This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

God Help the Defenseless...

I canceled Dad's appointment with the Neurologist today.  I found out from his snotty receptionist, one of the doctors ordered Dad to have a CT SCAN when he was hospitalized for his fall, after I specifically told them NOT TO!  No doubt, it explains Dad's weird, garbled, drugged sounding voice, my sister and I were concerned about.  We thought it was from the blow to his head when he fell.

When she told me, "Your Dad had a CT SCAN in the hospital and he did just fine."

I told her, "Excuse me, but YOU don't know my Father well enough to know if he was "just fine".

The neurologist wants to do ANOTHER CT SCAN to determine if Dad still has the bleed, before he will allow Dad's doctor to resume the blood thinners.

Dad's primary care physician's office finally called me back later last night, after I called his office four times yesterday.  When his staff member called me, it was after 6pm.  I had explained if I didn't hear from the doctor, I would cancel Dad's appointment today.  I needed to hear back from them before 5pm, so I had already canceled the appointment.

The woman from his office told me the fall caused a clot that burst, so Dad basically had a stroke.  NEWS TO ME!  NEVER was told that information in that way before, nor had any of my family. We need to find out from Dad's doctor what risks are we faced with if we DON'T resume the blood thinners?
I have written the primary care doctor yet another email, with questions.  I stated we would NOT reschedule the neurologist appointment until after we heard from him.  Let's hope it motivates him to return my email or call me.

God help the defenseless...I pity all the patients in nursing homes who have no one to fight for them...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Just Want To Protect Dad...

Last Monday, while in California, the nursing home had called to inform me of an appointment, Dad's primary care physician set up for him with a Neurologist, tomorrow at 10:45am, without notifying us first.  I am suppose to be the first contact regarding anything involving Dad.

This will be the first doctor visit scheduled outside the nursing home, in over a year.  We all have concerns about triggering "home" memories if Dad were to get into one of our cars.  Mom cannot handle Dad alone.  One of my brothers would have to go with her, plus we need a CNA to go and that involves out of pocket expense.  It is $15 an hour with a three hour minimum. 

Last week I inquired if Medicare or Medi-Cal would pay to transport Dad to his doctor appointment and if Dad's favorite,  Doctor-Doctor could be the CNA to go with him.  No one called me back like they told me they would, so today, when I called, I found out it was all set up.

Mom gets home at 7pm tonight and her best friend is having a hysterectomy tomorrow.  Mom planned on going to visit her friend.  Now she must visit her friend after meeting Dad and the CNA at the Neurologist's office.  I STILL have not heard back from the Neurologists office as to WHY Dad has to keep this "follow up consultation" appointment...

Dad is terrified of Neurologists.  He associates them with the word dementia and believes if one has dementia, surgery and brain experimentation is inevitable.  I have instructed everyone to not mention the type of doctor he is to Dad. 

Dad's primary doctor needs Dad to see the Neurologist because he is the one who discontinued Dad's Plavix and Aspirin, Dad takes for his heart.  Obviously, blood thinners and brain bleeds don't mix.  We just want to make sure a CT Scan is not something the Neurologist plans on doing, because I made it crystal clear we did not want Dad sedated.  We don't want Dad having any procedures which would upset Dad, and as long as he is comfortable and not in any pain, we prefer to leave well enough alone!

Very frustrating day, trying to call around and get answers and no doctors have returned my calls or emails.

If they are not doing diagnostic tests to determine if Dad still does have a slow bleed in his brain, then what does the doctor plan on doing to determine whether Dad can resume taking his blood thinners? Ask Dad how he is?  The doctor could ask us instead of putting Dad through all this.  Dad distrusts doctors.  If the doctor asked how Dad was, even if Dad was hurting, Dad would tell him, "I feel just fine, thank you."

I just spoke with Mom.  She is waiting at the airport for her return flight.  I can hear the tension in her voice.  She has been away most of this month, enjoying time with our brother, her oldest son and his family.  I know returning to the reality of Dad and no job, and the heat with no air conditioning has to be heavy on her mind.

Hopefully this appointment will not be a waste of time and money.  I just want to protect Dad and keep him from anything to get him upset him unnecessarily...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Remember Those Good Ol' Days?

Yesterday, my daughter in law, her hubby, my hubby and I all went to see Adam Sandler's GROWN UPS.
What a fun, feel good movie this was.  The story is about some childhood friends whose lives were touched by their basketball coach. 

The coach dies and they all gather again to pay their respects. They all return to the coach's weekend retreat at a lake to scatter his ashes.  I don't want to give it away, but it was a reminder to all and showing how much fun there is without technology.

It reminded me of my childhood and the fun our family had, just sitting around together.  We could entertain one another just with our antics and interactions with one another.  Some of my hardest laughter came from hanging out with my family, usually around the dinner table or afterwards trying to watch the television.

During the day, we were rarely inside.  We got out of the house as soon as possible to avoid doing chores. We spent the day playing outside or at our friend's homes.  We roamed near and far to our home, often without our parent's knowledge.  Certainly many the places we went could have had drastically different results in a different time and place, but we were blessed...

Our imagination was our best toy.  There was never a limit to what we could do or where we could go.
We just had to be home by the time the street lights were on.  We didn't dare be late for dinner, or we would starve.  I have four brothers, so trust me, if my sister or I were late, there were no apologies for eating our dinner.

Our humor was always the entertainment.  Everything generated from it.  Nothing was sacred.  It it got a laugh, it was fair game.  We learned to not take anything too seriously and to laugh at ourselves. Oh, the precious memories we shared...

How about you?  Do you remember those good ol' days?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Attention Blogging Friends: Is This A Scam? Has Anyone Gotten One of These?

I got this in my email.  I have deleted several of them, thinking it was SPAM.  Has anyone got one of these?

Google Online Promotion ©2010

show details 4:55 PM (17 hours ago)

From the Google online Promotion,you won £850,000 British Pounds..Contact Mr. Grahams Benfield,, for more information.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Snake Bite...

my daughter in law
introduced me
to a
"Snake Bite".

Pear Cider
in the
followed by
over a
large spoon
Pear Cider.

The Pear Cider
of the


~ dkb ~

Friday, June 25, 2010

Recognizing The Shadow In My Darkness...

Today is my grand son's 8th birthday.  Yesterday was my oldest daughter's 33rd birthday. They are on vacation this past week, so when I went to California, I was unable to see them and hug them.  We have been talking over the I must do the majority of the time.

