Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I can see a Clearer View

Today I feel like I can see clearer now and I hope that reminds you of a song like it does me. Mom and I both seem to be in a better place.  I'm not sure who feeds off who but it works.  I finally let go of some things from my past that were bothering me, thank you Higher Power and my Serenity friends for helping with that.  Is everything peachy?  Not a chance, but we are motoring along and the fog seems to have cleared a little.

Currently, we are getting the house ready to put on the market. Once the house sells, we will be moving to North Carolina to be closer to family and better weather and scenery!  I am excited and scared all at the same time.  The farthest I've lived away from Ohio was a year in Kentucky when I was 17, for an unsuccessful attempt at college. I will be really starting over, but I feel like it is the right move to make and all will work out.  Mom has finally come around and even talks about the move in a positive light now.  Of course, everytime she sees the "Myrtle Beach time" commercial on TV she says, "That's where we are going right, where Gillian lives?"  I'm about at the point where I say yes, at least I don't let it bother me anymore and that is improvement.

Speaking of getting the house ready for sale, I have been cleaning out the basement and Wow! My family moved into this house a longgggg time ago, decades and decades ago. Anyway, I am sometimes amazed at some of the things that I am finding, like my mother's report cards from elementary school! And she did indeed have an older brother as a teacher! That had to be terrible!  I also found that talking too much in school runs in the family!  ha ha ha!!!  It was called whispering in class back in her day, but same it's still the same thing. I have also found some of my report cards, not so funny; and tons of pictures!!! What do you do with all the pictures?!?  So far I have filled a tote with them; my life, my parents, and my daughter's.  It is definitely a walk down memory lane.  I have made many trips to the thrift store and trash can with the findings.  I have a keep pile and a sale pile, I'll let you know when the moving sale is going to happen.

Mom has brightened up a little since we had a conversation about what we are taking with us to North Carolina.  For some reason, she thought we would pack a suitcase and leave everything behind even though we had talked about it before and I brought her some totes home.  She was really worried about her stuff, but now she knows it is going too and she is much happier.  Every now and then she will ask me, " Is that going to North Carolina with us?"  It is like reassuring a child and sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact.  I'm getting better wih the help of my Higher Power and a clearer view.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Foggy View

Lately, my view has been fogged by the actions of my mother.  I can’t tell if she is really not feeling well or just acting like she doesn’t feel well. She feels nauseated one day, can’t have a bowel movement the next, then has a sore throat, is ok for a few days and then has a pain in her breast; then we start all over again. Her doctor cannot find a cause for any of these symptoms. So her doctor thinks it might be another UTI or dehydration, but we’ve been waiting 5 days for blood and urine results.  The other school of thought is she is trying to find a way to not move to North Carolina.  I know it seems sad or maybe mean that I would say these things about my mother, but you have to remember she has dementia and most of the time her mind is about 2-5 years old and even before the dementia, she would do anything to get what she wanted.  I deal with this daily so I am used to it, others think it’s cute. It is no longer cute when you are dealing with it on a daily basis, it’s frustrating.  I do my best to be patient, kind, compassionate and understanding. I call it P.U.C.K. and I pray for it every day.  My help is the caregivers that are here 3 days of the week for 5 hours while I am at work. The lady that takes care of mom is amazing,she is so kind and gentle with mom, she puts up with a lot, I know.  The friend, that was helping me, and I had a falling out, so now I have no other help.  This means no breaks, no movies, no lunches or dinners with friends, no meetings (except 1 that 2 friends bring to my house), no me time unless I go in my room and shut the door ( which makes me feel like a child and I am many years past that). Also, mom does not qualify for any of the care programs from the state, city, county or federal government, I’ve been that route.  I’m not putting this out there so people will feel sorry for me, I’m putting it out there because I know I’m not alone. I know there are other caregivers out there like me, frustrated, alone, angry, depressed and lonely.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have good days, because I do.  Just appreciate those you know that are the caregivers, maybe they can be a bit grouchy sometimes, or weepy, or whiny -try to give them a break, our view is foggy some days.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A disappearing view

