Today has been my what I like to call my Long day Thursday. My usual routine is thrown totally our of whack. I get up early and head over to the Nurse’s house and then fall asleep on the couch waiting for Cam-Man to wake up and then go back to my house, and start my day.
Today was a little different, first of all, I don’t have the beloved Rav 4. I have the Farmer’s “truck”. Now folks, I am used to driving my Rav 4, or the Electricians’s Chevy S10, but I am sporting the Farmers Chevy Silverado with a king cab.
This is not the Farmer’s truck, but it looks kinda like this. Okay, for the record, I am 4’11”, and had to use the “crawl” bar that is on the Farmer’s truck to just get into the cab.. Why am I driving this? you ask, well, let me tell you. After the Nurse’s car “blew up” so to speak…I asked the Farmer to borrow his “Truck” (which I may add has been neglected because he is sporting a new Toyota“) Was simply because the Nurse had to have her car go to the Auto Dr. and have it fixed.
I volunteered my Rav 4 to the Nurse, and begged the Farmer for the Truck, (which has been neglected in the garage, but I will get to that). When the whole thing went down, I asked the Farmer if I could borrow his truck for a few days, and HE LET ME HAVE IT…..ok, forgive me for being silly, because I am not usually allowed to drive his vehicles, and I am truly honored, that I got to take his beloved truck for a day or so.
While I may seem like I am being nasty, I really am not. I am just telling the Farmer in my own way, I LOVE YOUR TRUCK. Was I scared, YES, folks it’s a BIG truck. I managed to drive it, AND park it back into the garage it is housed in. Uh… I have NEVER parked a car, truck or even a lawn mower in a garage, because well…I haven’t.
I’m a little loopy, because this is my “long” day. But what I do want to say, is, Thank you to the Farmer for entrusting me with his truck, conversations throughout this morning were tense. It’s been raining in my area today, and some serious rain at that, and the Farmer although I know he trusts me, was worried some about his truck. I can say the truck and me came out fine, (although I did have him park in the garage for the last time, because I might have or might not have cut it a little to close the last time I parked it in the garage.)
I lead an incredibly Blessed life, folks, I’m not kidding. There are no words to describe, my life in the past 24 hours…..there is a bunch more to this story, but…I’m, pooped.
To My Momma, who thought today was her Birthday, there are no words to describe the Love I have for you.
To the Farmer, there are not enough words to even begin to describe how I feel about you. Arguing, and giggling, and just the warm hugs, our love for Momma, shining through, and I was paying attention to what you told me, and I hope you were paying attention to what I told you.
I am the daughter of a Parkinson’s Momma, with the love of her and my Father….tomorrow is another day….
I’m sitting here at a blank screen, trying to figure out what I am going write about. I’ve had such a different day, that I really don’t know where to start.
I guess at the beginning. This morning at about 4:28 am, I was woke up by the Electrician moaning. I got up to see what was going on and I followed him into the bathroom, where he blinded me with the light, and kept moaning. I asked him what was wrong, and he said his sternum hurt whenever he pushed it. I told him to quit pushing it and come back to bed. He said that it hurt to breath and he was feeling a bunch of pain. So, I asked him if he wanted me to take him to the hospital, and he shut off the light, and again stated, it hurt when he pushed on it. To which I replied, AGAIN, quit pushing on it.
We went back to bed, and I ended up on the couch, because I couldn’t sleep now, and I didn’t want to disturb him. A couple of hours later, I woke up freezing and went in and climbed into bed, about the time the Electrician was waking up. I got quite the start when I looked at him, and he was laying with his arms crossed like he was in a coffin or something.
Flash forward a bit and I took him to the Urgent Care. Both of our eyes got worried when they ordered a EKG, and then a chest x-ray. But uhm, I kinda have to hang my head down a little low here. Apparently, the germs the College student and I breathed on the Electrician, made him get an upper respiratory infection, that strained a muscle when he was coughing his head off with me the other night. (UHM oops). So, armed with medication, I brought him home, and then went over to the Farmer’s.
Momma was sleeping peacefully, so I went in and got her bed stuff and her into dry things, and asked her if she wanted to get up, I got a sleepy, “nah, I think I want to be the Lady of the Manor and stay in bed for a while ok?”. Ok. The Farmer went out to finish mowing the yard, and I got busy and did some stuff around the house. I washed his dishes, because he made his own breakfast, because I was at the Urgent Care.
