While today is not “officially” Cam-man’s birthday, we celebrated it today. Scheduling celebrations are hard with a large family, and working Mom’s and other stuff.
My day started off with the normal, going over to the Farmer’s and doing the usual, that I do on Friday’s. Just call me Betty Crocker. I made a batch of blue berry muffins, and a batch of corn muffins, made breakfast, and also threw a chuck roast with pearl onions and carrots, with mushroom gravy into the crock-pot for the Farmer.
I did some laundry and a little cleaning, got Momma up and dressed and therapized. She did really well today, she was even cracking a couple of jokes today. When everything was done there, I had scoot down the road. We were going to Kickapoo State Park, for Cam-Man’s 2nd birthday party this evening.
We have all figured out that Cam-Man is the happiest when he is outside, and rolling in the dirt and having a good time. So, his Momma (the Nursing Student) decided to have a “picnic” supper at the park.
“Auntie Boo had to come and collect us, she told us to go this way, but I wasn’t sure which direction she wanted us to go.” or..(I like this one better) He went thataway….hehehe
“Momma, Auntie Boo said I stink and you need to change my pants…” So, he came strolling back to our picnic area, and believe me when I say, I moved quickly from down wind of him. Poor kid, he didn’t know. The fun started when we went to the playground. Now for all of you that follow my posts, you know Cam-Man and Poppa are at home in a playground. Cam-Man rode on his Poppa’s shoulders with Brayden and the rest of us following. We got there and first thing Cam-Man wanted to do was climb. (He wasn’t nicknamed chunkey MONKEY” for nothing. Although, the chunky part might not still hold true the Monkey part does.
Brayden-Boy loved the slides, although he likes to climb back up them after he rides down them. He knew his brother was the spot-light for today, and he was such a good Big-Brother. We don’t get to see Brayden-boy as much as Cam-Man because he only comes to stay with the Nursing student on the weekends. My goodness how he has grown. But, he always has a big hug for Poppa and Grandma.
After the park time was done, we all went back to the picnic area, of course, Cam-Man was on Poppa’s shoulders, and talking the whole time. When both boys were told it was time for cake though they lit up like a Christmas tree.
We all sang Cam-Man Happy Birthday, Brayden-Boy sang too, and when it came time to blow out the candles the whole gang, The Nursing Student, the Fisher Dude, Brayden Boy and Cam-Man joined in.
I think, we all had a great time, and poor Cam-Man had his face smashed into the cake (which is a tradition in the Fisher-dude’s family)
Cam-Man wasn’t really happy about this turn of events, he didn’t like having cake smooshed all over his face and started crying, until his Momma (the Nursing student) gave him smootches and shared the smooshed cake all over her face. He was okay after that. We all finished our cake and things were winding down, when Geema had to have her moment, so forgive me folks because this is a photo of progression.
This pic was when Brayden boy had turned 2 but Cam-Man wasn’t 1 yet. I wish I could remember the exact date, but I cannot. But I do know Cam-Man wasnt 1 yet.
Look at how little they both are. Can we stop time? Nope I guess we can’t because this is today.
I warned y’all at the beginning of the week, the Electrician and I had to co-ordinate our calendars for this week. It seems that this week has flown by, but my oh my the things that have been accomplished and it isn’t even Friday yet. The BEST part is, I survived that Insanity workout. NEVER AGAIN. Ok enough said about THAT.
We’ve been busy this week, shaping up the Farmer’s house so to speak.
I have to go back to Sunday, when the Electrician went over and cut some bushes, and now, we can see out of the front window. To loading up the truck with a second load of boxes(we burned at my house). To the Electrician re-wiring the pump-room, and then there was today.
Before I go into what happened today, I have to admit something. I guess in my 17 years of being with the Electrician, he and the Farmer have not always seen eye-to-eye. While as the one in the middle, I’ve been torn. Something has changed over the years. I think (in my own opinion, and we all know what those are worth) both have earned each other’s respect.
You see, the Farmer loves me, he’s my Daddy. The Electrician loves me, I’m his wife. But I think, they both love each other, but are to darn stubborn to admit it. Ok, enough of the sappy $hit.
I got to the Farmer’s today and let him know the Electrician was coming over to finish cutting bushes. I made breakfast, and had just started cooking bacon when I went in to check on Momma. The Farmer had run to the Post office, and the Electrician showed up (knocking on the door, uh duh HELLO, come on in). I left Momma in a precarious position, and ran to the door, and saw him. (Smack forehead here), I told him to watch the bacon and I went to finish changing Momma’s pants.
