Vigil

In the stories I’ve been reading concerning the archer Thomas Hooker, there are often vigils in sanctuaries. Granted, those are almost always concerning battles or piety about searching for ancient relics, like the grail. They are often exciting and frequently short lived or even completely sacrilegious. (That is a very hard word to spell)
I’ve sat up or slept lightly through many hours of assorted vigils with mum. They have never been in a sanctuary. Many times she’s been hooked to machines, often they have alarms. I almost always had someone to text or message or email. In hospitals, nurses were always there looking in on her. At home, I had the monitor to listen with.
Here, it is different. Mum’s got several machines and the only alarm is the call button on her bed. We are virtually alone in the mostly empty corridor. Nurses come in rarely. I’m tap typing to people across the world who may or may not read this or even respond. After more than 16 hours, I heard from my aunt and they are at their hotel. The last personal messages I got were hours ago. I’ve not even heard from The Craftsman since we briefly spoke on Friday night.
I’m whining. But it is very different. Mum’s not wanting me too close, she’s still fighting hard. (I have the perception, right or wrong, that my holding her hand is weakness for her…) She’s, once again, in the last two columns of this chart and I don’t see her getting out this time. She’s restless. I’m almost done with the third and last book in the series (it is very good!) and I’m feeling alone.
But I’m in a vigil and need to eat because my glucose is a bit low. Except, the cafeteria isn’t open and mum is moaning a bit and I don’t want to leave her by herself.

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Highs and Lows

Me. I’m beyond tired. I’ve not been eating much and my glucose is very low. I have another sore tooth, I’m trying to husband finances (word meaning is such an odd thing!), and tie up some loose ends. I’ve been dashing around doing mom things, but now is just waiting. There doesn’t appear to be enough caffeine out there to keep me awake! I’ve met some grand people who have shared how wonderful mom is and how, even in her prone position now, she’s still being a light to others.
Health care professionals and personnel. These people are the most amazing incredible people ever to walk the earth. I’m fairly certain most of them can also walk on water. They give and try new things and give more. Granted, there are times when communication is scarce. However, they often go above and beyond what their job may be.
Visitors. Mum’s door should be revolving! The nurses are surprised by how many people have come to see mum. It’s fun to have people from totally different places in mom’s life meet and find they have something in common. (For example, a young nurse from a local clinic stopping by and meeting her former school nurse)
Mum. She’s slowing down. Her body is finally taking a stand and telling her will it just can’t anymore. She has moments of clarity followed by dozing off. There are many tubes and gadgets keeping her alive and in comfort. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out in the bills. Comfort care doesn’t necessarily extend to more than medical aid for comfort, usually for pain. Mum’s got an oxygen mask over the NG tube, the PEG tube, and the pain meds. One of the picc lines isn’t working, but they can’t find a vein to replace it. Her glucose is dropping because she’s not able to take much in. IV glucose will just skyrocket her sugar and it’s all a dice roll.
Family. She’s talked to many people, she’s had a chance to talk to Princess (my older niece) and Strider. I’m not sure where Little Bear is, I’ll try to track him down when it gets dark and he’s more apt to be home. Her own sister is on the way. The sun came out this first day of fall, so it should be a lovely drive down from the city after they land. Hoping they rest on the plane trip, driving unfamiliar roads is daunting. Especially when tired. Mum apparently told Jake she was ready to go. In front of unrelated visitors. (Payback for Jake leaving a note under the salt cellar to let mum and dad know she was pregnant?) I’ve yet to speak to the kid.
Pets. Mum’s missed a great deal by her furkidz. Mittens is being annoying, but that’s just cat. (Stepping with claws out on my bare foot and throwing up on my clean bedclothes was a bit much, though.) Obi is becoming a bone. There is a couple who snowbird (travel from the states to Alaska for a portion of the year) and they keep wanting to spend money for different things for him (shots, grooming, etc). I’m often getting texts about how to go about certain things and they called his old vet to ask about shots. I know they want to help, but it’s frustrating. They really want him and originally that was going to happen. However, mum wants someone else to keep Obi. I have a signed and witnessed paper saying this now. (Pets are considered personal property to be divided in a divorce, so mum’s lawyer thought writing and signing and witnessing would be a good idea for at least Obi.) Mittens has several options for a next residence. She, of course, will land on her feet.
All in all, the highs and lows are balancing. Now, we continue to wait.