Some days, especially after I return from California, I sink into the pits of depression and feel so very isolated and lonely.  My husband works like a dog, way too many hours, often leaving him only to want, to become one with our couch.

These past four, almost five years of living here, have forced me to explore my creativity, in search for something to fill the void in missing my loved ones...I ache for one on one human contact.

These past week has been such a time... I feel like I am wading through thick, heavy mud. It is exhausting. Tasks I need to get done keep piling up, and I don't care.

I wrote about how I felt on my other blog last night. One of my blogging friends, commented and could relate to my feelings.  Reading her blog, made me recognize the shadow in my darkness. My lonliness and isolation. Learning she has physical challenges now and still ahead made me feel guilty for complaining. Thank you dear friend for pin-pointing the obvious to me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It would have been nice....

One of the nurses at the nursing home called to inform me Dad's doctor wanted him to see a Cardiologist outside the nursing home.  Dad has been off two of his blood thinner medications since his fall. 

We have never taken Dad outside the facility since admitting him.  In fact, we have avoided it.  To take him out, we must have a CNA with us, his wheel chair, and another person to help lift Dad.  We need a family to go with him, or he gets paranoid and can turn combative.  Mom cannot take him by herself.

I am disappointed his doctor did not contact me first, instead of just scheduling the appointment with no regard to availability for Mom or whomever will go with her.  Mom does not return to California until the day before. It would have been nice if he would have called us first...

I sent an email to the family and one of my brothers may go with Mom.  I will call tomorrow and find out where the appointment will be.  I will also call Dad's physician and express our preference to receive a "heads up" BEFORE they schedule future appointments.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Momma...

is Mom's 83rd
She is
 in Ohio
 visiting her oldest son's
I spoke with her
and she is
attending a lot of
baseball games
(her favorites teams are:
her grand kids
the Angels)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day, 2010...All My Love, All My Life...

My brother E_____ summed it up best.  "This was the best visit with Dad in over a year..."

So far, we have been so very Blessed to have had two excellent visits the last two years with Dad on Father's Day...

I had put an email out to all my siblings prior to driving out to CA, asking who would want to join us when we went to see Dad on Father's Day.  Two of my brothers in CA, have children, and had plans with them during the day.  We all know visiting later in the day, is NOT the best time to see Dad.  So my brothers K____ and S_____ will visit tomorrow or the next day, to give Dad more visits during the week.

My sister and I drove to In and Out for a double double with grilled onions, fries, and strawberry shake for Dad.  We planned to meet my youngest brother E____ and his girlfriend, M_____ at the nursing home at 11:00 am.  When my sister and I arrived, they were already sitting with Dad on the patio.

When Dad saw my sister and I, he called us each by name... only he called me Holl Doll and my sister Donna.  Close.  Later he called us by our correct names, so no worries...

When he saw what we had for him to eat, he grinned ear to ear, and began to devour the burger with four huge bites at a time.  I cautioned him not to choke!  I noted he had not been shaved, and his nostril hairs were creating a substantial mustache on his upper lip.  His ear hairs would have made perfect nests for the birds and his eyebrows were hanging down into his eyes.  I excused myself to find his Angel, Doctor-Doctor, to ask if she could please, spruce him up a bit...

After Dad had finished his lunch, we gave him his gifts and read him his cards.  Dad just loves cards and listened to the words intently, closing his eyes to concentrate.

With perfect timing, Doctor-Doctor appeared to take him to the showers.  When she brought him back, his hair was neatly combed and he was all "de-haired".  He looked so handsome!  We wanted to take pictures and Doctor-Doctor graciously took them for us.  She had Dad stand up and walk with her.  It was wonderful to see him smiling, happy and walking so proudly. We all joined them to walk briefly around the patio...

There was Elvis Presley music softly playing from the lunch room off the patio.  We all were enjoying the music, the gentle breeze under the trees and the gorgeous day.  The music changed to a fast paced mariachi, and Doctor-Doctor coax Dad into dancing with her.  We all roared with laughter and Dad swayed back and forth, tapping his foot, kicking out a leg and foot, and shaking his booty!  It was so wonderful to see him so animated and happy.

When we sat back down around the patio table, Doctor-Doctor asked him to sing Ava Maria.  Dad closed his eyes as if trying to remember the words...then loud and strong, he sang the words so beautifully.  I was beginning to get teary eyed when he suddenly went off key, made a funny face, and threw his head back laughing!  Course, we all joined in laughing and clapping.

Alzheimer's has removed all of Dad's previous inhibitions.  Dad no longer has any social filters.  He used to be so uptight, prim and proper.  It is so good to see him eat with gusto, say what he feels and respond with complete abandon. I can't stop smiling just thinking of "how much more free" he seems.

Another CNA brought Dad his lunch on a tray.  He looked at it and told us he was too full.  We confessed to smuggling the In and Out for him and she smiled and said she would leave it and not to worry if he did not eat anything.

We settled in around the table listening to one anothers conversations and taking pictures.  My brother shared about his new business, his girlfriend's new job, my sister had been taking some video of Dad and my brother did as well.  They began discussing technology and about uploading their videos to you tube and keeping it private. Dad began talking about when he first met Mom.  We have all heard the story of when Dad first met Mom while on liberty with two of his buddies and saw Mom and her girlfriend coming down the street...

Today, he went a step further into the details of that day.  He talked of how they danced and rode bikes around the lake.  The twinkle in his eyes told us far more when he remembered the beautiful silk scarf around Mom's neck and how he KNEW the other guys would not stand a chance, because he would make sure he got her interest first.  He complimented her on the beautiful scarf around her beautiful neck.  Mom took the scarf from around her neck, and gave it to Dad.

He told us how he wanted to take Mom back to Seattle to the place they first met, to remember and ignite their romantic fire.. We all sat spellbound, as we had never heard this part of their beginning...

My brother took the initiative to ask Dad about the initials, they each used below, their names when they gave one another a card...AML AML.  Growing up, each of us had quizzed and guessed tirelessly, to find out what the initials meant.  Neither of them would tell.  It was their secret...

Dad openly told us what they meant.  All my love, all my life.

Dad's face had that look of such love and happiness.  Just his silence in recalling those special times together, without words, his face told us everything we wanted to know...

Dad explained that he was suppose to have two weeks liberty, but there was some mix up and he was told to return early.  Dad was late to return, because of meeting Mom.  His eyes glistened as he told us how he would never have met her, if he had returned on time.  My brother remarked that none of us would be here either, had he returned when he was suppose to.

Dad went on to tell us how he got an attorney to fight for him, because he did deserve to have those two weeks.  He won his case.