I was in the middle of bagging the trash all up, when we decided the Farmer should take his Toyota to the dealership to fix an issue with his car. I told the Farmer I would let Momma sleep until he got back, and away he went.
I went inside and finished the cleaning I was doing. I peaked in on Momma and she was softly snoring, so I let her sleep. When about 2:30 hit, Momma woke up and told me she was ready to get up. I thought about it for a bit, and figured a plan in my head.
I went ahead and gave her a bath, and had her up and on her toilet, when I told her, it was her and I. She looked at me intently, and said “What’s the plan?”. I told her, I wanted her to stand, I would clean her up, and then finish getting her dressed. She would then sit back down for a minute or two and then I wanted her to get up again and take 2 steps and I would have the wheelchair behind her, and then I would wheel her out into the front room, then she could stand again and back into the chair.
After telling her this plan, I swear, Momma’s eyes twinkled. She looked at me and the stated, “Well, we do make a good team, let’s do this ok?”. May I just say, WOW. Momma and I did it. We only had one moment, where I was seriously questioning myself, it wasn’t that Momma was going to fall or anything, but when I went to help her get out of the wheelchair, I realized I was on the wrong side of her to help. For some unknown reason, I have to be on her right side. I think that is because not only can I grab her under her arm, but I can also grab her by the seat of her pants (or in this case I used the gait belt). We got her sit all nice and comfy in her chair, and then went through the ritual of having a mouth swab, getting today’s paper in front of her and making her comfy.
Usually, Momma will go right back to sleep. Not today. I turned the channel to The Walton’s, and her and I watched an episode. She stayed awake, and finally the Farmer arrived back home. He was a little shocked first that Momma was up, second that she was awake, and thirdly, that she was happy.
I ended up leaving and coming home and baking a batch of cookies for the Electrician. Then made dinner, and now am relaxing. The Electrician is feeling better. I think he’s just all drugged up though.
I have been known to be Queen of the back roads, simply because anyone who knows me, knows, I hate to drive through town. Besides, the back way is so much prettier than town. There are 2 different back ways to go that actually run into each other. So, today I went the full back way from my driveway to my folks driveway.
This is right around the corner from my house…this would be my BFF Jill’s pasture and her hubby Bill’s cows..:)
This is a little further on down the road. (p.s. this is a dirt/gravel road and I really dislike the way my back window gets covered with dust and I can’t see out of it.) I do like looking at all the trees changing colors.
This Log cabin/house is one of the prettiest in the area and with all the colors of the trees, one of my favorite.
I love when the trees turn colors against the green pasture….
This is one of my favorite corners because I know what comes next….
Fishing hole, swimming hole, and kayaking start…plus it’s peaceful on a drive when you are getting your thoughts together. I have also ran into so many deer on this part of the road. They come down from the hills to get a drink, and then scatter up the hill, when I slowly drive around the corner.
And this is going over the bridge where the 2 roads meet. I’m a lucky girl because sometimes I drive this at least 4 times a day. I do this drive because as I’ve already said, I really, really dislike driving through town. It’s not pretty and it adds about 15-25 minutes to my time, there are stop-lights and traffic and town. On this road, there’s really not a lot of people driving it, there IS a lot of farmers driving it, but hey…I don’t mind pulling off the side of the road for a Combine or whatever. I even stop for Deer. I DO NOT however drive this road at night….too many critters, and I like my Toyota Rav 4 too much to hit them or have them hit me.
I have re-visited this post, that was originally posted last year. I revamped it and added to it. These are sights that I see on a day-to-day basis. Some friends of mine who live in the “big” city, laugh at me. Until they see pictures such as this. They might not have to fight with raccoons, or stop for deer on the road, but ya know what? I don’t hear sirens or stuff like that, and if I hear gunshots, it’s because it’s hunting season.
I wouldn’t trade this for anything. I am a country girl at heart, and a Farmer’s daughter.The Farmer’s daughter who has a brown thumb, and relies on her Electrician husband to keep things alive around my house.
