I am a daughter of a Parkinson’s Momma. I am not a medically inclined person, in any way shape or form. I have been an Insurance Claims Adjuster for about 15 years, and then followed my true love of food, and been a waitress, chef, and manager of a restaurant for about 7 years. This was all before I gave it all up, because My Momma had Parkinson’s.
On a wild day, when the Farmer was a little over whelmed, I made the comment I could come and help him, and take care of Momma, and give my job up, but I had one problem. I had just bought a new car (well…new to me) and the Electrician while he makes good money, did not need to be saddled with bills I had incurred. The Farmer and I made an agreement, and so it was born. I would give up my job, (although to be totally truthful here, it was either be fired or quit, because I really do have an alligator mouth that over rides my rabbit ass.)
So, it came to be, I would be Momma’s Caregiver. At first, it was a walk in the park. Momma still had her facilities about her, and only needed help with maybe getting up and taking a bath, and maybe washing her hair. While the Farmer is my Dad, he was not as fastidious, not my Momma, about keeping things clean, so I busied my days with cleaning house and taking care of both of them.
The Electrician was on the road at the time, so time I spent with them, and was not giving up any time other than being by myself. The electrician came home on the weekends and the only thing he asked of me, was please, be home at that time. Piece of cake.
unfortunately for me, Momma had a really BAD spell, this was after the Electrician had finished his time on the road and was home. You see, I didn’t just take care of Momma, I took care of Cam-Man. I can remember this clearly in my head like it was yesterday. I picked up Cam-man, and his Momma had told me he didn’t feel good. The next thing I knew, I was down and out, so was the Farmer and Momma too. I recovered sorta, and went over to the Farmer’s. I puked at Momma’s state, and knew, we had to call an ambulance.
Momma spent 7 days in the ICU unit, and was released up to the fourth floor. Next thing I knew, I got a call and Momma had stopped breathing and I rushed to the Hospital, full of prayer, and crying the whole time. Momma survived that experience. I don’t think I have ever been so scared in my whole life.
Momma was accepted into a Nursing Home (Thanks to the Nurse, who worked there and spoke to the DON). Momma started therapy, so she could return home to us. She went through 4 months of therapy, and was finally released. She came home. The whole house was re-arranged to accommodate her new “life”.
With momma’s ‘new life” there were so many changes we had to make. We hired “Caregiver’s” simply because the Farmer and I could not handle it on our own.
THAT was almost 2 years ago. I have been Momma’s full time Caregiver, and also taken care of the Farmer too. It is with deep sorrow, that I can no longer do that.
To anyone reading this, for the first time. I ask you, Could you do that? I have been torn two sides of Sunday and then some in between.
I am me. I puke at the sign of snot, anyone who blows their nose in front of me, I will probably puke. Anyone who coughs up anything, I will puke. Blood? do not get me started….I was never inclined to be anything other than I am. I love food, and cooking. period.
The past few years, I have accepted and done what I thought a “good daughter” should. I have made family members suffer from my “absence”. I never thought it would affect me like it has. This is not about my family members, this is about me. period.
I’ve tried to explain to the Farmer and also the Electrician. I have had many conversations with many people, but at the end of the day, it comes right back to me.
Forgive me for being selfish at this point in my life. Don’t get me wrong in any way shape or form. There are people who are on this earth to go through what I’ve been through and they can do it. I’ve reached a point, where I cannot.
I had a very long conversation with someone who is special to me today. She answered some of the questions I had, I also had a very long conversation with a family member today, and she gave me the same answers.
I give……period. This is a painful journey, and I have to cry “I’m done” at this point. I can no longer give up the personal sacrifice, nor can I do what is expected of me at this point.
Have I hurt peeps at this point, oh yea, I have. But when you are in survival mode, you have to give up something. I cannot go down with the ship. Will I be there, HELL YES, but I cannot lose myself in this thing anymore.
So my confession is this. While love the Farmer and Momma too, I cannot do this anymore. There I said it. I am ME. and Momma knows this, she gave me the words yesterday. This whole situation is killing me softly, and everyone and relationships around me. While it is a daughter’s duty to do this, I give. Because simply, I am me, and I give……
I want my old life back. i want to be free again. I don’t want to have to worry about the things I have been worrying about. Trust me they never go away, but when Momma told me yesterday, “I am ok, go and do what you NEED to”, well it hit a chord in me. Momma knows me, probably better than most.
