Monday, December 26, 2011

A Pictorial Tour or Meadowlakes...aka...Memory Jolt

We are about 10 days from Mom being released from Bishop Davies...she has completed her OT, but still has some days left (and recommended) for PT and ST and she clearly doesn't remember why she would ever leave this "nice place" or where she used to live before...except Lima...and she does remember that that probably isn't where she is going back to...and she is scared.  I thought it might be a good idea to head over to Meadowlakes to take some pictures and see if that helps her remember and try a bit harder to get well and get home...
The drive up entrance

 Her front door
 Her entryway ... all the way down to her favorite chair!
 Her favorite (and only) chair
 Her pictures (these have one of mom and I's great stories...but she doesn't remember it...we bought these at Woolworth's in Lima probably 35 years ago when mom decided to have friends over for big deal until about the night before they came over and suddenly she was convinced that her home was 'dull' and needed some color - so off to the Lima Mall we went...I was ready to spend whatever it took to just be able to go home, but NOOOOOOOOOO...Peg wanted lively color for the walls on a budget...and wanted to look at every picture in the place...OMG...I actually love these little prints now, there are two other ones hanging by her bed that we scored from Elder Beerman on that same trip...I don't even remember what we had for dinner at that party...but I remember the pictures...and mom and I giggling like school girls when our guest remarked on these little ones and mom acted like she'd had them FOREVER!...what a con artist!)
 Slim (the tall one), that Daddy got mom at the Rose Shoppe in Lima and the cowboy that my        Aunt Betty painted for her in ceramics class...doesn't everybody have an Aunt Betty that's taken a ceramics class???
 Bed and Dresser...lamp that she won playing BINGO at the place where she met Bob!
 her elevator
 The dining hall - and most importantly - where she gets her coffee!
 Mom's table
 The piano - mom loves a sing-along
 The Girls

I showed these to her the evening after I took them and it was a BAD got all mixed up in her head...but I saved them on my phone and they actually brought her a lot of comfort the day it was time to move her home.  She was so scared about leaving Bishop Davies, but when I showed these to her and let her flip through them in the car on the way there...she was excited to get back 'home'!

More pix from October...

Life doesn't stop just because your plate seems too full...
 Middle school means projects...Murph and Photosynthesis...great effort - last minute, of course...our son is a true procrastinator and unless pushed, a bit too happy with "good enough", but once he puts his mind to something - he is a very creative young man!
The finished it will survive in his athletics locker until second period is anybody's guess!
 Monday Night football post game coach talk...another Huskies victory!
 Tuesday night Volleyball - siblings are welcome and encouraged to help out!
 Karly likes to visit mom at Bishop Davies too!
 My silly friend Theresa telling a story about a Y member at a much-needed girls lunch
 Saturday morning Stingers Volleyball - won one, lost two
 A reluctant Sophie, posing with her brother!
 Jerseys and jeans instead of dress clothes - Hallelujah!  Murph was in his glory!
 Tuesday evening volleyball coaching...
 Volleyball picture day...we were late...we put on white knee pads instead of black knee pads and had to run back home so she looked spectacular...and she did!
 Saturday afternoon baseball tournament
 Ted E's for lunch/dinner after the game - Peyton and Laurel being Peyton and Laurel!
 Saturday shopping = her first flat can she be so grown up already???
Brothers from different mothers...between baseball games, Playstation 2 baseball games!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

September 2011, DP (during pneumonia)

Of course there aren't any pix of the emergency room or ICU (although the family with the daughter who "took too much Tylenol" was photo-worth!  It was like those Only At Wal-Mart photos your friends and acquaintances send you)  I know it's wrong to look and judge, but what path takes you to those public clothing, conversation, body art, dental and parenting choices???

Anyway, mom made it out of ICU stable physically and unstable mentally - her memory took a big hit, up to the 4th floor.  I can't imagine what it takes to work in the medical industry - unless you are a doctor and then I'm sure money and the whole god-complex thing play a part (and YES, I understand that some just want to save lives and make a difference and make the world a better place), but nursing and aides is a whole-nother thing.  BUT - if you choose it, you should do it to the best of your ability.  I am the family member dreaded by hospital staff the world over...I am like a bulldozer, a pit bull and a written down list of all conversations/promises/plans...and I will find the time to monitor, even when I don't have the time to monitor!

Mom was at North Hills Hospital and we had some great nurses - Dana, Lauren, Judy, Mahesh (although he took some training!).  Great aides as well - it's been so long, sadly, I don't remember all the names...except one...Keyron (pronounce Key - Run)... what a rare and magnificent human being and he made sure mom was well taken care of - even when he wasn't assigned to her room/hall.

Odds of running into this young man again are slim, but he made such an impact on me and my family and he went above and beyond the call of duty...I am sure I abused his kindness in my need to make sure mom was okay AND keep my job AND take care of the kids AND make sure Peyton started volleyball and Keaton made it to baseball and football (practice at 6:45 am!!!) AND get branches comfortable with starting their budgets AND stay positive for mom AND act like nothing was wrong at work...because let's face it - right now they could care less!  Anyway, I thank God for Keyron and the perfect storm that made him mom's aide on that 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th and last day!