Dad closed his eyes, as if he magically stepped into some type of a time machine, and was transported back in time, almost sixty-five years ago...I wish I could describe in words how his face looked.  Suffice it to say, that we each looked upon his face and smiled broadly to one another.  We knew, in his mind, he stood magnificent in his Marine uniform, holding his arms out to Mom as they glided across the dance floor...

We all were hungry and decided to get some lunch.  Dad urged us to leave and eat something.  He asked us to take him to Doctor-Doctor.   One by one, we leaned over to hug and kiss him in his wheel chair. As Doctor Doctor stood beside Dad with an arm full of towels, we all stood like a chorus line and threw him our kisses. He threw them back to us, along with a big smile.  He had been thanking us profusely for our visit and for loving him so much.  He told us how he had two families, one at home and one here at the nursing home.

As we left, E___'s girlfriend told us, "What your Dad could not say in words, he told us with the twinkle in his eyes and the love in his heart." We all whole-heartily agreed.  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Re-prints of posts from last year, one week before Father's Day...Part 4

Father's Day, June 21, 2009: It Just Does Not Get Any Better Than This...

What a great Father's Day we had today with DAD!!! Have to admit, I know I was very apprehensive, I knew my sister was, and Mom was too. None of us said much on our way there, I think we were all "gearing up" and preparing "for anything". In that place one never knows...

We walked in with our gifts (knowing we could not leave them with Dad, and would have to take them back home) basically holding our breath. We were relieved when the nurse told us Dad was doing well, he had a shower, eaten breakfast and taken his medication.

When we walked into the lunchroom, he was just finishing up his lunch. He was dressed in his own tan pants, his blue sweatshirt and blue shirt. Blue is Dad's favorite color. His face looked smoothly shaved, happy and bright! He was alert and over joyed to see us.

We all gathered in his room, and ironically, his roommate was watching TV in the day room, so we had all the privacy we hoped for. Dad told us he had a shower and how awesome it was. He even got a massage afterward! It was so good to see him so animated, excited and positive. We took turns taking pictures with Dad. My sister had her Flip video recorder going as Dad opened my sister's card and read it. Just as Dad finished, our two youngest brothers walked in. More pictures with Dad and more video. Then in came two of Mom and Dad's friends from church!

As we all circled ourselves around Dad, he thanked everyone for coming. He then asked each of us to share our happiest childhood memory. He asked us to remember those precious moments where we laughed so hard we cried. We each took a turn relating our cherished memories, laughing and bringing up some great memories. We all marveled at how Dad took charge, how well he held a conversation and shared his thoughts and memories with us. We were all captivated as he shared dramatic memories of World War II, and the Battle of Tarawa.

One particular memory brought tears to our eyes, when Dad's friend from church shared a story Dad had told him the day before. He told us how Dad had described the day he met Mom. Dad and his buddy were on a weekend liberty and they met two girls on a hill in downtown Seattle. Dad told him one of the girls had the most beautiful face he had ever seen, and that was Mom. He still could repeat the phone number she gave him, Grant 4404, sixty-three and a half years ago.

It was also Mom's 82nd birthday. She and I had discussed what a challenge it would be to enjoy her day, but after our visit, we all felt uplifted and so very relieved. As our brothers waved good-bye to Mom, my sister and I, we all remarked on how good we all felt. We had a great lunch and then enjoyed the movie, The Proposal.

Tomorrow, God willing, Dad will be discharged and transferred to the new place. My plan is to ride in the ambulance with Dad, if they will allow it. Everyone please pray it goes well and the move will not be too stressful for him.

We went baring gifts, but the greatest gift of all, was what Dad gave to all of us. What a memorable, glorious day!
*** Tomorrow, I will post how we celebrated Father's Day, 2010 with Dad, one year later. ***

Friday, June 18, 2010

Re-prints of posts from last year, one week before Father's Day...Part 3

June 19, 2009: There Seems To Be A Pattern Here...

Seems to be an alternating pattern of good days and bad days...At least that is what I was praying for after talking to our newest Angel again. Just her voice is enough to calm anyone down. I pretty much snapped yesterday... Had a total melt down, so who better to talk with but our Psychiatric Angel. Despite our emotional knee-jerk reaction to get Dad out of the "snake pit" ASAP, she explained how that would not be best for Dad.

Basically we had three choices: A. Talk with Dad's doctor and try to get an earlier release, B. Bring him home against medical advice, and C. Stay the course and wait for discharge on Monday.

We choose A. As soon as I could stop crying, I had to get to a point where I could focus with the migraine I had. I checked with the nursing home we selected to see if it was possible to get in earlier, and being the wonderful, compassionate people they are, the answer was YES, with the condition of having doctor's orders.

I had left a message with the nursing station in Dad's unit for the doctor to call me and also left messages at his office. The Social Worker promised me she would "do everything in her power" to get him transferred before Father's Day.

Today I spoke with Dad's nurse and explained I never got a chance to ask Dad's doctor to discharge him early, because he never called me back. I asked the nurse to call the Social Worker and have her call the doctor on call for his regular doctor who is off this weekend. I explained how we want to celebrate with Dad and his grand kids at the new place on Father's Day. We don't want to celebrate in that snake pit!! We can't bring the grand kids in there!

The nurse just called me and he called the Social Worker and she had called the doctor and has asked him and the answer is no. Discharge will be on Monday. He told me discharges rarely happen on weekends, something about most insurance offices are not available on weekends. I had the nurse leave the Social Worker a message to call me Monday morning so we can "be on the same page" in how to transition Dad to his new home.

I'm so disappointed. I guess we will have to celebrate Father's Day with him after he is moved, settled, and is having a good day.

June 20, 2009: Took A Day For Me...

Last night was so fun, despite being so tired. My youngest grandson graduated from pre-Kindergarten. He is so proud to go to school with his big brother. Hugging those boys and seeing their bright faces allowed me to take my first deep breath in several weeks. I wish I could have spent more time with them.

After checking with the nursing station this morning, and making sure Dad was OK; I double checked if the medical doctor has submitted his orders for Dad's compression stockings. Thankfully, he did.

There's nothing more I can do except make sure Dad is OK and to make sure he DOES get transferred to his new place on Monday. It makes me sick to my stomach that he has to be in that awful place for Father's Day. We can't even leave our Father's Day cards with him because they will disappear.