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Lounge Lizard

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I dropped the dog off at the boarding kennel on Tuesday afternoon, I’ll pick him back up. I had thought about watching movies, but the video place by mum closes early and the dvd machine and TV in mom’s room work, but are a bit difficult to get to.
Thus, my Tuesday night was sort of low key and Wednesday completely so. Tuesday, I found out my aunt is coming up. At first I was thinking I’d need to do stuff so they could stay here, but it turns out they will stay with Jake. My sister is only 8 miles from the hospital, barring road construction. I’m 30 with two different sections of road being worked on. That means, while my relatives are in the state, I’ll be doing pretty much the same things as usual. Except, I won’t need to be with mom as long. Her rooms pretty small and more than two people is a bit crowded.
Wednesday, I’d made tentative plans to do things with a couple of people, but those were canceled. I ended up staying in the basement in bed all day. It was so quiet. I didn’t need to do anything with the dog, talked to Strider and my sister and my uncle, and realized I’ve had enough carbs in the last week to last me ages. So, I’ve been keeping my glucose checked and taking insulin as needed and it’s been lovely. I did wash my bed linen, I’m hoping it’s clean. It almost smells musty! I hope it’s my imagination. It takes so long to strip and remake this bed! Although, I’ll do it again if I need to. I’m not sure why it would be musty. It went right from the wash to the dryer on high heat. Laughing. That would be logical. The one thing I’ve done needs done over! Can detergent go bad? Oh, I also posted this blog and listened to several recorded messages from GT well as texted people. A nice lounge lizard day!

view of crocodile

Photo by Minimography on Pexels.com

I need to be at the hospital in 12 hours, so I probably should figure out what needs done Thursday. I do love making lists. It’s so much fun to scratch things off. Do you write lists? I also like reptiles!

An accessory

I absolutely understand how health care personnel focus on the patient. I get that they want to make sure the patient is the most important individual. It makes sense, if the patient wasn’t there, the professional would not have a job. I understand that when shifts change, information is sketchy. I totally get that when I’m not here, things change. But, damn it, I’m not a bit of furniture that’s in a crowded room!

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Mom’s upset cuz she’s still too sleepy, even with the pain med reduction. She’s uncomfortable with the tie on her gown back, so she has it open. She’s trying to drink as much as she can cuz she needs protein and nutrition, but didn’t appear to hear the nurse say it’s only for comfort. I’m not sure she understands the doctor either. He told her today, he wasn’t sure she was going to go home. I’m betting she thinks it’s just for a few more days. Plus, she hurts. At least the NG tube is removing all the things she’s taken in. That will keep the nausea down. She won’t let me help her, then she asks me to do something when I’m done fiddling around. (I was taking a blood test at that time.)
I can’t get ahold of Sir Wrench, he’s probably moose hunting. I’ve left voice messages for others and am on the edge of superfluous today. I’m also tap typing this on my iPad, I much prefer a keyboard! I’d really like to see scan results, not that it really matters.
It hurts so much to watch someone die who is afraid of that step. Deep down, I believe she’s scared. She won’t let me say anything and she agrees with people who talk about an end. Yet, she is strong and well loved and has too much to do. (Insert eye roll with that last word!) I would have let go a long time ago, but I’m not afraid. Not of that. Now, if it involved high places or spiders, I’d be terrified.
Blessings today are the flowers mum’s been given. I love this giant dahlia (mom said it was a mum, I’m pretty sure it’s not.). The eucalyptus is refreshing and relaxing, too. Or whatever the green spicy scented filler is!

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A Day of Rest

dark yellow labrador retriever lying on the sea shore

Photo by Ruel Madelo on Pexels.com

And on the 7th day He rested, so did I. Yup, I left mom to the nurses this afternoon again and came home. I did take a book back to the library and stop to get a new bulb for mom’s car. The man who found it at the NAPA store was sweet He offered to install it for me. I said thank you. However, I’ll take it to Sir Wrench on Monday. If I’ve learned anything about a Pacifica, it is a damn ridiculous vehicle to do any maintenance on. I’ll add it to the other Monday things I should do. I need to get that new toilet seat for mom’s bath, stop at the car insurance place to let them know I smacked into one of their other customers, and drop off a few things at the food bank. I’ve got a great deal of food around here that mom will no longer be able to eat and I don’t want or need. I’m not sure if my sister wants any of it, but there are a some things I am sure she won’t take. (although, in retrospect, I think I’ll wait on that last stop. I’ll let Jake choose first.)

