Saturday, February 26, 2011

I wanted to go up and see a friend's newborn this past week, so I asked Momma if she wanted to go with me. She said she didn't want to go, and she would be fine here at home. She told me I should go ahead and go, and not to worry about her. I made arrangements to go, and as I was ready to walk out the door, asked her one more time if she was sure she didn't want to go with me. She pulled the blanket off of her legs and said, "well let me go potty and I will be ready to go". I put my purse down and followed her into her room to help her get dressed. Forty-five minutes later, we were walking out the door. After I turned towards my daughter's house, my momma asked me again where we were going. I told her St. Louis to see Beto's new baby. She then said, then why are we going this direction? I was amazed! My momma knew that the road we were on was not the road to St. Louis. That was huge. I felt the tears well up in my eyes, but quickly pushed them back in. I reminded her we were going to pick up Jenna and Q, so they could ride along with us. On the way up to the hospital, momma kept trying to make conversation. She would talk about the traffic, "this is the time of day that people are getting off from work and heading home because they have been there all day, and also others are coming in that are glad to be there." It was a little past noon. "Deb, is this going to dump us out where we need to be?" What? "Is this that we are on, going to bring us around to where we need to be?" "Yes, momma, this is the road we are supposed to be on, it will take us right to the parking lot of the hospital." When we finally got there, momma would not get out of the car at the door, she insisted she could walk with me, just find a parking space. I found one, finally, and it was a long way from the front door. By the time we had walked across the entire parking lot, momma was doing what she does when she has used up all her energy. She was leaning forward and walking slower and slower, yet leaning forward as if the forward lean would keep her moving in a forward motion. When she got to the lobby, she practically ran to the chairs and furniture there. I said, "momma, are you alright?" She said she just needed to rest a minute. I recognized her need for a rest as a smoke screen. If we were going to continue on to the second floor, which meant going down the halls to find the elevators, then down more halls to find the NICU where the baby was, we were going to need a wheelchair. Momma was done with the walking thing. I found a wheelchair, and got momma situated in it. All the while, we were laughing and cutting up and teasing her about needing a "stroller". She was cutting up with us, so it was all good. While we were taking our turns in the waiting area, there were a couple of people that were standing and talking in the hall behind Momma's chair. Momma interjected herself into that conversation by telling them "if you are looking for the way out, it is past us and down the hallway that direction". They looked at me, and looked at momma, and looked at me again, then continued to have their conversation. I had to keep myself from laughing. I don't know where momma thought she was, but the way out was not the direction she was pointing those ladies in. When Beto came out of the NICU, momma was all smiles, and told him to come over there and give her a hug. He did, he gave her a big ole bear hug like only Beto could do. He then escorted me back first to see his son. After getting to spend a little time back there with baby Maddox, we went back out to let Jenna come take her turn. When we cleared the doors, momma acted like she had not seen Beto at all! "What are you doing here!? Come over here and give me a hug!!" Beto hugged her obediently, and winked at me. When it was Momma's turn to go see the baby, we had to stop and sign her in at the desk the same way we all had to sign in. When the nurse said something about "signing her in", momma said "Don't sign me in to stay! I'm just here for a visit!" We all laughed, "Momma, this is the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, I think there is an age limit, and you can't stay here, relax." We laughed so much that day. Even with Momma's confusion and memory issues, it was a good day, and I am blessed to have been able to share it with my Momma.

Today, I took her to town to have her hair washed and styled. She didn't even fight me on it. Yes, today was another good day. We met Jenna out for lunch. She kept trying to pick up all the food that Quincy would drop. I thought she was going to fall out on the floor more than once. When we finally got up to leave, there were still crumbs and pieces of french fries under the table, which I pointed out to momma, "Momma, you missed some, let me hold your purse while you get that." She laughed, and said, "let's put Quincy down there and let her pick it all up!" She was really quick witted today. Love those kind of days!!

