Mom is definitely looking better since she moved to HomePlace. I'm sure a lot of it is that she's kept clean regularly, and her bottom checked frequently, and she has a shower, now on a schedule, and her meds? Well consistency is key -- the time doesn't vary like it could, here at home, as we got caught up in the hustle of the day.
At HomePlace, their only "hustle of the day" is to make sure all the residents get their meals and meds and stay clean and healthy and cared for and attended to and that they have socializing activities. They are very special people at HomePlace, they really care about the residents -- it's not just a "show" for my benefit when I visit.
So, all this health care combined is making Mom look better; her skin doesn't flake off and itch [although she LOVED when I scratched her back yesterday] and she nodded off while I was there, but was lisltening to every word, and she looks so beautiful without a stitch o' makeup.
I'm so glad at the level of care she's getting, but, I'm so saddened by my missing her all the time, even when I visit. I love her so much, but we can't have a two-way conversation as she still speaks, or defaults to, a form of nonsense words. Kim says when they are together, she rambles on and tells stories of the day to Mom and Mom responds, but I never was much of an event speaker, and my events are on such a small scale to boot -- more about bill-paying, and pain, and MDs and worries about finances -- oh I am feeling the pinch horrifically...--and I really don't have a life to share with her. I don't do anything except fret about how I will pay this or that bill, or when am I going to finally get packages readied for return and silliness like that which takes up a heap of energy. Stress is my constant companion. Ugh. I can't share that with her -- besides, it's boring as hell.
But, as usual, I digress. I'm talking about my inability to have a conversation with Mom, and her trouble finding any words to put into a sentence to say what she wants to tell me. This is so tough to see her struggle with this -- my grande-master bridge playing, scrabble queen, and NYTimes double-crostic goddess -- it has to be as frustrating for her as it is for me (if not more)...although I have learned to only minimally try to figure out the meaning with her -- then letting it go pretty quickly after that so she doesn't know she's not saying the right words -- or that at least, let her believe that the meaning comes across, even though she isn't saying anything close to the right words to make a sentence....
I want my Mommy. How's that for total regression?
I just want to be able to talk on the phone, or have her recall that I visit and I love her and am not abandoning her. Damn.
11:25 AM - link -
Thursday February 23 2006
Jim update... he will be coming in next weekend, the 4th - 7th of March instead. I can't wait!!!!
01:39 AM - link -
Since today has been another day of my soul withering and my heart breaking, while numbing my feelings with food and eating to gain tons of "free distance" (read: girth) which insulates myself from feeling...I have decided to post a nice photo of Mom and me from today's visit.
Mom was unable to verbalize very much, but nonetheless, she was ever so present -- you can see it in her eyes....god, I miss her so horribly -- I just want to pick up the phone and chat, but that can never be again. I hurt so badly. I love her so much. I want her back, were that I could earn a living again, maybe I could have afforded a RN 24x7. To be able to just walk the stairs and grab a kiss or hug was something I didn't know was so precious and soon to be gone.
I imagine some day I'll mourn the hour drive each way it took to visit her, and how I could see her and occasionally find her "there" and present by looking in her eyes, that "click" of recognition....
Taken after our eating a DQ vanilla soft ice-cream dipped in chocolate (all 3 of us...Gordy, Mom and me) -- it was fun watching Mom navigate it with minimal drippage....
BTW -- Jim (my brother) is coming from Iowa this Saturday for a few days. Not only am I psyched, but Mom remembers he's coming too -- she definitely seems to hang onto memories that are extremely significant for her -- Jim coming is very big -- last time he was here was way too long ago -- it's huge that he'll be here to visit -- I do miss him tons.
01:01 AM - link -
Mom is such a brave woman.
Today we took her to HomePlace and while I was doing paperwork, Gordy was unloading the stuff we brought, and Kim was setting up the room -- she made it charming and light and like home.
Lots of tears today and I don't expect it will be easier, but I hope these caregivers and RNs can give Mom a 2nd wind with their educated care and expertise. No matter how hard Gordy and I tried, we could not get Mom "better", we were bailing water to keep her afloat. I am probably putting too much stock in this move, but I have to believe that it will be a place where Mom can socialize, be fresh and clean all the time, and cared for by professionals.
Mom is doing this a lot for me -- she feels some guilt that Gordy and I aren't doing things -- despite her Alzheimers, she is not stupid or less intuitive, she "gets it' on some level, but that does not make it any easier for her to be in a foreign place without family or friends who "know her" and can speak for her, especially now that her speech is deteriorating.
God I miss her already. I Love her more than she will ever understand, and I wish.........
PS thanks to Gordy, Kim, Dr Waite, Kathy & Donna for your support in the move today.
06:45 PM - link -
BJOD (Bad Joke of the Day) It could be my state of mind, but this tickled me!
A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from LA to NY. The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde, tired, just wants to take a nap, politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun. He explains, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vise versa."
Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep.
The lawyer, now agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500.00."
This catches the blonde's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game.
The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"
The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer. "Okay," says the lawyer, "your turn".
She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?"
The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references, no answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the net and the library of congress, no answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to all his friends and coworkers, to no avail. After an hour, he wakes the blonde, and hands her $500.00.
The blonde says, "Thank you," and turns back to get some more sleep.
The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, "Well, what's the answer?"
Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.
04:19 PM - link -
Trust me, this just tops my nasty day....
House Approves Budget Spending Cut Bill, With Changes for Medicare, Medicaid
The House on Wednesday voted 216-214 to approve the fiscal year 2006 budget reconciliation bill (S 1932), which contains more than $39 billion in cuts, including $6.4 billion from Medicare and $4.8 billion from Medicaid, the New York Times reports (Stolberg, New York Times, 2/2). The House on
Dec. 19, 2005, voted 212-206 to approve the bill, but procedural moves in the Senate required the House to vote on the bill a second time before the legislation could move to President Bush for consideration. The Senate on Dec. 21, 2005, voted 51-50 to approve the legislation (Kaiser Daily Health Policy! Report, 2/1). All House Democrats voted against the bill, and all but 13 Republican voted in favor of it. Four Republicans who voted in favor of the bill in December voted against it on Wednesday (Fagan/Hurt, Washington Times, 2/2)
Under the Medicaid provisions of the bill, most beneficiaries would be required to pay higher copayments for health care services and could be denied service for lack of payment.
In addition, penalties would increase for seniors who transfer assets before they apply for long-term Medicaid coverage. The bill would make seniors with home equity of more than $500,000 ineligible for nursing home benefits.
In addition, the bill would increase Medicaid coverage for disabled children whose families earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level, beginning Jan. 1, 2007 (Kuhnhenn, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/2 ).
Provisions affecting Medicare include higher premiums for beneficiaries, with greater increases for higher-income beneficiaries, and a freeze in payments for home health care providers,/b> (New York Times, 2/2).
The bill also cancels a scheduled ,b>cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians and provides medical care to some hurricane survivors (Dennis, CQ Today, 2/1).
Insurers Should Cover 90-Day Supply of Medications in Emergency Cases for Medicare Beneficiaries, HHS Says
Health insurers offering Medicare drug plans must provide beneficiaries with an additional 60-day emergency supply of medication, an extension that increases the emergency supply requirement under the Medicare prescription drug benefit to a total of 90 days, the Bush administration said on Wednesday, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports [now this I do like...i admit] (Freking, AP/Long Island Newsday, 2/2).
11:27 PM - link -
"walk this way..."
Igor [prnounced Eye-gore] from "Young Frankenstien" [pronounced Steen] --