Today, after the doctor rounds and another small procedure, I just decided to leave. Mom was falling to sleep while eating and telling me to be quiet when nurses came in, so she could talk. She’s back to her normal self, making sure to ask the professionals about their lives outside of the hospital. They did find a clot in her arm, probably from the picc line. The NG tube is still in her nose, they don’t want to remove it if they’ll need to put it back. The PEG tube is still not working as well as they’d like and when I spoke to mom this evening, she said she asked them to not give her so many pain meds. She said they made her too sleepy. Comfort is not something mom has ever been interested in. (I’m glad I’m not one of her nurses. She’ll say she hurts, she may ask for more meds, and then because she asked them for less, they’ll feel bad they can’t help her.) I was amused. Mom said Jake told her she was glad I ‘stepped up to the plate to be with mom since she would not have been able to do it.’ (She’s right, she could not have done what I have. She doesn’t have the time, not to mention, her spouse is more aggressive than mine-he’d insist mom live with them!) Another member of mom’s church is also in the hospital. He was supposed to have gotten part of his foot amputated last week (diabetes), but they forgot he was on a blood thinner and rescheduled the operation. Today, it was discovered his foot is healing and he may only lose a toe. We were all very happy, but mom took it further. She said if he can get better, so can she. All the reality she was starting to face has turned back to optimism about becoming healed from the carcinoma she hosts. Lord knows, I’d like her to be healed completely. Then, she can be in charge again and I can pick up the thread of my own life and see if it is a snag or attached to a needle.

I think I’d like to find something to do when I return. I’m terrible socially, I prefer being alone, but I can do what I’m told, and like making people comfortable by taking care of them. Cooking or cleaning or most anything. I do not want to go back to the box in Oregon. (Besides, I’ve gotten much bigger since I’ve been home and I think I’ll need a refrigerator sized one. Although, the refrigerator is still a mini….) This last week, I’ve noticed how much more I’ve been eating. Scary. I am going to change that again. (Julie posted a chart that was a bit sobering. Good stuff, but sobering!) Maybe, by the time I leave, I’ll be able to comfortably wear the things I brought up here in Nov of 2016!

It rained today and it was absolutely lovely! I truly enjoy rain, I learned to appreciate it when we lived on the Oregon coast (not the flooding, that is interesting, but messy. And not having it muck up mom’s internet!) Sharing another favorite song from another well-loved musical in my family-compliments of YouTube. (this is the movie Moses is named after!!!)

A day in the life of…

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A friend of mine is fond of saying the phrase of my title. It is incredibly apt for today. When I was in my teens I remembered I had a coloring book and one of the pictures struck my fancy. (I’m not sure why I had a coloring book, nor am I sure why I had one where animals were wearing clothes!)  It was a picture of a family of pigs looking at the sky in an annoyed manner with a picnic on a blanket in front of them. Above the family was a raincloud getting ready to pour on them. Every time I looked at it, I laughed. So, I cut it out and taped it on my door with these words I made up to fit the picture. ‘Life is full of worries and woes, just be glad they comes and goes.’ I appear to attract the craziest things and I’m glad they don’t stick around! Let me ‘splain.

First thing this morning, I decided to try hairspray on my hair to see if it would stay a smidge curly if I sprayed it. (I wear my hair in a twist wire thing and sometimes it makes my hair curly) I went outside to do this and firmly pressed the nozzle on the can. It completely coated the inside of my hand.

Second, I chose to wear my new Nike tenny runners that hurt so much. (I’m glad I had a spare set of shoes in the car!)

I got to the hospital thru the fog without Rudolf and found mom is huge with puffiness. (I told her I hoped the doctor would ‘turn down’ the amount of fluids she’s getting and she said he couldn’t because it was giving her water to go in her tummy. I disagreed, but she was really grumpy today) The doctor came in and said he’d lessen her IV intake of fluids and that it had nothing to do with the liquid in her belly. He also decided to put her on a liquid only diet as the pureed food is too thick for her. (he also looked at the fake sausage molded puree and said ‘eeew’ when mom told him it tasted like liverwurst.) I’m glad she is going to be on liquids until her insides completely close or she dies. It will be better than starvation. A person can live years on liquids. Not that she has that long. (maybe) Anyway, the order didn’t get to the cafeteria, so mom got pureed peas with pureed pork patties and taters and gravy. She said it looked better than it tasted and was glad when the nurse came and took it away cuz it was wrong. Mom was given all liquid after that and ‘ate’ almost all of it.

