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...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Is That A Barnacle On Your Ear?

I arrived yesterday around 4pm.  Just in time for Mom to leave for her hair appointment.  I took the opportunity to curl up on the couch and take a nap.  When she returned, we chatted awhile, then went to a local restaurant she enjoys for dinner.

This morning is my niece's birthday.  Mom made every one's breakfast and I frosted the cinnamon rolls. After a couple cups of coffee and some conversation, I received a text from my sister, asking if Mom and I would like to meet her for lunch.  Of course!

Mom and I went to visit Dad and found him in the hallway.  His male CNA had just finished getting him dressed.  We all decided to go onto the patio and visit there.  Dad was in excellent spirits.  I was happy to see he had compression stockings on both feet with the foam booties around his ankles.  I noted he needed to see the podiatrist.  He also needed a shave, his teeth brushed, a shower and some treatment to his on-going eye infection.

Dad's skin is sun damaged from constantly working out of doors.  He gets these horn like growths on various parts of his face.  He had a good sized one on his ear.  I call it a barnacle.  He continually tries to pick it off, and each time it scabs up, it grows back longer and bigger.  The one on his ear was quite pronounced and we had to keep reminding Dad to keep his hands away from it.

Dad told us, it bothered him. (We know it does not hurt him, he is conscious of it offending people.) Mom asked him, "Why? You don't have to look at it"....  Her comment tickled Dad and he roared with laughter...  He really was in such a great mood.

Dad began the conversation by telling us how melancholy he was when he woke up this morning.  I smiled happily when he told us how he talked himself out of it...

While Mom sat with Dad, I found Doctor-Doctor and asked when Dad was due for his shower, shave, and general clean up.  She told me she would take care of it.  By the time I re-joined Mom and Dad at the patio table, the male CNA who helped him earlier, returned to take Dad to get a shave.

One of the nurses popped in to visit and chat and before we knew it, Dad reappeared all freshly shaved and handsome.  While Dad began to flirt with the nurse, I slipped out to make an appointment with the podiatrist for Dad....

When I returned, I could hardly make my way back to the patio.  The Spanish church service was gathering in the dining room.  I could see through the window to the patio, the guitarist was shaking hands with Dad and patting him on the shoulder.  Apparently, he comes every week and stops to chat with Dad.  Dad LOVES the music.

The service started and the music waived from the dining room.  Dad would periodically close his eyes and sway and tap along with the music...

Mom and I took turns sharing the latest family news with Dad.  He nodded and smiled and enjoyed hearing about the family. Dad was not very talkative, but was in such a good mood.

Doctor-Doctor came out to visit Dad and of course, her presence, lit him up like Times Square! He expressed his great love for her, unabashedly in front of all of us.  We are accustomed to it and totally understand his feelings.  He was meowing to her because of the Hello Kitty smock she was wearing.  We all laughed and appreciated his humor.  Doctor-Doctor told us Dad was calling her Mrs. Me-ooooow, and really throwing off the student nurses. When she exaggerated the "meow" in her comment, Dad erupted in hysterics, which brought on more laughter from all of us.  It is so good to see Dad so happy and laughing so hard.

After awhile, his physical therapist came, to take him for his exercises.  The guitarist rushed over and told him good bye and told him he would see Dad the following week.  We told Dad we would see him later (he has his CT SCAN on Monday at 12:30 pm) and kissed him good bye.

As the therapist pulled him through the door backwards, Dad was facing us, and still blowing us kisses.  We both returned the kisses to him and waved until he was out of sight...

When Mom and I were in the car, Mom told me she has not heard Dad laugh as much and as hard as he has this past year, compared to the last several years he was at home.

I drove Mom and I to Joey's BBQ in Pomona, to meet my sister. We had a great lunch, good conversation and enjoyed the food immensely.  My sister returned to work and I drove Mom and I back to Mom's house. Mom took the love seat, and I took the couch, and you guessed it, we both curled up for another nice nap!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Off Tommorrow On The Road To Love...

I leave (hopefully) early tomorrow morning for California.  Thursday and Friday I will be helping Mom around her house.  Saturday, I spend with my sister.  Sunday is my daughter's baby shower for little Jacob.  It will be announced at the shower on Sunday what his middle name will be...

Sunday, I will see both my daughters and many friends I have not seen in a long while, at the shower.  I hope we can work it out so my brothers, sister, Mom and I can all get together for a dinner and conversation.

Monday is my Dad's CT Scan.  We would really appreciate every one's prayers and positive thinking, so Dad may not even need sedation for his CT Scan, but if he does, let him recuperate quickly with no lasting effects.

Monday night I spend the night with my eldest daughter and my two grandsons, and then I leave Tuesday morning.

