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, November 30, 2012

Dad's Care Conference 11-27-12

Mom and I attended Dad's Care Conference this past Tuesday, Mom in person and me, over the phone.
They started off confirming I am the first contact, then Mom, then my brother K____.

Confirmed we do not want CPR or any invasive life saving procedures....only transportation to hospital if ill, continued medications etc.

We reviewed the various services provided.  Dad had seen the Optometrist, but apart from Dad's bad right eye with the skin cancer, his left is about the same on his glasses prescription, so no new glasses were ordered.

The Opthamologist saw Dad and still requests Dad to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon.  We plan on having Dad see the Opthamologist and surgeon he saw last April, but as long as Dad is in no pain, we will not take any action as Dad would not cooperate anyway.

The Psychiatrist visited Dad and gave orders to keep Dad on his "happy pills" Lexapro and the Aracept.

Dad's toe nails had been trimmed by the Podiatrist and the nursing home it is done regularly, despite Dad having the growth on his left foot and being on Hospice.

The Dentist still wants to pull several of Dad's teeth (instead of filling them) and we continue to say NO, unless Dad has any pain.

Dad continues to have a great appetite and weighs 152 pounds.

The Activities Director extended an invitation to our family to attend their real Santa Christmas Party with food and gifts on December 14th at 12:30pm.

Dad's meds were reviewed with one new order for new antibiotic drops for Dad's right eye for a period of ten days, ordered by Dad's doctor who last saw Dad November 19th.  The doctor has been giving Dad the liquid nitrogen treatments and Dad has not complained of any pain on his left foot.

I confirmed Dad was not diabetic and the Director of Nursing assured me Dad was not diabetic.

All in all it was a good report.  Dad continues to flirt and be joyful with all the female nursing staff and hospice staff and volunteers.  We all had a good chuckle with Dad's amorous ways.

Mom popped in to visit Dad but he was snoozing in his wheel chair as holiday music waived through the air.  He looked so peaceful, Mom decided not to wake him and to come another day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"I Thought You Were Dead"....

Mom went to visit Dad yesterday for Thanksgiving.  Mom found him in the TV room watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...

When Dad noticed her, he looked at her a couple of times...then told her, "I thought you were dead".

Mom assured him she was fine and did her best to convince him he must have had a bad dream...

The nursing home staff was busy putting up fall wreaths and stand up decorations on the dining tables.  Dad told Mom the decorations were love signs for him and it made him feel....Mom said he could not vocalize the word he meant to describe how he felt, but she could tell he was happy and excited.

Looking at Mom, he shook his head and told her he could not believe she was still alive....he had thought for sure she was dead.  Kudos to Mom, she did not let it shake her and joked it off or told him it was a bad dream.  Then Dad launched into a whopping tale of a huge vehicle which went so fast he could not believe it!!!  Mom thought he meant some type of a bus...

Several of the wheel chairs, including Dad's, had 3 x 3 inch tags with a gold star in the center.  Dad told Mom the tags were to allow him and some other special residents to watch the speeding bus... Dad told Mom it went so fast it scared him.  Mom cautioned Dad to stay out of the way the next time he watches the bus...

One of the physical therapist came by and told Mom how well Dad is walking with some assistance.
It is amazing to all of us he can even stand on his left foot.

Dad told Mom he was 55 and he thought Mom was about 53.  Mom smiled and told him "That sounds about right".... (Dad is 92 and Mom is 85.)  Thank God Mom has such a great sense of humor.

Dad changed the subject again and began telling her disjointed tales of all the things he can buy outside....and especially the fish.  He catches them in his lap and the flop around so much he has to wallop it with a club.  He doesn't like it when they flip flop, so he keeps hitting them to make them stop.

Dad explained to Mom how the little girls excite him and how kind they are....(Mom knew he meant the young girls on staff.)  He pointed out a dark haired woman in a wheel chair.  He said she stays close to Dad.  She is very principled and he likes her.  Dad said she was aloof with everyone else except him...and that love calls from her to him.