I came back out and he finished cooking the bacon and the Farmer walked in. Everyone said hello, and I asked the Electrician if he wanted some breakfast, but he had already had a bowl of sugar and said “nah”. Although, that did not stop him from eating most of the bacon on my plate. Oh well, here I go again digressing.
Breakfast was over and the men got busy.
The Farmer went and fired up the tractor, and the Electrician got busy with cutting stuff away from the house next door, (uhm, it’s lovingly referred to as my house…uhm…ok, not really, it’s the house the Farmer bought so he would not have neighbors and it’s lovingly referred to as my gym, uhm…cough, it’s the house next door, the Farmer owns ok?)
Anyhoo, I took some before shots of the house.
And actually I knew the Family that owned it. There is some tragedy around the family of the previous owners. But anyhow. The guy’s got to work, and then realized, DAMN, it’s a little hot out here. I brought over some water, (I let Momma sleep in today). I went inside the house and remembered all of the exercise equipment in it, and I proceeded to work out, while the guys were outside sweating off parts of their bodies.
I really enjoyed this thing called the Nordic track thingy, that I will take pictures of it. I did 50 of those suckers with ease, it’s when I kept going that my arms felt like jelly and my legs turned to mush, oh yea, my stomach….well, let’s just say I get it. O U C H.
Back to the matter at hand. The Electrician worked his magic and the house was transformed. The guys worked hard today. The proof is in the pictures. They also worked together and found respect in each other. (I’ll explain in a bit).
When we were (OK they) were wrapping things up we were walking back to the main house and we heard a car horn. Lo and behold the Nursing student and Cam-Man pulled into the driveway. We were all happy to see the both of them. But….ok give Geema some credit here. The Nursing student told Cam-Man Poppa was here too, and he got out of the car, said hi to Poppa, and then gave me a hug that felt like no tomorrow. That kid clung to me and made my day. (Psst…WE are still BFF’s.) We hug out for a bit and then I told everyone to come inside out of the heat. By now, the Farmer who wasn’t going to give up before his son-in-law, told him, “that’s good, let’s call it a day ok?”.
We all went inside and I went in to get Momma up. I gave Momma her bath and got her dressed (there was a lot of noise going on in the other room). I told Momma she had some visitors, and she was excited. Apparently while I was taking care of Momma, Cam-Man was acting like he owned the joint, but no-one understood what he was asking. When Momma emerged from her room, with the Farmer and my assistance, she was in her glory. Mind you she hasn’t seen the Nursing Student for a week or two, and she was so very happy to see her. They held hands and talked. Cam-Man was getting into trouble because I guess his Momma didn’t understand what he wanted. (I realized later that he wanted some lemonade out of the fridge with his BIG BOY cup) but it was too late.
The Nursing Student and Cam-Man got ready to go and the Electrician and I walked her and him out, buckled him up in his car seat, hugs and kisses all round, and then I kissed Cam-Man and told him Geema would see him tomorrow. That kid kissed me(with a cracker in his mouth and stated WUB You) and off they went.
The Electrician took me out to lunch when we left the Farmer’s. OH MY GOODNESS. Ok at this point screw the diet and I’ll work out more tomorrow. I ate enough sushi to keep the rest of the world alive.
I went back to the Farmer’s tonite, so he could go to his DRPC meeting, and I had a wonderful evening with Momma and Joyce. Joyce and I figured out how to wash Momma’s hair without it being that much of a “strain” on Momma. Momma, had a really good day, she has had therapy and been a wonder. It was almost like she didn’t have Parkinson’s.
But around 7:30 tonite, Parkinson’s reared its ugly head. It was ok though, you know why. Today, I saw some serious miracles in my family. Parkinson’s while it seriously sucks, it CAN bring a family past all of the ugliness, and to a place, where they all get together, because of the one.
Because when it’s all said and done folks, my Family has rallied around to show support and to show love and to be……a family…….
Sometimes in our lives, we all deal with painful situations. Sometimes, we try to divert the pain into other channels. Me, I always try to think positive. Sometimes, I try to mask pain. Sometimes, I talk about anything and everything EXCEPT what pains me.
Well…this is not going to be a post about what pains me. This is a post about some really good things that have happened over the past few days.