I had a dead battery this morning, and getting that resolved, put me way behind in doing all I need to do before I leave tomorrow.  Turns out it was not the battery, but the hardware attaching the cables to the battery.  They did not have the part needed, and know how important my trip to CALI is, so they did a kind of patch job by replacing the hardware.  Hopefully, it will not give me any problems...

Until we talk again...happy weekend to everyone...hugs and Blessings to you all!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kindle 2, Kindle DX, Nook, Or Sony Reader?

Just a shout out to everyone in the blogshere... Does anyone have any experience or opinions of which of these e-books is best?  Just curious.  I am considering getting one...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just Hearing His Voice...

I finally made contact with Dad.  His Doctor-Doctor was putting him in bed to take a nap.  There is a concert later on today and she wanted him to rest so he could enjoy himself.

Dad sounded tired.  He kind of talked in circles and slurred his words.  I can tell when he is exhausted.  I just kept telling him I loved him and it was so good to hear his voice.  He enjoyed hearing my voice and told me he loved me too.

Doctor-Doctor had bought herself and Dad some Chinese food for lunch.  I know Dad enjoyed it!  She is so thoughtful and kind with Dad.  We are so very blessed to have her caring for him.

She told me she will talk to her Supervisor on Monday, to see if she can accompany Dad in the transport  van, when he goes to the hospital to have his CT Scan.  I will meet them at the hospital.  I told her if she had any problems being able to get off, to let me know.  After all, Dad would not need the CT Scan had he not had the fall at the nursing home...

I never realized how uptight I get when I can't talk with Dad.  After we talked, I feel like someone just removed a 200 lb. sack of cement off my shoulders.  I can take a deep breath, a happy sigh, and have a big smile on my face the rest of the day.  I love Dad so much...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Strength Of A Man...

"The strength of a man isn't seen in the width of his shoulders,
It's seen in the width of his arms that circle you.

The strength of a man isn't in the deep tone of his voice,
It's in the gentle words he whispers.

The strength of a man isn't how many buddies he has,
It's how good a buddy he is with his kids.

The strength of a man isn't in how respected he is at work,
It's in how respected he is at home.

The strength of a man isn't in how hard he hits,
It's in how tender he touches.

The strength of a man isn't in the hair on his chest,
It's in his heart...that lies within his chest.

The strength of a man isn't how many women he's loved,
It's in how he can be true to one woman.

The strength of a man isn't in the weight he can lift,
It's in the burdens he carries."

~ Jacqueline Marie Griffiths ~

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Navy, The Marines, A Movie, And An Appointment For A CT SCAN...

I called the nursing home this morning to see if Dad's primary care physician had been to see him this past week, as he told me he would.  The charge nurse told me the doctor had not been to see Dad, but she usually sees him on Fridays, so maybe he would come today.

I sent the doctor a brief email, as a follow up, and asked him to please contact me after he saw Dad.  I reminded him again, if possible, how much I would appreciate Dad's scan to be scheduled on Monday, August 2nd, when I am in California.

I called Mom to fill her in, as well as writing an email to the family.  Mom told me she was going to visit Dad today, but was concerned about his foot wounds.  We discussed her talking to his skin/wound care nurse.  The last time Mom visited, the skin care nurse advised us taking Dad back to his vascular surgeon as she is very concerned about the poor circulation in both his legs.

The few times I took Dad to see his vascular surgeon, he emphasized repeatedly to have Dad wear his compression stockings.  He told me to make sure Dad put them on before stepping foot out of bed in the morning, and removing them when he was going to bed for the night. I know if we took Dad, the first question out of the vascular surgeon's mouth would be to ask if Dad is wearing his stockings.  If we tell him we are not making Dad where them, I doubt he will have much sympathy.

Mom went to visit Dad and found him sitting with the "hand holding" gentlemen at a table in the lunch room.  Dad had his eyes closed. When Mom sat down and greeted them, Dad smiled, but kept his eyes closed.  He told her he has to keep his eyes closed because he doesn't want to look at the young girls with such longing...

Several of the staff, including Doctor-Doctor came to visit and chat with Mom.  Mom pulled her aside and slipped $40 into her smock pocket, to make up for us canceling Dad's last CT Scan, where she had planned to ride with Dad in the transport van.  Doctor-Doctor tried to refuse it, but Mom insisted.  She told Mom she would buy things for Dad with it.  Mom told her it was for HER!

The CNA brought Dad a glass of Ensure, which he downed quickly.  Shortly after his lunch of fish sticks, tartar sauce, spinach, baked french fries, whole wheat bread, butter, milk, coffee and ice cream was served.  Possibly he was full from the Ensure because he did not want his lunch.  He told Mom he had too much to do and was going to work in the garden in back...