I took the rest of the day for myself. I met one of my dearest friends for a late breakfast at IHOP. She listened and I talked about Dad and what has been going on. We decided to not see a show and just "wing it" and spend the rest of the day just doing what we felt like doing. She asked me if I needed to do anything and I remembered I wanted a pouch for my new cell phone and get Dad some clothes.

I bought Dad some V-neck colored tee-shirts, he doesn't like the round necked ones. Got him a pair of shorts and some lounging pants. We went to the Thrift Store to get him some sweat pants and a cozy zipper jacket. No sense getting him anything too fancy for that place, but I am sick of seeing him in other patients clothes. I just finished washing and folding them.

It was a nice day, sunny, not too hot, nice breeze and just the perfect company. We've been friends for 23 years and we never had to do anything fancy, just be together and enjoy each others company. We were single moms together, so we've been through a lot together. She's another Angel in my life.
Came back to my eldest daughter's home. She and her family are on vacation, so her sister and I are giving Lila, their diabetic cat her medicine while they are away. The solitude is good for me. I am soaking in the silence. Just me and the cat.

This year will go down as the worst year for birthdays, holidays and special occasions. I hope and I pray, that when Dad gets transferred to his new place, he will be happy. It's the next best thing to home. He will have a calmer, easier life with a lot less stress. He'll get his medical needs met, have social gatherings, Christian fellowship, and we can visit more often... I hope it is better for him. I hope he does not refuse his meds and go back into the black hole...

Seems breakfast is the only meal I can hold down. Everything else goes right through me.

This was not the way I had planned on losing weight...

I feel like I am hanging over the edge of the Grand Canyon by a thread of hair. I can feel the tension in my neck and shoulders. I ache inside for Dad. I just want him out of there!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Re-prints of posts from last year, one week before Father's Day..Part 2

June 17, 2009: From the Storm From Hell to the Sun on Angels Wing...

I awoke in a sweat early this morning from dreams of my Father. He had escaped the Psych ward by making a pair of skates out of chair rollers and broken wooden drawers fastened to his feet with duct tape. He skated up to the house with precise precision and proudly told us he had successfully escaped and was headed west. Another dream had the police wrestling him to the ground after hunting him down.

I immediately grabbed the phone and called the psych ward to check on Dad. I spoke with the Social Worker and she assured me he was getting excellent care and slept well during the night. She said the Chief Psychiatric Director gave Dad his psych evaluation this morning and adjusted his medications. She invited us to come see her when we came to visit at the noon visiting hours.

Some what relieved, I remembered the text message my sister sent me. She had called me while I was speeding to California yesterday and reminded me to read it and call this fantastic woman, who was my niece's best friend's Mother. I immediately picked up the phone and soon was listening to this sweet, calming, and caring voice. I learned she has been in Elder Care 42 years and was a psychiatric nurse. Once again, my sister's advice had come to my rescue. We talked for over an hour. She explained to me how Dad would benefit from being in the psych ward and getting stabilized on the medication would help his paranoia and delusions. She listened compassionately and patiently as I told her the life story of our Father. She generously offered to meet Mom and I up at the psychiatric unit.

Next, my youngest brother called, telling me how he was going to "play dumb" about the strict visiting hours and "work the room" to get in to see Dad. Due to work, he had not been to see Dad in a few days, and Dad was very concerned "something had happened to him". Dad was convinced it was his truck still in the nursing home parking lot.

Typical of my brother, he succeeded in charming his way in to see Dad. When he called me afterward I could hear the huge smile on his face. He was elated and went on and on how it was their best conversation in weeks! He could not believe the change in Dad! To him, our Dad was back!!

When Mom and I met our "newest Angel" at the Unit, we discovered she knew several of the doctors and nurses there. She greeted one male nurse with a hug and he told her he and a doctor had just been speaking of her. What a small world. Labeled with our "visitor" tags, we were buzzed in through the locked doors and escorted to the lunch room. We walked in to find Dad, dressed in someone elses clothes enjoying his lunch. When the nurse told him he had visitors, he looked up at us with a ready smile on his face, as his eyes glistened and lit him up like a Christmas tree.! I can't begin to express what his smiling face did for me, but suffice it to say... my heart soared!

We helped him take his lunch out on the patio and the three of us joined him. We introduced him to the wonderful, angelic woman in the beautiful blue dress. Dad complimented her on the dress being one of his favorite colors. He was busy telling us about the "awesome" music he enjoyed and impressively described all the various composers he heard. All this, while enthusiastically eating his lunch. We asked questions and he answered them calmly and happily. We actually carried on a stable, normal conversation. He shared that he was glad to not feel so confused.

It was like something out of that Jack Nicholson movie trying to visit and concentrate on Dad all the while various characters were inviting themselves to our conversation. Dad took it all in stride and was as gracious and kind as he always has been. He even mentioned it was "not our place to judge others, that was up to the Lord".

After lunch the Social Worker came to get us and explained Dad's treatment is still early, as they are still observing and monitoring him. She anticipated him to be there a few days to a week. She took my cell number as the doctor's contact and announced he would be calling me early (as in 6 am to 7 am EARLY!!) Hopefully, I will be awake and coherent enough to email the rest of the family. We told her how thrilled we were with Dad's alertness and ability to stay on task. Absolutely "night and day" difference, after the hellish day we had the day before. I told her Dad seemed twenty years younger.

When we discussed his plan after discharge, the Social Worker ironically suggested one of the skilled nursing facilities we were considering. One of the facilities my brother had already checked out. As if we didn't have enough miracles for one day, she received a phone call from the same kind woman I had spoken with two days earlier about Dad who was from this particular facility! When the Social Worker mentioned my name and Dads, I could hear her voice over the phone exclaiming my name in remembrance. She was on her way to the psych unit, so we had the pleasure of meeting her in person.

Where would we be without these "walking Angels"?? These extraordinary people who care for strangers like they are their own loved ones. I am humbled and in awe of their tenderness and concern.

Starving, we left for lunch. I called my patient brother who was still suffering the traumatizing affects of being with Dad during the transfer yesterday. We had planned to meet him and my two nephews for lunch but our meeting and visiting had gone way longer than planned. My brother had been up most of the night and had not slept much at all. The boys had planned to meet their Mom and were disappointed we were not able to get together, so we'll have to fix that tomorrow.

This might be a good time, to interject, for those who do not know, that Mom and Dad had seven children. 5 boys and 2 girls. I am the eldest and we lost one brother, after me, one week after he was born. Dad discussed that loss today with us, as well as all their grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Nothing like an In-and-Out burger to soothe both hunger and jagged nerves. It was much needed therapy for my dear brother and us, as we encouraged him to go see Dad during the evening visiting. He called us later, exhausted, after a great visit with Dad, telling us how happy and thankful he was. I trust he will sleep tonight. I know I WILL!!!