One really good thing and I seriously do not want to jinx it but Momma has been amazing the past few days. Yesterday was my “double day” which basically meant that I went in the morning and got her up, but not after the Farmer had worked me like a “farm-hand” (that’s tongue in-cheek, because I was up for it).
Momma got her meds, and the Farmer and I went out and re-planted 6 rows of corn and some cantaloupe, and a couple of rows of acorn squash in the garden. I went in and cooked us up some breakfast, and then, we tackled the shrubs in front of the house. Uhm, yup, the Farmer got out the John Deere tractor and a chain, and we tried to cut that puppy down. It was really quite funny because I was the one that crawled in the dirt and fixed the chain and then he tried to un-root this huge sucker with the John Deere. After a couple of tries, we got that huge sucker down and it’s now in the burn pit. The funny part about this is when I finally arrived home after my escapade with the deer, the first thing I told the Electrician was I needed a shower. He told me to just relax, UNTIL I showed him my feet, yes, I wore those things attached to my feet called flip-flops, and folk’s my feet were black. Uhm….yup, I took a shower and the Electrician asked to see my feet when I was done, and they were clean. hehehe
Folk’s there is a reason to our madness. We wanted to pull that shrub out simply for the fact, YES, we are getting a wheelchair ramp. (THAT’s another post). (Uhm…that’s a teaser just to keep checking in..) 🙂
Anyhow, I came back last night and it was going to be Spa night for Momma. Momma got her pedicure ( and yes, I got a toe nail in the eye and I will be wearing SAFETY glasses next time), she got a manicure, and had her hair washed (thanks Joyce for helping). Momma was a trooper, and did everything I asked of her and then some. I’ve been working Momma pretty hard with therapy and drilling into her how important it is, and now she even does some therapy on her own with no bidding while sitting in her chair.
The Farmer has even remarked about how much more cognizant she is and how she is able to do some things she wasn’t able to do before. While I swear by therapy, getting her mind moving and interacting with anything and everything is very important. I think it is helping. (This is NOT a pat on the back to me, this is what I call research for someone else.).
I’ve noticed something lately, my Momma has Stage 5 Parkinson’s and I know this, but I am finding through experimenting, with different things, she is improving. As long as we can keep her mind moving, not letting her give into dementia, and bringing her up to date with things, letting her know that whatever she is watching on t.v. may or may not be true, she is responding and reasoning things out for herself.
Making her move her muscles when she starts to feel them tightening up, and getting her to work with us as well as US work with her. Momma may not be getting better, but we’ve reached a plateau we can work with. For some one who was incontinent, and is now semi-continent, uhm…THAT’s progress. For someone who would just not try, to someone who will try, and try her hardest, THAT’s progress. From someone who would not EVEN try because she had no trust…to someone that will TRUST us, and do it no matter how scared she is…Folks, THAT’s progress.
Nursing home care versus at home care with Family….. for me there is no choice. But I will say this, it’s hard. For the Farmer, he has nothing but my respect and love. He would do anything for this woman, and I’m about to bust him out, simply for the fact that Momma told me last night, “Your Dad has been so loving to me lately, and told me how pretty I am, and how much he loves me, I like it”. I told her ” But Momma you ARE beautiful and he and I do love you”.
That’s when she told me ” I love you both and I thank both of you for not giving up on me and leaving me in that home, I know I didn’t want to come home at first, but I’m really glad I’m here and I love you”.
For me, while I may be sacrificing other members of my family at this moment in time. This to me it is nothing I have ever experienced. Is it hard, you betcha, is it worth it, to me yes. Is it worth maybe sacrificing some of my time to other members of my family, at the moment Yes, simply for the fact, that while I know that tomorrow is a promise and it is not a given, I think they understand. I’m doing something I truly want to do. I LOVE all of my family, and while I realize they all need me, this one needs me the most right now.
I’m very lucky in the fact that I can do this for the Farmer and Momma, while it may not be other’s daughter’s calling, it is mine. Thanks to the Electrician for supporting me in my decision. (Also for picking me up off the floor at times, and reminding me, it is what I need to do).
Love to the Farmer, Momma and the Electrician…..for I am truly doing what I want.
Today in my world, we switched it up. This morning, I woke up at 5:30 am because I was afraid I would be late picking Cam-Man up at 7 am. So, I got up and drank some coffee and hit the road at 6:30. I left a few minutes early because I had to drive by a certain residence in my small town (which will be another post). After driving by, I giggled.