Mom told him the nurses would not let him work so hard if he did not eat properly and have the energy.  He still refused and wanted nothing else to eat.  When I spoke with the charge nurse this morning, she told me Dad had to be persuaded to eat more of his breakfast.

Dad's friend at the table was a gunner on a Navy ship in the South Pacific. Mom said he and Dad were having some conversation.  Dad told Mom his friend was a fellow Marine.  The gentleman spoke up and corrected Dad, reminding him he was in the Navy, and he helped haul the Marines to wherever they wanted to go.

Dad shut his eyes again.  Mom asked if he was tired and wanted to return to his room.  Dad let her know the staff would take care of him.  Mom told him she was going to leave and he asked her why, still keeping his eyes closed. Mom explained my brother had painted her craft room and she was busy sorting and putting everything back in the room.  Dad simply told her good bye and seemed aloof.

I got a call around 4pm from the nursing home, informing me Dad's physician had been in to see him and written orders for the CT SCAN.  She asked what time would be convenient for the scan, 7:30 am or 12:30 pm.  I figured Dad would have a chance to eat some breakfast if he had the later appointment, so that is what we settled upon.

I let her know we would request Doctor-Doctor to go with Dad in the transport van and asked her to let the scheduling lady know.  She told me she would.

I called Doctor-Doctor and she told me she would be glad to.  She would check with her supervisor the next day and check her schedule.  She told me she would call me back, once she found out if she was scheduled off or not.

I had a relaxing  and productive day today.  My neighbor and I went to Panera Bread for lunch and she suggested the Fuji Pear Chicken Salad.  It was delicious! Afterward, we planned on seeing KARATE KID, but when we got to the theatre, we were told it was no longer showing.  So we got back in the car and went to another theatre and saw TOY STORY 3.  It was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!  I even cried.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

To Let Go...

I invite your feed back on this poem and how you interpret it. 

I read it, thinking of varying relationships I have, and it applies to each one, although, each relationship is so different.

I am not sure I can apply this to my Dad...I admit, I feel very protective of him...


"To let go doesn't mean to stop caring;
It means I can't do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off....
It's the realization that I can't control another.....

To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny, but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more."

**** I found this poem on  It is a website for Caregivers
for Dementia.  There was no author listed, so I do not know who to give credit
for this incredible poem of wisdom, love, understanding and compassion.  ****

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thank You To Whoever Invented ICY HOT PACKS...

My back is improving,thanks to ICY HOT PACKS. I was able to walk Izzy this morning, take her to get groomed, meet my husband for lunch and do some rummaging around some thrift stores. I found a Vera Bradley wallet/checkbook holder for .49 cents. I found some socks with Kocopelli designs and some pink ones with tiny red hearts....99 cents each. I found a dog bed with a zipper cover so I could wash it, for $5 and a cute soft, rosebud printed baby blanket with Sweetheart embroidered on one corner...for $1.99. Perfect for Izzy's bed.

I also found two baby gates for a total of $8. They are normally $10-$12 each, at Walmart. My girlfriend up the street, has the same model house we do, and we walk our dogs together. She puts her dog in the kitchen area and puts up the baby gates. We put Izzy in her crate when we go out, otherwise she will go outside the dogie door and bark at anyone opening their garage or anyone walking a big dog. We don't want her to disturb the neighbors, so we lock her up.

When I leave during the day, she has the run of the house and uses her doggy door when she needs "to go". She rarely barks during the day, only at night, I guess to protect her packs property. She looks so forlorn, like she is being punished when we put her in we might try putting her in the kitchen when we leave and see how she does.

My husband is so glad I am feeling better and moving around, he told me to be ready when he gets home, because he is taking me out to dinner. I have a coupon for a two for one dinner at Sunset Station's Buffet.

Better get myself freshened up. Thank you everyone for all your well wishes and kind thoughts.

*** This is a dupkicate post to the one posted on my other blog, Discovering The Purpose Of Our Lives...please excuse my laziness. ***

Monday, July 19, 2010

Everything I Need To Know, I learned From Noah's Ark...

I wrenched my back over the am moving kind of slow... hurts to sit at the computer too long...
So here is an email Mom sent me:  I thought it had some good advice:

Noah's Ark

Everything I need to know,
I learned from Noah's Ark .

ONE: Don't miss the boat.

TWO: Remember that we are all
 in the same boat!

THREE: Plan ahead.
It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old,
someone may ask you to do something really big.

FIVE: Don't listen to critics;
 just get on with the job that needs to be done.

SIX: Build your future on high ground.

SEVEN: For safety's sake,
 travel in pairs.

EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage.
 The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

NINE: When you're stressed,
float awhile.

TEN: Remember,
the Ark was built by amateurs;
the Titanic by professionals.

ELEVEN: No matter the storm,
when you are with God,
 there's always a rainbow waiting.

God Bless you all
My dear blogging friends.
May you each
and every one
have a wonderful
and safe week.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dad Entertained The Room With His Piano Playing.....(on the table...)

Mom and my sister went to visit Dad today. He was sitting in the dining room at a table.  He was over joyed to see them!  They wheeled him outside, found some shade on the patio, where he grinned ear to ear...

Dad closed his eyes and
talked their ears off for a half hour.
He belly laughed several times
as he told them about his dreams in vivid detail...

My sister asked how his feet were,
and of course, he told her,
 "my feet are great and they don't bother me at all."
Dad was wearing non-slip slipper socks
with his white tennis shoes...
so I  hope it will not interfere
with his sore toe and the side of his foot....

My sister planned on taking photos
of Dad's feet
but he was in such great spirits,
she did not want to chance upsetting him.
He told her the staff had already taken
pictures of his feet.

Dad told them he was very happy
 I called him on the phone.
My sister told him I call every day
 and check on him.
Dad smiled a reassured smile.

Dad was in the process of telling them
how much he loved music,
just as music began
coming from the dining room.
Mom wheeled him back inside,
as my sister followed.
A  player piano filled the room
 with wonderful music,
setting the mood for lunch.
Dad asked them to move him
closer to the piano
and Dad began to
play the piano on the table.
He smiled as he moved his fingers
 up and down the table...
I am sure his imagination
had him playing a fine concerto!

He seemed very happy and pleased.
My sister video taped Dad
playing his imaginary piano...
She will email it to each of us,
once she gets it uploaded.

The staff began to serve lunch,
so Mom and my sister kissed Dad good bye...
As always,
 my sister stood at the door,
and blew him a kiss....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Knock Me Over With A Feather...

Got an email from Dad's primary doctor!
He let me know he will see Dad next week. 

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dad Is Re-Enlisting In The Marines...

Mom battled the heat and went to visit Dad.  She found him sitting in the hall by his room, in his wheel chair, with his eyes closed. Dad recognized her voice, opening his eyes to greet her with a pleased expression on his face. 

The Skin Angel was just beginning to treat Dad's big toe.  She is very concerned with his lack of circulation in his left foot.  She suggested we take Dad to the vascular surgeon he used to see before being admitted to the nursing home.  I know the vascular surgeon will ask why Dad is not wearing his compression stockings.  When I took him to his appointments, he would always stress the importance of putting them on Dad BEFORE he even stepped out of bed, and only when he retired to bed for the night, should we remove them.

Dad hates to wear them and gets very agitated when the staff try to put them on his legs.  Mom and the majority felt it was not worth upsetting him.  I worry it may lead to amputation.  I know that would be devastating to Dad, as well as the rest of us who love him...

She also discussed Dad drinking more water with Mom.  Again, we all know this, encourage him at every visit...but Dad fights it because "what goes in, must come out" and I don't think he will ever completely adjust to having the staff change his pants. She also told Mom Dad has a rash around  his "privates".

God, some times I don't know which is worse, lingering away your health and dignity in a nursing home or dying suddenly without a chance to say good bye...Despite the excellent care Dad receives, I think I prefer the fast exit...

Mom wheeled Dad into the dining room to await his lunch.  Several of the "regulars" were there, and walked or wheeled their way over to Mom and Dad to visit.  One white haired lady asked Mom if she knew her.  Mom smiled and told her she had seen and talked with her before.  The lady smiled and seemed happy.  One of Mom's favorites, wheeled himself over and grabbed the white haired Lady's left hand. They held hands and talked softly to one another while Mom listened to Dad tell her he was thinking of re-enlisting in the Marines...

Dad told Mom he needed cash for some trips he has planned.  He keeps talking of getting a job in sales.
Mom told Dad both he and she had earned their retirement and he should just relax and enjoy it.

When the CNA brought the lunch trays, the gentleman still doing the hand holding with the white haired lady, began to complain loudly about the "same ol' food being served here every day".  Oblivious, Dad complimented the food as he stuffed his face with a meat burrito, salsa, green beans and Spanish rice. He told Mom how much the food had improved. Meanwhile, in between cuss words, and never letting go of his white haired lady's hand, the older gentleman had cleaned his plate.

Mom showed Dad a bowl of fresh oranges and bananas, which he reached for, smacking his lips with anticipation.  While Dad was drinking his coffee, "nice and hot and good", Mom mixed his ice cream in his second glass of milk, just the way he likes it and he drank it right down.  We all marvel how Dad never gets "brain freeze".