Mom's head was spinning with all the information and I was as high as a kite, bursting with excitement! What a GREAT day!! THE SUN IS SHINING!!! We returned for the evening visitation and listened to Dad discuss various historic events he had enjoyed in his afternoon group session. We even watched him shave (along with the attendant of course) while Dad shaved with the steady hand of a professional barber.

Mom and I have another big day tomorrow taking the medi-cal papers to get filed and visiting this potential facility for Dad. Lord, please continue to walk with us, guide our path and continue placing all your Angels along our path...

June 18, 2009: Oh My God, Oh My Precious God...

I can barely write. I can barely think. Today started off so positive. We were so uplifted and so happy. I received a good report from Dad's doctor and he anticipates Dad to be discharged on Monday. We got the Medi-Cal papers finished and filed. Mom and I toured the homiest, cheeriest skilled nursing home for Dad. It is just wonderful. He will get physical therapy, spa treatments, hearing aid, glasses, podiatry, and dental work. All for free!! I just know Dad would love it. We had so much to be grateful for and were so happy Dad was doing better.

Guess it is not wise to allow ourselves to get too hopeful. Tonight when my sister and I went to see Dad in the psych ward, we could tell immediately how his demeanor had changed. Again he was in someone elses clothes. He had refused his heart and blood pressure medication. He seemed so stressed and soon it was apparent why...

Some deranged, woman, fellow-patient was pontificating her greatness and ordering the staff around. She stood beside us and demanded the nurse fire the two new women helping in the dining room. She announced she was the first female black woman President of the United States. Soon she was fixated on us and told us to leave thinking we were "floozies" waiting to steal her man, her doctor away from her. "He's mine, oh YES, he's mine, YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM!".

We tried to ignore her and took Dad into his room. She continued to stand in the door way of his room and glare at us. She warned us to leave in 15 minutes or she would "tear our hair out". I went to the nurses station and asked if they were aware of how she was acting. One male told us, "not to worry about her", another female nurse warned us to "keep an eye on her".

Our second oldest brother joined us just in time for this ranting, tormented, lunatic, obviously a paranoid schizophrenic, to come into Dad's room, naked! The hair on my neck stood on end as I prepared myself for battle. Just as she came toward me, the male nurse rushed in, getting between the lunatic and myself, just as she smashed him in the face and knocked him to the floor, sending his glasses in several pieces!

Her voice was loud and commanding. Clearly she was aggressive and she had fixated her delusion upon us. Despite a shot to "knock her out" she continued her parade of nudity. She pranced down the halls and into the lunch room. I asked Dad if he wanted to change rooms and he told us YES! I let the nurses know Dad wanted to move and we were concerned he might be harmed. They finally put her in a room and scotch taped paper over the glass so she could not see out. All she did was scream and yell at the top of her voice. A loud male patient down the hall was cursing "F-You, you rotten B-!!"

Both my sister and I were shaken. My brother stood guard at the door way to Dad's room. Dad's eyes were wild and wide eyed...

When we left, my brother went to his car, and my sister and I held onto one another as we walked to her car. My sister was sobbing. I offered to drive, but she told me "she had to". We were suppose to celebrate tonight. Everyone was coming over for spaghetti dinner... My sister dropped me off and drove home, she needed to get home and some how, calm herself down....

Oh my God what a slice of hell that place is! And our precious FATHER is in there!! I have called twice, once at 11:30 pm and once at 12:30 am. He just stands in the hall by his new room but refuses to go in. He won't return to his old room either. He is probably "standing guard" after the day he had!!!

Dad would not even come to the phone to talk with me. I could hear him repeating over and over, "NO, NO, NO". When I tried to talk to him over the phone he SCREAMED," NO!!!!, NO!!!!!!!" and the nurse told me he was too agitated. She said if anyone gets close to him he yells and gets very combative.

I know his legs will swell like balloons by the morning. His right leg was swollen when we were there today, just before that crazy woman barged in. We wanted to check to see how his leg ulcers were healing.

I wanted to call my brother to go down there but the nurse told me he would not be allowed in, due to the the strict visiting hours. I am telling his doctor we want him out of the psycho ward and transferred to the nice nursing home we picked out, ASAP!!!

I just can't stand it. It's like the Alzheimer's is eating Dad alive from within. Thin slivers one day and big chunks disappear another. The Alzheimer's is the damn enemy!!! Oh my God, oh my precious God, please help us....Please wake us from this horrendous nightmare!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Re-prints of posts from last year, one week before Father's Day...Part 1

I leave this Friday for California, to visit Dad for Father's Day.  I have been thinking back how far our family has come this past year.  Over the next four days I will be re-printing the posts from last year, the week before last Father's Day. 

I have recently read several posts of families who are just beginning this journey with their loved ones, and hopefully, these posts might help them too.

June 14, 2009: It's a Long Way Home

So much has been going on with Dad's hospitalization and nursing home stay. Seems one day blends right into the other and the hours of the day just fly by. All of us are visiting at every opportunity and staggering around like zombies. All Dad wants and thinks about is to come back home. We all know he wants to return to where he believes he should be, but sadly, we know that would be an emotional disaster of epic proportions.

We have to find him a new home where he will be safe and will not be overwhelmed by the remnants of responsibility that stab his brain like sharp needles causing mindless reactions, motivations and obsessive needs to do things he is no longer capable of doing. He creates and repeatedly pulls mountains of stress down upon himself, all the while blaming it on everyone and everything, oblivious he brings it all on himself. It breaks our hearts to see him continually jump again and again into that emotional and physical quick sand.

He seems to be with us 30% of the time and the rest he is lost in this walking nightmare. All we can do is love him and wonder if he will disappear a little bit more each time he is caught in the chaos of his mental storm.

Please Lord, help us find Dad the right place for him. Help us, direct us, give us the patience and the strength. Introduce us to the people that can help us find him his new home where he will be safe.

June 15, 2009: You Gotta Laugh or You Will Cry All Day...

Our family has always been blessed with a fabulous sense of humor. Over the years life has tried to slam us from behind and blindside us, but our humor has always bounced us back up. One of my faults, when I spend a lot of time alone, is to misplace my humor. It's way more fun to laugh with someone else, especially my family and friends.

Today reminded me how to stay "recharged" with energy by receiving phone calls from my siblings. We're an incredible blend of seriousness and warped humor. It can take the edge off a very stressful and emotional situation. I'd be totally lost without my brothers and my sister. Totally lost.