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Mom was not impressed that the paperwork I had made up by the lawyer, per mom’s will, also included Jake as a beneficiary. I was going to go and find a notary who might be on duty on a Saturday, but mom said not today.  I ended up taking a nap before mom’s lunch and finally decided to leave for the afternoon.

I reached the parking lot and realized I forgot to go to the bathroom, when I got back to the parking lot, I carefully backed out of the space and firmly smacked into the tail end of a pretty blue Subaru Forester. The lady was really nice and has the same insurance company mom does. I’ll contact them on Monday. She’s not sure she is going to. It was odd, I didn’t see the car and when I bumped it and it didn’t crunch. It sort of croonched. Plastic is odd stuff.

I very, very carefully drove to the bluff where there was a chance I’d meet a friend. They couldn’t stop for a visit, so I very, very carefully drove to the store. I needed to pick up meds for me and caffeinated soda. I rarely use the self-check section of the store. I should not have today. The poor automated lady telling me what to do got me so flustered, I burst into tears! I eventually was sorted by the cashier for that section and ended up wiping my eyes in the parking lot. I had purchased ice cream again and some got on my thumb, so I licked it off. (It was NASTY tasting, but the ice cream was ok. It appeared something gicky was on my thumb.)

I went to the scout park to sit with dad and was fortunate enough to see beluga again. The swirls in the picture of water are aquatic mammals, those white whales move fast! At the park, I also managed to drip ice cream down my cleavage where it landed under my amethyst!!!!!!! The string is leather, so now it also has chocolate chip mint on it. As I left the park, I was even more careful. This is the area where I almost ran into a lady the other day. (It was a blue car with a little white haired lady, I wonder if it was the same one I hit this afternoon?)

 

 

On the way home, I was thinking I’d stop at the Salvation Army to look for a flannel shirt with orange (remember the one I bought ages ago? Well, I forgot to compensate for my arm thighs and it is too tight.). I noted it was super busy and glanced across the street at a different thrift store I’ve never visited. I saw an orange flash and decided to turn around. Fortuitous!!! I did find an extra-large top and the woman who manages the place is interested in scoping out mom’s house after she’s gone for things for her shop. Vintage or whatever. The shop sort of reminded me of something Ariel from The Little Mermaid might manage. Gorgeous stuff of all kinds with prices from cheap to expensive. My shirt was an entire dollar! The corset I saw was 20 and there were precious metals and semi-precious gems as well as fun agate bracelets for less than 10. It literally had everything in it!

I filled the car with gas, stopped at the post (the package I ordered from a site via FB isn’t in. I hope I didn’t delete the tracking number!), talked to my sister who was surprised mom was so puffy. I ordered a sandwich for dinner (I had veggies and cold chicken for lunch), got to the restaurant and discovered the left headlight on mom’s car is out again. (there must be something wrong with that side. This is the 3rd time it has needed changed since the start of 2017)

I got home and brushed off the car after dinner (I figured the layer of dirt on the back window probably contributed to me not seeing that little blue car). The dust was terrible and, after, I noticed my lips and mouth tasted bitter. I even coffed up bitter mucus. I remembered I’d closed the hatch on the car before getting ice cream on my thumb earlier. This made me think something in the soil somewhere was bad. However, I’m not going to do a soil sampling for flavor everywhere I’ve been lately!

I also decided I’d better get caught up on chores. So I decided to clean in mom’s bathroom. I discovered the toilet needs a new seat cuz hers is broken (I wonder when she was planning on telling me this???) and when I wiped down a part of a wall, I ended up wiping down the entire thing! It is filthy. All the walls and the ceiling are disgusting. I managed to wipe down that one wall so that it isn’t as obvious as if I only did part of it!

I’ve washed clothes, still have one load of mom’s to do. I found the shirt she has been looking for (in the bottom of a basket of clean clothes in her room) and am now ready to take a shower and get some sleep in a while. I spoke to GT via recording and thought it was Friday when it was Saturday. Silly Kris!!!

I also talked to mom. Now the NG tube is plugged. (or that is what she said. I didn’t get to talk to a nurse. They are too busy.) However, she is determined to get home where she can do things. She said she walked quite a bit in her room after I left. (I am dubious of this.) Needless to say, it is going to be a lot different when she returns here. I told her she will always have the tummy tube, (she was hoping they’d take it out, too) and she’ll probably be on liquids until they need to feed her via veins. She wasn’t very happy to hear that.