Mom shared some family news telling Dad about talking with his sister. Dad looked a bit confused as if he was trying to put a face to her name.  Then, as if it came into focus, Dad said he was sure she was busy watching her grand children. When Mom reminded Dad her grand children were all grown up, Dad looked at Mom with a strange expression.

The CNA put on a video of various "oldies but goodies" tunes and everyone was tapping their feet and singing along.

Mom said it was a great visit.


One of the nurses called Mom around dinner time.  She wanted to know if we would mind moving Dad back across the hall to the room he used to have.  Mom told her it was fine, as long as it was OK with Dad.  I think Dad will enjoy the extra room and being near the window.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

He's A Happy Guy With The Appetite Of A Horse...

I called the nursing home.  The charge nurse told me they did the Doppler and would not have the results til 6pm tonight. I was able to talk with Dad around 2pm.  He even picked up the phone in his room.  He had just finished a nap and was waiting for the nurse to come to get him up and ready "for action".

Dad sounded W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!!! 

He told me he was "feeling fine and is "a happy guy".

He told me he had a big breakfast with eggs and a good lunch.  He said he was "eating like a horse".

I told him how hot it was here, and he said it was warm there, but they get the nice breeze from the ocean.  Dad boasted about Southern California having the best climate due to the ocean breezes.

I reminded him when we used to go to the beach, and he would float on his back, out past the waves.  All we could see was his head, feet and glimpses of his white swim trunks.  He was a great swimmer.  I asked if he remembered when I would worry about him being in the water and the sharks.  He usually laughs when I bring up that story, but today he was very serious and told me it was important to look out for sharks when in the ocean.

I told him my two grandsons were taking swim lessons and he was very glad to hear that.  He wanted to know what they were "up to" and I told him of their recent vacation to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, the beach, and loving the pools at the hotels.  My daughter just got them a big above ground pool for their backyard.

I told Dad, the boys Father made sure they were Yankee fans.  Dad roared with laughter, since he and Mom are Angel fans.  He loved that the youngest grandson is getting almost as tall as his older brother, and is such a sports fan.

I told him of my youngest daughter's baby shower the end of the month.  He remembered she is having a boy and what his name will be.  I told Dad we don't know the middle name yet, but will find out at the shower... He was so happy to know my two older grandsons will have a new cousin to watch over...

The CNA came in to get Dad dressed and to take him out for the afternoon activities, so he thanked me for calling and I told him I would talk to him soon and see him the end of the month...


The skin care nurse phoned me at 3:15pm to inform me Dad has a cut on the tip of his left big toe and she will be treating him. She said it was purple and swollen. Before Dad entered the nursing home over a year ago, he had a popped blister on the side of his left foot near his baby toe.  It has never completely healed.

Just when it starts to look like it is healing, Dad wears shoes or sandals, irritating his foot and the skin gal has to treat it again.  The main problem is Dad's poor circulation in his legs, so it is difficult to heal because the blood does not circulate properly. She does not want his toe to get like the side of his foot.

Poor Dad, he has so many medical problems...we just have to take one day at a time...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Weight of The World...

I called the nursing home today to talk with Dad.  The charge nurse informed me Dad's left foot was slightly swollen, purplish and cold to the touch.  They no longer put the compression stockings on Dad because he does not like them.  All they will do is have him elevate his feet.  This usually happens in the hotter months. Dad has terrible circulation in both his legs.

I informed her about Dad's primary, possibly ordering the CT SCAN.  She told me she was just going to call him, so she would mention that to him as well.  I told her I would be coming to California the end of this month, for my daughter's baby shower, and if they would schedule the scan for Monday morning, I would go with Dad.  Mornings are the best time for Dad.  The later in the day, the worse our chances are for him cooperating...

I wanted to speak with Dad, but he was in the shower with the attendant...

When I called back later, the nurse told me the primary was ordering a Doppler test for Dad tomorrow morning.  She told me they put some socks on him and it seemed to warm up his feet.  I have no idea how they would allow Dad to have bare feet and be in a wheel chair, and I told her so.  He could easily bruise his ankle bone or tear the skin on his foot.

I asked if the primary would order the CT Scan.  She told me he would wait one week, then come to see Dad, and I guess review the Doppler results too.  She said she told him about my being in town and would accompany Dad for a CT Scan and requested it in the morning.  He told her, "they had plenty of time"...

Today is one of those days, it feels like the weight of the world in on me...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Decision Time...

Its been a busy couple of days.  My husband's sons had a reunion party with several of their old friends from their high school who lived in their childhood neighborhood.   My husband was very popular with most of his friends, so they wanted us to attend. One of their friends is afraid of flying, but flew from Texas to see everyone.