Naturally, "our kind" gravitate toward others who love to laugh and we all are extremely blessed with life long friends. Where would we all be without a friend to call in the wee hours just to cry or share what is disturbing either of us. Friends have a way of saying just the right thing that brings a smile or a sigh of relief. It is impossible to feel alone when a friend is crying with me or saying the one thing that makes me laugh.

I'll never forget one of my friends telling me, "If you can't eat, then I can't swallow". She told me that at one of the lowest points in my life, and made me feel so important and so loved.

Dad will be discharged in two days. We do not have a place for him. We have no idea how we will get the money or get necessary papers filed before Wednesday. We are all emotionally drained, sleep deprived and mentally drained. We all agree, we KNOW he cannot come home. Yet, like a trapeze artist flying through a foggy night, I trust we will all be there for one another and some how, some way, we will make it happen.

June 16, 2009: Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse...

Miraculously, I slept in today. I awoke at 8:30 am and shortly after waking, the phone rang. It was Dad's doctor. I have grown to greatly respect this compassionate, woman physician who has been treating and caring for our Father. She told me they had tried to give him a psych evaluation but Dad refused to answer any questions...AGAIN. He informed the doctor he knew his rights and he was not speaking to anyone but his doctor. Dad still will not acknowledge any doctor except his primary care doctor, whom Dad argued with constantly.

Dad's doctor told me his paranoia and hallucinations are not normal and it was not safe for him to go home. His state of mind would make it difficult to place him in a nursing home. She felt it best to transfer him to a psych unit for evaluation and to monitor him on some medication to help stabilize him with his paranoia and delusions.

The empire state building could have fallen on me and had less impact that her words! I started losing my voice and couldn't think. I was in shock and horrified to think of my sweet Father being strapped down and taken to a psych unit.

I can't even describe the day. One of my brothers had to rush to the nursing home in hopes of calming Dad down because Dad tried to escape and was yelling and raising hell! I was frantically packing and throwing clothes in the car determined to drive to California to be with our Father.

By the time I arrived, he had already been transferred and both of my brothers were with him. Unspeakable words were spoken by our Father to his sons. Words no child should ever hear or have to endure. All we can think of, is this walking-monster-nightmare he is in and he can't wake up!

When we discussed the days events, we all look at one another and know what everyone is thinking. We want to storm the place and bring Dad home! We want to cling to the remnants of his lucidness and prove to the doctors how wrong they all are. This just can't be happening. Some one PLEASE wake us up!!!!!

Tomorrow I have to seek some professional advise. Someone who knows what to say and to tell me how to say it. How does a child tell their parent they can't come home and they are so paranoid and delusional they can't function?? How do we do that??? It just breaks my heart.

Here I sit in my Father and Mother's home. Mom is here, but Dad is not. It feels totally weird. It does not feel like home without him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Makes A Dad...

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

~Author Unknown~

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Best of Surprises...

Happy Flag Day...Dad always told us to fly the Flag from today to the 4th of July...

Early Saturday morning the door bell rang.  Still in my pajamas, I anticipated it to be my neighbor next door...

To my surprise, there stood my two daughters from California!!!  "Happy Birthday Mom", was their greeting to me.  I was in such a state of shock, I just stood there, staring at them through the security door.  I totally forgot they could not even see me, only hearing me repeat, "Oh my God, oh my God..."  I was in a state of total shock!   I finally let him in and we hugged and kissed....only to be interrupted by the door bell again....

Now, this had to be my neighbor...

Wrong was my two grandsons!!! As I was hugging and covering them with kisses, from around the side of the house walked their Dad, my wonderful son-in-law, who drove them all here.  He is the one I did the colored pencil picture of the Elk crossing the river into the woods, for.

My husband was totally in on it.  My daughters had called and told him of their plans.  As you know, my birthday was Tuesday, June 8th and of course they all work.  The boys finished school last week and they had plans last weekend.  I really did not expect the girls to come visit until the second to the last week in July.  So they really surprised me. I had absolutely no clue.

We had an action packed weekend and they just left this morning at 6:00am.  By noon I had taken Izzy for a long over due walk, washed/folded two loads of sheets and towels and cleaned up the kitchen. The spa man came and drained, cleaned and refilled the spa. I made some phone calls and did some paper work. Picked up the house and will save vacuuming and washing floors for tomorrow.  Truth be told, I just woke up from a three hour nap!! 

Izzy made me so proud.  She laid on the couch with my oldest (8 years old) grandson, both my daughters and myself watching AVATAR last night.  The youngest grandson (5.5 years old) chased Izzy non-stop. He passed out early and went to bed.

Thank you girls, my precious boys, my son in law for driving, my youngest daughter's boyfriend for his contributions and I totally understand he had to work and last but not least, my wonderful hubby for keeping such an excellent secret.  It was by far, the best of surprises for me.  Color me very, very, happy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eating, Flirting and Searching For The Big Red Suitcase...

My brother E__ went to visit "Pops", (his name for Dad) at lunch time.  He said Dad gobbled down a bean and cheese burrito, rice, ice cream, milk, coffee, and a big fruit plate.  Dad's appetite is up and running!  After lunch, E__ wheeled Dad out on the patio to enjoy their visit outdoors. My brother is growing a full beard.  He went fishing over Memorial weekend, and decided he liked not shaving.   He recently started his own business, so he can pretty much do whatever he wants.

Dad told him how handsome he was and told him he looked good with the extra tan on his face.  Dad liked his beard.  Dad commented on how he enjoys flirting with the young trainees, who were busy nearby.  Dad winked at E___ and told him, "The ladies are not just flirting with me, if you know what I mean?"   E___ laughed with Dad and winked back at Dad...

E__ was very pleased with how well Dad looked.  All his scabs from the fall are long gone and his skin looks smooth and healthy.  Dad was in good spirits, making perfect sense one minute and then telling my brother how he loves to fly up into the sky and look down on everything...Dad told him, the Christmas trees were too thick and he could not get a good view to the street behind the nursing home... My brother did not correct him, just flowed with Dad's conversation.

Suddenly, Dad looked at my brother and said, " I think it is time for me to get out of here!"

E__ told him, if he left, his Angel, Doctor-Doctor would be so upset and would miss him too much.

Without missing a beat, Dad replied, "Oh, she will go with me, of course!"  My brother had to stifle a laugh, and as seriously as possible, agreed with Dad and went on to change the subject...