While I understand that it is best to let yesterday go, I like to re-visit it sometimes. Especially on days like today.
While I want to be positive and not let negative rule me, sometimes it is hard. When Momma could not recognize who the Farmer and I were,and telling me we were two very nice people, and thank you very much for all our help. To then her telling me I was her Momma and just needing a hug. While I understand that PD has attacked her brain, and sometimes it’s a little messed up, I try to fill her void. She has been very emotional lately, and I think I could handle things a bunch better when there were no tears rolling down her face, or she wasn’t so upset because of how confused she is.
She talks a lot about the past now. She told me about the voices in her head, and asked me if I could hear them. While I cannot hear them, I tried to make her feel better.
The Farmer has a hard time hearing Momma, simply because, YES, he is a little hard of hearing. But at the same token, it might be a good thing, because he does not always hear what Momma is saying.
Parkinson’s is a very hard thing to deal with, if I am having a hard time, I can only imagine Momma’s terror.
Today started out kind of different. I woke up and did the domestic diva stuff, and then headed out to the Toyota dealership for a scheduled oil change on the Rav 4. I picked the earliest appointment possible, because well… I was going over to the Farmer’s after.
Apparently, I needed all kinds of filter changes, and a tire rotation and a few other things. Didn’t quite expect THAT bill, and now know, (Thanks to the Electrician), I could have probably bought the filters somewhere else and installed them ourselves, except for one thing. I have no freaking idea where they all go. It took the Electrician and I about a half hour just to figure out where the battery was in the damn car.
But anyway, by the time I got to the Farmer’s I was a little frazzled. I really don’t like spending my mornings at a car dealership, waiting for my precious car to get fixed, and then being approached by EVERY salesperson there, on how they need my 2005 Rav 4 and it would be so easy to put me into a Rav 4 2012, for less money. Uhm, okay, I may have been born at night (and actually it was the first thing in the morning) but Please….
Enough on that one. I got to the Farmer’s and made him breakfast and then the Farmer and I had a “heart-to-heart”. We are both feeling the same emotions. It seems though on the surface, I am of a harder heart than him. The Farmer did not sleep very well last night. Momma had gotten upset, and in turn upset the Farmer, because he feels bad.
It’s a vicious cycle. Sometimes, while we would like nothing better than to make the PD patient feel better, we can’t. There are times when we have to tell them no, and we are sorry. We are not just sorry for them, but we are sorry, for being unable to make the situation better. But sometimes, Safety has to win out. Some situations are impossible to perform with just a single person.
I think my biggest thing, is, I have these emotions on a daily basis. I know WHAT Momma can do and what she cannot do. I know what I am capable of doing with Momma, just her and I, and what I am NOT capable of doing, anymore.
It’s the anymore, that is killing me softly. I am not a CNA, I don’t have any type of medical training, other than what the Nursing Student has taught me, and I’ve listened to the Caretakers we have. But, I do know Momma.
I understand when the Farmer tells me he got upset. The Farmer is now seeing what I’ve seen all along, and been upset about. Progression is a good thing in some things in life, but with Parkinson’s, Progression, seriously sucks.
The reason I say this, I hate, that the beautiful woman, who could bathe herself, dress herself, go to the restroom herself, is no longer capable of doing these things. She cannot even stand unless there are two people to help her.
My Momma is not really the crying type, she has that stiff upper British lip so to speak. (Well…she is British and a little Irish thrown in too). I do find, taking care of her on a daily basis, but there are some days, and today was one of them, when Momma lets her emotions out, and there were tears in her eyes.
It’s days like today, when I truly curse Parkinson’s. When Momma looked at me and she hurts in her neck from trying to stand straight (and I am going to blunt here) we tell her to look at the Farmer, so I can wipe her butt, and pull crap from her butt, because she is unable to. These days suck Twinkies.
But the worst part? This isn’t as bad as it is going to get, and all 3 of us realise this. I have nights where I can’t sleep no matter how hard I try. I understand the Farmer’s restless night.
I’m so angry sometimes I could spit. But then, to be realistic, I try to put myself in her shoes. It’s very scary to me, simply for the fact, I would be dependent on other people, to be able to make it through the day. For someone who is a very Independent person, this truly is scary. What if they don’t want to care for me anymore, and just leave me be?