Mom asked how his foot was and he told her how happy he was when the doctor came to eat the bulb on his foot...and it did not even hurt!  (The doctor is doing liquid nitrogen treatments on the skin cancer growths on Dad's left foot.  What started as a small skin cancer on his left pinkie toe, has grown into large bulbous growths on his foot... we hope the treatments will prevent infection and the need to amputate his foot or leg because of his poor circulation.)

Dad told the doctor he did not want treatment because it would cost too much.  Dad's doctor told him he was all paid up.  Dad thought it was very nice the doctor was still treating him and it did not even hurt.  Mom told Dad she was so glad to hear it and how Dad had the best doctor in town...

Goldilocks was Dad's caregiver for the day.  She had bathed Dad but had not had time to shave his face yet.  Dad really likes her and flirted with her shamelessly....  Mom was concerned with his weird tales and what appeared to be delusional thinking...but he is still on all his meds.

The hospice nurse called me today to let me know Dad was fine, still on his antibiotics for his right eye and had normal readings.  She said he was sleepy, but so happy to see (and flirt) with her...

Dad's lunch was served and smelled divine!  He had turkey with cranberry sauce, dressing with gravy, peas with tiny pearl onions and red pimentos (which Dad loved), a delicious looking fruit salad, roll and butter....(he half one half and when Mom offered him the other half he informed her he does not eat rolls), milk, pumpkin pie and ice cream.  Dad ate every crumb.

Par for the course, as soon as he finished eating, he got his sleepy eyes and told Mom he was ready for his "beauty sleep".  Mom rolled him over to Goldilocks and kissed him good-bye.

Next Tuesday we have a Care Conference for Dad.  Mom will attend in person and I will attend over the phone as I most always do.

We stayed in Nevada this Thanksgiving as I was in California the beginning of the month for Dad's birthday.  I missed my family, but we had a wonderful dinner at my husband's son's family.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Am So Grateful...Happy Thanksgiving...

Google images

I am so grateful
for our health
our family
our children
our grand children
our friends
our dog and grand pups
our life
so many
so much less
this is the day
to focus on 
our many blessings
and to let those
who mean the most
know and feel
how much
they mean 
to our lives.

I am grateful
for another year
with my Father
He lives in the oblivious bubble
of Dementia/Alzheimer's
but we are so grateful
the disease has 
brought joy
and an outgoing nature
to him
Many experience
much worse.
Each November
we celebrate his birthday
and at 92
we are so very, very
to have him with us.

I am grateful 
for all my blogging friends
despite my
break in blogging
they remain loyal
concerned and supportive.

May each and every one
of you
have a blessed
and wonderful
family/friend gathering
giving thanks
the best way for you
and may you all
be safe and healthy.

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dad's 92nd B'Day Celebration....

Today is Dad's 92nd birthday.  Yesterday, due to every one's work schedules, my brother K______, his daughter A_______, her fiance J_____, my sister Holly, her son B_______, his wife K________, Mom and I went to visit Dad and celebrate with a white cake/chocolate frosting and cards.  We found Dad sitting in his wheelchair in the hallway by the nurses station.  My brother lead us all in and when Dad saw him he let out a happy, loud, yelp and reached for him as my brother leaned down to hug Dad.

Then he saw my sister and called her Holl Doll.  He recognized Mom and me and then was so happy when Mom and my sister were helping him with the names of everyone else... Dad was elated.  He could not contain the joy he felt...

When Holly told Dad her son, Dad's grand son and his wife were having their first child and they had just found out it would be a son....Dad cheered loudly, beat his chest and punched at the air with pride and delightful approval.  We all laughed.

We were blocking the hallway with the herd of us, so we wheeled Dad outside on the patio.  It was an absolutely beautiful day.  Dad was dressed in forest green sweats and a striped forest green shirt with small blue and white stripes.  His eye looked absolutely terrible, as if his eye is getting was all goopy and gross, so my brother tactfully offered his sunglasses for Dad to wear...