When she got up to go to bed tonight, she asked if she had a gown and toothbrush here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday! This morning, we all ventured out of the house towards our church in Fredericktown....Calvary Temple. We still have lots of snow on the ground, and lots of ice on the trees and power lines. It was a really beautiful drive to church. But with the beautiful winter wonderland, we also had beautiful sunshine!! The problem was that the sunshine was melting the ice off of the trees at a rapid rate. We were getting bombed all the way to church! Loud bangs all the way there! Thank God it didn't break our windshield, because it sounded like it was several times. By the time we got out of church, all the ice was gone from all trees and power lines. It was 41 degrees with bright sunshine! It was a good service, with spontaneous testimonies, as well as a couple of spontaneous songs being sung. One of my favorite old time retired singers, Ralph Green, goes to our church, and he sang today. I love hearing his deep bass voice sing praises to God!! Afterwards, we stopped by the grocery store to grab some salsa. There we ran into some old friends from back in the Farmington Family Fellowship days. It was so good to run into them, even if it was for only a minute. We did have mom and the kiddos waiting in the car. We have now been home all day, chilling on the couch, watching all the Pre-game festivities, and snacking on wings and chips and salsa. Momma has developed a cough. I hope she is not coming down with some sort of cold. She says she feels fine, thinks it is just a dry cough. I do have the humidifier going full time, right behind her chair though, just in case. Well, guess i will get off of here and get ready to join the family in rooting for whoever. I don't really have a preference. I use to be a fan of the Steelers, back in the day. But truthfully, I don't care. It's football, and I enjoy watching a good game, regardless of who is playing, or who wins, just so it is a good game to watch.

Thought for the day: "Live you life on FAITH, not FEELINGS".

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I was scheduled to go in for my Breast Reconstruction Surgery this coming Wednesday, (tomorrow). The first surgery was to “build a mound”, and this second one will be to “move the mound”. Because of the extensive damage to my breast bone and the skin there, they could not stretch that skin and move it around to the front back then, but feel now my skin has healed sufficiently to move it around to the front, where it should be! Right now, I have a boob under my arm! Which makes it extremely uncomfortable to wear a bra. It is really binding in places that it normally is not. Anyway, sorry to be so blunt and graphic. I will be glad to get it moved. But am glad the surgery got moved. I was way stressed about it. Not so much about the surgery, as much as leaving my momma. She is so very attached to me as her caregiver. I have spoken to others that are dealing with this, and they assured me that it is normal for them to get attached to the caregiver, but this is so crazy. I can’t even drop her off at her house anymore, without her being way “anxious” by the time I get back to pick her up. As a matter of fact, the last couple of times I tried to drop her off there, so I could do some running around without her, she said she preferred to just go with me, she didn’t really “need” to go by the house. When I leave her at home with my husband or my kiddos, it is not long before she is getting mean and demanding, and my family will call me and tell me to pick up the pace and hurry home. By the time I get home, she is normal, and never even mentions wanting to go home. It is almost as if once I am home, she is fine. I did call the doctor and told her what was going on, and explained that I needed something to give her that would calm her down while I am gone to the hospital. I didn’t want zombie, but definitely needed “happy”. She gave me Zyprexa in a small dose to give her twice a day, with some Xanex as a back-up. Hopefully, we won’t have to use either of them, but it is nice to know we have something to fall back on. The thought of leaving my family here to take care of/deal with my momma under normal conditions was stressful enough but throw in bad weather, where she would be worried the whole time of where we were, if this weather was putting us in danger, etc. Well, I was so very glad when they called yesterday morning to re-schedule my surgery for February 16th!! Ahhh, I can relax now………