I simply cannot deal with what SHE has been given. So while it breaks my heart, I’ve removed myself from the situation. It doesn’t mean I won’t still be there checking up on everything. It just meant, sometimes things are so painful you have to remove yourself from a situation and re-evaluate what you have.
I love my Momma, but it has become to painful for me to be there. While it may make sense to some, it really does not to me, but it is something I have to do.
I’ve had a rough couple of days lately. Not just because of Momma, but some other issues as well. I decided, I needed to clean out my purse and wallet, because it has become a little heavy lately. I take my purse with me every where, I even changed my purse lately from my “winter one” to my “summer one”. I have to laugh, though. Simply because I went through and demolished Momma’s closet, and drawers. That was a 2 day affair.
In the past few years, I’m not sure what my Momma was thinking, because I have slowly made my way through the house, and cleaned a bunch of stuff. It took me 3 hours to go through my Grandma Ruth’s writing desk that my Mom had taken over as her own. It is a very fine antique, that has a pull down desk with slots like the old-time desks, then it has 3 drawers in it. I cleaned it out and went through everything. I smiled, I giggled and I cried over things I found, and things I truly cherish. After filling up a trash bag, seriously, who really keeps old batteries, and cards from forever ago. I found pictures, that brought smiles to my face. I found letters, I had written from years ago. I found letters Momma had written but never sent. I found My Grandma Ruth’s picture book from the 1920’s through 1950’s, I don’t know who some of the people were, but I could find my Grandma and my Grandpa and also my Dad in the photo’s. Then I found my Grandma Ruth’s funeral book. It tore me up. My Grandma Ruth was a very main figure in my growing up years, she was my Mom so to speak. It broke my heart I could not attend the funeral. But when I found the book, with pictures enclosed. i felt a warm feeling that I can’t explain.
With the desk cleaned out, I moved onto Momma’s room, and went through her dresser. Now I don’t know about you, but I usually keep clothes in my dresser at home. Not my Momma. It is a 4 drawer dresser with a marble top that slides. (It’s heavier than you can imagine) I pulled out the drawers two at a time and dragged them into the living room. I went through everything, and became amazed at some of my findings. I guess Momma, did not want to keep clothes in her dresser, because out of 4 drawers I only found 5 t-shirts, but a bunch of everything else. I found more pictures, that I smiled, laughed and cried about. To me, these 4 drawers were a memory stash.
If you ever wonder if your parent truly loves you, go through their stuff. I found things I had sent to Momma years ago, and she had saved. I also found pictures, and one drawer was dedicated to simply books on tape. I had the living room torn up, and finally weeded out the stuff that could go, but saved a bunch of treasures.
I then moved onto the top of Momma’s closet. With things going the way they are, we needed more room to store momma’s supplies to keep her going. I pulled out everything from the top of the closet, and again the front room was torn up. I do have to giggle though to the Fed Ex driver who is a regular visitor to our house. He arrived, and I had Momma’s favorite hat on my head, and things thrown all over the front room when he made his delivery. He smiled at me, and told me “nice hat”, I had forgotten i had it on, and I smiled and said simply “cleaning out clutter.”
I’ve lived a lifetime of memories the past few days. I’ve remembered momma at her best, when things were “normal” whatever that means. I can see the things she treasured, I’ve kept the best of things, and even brought them to my house, when the Electrician looks at me and says, “What’s this?”. I simply look at him and say, “This is my Momma’s and I’m keeping it.”
The Farmer and I have gone through a multitude of things lately. We have shredded stuff, and giggled, and hugged over the past. Momma is Momma, but she was the glue so to speak. I found a bunch of pictures, that I have taped to her closet, simply so she can look at something when we need her to stand up, so I can finish cleaning her. I will not explain that statement, you can draw your own picture.
I have learned a bunch of things over the past few days. I’ve had some highs and some definite lows. That brings me back to what I originally waned to post about. I cleaned out my wallet today, and I found something I have carried in my wallet for about 22 years now. I would like to share it with y’all.
It is a small square with a cross, that has been stitched into a pocket, and in that pocket is this:
So, my scanning skills are lacking, but it something I have tried to do over the last few years…. God is watching over me, and he knows just how much I can handle, and what lesson’s I need to be learning….. I’ve learnt a bunch the past few days, and I’m still learning.
Some people get uncomfortable about this, but I’m ok with it. Simply for the fact. I Am Me. period, end of sentence. Whatever is thrown my way, I will deal.