I’m reading a couple of books. One is another one by Bernard Cornwell and is great fun (of course!) and the other is A Course in Miracles. I had started the lessons, toward the end of the book, but I think I’ll read the book first. It seems like the simple lessons are much more difficult than I anticipated. Maybe if I read the book, I’ll be able to understand the lessons better. Besides, it makes sense to read before doing lessons!

Please know I follow via email. I drool (Gary), laugh (Garfield Hugs and Little Fears), am frustrated with your trials (Dewy), understand (Rhapsody), appreciate (Will), enjoy (Jack), and learn (the Amanda’s, SE, Julie, The Pacific Paratrooper and more!). Thank you so very much for being in my circle of life. I’ll leave you with a song from a rather obscure and incredibly fun movie starring Robin Williams. (and thank you YouTube!)

Changes

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I think it has been a while since my last posting. I have been trying to decide if it is something I should keep doing and finally realized I enjoy this. Blogging is sort of a crutch in that I use this forum to vent, it is also a community of friends and I enjoy you. I follow posts from my email, but it isn’t quite the same as the interaction online. Most of those I’m around are medical folk, retail people, and mom’s pets.  While animals are nice to have around, but they don’t really respond unless your care for them is late. (Obi tends to wake me 20 min before my 6 am alarm to go outside. Mittens just tries to trip me on the stair, which is a typical cat thing.)

This month mom has been in and out of the hospital and is now in again. She’s been here for almost a week. She had a thing called a PEG tube put in to help release the guck in her tummy so she wouldn’t throw up anymore. (I’ve learned those are usually for feeding, but this one is for releasing tummy guck. I am pretty sure those words are professional terms!) It didn’t work as well as it was hoped and the other night she had to have an NG tube put in. (that goes thru her nose) She has also gotten a PICC line (which is entirely cool. It is an IV line that goes from her upper arm into her chest area.).

The doctors have told her she can no longer eat for nutritional value. Unfortunately, no one has appeared to communicate this with the nutritional staff here. They keep bringing her trays of pureed stuff that is rather dubious in appearance. (A pureed diet is one that takes a whole cooked item, like a pancake, purees it, and then forms it into a shape.) Before she wasn’t allowed food anymore, she said it didn’t taste very good. So, I reckon they blend the flavor out. Mom did say the peaches and pears weren’t too bad. (below are scrambled eggs and a pancake with fruit) I’m not entirely sure what is next. She did have almost two applesauce cups (one had crushed oral meds) on Thursday night and Friday morning, but it is all she’s had in more than 24 hours. The nurse who came in as I was typing said the food she has been brought is for comfort. Personally, if I am going to get comfort food, I’d want something comforting even if it was harder to process!

Mom is looking forward to getting out of here because she has things she wants to get done. I don’t know how I’ll care for her at home. She did say on Sunday night that she was sick and some thoughts were given to having a hospital bed set up in the living room. One of her nurses seems to feel, given time, mom will be up and doing what she wants. Others are not so optimistic. How long can a person live on air and bags of fluid?

I’ve been driving back and forth and taking care of mom’s critters. My sister has been to see mom a couple of times and has let Obi out when she gets off work in the afternoon. I’ve dashed to the beach for a bit for sunsets, I’ve seen beluga whales, moose, swan, and was abducted by a friend from the past for a couple of hours. (it was nice to catch up with people’s lives. FB is a good place for photos and notifications, but listening adds depth.) GT and Podman have been huge blessings with their texts and emails and voice recordings. While getting into mum’s car in the hospital parking lot, I found a bachelor button. It was growing in an odd place and I had to smile at the fortune stuck in the debris nearby. It is fun to find wonderful things in this world of ours!

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes-

When the boys were little I used to sing a silly teaching tune to them. The title was ‘Head and shoulders, knees and toes.’ It had a few different stanzas of body parts repeated to different notes and I always ended it with a tickle to the belly the last time I sang toes. (This was even more silly since the entire point of the song was to point to the different body parts as you said the words and bellies were not one of the parts mentioned!)

Anyway, I was thinking about how important toes and feet were this last weekend. Yes, fluids are beyond necessary in a body, but if your toes and feet don’t work right or are gone, you can topple. Mum still has her feet and toes, she’s fortunate. Not all persons with diabetes can say that. (Especially when the glucose is out off the charts.) Sunday, she opted to take a shower. It almost did her in, but she did it. After, I changed her fitting and then she wanted socks on. OMG! Her toenails looked terrible. They were long and curling under her toe tops. I always carry fingernail clippers, but these were beyond me. I managed to shorten the big toenails, the other ones I’m going to have to talk to her doctor. I’m also a bit annoyed no one noticed them before. (Granted, I also forgot to have people look at mom’s feet. They always ask how her feet are and she says fine. NOT COOL!) These couldn’t have happened in a few months, I don’t know why her previous home nurses who looked at mom’s feet didn’t see how the toe nails curled. Very odd.