I scooped up Cam-Man who was happy to see me peering into his crib asking “Hey Cam-Man you wanna wake up and go see Poppa?” After getting his pants changed, and me grabbing another set of clothes plus his shoes and socks, and having him grab his jacket, and his blankey. Kissing and hugging his Momma bye, off we went.
Cam-Man looked a little confused when I told him where we were going, as we got closer to my house, that lil dude livened up BIG TIME. We pulled up and got all our stuff and came inside, Cam-Man yelled “POPPA” when we got inside. Usually Poppa meets us at the door, but not this morning, he was uhm…busy. Poppa finally came upstairs and there was a squeal from Cam-Man.
I drank another cup of coffee, and fed Cam-man breakfast while the Electrician took a shower. Then, Poppa came up and told Camsgranny, “Hit the road k? I got this”.
Off down the road I went to the Farmer’s. When I got there, I gave Momma her meds, and got her dry. I made a cup of coffee and went in to chat to the Farmer. He was going to do a road trip today, so, I shooed him off, and he left.
I had a game plan today. It was raining and gloomy outside, and on days like this Momma usually does not do to well. So, we made an agreement, when I went in to get Momma up, I asked her, “do you want to get up now, or be lazy and sleep a little while longer?”‘ She replied with a little grin “Can I sleep in my bed a little longer?” “Yes, you can sleep in your bed a little longer but we have to make a deal”.. she looked at me and asked “what’s the deal?” I replied (trying to keep a straight face) “You can sleep as long as you want, but every 2 hours I am coming in here and you are going to change position, and I’m gonna change your pants, and you can’t complain when I tell you it’s time to get up and YOU have to help me ok?”. She giggled, folks, she looked me straight in the eye, gave me her hand and said “DEAL”.
So, I let her be lazy today. However, while she was sleeping I mopped the kitchen, bathroom and dining room floors, did ALL of the Farmer’s laundry, did ALL of Momma’s laundry, cleaned the Farmer’s bathroom, cleaned Momma’s bathroom, baked some Oatmeal raison cookies (for the Farmer, they are his favorite). Cleaned out the fridge (I think the Farmer is trying a science experiment with mold). Washed all the dishes and then read the paper.
After letting Momma sleep for a while, and I checked her and shifted her butt over 2 times, I finally went in and asked her if she was ready to get up. Folks, I got the Sunny smile and was told, sure, I feel great.
So, I gave her a bath, got her dressed and between the two of us, and Momma worked hard. We had therapy while she was in her bed, and then when she was sitting on the edge of the bed. I will tell you now, I was a little scared, and nervous. On a regular day it takes me and the Farmer to get Momma up and walking. Today, Momma and I did it together. I made sure she had all of her limbs “loose”, and I asked her if she was ready, and she told me “Joanne, you and I have this ok, trust me”. “I always trust you Momma, and I’m glad you trust me” was all I said.
SUCCESS story, We made it with bells ringing, (literally, there was an ambulance screaming down Route One with its sirens blazing). Momma sat in her chair and then her and I chatted. Momma looked out the window and she said, “Wow what a grey day, it reminds me of England”. “I know, Momma, how are you feeling?” “Sleepy”. was her reply. Yea, you guessed it, she fell back asleep in her chair. Me? I dozed off for a few minutes, until I heard the back door open, and in walked the Farmer.
“Can you help me unload?” he asked me as I walked into the kitchen. I spent the next few minutes unloading from all of the purchases from “Sam’s Club”. I put everything away (or so I thought) and I hugged both the Farmer and Momma and headed down the road to my house. Half way there I realized that I had not put the freezer things away, and I called the Farmer. “UHM, Dad, I think I forgot to put the butter and bacon in the freezer, I carried them downstairs and got sidetracked putting the paper stuff away, can you check for me please?”
I was right, I got completely sidetracked, and the Farmer put the freezer stuff away, I arrived home, and the Electrician had stuff he had to do, so he left Cam-Man (who was totally wiped out) with me. The rest I will save for another post.
My day today, as a switch up day, The Electrician had a FANTASTIC day with his Grandson, that he will never forget, I had a Great day with Momma, the Farmer got his road trip, and well…I’m kinda tired, so for tonite, My world is good and the FUNK is gone….