Dad began to get drowsy and sleepy, so my brother wheeled him back to his room and helped him into his bed.  E___ gave him a hug and told him, "I love you Pops".


Mom went to visit Dad after she got off work.  She leaves tomorrow to visit with our oldest brother and his family in Ohio.  Mom will be gone most of the month of June.  When Mom signed in at the front desk, she saw my youngest brother E___'s signature as the last visitor entry.  Mom was excited to see her son..

As soon as Mom greeted Dad, looking around for E__, Dad began to talk non-stop about how proud he was of E__.  He raved on about how handsome, tanned and good he looked.  He told Mom how all the ladies were looking at him.

Mom wheeled Dad down to the alcove so Mom could sit down and relax while they talked.  Dad told her how much "they" (the staff) depend on him (Dad).  He waved his arms like Vanna White, showing her all the paintings on the walls he had selected.  Mom nodded approvingly...

Six trainees walked in the side door near where Mom and Dad were seated, and greeted them.  Dad smiled and asked Mom if she had seen my brother...then asked her if she liked E__'s beard... Mom was confused.  She didn't know E___ had a beard?  Dad looked disgusted and admonished her for not recognizing her own son, walking right past her!  Mom stammered, still wondering if E___ was still here or had he left?

She told Dad, "I guess I am not very observant."  Dad agreed with her.

Dad has no concept of time, so he probably thought since E__ had just left, Mom had just arrived, and she didn't recognize E___ with a beard.... Mom was not sure if E__ had walked in with the group of trainees, and she didn't recognize him or had she passed him in the hallway coming in to see Dad?.....(Must have been comical...but not to Mom.)  She was frazzled from packing and unable to find her big red suitcase...

Dad mumbled softly then would almost yell, making his voice very loud. When Dad used to live at home, he was constantly telling me Mom needed a hearing aid too, so maybe that thought crossed his mind and made him kick up the volume for her. Mom smiled back at him,and noticed Dad had two wrist alarms, one on each wrist! (Talk about diligence and extra caution...LOL)

Dad told her they were celebrating Philippines Independence day at 2pm.  They were roasting a pig, singing songs, and all kinds of good music.  He did not want to miss any of it.

Mom has a lot of packing and things to do (and to continue the hunt for her red suitcase).  She takes the "red eye " flight out tomorrow night at 11pm, so she took Dad back to the lunch room to await the festivities.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stress Management...

I spoke with Dad this morning.  His voice was so soft I could barely hear him.  I had to keep asking him to put the phone closer to his mouth.  His voice was very garbled, so maybe he was tired.  He knew he had eaten breakfast.  I asked how Doctor-Doctor was, and I could hear him smile as he told me "she is wonderful!".

He sounded very tired so it was a short conversation.  I told him I was coming to see him very soon with lots of hugs and kisses.  That make him smile again.  I told him I loved him, and he told me he loves me too....
I hung up and I always worry when he sounds the way he did...time with him is so very precious....


I usually post stuff like this on my other blog, , but I decided to share it on this one...

****I did not write this, I received it in an email.  I researched it and it appears to be written by the modest and elusive author, Unknown Anonymous.****

A lecturer, while explaining Stress Management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked :

"How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20mg to 500mg. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.

So, my friend, why not take a while to just simply RELAX.

Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.

Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

Life is short.

Enjoy it!"

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.

* If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

* Never buy a car you can't push.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time,
because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons...Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What a wonderful day...

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful birthday wishes!  I felt very warm and fuzzy with all my phone calls.

My youngest daughter was the first to call  early this morning, (unless I count my sister's "Happy Birthday Eve" phone call last night...) followed by a serenade from my two grandsons and eldest daughter.  My sister sent me a b'day text and email.  More phone calls and emails from dear friends in California, and my Mom.  All my Facebook friends, plus two of my brothers wished me a happy 29th... :}

My daughter in law called me on my way to meet my husband for lunch.  He came home tonight with my beautiful card and, took me out to dinner and then a little gambling.  Another girlfriend from California called me during dinner. What a spoiled gal am I....

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my blogging friends for remembering me. You all, are the icing on my cupcake!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hey, I'm a versatile blogger!!!

What a wonderful surprise I received today! 
Debra at

bestowed this wonderful award to me.
Thank you so much Deb!

The rules are:

1. Thank the person who gave the Award to you and link to their blog.

2. Share 7 things about yourself that others may not know.

3. Nominate up to 15 other versatile bloggers who you recently discovered and who you think are fantastic (and link to their blogs too).

4. Let them know about the Award!

(Rules are flexible, in case you're not good with rules!)

7 Things You May Not Know About Me are:

1.  I once worked as a Go Go Dancer in a cage. I worked in a dental office during the day, in the late 60's and I needed a raise, but my chintzy employer would not give me one.  One night while scanning the ads for a part time night job, I ran across the job for Go Go Dancers.  My room mate and I had a good laugh, until she dared me to apply.  I went, I exaggerated and I got the job.  My room mate and I went to Frederick's of Hollywood and bought me a couple glow in the dark bikinis, and then to the yardage store for some snazzy add ons to the bikinis, and scrounged up some body jewelry. The ad offered $3-$5 dollars an hour, depending on experience (that's where the exaggerations came in) and I was paid $5 an hour!  That was a lot of money back in the day!  One of our patients noticed me and my night time work was discovered by my employer, who after raising a fuss, gave me my raise.

2. I am ambidextrous.

3. I absolutely, positively, LOVE going to the movies.  I still get excited when I am waiting for the movie to start.

4. I used to be able to "give the toe" with my middle toe, but now I can't due to foot cramping.

5. I will be 63 years young tomorrow.

6. I can wiggle my ears.

7. I LOVED and was obsessed with horses as a child.  Until I bought one as a teenager with my babysitting money, I had an imaginary Palomino horse with white mane and tail that I would ride home from school. I have always had a vivid and active imagination, but when my Mother was "coffee clutching" on the front porch with some neighbors, and suddenly saw me in full gallop, leaving trails of dust behind me; they began to wonder if it was a bit more than imagination... It was not until I pulled the reins, dismounted, tied my horse up on the porch post and went in the house to get him a carrot, that everyone, including my Mother, knew for sure.

My nominees are: (not in any particular order)

Kelly (September Mom) at

(Constantly Evolving)


(Allison Wonderland)

Oops, I went over by one...but you did say the rules were flexible, right?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A visit from an old friend...

My sister Holly took her Father in Law with her today to visit Dad.  They have always enjoyed one another but have not seen one another since their grandson's (my sister's son) wedding mid May of last year.

