You are Deanna Troi
|You are a caring and loving individual.|
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.
Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...
You are Deanna Troi
|You are a caring and loving individual.|
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.
HI, everyone! This has to be another of those quick posts, because the day has started and I'm already running late.
Mother came home Saturday morning. My-Sister-The-Nurse has been with us for the past two days, overseeing Mother's care, and giving me an idea of what I need to do once she is not here.
This morning, a care giver will arrive at 7:30, and she will be with us 8 hours a day for the next week or two, and then her hours will taper off as (we hope) Mother adjusts to being home and can do more for herself.
We expect this week to be packed with visits, starting with a nurse who will determine what type of physical and occupational therapy EM still requires. We think EM will have PT and OT two to three times a week for perhaps six weeks. Tuesday, we will make our first trip out together, to see EM's doctor.
A major storm is coming our way. I'm hoping that we will get the rain, but not the severe weather cells. I can ALWAYS use Mother Nature's help with the watering.
Did I tell you? SOMETHING....most likely those rotten rabbits, has been eating the leaves off the newly planted hostas! Drat it all!
Have a good week, stay safe, don't get too much sun or too much rain....and I'll be back, God willing and the creek don't rise!
...with those of you who have been reading here. We're still on track for Elegante Mother to come home this coming Saturday (July 19th). We are marking the days off the calendar, and encouraging her to do all the therapists ask of her. I mentioned to her today that she would be having visits from therapists at home, and she wasn't overjoyed.
Cop Car and Blue Witch left such good comments on earlier posts, that I wanted the chance to bring them to your attention. Their advice is "spot on."
Cop Car wrote: "EM is not a child, but she is a very small adult. A smaller plate with smaller portions might help her address food that she has little interest in. As an ombudsman, I occasionally "counseled" an aide not to insist that a resident eat more than she cared for. For some reason, the staff were fearful that a resident might actually lose weight. Losing weight, contrary to my own experience, is a normal process of aging, unless one regularly lifts weights, etc. In the case of the nursing home residents, more food was replacing the lost muscle mass with fat. (Can't you just see EM with an ounce of fat on her! *g*)"
CC....EM is supposed to be getting smaller portions, but her tray comes with a huge amount of food. She is already saying, "NO, I can't eat that." before she even sees what's on the plate. I've been advised to use smaller plates with her. I'll work harder at not overwhelming her with too much food. EM HAS lost weight. She's down about 10 pounds over the past 6-9 months. It worries me, but it doesn't seem to worry her doctor, so I'll be quiet about it. Our physician told me not to nag her to eat, and I've been trying to behave. Today, she refused her entire tray. So I moved the peach pie, her coffee and the cup of thickened water to the side of the tray closest to her. I set a baggie of Wheat Thins near the tray, as well as a bag of Bing cherries. I sat quietly for a bit, and then buttered the hamburger bun they called a dinner roll. She ate close to half of it. I sat a bit longer, and asked if she would try a taste of the pie. She ate the entire piece. I gave her a note pad and asked her to write down what she might like to have to eat when she comes home. We talked about several meals that she said sounded good, and I was pleased to hear it wasn't just dessert. I think the most difficult challenge we face is getting EM re-hydrated. She dislikes the thickened liquids, so I'm hoping the swallow test she is supposed to take will move her off that restriction before we go home.
Blue Witch said: "Refusing food is often the only way older (and younger) people have of exerting some control over their worlds. This is particularly true of those used to being very independent who suddenly find themselves institutionalised. It also secures a great deal of attention (albeit of a negative kind) for them as refusing to eat is something that is a very emotive issue. Does she enjoy fruit smoothies or soups? Often 'drinking' is a great way of getting good food into people who can't face solids (and you can always add unseen vitamins or minerals to the mix).
Will you be able to get some extra help in to support you in caring for her if she comes home?"