I have been doing some cleaning around the Farmer’s lately, and I wanted to clean off the bulletin board, right next to the phone. It has all of the important stuff on it. A calendar, so Caregiver Beth and I can keep track of our days. It has Momma‘s med schedule on it, so we don’t miss a dose. It has Momma’s script for her monthly meds on and let’s us know when to call in for refills. It has phone numbers on it. I will admit, when I left this past February on my cruise, I wrote down EVERYONE’s phone number and Caregiver Beth added her’s to the bunch. I went through the business cards on it, and scaled them down. After all, I do not think we need the phone numbers to Momma’s Cancer Doctor anymore, since she has been Cancer free now for over 10 years.
I did some housekeeping on the bulletin board, some of the things on there had been there since 1995. My wedding announcement was still hanging up there. In my housekeeping chores, I came across something that made me wonder. It is a newspaper clipping ( I have a couple of those in my wallet, so this nut doesn’t fall far from the tree). I saw it, read it, and then kept it.
I gave the bulletin board a new cleaner look, that we all can follow. But this newspaper clipping has just hit me, and hit me hard. The reason? Simply, this is Momma and some of her philosophy.
I don’t know if I have ever mentioned, but my Momma is 1/2 Irish. Trust me, it shows, and while the Farmer and I know this, other’s do not. She can show her Irish when you least expect it. That’s why I found this newspaper cutting so fitting and it has given me some understanding and also a little insight into her.
This is how it goes:
Take time to work,
It is the price of success.
Take time to think,
It is the source of power.
Take time to play,
It is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read,
It is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly,
It is the road to happiness.
Take time to love and be loved,
It is the privilege of the Gods.
Take time to share,
Life is too short to be selfish.
Take time to laugh,
Laughter is music of the soul.
It makes sense to me why Momma needs to giggle. it makes sense to me all of those other things to. This is MY Momma. I feel a better understanding of her. Some of you may not know, this is my step-Momma. To me, she is My Momma. Her and I have so much in common including our names. We had similar things happen to us at certain times of our lives. She made me happy when she married the Farmer. She gave me her best, she thought she would never be a Momma, and trust me folks when I tell you, she has been the BEST.
When I look back at things her and I have shared, and the fact, she believed in me when I did not believe in myself. That’s a Momma. Momma has been with me through the worst of times and the best. Guess what? I will be too. But I now understand the need for giggles. They are music to the soul, guess what? We will find them and giggle them, because…that’s what daughters do.
I’ve asked myself this question, quite a bit lately. All the things, that I know, seem to be upside down. I seem to go through my day, as norm, but things that used to make me happy, well…they still do, but it is like a sadness has fallen upon me and I don’t quite know how to handle it.
Things with Momma? They are painful. I hate to see how she is now, and I question, the modern medicine. Yes, she is alive, and Yes, we enjoy her company, most of the time. But where did her quality of life go? The Momma, I know today, is not my Momma. There I said it. The woman I see before me today, is NOTHING, like what I know. Between the Parkinson’s, the Parkinson’s Dementia, and just plain old “stuff”, this is not my Momma.
It hurts me to the core, when she cries, because her mind has given her a scene that she thinks is real, but it is not. It hurts me that she cannot swallow, so she drools worse than a 2-year-old teething. It hurts me when she tries so hard to stand and walk, and she gets scared, because her limbs are gripped in the stiffness, and she cannot make them work the way she wants them too. It hurts, because her neck is full of spasms, and she cannot hold it up. It hurts me because she is in pain, and full of “things” in her mind, and I cannot help her. There, I said it. I. Cannot. Help. Her.
Oh sure, I can give her a bed bath, and scrub her head, so she stops itching,, I can clean her up after she goes on the potty. I can hold her hand and just sing to her and she smiles and sings too. I can hold her hand and talk to her in soft tones, and tell her stories of our past, they seem to comfort her. I call the Farmer in on particularly rough moments, so he can back me up, so she will believe what I am saying. Momma is tired. I know this. Heck for that matter, the Farmer and I are tired too.
It is not all doom and gloom. There are moments, when Momma shines through and it is truly a joy to see, but they are coming farther and farther in between. It’s okay though. Truly it is. What will be will be.
I haven’t written on my blog for a while, simply because, when I started this blog, it was about my life with Momma. Life with Momma has been painful lately, and while it is hard for me to write this, I owe it to myself to see it through. I’ve been contacted by so many people, that have the same disease as Momma. Parkinson’s Disease. I’ve made a lot of friends through this blog as well.