 The giant Mom Note became kind of urban legend on the 4th floor.  Mom was so confused and so scared and when mom is scared it comes out as nasty.  Mahesh was bit scared of Peg and the physical therapist manifested herself as a kidnapper to many stories, so much drama, so heart-wrenching...but it's over...but I loved this picture of the evolving note...getting paper at the hospital is like pulling teeth, so I just had to make due!  This one is on one of the place mats they serve the bland, unseasoned, beige lunch plate on!

Mom's first day in rehab...back to Bishop Davies...please let there be major reform and resources in skilled nursing care before I need to go there!  I learned so much about O2/blood oxygenation levels during this 6 week stint - I really could get a job there!  Let's see, I had the Executive Director hiding from me, the doctor annoyed, got one particulary lazy,arrogant nurse fired, got the Dept of Aging and Disability all up in Bishop Davies business, went through 2 social workers in 5 weeks, had a nervous breakdown when I thought they lost mom, put an extra 100 miles a week on my car with all the back and forth trips, heard mom cuss like a sailor at shower time, finally got her to wear her new clothes from last Christmas, became an expert at denture maintenance, and discovered just how dependant my mom is on me.  Tried to protect the kids from as much of it as I could, tried not to abuse Patrick's time if I didn't have to and found strength to dig my heels in to make those people do their job even when I was so tired I really wanted to just pray and give up...cried and cried and cried and took enough Ibuprophen and half-Tylenol pms to keep at least one CVS in business.  AND only missed 1 day of work, 0 volleyball practices, 0 baseball games or practices, 0 football games (and still made it out to mom's after every one of them), didn't screw up any reports, miss any deadlines or kill anyone...I AM my mother's daughter!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

September 2012 BP (before pneumonia)

I cannot tell (or type) a's been so long since I have had time to spend on the blog, but I have all these magnificent pix of the kids and our life and I just have to capture them!

Some nights when the stars and planets are aligned and nobody's fighting and the Algebra homework isn't too hard - Peyton and I play "let's make a new outfit" before bedtime!  It saves Patrick time and trouble in the morning, it makes me feel better that the clothes I have spent good money on aren't sitting in the bottom of a drawer or at the back of the closet because the other stuff is what they're used to and it's so much fun to watch her find herself through 9-year-old fashionista!  I must admit, this screams me at 26 and it was pretty much her idea top to bottom...I pushed for the puffy vest - just 'cuz it's so adorable!

When in must visit the Social Bakehouse Cafe - the best black and whites (they're really yellow butter cake with milk chocolate buttercream - not a traditional black and white) I have found without driving to Weatherford!  I schedule my trips to the Arlington Y corporate offices around traffic and finding 15 minutes to jump over and grab a family treat...aren't they delightful looking?  YUM!

It had to happen, right???  Our first broken window...a baseball, of course!  Murph overthrew Patrick and CRASH!!!  a smashed back kitchen window!  Total accident, but he felt so badly.  And Sophie wanted to be all in the middle of things...and she wasn't wearing her doggy shoes, so she had to be put in the house...YIKES, she doesn't like that!

The obvious benefit of breaking your first window as a 12-year-old boy...a lesson in the limitless potential of duck tape!  Larry Comer would be proud!  And Tim the Toolman, and my daddy, and millions of males the world over!

Almost finished...a cardboard box panel, duck tape, a broom, a dustpan, a call to the window pane guy...really???  $160.00????  expensive lesson, but a classic boymom memory!

Clearly, I've lived here long enough to be just Texas enough to take and post this's RAIN!  You probably can't tell that it's raining, but I know, I remember, I sat out on the back porch for over an hour basking in it!  It's been the hottest, driest, hottest...did I mention hottest???...summer in history and this was a blessing and my favorite kind of morning...good hot coffee, no one else up in the house, dog not interested in coming out, no tv, no magazine, no neighborhood noise or action...just me and the rain!

 It's a horrible picture, I am so bummed!, but it's the only one I getting serenaded by the Elvis guy at Meadowlakes...he was hip/gospel Elvis, not chart-topping/hound dog Elvis, but the ladies LOVED him!!!!
 Well, maybe not ALL the ladies...Peyton was fascinated, but did NOT want him coming too close!  She love the spotlight when it's her idea...not Elvis's!
 Murph found the vibrating barcolounger in the lobby after the show...totally out, in public...I can't even sleep on a night, but my son can sleep in a busy lobby with all the lights on and women screaming for Elvis!
 Peyton had to try too...but she just giggled at the whole vibrating thing..silly chair!

 And finally - she got up the nerve to go say hello to the Elvis-man and get her picture taken...I am so proud of her when she gets past something she is nervous about.  The seniors at Meadowlakes love my kids!

This is a photo just for me!  This is evidence of my commitment to cardio - if even one half of what they say is true and cardio is one of the best ways to fight or delay Alzheimer's ...then cardio it matter how chewed up my feet are from the hill or the treadmill or the elliptical or the walks...tape, flip-flops and some good songs on my shuffle!  Here's to 10 extra years of short-term memory!!!