We sat mostly in the shade at a round metal patio table, and the guys grabbed extra chairs so we could all sit around the table.

Dad was in rare form.  He was pontificating about "institutions" and "masterful men"....he went on and on over my brother telling us all he was Dad's best friend.  My brother is the executor of our parent's estate and has power of attorney for Dad.  He owns a trucking company, but comes to see Dad quite often, but does not share his visits with us, like the rest of us do... He keeps his visits private between he and Dad...but we could easily see how happy Dad was to see him.  Made us all so happy...

Dad's hair is growing out and it looks good!

Dad went around the table making comments to all of us....The last family outing Dad attended prior to going into the nursing home, was to my nephew's wedding.  Dad acted like he remembered their wedding and told us all what a perfect day it had been.... He was so excited to hear about their pregnancy.

I told Dad my daughter Holly and her husband Matt are also expecting the first of April, the same as my nephew B_______ and his wife K______'s baby.  They are both going to have boys.

Dad commented how beautiful my niece was and how happy he was to hear they will be getting married next May, the same month my nephew had gotten married three and a half years ago.

We called my brother Brian in Ohio so he could wish Dad a Happy brother could barely get a word in edgewise because Dad was again talking a blue-streak about him, remembering memories of him as a little boy....some of it making sense and some of it not....

After we rescued my brother from the phone, he sent his love to the rest of us through the phone's speaker and we all told him we loved him in unison.

Dad started in again on my brother K______ praising him for the jewelry store he owned....which always makes us laugh....because my brother owns a trucking company.  Dad told me I owned the nursing home...but I knew he meant I found it for him...

Dad reminded Mom she is "one of his wives....but she was his favorite"....which made us all burst into rolls of laughter....and Dad joined in the laughter with us.

Dad loved his cake....

I fed it to him and I could not get it in his mouth fast enough to suit him!  It also had a custard filling inside and Dad was loving it.  We told him Mom baked it fresh this morning for him....but really we had ordered it fresh from Stater Brothers that morning.

 Mom and I took turns reading Dad his cards...

None of us got much talking in...Dad regaled us with his stories and tales....often using his favorite words of the day, 'institution' and 'masterful'.

My sister asked Dad if he remembered Mom's phone number from over 66 years ago when they first met at a ferry stop in Seattle.  Dad remembered the phone number without a moments hesitation.  Amazing.  He told us he could not forget her number or he would have never seen her again....

It was a great visit.  The cake was delicious and we all shared lots of laughter.  We wheeled Dad back into the dining room and got him all set up for a delicious looking dinner.  We all kissed and hugged him good bye.

After we left the nursing home, we all met at our family favorite restaurant, Taco Ready.  I had a carne asada burrito with slices of avocado....see below:

It was a great day.   Saturday, Mom and I had met my sister at the Corner Bakery for lunch and a long visit, then Mom and I went to see FLIGHT with Denzel Washington.  The movie was intense, sad, with a powerful message.

Mom and I sat and talked our faces off after our birthday celebration for Dad...then Mom made a delicious dinner of lamb chops, asparagus, sweet potatoes and salad.  DELICIOUS!

This morning Mom and I ate breakfast together.  I hated to leave...Mom and I really have been enjoying one an other's company and I really wanted to stay longer...  My oldest daughter had a PTA meeting and I promised to watch the 10 year old and the 8 year old...

We all just returned from El Charro for dinner.  My grandsons are playing near me as I write.  The 8 year old is sailing his imagination on the Lego pirate ship his brother made and the 10 year old has my ear buds in listening to my iPod.

The boys get up early for school, so they will be hitting the sheets at 8:15pm.  I look forward to some one on one with my oldest daughter.  This is our first chance to talk and see the ultrasound pictures of their little son to be born next April.