While it is painful for me to share with y’all these things, I will do it. If only to let y’all in on my world and let you know, or simply just to educate others.
I really just wish I could find my Happy Place about now, and trust me I will.
I have always looked at my Blog as a place to put my feelings into perspective. To try to share them with all of y’all, and make sense of them myself. The funny thing is, I seem to have lost my way, so to speak.
Sometimes, I re-read what I have written and I feel what I was feeling at the time I wrote them. I go through every emotion and every feeling that I had at the time. I look back, and I laugh, and I cry, I cry hard, because there are so many things I never said.
I really am not trying to be depressing, I am trying to figure out some things in my mind at the moment. I made a post a few times about the “Que Sera Sera” effect. While it still rings true today, it has a different meaning.
I’ve noticed some things lately, they are not happy things, they are things, that make my heart give a big “uh oh”… They are things that I have watched over the past few years, and while Momma is “still here”, she is not “still here”.
I had a “first” this past week, Momma did not know who I was. That truly hurt my heart. I knew it was coming, but I never thought I would react the way I did. It hurts, inside, but you cannot let it show outside.
We also had some good times, where Momma knew who I was, she always knows who the Farmer is. We talked about it today, when she mentioned that she was “old” when she got married,. When I reminded her of the fact they have been married for 31 + years, she smiled and said yes, it was a good thing.
Momma was mad today. She was mad, that I had to wipe her butt, when she had an “accident” and that she could no longer control, her body. She was also not to happy at the fact, that I made her get out of bed today. When I woke her up and told her it was time to get up, she was just plain old mad.
Forgive me, but that was a good thing. Because, I made her move and get her muscles moving, and proceed with the day, she got mad, at me. I will not let her just sleep 24/7, I will not let her just give up. Maybe I should, some of you ask?
Nope, that is not my Momma, my Momma is tired, and I know it, but I will not let her go down without fighting. Maybe, I am selfish,maybe I am fighting a never-ending battle, BUT until she tells me it’s over, it ain’t over, and there is not a fat lady singing….
See this little face? I had the pleasure of spending the day with him today. I got my unhappy butt out of bed at o’dark thirty am, and brushed my teeth, got dressed grabbed a cup of coffee and flew down the road to his house.
I was met by Bella the dog and the Nurse, who blew kisses to me, as she left for work. Lil’ dude was still sleeping, so Bella and I shared some, “she thinks her 40lb butt is a lap dog, while she loved all over me” time. Bella finally settled down and we spent a little quiet time together, she really likes her ears rubbed. (Uhm, please y’all don’t tell Ms. Baby the cat, I’ve been cheating on her ok?)
I heard lil dude waking up, and knew, he would come out of his room and go straight for his parents room, where he would crawl up onto their bed and curl up with whoever was there and go back to sleep, at least that is his usual routine. I didn’t count on him, to see me sitting on the couch and the joy that lit up his face and he ran into my arms. I scooped him up and he was giggling, and talking a mile a minute, “Hi Jo, you got me today? We go to Papa Dan’s? We go play with tractors? You got oatmeal?” And then he took a breath. I guess it was a reunion, I haven’t seen him since last Thursday, when he spent the day with me.
We spent a few minutes just snuggling, and then Bella decided she wanted to snuggle with both of us, and all sorts of giggling, and licking and crazy stuff happened. We got up and lil dude had to show me “I’m a big boy now Jo, watch”. Yes, somewhere along the past few days, lil dude is almost potty trained (so much for the new batch of diapers I bought, but that’s a good thing really).
After getting lil dude dressed, complete with mickey mouse big boy briefs, we grabbed his backpack, packed a few things into it, as in a spare change of clothes, 5 favorite toys, his blankey and a sippy cup, we headed down the road. I had to get gas, so we made a pit stop at the local Casey’s, and got some gas. We then went in to pay and lil dude had to have “bug juice” in a Woody sippy cup (Woody as in Toy Story), and then he thought Papa Dan would like a donut, so he picked one out for him, and away we went.
Papa Dan had to visit the Vampire this morning, and that’s why we hurried over, so we could give Momma her first round of meds. Imagine our surprise, when we arrived, Papa Dan was already home, and smiled big when he saw Cam-man. The first words out of Cams mouth were “Papa Dan, we go see your tractors now PWEASE?”. Cam settled down, we all decided to have breakfast first.
I in my infinite wisdom, had packed a bag from my house to bring with me this morning, it had 3 different choices of Oatmeal, 2 banana’s and some diapers, and a couple of Cam’s favorite snacks in it.