I’m just Blessed with alot of things, I’m thankful for a lot of things, and I’m whacked, kinda like Cam-man…so Nite y’all…
I am usually a very upbeat person, who rarely gets down. I always try to see the best in a situation and then go with it. So, I cannot understand this “FUNK”, I’ve been in for 2 days.
Nothing is wrong in “my world”, My sinus’ are doing better, I feel fine, other than a little tired. The Farmer is fine, other than a little tired, Momma is fine other than a little tired, the Electrician is fine, and he’s not tired.
In fact, Momma is doing pretty darn good lately. Oh she’s had her “rough moments”, and she has participated in therapy and walking, and has even tried some new things, that will hopefully help the Farmer and his back out.
I think we’ve met the “sleepy phase” of Parkinson’s, and the only reason I say that, is because when I get there at 8am, clean her up, give her meds and breakfast, she promptly goes back to sleep. When I go into to get her up at about 9:15-9:30, she mumbles to me “few more minutes”. So, I wait and then get her up at 10 am with no arguing.
We have a bath, and get dressed, and then do some exercises, to loosen up her muscles, so she will be able to walk. Then we do a couple of stands, to make sure her strength is up for the walk. Then, I call the Farmer and we all three (4 if Cam’s there), walk into the front room and get into her chair. Where she goes back to sleep.
I run around and do things, and then give Momma some more meds at 11am. Then she goes back to sleep. I have washed her hair and massaged her limbs, and she sleeps. Noon arrives, more meds, and Momma still sleeps. But it’s a funny kind of sleep, it’s like she is dreaming of funny things, because she sure giggles a lot.
I usually leave after this, but for the past few days, I have been coming back in the afternoon. Today, I went and picked up Cam-Man at Noon, and then we met the Electrician for lunch at Taco Bell.
Cam-Man cracked me up, because when we got to Taco Bell, and we drove by the Electrician to park, he saw his Poppa, and I asked him “Who’s that”, Cam-Man yelled at the top of his little voice “POPPA”. Then got all excited and started giggling, when Poppa opened up his door and grabbed him out of his car seat.
Lil’ dude would not let go of Poppa, the whole time we were there. We got done and Poppa loaded up Cam-Man back into my car, and we went to the Farmer’s. Cam-Man strutted in and noticed the Farmer was asleep on the couch, and Momma was reading the paper.
I started talking to Momma and told her, it was nice to see her awake, and she giggled. Apparently, Cam-man woke up the Farmer, who was happy to see us. We then proceeded to give Momma some therapy (We are on our own now as far as therapy, they gave us the tools and now we have to use them, they don’t come to the house anymore).
Momma was game. We all did the leg lifts, and the side-to-side, and the face exercises. I think Momma enjoys them because she gets to sing when she does them. Cam-man was kinda tired (technically this is his nap time), so he went and laid down on Momma’s bed and hugged Mr. Bear.
We taught Momma something new today, to assist the Farmer for when I’m not there, and the other “girl” comes in to help. Momma did so good. Without being specific and gross, I won’t go into detail, but Momma did it, and it appeared to work for everyone. Momma did not get tired out and huffing and puffing, the Farmer’s back did not get strained, and I think it’s gonna work. I’ll let you know tomorrow, after they try it out tonight.
I gave Momma her 2 pm’s and meal, then Cam-Man and I headed out. I dropped him off at the Nursing student’s, and told him he was ALL Poppa’s tomorrow, and he walked away blowing me kisses, and waving.
I got home and had no clue what I was going to make for dinner, when the Electrician asked me if I still had those magnificent meatballs, I had made last week in the freezer (I had made a double batch), “Uhm, yea why?” So, I was conned into making some spaghetti for him and myself (with enough leftover for the Electrician for lunch tomorrow, and the Farmer for dinner).
The spaghetti is a story in itself, simply for the fact when I made it last week, I only had fettucine noodles in the house. I was advised by the Electrician AND the Farmer “THAT” was “NOT” spaghetti. So, just let me tell y’all, I made it with SPAGHETTI noodles this week ok? Who knew?
Anyway, NOW that we have THAT all straightened out. It all goes back to I’m in a funk and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the Thursday Blues….Maybe I need to write a song about that? Ok who am I kidding, I’ll get out of my funk and hopefully be back to normal tomorrow.
Today dawned, nice and sunny, with barely any wind. I went and scooped up Cam-Man as usual, and I let him in on a Secret. Today was his Great Grandma’s Birthday. He seemed kinda excited, and as soon as we got to the Farmer’s house, he strutted in as normal, and peeked at his Great G’ma (Momma) who was still sleeping.
