Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mom's Story

My mother told me a funny story today. She has turned into quite a comedian since her stroke.
She is wanting to eat and drink, but they won't let her until she passes the swallow test. I'm not supposed to get the thickener until she is approved by the swallow therapist. The struggle is real. We can't let her aspirate. This is what she thinks of all the time. Her throat is so dry. She is on a feeding tube, but she misses regular food.
So today she asked if she could tell me a story she'd heard "Somewhere."
I said yes. So Mom began to talk:
_______________
Once upon a time there was a house in Missouri in the country. One day some people knocked on the door and walked in. They were so surprised to find an old, old lady asleep in a hospital bed right in the middle of the front room. "What happened to you?" They asked.
The old, old lady said, "Well, I had a stroke." Then she started to cough. And she coughed and she coughed and she coughed.
Everybody said, "Are you all right?"
"Yes. I just need a drink of water."
Her daughter said, "I'm sorry. You can't have water until we get some thickener."
Then the old lady kept on coughing, and she coughed and coughed.
"Are you all right?" The people asked.
"Yes. I just need a little sip of Diet Coke, and  I'll be fine."
Her daughter said, "I'm sorry. You can't have any Diet Coke until we get some thickener."
_____________
Mom looked at me and asked if I wanted to hear the rest, and I did.
She continued:
Well, it has two endings. One is this:
_________________
The old old lady kept coughing, and nobody would give her water, and nobody would give her Diet Coke, so her head just flew of her body and hit the wall. The end.
-----------
I asked about ending number two.
Mom finished :
------------
One of the women who visited took over. She was so nice. She said, "I don't give a darn what the committee said about the thickener." So she gave the old woman a sip of Diet Coke, and she was fine. The coughing stopped. The end.
_________
I added Mom where she heard that story....
Mama looked at me so funny and said, "Well, Silly, I just made it up." She paused a minute and added.  "You are in that story."

-------------
Indeed.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Queen is In!!!

When this flag is flying, all of England knows the Queen is home. We are happy to say that our flag is flying today as of 11:30 this morning!


No empty chair

There is a very good chance Mom comes home today. Bed is here. Supplies are here, although they are not unpacked. Last night I crashed and burned. I guess my sleep factor meter was running on empty.


Do you have traditionally assigned seats around your table? We certainly have all my life. I sit on the south, and that has long, actually forever been my spot... 60 years. Growing up I recall a brainy idea I had to switch up seats (mainly so I could sit in my dad's spot I think.) The chair on the east, Daddy's, had a clear vantage of the road, the sidewalk, the sunset... Mom took her month there. But then my dad uncharacteristically balked. He was tired of that game. So I didn't get my month in the catbird seat. While I was pretty disappointed at the time, I hadn't thought of it in years. I love and embrace my "spot" now and really wouldn't want to change.


Recently I invited some of my son's friends to come here after hospital visitation to play cards at our table. I was doing some things in another room and overheard my son talking about the places at the table.


He was over on the east side, not at his usual place, sitting where Mom usually has sat since my dad passed away. The young men listened with a silent, respectful, sober friendship and attention I've come to appreciate in the world of "boys."


My son announced rather officially in a super quiet, yet important tone. "This chair belonged to my grandfather all his life. I remember the next time we sat at this table that my granny moved in here immediately.  And then it was her chair for ten years. And now it's mine." By that time I'd entered the kitchen. "With your permission, Mama," he smiled.


I just then realized that although Mom is coming home, it will be impossible to get her to that spot, no matter what her improvement. Instead of a painful hole at our table, there is simply a change. We all know that nothing stays the same. "The old order changeth, yielding place to new." (Sir Alfred, Lord Tennyson in The Passing of Arthur)  Change is such a part of life. It's so much better to plan and enact these important transitions of our own invention than to lie --- belly up---- waiting for change to "do us in."


Pretty philosophical here before coffee, aren't I? Have a good one. Evidently those boxes did not unpack themselves. Better motivate in to do it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New furniture tomorrow!

Gotcha! It is not a delivery of new furniture, but it will be something very different for the living room. Very special and probably costly--- except I believe Medicare will be getting this for us. Mom's hospital bed and all the supplies come tomorrow.

She is coming home very soon. Tonight I am moving furniture (my son already did the heavy stuff) and steaming the floors. Mom will love it, I am sure! She had good news today from her swallow study. Oh, how I love her speech therapist. Her nurses have been wonderful, and the doctor is a lifelong friend.

I am hoping for the best....

Spring cleaning is happening on Meadow Lane... just a bit early.  But someone very special is coming....



Whimsy and Hugs!

Monday, February 1, 2016

First of February





It doesn't seem like a month has gone from this unbelievable year. I don't really have an update, and as I have said before, it would be wrong today from yesterday. Friday night Mom was awesome, her old self at times, but Saturday and Sunday were more cautious, more sleepy.


I do not know what to think about anything actually. I feel kind of isolated and cliff dwelling, chilled and not too confident, especially for me. I do rather feel as if I have been walking with the wolves, both in my imaginations and truly. Coyotes and wolves regularly howl all night around my house. It is a lonesome, yet exciting sound, the chills of my childhood rippling down my back. I long ago in another lifetime had a little dog who barked all night... unless he heard the coyotes and wolves. Then... no sir. His little yap was zipped dead silent. Right now I feel just like that little dog.




I have a lot to do today. I have supplies coming from all parts of the internet to help me get ready to bring Mom home. I doubt what I really need is available on Amazon.



