Friday, June 15, 2012

Trying to Trust

Dear Mom,

This is going to be shorter because it is getting late and it will be an early, most likely long day tomorrow.  You didn't do very well today.  That was surprising because you had been doing better this week.  Your sister got here on Wednesday and you started walking just with your cane and no walker, and were moving around a bit more, and you were not fighting me on things like going to the bathroom or taking a shower.  But was different, you really struggled getting up this morning.  Not waking up, but just getting up, you didn't have much strength.  I had to really pull you and we had to do a few tries.  I finally got you to the bathroom and then you had a hard time getting up from there.  This time we were using the walker and you were still struggling, you kept pushing the walker about 3 feet in front of you, so you were almost bent in half trying to walk.  I kept reminding you to bring it closer, but you would forget and keep pushing it farther out.  We finally made it back to the bedroom.  After about an hour or so, I was trying to get you to the kitchen for breakfast, and again you were struggling.  I have gotten used to this I guess, because every once in a while it happens, but your sister wasn't.  You were falling asleep at the table while you were eating, which you have done before, but she hadn't seen that since she had been here.  You were a little worse today than normal because you really could barely keep your eyes open or head up.  I was just heading out, needed to get my nails done, a couple were lifting and starting to come off.  But Auntie Janice was concerned and wanted me to call someone to take you in.  I pushed your Life Alert and they sent an ambulance.  So, no nail-fixing today!  You went to the hospital and they took blood, urine, did an xray, and a cat scan.  Your vitals were good, but still not sure what was causing this.  So, they kept you tonight.'re there and I'm here trying to cope without you here, missing you.  It was very hard to leave you tonight.  Auntie Janice and I kissed you and prayed with you, you said you weren't staying there, but I told you we were going to check on Bella and would be back later and if you went to sleep it would make the time go faster.  As we were leaving you started humming to yourself. That made me sad, and it was harder to leave you, but I know and trust you are in good hands...and I always know you are in the Good Hands of the Great Physician!  I miss you so much, but I'm going to try to go get some sleep.  They are planning to do more tests tomorrow, and the neurologist is supposed to come.  I'm hoping to get over there at a decent time in the morning so we don't miss meeting the different doctors and nurses and what they have to say.  So, it could be another long day.  Praying for you, missing you terribly, and loving you more than you could ever know!  I love you!  I hope you have a really, good, restful night!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

So It's Starting!