For Momma, this will NEVER happen. She is loved by the Farmer and myself, and we will take care of her no matter what. But my question is this, what about those people who don’t have a Farmer or a daughter to take care of them? What happens to those people? It’s the what if game. That’s one game I really don’t want to play.
Now that I have rambled on….I guess my true thought is this, While I THOUGHT I knew what we were in for, I really never had a clue. The emotions, the feelings, the care, the sadness, the happiness over a silly thing, Over how much one person’s smile, that lights up their eyes, could truly mean. To being Blessed, no matter how you look at it, to be able to take this journey, and feel everything, but knowing, we are making a difference to one person, and how much they need us, to how much we need them, to them appreciating us, to just how much that ONE person, loves us, and we love them.
Today, I reached into my purse, to look for something to write on. You see the Farmer and I are having a “discussion” about just exactly how many miles I travel on a day-to-day basis.
When I went back over to his house last night I checked the mileage on my Rav4, and I clicked it to start at zero when I left his house. Me, queen of the back roads, I checked the mileage. From his back door, to my front door was exactly 17.9 miles, the back way. IF I drive through town, then it is exactly 16.4 miles from my front door to his back door. So, for the sake of 1.5 miles, this kid is driving the back roads.
The funny thing is though, when I looked at the little notebook that has been in my purse for about a year, there were so many things in it. The five recipes I had copied while I was in Biloxi last summer. The name and people of the Toyota dealership, that had helped us when we thought the Rav 4 was blowing up on our way to Gulf Shores, Alabama. The dimensions of the blinds we need for the garage that are odd sized. The things needed for Momma to come home from the Nursing home,. A wheelchair ramp, moving furniture, and getting Momma’s room ready for the 17th or the 24th. My Thanksgiving dinner menu, written with 2 different menu’s. One was a list of what I was making and the other was a list of what my daughter’s were making. The number to Greyhound bus service, and the times of the bus and how much it would cost to get my kid home again. 2 love notes from the Electrician written about a year ago. And to top it off, a saying from Mother Teresa….
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly endless.”
I usually carry around a notebook or two in my purse, simply because I am always scribbling something. But the true joy in the one I found today. Is the memories I re-lived at the little scribblings I had made in this one.
Take each and every day, and rejoice in it, when you find those hidden treasures, remember when you wrote what you felt. Because in all honesty, I’ve enjoyed going through that little notebook that is filled up, I won’t throw it away, simply because, I can’t. But I will put it into that book, I’m creating, that’s called a scrapbook of life.
Today sparked, and I was up to it. I got up early, after a late night, and a surprise. I could not sleep last night, but hearing a voice, with a welcome accent helped me to sleep that much better. Thank you!
I met the Farmer at the Toyota dealership, and we went and had breakfast at the Restaurant across the street. We chatted, and ate, and well…we were both scared. We finished up and went back and got his car.
We both went straight to the hospital after that, although to be honest, I had a raging headache that I’ve had for 2 days, so, I stopped at the gas station and bought some Tylenol and a bottle of water.
When I got up to see Momma, I was shocked. Not a bad shock mind you, but a really good shock. She was awake and ‘cheeky”. The Farmer had beat me up there, and he was sitting in the chair, because Momma was getting a “bath”. We were both “outside of the curtain” but I kept pulling the curtain back and making a comment, to which she replied and kept up with me.
The best one though and it will be forever burned in my mind, was when I pulled the curtain aside, and stuck my tongue out at her, and I think the Farmer did too. She looked at both of us and rolled her eyes, and then stuck her tongue out at us. She told the Nurse who was giving her the bath “See, THIS is what I deal with”.
Folks, Momma is back. Her color was good and her “cheekiness” is BACK in full force. The Farmer was tired so, he left and went home, and I stuck around. The Nursing Student showed up with Cam-Man and it was a welcome break. I hijacked Cam-Man and we did an exploration of the hospital, while the Nursing Student stayed with Momma.
Me and Cam, rode the elevator about 15 times, going up and down, then we went to the floor where the babies were at, and looked through the glass at the babies, it was so cool for him to touch my cheek and point and hear him say “look, Memaw, baby”. Then we went outside and played in the grass area, and he picked a couple of flowers for his Momma. Somehow though on the ride up and down the elevator they may have gotten squished.