Sometimes I lose my patience with my mother. I get frustrated because she cannot follow simple directions, she is so childlike. It is so hard to accept that she cannot do the normal things of daily living without supervision.   I know I can't expect her to act like mom and yet I still do. It is hard to deal with Edna as she is and not have mom as she was.  Believe me, we had our issues and plenty of them, but it is pretty difficult to ask for or give forgiveness to someone that thinks ice cream is the highlight of her day and a serious conversation is about what's for dinner. I am doing my best to be compassionate, kind and understanding and I pray every day, continuously.  My goal is to provide a glimpse into life with a loved one with dementia. Don't get me wrong, I chose to be here, I am not here out of obligation.  It is definitely a roller coaster ride on a daily basis. The hardest thing for me is to take time for me.  I know I have to, it's just not that easy. It takes planning and scheduling just to go to an hour meeting and sometimes I just don't have the motivation. So if you are around someone in a similar situation and they seem grouchy or snappy, try to give them a break, literally. It is not easy watching someone mentally disappear right in front of you.  And getting away takes a great amount of guilt resolution because the loved one does not want you to go anywhere without them or leave them at home.  It really is like having a 5'4" 2 yr old, just tonight I had to "put" her to bed several times before she would stay in bed and she kept taking her pajamas off and putting her clothes back on.  I wanted to scream, but I didn't.  I told her that I couldn't do this anymore today and she needed to stay in bed, just like I used to tell my daughter, and she stayed in bed.   I know I have jumped around a lot in this post, but that is how my days usually go, roller coaster rides and a disappearing view.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The late summer view

Summer is coming to an end and that means Buckeye football is right around the corner.  As a diehard Buckeye fan, I am really excited to see what happens next!  Go Bucks!!

Our caregivers started June 2nd and they are angels from heaven.  I knew when I interviewed the owner of the company I had found the right people.  The only question I really wanted answered by the applicants was, why do you do this, and she said it was her calling and she had been doing it for 20 years. We now have one of her employees and she lovingly takes care of mom Monday through Friday.  She has been such a huge help to me, giving me some relief and a different look at our situation.

Having someone at the house every week day makes it possible for me to take care of me.  This is something I am not very good at doing, but I am a work in progress.  I walk a lot at work, so I get to the gym for strength training. I also go to Starbucks or the library and read.  I am learning to enjoy time with myself.  This is new to me, but I am learning to enjoy it now.  This is, of course, on my days off, Tuesday and Thursday.

Mom turns 90 in September and I am having a party for her with the help of some of my best friends. It's a big milestone and we're going to celebrate! Of course the theme is OSU, mom is a fan too.  So, we will have cake, punch, nuts and Buckeyes and sing Happy Birthday with family and friends.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A changed view

It has been a while since I posted to this blog, it was a stressful late winter and early spring. First I quit my job, it was stressful and I didn't even realize how much until I left that job.  I stayed home for a month, applied for couple jobs, took care of  Mom and myself.  It was also the worst part of the winter, so I am thankful I was home.

Mom's dementia has progressed, she cannot do anything she used to do.  She can no longer remember how to knit or make the OSU ornaments she used to make, this was the last thing to go.  At this point, her mind is her worst enemy and she knows it.  She has said to me that she feels like a useless idiot,   she is stupid, and as always that she is ugly.  I sat down with her recently and had a conversation, telling her that I know her mind is not working the way it used to work and it must be really frustrating and maddening for her and that I cannot even imagine what she is feeling, but that I did know that I loved her just as she is, that had not changed and I am here to help her as much as she will let me.  It was an emotional moment for us both, admitting we are in a different phase of this disease and acknowledging and accepting that change.

With that change came realization that I can no longer take care of Mom by myself.  I need help.   Now where do I get that help?  I spent one day calling all of the agencies and departments that offer help for the elderly.  It is quite a maze to get through!  Initially, I had to find where to start, because you can't just pick one and call, because they will tell you to call someone else.  So after I found the starting point, then I had to go through the agencies, calling each one until I found the one that could and would actually help me and Mom.  After the paper work was completed, they gave me the names of 8 people that provide care in your home. I then spent another day writing up a job description, suggested by the agency and a very good idea. That way I knew what I was looking for and what to expect. I interviewed caregivers and I  made a selection.  I feel I selected the best candidate to care for Mom when I am not home and when I am home.  It is not an easy decision to pick a stranger to care for a loved one, but it has been made.  Now I will see Mom from someone else's view also.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Choosing my view

Lately, I have been looking inside, I have been looking for motivation, looking for drive.  For some reason, I can't find that motivation that puts me over the top.  I don't think I need to do something great, I just want to do something.  Something that makes me say, " Oh, now I know".  I have had "aha" moments, finally realizing I did not have all the answers & needed to do something different.  You know, let go and let God?! I just have this feeling that another one of those moments is coming.  

