I say, other than we have to have another emerald chip put into it, (this would be twice) and he still loves me, and I still love my ring.  But, I love him even more.  Sometimes our lives don’t turn out like we planned, sometimes it’s even better than we hoped for.  When your life feels like it’s caving in or things don’t go your way, sometimes you just have to remember that God is watching out after you, and his son Jesus, is taking care of you.

For me….I’m Blessed and I know it, and I’m very thankful for it.  Momma is doing good, the Farmer is doing good, me and the electrician are fine, and all the kids are good. The Granbabies, they are good also.    So from my house to your’s, Peace be with you.

Seriously, I’m not Superwoman? Caregiver gone beserk.

Ok kids, I usually stay positive and “go with the flow” so to speak.  I lead a busy life.  Heck between, the Electrician, the Farmer and Momma, and Cam-Man.  Well..I’m busy.

Well…today, I am announcing to the following : The Electrician, Momma, the Farmer and Cam-Man, and the World, I am on strike.

I am seriously tired of being pulled in every direction EXCEPT the one I want to go.  I understand that each and every one of these people have needs and desires.  I truly want to fulfill all of them, but I learned a very HARD lesson today.

Superwoman, I am not.  I got frustrated by A LOT of things today.  I truly want to vent, but this is not the avenue I choose.  I choose, to count my Blessings, The Electrician, the Farmer, Momma and Cam-Man, and all of those other people in my life.

I also realize that I AM in charge.  If I choose to let these people irritate me, well, it’s my choice.  They each have valid OPINIONS, and thoughts.  But in MY opinion, the older one’s need to get a grip. 

Cam-Man is my Grandson.  I CHOOSE to take care of him, I cherish him, and I enjoy his giggles, hugs and unconditional love. 

I’m not pointing any fingers at anyone, but I CHOOSE to do what I do, I don’t CHOOSE any one over the other, and while I realize that sometimes people’s feelings get hurt.  I’m sorry.

The life I lead, while it may hurt some, it means a lot to me.  Am I happy that I give up so much of time?  No, not all the time, but it is something I accepted the challenge for.  Do I mean to hurt anyone by this, NO.  Do I feel like sometimes I am taken for granted, Yes.  BUT….

Sometimes, you need to look at the Bigger picture.  Will something I do today, have a lasting impact on that person’s life?  I am relatively young (by some standards),   I love the life I lead.  The only thing I am sorry for is that sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to make ALL of my peeps feel loved and cherished as I do.

There is so much going on right now, I will be able to post about it later, but right now let’s just say…I am a Caregiver to  My Momma, and my Grandson, I am the Farmer’s daughter and I am the Electrician’s wife.  Someday, I will make it all work until then, just call me Goofy….:)