Then Cam and his Momma left, and I stayed. I had gone out into the hall to make a phone call, and was a little surprised, because my former employer’s wife was there. Her and I chatted for a bit. She asked me if it was Momma who I was there for, and I replied yes. You see, I left my last job to take care of Momma, and at the time, there were a little hard feelings. They had called me up and asked me to come back and I told them, No. It was my former bosses Momma who was in the Hospital, after a lengthy chat, with some words of wisdom that I have learned about the “system”, we said bye.
I will admit, I was exhausted, and fell asleep in the chair at the hospital, when I woke up, I left for a bit. I came home and did some stuff, and then went back to the hospital.
On my way back, I got a call from the Farmer who told me the Hospital had called him, but he couldn’t reach them and where was I. I told him I was on my way there, and I would call him.
Momma got discharged, but, the Insurance had approved the Medic dudes to bring her home. WOOHOO. While this may not mean anything to anyone, it meant a lot to us. When I arrived the nurse Ashley had me sign paperwork to release Momma from the hospital, and the Medic dudes, were going to transport Momma home.
WHEW, I am here to tell you, loading Momma into a car and then getting her out of the car is a feat that cannot be described.
After signing Momma out of the Hospital, and finding out when the Medic dudes were going to transport Momma home, I called the Farmer, and it was ALL GOOD IN MY HOOD.
When I called the Farmer’s house tonite,(sorry, I was late in calling, uhm, time slipped away from me) after I had left, they were both watching the movie “A fish called Wanda” together. Momma was so happy to be home.
While I understand this next “phase” we have entered and I know the Farmer is scared, as am I. It’s ok. To the Farmer, we will do whatever we can. I love you and Momma.
While sometimes we wish for the past, and the way they were, sometimes, we have to accept today, and the way it is. Momma could pass on anytime now, I think we both realize that. But for me? It’s ok, and I hope the Farmer is too, simply for the reason, We have had oh so many good times, and when it’s time to go, well, even I am not strong enough to fight God.
I learned a very valuable lesson today. Before I can tell you about it, I need to give you a little of the back story.
For those of you that know me, I don’t usually use the Air conditioning in my car. My philosophy is that I have 4 windows, and I can always get a breeze. When ever I park at the Farmer’s I usually leave my windows down and 9 times out of 10, the keys in it too.
A few months ago, there was a cardinal that had nested in the Farmer’s trees. Every time, I would pull up to the house, this cardinal would fight with himself in my side view mirror. I would watch him, and giggle, simply for the fact, he was fighting with himself and probably did not realize it.
One day, after I had left the Farmer’s, I was cruising down the country road with 2 windows open, and the radio blasting. I kept hearing a chirping. I thought it may have been the Rav4, so I turned off the radio, and rolled up the windows and the chirping got louder. I looked in the rear view mirror and did not see anything, so I kept driving. The chirping got a little louder and more frantic.
I turned around and looked in the back seat, and there in the middle of the back seat, I had a passenger. I slammed on the brakes, and got out of the car and opened all 4 doors and tried to get my unwanted passenger out of my car. Meanwhile I called the Farmer to advise that the bird, was in my car, and how the heck did I get him out. Unfortunately, the Farmer was laughing to hard to help. I finally got him out of my car, and finished the ride home, a little bit more subdued than I had been.
Throughout these past few months, I have had various “animals” show up in my car. A spider here, a fly there. Until today.
The morning went well and I loaded up in the Rav4, went the back roads, and enjoyed the trees and the occasional deer I saw. When I got to the crossroads, and had to stop at the light, I don’t know what caught my eye, but sitting happily on the floor of the passenger side was a mouse. I screamed, the mouse screamed and scurried. Where you ask? I have no clue, I think I made it to the Farmer’s house in about 15 minutes, and at that point it’s a good 20-25 minute drive.
I skidded into his lane on 2 wheels came to a screeching halt, and ran into the house yelling for the Farmer. When he looked at me, he knew I was rattled. When I explained that there was a mouse in my car, he laughed, and then put his shoes on to come help me get it out.
