Tuesday, August 6, 2013

June 28th, 2012 Ten Day Anniversary of Daddy's Death...another flash back post

This post was from June 28, 2012…Ten days after Daddy’s death:

Tonight Mom stayed in the house with Jon, Ben, Brett, Christine and Elizabeth while Katy and I ran some LATE errands. We did not return until 10:30 pm and she had done fine and seemed to enjoy the visiting. Jon ran the vacuum which would usually really bother her but it did not faze her. She did not want to go back to the apartment with me…Jon had to come in for a bit and then escape out. She was frustrated and tried to get a “spin” going but I stayed calm and asked her how I could help. I sang all of our Jesus songs to her several times and got in bed. She sat on the end of her bed in the dark rocking back and forth.

When I asked again if she was ready for bed, she said “let me get my Daddy”…she went and turned the light on in the bathroom, opened the medicine cabinet and began to talk to Daddy…”are you finished with your work…can you come here with us…just for a bit so we can tell each other that we love each other…you can use these things (pointing to his deodorant and colognes) come on.” She asked me if it was OK for him to come and stay. I told her of course I would love for him to come and stay. (while I am typing, she has come and made me come into the bathroom with her to talk to him) She seems to think I can make him come. We talked in the mirror to him. She showed me to him and told him to hurry and come so we could get finished…? I asked her if he liked me and she said “I don’t know.” I told her to tell him I loved him. “Tell him Jane loves him” so she mouthed JANE LOVES YOU into the mirror. I asked her if he talked to her and she said “Yes we have talks and talks.” I told her I knew what he would say to her…”I love you!”

I asked if she thought he wanted us to go to bed and he’d come then? (guess my mind is on sleep 1 am now) She told me no.
She’s in bathroom talking to the mirror while I type. It is very interesting. Wish I had a video camera to get this recorded. She’s talking so quietly that I can’t tell what she’s saying now. She just shut the door…”excuse me friends, I’m needing this” door shut and she’s talking to him still? I snuck over there to see what was up. She went pee all the time talking to him. And then opened the door, came out and is now back talking to him. She will not drink her sleepy tea…”I don’t need that!” I don’t tell her it is sleepy tea…just that we need to have a drink…no way. Just asked her if there was anything I could help her with and she said in a curt voice that I’ve heard many times “we’re fine…THANK YOU! “ This is the voice she would use when she decided I was the “other woman”…now we’ve been talking to him for over 30 minutes. Wondering if I can lay in bed and rest or if I should sit up?!? I may need the power to go out to get it dark.

My guess is that even though she can’t verbalize the longing for him, her spirit knows he is gone and their spirits are visiting. I’ve never been this close to death and the spirit world…makes me think all kinds of new thoughts.

She continued to talk to him. I finally got up and turned off the light by the chairs and got in bed. I would ask her if it was time for bed. “I’m so tired…need to sleep and we will go in the morning.” She stayed in bathroom until I got in bed. Then she turned off the light and closed the door. Then she opened it and talked to him back and forth 6 times. I thought to get in her bed and ask her to come to me. She did come and get in bed. Really fussing and checking the covers…being sure I was covered. I held her hand near me and she stroked my hair and face over and over. After about 5 minutes she said “come here dear” and put her arm out for me to lay my head on. I did and she patted my back with her other arm and said “It will be OK.”

Funny…that is how I held my kids when we snuggled together. I drifted off to sleep and so did she. Each time I woke up, she was quiet and still so I stayed with her on her bed. (I do not usually sleep with her as she typically touches me and talks all night when I stay that close)

*Side note: The first time Mom kept Beth here overnight when Brett and I went for our anniversary…Beth was still addicted to “the arm.” She would not nap nor sleep at bedtime without my arm under her head and wrapped around her back…comes from me ALWAYS holding her that way. She was the ONLY one of the children who I did that with…no one else was attached to anything but nursing. Anyway the next day when I got home she acted like I had greatly offended her by taking “the arm” away from her for the night. When I asked her if she had slept on Me Maw’s arm she said “Yes but it was TOO fluffy!” HA! I think Beth was almost 3 when this happened. (Aug. 5, 2001)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A day in my life!

Hubby, me and Gals 3 are headed off for a few days for a break and to celebrate our 34th anniversary...so our young men and the sitter and a sweet friend will be caring for Mom. I needed to itemize the schedule for the caregivers and decided to share it here. The day begins when Mom wakes up so there are NO set times only the activities that must occur.