Blue Witch, Elegante Mother IS exerting control by refusing her meals. She knows we won't let her starve, and she enjoys all the attention she's getting. It's going to be more difficult when we go home, and she has to become accustomed to less attention. Still, I think she will do better at home. Smoothies are a great idea. My youngest sister and her husband have introduced them to us, and I know that EM would enjoy all the summer fruit blended that way. She also likes several of the soups I make.
On the subject of "help"....My-Sister-The-Nurse will be with us for the first two days, to help EM settle in. We will be getting occupational and physical therapist visits perhaps three times a week for up to six weeks. We are going to look for part time help to bathe EM, and provide her care while I work. My sister has posted a note to the family members on the computer, asking for sitting help, so that Dear Husband and I can get away at least once a week. We may also have to either alarm the doors, or find a nighttime sitter, if we can not get EM to stay in bed during the night.
It seems like a LOT to deal with. We'll just have to see how things turn out. If she is not safe here, we'll have to look into a facility, but that will be our last choice.
Ladies, thank you for your good advice. I appreciate being able to call on your experience. You make a fine support network! Thanks, again!
"Change For The Dollar," in the Chicago Tribune fascinated me. As a country, we could save $522 MILLION a year, if we gave up our one dollar bill and switched to the one dollar coin. The US Treasury has tried to accomplish that with the Susan B. Anthony dollar, and the Sacagawea dollar, without much success. They are currently producing a series of one dollar coins with the faces of the presidents.
For those who are circulating an e-mail saying that "In God We Trust" has been dropped from this coin, please take a closer look. The dollar coin has a smooth edge (unlike the quarter, which has perpendicular ridges along the edge), and "In God We Trust" is cut into the edge of the coin. The coin is slightly larger than a quarter, and is a pale gold/bronze color.
Go read what Tom Hundley had to say at the Trib. It's an interesting story.
Many of you know that I live in the Chicago suburbs. We receive the Chicago Tribune, and each day there is a crossword puzzle in the Tempo section. Elegante Mother used to do them in ink, and it never occurred to me to make a copy of the puzzles so that we could both do them. I discovered that the Monday through Saturday puzzle is available on-line, with the added bonus that the program tells you if you have entered an incorrect letter. (Master solvers have the option to do it without the assist.)
I've become addicted. I take my mug of tea and head for the computer at 5:30 in the morning. With the computer's assistance, I can finish almost all the puzzles. Without the "wrong-letter" clue, I'd probably have to Google for some of the answers. I'm really glad to return to this form of entertainment. I used to do the Dell crosswords that were edited by Eugene T. Maleska. He designed "expert" puzzles. Of all the expert crosswords, his were the ones that I was most likely to solve. I think you find someone who "hears" words as you do, or perhaps has the same life experiences, and their clues are more likely to make sense.
While I was looking for crossword sites on-line, I also discovered a blog for those who do the Tribune puzzle. The blogger gives the answers for the current day's puzzle, comments on the construction of the puzzle and quality of the clues, and those of us who are also doing the puzzle respond in the comments. It's as though I've found a family! Some of them are my age, and some are younger. Both men and women participate. Some of the solvers have science backgrounds; others are more experienced in the arts.
The group is a nice cross section of puzzle solvers.
If you're interested, join us. You can find us at the "Star Tribune Crossword Corner."
I'm having a quiet day at home, a day "off." My-Sister-The-Nurse is visiting with Elegante Mother. I'll visit with her tomorrow, when I can take the Sunday papers and clean clothes. I have to think of something to take to tempt her to eat at breakfast.
Elegante Mother continues to improve, but we are a little confused. When we (her family) are with her, she can barely take the three steps to transfer from chair to bed, but both the occupational therapist and the physical therapist have said that EM walks from her bed, through the corridor to therapy and back. I wonder if she is just worn out by the time we see her?!