Dear Mom,

I am sitting here with tear-filled eyes facing a stark reality, you are getting worse...worse in mind and spirit.  Mother's Day, I couldn't get you to get up to go to church with me.  I thought it was just a passing phase, a bad day.  But now I'm thinking not so much.  I tried to bribe you that morning to tell you we would go out to eat, but you still didn't get up.  So I left or church by myself while you were still in bed.  When I got home you were up and dressed sitting in the living room, but I just brought some food home.  When I told you that I had hoped and planned to take you out you said you didn't know, I should have told you.  I told you that I had told you a few times that morning.  We did have a nice dinner, though.  But since you haven't been letting the homemaker/companion people in the house, no one has been coming by, and when I get home you're fine, just sitting asleep on the couch.  But your spirit seems fine and you get around fine.
Last Sunday, you got up fine and came out to breakfast, I mentioned getting your sneakers on for church and you kinda said OK or something.  So I called the neighbor and told her you might be coming.  After taking Bella out, I came back in, got you looking presentable, and went to the room to get your sneakers.  You asked what those were for and I told you so you could go to church.  You said you weren't going.  I asked you why not, since you were fine.  You were feeling fine and getting around fine, so there was no reason not to go.  You just got irritated and said you didn't want to go and were not going.  Needless to say, I was quite unhappy, and called the neighbor back to tell her that now you weren't going.  I was pretty frustrated on my way to church.  But enjoyed a good sermon, and was OK by the time I got home, still not happy that you hadn't gone.  Now as I'm writing this these things should have given me some clue, not sure if I didn't want to see it, or if I just feel like it came on suddenly, and was hard to recognize and realize.
Well, this was the last week of school and I was so excited to be done!!  All week you had been doing fine.  I was with you all day Monday, then was home a little early on Wednesday.  You seemed to be normal (well, your new normal, what normal is for you now).  Thursday was my last day and we had a luncheon after school, then I came home.  You again were fine.  I went to a friend's jewelry party, and when I came back home...again you were fine.  About an hour or so later I walked upstairs because I wanted to show you something on TV.  As I got to the top of the stairs I noticed things weren't smelling right.  I thought you were in the restroom, but you weren't.  You were sitting on the bed.  So I wasn't sure why I was smelling such a strong smell.  After a little bit I checked you and realized you hadn't gotten up to go to the bathroom and were sitting in mess.  You got upset when I checked you and reached back to put your hand there to keep me from checking and got stuff on your hand.  I got a Kleenex, took your hand and tried to clean it, but you pulled it away from me.  I was upset and hurt by that so I just told you that you needed to go to the bathroom, and I went back downstairs.  When I came up later you were still sitting on the edge of the bed and hadn't moved.  I tried to gently tell you that you needed to get up and go to the bathroom.  Eventually you let me help you up and went to the bathroom.  Everything was a mess after that.  Your hands, your clothes, the floor, the toilet, even the sink.  I had you take a bath, and helped you, then you finally got your pj's on and eventually got to your room, that was about 2 o'clock Friday morning.  Once I got you to bed, I went to go clean up the mess and do laundry.  I finally climbed into bed myself about 3 in the morning.  For some reason Bella decided to start scratching on your door to have me come get her and take her out at 5:45!!  I was pretty miserable!  But I had no plans except to try to catch up on sleep.  Wouldn't you know that I got a phone call from the school about mid morning to tell me I needed to go in to sign something for insurance. Ugh!  I finally got you to have your breakfast, you were starting to fall asleep at the table after eating your cereal.  So I was going to take your egg sandwich and save it for you for later.  You took it back from me and said you wanted to eat it.  I went to go get ready, and when I was in the bathroom, I heard a weird noise like something hitting something or something closing.  Bella heard it too and started barking.  I asked you what happened and you said you just hit your head on the kitchen table, but that you were alright.  I went to check and you were.  There was no bump or anything, but your sandwich was all over the floor.  So, I had you get back in bed, cleaned up the sandwich, and headed to school.  I got there signed my paper and said hi to a friend (another teacher).  We talked for a bit, and it came out about my bad night/morning.  She encouraged me with some things, but definitely brought out the tears I had been holding in.  She mentioned that I needed to be thinking about what I am going to do when you got too much for me to handle on my own.  And said I needed to check into long term care and how much it would be and what I would need to do.  It was hard to hear, though I know that it is reality.  I got back home and you were OK.  Last night again, I smelled something, and you did have a little mess.  Not nearly as bad as before, but you were going to take a bath.  You ran the water, but I forgot to put out a new washcloth and towel for you.  I got them and you went to the bathroom.  You were in there for a while, but then finally were done.  When I went into the bathroom later I realized that the washcloth was still dry, and so was the chair you use.  You ended up not even going, I don't know if you forgot or what.  