Mom wakes up***RED ALERT***the day has begun. She will be soaked so remove her gown and pull-up pants(just tear along the sides and toss it on bed pad on bed). Open vanity mirror so she will not see the "stranger" in the bathroom. You will have to do this each time you want her to go in bathroom...otherwise she thinks someone is already in there. Encourage her to go into bathroom and step up into shower(turn nozzle to wall and turn on to a little right of center). Get her bath sponge and put on shower gel. Wash her gently top to bottom, front and back...be sure to get under her belly. Wash hair with tear-free baby shampoo as she does not remember to close her eyes anymore. Rinse well...be sure to get under her arms and belly. Her towel hangs to the right of the mirror. Be sure to dry under her tummy.

Pull-ups are in the cabinet to the left of the potty...bottom drawer. Put a pad into the pull-up and ask her to lift her feet to step into it. IF she won't do this, you will need to get her to sit down on side of bed and put it on her. All of this time, I keep her blocked from leaving that area. Put her house dress over her head and she's dressed! She usually goes barefoot in the house. Her glasses will be on the window ledge to the right of her bed.

Breakfast can be large bowl of cereal with liquid yogurt, 2 packages of oatmeal or waffles...you can add bacon to any meal. O.J. or prune juice for drink. She often eats with her hands but can sometimes still use a spoon. After breakfast she enjoys having the music on and sitting in her chair or walking back and forth. Open curtains and blinds.

Pick up wet bed pad and pull-up and put in closed trashcan in bathroom. Take sheets off of bed and put outside in the pink hamper. Spray plastic bed sheet with OdoBan and wipe with Clorox wipes. Let air dry. Do not make the bed until the afternoon. Sets of sheets are in left door of wardrobe.

Usually our morning is spent with gals coming out to do school. While we do laundry and get meals going in the big house. Of course Christine runs out to do all the outside animals(4 horses and 14 chickens) and Beth does the dogs(4) and cats. You can try a restroom break but she doesn't remember how or why to sit on the potty now. I usually change her pants one time during the day if needed and before bedtime.

Lunch time Mom can have PB and J(she LOVES) or leftovers from yesterday's dinner or Taco Bell(beefy bean burrito)or ??? She is not picky but without her teeth, you may need to cut it up.

During afternoon, laundry folding, dinner prep, make her bed...put bed pad on and tuck in foot of sheet, listen to music(her favs are Lift Him Up-Ron Kenoly, The Mamas and the Papas, Carmen). My time for paying bills, making calls, cleaning apartment or big house.

Dinner is whatever we eat cut up or if we are gone she can have a TV dinner with fruit from the pantry. I usually leave something out for her to snack on. She cannot tell you when she is hungry but if not carefully watched, she will put odd things in her mouth. When the sun is going down and it is cooler, she can get on shoes and go outside to walk. The gates must remain locked at all times. She will typically walk to the pasture gate first. She does not remember where to come back so I call her name over and over to help her get back to the house.

After dinner as the sun is going down, all the animals have to be fed AGAIN. The chickens must be put up in their enclosed building or the raccoon will eat one for her dinner!

During the evening she will get agitated and walk more around the house. She often moves things, folds stuff and fidgets. I keep the lights on brightly until I am ready for her to go to bed. Sometimes she will hold her baby doll and rock in chair. Go around the house and close the mini-blinds and curtains. At 8 pm, pour a bottle of NeuroSleep in a glass and add 5 drops of Deep Sleep. Tell her "Here is your juice!" Be sure she drinks it all up. Sometime between 9 and 10 you can try to get her to go to bathroom and change her pants. She wears her house dress to bed. I put small blanket on the bed on her feet. I kiss her on the forehead and tell her "I LOVE YOU!"..."have sweet dreams" and quickly take her glasses off. Put them in the window sill on top of the curtain. Unplug coffee water pot, toaster oven and microwave. All lights off or she will not go to sleep or stay in bed. Wedge the wooden rocker between bed and china hutch so if she gets up during the night, you will hear her.

Fall exhausted into bed and PRAY she sleeps...insert ear plugs. IF she is "singing" and will not stop, put the QUIETUDE CD in the player on low volume. PUSH the Mode button twice and it will play repeatedly. IF she wakes you in the middle of the night, put on that CD and let it run. She sometimes starts singing 2am-4am...if music is playing, she will usually stay in bed. If she talks out at night, do not talk to her. She will resettle but if you talk to her, she will get up to locate your voice. Wake up times vary greatly.

WELL THERE IT IS! An at-home day with Mom. I've not included taking care of my family or any outings...makes me too tired to think of all that...ha!