The nursing home will have a meeting this coming week with MSTN to determine EM's status. There is some thought that she might progress more rapidly if she were at home. Elegante Mother is refusing most of what she is being served at mealtime. I thought it was a major breakthrough when she ate half her fish at noon yesterday. We've been taking her favorite things (that fit within her meal restrictions), when we visit, and her appetite has improved the past two days. Unfortunately, as her appetite has improved, so has her irascibility. Sometimes it's like dealing with a two-year-old. In her defense, she has been in the nursing home two full weeks, and has hated every minute of it. I'm not surprised, especially now that she is more aware of her surroundings, that she is unhappy, and wants to go home.
So, we are waiting to meet with the nursing home staff to determine what the best plan is for her future care. Of course, I'll post an update.
Meanwhile, I realized that I was never going to get my gardening done. I still had the stretch across the front of the house to clean up, and I'd been obsessing about the trees growing in the twin evergreen pods on the lower southwest lawn. I asked my favorite landscaper to return and give us a bid. We told Dear Husband the bottom line, and he said "DO IT!" So, all the maintenance landscaping has been done with the exception of the herb garden. That's still my baby. I plan to cover myself with a long-sleeved shirt and mosquito spray and work for an hour early tomorrow morning. I think that hour might make an incredible difference in the garden. Later, I'll use the string trimmer to get some edging done. What a relief to have the gardens looking so good!
I'm going to spend the afternoon with my sewing machine, working on two projects I wish to finish. I am antsy to get one of them off to my machine quilters, so I can get them finished. The other is a baby quilt for my youngest granddaughter, who is already nine months old! Better get cracking, Gramma!
Dear Husband is off sailing today. Bee met last night and they left me all this wonderful food. I won't have to cook today, but I'll have a sumptuous meal this evening! Dear Husband took me out to dinner Thursday night. We tried a new restaurant in the next town over, and had the most pleasant evening together. Both of us ate just half out steak, so I may have steak salad, or a steak sandwich for lunch. Thank God for leftovers! *G*
That's about all I have to share with you. Remind me on Tuesday to water the houseplants, won't you? I got them done this morning, and they were really dry. I'd hate to stress them out by creating a drought cycle.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, filled with pleasure!
I wish I could say all was well. Elegante Mother has had a bad day. It's possible that she needs to have her medication adjusted. She's not eating, and she was exceptionally sleepy today. She made it through physical therapy, and a visit from my brother and his wife, and then she needed to crash for the afternoon.
I made her as comfortable as I could, tucked her in for a nap, and let her sleep. I really hope to find that she's doing better tomorrow.
A friend sent me a link to the MSNBC site, to an article on the test prospective Americans must take. In October, 2008, the test is going to be redesigned. The questions are taken from a list of 100 questions that vary in difficulty. MSNBC has modified twenty of the more difficult questions, giving us multiple choices. Normally, applicants do not get multiple choice questions.
Go take it. I was embarrassed to get only 75% of the questions right. In some cases, if I had gone with my first instinct I would have been right. When I second-guessed myself, I was invariably wrong. :-(
I'm sure you will all do better. Here's the link.
It's been two weeks since EM had her seizure and I have my first day off from her care today. I have TONS of stuff waiting for my attention, but my mind keeps straying to EM. I may try to squeeze in a flying trip to see her later this morning, just to take clean clothing, and some fruit. Perhaps then I'll be able to concentrate on other things.
I have a ten-foot stretch of garden along the garage wall and the front sidewalk that has to be replanted this morning. If I don't put my iris in the ground, I know I'll loose them. I have two purple fountain grass plants, the iris, some tulip bulbs and two plants whose names I can't remember. I'll take pictures and post them with the information from their labels later.
Mail....OH MY GOD.....the mail that is waiting for me actually scares me! Mother's mail, our personal mail, mail for the two companies, and JUNK mail. I separated everything into five piles last night, I'm going to take one pile at a time, and have at it this afternoon. I hope there's enough time to get through it!