Anyway, Monday evening (or rather early on Tuesday morning), I took a shower and realized my foot hurt. I’ve been wearing my favorite sandals (they have little raised dots inside the sole where the foot sits and they don’t make my feet hurt when I wear them. Probably some kind of massage thing, but I really like them.) and some of my other summer shoes. I almost always wear socks, but not this last weekend. Guess what? Yup. There is a crack on the pad of my foot. Thankfully, I also plan ahead and have bandages and Neosporin in my bathroom basement. (I briefly toyed with using a crazy cat lady bandage, but those really need to be used when I have a visible wound area!)
I like feet and toes (I love looking at hands), I like to paint my toenails when I am feel ambitious enough to attempt pretty (I really don’t care much for makeup or additives to make someone beautiful, except for nail polish!). I know it is terribly important to care for those particular bits of the body and I am incredibly glad I caught this before it got really bad. Thankfully, I heal fairly fast (Neosporin is amazing stuff!). I just need to be a bit smarter with footwear for a while. I do wish those spendy black Nike shoes fit nicer. (I really should have looked somewhere else for footwear, or gotten the wild colored sneakers!)

In other news, Mom is home from the hospital. I’m not sure what is going to happen next. I do know I need to make several phone calls to different physicians in the morning. I also have a couple of errands to do, depending on where those phone calls lead me! I’m a tad uncomfortable with tonight. She had some of the first really solid food she’s had in several days. (Mashed taters and milkshakes don’t really count!) and I don’t know how it is going to settle. There is a chance she’s going to get a peg tube to help her empty her tummy (I need to look this up to understand it more!) and a pic line to help the health nurses hydrate her at home. I laughed when I asked her what she’d eaten today. She told me she ate her whole dinner. Surprised I said, ‘The entire burger and the potato salad?’ She said yes, then she said no. She rephrased her answer to say only half of the hamburger. She said she didn’t have her teeth in and it was hard to talk. (I guess it is also hard to say the words you mean, too!)

I’ve managed to let go of my expectations for mom’s mental health about her dying.  I was comparing her to daddy when he died and what I’d feel comfortable with. Mom doesn’t want to admit she might be mortal. She is the center of the universe and she always has been. She is her own person and has been that irritating unloving woman her entire life. She is not going to change and I should not expect her to. My sister and I will not see her embrace us with love and kindness and Mom will never believe she might die before she’s 85 (she actually said recently she probably won’t live to be 100). I am so thankful for those who reached out to help me let go. GT was especially helpful and I am eternally grateful, as was Rhapsody. Being silly and changing patterns is great in a kid song and with toddlers. It is illogical and unhelpful to everyone when it is with a parent. (I was going to post the Wiggles singing the above nursery rhyme, then I found this gem on YouTube.)

Rally On

When we lived on the Oregon Coast the guys would watch some of the Oregon Trail Rally Racing. I thought I had photos of those moments, but I reckon they are somewhere less accessible than the net. So, I am linking a video of rally racing (thank you, YouTube!) . Why? Because this is mom. She has fallen back, hit some major obstacles, and appears to have rallied again (ok, different meaning, but same word!).

She went from being admitted to the hospital to being ok and I’ll probably bring her home on Sunday. Saturday I learned a few things and was frustrated. I was frustrated because what I thought I knew wasn’t exactly what I really was aware of. Let me ‘splain. Mom’s been under surveillance or on comfort care since early 2017. This is basically to help her manage her pain and keep her comfortable. When I went in to the hospital today to visit, there was a white rose on her door. I asked why and was told that is to help signify those who are at end of life. (I was startled!) Mom was hungry, the nurses were told she was supposed to eat ice chips, but she wanted food. They gave her chicken fried steak and mashed taters and gravy. She didn’t eat the veggies, but ate most of the pears and drank the apple juice. Well, I was still there are dinner and she was given lasagna and garlic bread and veggies, all things she normally cannot eat very well lately. Plus normal ice cream. I asked if she’d gotten insulin yet and she didn’t think so (mom has been incredibly out of the loop or in a loop. She’s been given a hand held pain pump to give her meds every 6 minutes as needed, plus other ones for nausea.). So, I asked the nurse. I found out patients on comfort care don’t get their regular meds. The only part of their life addressed is that of discomfort. I had no idea! Mom has been in the hospital a few times, no one has EVER stopped her insulin. If they had asked her if it was ok, mom obviously didn’t know realise the question.  The doctor put it back in her charts. I was very thankful, but still confused. Mom ate quite a bit and managed to have it go thru her system, ok. She’s as fine as usual.