Holly had her FIL wait on the patio.  She went in and found Dad in the dining room, with his back to her.  She told Dad she had a big surprise for him and wheeled him out to the patio.

When Dad saw him, his voice filled with joy as he called to him by name!  He even asked how his wife was! 

His friend remembered when Dad had showed him some flower seeds Dad wrapped in newspaper, had watered them and was so impressed with the resulting beautiful flowers. 

Dad smiled as he remembered too.

His friend went on to tell Dad how he had actually seen some similar product on TV for sale...

Dad told him he was not surprised...

My sister snapped a picture of both of them, and one of my Dad wearing his wrist alarm on his left arm.

Their conversation stayed fairly normal for some time, and then Dad became confused and began talking about the battle at Tarawa, where Dad fought during WW II, as a Marine.  Dad would switch from the War to living in Chicago as a child and traveling the world.

Both Dad and his friend are hard of hearing and Dad talks in a soft voice most of the time, unless he is excited.  I remember we all were laughing with them the last time we were together at the wedding.  Both of them were face to face talking a mile a minute but each of them hearing a different conversation than the one they were actually having.  We over heard the correct conversation and then the responses they each had to the wrong conversation.  It was funny...and they even laughed when one of us would help them out.

They visited about an hour and it was getting a bit warm outside.  They wheeled Dad back to the dining room where all the residents were having fun tossing a large, soft rubber, bouncy ball around to one another.  The ball bounced over to Dad and he whacked it hard, sending it across the table to another resident's lap.  He laughed and slapped it to another.  My sister said it was the most active she had ever seen all the residents.  It was like a scene out of Cocoon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

And I'll tell you again...

I called the DON this morning and she immediately reassured me she would talk to the nurse and explain why Dad would be wearing the guard on his wrist.  I sure hope they are diligent with it, otherwise we will NOT be so forgiving if it would happen again!!

Mom went to visit Dad and got there as they served him his lunch.  She fed him fish, stewed tomatoes, carrot salad, bread, 3 glasses of milk, coffee and Doctor-Doctor brought him a fruit plate with cantaloupe, watermelon, orange slices and cottage cheese.  Dad wolfed that down too.

It was such a warm, beautiful day, Mom suggested they go visit out on the patio.  Dad was thrilled to be outside.  He so enjoys the colorful flowers.  Dad always considered himself a Farmer, because he loved toiling in the earth.  He and Mom would plant a garden every season.  Nothing like those fresh veggies...yum!

Dad spoke softly and flitted from topic to topic like a bee pollinating flowers.  Mom sat, smiled and nodded her head in agreement.  While they were visiting, one of Dad's fellow Pastor friends, he used to work with, stopped by to visit with Dad.  Dad was so happy to see him.  Dad and he worked as volunteer Chaplains and visited the hospital and nursing home where Dad was first admitted with his pneumonia.

His friend gave Dad all the updates on some of their mutual friends and gave him messages from various friends, patients and co-workers who asked about Dad.  Doctor-Doctor stopped in and Dad introduced her as his wife.  The Pastor's eyes widened as he quickly glanced to Mom to check her expression.  Mom smiled and told him Dad had several wives.  He winked at Mom letting her know he understood.

The Pastor left and the Social Worker walked up to them and asked if they would each like some soda with ice.  Dad guzzled it down without blinking.  Mom was getting sleepy sitting outside, despite being under a nice shady umbrella.  She asked if Dad was tired and he told her he would like to take a nap.

Mom wheeled Dad inside back to his room.  The CNA was in the process of getting Dad's room mate into bed.  She had just finished showering him.  Mom and Dad sat in the hallway while she was taking care of his room mate.  Dad told Mom how well they take care of them there and how much he enjoyed his room mate. 

When Mom could move Dad into his room, Dad pointed to the large cabbage roses on the wall border, lining his room.  He told Mom he talks to them and they give him so much peace.  Mom asked if the larger roses represented the Caregivers, and Dad perked up with a big smile, as if Mom really understood what he was referring to.

As Mom tucked Dad in, asking if he was comfortable, he looked up at her, telling her she was "still gorgeous".  She thanked him as she gave him a kiss and told him, "You've told me that before..."  Dad touched her face and said, "And I'll tell you again..."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Say what???

This morning, I went to Social Security to apply for my benefits, in preparation for my husband's retirement.  Afterward, I went to the Hallmark store at the District, for upcoming birthday cards. Fourteen, of our friends and family were born in June. I popped in Flea Bag's Barkery for some Bully Bones for Izzy and then stopped in Crazy Pita to grab a salad to go.  While standing in line, my cell rang...

It was one of the nurses at the nursing home.  She mentioned Dad's "history" of "trying to escape" and told me he had not tried in the past two weeks, so they would be discontinuing his Wander Guard on his wrist.  SAY WHAT???

I told her we had a problem with that...  She began to pontificate about the health department and some kind of compliance...  I told her I did not care about the compliance, I cared about Dad, and did not want a repeat performance of the fall he had May 7th.  She didn't seemed informed, because she brushed right over my comment, and assured me they would call me before they discontinued it.

I told her I would look into this and expected his alarm bracelet to be checked daily as I was told it was being done.  Obviously, she had other calls to make or duties to perform, because she repeated herself telling me they would call before they discontinued it.

I will be called the Director of Nursing to get to the bottom of THIS!!!  I tried several times today and the DON was in meetings...first thing tomorrow, I will give her a call...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One Year Blog Anniversary

One year ago tonight, I posted my first words on my blog. 
Some celebrate with  give aways
 been chosen to write in magazines
 profiled on other blogs
 become published
and made money.

This last year
I have become closer with my family.
I chronicled the first year
of our Father's battle
with Dementia/Alzheimer's
living away from the family
in a nursing home.

I have received wonderful support
from total strangers
who have become
loyal friends
who come to visit me daily
bringing humor, advice, prayers and support.

Generous nurses,
helping me understand.
Interesting writers,
those seeking to be
and published ones.
Writers who have become friends
and encouraged me.
Creative and talented people
who are crafty,
take beautiful photographs,
paint beautiful paintings,
share delicious recipes
and poetry
that makes me cry.

 Share their life stories,
bear their souls
and give me

They share stories of
spouses, children
and pets.

Thank you to all
who have
shared meals
shared secrets
shared grief
shared joy
shared births
shared triumphs
shared challenges,
and fun.

I look forward to
another year
with all of you.
Thank you
from the bottom
of my heart.