I went in and did the normal morning thing with Momma, and then let her sleep for another hour before getting her up. Cam-Man, had decided (while I was cleaning Momma up), to look through the pantry and find what HE wanted for breakfast. So, upon entering the kitchen to Cam-Man having just about everything pulled OUT of the pantry, and came up to me holding a pack of Instant Peaches and Cream Oatmeal. I made his Oatmeal, while he was putting things back INTO the pantry. While Cam-Man was eating, I made the Farmer a breakfast sammich of ham cheese and egg, grilled.
I got the sink ready to wash all the dishes and Cam decided he had to earn his breakfast so….I let him go…Hey, if the kid wants to play in the water and wash dishes, Who am I to stop him? I was right there with him, and he’s figured out how to climb on this chair by himself, and has also figured out how NOT to fall off. By the way just to let you know, my little ham was saying cheese when took the picture.
Anyway, I went in and got Momma up, and dressed her into her new clothes,when all of a sudden, Cam-Man and the Farmer came in and folks WE ALL did therapy together this morning. It was a sight to see. I think Momma got a kick out of it, because she was a little slow starting this morning.
We made it into the front room, and the Farmer left to run some errands, and I went and threw the laundry in the washer, when I came back upstairs this is what I walked into. Cam-Man had his seat for “Word World” and he was watching…
Momma well she was watching too. Momma made the comment today, that she enjoys going through kindergarten again with Cam-Man and it’s funny to me that both of them try to “outdo” each other by yelling out letters. Cam and Momma both sing the ABC song together and it makes my heart melt, because while Cam cannot say all of the letters, Momma helps him out.
This would be Momma, she was all dressed up for her Birthday… and saw me peeking around the corner. I guess she was helping Cam-Man with Word World, and I interrupted.
Today is Momma’s birthday, when the Farmer and I told her Happy Birthday, she was really pleased, and then she got a card from the Farmer and one from a relative. She was opening them when we asked how old she was. Her reply was “Uhm close to 70 right?” “Uhm,Momma you are 68, which I guess is close to 70”.
This is the Farmer and Momma on their wedding day, psst…the anniversary is coming up. They have been married for 31 years. When I look at this picture, I am filled with love for this woman, who married my Dad, and Me.
A lot of people ask me why I take care of her. You know why? Because this is my Momma, she has taken care of the Farmer for a bunch of years, and she’s taken care of me too. She has been a best friend, and a Momma too. Happy Birthday, Momma, it’s hard to do something special, because I can’t bake a cake for you, because you can’t eat it, I can’t have a drink with you because you can’t drink it, But I can do whatever I can to make you comfortable, and love you to pieces, and if kindergarten “Word World” makes you happy, then I’m happy too. P.s. YUP, this is the shirt I was talking about…”Half Irish ALL trouble”..It fits my Momma, in more ways than one.
When I first started this blog, oh a few months ago (9/18/11), I was filled with such a sense of adventure. One that continues. I took myself down memory lane today, and read some of my previous posts. I found myself back in the situation at the time that I wrote it. I also saw a progression in Momma’s Parkinson’s. While this is not a bad thing, it is an eye-opening thing.
Today, I scooped up Cam-Man and off we went to the Farmer’s. We arrived and I went in to see Momma. I wanted to change her bed-clothes, and get her dry, then give her the morning meds, and breakfast. Cam-Man was all over the place this morning. He climbed up on the bed, while I was changing Momma’s pants, and promptly did something the Electrician had taught him. He grabbed his nose and went “pewee”. Cam-Man got run out of the room to go spend some quality time with the Farmer.
Momma was now dry and clean, and had her meds, and I let her go back to sleep for a while. Meanwhile, I fed Cam-Man some Apples and cinnamon oatmeal, with some fresh watermelon, While I made Bacon, scrambled eggs and toast for the Farmer, which, Cam-Man had some of that too.
Lil’ Dude was so all over the place this morning that, when it was time for me to get Momma dressed, I let him come in and climb on the bed with her, and hold her hand, until I sat her up. Cam-Man got bored and toddled off. I got Momma dressed and we were ready to stand up and finish the job, when I called the Farmer to come help me. Cam-Man came running in the room and reminded me about Therapy. So, Cam-Man led Momma in therapy, it was quite funny to watch. He did the leg lifts and then Momma did the leg lifts, watching Cam-Man the whole time. Those two just straight up crack me up.