This is appropriately Leap Year, The unseasonable springlike weather may screech to a bitterly cold halt this week. Perhaps Mom will be here by the weekend. Have you ever heard of someone coming home by ambulance? Doesn't that seem a bit downside up? Yeah, welcome to my brain, shaken, not stirred. My true nature is to look at everything as a challenge and to jump in and believe we can swim. My true nature IS to call the wolves myself. And I cannot shake the idea that they are on the way . I feel good about this decision. Scared in an excited, positive way. My very wise son sent me a text in the dark hours after Mom's stroke that reminded me that all of life is a test, and if we fail, we learn. And if we fail completely and do not make it through after all our struggling and never giving up, ....... we deserve the rest. Looks like I am not the only one in this family who walks with the wolves. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Left to my own Devices

In between my 8-10 hour daily visits to be with Mom, I manage to get in quite a bit of puttering around here. Mom is doing a little better every few days. It is difficult not to expect progress or at least the same level of improvement every day. I come home excited and optimistic due to a wonderful day, but the next is often a deep sleep day. However, when my son and I look back on the weeks, Mom is definitely much stronger. We are looking at next week as our last in the hospital. We have the orders signed for a hospital bed, air mattress, and all kinds of med supplies, pill crushers, home health assistance (thank goodness!!).

I can see in the faces and hear in the voices the kindness and doubt that I can take care of her at home. I must confess I feel it, too. I know only that I want to try. Time will tell. I know I'm usually capable of doing more than it looks like... My dear friend in Florida says that Midwesterners are "pluggers."   We just keep on plugging away. I know that was true of my dear daddy. I like that idea so much. I hope I am a plugger!!!

Thought I'd share a little Valentine love, beautiful little gifts from my sister/cousin. They enchant my kitchen table. Today is Saturday. Five weeks ago tomorrow Mom had that stroke. Hey, Lady... You've come a long way!



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Personal traveler's notebook wallet

I've been enjoying some really interesting YouTube videos that feature these traveler's notebooks as journals, as wallets, as planners. So, I decided since I never like to be without paper, etc., this looks like me.

If you are a YouTube watcher, check out Jenny Penton Planner Perfect for ideas.
Chic Sparrow has some beauties, so I've opted for one called The American Dream Deluxe. In Pacific blue, size personal... It's filled with cool pockets, and I have a coin zipper pouch on the way. Just a little scrapbook paper does the trick to jazz up ordinary fillers.

I had my name engraved on the front and all that wonderfulness. It's fun to plan and make grocery lists all in the same place. The idea is to have a little wallet that is more useful. It also holds my phone. And makes soup... Well, not the soup. But it would if it could.

Mom is in her chair right now. Doing pretty well. Not sure when, but looks like she will get to come home soon... In the next few weeks or days. Then we'll see what we can do.










Sunday, January 24, 2016

Full Moon Muse

Oh, how I love me a full moon! On snow? Well, clearly it is magical.

Mom is better most of the time. It is good to hear her sass. She has made a few jokes, ordered everyone to watch the roads, and clearly disagreed with my opinion of the value of physical therapy even when it hurts. Good to hear,

Tonight the full moon is simply exquisite. For years I told my son and his friends that I needed the full moon to shine on me in bed in order to be "right." No excuses now.



Just made a big cup of cocoanut coffee with sugar cookie creamer. Added a cranberry orange English muffin, and brought it in for "breakfast in bed with moonlight." That sounds like the title of an oil painting!


Hope wherever you are in this wide world that you found a minute to see the moon and whisper a wish and a dream to it.



I sure did.

                                                                                                                          Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow day

It snowed just a little more through the night, and I saw snow plows running at four a.m. Several schools cancelled today. I haven't quite made up my mind, but I think I'll stay home today. My son can go in because he's working right across the highway at his regular computer workplace.

P.S. I went in... She is asleep, but I'm here anyway..

I changed the mantle from Santa to snow, snowballs, snowflakes, and village. And I couldn't bear to part with the cheer that Copper boiler brings me. I love how it twinkles at night with its red tiny lights. It's just a big garland with silk poinsettias tucked in and a red stand of mini lights wound through. However, it seems almost to be a cozy fire in the old, worn fireplace. That takes me back to the childhood nights when my dad made it warmer than warm and we three sat around the flames and cooked hot dogs for supper on a little motorized rotary gizmo Daddy invented and made. He called it the "Gayla Cooker." Never will a hot dog again taste so exquisite. That was long before "they" gave them such a bad rap about their additives and fillers. Those little sandwiches in white bread flapped over and a little squirt of ketchup, relish, (and mustard for dad and me. Mom hates it) were food for the gods...

I spent hours last night and this morning steaming the floor in the kitchen. I bought a new Bissel hard surface steamer. Love it! As I've said before, these linoleum floors are about sixty years old. All the stream and love in the world can't make them pretty again. But I had such a good time trying. Is that odd? Do I care?

I've been to the hospital or staying , overnight in it every day since December 27.  I don't think Mom will be ready to come home when her Medicare runs out, so we will have to co pay a while. A word to the wise: Get a Medicare supplement in case of this kind of scenario.

There is some kind of wild animal rustling around on the front porch. He's banging into the wicker furniture. I've seen all kinds of tracks up there, including ground hog and even deer. Think I'll keep my nose inside and let him be.

Mom's nurse called. She said Mom was rather quiet today but doing about the same.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Snow...



Today is the biggest snow we have had. Slick roads and schools dismissing early. Mom is doing about the same, but with more conversation! Everybody stay safe!


Whimsy and Hugs!