Monday, October 19, 2009

On the road again

Am on the way to California as we speak. Actually I am sleepless in Winslow Arizona and have given up tossing and turning in favor of playing with actual working internet. Should get home late tomorrow (Tuesday)if I don't have to stop and walk off the need to make up for not sleeping tonight.

Plans must be made. Too many people to see, too many things to do. But of course I haven't made plans because I will have to play it by ear. But I do plan to watch the senior homecoming skit and visit around school on Thursday. Other visits will have to be scheduled. Contact my secretary if you can find such a person.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Zombie Cows
Driving home late at night I have discovered the zombie cows. They stand in the middle of the road, and stare at me. I creep forward slowly and they stare at me. I bump them gently and they stare at me. Finally another bump and they slowly begin to shift. Eventually they move out of the road and I continue. This has happened twice.

Crooked Creek is in Kansas on Highway 23. This is the medium way home, 58 miles, all pavement. Just wanted to prove that the fall colors are arriving

Ten days later

Ten days later and we are really in the routine. I have started going home for an occasional overnight. They have given me the key to the family apartment at the home and it resembles a Motel 6, without the shampoo. But it is excellent having a place to lie down, take a nap, take a shower or just hide. At first I set my alarm for every 2 hours during the night, and gradually went to 3 then 4 then visited around 5 am. I would walk down the looonnngggg hall, check on her and sit if she was nightmaring or awake, or go back to the room if she was asleep.

The good days are great, the bad days are better than the best days last month. Yesterday we actually played solitaire with her telling me where to put the cards. She doesn't have enough fine motor control to put the cards where she wants them, but she has me. And when I remember that for two months she didn't remember how to play solitaire, I have hope that she will make a decent recovery.

We are visiting the hospital every 36 hours for antibiotic infusion. It takes from 2 to 5 hours to do it depending on personnel, and whether she needs a pre and post blood test. The days that we go at 6 pm are exhausting and require a day of napping to recover. We get back to the home around 10 pm and normally I feel lucky to keep her awake until 7 pm.

This weekend, the temperature dropped to 22 degrees. My sandals are not warm. I continue to scrounge her clothes to find sweatshirts that fit, and today I ordered a pair of silk long johns. The people at Alco are getting to know me well as I am dropping in daily to buy socks and yarn. I'm on my seventh scarf.

News! My cousin Eileen has offered to come down from Colorado to spend a week while I go to California and pick up some winter stuff and visit the family and friends. I am ambivalent, concerned but excited at the same time. We will see....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Part II

The trees have begun to turn, and the days are getting cool. I had to learn how to protect the pipes and faucets from the freeze that is expected this weekend. Sitting on the porch is still okay but a jacket would be nice. I guess it is time to take the boxes of unworn tank tops and shorts to the basement and reflect on the absence of winter clothes. Since Mom has shrunk and lost weight, there are some sweatshirts that I have appropriated so there won’t be misery in front of me during the fall, but winter is a-coming in.

The nursing home is a scary place in many ways. There are a lot of people who are not there but still there. There are screamers and droolers and recent stoke victims who aren’t sure if they are going to recover. But at the same time, there are many people who simply can’t live alone anymore for a variety of reasons, and some of them are very sweet. Of course there are a couple who make me think of “Mean Girls” the movie, who were angry young people and age hasn’t improved them.

Mom has a roommate who is in the hospital right now (long story) so can settle in at her leisure. Things are looking up and getting better every day. The nightmares are gone, the refusals have ceased to be a problem, and we are falling into the routine. For the last two nights, she has slept through the night except for the mid-night pee break.

We get up, go to the dining hall for breakfast and then have a variety of options, including infusion at the hospital, physical therapy at the hospital or at the home, whirlpool baths, and other (including bingo). I have been taking her for a walk around the walking trail (.5 mile plus 800 yards) a couple of times a day, but this 55 degrees with wind put a stop to that.

Then back to the dining hall for lunch (excuse me, dinner) and after that she takes a nap and I come back home to the porch where I can type and upload my mental meanderings. Then back in the saddle, 42 miles later, I am there for pre supper activities, supper and she crashes for the night. Doesn’t sound too exciting but it is so good to have that routine after the hell that she has lived through.

Part I

Friday October 2

What fun! I had been warned that there was a care package on the way, but UPS/FedEx always leave packages on the back steps in front of Mom’s car (the door that is never used) and I had been looking there for it. Imagine my surprise when I went to the mudroom and discovered that this time they had opened the door and left the package inside the mudroom. And what a nice package it was. Lots of letters from kids and friends (thank you) a few little gifties, many of the paper folding variety, some goodies, and Kathy, you rocked my boat! Way to deliver exactly what I needed!

I was deeply touched by the thought (John you are a prince among men) and the carrythrough. I actually packed up the letters and read a couple each day so that they wouldn’t all be gone. I so appreciate my friends of all ages. Thank you all