Momma walked to her chair this morning and then I’m not quite sure what happened. I was running around the house trying to get everything done, laundry, cleaning the bathroom (after I dumped the WRONG bucket in the bathtub and it went EVERYWHERE). Going through Momma’s clothes, that no longer fit.
Cam-Man settled down with a mug of milk in the front room with Momma, they were watching “Word World”, (both of them participated to by the way.)
I wrapped up with giving Momma her noon meds, and then I took Cam-Man back to the Nursing Student. Then my Adventure began. You see, the Farmer gave me some money to do a little clothes shopping for Momma. I went to the store, and found some really cute clothes for Momma, that will fit her, and will be comfortable.
First, let me just say that I came in UNDER budget. Momma got 3 new Capri pants, and 4 new shirts. I will post a picture of my “frivolous” buy, I plan to dress her in it tomorrow.
I brought my purchases back to the Farmer’s and Momma was…well…she was awake, lively and Momma. We made a show out of taking things out of the bag for Momma to look at. She loved the capris I had picked out, and liked the generic shirts, I had found. But the last two, one shirt is blue and has sparkles on it, and it just straight up reminded me of Momma.
Momma saw it and smiled so big, WIN, for me. She just kept saying how soft it was. Then it was time for my “surprise” for her. For those of you that don’t know, My Momma is half Irish. Folks, this shirt is BRIGHT green, and has the following on it Half Irish, BUT all trouble”. While the Blue shirt was a Win, this shirt was a SCORE one for me. The Farmer straight up busted into a belly laugh and Momma, giggled, and then wanted a hug, and she told me, “I love you, Joanne”.
So, all in all my shopping trip was a success, but it wasn’t as good as the last one where Momma actually got to go with me to do shopping for her clothes.
After hanging up her clothes, I helped her again, and in Cam-Man’s words “pewee”. It’s not all smiles and giggles being a Caretaker of a Parkinson’s patient. It’s even a little weird wiping your Momma’s butt, BUT, at the end of the day, when I can reflect, remember, and realize, I am on a journey, and this one I would not miss for the world.
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.
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.
Yesterday, was a bad day for Camsgranny. She woke up on time, however, had a case of the “Oh my goodness, I’m hot and sweaty and I don’t feel well”. Nevertheless, I went and picked up Cam-Man, called the Farmer and told him I had a temp and would not be able to help with Momma.
I brought a very tired Cam-Man home to my house, and the Electrician took over for Camsgranny. Cam-Man and the Electrician had a wonderful day together. They went and ran errands together, and the Electrician called me from the Grocery store a few times asking if we needed such-n-such as it was on sale.
I slept on the couch took anti-biotics and sweated my happy butt off. Cam-man and the Electrician arrived back home. Cam-Man was happily sucking on a sucker he had gotten from one of the places that he and his Poppa had visited. I changed his pants, and he started doing “therapy” that he does with Momma, so he knew his routine was a little “off” today.
I put away groceries and we all had lunch, then Cam-Man went down for a nap, and so did I and the Electrician. Sinus stuff really messes with your whole body, who knew? We all woke up and the Electrician had to go run another errand, and was in the process of changing from his flip-flops to his boots, when Cam-Man decided to “help” his Poppa.
They hugged and kissed and said “bye”, the Nursing Student was already on her way to get Cam-Man, so the Electrician knew when he got home Cam would not be here. The Electrician left, and Cam and I had a few minutes of snuggle time. The Nursing Student came and grabbed up Cam-Man, and they both left. I then vacumed the upstairs and downstairs, and then fell onto the couch.
The Electrician got home and then went to take a shower. When he got out, he asked me where his flip-flops were. I asked him “where did you leave them?” He said “right next to the couch”. Folks, the Electrician and I searched for his shoes for about a half an hour. We could not find them and it looked like they had dissappeared off the face of the earth.
Until, I remembered, Cam-Man had been here when the Electrician had changed his shoes. So, I did the only thing I had not done previously in my search, I looked in Cam-Man’s crib. Yep, they were there. He has a habit of taking things he feels are important and throwing them in his crib. I think he does this because his older brother throws things HE likes and doesn’t want Cam-Man to have into the crib.
I giggled and came back downstairs and told the Electrician, that apparently his shoes were important to Cam-Man because they ended up in his “important spot”.