We went outside, and opened all of the doors, and I peeked under the seats, and we decided to leave all of the doors open. We even looked under the hood, just in case. We left all the doors open, and went inside.
We did have a couple of “idea’s” as to how we could rid the Rav 4 of a mouse. First thought, was that I would vacuum it out (p.s. kids, my car is not dirty other than a little dust and a couple of empty water bottles). Second thought was that we would lock both kitties in my car and let them have at it. Don’t worry, we didn’t go with the second idea.
The Farmer left to run a couple of errands, and I pulled the car into the garage, and got busy vacuuming. I started with the back of the car first, and slowly worked my way around the front. I will spare you the gory details, but it was accomplished with a bunch of screaming.
Uhm, the Farmer is now the proud owner of a mouse in his garage. I backed the Rav4 back out into the lane, and promptly closed all the windows.
My valuable lesson, I’ve learned. I am NOT Dr. Doolittle, I am deathly afraid of mice, I have mad driving skills, and I really don’t want any more “creatures” in my Rav4. From now on, those windows are up tight and doors are closed.
Yup, I’m Queen of the backroads….if you have read my earlier posts then you will know, I HATE to drive through town.
So, Yesterday I had to go to the folks house and then go to the Kids house to watch Cam-theMan while his Daddy (the son-in-law) go for another test for his “new” job (which by the Grace of God he got).
So I fly over to the kid’s house and get to spend about an hour with Cam-the-man
While his Daddy AKA son-in-law AKA the fisher-dude…
took another test…this one was a semi-physical…he said he had to do lifts and stuff…but I digress AGAIN….
I was on my way back to the folks house and was driving down the road and I swear I thought I had lost my muffler. It was a VERY LOUD noise that had me turn onto W. Newell Road, (I know this because I ended up telling 3 different people about it) and pull over and get out and walk around my vehicle. YUP, I gotta flat tire…uhm.. ok…I’ve only had the Rav4 for a couple of months and I’ve never read the manual (I don’t even know where the jack for the car is ok?) But I do remember that I have Road side Assistance not only on my Insurance but ALSO through the Toyota dealership as well. I got this….I get on the cell phone and call the 1-800 # on my window (passenger side 2nd door) “Uhm..hello I have a flat and I don’t know where the jack is to change my tire…. uhm..ok I don’t even know where the crow bar (???) is to get my lug nuts off the tire is” “Ok..we will be there to help you and we will cover the first $100 to get you back on the road” Ok… that’s cool I’ll just sit here and wait for help.
Meanwhile I call the Electrician to tell him…Uhmm Honey I have no cash and I left the checkbook at home so if I have to pay something I’m gonna use the Credit Card. He says ok no problem. So here I am sitting in my car because EVERYBODY says sit in your car and wait for help. And ya know what….I sat there for about a half an hour and only 3 nice looking gentleman stopped to ask me if I needed help and I told them nah, but Thank you!
Meanwhile I get a call from the Farmer who tells me “Larry just called I wanna go harvest some beans…” “uhm ok…go ahead I’ll be there in a few minutes roadside just called me and they will be here in 10 minutes so go ahead and go and tell Mom I’ll be there in a few minutes…” Then the Electrician calls me and says “Are you in your car?” “Uhm yup why” “The police have helicopters and a swat team cuz somethings going on and it’s on the road your on” “Uhm… ok I can see for about 2 miles and there’s nothing but ok I will sit in my car and lock the doors”…
Then…I am looking up the hill and low and behold Carnaghi’s Towing pulls up next to my Rav4 and gets out and changes my tire, not needing a carjack or nothin’… He was a really nice guy that took care of my flat tire in no time at all (probably about 8 minutes top). Fixed my flat tire and told me to Have a nice day Ma’am….Now I know why I bought that extra service at the dealership…So I was on my way…got to the folks house and Mom was cleaning… okay…maybe flooding the kitchen but it’s ok….we all survived and no-one was hurt. Altho I spent the next hour re-cleaning her flood in the kitchen but ya know what it was ok…..
And by the way….I’ll still take the back roads…and the hulibalu about the police and swat team, apparently there was an armed robbery and it wasn’t even close to where I was, and they caught the guys that did it…uhmm…about 6 miles from where I was….so see…nothin to worry about…:)