Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Best Laid Plans....

The past 3 days have been a whirlwind.  I think we've handled it surprisingly well, but I felt a bit discombobulated until I sat down here to write.  I have taken a breath, I have a Sonic drink, mom is napping, my son is at football and my daughter is on the i-Pad. 

I just felt my shoulders relax for the first time.

I think I can actually tell my story on PLAN for One Word Wednesday over at my website, My Sweet Peanut.  I wasn't sure - even though I was convinced the prompt couldn't have been more perfect.  I was too in the middle of it to think straight!

If you're new here - mom has Alzheimer's.  The all-the-way-gone kind.  No short term memory (and this is not an exaggeration) and almost no long term memory to speak of.  She has flashes from her past that come out in dreams or catnaps or out-of-the-blue conversations that make absolutely no sense in this universe, but are clear as can be to mom.

Mom woke up Monday morning with a sore, slightly swollen wrist.  No evidence of a fall.  No limit in mobility of her hand or wrist.  Probably arthritis.  One of the more advanced, more awful flare ups, but arthritis, nonetheless.

Monday was also the first day of the last week of summer vacation for the kiddos.

And the first day of fall dance for my daugher.

And the last week of 2-a-day football practices for my son.

And the middle of an 8-straight-days of work for my husband.

2 PTA functions.  One cheer get-together.  A pre-season football scrimmage.  The Browns pre-season Monday Night Football game (yes, that is a priority and part of my PLAN!).  Sneakers that need to be purchased.  A Sam's Club run on the docket.  A pantry clean, 2 closet reorganizations and a donation run that all needed to happen.  Plus all the regular stuff.

We had PLANS! 

And because mom has to be supervised 98% of the time, we had to organize our PLANS thoroughly to make them work.  And because mom has Alzheimer's, she has no recollection that she has a swollen, sore wrist so she aggravates it over and over and over again by over-using it or leaning on it or being too aggressive with it.  And she has to have a thorough explanation of what happened (we have no idea) about every 4-5 minutes. 

It's hard to execute a PLAN when you have to take 2 minutes every 4 minutes to explain a story that has no hope of being remembered.  To muster the kindness it takes to tell the same story 100+ times in one day.  To know the repercussions of limited physical activity on someone who is 86 years old and try and fit some PT exercises into your already tight PLAN.  It was mind-boggling (or maybe that's just me!)

The first part of the PLAN to get tossed out is anything non-essential.  Pool time.  Sonic time.  One last trip to the park.  And that can make me a grumpy, resentful caregiver.  If I let it. Okay, fine - we'll clean the panty - it's right beside mom's room - I can straighten and explain all at the same time!

Of course, we needed a cherry on the top of our week, so we ended up needing a home health nursing visit.  Then a doctor's appointment.  A trip to the hospital to get an x-ray on mom's hand & wrist.  And most disturbing, putting mom in the car. 

Mom HATES to leave the house.  She is terrified.  It wasn't too bad going, but the stop on our way home to get my daughter measured for her cheer belt was fell asleep, woke up and went immediately into panic mode.  She FREAKED OUT.  I used my best stuff - right there in the parking lot of the middle school, ended up singing "You Are My Sunshine" and we got through it...I can assure you that wasn't in the PLAN!

Traditionally, I do some of my best work in a crisis...but when I am frazzled and tired and feeling a bit sorry for myself because of missing the pool with my kids...well, you know....

So, I changed the plan - I had to re-forecast, as my friend Diane reminded me today.  And we are calmer.  There was some doctor stalking to find out what was up with mom's wrist - not broken (Hallelujah!).  There was an unexpected trip to the pharmacy.  There was an extra football meeting.  And the last hurrah of fundraising for my son. 

But there was also Mina - which meant we did get a quick trip to the pool and finally, the blue slide was conquered by my daughter!  We snuck in a Sonic drink and some much-needed caffeine for me and a cherry slushie for mom. 

We make it work.  I let it make me nuts sometimes.  But we make it work.  We're family.  And family is always more important than the best laid plans of mice and men...*

*My mom always used to say that!...the mice and men part, not the family bizarre these days to think of mom quoting Burns or Steinbeck or wherever she got it!


  1. It's called LIFE my dear friend.....hugs to you!

  2. One day at a time Lisa and remember to breathe>>>>>

    1. always great advice...and drink milk shakes!