Meanwhile, my family and I brainstormed on the best plan of action with Dad.  My sister in law and I are the only ones with major apprehensions with the scan.  She too had a bad experience with CT Scan and her parent who had Alzheimer's.  We voted to go with the majority, and go forward with the CT Scan. Hopefully Dad will do well with the sedation and the results will show the bleed has resolved itself.

I pursued calling the neurologist's office until I finally spoke with the doctor today.  He told me he had to see Dad for insurance purposes if he is going to refer him for a CT Scan.  He asked why Dad's primary care physician didn't order it.  He told me he would consult with him regarding the sedation and the results as a professional courtesy.  He seemed irritated and told me Dad's primary doctor had not called him once regarding Dad, and since he already goes to the nursing home and knows Dad's case history better than he, why wasn't he ordering the scan?  GOOD QUESTION!

The neurologist told me Dad would most likely get an injection of Valium, which should be out of his system in 5-6 hours.  He could not believe the reaction my Mother in Law had from the sedation...

Our main concern was not to upset Dad any more than we had to.  Taking him outside the nursing home to a neurologist office, would definitely make Dad anxious. It is such a better plan having the primary care order the scan, instead of the neurologist.  The fact the neurologist will consult with the primary, solves our problem.

I wrote the primary care physician today, asking him to please order the CT Scan, so Dad won't have to have two outside appointments, instead, just the one for the scan.  He responded the same day!!  Guess he has figured out my emails are shorter, the quicker he responds...

Dad's doctor told me he would consider ordering the scan after consulting with the neurologist and he would have to look at his schedule...hope it works out...I let Dad's doctor know I would stay a day longer if the scan could be scheduled on Monday, August 2nd.

I will call the charge nurse tomorrow, to let her know the primary doctor may be scheduling the CT Scan, so he would need to see Dad.

With everything going on, I have not had the opportunity to talk with Dad.  Each time I have tried to call, he was showering, eating, sleeping...the usual.  That is the worst part of being 250 miles is so difficult to make contact over the phone...

Tomorrow is a new day. I plan to start early, calling to speak with Dad.  I miss him.  Just the sound of his voice... hearing the joy he sends me over the wires, when we talk, puts me at ease and calms me...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Preparations, Cleanup and Paybacks...

I called the nursing home first thing this morning. I pulled an "all night er" of productivity.  I have been working on my office space, attempting to make it more creative and inspiring.  I am toying with the idea of writing a book on Dad...

I told the charge nurse to please PUT A BIGGER NOTE ON DAD'S CHART....






What part of "I am the first contact" do they NOT UNDERSTAND?

My brother K________ is having a yard sale at Mom's house today.  He has been working on the garage in between customers.  Mom said he has worked wonders in there getting it organized.
Dad (and Mom) are pack rats, with my Dad having a bigger lead...  Dad saved every nut, bolt, screw, burnt light bulb.  He rarely threw anything away, and when he did, he recycled.

When he was home, he would over turn all the City trash cans two days before trash day, spread all the trash out on a tarp in the backyard, and then proceed to sort and pic through our trash.  Any plastic containers would be singled out and washed.  Any tin or aluminum, string, rubber bands....all separated and saved. We found boxes and boxes of tin foil balls in his room and desk!

You get the picture.  He was EXTREMELY neurotic, obsessive and compulsive.  He drove Mom crazy!!

My brother has organized the garage and re stacked his daughter's storage (my niece lives with Mom) and Mom's storage, and some of Dad's stuff we are saving for family members.

My other brother S_______ hauled E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G from Mom's craft room upstairs and cleaned, washed her windows, re-hung the blinds and re-painted.  The room has exceptionally great light, and it is where Mom likes to sit and needlepoint all the great grand kids Christmas stockings.
She has been painstakingly working on my youngest grandson's stocking.  When she finishes, she has my youngest daughter's son to be born mid September, to start.

Mom also loves to read, or write to her many pen pals all over the world at her roll top desk, or listen to her iPod, my sister and I gave her for one of her birthdays...

She has TONS of material stashed in filing cabinets and gift bags, various colors of tissue wrap, ribbons and gift boxes. She could open her own store...  She is in the process of cleaning all of that out before she moves it, her sewing machine, and new chair, back into the room.  She has ordered carpet and an electrician to add more electrical plugs.

Dad would NEVER ALLOW her to hire any one to come in and fix or repair.  He did not like strangers in the house and he thought he could figure it out...  Problem was, over the fifty something years they have lived in the house, Dad has had the same number of years in unfinished projects.