So, what is wrong? It appears mom does have a blockage in her only remaining intestine. There is nothing that can be done for her. It will continue to compromise her health. The leg swelling appears to have been just something that happened. (the ER doctor thought the problem might be above where the ultrasound was, in the area where the leg veins split, getting pressure from something.) Because of the former problem, which is a huge one, she was given the rose.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about letting go this last week. It is gearing up towards fall here in AK, trees are turning gold and losing their glorious colors to gusty breezes, and when it is still, those days create chill nights. This holiday weekend in America has brought more to my attention. It is the start of hunting season and decades ago my sister and I canoed down a river for an overnight on this weekend, a river trip where I met a total stranger and discovered vaginal sexual intercourse was incredibly boring. (at least it kept me uninterested in that part of sex!) I became good friends with SSC a few years back around this time. My family used to visit Fort Stevens for a Civil War reenactment on Sunday of this weekend. All things where letting go is prominent. (friends, or ideologies, or whatever.)

I was out on the lake Saturday night. The neighbors are gone (someone might be there, but there was only one lamp on), mom is gone, and the lake was calm as incredibly cold bathwater. I took myself out there and then took off my clothes. Bare, I paddled all around the edge of the lake. I was letting go of inhibitions and frustrations and doing something absolutely out of the box. (I’ve done this once before, it was much warmer and light out. This was definitely twilight and not warm!) I could share how pretty it was and how the air felt, but that isn’t what I wanted to mention. I was letting go and realized I need help letting go of something else. (This is where YOU come in.)

I have mentioned this before, I’m tired. I believe I am ready for mom to be at peace. But, I think I need to let go of something more important than mom. I need to let go of MY wish for mom to be at peace. I know what I want isn’t what mom wants. She wants to be healed and hale and hearty again (NOTE: hale is NOT a word in the word game I play and it annoys the heck out of me!). I know this won’t happen and I want her to rest. Today she was ‘resting’ and leaning back not on her pillows, because that shows weakness to lean on pillows. (eventually, she did sleep and end up there) How do I release this desire of mine? I can watch her rally on in her own little world, but how do I thwart the desire of peace for her? Sincerely seeking.

Leaving you with my questions and brushes of color in the sky on Friday night-

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More in the saga of-

I’m not sure when this will actually get posted. At the moment it is Tuesday night and I’m tired (as usual). Mum has managed to make it without a trip to the hospital. Although, I’m still living on the edge of a 911 call. People tell me she needs to drink more water, but that doesn’t always help. She’s not eating much. Lately, most of her dinners get tossed out or put in the fridge for later. Then, she tells me she needs more protein to help keep her weight up. (Which is crazy when what she does have goes in the fridge or to the dog or somewhere else!)

But, I did have a fairly interesting afternoon, myself. I was able to visit both the doctor and the dentist and am glad I’ve learned to look at things from a different point of view! However, before I left the house, I found some interesting thoughts surrounding a topic I’ve been thinking about. They were about letting go and I’ll blog about my finds later!

I got to town and visited the clinic. J is a nice lady who isn’t an endocrinologist, but I like her. I had a list of about 8 questions. Before I saw her, I was weighed and found out I am EXACTLY the same weight as before. Barely over 170 pounds. So, not eating anything from about 11 pm til noon is not doing much at all for weight loss. I’ve been skipping breakfast for almost a month and don’t eat a whole lot during the day. I’m not hungry. (once or twice, I’ve had something for breakfast, but not often and at 1030 pm I often have about 20 carbs with protein to carry me overnight without spikes in the glucose called The Dawn Phenomenon—I am so glad spell check got that. I had no idea how those letters were arranged!!) J, when I told her about my loss of breast bulk, smiled a bit and said that happens when women age. (I was crushed!) She said the only thing I could do would be implants and she didn’t recommend them to anyone. (Although, she did say it would make them stick out again!) She didn’t think lactation would help much, either. When I mentioned no one would ever want to look at them anymore, she laughed a bit and said, ‘I seriously doubt that’ and implied the opposite sex didn’t often mind when confronted with a bare breast. (I laughed, too. But, I’m not even 55 and ready to be in that mature older woman category—another thing to let go of!) She did tell me I need to try to get some exercise, maybe update my bed, and try to get my sleep patterns under control for the other problems I mentioned. (She also said it might not be easy to do the latter, cuz of living with mom.) For the weeping eye I’ve had for more than a year, she suggested I see an ophthalmologist. She then decided she wanted blood and I was resigned.(Taking blood and telling me my breasts were girls of the past—ok, she didn’t say it that way, but still!—was a bit much for one office visit.) Thankfully, the tech suggested I needed to be fasting for that particular test and we put it off! (HOOORAY!!)