After Cam and Papa Dan had a breakfast of Oatmeal, although Cam was a little miffed because Papa Dan’s had raisins and his didn’t. Papa Dan went to run to the store and Cam and I did some stuff around the house. We swept the kitchen and dining room, and cleaned up some messes we had made on the kitchen floor, when we had a water fight in the sink. We watched a little t.v. and just had a good time.
Cam kept cracking me up though, because it was every 1/2 an hour, he was ready to go potty, but had to have me help a little. We had already set up his stool by the toilet, and he knew to stand on it, but he couldn’t pull his shorts down without help. This kid seriously cracks me up, after going, he proudly looks at me and says, “I tapped it Jo, no drips”. I kept telling him, he was doing good, and he did ALL DAY long, there were no accidents.
Papa Dan and Cam went out to look at the tractors, and I had to laugh when, Cam told Papa Dan, he liked the cub lawn mower better than the John Deere, because of the steering wheel.
When it was time to get Momma up, Cam came in to help me, and Momma started giggling right off the bat, and said, ‘My Goodness, he is a giggle and cheeky too.”.
Fun times were had by all today, and it is such a change from the regular “doom and gloom”. After leaving Papa Dan’s house, Cam came to my house, and we played in his sandbox for about an hour. First I buried his feet, then he buried mine. We both giggled a bunch!
I didn’t worry about what chores I had to do, I just had fun and enjoyed my time with such a cool little person, although I may be biased. But seriously…..looking at this face, it still makes me melt….
It also brings to mind so many giggles, I had and needed today. Out of the mouths of a 3-year-old, especially when he was trying to figure out, how much older papa Dan was, and said to me, “Jo? Your Daddy is old”. I could do nothing but laugh, and say, “Yes, Cam-Man, he is, but he gets around, and has good toys huh?” he replied “UH HUH, and I like his twacters….”.
Hey Y’all…How are all of you doing? While I have had my blog going on 3 years now, I used to post daily. After the first year, I still posted daily and was a proud member of the Post a day, I did it for the first 2 years of my blog. Somehow…life seemed to get in the way, and I quit laying down all the words on paper (so to speak).
Somewhere along the way, some things got to painful for me to write down anymore. You see, if I write them, that makes them real. Maybe I have been running from them, or maybe I just don’t want to “share” that part of me. I’m not sure of the answer.
Lately, I feel, I have been on “overload”, and no one seems to understand it, least of all me. I’ve been mean to my husband, I’ve been mean to the Farmer, and I’ve cried buckets. Sometimes, I feel so torn in every direction, that somewhere along the line, I “lost” me.
Yes, I am the daughter of a Parkinson’s Momma, yes, I am the Farmer’s daughter, yes, I am the Electrician’s wife, Yes, I am Momma to the kids. Yes, I am “Jo” to Cam-man. But lately, I’ve wondered, who is Jo?
I had kind of “AHA” moment this morning at Church, and the sermon filled my heart. But after hearing it, I went on and was mean to the Farmer, of which I apologize for.
Sometimes, things hit me and I do feel on “over load”, there is so much I feel compelled to do, and not a lot of people understand it. I don’t understand it, and it’s me.
I feel guilt in my heart, for things I’ve done recently, and I don’t want to be the nasty person I am and can be. I can only hope that the Farmer and the Electrician can understand me, they know me the best.
It’s not an easy road I walk, I try to balance everything and everyone, and do the best that I can. Sometimes I fall short of everyone else’s expectations. But I guess I will say to them, I am me, and I am doing the best I can with what I know.
I do know in my heart, I am meant to take care of Momma, and give her peace, when peace is sometimes hard to achieve. There are times, when I could just curl up and give, but I won’t, because Momma needs me right now, and I’m sorry to the rest of my family, that may have to do without me at certain times, and may have to do things for themselves. But honestly, we are all in this thing together. All’s I ask, is that you work with me.
I have joy in my day, at different times. But I have also learned the hard way, I need time to myself, to just be me, if that means staying in my p.j.’s all day and not doing anything, then that is what I need. I, as a Caretaker, am really good at taking care of everyone else, but taking care of me? Nope, not so good at that. I’m not complaining, really I am not, I am just trying to explain to those around me, (and they read my blog), that maybe, I might need a little bit of extra care, or maybe even just a “Thank you” and some appreciation. Goodness, knows I appreciate all of y’all.