Slowly but surely, what my brothers can not do, Mom is hiring a handy man to do.  She is finally, after all these years, getting the house fixed properly, eliminating a lot of the clutter, and making it look nice enough so Mom can enjoy herself there instead of being overwhelmed.  It is not an over night fix, this has been an on going year long pursuit, and is still far from finished.

Lots of preparations, cleanup and payback for Mom's years of Care giving for Dad and having to deal with Dad's chaos. Thank you Mom, we love you...

Dad Is NOT a Happy Camper...

Mom went to visit Dad.  Not good.  He was full of complaints.

No one comes to visit him.
The food is terrible and making him sick.
Worried about the boys being in a gun battle.
He hears gun shots all the time.
His Angel, Doctor-Doctor is gone. (Today is her day off.)
He misses his "Goldilocks" (Doctor-Doctor)
He wanted Mom to bring him a nice dress shirt, dress pants, tie and shoes...
He wants to take his "beloved" (not Mom) out on a date.
He needs a car.
He going to get a sales job so he can have some money.

Just as they brought him his lunch, he told Mom to take him back to his room.

Not a good visit.  Mom was all shook up.


Later tonight, Dad called Mom at home to continue his rant...

She barely said "Hello..." and Dad was blasting her with both barrels!!





Mom attempted to tell him they did not have a lawyer....


That is all Mom mentioned in her email...but Dad said plenty more, so it must have been extremely traumatic for Mom.

Mom told Dad she would call the lawyer...and then called the station nurse.  She confirmed Dad was fine other than he had been very agitated all day.  (Yet again, I did not receive a phone call. I told the nurses to put a big note on Dad's chart to CALL ME if Dad acts up or is upset...)

Mom was so upset, she told the nurse NOT TO ALLOW him to call her any more because she gets too upset.

I will call them tomorrow to tell them to have Dad call me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I sent out another email to the doctor, after I called his office and spoke with the gal I have left most of my messages with.  Not sure if it was my rant or my email, but I got an email back from the doctor.

He told me the delay was "all the patients he has in the hospital" and Dad's case is "too complex" to give out "quick answers". 

Apparently, he did not read my email too closely, because he kept harping on why Dad needed to see the neurologist and get a CT Scan.  He explained he told his office girl to forward the message to me about "a fall and a brain bleed have the same result; a stroke, but they are brought on differently." -- huh?

He totally ignored the fact, as I had explained in detail in my email, I could NOT GET ANY ANSWERS from the neurologists office.  The girl was a complete unsympathetic snot and was rude.  Dad's doctor just kept reiterating how" if we had taken Dad to the neurologist, we could have gotten the answers"...

Is it me, or is this doctor, thick in the head?

His last paragraph, sarcastically mentioned "since we felt it was too inconvenient to take Dad to the neurologist, it would be a good time to bring up Hospice for Dad..."  Talk about taking what I said out of context!!  I explained we had never had to take Dad to an outside doctor appointment.  ALL the doctors treating Dad, including the Psychiatrist (Head of Staff, mind you) see Dad in the nursing home.  We thought the neurologist would too, for Pete's Sake.

I had explained, in order to take Dad, one of my brothers would have to take off work to go with Mom, because Mom cannot handle him herself, plus she is scared to death riding in her car will trigger Dad to ask to come home.  Plus, we have to pay $15 an hour to hire a CNA to go with Mom and my brother due to Dad's incontinence.  Plus, we KNOW the doctors want a CT Scan, but we still have reservations and wanted his professional opinion on side effects for Dad since he has dementia.  And, I could not get answers from the neurologist or his condescending office girl. I tried to find out IF he planned on doing any manual tests on Dad, and if not, why did Dad even have to go to the consultation.  Couldn't Mom and my brother go?

I sent an email to my family and we have some brainstorming and conferencing to do this weekend....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


What is so dang difficult?  I used to work for doctors.  Why can't these bozos working for doctors, give a simple phone message?  Doctors are busy, so staff is suppose to remind him.  What do I have to do to get a bloody response?? 

The doctor TOLD ME emailing was the best way to communicate with him.  I can only assume he is either not getting the messages or not reading his email.  I sent him an email 6-23-10, did not hear back so I canceled Dad's appointment.  I sent another email on 6-30-10, still nothing.  I have called at least once each day asking two separate girls in his office to PLEASE either have the doctor call or respond to my email.

I have spoken with one girl more than the other.  I worked on another email today, but have not sent it.
If he were MY doctor, no problem, I'd get another...I am trying to work with this guy...but I am really beginning to think we should get Dad a new doctor.

I am ready to have one of my brothers go to his office...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Talent, Injuries, Cuteness and Challenges...

This is the card and envelope my sweet Sister
made for me for my birthday...