A funny thing happened today, and I have just now realized it. (it’s been a day and I am reflecting upon it and finding good in it).
I went and scooped up Cam-Man this morning and dropped off the Nursing Student at school (yup, her car went kabluey again)(but it’s at the shop and should be fixed today). Cam-Man and I blew into the Farmer’s house and Cam and the Farmer had a hugging session and I got busy with Momma.
Her med’s were all ready to go, so I went inside and listened on the stethoscope to her tummy, all was ok there, and then gave her med’s and “breakfast”. I changed her pants, and got her all cleaned up and then covered her up again and let her sleep. All the while Cam-Man was sitting on the end of the bed giving Momma encouragement by rubbing her feet.
Cam-man had pancakes for breakfast and the Farmer and I had hash browns (Cam man too) and fried ham (leftover from Easter dinner), and eggs and toast. Cam-Man helped me with the dishes (he LOVES to help, he likes doing dishes and laundry).
We went and got Momma dressed, did some therapy, and ready to go. We got her up and she actually walked a few steps but then Parkinson’s stepped in and took over. So, we improvised as quick as we could, and we put her porta-potty behind her and let her sit down. I went and got the wheelchair, and we maneuvered her into it. (I told the Farmer I was sweating like a..oops, never mind). We got her into the front room, and got her up and into her chair. Cam-Man giving encouragement the whole way.
The Farmer left to run his errand and Cam-Man and I did laundry, stripped Momma’s bed and re-made it. Folks, it’s amazing to me how much help this 22 month old lil’ person is. He helps me do things, and plays while he does it. We have a game of the laundry, I put it into the washer and he puts the soap in and turns it on. I put it into the dryer, he puts the dryer sheets in and turns it on. He unloads the dryer (it’s his favorite), throws it into the basket and then hands me everything to fold.
Momma was napping in her chair, she was still all Parked up, and it was time for some more medicine. I gave it to her, and she slept through it. Cam-Man and I were tidying things up when the Farmer AND the Electrician walked in. Cam-Man went into a fit of giggles and ran to his Poppa.
The Electrician was there to fix the front porch light, and to grab the firewood in the Farmer’s front yard, thanks to the Electric company for trimming the Farmer’s tree’s.
Some things happened, and when it was time to go, it is funny to me now. Cam-Man has always known the Farmer as Granpa, he’s always known the Electrician as Poppa, he knows Momma by Grandma, and me…I think I’m Geema or Meemaw.
The reason I say this, is because Cam and Poppa were playing, and I told Cam to go give Grampa hugs, because it was time to go. He went right up to the Farmer and gave him a big hug. I then told Cam to go hug Grandma, and he went up to Momma, and gave her a “fist bump” and a hug. I don’t know what this kid has about fist bumps but he is all over that. Then he went up to his Poppa and raised his arms. He said “Poppa go”. So we left. Although Cam-man was in my Rav 4 and his Poppa backed up and loaded the wood into the S10, with Cam watching him the whole way.
We toddled off down the road and when his Poppa turned off, Cam-Man was watching. He waved and it was too cute. I took Cam back to his house and was just unloading him when the Nursing Student came running out of the house and said, Hey, Jo, can you take me to pick up my car?” “well yes, is it ready?”.
Off down the road we went again, and we got to the Nursing Student’s car. It was really funny because she got out of my car and went inside, Cam and I were playing in the car waiting for her, when she came out with the Fisher dude. Neither one of us had noticed the Blazer there. Fisher-dude had got off work early and was there to pay the bill. Cam-Man lit up when his Daddy walked up and opened his door. It was pretty funny. They unloaded out of my car and went on their way and I came home.
I’ve been in a funk all day, I can’t explain it. Well, I can, but I don’t want to. But then it suddenly hit me while the Electrician and I were talking. We all have titles in life, first it is Son or Daughter, then it is wife or husband, then Dad or Mom, then it is Granpa, Granma, or in our case Poppa and Meemaw.
I just find it funny that the Electrician NEVER wanted to be called Grandpa, and he hasn’t. Grandpa, is the term Cam-Man knows for his Great Grandpa, and Poppa is well…Poppa. Grandma is his Great Grandma, and me…well, on some days I’m G’eema or Meemaw.
The titles in life, that I really never gave thought to, but here they are. What are you called? personally, I love all of my titles, Daughter, Wife, Mother and Meemaw or Geema…….