Sometimes, being a Caregiver is a hard thing, but sometimes, the Blessings outweigh the bad, and maybe I am just going through a rough patch right now, who knows.
Sometimes, I am so confused by the roller coaster of emotions that I go through on a daily basis, that my whole insides are overturned and then some. Some days are a giggle fest, other’s are a crying fest. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and yes, while I am learning a bunch, I hurt a bunch too. I’m trying my best not to be a wimp, and maybe my reflex is to be mean, that’s not right either.
Someone told me the following: “Sometimes, the hardest lessons hurt the most…” True. And they often teach the most.
I’m learning a bunch right now, but that doesn’t make any less painful……
I think some one has hit the fast forward button on my life at the moment. Sometimes, I don’t know if I am coming or going, if I’ve already been there, or if I have yet to get there.
Today, was another long day for me, and I have one more and then, gasp, I may have a whole day to MYSELF, and just enjoy the heck out of it. Ok, for those of you that know me, you are already laughing KNOWING, it won’t go that way, but a girl can hope can’t she?
Please, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do. I take care of my Dad and my Momma and my Grandson too, but sometimes, I feel overwhelmed, and see things going by at a rapid rate. I like to slow down and at least enjoy the moments.
I had to laugh at one part of today. Cam and I were on the way to Papa Dan’s, and now that Cam has started “driving” so to speak, he wanted to know where we were. He pointed out to me the “Watter” and also he knew where the cows were. But he got confused because we went the back roads, country way instead of through town. He made me giggle, when he constantly asked me “Jo? Corn or beans?” After explaining to him the difference and what they looked like, I let it go. But on the way home, he pointed out to me the difference between the corn and beans, and I simply had to giggle. Little Dude is only 3 now, and he is learning. (I will expand on the statement about my 3-year-old grandson driving on another post.)
After dropping Cam-Man off at his Momma’s and visiting for a bit. I have to digress for a minute and have to say, the Nurse came over and had coffee with me yesterday morning, before I went to Papa Dan’s and I so enjoyed, just sitting on the back porch, chatting , watching Cam in the Sand box, and just peace all around us.
I seem like I am all over the map, but that is because my mind is going 1000 miles an hour and I am trying to grasp everything. Could someone just please push the pause button.
Ok, back on track. When I went back to Papa Dan’s tonite, Momma was just pure joy to be around. She did everything she was supposed to and arrived in her bed, with giggles. Somewhere along the line, she got upset. When I came back after dumping her trash, she was in tears, and when I asked her what was the matter, she asked me “Did I get you into trouble?” “Uhm, No Momma, it’s me Jo”. She looked at me and then went on with some story her mind had made, and thought she had gotten me into trouble. After a few more minutes of talking to her, she looked at me, and said “I remember you, you are my daughter right?”, “Yes, Momma, I am your daughter, Joanne”. With everything right in her world again, she calmed down, and held my hand and kissed me and went to sleep. It’s moments like that I want to pause, soak up each thing, and remember. For a few minutes, she was herself, and was okay.
I have to be able to find a few minutes each day to take out for myself, because to be honest, I feel thin.
Sometimes, I have learned with Caregiving, and I am not just a Caregiver to Momma, I am with my Dad, my Grandson, and to my husband, and the rest of my family, sometimes, I would just like to sneak away and have a few moments, where I don’t have to worry about nothing.
The Nurse asked me today, “When do you have a minute for yourself?”, and that started me thinking. Maybe, I need to start taking minutes for myself. I think I have found my answer. I love music. If I can have a couple of minutes, with earphones in my ear, and no one watching, I’m gonna start shaking my butt, with earphones, and let loose.
So…if your hear on the news tonite, that some 51-year-old woman is shaking her groove thing, with earphones in her ear, and the house blows down because of shaking, ask yourself, Was this Camsgranny’s house? Yup, it could be…..:)
Today was my long day, I have them once a week, and sometimes, I feel like I will never get through them.
It started with my happy butt (uhhm, ok maybe not so happy, but my butt did) roll out of bed, because I decided that instead of Cam-man getting up SUPER early, it would be easier for me to roll out of bed, at some unheard of hour…and go to his house and let him sleep in. When the Electrician, (who gets up at this early hour of the morning, God Love him), woke me up, I stumbled to the coffee pot. It was still dark outside. I managed to change out of my p.j’s into some sweats, grabbed my cup of coffee and hit the road.
