Friday, October 9, 2009

I have now completed 13 radiation treatments. I am just now beginning to get a little "itchy" in some spots. The doctor told me that is how it begins, with itching. I am doing the cream daily, morning and evening, to try and avoid the itching and peeling. But, I do have some itching. Oh well, I will up the cream applications. As I went to lay down on the radiation table last Friday, I was discussing with the Lord, my frustrations with the whole process. Admittedly, I was letting Him know how frustrated I was with the fact that I even had to do this whole radiation thing, and how I wish He would just give me some sort of peace, or a sign of why I have to do this. Within minutes, the technician walked over and hit the play button the cd player and the song by the BeeGees began to belt out....."Staying Alive, staying aliiiiiivvvvvvvvee". I laughed out loud! The nurse turned around and asked if I was alright. I told her I just asked God why I had to do this, and He instantly gave me an answer! She said what was it? I said, well, you hit play, and it said....staying alive. I figure that was a very clear answer. She didn't seem to be as convinced as I was, teehee.

Life has been busy since we got back from Florida. For starters, last week, Kelly called me early one morning, and told me that "grandma fell and hit her head". I talked to mom on the phone, and once I was sure she was ok, told her I was on my way. When I got there, she had a cut on her head that was bleeding, and they had a rag on it. It wasn't bleeding badly, but it looked like it could use a couple stitches. It took some talking, but I got mom to agree to go to the "doctor to have it looked at". Once in the car, I took her to the ER at St. Anthony's. They did an EKG, and a Cat Scan, and a couple x-rays. Once they were convinced she was fine, other than the bump on the head, they came in and cleaned it all up and glued it shut. Apparently they don't stitch anymore, they super-glue! Thankfully, they didn't opt to keep her, and released her to go home. She kept saying she wasn't staying and they had better not keep her this time. My opinion is that mom is not eating like she should, and was putting her clothes away from her suitcase. Lots of bending over, up and down, she got dizzy and passed out. She's a hard headed woman, and no matter what I say, she just says, "Deb, I don't eat the way I used to eat, I know, but I do eat." Right after she had her seizures, I had made several phone calls to inquire about some services like Life Alert and Meals on Wheels. Right after her seizures, she was all about doing whatever it takes to stay in her home, agreeing to everything I suggested. She even told the doctor that I was building a room addition for her. She even went so far as to say, "Deb, I don't want to take my bed down there, but we can take that bed from the blue room. That way, my bed will still be here for when I want to come home for awhile." Yea, well, the further we get away from the seizures, the more confident mom gets about her ability to stay in her home. And, the more she becomes convinced she is not ready for things such as Life Alert and Meals On Wheels. The Meals on Wheels people are very kind, and just answered the questions, and that was it. The Life Alert people, however, have called me numerous times since then, trying to close the deal so to speak. I put them off because of going to Florida in September, didn't want to be paying for something during that month, that we would not be needing. Then when we got back, they called once when I was in the office with my doctor, so again, I put them off telling them I would call them when I got my mom to agree to all this. It is an upfront expense, as well as a monthly fee. I am already paying for mom's Jitterbug phone, both the upfront fee, as well as the monthly fee. I am trying to do what I can without upsetting mom, and if it doesn't cost her anything, she will agree more, but if it costs her something, well, then, she doesn't need it. That is just mom. Kind of like the Aricept. More times than not, I pay for that. I figure it will all even out eventually. The hardest thing about taking care of mom right now, is her inability to actually make a decision. She does respond to suggestions, but if she feels you are trying to make decisions for her, she gets a little, hmmm, how do I say this....angry? The other day, after my treatment, I was on 55, headed south, and fully intended to stay on 55 and go right on by Herky, and go home. I was tired, and just wanted to be home. As I was coming down the highway, I called mom, just to check on her, make sure she was ok and not expecting me to stop by. She was fit to be tied! She was so angry with me, that she told me not to come by because she was too mad and upset. I tried to talk to her, asking her why she was so mad, what I had done, told her I had been at the hospital, I had not done anything. She said she got a phone call, but she didn't remember who it was from, but she told them she had not authorized this to be done, and she figured I had authorized it, since I am here, and I am the only one that could have authorized it, so it must be me, and she was upset that I had authorized something without talking to her about it!! I went down to the next exit, turned around and headed back to mom's. She answered the door, with a very angry look on her face. I tried to talk to her, tried to help her remember who called, what they said, anything!! She didn't know who it was, what they had said, just that she was mad! I finally just gave up, told her I was hungry, and was gonna fix something to eat. She said, in a tone, she was not hungry and not to fix her anything. I said, fine, but "later, when you get ready to eat, will you want soup or spaghetti?" She said, "probably soup, but I am not hungry right now Deb, don't fix me anything." Ok, mom. I just messed around in the kitchen for about 20 minutes or so, unloading the dishwasher, washing some dishes, and making the soup. When I got it done, I said, "mom, the soup is ready, are you ready for some now?" In her normal mom tone, she answered me, "Sure, soup sounds good." I set the table with 2 bowls, 2 glasses of tea, some crackers, and mom came in and we sat down to eat supper together like nothing had happened!! Then her neighbors came in, Lloyd and Ada. We had a nice visit with good conversation. When we were done, I cleaned up the mess, and when Lloyd and Ada got up to leave, so did I and we all walked out at the same time. Later that night, when I called mom to check on her before bedtime, I asked her if she had gotten any more phone calls. She said, "No, I don't think I have talked to anyone today on the phone but you. Did somebody say they called me?" I smiled, as I hung up. Successful "creative redirection" is a wonderful tool. For her to be sooo upset one minute, and within 15 minutes, not even remember it at all?? Amazing. Now, mind you, since then, I have brought it up a couple times. Like reminding her that I have talked to Life Alert people, or Meals on Wheels people. Reminding her that the Life Alert people are still calling often, and I keep putting them off, because she says she is not ready yet, she is not "that far down the road yet". Gently keeping that in her mind, I hope, so that she knows I am putting them off and they may go around me and call her, she will be aware that we are talking, and they are wanting us to make a decision. She will hopefully be aware, and therefore, not be mad and think I have authorized something that she didn't agree with. Just one part of the up and down roller coaster rides in my life. Last week, on Wednesday night, all my family went to the visitation for a very good friend of ours that died of a heart attack. He had just turned 50, like 2 weeks ago. On that Wednesday night, I am certain mom didn't eat supper, since neither I, nor Kelly was there to urge her to eat. She did eat lunch that day, just not supper. But nevertheless, that next morning was when she passed out, fell and hit her head, and I was once again taking her to the ER at St. Anthony's. And then, ended up taking her with me to my radiation appointment, since we were already in St. Louis, and I didn't have time to actually take her back home, then turn around and head back up to Barnes. Not to mention the gas and mileage!! This week, she had been great. Yes, she still has her up and down days, some days are better than others. And with all this rain we have been having, it is not conducive to her sitting out in her swing, watching the people come and go. So, yea, she has been cooped up in her house, and it shows. Her moods and her memory is definitely based on how tired she is, and how stressed she is. And when she can't get outside, and sit in her swing, she starts to think about winter, and being cooped up in the house all the time. She starts to repeat a lot more often, and says often, "the bible says to come before winter". But, today, the sun is shinning!! The beautiful fall colors are creating a beautiful display of God's handiwork. If we go up there for church tomorrow, I will take mom for a car ride and show her some of the colors!!

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