It's been 1 year and 16 days since Dolly's stroke.
It's been a crazy ride with Dolly over the past year. A lot of worrying, accepting, anger and settling. I still do her laundry, even though I am secretly planting the seed for her to let the facility do them. I still visit with her often, and my visits are easier the more time passes. She has many friends in the nursing home, she hates to be away from them for too long. She loves to gossip. She soaks up every detail of her friends' family and visitors. It's very entertaining.
Julie and I take her out when we can. Julie takes her shopping. I can't imagine Julies patience for this, as I know that Dolly gets childish. I have taken her shopping, and it can be a real test. Dinner is a test as well when we take her out. Dolly wants to hear the whole menu (she has trouble reading) and protests loudly when she hears options that are 'not to her liking'. It's like a kid having a fit "NO, NO, NO...!!". She sometimes refuses to eat with utensils, which can also be very frustrating. Do you think she will grow up?
We are still in the process of cleaning her house out. She has so much stuff, it defies logic. There have been multiple carloads of stuff donated to Boomerang and the Salvation Army. I estimate about 20 car loads so far, but I can't be sure because my car is not the only one that has been loaded. Recently, we have enlisted a friend to sell some of the collectible stuff on Ebay and to include some of Dolly's stuff in a yardsale that she is having. We have to sell her house, and soon! She is running out of money so fast. We have been paying out of pocket for her room and board, medication, and incidentals for over 10 months. I can't even speculate how much money that is, but it's been at least $11,000 a month, not to mention the amount of money paid to the IRS on her behalf. I did not want this to turn into another rant, sorry.
This past weekend, Anna and her husband Michael came for a long weekend visit. It was wonderful. We went out every day that they were here. We planned to take Mom out for dinner on Saturday night, but she didn't feel well. We took her out for Memorial day at Julie and Nicks. Anna picked her up and took her home. I was off the hook. It was a gorgeous day except for the smokey air from the Quebec fires. She had a wonderful time. There was some bad behavior(we are getting used to that), but she stayed alert and awake for the whole time (about 5 hours) so I am very proud of her stamina. She didn't even get car sick, and that was a long ride.
Dolly has been getting car sick consistantly the last couple of months. I guess being confined to a wheel chair can do a number on your equalibrium which would make jerky car movements quite nauseating. I keep a 'puke bucket' in my car complete with a roll of paper towel and some plastic grocery bags for disposal. The thing is, she wants to go out so bad and so often that she ignores the sickness until its too late. I end up having to ask her continuously if she feels ok. She lies, as she does, so my intuition plays a key roll in getting the bucket under her in time.
A couple of days ago she told me that she could take Dramamine for the motion sickness. I thought that was a brilliant idea. I told her to ask her nurse if it was okay to take. She said they said it was. I planned to take her out to dinner tomorrow night, and told her I would get her some. I told her that she would have to take it 1/2 to 1 hour before I picked her up and that I was on my way to get it for her because I didn't know when I could drop it off tomorrow. She called me two minutes after we got off the phone to say that she needed to take it 1 hour before I pick her up. Ok. Good.
When I arrived tonight, I went to the nurse and asked if he needed to keep the Dramamine, or if I could leave it in her room. He didn't know anything about it, and insisted he call her doctor to see if it was okay. Any medication needed to be logged in her medication log. Well, sadly, I arrived just after 5pm and the doctor on call was not her doctor. We are awaiting an approval.
Moral of the story: Don't always believe the words of someone who wants to puke in your car.
So, now we are forced to eat at a mediocre restaurant because there isn't a great selection to choose from within a one mile radius.
Another moral of the story: Dolly says things in the hopes that they will come true. Not necessarily because they are already true. Keep that in mind when you talk to her.
I spent an hour with Dolly today after work. She was in the front hall with Marion. She has been sitting in the front hall as of late, ready to greet the visitors which she does with gusto. She knows everyone, residents as well as visitors. She has a nasty habit of blurting out personal information about whoever is passing by her just as they are passing by. For instance, a woman came in and passed by us, and just as she was passing, my mother says "her mother is 105. The oldest person in here. She looks good for having a 105 year old mother." Stuff like that. Oh, and a man getting wheeled past us, mom says "He is on oxygen now, he never was before." Her personal filter has been long lost, I'm not really sure if she had one to begin with.
The second she saw me, she started talking about how I need to take her out more. How I have to 'step up' since Julie is on vacation and I should take her out to dinner tonight. She told me that she hadn't been out in weeks...even a month! I called her on that and she laughed while she lied. It was really funny. She then demanded that she go with me wherever I go for Easter. I suppose we have to make some reservations somewhere for Easter now. We are celebrating more holidays than we ever did before her stroke.
I am cross posting this from my own blog because it is relevant.
So... I have not been so chatty lately. I am ashamed, since I really want my blog to stay current which it totally has not been. It's been a really tough year for me. In fact, before a week ago, I was only making stuff when it was requested of me. I have been totally non-creative...only fulfilling special requests, which never ceased (thanks to my loyal customers!). A little over a week ago, I got into my studio once again and have produced two very new, very rivety pendants which I had an incredibly joyous time producing. I believe I am back in the saddle so to speak. Yay!
My mother, as most of you know, had a very massive stroke last May, and is my child now. I am responsible for her, and that has put a huge ugly damper in my creative life. I feel like my imagination and drive was just pulled out from under me when I was appointed her Health Care Proxy and her Durable Power of Attorney, and my job as both has been very 'hands-on' and frequent. I would not wish this on anyone...I'm just being truthful here.
Mom is not getting better, and it's become harder and harder to deal with it on my end...the sane end. In fact, she is getting progressively worse. She doesn't try. She is stagnant. She is happy in her stagnancy. But she remains bright in other ways. She loves to eat and she loves to gossip. She is only interested in everyone else's business, not her own, which is very difficult to understand if you are an outsider. I do not even have a good click with the social worker at the nursing home because I can't explain my mothers behavior in social worker terms. She is an enigma. She has always had social issues. She has always been more interested in knowing everybody else's business than dealing with her own. This practice is more apparent to me now than ever before. She is paralyzed on her entire right side, but the paralyzation is not what keeps her back. It is the fact that she does not pay attention at all to that side of her body, but she knows everything about everyone in the nursing home. It is frustrating. What makes a person remember something frivolous and not something important? Why does one woman know every little detail about her surroundings, but does not remember the right side of her OWN body?
Scott and I took her and her friend Marion out to the deck today to soak in some sun. It was pleasant. I have learned how to have a nice visit. I do not expect anything from her anymore. I consider her my child now. She is a brilliant toddler.
I am so happy to be back at the bench and making stuff. I just got another order today. I apologize once again for my absence, and I hope to never leave you for this long again. It's so hard to write when there is nothing positive to write about.