I arrived at the Nurse and Fisher dude’s house, and I guess I was sorta awake, because I parked my car on the right side of the garage and stumbled into the house. The Fisher dude was laughing at me. I guess I might have looked a bit scary that early in the morning…. He left, and Bella (the dog) and I curled up on the couch to watch the news. Bella and I were just getting comfy, when Cam-man came down the hallway, dragging his blanket like Linus (from Charlie Brown). When Cam saw me in his house he yelled “No, Memaw, YOUR house”. I guess poor little dude thought that he had to get up early to go to my house and I had him totally confused by being in HIS house.
After we both kind of woke up and let Bella go outside a couple of times, I asked him if he wanted to go to my house, and I was yelled at with a big YES. So, Cam got dressed for the day and we headed for my house. We had breakfast at my house and did a couple of things (Curious George was on the menu for t.v.). We then got ready to go to the Farmer’s. (Yes,, I did change clothes).
We were on the road and ready to go, when something the Electrician had told me last night stuck in my head. Cam and I stopped at a favorite store of ours, and we went “shopping”. Cam ended up with a couple of outfits and so did Camsgranny.
We headed out to the Farmer’s and things were normal there. We did our stuff, and took care of Momma, and then we got the phone call. Momma DOES NOT have C-def. we then planned a party. In between all the stuff Cam and I do, we decided that since the weather was so good, we (Cam and I) were going outside to play for a bit.
Imagination is alive and well. I am here to tell you. Between the pirate ship that attacked us (the shed) , the sharks as well (the garden), and the whale that saved us (the gas tank), Cam and I had a really good time playing outside. The Rabbit who fled from the tall grass, played into our favor, by being the one who showed us the “whale’.
When it was time to go, we piled into the car, and Cam was asleep before we even left the driveway. We had a hard day of saving us from pirates. We got to my house, and I unloaded the car and Cam never even woke up when I unloaded him and brought him inside. Cam’s Daddy (Fisher dude) came and got Cam, and he was not to happy to be woken up.
The Electrician arrived home and we had a fleeting moment before I went back over to the Farmers to sit with Momma (today is Caregiver Beth’s day off). When I arrived, Momma asked me if the party was still on. Well, heck yeah it was.
Momma and I spent our evening with her in bed, and we both toasted with some apple juice, while her’s was on a mouth swab and mine was a sip, we celebrated. We watched Little House on the Prairie, and The Walton’s, While I may have changed her bed stuff 4 times, it was ok, because Momma and I have a routine, and she was so giggly, it made me smile.
The Best part of my day, was Momma telling me I was the Best daughter in the world, and I told her she was the Best Momma in the world. I could not do what I do, without the Love and support of the Electrician. Thank you so much to him for supporting me, and letting me take care of her. The pay isn’t anything, but the rewards to my heart are everything.
Things have been a little crazy in my world lately. Between extra meds and Momma‘s behavior over the meds, it’s been a little chaotic.
For a couple of days, Momma had some serious hallucinations, and it was really hard to get her to calm down. The poor Farmer was at his wit’s end at one point. It took me 3 hours to get her to calm down and to realize that the things she was thinking or seeing, were really and truly not there, nor were they true.
It was like a little light bulb went off in her head, when she finally calmed down and realized I was speaking the truth. I do have to admit, I did have some help. Little Cam-man was very concerned about Momma and actually climbed up into her bed yesterday, grabbed her face with his little hands and looked her in the eyes, and said “Wub You Geema”. While she may not have remembered somethings, she knew who he was, and promptly said “I Love you to Cam”. There was a couple of kisses then, and then the Farmer spent some one on one time with her, and she came back to normal. In fact, the Farmer said she spent all afternoon yesterday, chatting up a storm, and not wanting to go to bed when it was time.
I did get a call from Caregiver Beth last night, and she was concerned about an issue with Momma. After a quick frantic phone call to the Nurse, who asked some pointed questions, it was decided what the plan of action would be.
When I arrived this morning (with Cam-man in tow), we had a hushed conversation, the Farmer and I. We were both in agreement, and then decided how to put the plan into action. The Farmer had to make another trip to the “Big City” again today, so he took off, and left Cam-Man in charge.
Cam-Man is a hard worker and prompted me, to sweep, and empty all the trash cans, he refilled the coffee dispenser and we did a few other “tasks”. It was time to check on Momma, and get her cleaned up a bit. While I was getting Momma cleaned up and into dry things, Cam kept Momma busy. They were playing a game of “tickle and giggle”. I actually had to step back and just watch. I can’t exactly say how it all happened, but they were both tickling each other and giggling when the other one tickled. Cam was giggling and looked at me and said ‘Geema tickling me, I get her”. And then Momma saying “He’s tickling me, I’ll get him”. This went on for about a half an hour.