These are $1.00 flip flops from Michael's,
that my talented Sister adorned
with paper flowers she made.
She made me a pair
and sent them to me.

She has many instructional videos
on her blog:
if you wish to learn how
to make the flowers
or some cards.

I burnt my middle finger
of my right hand
 on our new
toaster oven last Friday.
That wad of gauze gets in the way
in a major way
when I type...

Here is my precious little girlie dog,
sitting patiently
by my chair
waiting for me
to finish her photo shoot
so I will pick her up
and pet her in my lap...

This is Izzy's fake smile
when I ask her to smile
for the camera....

This is my messy desk
where I write on my blog
I need a make over desperately
I need to make it
way more inspirational.
I have a very talented blogger friend
who is going to
give me some ideas.
I will keep you posted...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day Everyone!!!

Happy 4th of July!

May you and yours
always feel safe and free.
May you be happy,
healthy and loved.
May you spend the day
with those you love,
or cozied up in a chair
or a couch,
nappin', snackin' and watchin' TV.
May you choose to visit
your blog friends
or just have a day
for you.
May you feel free to do
is your inclination.
May you watch fireworks
with a crowd,
on TV,
 enjoy your own,
Today is all about freedom.

~dkb ~

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Treating The Person vs Treating the Disease...

"You treat a disease,
you win, you loose.
 You treat a person,
I guarantee you,
you'll win,
no matter what the outcome."

~ Dr. Hunter Patch Adams~

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blow Me A Check...and a Voice Calling Him Grandpa...

I finally reached Dad today a little past 2pm.  The charge nurse told me they had just put him to bed because they were having a big barbecue later on.  I asked to be transferred to his room.  Dad answered the phone all chipper and happy.  Luckily, he had not fallen asleep...

"Hi Donna! It's to good to hear your voice!" 

That made my day. :}

I told him how much we had enjoyed our last visit with him and how good he looked.  I told him I loved him and missed him so very much.

He sounded so good and very happy.  He was in such great spirits.  I mentioned I should let him rest so he can enjoy the BBQ and pretty girls.  He told me he was looking at a pretty girl, right now!  He gushed how well she takes care of him and how happy he is.

I asked him to blow me a kiss...and he thought I asked to "write him a check".  I laughed and repeated myself, louder...

"Blow me a check?' he asked.

Giggling, I began making kissing noises and yelled, "BLOW ME A KISS!"

He roared with laughter and returned the kissing sounds back to me, telling me I was his "sweetie" and how he "missed me".

We said our good byes and I could still hear the joy in his voice...

I went to my computer to write about our phone call and found Mom had sent us all an email about her great visit with is Mom's email...

Hi Everyone,

Had a great visit with Don this morning. Arrived as he was finishing up his bicycle pedaling in P/T. Then we went in the lunch room and talked while we waited for his meal.

I told him what a wonderful visit you all had on Father's Day and he agreed. But he really wasn't "with it" conversation wise. The TV was on in the lunch room and he told me he is in charge of approving the TV programing, especially regarding sex (and he leered at me). Then he said they are finally building a fast rail system to Vegas using his invention. Said he worked on it with his Dad and Uncle.

He said he was in good physical shape and he balled up his fist as if to punch. He said he had to be ready to protect himself. "They" had accused him of murder and Hol-Doll was involved also, but he had a great lawyer. He pointed to the gal in the wheelchair who yells loudly and says basically nothing. Don raved about her marvelous memory and how she is so sharp in the court room. There was a new lady sitting at Don's table and she didn't converse with anyone, but blurted out a few words every now and then; "toenails are dead", "that's the way it goes".

Didn't see Doctor-Doctor which disappointed me because I want to reimburse her for the shift she lost by agreeing to go with Dad to the doctor.

D___ is back being his skin angel and L____ said she is taking care of Dad now too. Talked to O_____ (who combines Dad's ice cream and milk and calls it a shake and he LOVES it!), J_____, M_____, J_____ and a couple more I am not sure of their names, came to visit and say "hello".

Dad ate a fillet of fish sandwich, mixed veggies, cold slaw, "milkshake", pineapple upside down cake, coffee and passed up the french fries. O____ asked him if he wanted a fruit plate and he grinned and shook his head, yes. She brought him Cottage cheese surrounded by watermelon and pear slices which he loved. I offered him a banana I peeled and he scarfed it.

A couple came in to see a family member and the Dad carried a little girl about one. Everyone responded to her smile. Dad told me he misses his grandchildren and said he hears "a voice" calling him Grandpa from a very young child...He told me, "I have no idea how many new babies I have, and they are my responsibility."

He seems very content and certainly has a good appetite.

All in all, it was a good visit.

Love to each of you,

Mom aka Granny