The good news is that my sister in Chicago came in for a visit last Saturday. I purposefully did not tell momma she was coming, so momma would not get herself all worked up into a negative tizzy. When Lois walked in the door, momma seemed genuinely glad to see her! It was such a beautiful day Saturday, the calm before the storm?? Anyway, because it was so nice, too nice to stay in the house, we decided to go to town and try and get momma’s hair done. Of course, you can’t use that as the reason to go, or momma wouldn’t go. So, we decided to go to town for a salad! We went to Applebee’s for soup and salad. We laughed and cried, and it was such a good time. We then went straight over to Great Clips, where my niece works. She immediately started saying, “why are we coming here? I am not getting anything done today Deb.” I told her it was not for her, it was for me, if she didn’t mind waiting for me, it wouldn’t take long. She agreed to that! So, we got parked, got out, and went in. Momma walked straight up to the counter, and gave them her name, then said, “I don’t know why I am up here, I am not getting anything done today.” She turned and went and sat down beside Lois. I stepped up, and said, yes, she is the one that needs a shampoo and style. Andrea, my niece, was busy, but the girl that has done momma’s hair before, stepped up and said, “I can do her right now, come on back.” Momma got up and went back to the shampoo chair! Even after saying she wasn’t going to like 5 times! Lois just shook her hair and said “unbelievable”. If you fight momma on it, it will be a fight, but if you just keep moving forward motion, she will usually go along, as if it was her idea! After she was done, we then went to Wal-Mart to pick up some more birdseed for the bird feeders (the other reason why we came to town, teehee). Once we got back home, we visited a little longer, then Lois packed up her stuff to leave. It was a good visit, in my opinion. That evening, things went from good to bad in a very short time. Momma stood up to go to bed, around 7ish, and she said “I am over-flowing”. I put my laptop to the side and stood up and went over to see what she was talking about. She was standing in the middle of a “brown puddle”. I moved her towards the bathroom to clean her up. I got her into the shower, got her cleaned up. She just kept saying, "Oh my word! Oh my word! Forever more!" I tried to lighten the mood and said, "No more French Onion soup for you woman!" She laughed!! When we went to Applebee's, she had a house salad, and a small bowl of French Onion soup. Anyway, I then left her there in the shower, while I ran back into the living room to clean up that mess. Thank God all my kiddos were upstairs playing in their rooms, so there was no one in the living room when this all went down. Once I got that all cleaned up, I went back into her bathroom to see if she was done. She had said she wanted to finish up on her own. She was still in the shower. I got it turned off and helped her out. That is when I realized I didn’t have enough grab handles. Momma seemed to be grabbing for the shower handle, the towel rack, even the toilet paper holder, anything to hold on to. Mental note to myself….more grab bars. Anyway, we got her all cleaned up, into her nightgown, and into bed. Again, I suggested the “night time panties” (Depends) and she balked again. She said, "I saw you had put them in here, I don't need those." I said "momma, at least at night". She said, "well when I get to where I need them I will wear them, but I don’t need them yet". The next morning, I sent Keith and the kids towards church. The older kiddos were going to a competition with the horses (barrels and roping). Kim stayed home with me to help me with Grandma. Momma seemed to be sleeping in her chair, so I got in the truck and headed to town to get some Pepto or Immodium, some grab bars for the shower, and a new mattress and mattress cover. By the time I got all that done, Keith got home from church before me! Kelly and Dave came for dinner after church, as well. They had attended church at FBC-Festus. Keith had the boys help him get the mattress and box springs out and carried up to the burn pile, while the other boys got the new mattress and box springs put back in there. I had her sheets done up and put her bed all back together. She pretty much slept off and on all day in her chair. Monday, she came out of her room dressed and went straight to her chair. I got her coffee and fixed her breakfast. She was not eating much all day. I figured it probably scared her, and so she wasn’t going to eat much. She would eat bananas with no argument. This morning, she came out of her room dressed. I went into her room, and sure enough, a mess on her bed. I pulled the sheets off, wiped down the mattress cover (so easy!!) with cleaner. Her sheets are now in the dryer, and I will have her bed back together in no time. I think tonight we will have the Depends talk again, this time with a little more intensity.

I hope all of you in Missouri are dealing well with this “state wide emergency”. The ice cycles (?) are about an inch long at this time. The electric flickered, and went off for a few seconds, but came back on thankfully!! We all just looked at each other as if "it's here". I have a cake baked, and a big pot of soup on the stove. I have made coffee and filled all the thermos containers. We have a fire in the fireplace and in the wood stove, and we are toasty warm. Hopefully we won’t lose electric like they are saying, but if we do, we will deal.

Thanks for the prayers