You went into the kitchen and when I came up you said you wanted ice cream.  So I got some for you, you said for me to put it in your room, because you were going in there so I did.  I told you to take off your turtleneck shirt (yes, even in June!), and had your pajama top on the bed.  I heard you moving when I went back downstairs.  I finished up downstairs and went up to take Bella out.  You were back to sitting in the kitchen, but I didn't see your dish in the sink. When I went back to your room the dish of ice cream (well, soup now)  was still sitting where I left it.  I just brought it out and put it in the freezer and took Bella out.  I told you to go to the bathroom and get ready for bed.  I took Bella out, but because it was super rainy we didn't stay out long.  When we came back in you were nodding off at the table still.  I started turning things off so you would get the hint and go to bed.  I couldn't do another late night like Thursday again.  You eventually did get up and go to the bathroom.  I went to lay in the bed for a while and fell asleep, but woke up about 1 and went to check on you and you were still in the bathroom.  I was going to try to help you, but you keep saying you'll do it.  So, I went back to bed.  A few minutes later I checked again, this time when you woke up you let me help you off the toilet.  You got to your bed and I turned off your light and left your TV on for you to turn off whenever.  When I woke up about 6 this morning you were still sitting on the side of the bed.  I tried to help you get your legs up and into the bed, but you got upset and said not to do that.  So, I just left you and took Bella out.  You have been like that most of today.  I told you I had breakfast ready about 9 and you still haven't had it yet, at 1:20 p.m.  I tried to help you off the bed and you refused my help.  You got up and got to the bathroom, but I'm sure you are sitting on your pajama bottoms because you didn't pull them down far enough.  But you have been sitting on there for at least a couple of hours but will not let me help you.  I'm going to have to go up and somehow get you up, because I need to go to the restroom and that is the only one we have.  So, my heart is breaking.  I don't know what has happened in just a couple of days that has changed things so much.  After just saying that I don't want to look into any place because I want to take care of you as long as I can, now I'm wondering what in the world is going on.  I wonder if it's the change in meds.  The doctor didn't give you Aricept again, but I think a generic version, and not the same dose that you have been taking.  You had been taking 23 mg of Aricept, but now you're only taking 10 mg. of the other stuff.  So, a little guilt is creeping in because I should have asked and checked about that before.  Plus you are long overdue for a checkup at the neurologist.  But it's been so crazy I haven't gotten an appointment yet.
On top of all that, Bella needs to be groomed badly.  She's been so hot in this weather with all of her fluffy hair, and you don't like to keep the air on.  Then the upstairs refrigerator is on the bum.  The freezer works, but I have to keep all of our perishables in the downstairs fridge and run up and down to use them.  Then since it's been raining so much I came downstairs a little while ago and the basement carpet is sopping wet because lots of rainwater is seeping in.  And it's not supposed to stop raining for a while.  This is the wettest I've seen it in a while.  So needless to say, I'm feeling a little beat up and struggling with why the Lord is allowing so many things at one time.  I just came down and had a really good cry and talk with the Lord, more like just telling him it's getting too hard and I don't know what to do.  Then my allergies are so bad I can't breathe when I cry because my nose is so stuffed!  These are the moments I miss you so much.  The mommy that I need, the mommy that I knew, the mommy that would help me and be with me and encourage me.  And then I really miss Pappy, he would have known what to do too.  Not quite the start of summer I was hoping for.  And I've been so jealous of so many people who have so many neat things going on in their lives right now.  New babies (lots of people have just had or are going to have them), new relationships, friends of mine that have waited as I have are finding people, and starting relationships, new homes, trips, many new adventures.  It's been hard, these are the moments I wish I could talk to you about and tell you, and have you share your wisdom with me and pray with me.  You were always so good at that.  I must admit, I'm getting a little scared.  I have been wondering when things would start going downhill.  I wondered how the Lord would allow me to supposedly be back in my classroom full time next year.  If you were still going to need me and need me more than this year, because I know things only get worse, then how could I teach full time.  So my fears are coming to light.  I'm trying to trust, trying to hold on, trying to not think the worst, trying not to feel totally defeated, but it's been getting hard.  I'm going to do my best to try to still trust, seek what the Lord is trying to teach me and not get bitter, and try to take care of you the right way, the best I can.  The changes make me so sad, and there are lots of decisions and now seem to be lots of cleaning that I will need to be doing.  If I have to put you somewhere that means I also have to find a place to put Bella and myself.  It's overwhelming.  But I do love you!  I might be starting to lose my patience or may seem to nag more, but it's because I miss you and do love you so much!  Ok, now I'm really worn out, and I think I have expressed most of what I had hoped to.  So, I love you, and will make sure to do the right thing by you!