Then, I went to the library. OMG! There were three books I wanted. Our library had the first one on the shelf, the middle one I ended up getting reserved from Juneau, and the last one was owned by our library, but checked out. So, I got 4 different books and will finish one quickly so I can return it and make sure of the others when they arrive. (I really need an Alaskan ID!) UPDATE: It appears those two books are here, so will take the three I got and return them to get the others. PIFFLE!

The only ophthalmologist in town is mom’s eye doctor and the earliest new patient visit he has is the end of November. The 29th. I sincerely hope I am in Oregon at that time. I would love to be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner again. And the way my eyesight is, I don’t want to drive in another Alaskan winter without new glasses.

At the dentist I was amused, intrigued, and almost cried. There was a DIY show on their waiting room TV. It was about tiny houses and the one being built was made of pallet boards with glass balls stuck in the boards, driftwood, and had a small garden on the roof. It was in Hawaii, but I really wondered about insulation and how those two little kids helping dad would enjoy being teens of opposite sex in the loft of the home. I was called in for x-rays and instead of the cool Star Trek gun thing, this time, they had me stand in the center of a contraption and it spun around me! (oddly, I needed to remove my earrings and also my glasses. I was asked if I needed the latter. I must admit, I did reply I just wore them for fun before amending my comment to yes.) When I saw the results of the x-rays, I almost cried. I went from barely one cavity to several bad ones in a short time. I know exactly what happened and I will take care of what I have left. (there really aren’t that many teeth, this rendition is  two different perspectives of them. The capped tooth is the one with the ‘black’ line. The red colored bits are the damaged areas. Not cool.)

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I am going to print out this photo and glue it to a sheet that has the cost for the ‘capped tooth’ and the estimates for the other problems. (My next visit is at the end of September and it will be about the same price as the new tires on mom’s car, but he wants to crown it so it won’t need a root canal. This also may be why that area still hurts.) The tooth to be worked on is right next to the one that was capped. These cavities are from a couple of things. The first is, of course, the stress around here. (Stress is bad for lots of things!) The second is because I eat sugary foods (glucose tablets and ice cream and Kit Kats) and do not brush or thoroughly rinse immediately after. One of the interesting things the dental hygienist found was that behind one of my top teeth is a dent. My lower tooth hits on a top tooth and it created a ridge! She said it probably feels funny and she is right, it always has!

Anyway, I got home and mom was moderately ok. She wanted a shake and I got a salad. After I ate, I went out on the lake, wrote to my friend SE Isaac, and floated around in the sunshine. I did NOT want to come back to the shore. When I did, I found mom hadn’t eaten all her dinner and decided I’d do something about the mice in the shop. I looked for the traps I’d purchased and could only find two. One new one and one un sprung surrounded by droppings! (I need to go out and look for the rest of the traps. Dadburn mouses!)

All in all, it has been a rather topsy turvy Tuesday!

UPDATE: Mum has a swollen leg and will need a Venus delta (which is NOT some sexy gal on a piece of verdant river ground—I probably spelled it wrong, too!) ultrasound. She had labs done today (Thursday) to see if she needs hydration, but since there is a holiday Monday, we won’t know anything til Tuesday. Not sure when the ultrasound will be either. The plan is to keep her comfortable and do as much or as little as she desires. I’m going shopping later. Mittens has very little dry chow left and I am putting photos and postcards on my wall. It actually looks really nice. I reckon I should have started personalizing my room 2 or more years ago! So, I am getting a few more photos printed out and purchasing thumbtacks (they are easier to use than quilting pins). When I get back, I plan on lurking online for a while. It is sunny out, but super breezy today!!!! I’d have the neighbor’s mow, but they just left for moose hunting.

The seasons move on steadily and rather briskly!