A note for Nan... I have been doing the laundry. I have to fold sheets, but everything else is done and I only have two stacks of clothes to put away. I'm trying to learn from you and Leeanne, and fold as soon as it comes out of the dryer. Ya know....I HATE doing laundry! *G*
Our cat, Edward Scissorhands, really misses EM. She is his doorman, and that cat is a YO-YO! In and out, In and out.....or that might be IN and OWWWWWWWWW(T). He woke me this morning before the alarm went off, howling for attention. I think he thinks he's been abandoned. Poor baby. I let him go play.
Maybe, if I'm not napping or sleeping, I might actually look at the instructions for my phone and set up the voice mail box, and find out how to retrieve messages. I might even add phone numbers and learn to speed dial, but don't hold your breath. Be happy, my family, that I am charging the phone as we speak! *G*
I hope you all have an incredible Sunday. If you are of a mind to do so, please send prayers for EM and her continued improvement.
She's getting cranky. I take that as a good sign!
Elegante Mother had a seizure on Monday, June 23. She was in the hospital through Friday afternoon, June 27, and then she was moved to a nursing home. She's less than fifteen minutes away from me, door to door, and I have been spending anywhere from two to eight hours a day with her. My siblings have been exceptional in carrying this burden, but as we finish her first week at the nursing home, it's going to become more difficult to keep up the pace. Luckily, we have discovered that she really needs to rest in the afternoon, so we're going to try morning and evening visits for a while.
EM has been receiving occupational therapy and physical therapy each day, and I believe the speech pathologist visits every day as well. EM is working incredibly hard to get home. We watched her PT session on Wednesday and it blew me away. She used one of those machines that let you move both your arms and legs while you sit, rather like seated cross-country skiing. She worked that machine for FIFTEEN MINUTES!! Then she stood, with a walker, to do kicking and stepping, and all sorts of leg exercises. She walked the length of the room, out the door, down the hallway, and back. And then it was time to go back to her room to bed. She was wiped out.
EM is very determined that she will not be staying in the nursing home long. We need to get her to eat and drink a bit more to sustain the muscles she is re-building, but she's coming along well.
There are periods when she is clear as a bell about who we are, but following exercise, when she's given her all, she's a little fuzzy about names. I think she always knows that we are her children, and she seems to recognize the friends who have visited, but names elude her when she is tired.
I talked with my brother, who is not able to see EM every day, and he said that she has improved every time he has seen her. Even though I see her more frequently, I'd have to say the same. Sometimes you can't see little improvements when you are with a person every day, but EM is making such great strides that we can all tell she is getting well.
As for the crankiness.....I'd be cranky, too, to have to be away from my home, and the comfort of my daily schedule. All we can do is continue the litany of "Keep working. Get well, and you'll be going home!" I hope that she is reassured by that.
I have a bunny who thinks my herb garden is his private preserve. Peter is not just a daily visitor, he LIVES there. I first realized he was around when the spinach I had planted early in the spring began to disappear. I thought I'd find the time to put wire cages around the plants, to give them a chance to grow, but I forgot. I was in the garden several weeks ago and discovered that Peter had eaten them right to the ground. Maybe I'll try for a fall spinach crop, complete with sirens and flashing lights and cages that slam down over the plants when something with a furry tail gets near.
I saw Peter checking out the basil one Sunday morning. I wonder if he has Italian heritage, or whether he just fancied a little pesto to wash down the spinach.
Yesterday, he was standing in the walkway near the oregano, calmly denuding what I think might have been an aster plant growing in the chat of the walk. He chewed it off halfway down so that he didn't have to manage the entire plant.
When I complained to a friend about this bunny with the huge appetite, he said...."Think about what Farmer McGreggor would have done." Yeah, right! Can you see me holding a gun??? Nah....but cayenne pepper water sprayed on some of my plants isn't a bad idea! For those of you with similar problems, here's a list of plants that are usually safe from bunnies. Dear Husband, when we first moved here suggested that I be prepared to share half my crops with visiting animals. I don't mind a little sharing, but it ticks me off when they take it ALL!
I hope you've found ways to deal with the bunnies in your life.