I am doing what's in front of me; taking care of mom and living alcohol & drug free. I am a Christian and know that I am meant to spread His word through the turn around in my life.

In my head, I hear " Oh my God, are you in that place again? Looking for more?"  And yes I am, even knowing that more is what I was addicted to for many, many years. When life gets tough the tough get going?  I just want to pull the covers up & stay in bed! It seems like I want more handed to me and that isn't a surprise to some.  But, I do work and I try hard. I'm just at a point where there is a fork in the road and I don't know which way to go.  I can't even tell what it means if I go right or left. I guess that is where faith comes in, trusting that God has my back.  After making bad choices for so long you would think I would be ok with not choosing, giving up free will.  But I still want to run my life and He has to tap me on the shoulder to remind me all the time.

So maybe I need to stop & enjoy where God has brought me thus far and not worry about where I go from here. I choose that, I will just enjoy where I am and quit worrying about where I go from here.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A view of the goal

It is my goal to take better care of myself in 2015.  So to get this going, I rejoined Planet Fitness last week and actually went there three times during the week.  So what changed? I am scheduling my time to exercise and so far it has kept me going.  I have had to make time changes, but I still went and exercised.  I know, you're thinking, "Big Deal, you went 3 times the first week!", I get that and have thought that also. However, I am encouraged by this fact! That is my goal, 3 times each week.  I think that is helping also that I am not trying to become the next top model, just be healthy.  And yes, I know I could never be the next top model!

I am a procrastinator to my core, not one of my best characteristics!  It is one of those character defects I am trying to let go, but keep retying the string.  Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.  I do not want to get to the end of my life and wish I had done something.  I bring this up because I have a lot (!) of work to do on ridding myself of this defect.  I can put off my life, and did for many years, if I can get away with it.  At some point I have to be a grown-up, and I have been fighting that for a longggggg time.  My idea for this is not original, it's not new or profound either.  I am breaking down my goals, tasks, chores, whatever, into smaller steps, doable steps that lead to the desired end. Amazing, huh?  I have been so overwhelmed with what I think I "should" do that I didn't do anything. I am stopping the "shoulds" and working on getting things done in baby steps.  I'll let you know how it works out.

You have probably heard that as we get older, we revert back to childhood and I am witnessing this firsthand with mom.  It still amazes me at how her brain works and doesn't work.  Yes, I do still have to remind myself that it isn't all about me sometimes and I still catch myself being really frustrated because she cannot complete a simple task without direction or assistance.  It is not easy watching a parent age and deteriorate.  We do try to keep it lite, but we have our moments when we are both so frustrated with each other.  Here's an example, she was getting herself some ice cream one evening this summer and asked if I wanted some and I told her that I did.  She came back in the room with ice cream on a plate with a serving spoon.  I asked her if she could put it in a bowl for me and get me a smaller spoon.  She returned with my ice cream in a coffee mug and the same spoon.  I ate it anyway, she really did not see the problem.  It can be funny to live in our house some days.

The end of the college football season was amazing for our house because we are Buckeyes! Congratulations Buckeyes on a great season and the National Championship!!! #BuckeyeNation

I am working on my jewelry business and one of my changes is how I think about my business.  I can be successful, I can be profitable.  I have to believe that and work that way or I will stay stuck where I am.  If I don't have confidence in my ability to create pieces, how can I sell them?  I know I can and do make some really nice pieces, so what I am going to do is focus on that.  Other changes are being made and will be revealed soon.

Also, I took time off for me on Saturday.  I spent some time with a friend at the NHL All-Star fan fare.   It was fun walking around the Arena District, watching people slide down the snow slide and just people watch in general.  We didn't have tickets for anything, we went down because it was there.  And we watched the snow slide, and didn't participate, because the wait was 1 1/2 hrs! That was not going to happen.

My current view is a rain snow mix and looks dreary, some of you see the same view.  For those in warm weather areas, I do not want to know the temperature where you are located.  Thanks anyway,
I'll just keep my rose colored glasses on until spring. See you later!