With Momma all cleaned up and meds given, I told Cam, we had to let Geema have a nap. Cam looked at me with a puzzled look on his face, and then pointed to Momma and asked, “Who?”, So, I told him, “Geema is MY Momma.” He nodded very solemn, then said “Your Momma?” and I said “Yes“. then he smiled and said “MY Geema?”. “Yes, Cam-man”. He was happy with the answer and we went into the other room for a bit.
When it was time to get Momma up, we both went back into the bedroom, and Cam-Man flipped up the shades and giggled when Momma said, “No, I don’t want to get up.”. A discussion happened and it was all very silly and full of giggles. It was decided that I would wash Momma’s hair, so Cam helped me get all the stuff ready, and when everything was in place and I was ready to start, Cam decided he had to be on the bed with Momma to hold the towel over her eyes, in case any water or soap slipped onto her face. I proceeded to wash her hair, the whole time Momma and Cam had a “discussion” of their own. Cam decided I should wash his hair, after Momma’s until she told him he didn’t have any hair, since his last haircut.
With that done, and her bath done, we were kind of at a stand still, because the Farmer had not arrived back and I cannot stand Momma up on my own. So, as if on cue, the driveway bell went off, so I went out to help the Farmer with Groceries he had purchased, and Cam-Man came flying out the back door and ran into the Farmer’s arms. We all came back inside and proceeded to get Momma taken care of.
With the last of the meds given that I give for the day, I told Cam to pick up all his toys and have “Pawpaw” help him put his toys up and get his shoes on, and his jacket too. About that time, I received a phone call, that was part of our “action plan”. I told Cam man to give Pawpaw and Geema some loving and we would go. After giving hugs and kisses all round and telling them both ‘See ya in the morning awigators”. I bundled up Cam in the car, and we took off, carrying a “specimen” to be dropped off at the Clinic.
We arrived at the Clinic, and arrived at the Lab, and were instructed to come in. Cam strutted in like he owned the joint and promptly climbed up into the seat they use to give blood. There was a Nurse there who was setting things up, because she was about to go draw blood on someone. The Nurse was so thoughtful and answered all of Cam’s questions. I had to transfer the “specimen” from the bag I had it in into a cup. With everything done, Cam-man and I both washed our hands and told the ladies Thank you. I do have to back track for a second and I will advise what we were doing.
We think Momma may have C-def, which I googled for the definition:
C Def stands for clostridium difficile, and this problem is particularly difficult for someone to cope with. The infection causes incredibly violent diarrhoea, and requires treatment through oral tablets. These are either vancomvcin or metronidazole.
The problem occurs when people take antibiotics which actually kill the healthy flora found within the colon, and the C Def takes over.
I actually know about this, as the Nurse and the Fisherdude and also Cam-Man and I have all had it, Me, not so much, but while the Nurse was working at the Nursing home she was exposed to it, and somehow it arrived at her house. Cam-Man was not even a year old when it happened, so I do have a little experience with it.
unfortunately, for a person in Momma’s condition, it can cause death. We have to let the Lab work on the specimen for about 72 hours before we know. I do feel like a bit of an idiot though. When I took the “specimen” into the lab, I took care of it, like a pro, and I wore gloves, which I always do when I work with Momma anyway. I looked a little surprised when the Technician started spraying all kinds of air fresheners in the air. I looked at them, and asked “This may seem like a stupid question”, the Tech looked at me and smiled and said “No question is stupid, please ask”. “Does it uhm…smell bad? I’m sorry but it does not smell any different to me, I guess I am just used to it.” The tech asked me “Have you done this for a while?” “I have looked after My Momma who is on the downhill slide of Stage 5 Parkinson’s for almost 3 years now”. She looked at me and then walked up to me and gave me a hug, and then said “Bless you for looking after your Momma, and no, I guess when you get used to a smell, it doesn’t bother you like it would someone else”.
After bundling Cam back into the car (where he promptly fell asleep), I reflected on this. Has, what has become normal to me, not necessarily the normal for others? I’m not sure.
But what I do know, is that Cam-man has brought some much-needed giggles, and tickles into the Farmer’s house, and it was greatly needed. If these are her last days, and no one knows for sure they are, at least they are days in our memory banks filled with laughter. And THAT is truly a Blessing……