I am an orphan now

In my previous post I said I was doing some catch up–Because my Mom has died. She passed away on Wednesday, March 26 in the early afternoon. My brother happened to get off work early and went over to the nursing home around noon. She had not been doing very well for several weeks and that week had been going downhill quickly. She was unresponsive-catatonic really for about 3 days prior. Anyway, Terry got there and she was obviously dying then, so my sister-in-law came over and the nursing staff all took turns coming in and saying their farewells, giving her a good bye kiss and there were prayers. She finally just gave up and died quietly with Terry there by her side. God bless him, he is such a good son.

We buried her next to my Dad in Pana, Il where she was born and raised. It is an old cemetery on a hill outside of town, my grandparents are buried there as is my baby brother. It was a small wake and funeral, but nice. Her pastor from Rantoul came and spoke-he did a nice job even if he did the “repent now” kind of thing –not quite as bad as when he spoke at Dad’s funeral. I was pretty upset for several days, but only feeling sorry for myself. I am really happy and relieved that she is finally at peace. I am sad for a lot of things but not that she died. The picture in this entry is one taken about 5-6 years ago at the very beginning of her journey into Alzheimers. I took the picture at my home and It is by far my favorite photo of her. This is how I remember her. Love you mom–

Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mom’s 85th Birthday

This is catch up–My mom turned 85 on Feb 1, 2008. Her time in the Nursing home is so hard on her. She cries all the time and is afraid of everything. She is now having a hard time swallowing food of any kind. She mostly drinks.

MOM ON HER BIRTHDAY

Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 1:34 am  Leave a Comment  

All Most The New Year

It is so hard to believe that it is almost years end, or we are close to the NEW YEAR.
Which ever, time seems like it is flying by. Kiddies are growing like weeds, R is taller that both of us; B is becoming quite the girlie girl. Both are a blessing.

My mom is still hanging on in the nursing home and doing ok. She has lots of bad, weepy days, but is reasonably healthy. Brother takes such good care of her. I adore him for being the Man he has become.

Published in: on December 28, 2007 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mom in the nursing home just before Christmas


She was having a really weepy day, this visit. Something that is quite frequent with her. She is pretty much incoherent now. Some times she says one or two words that are understandable and occasionally make sense in the context of of the moment.

Published in: on December 28, 2007 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mom, August 19,2006

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Mom, August 18,2006, originally uploaded by lal3509.

B and I went down to Decatur to visit Mom yesterday. We left Joliet around 7 am and made great time.  Terry had gone to pick her up at the nursing home so she was at his house when we got there.  The top picture I took right away after getting there.  She is a bit worse, she knows me, in as much as she knows I am someone she cares about, but my name, no-what the relationship is,no.  And something sad happens when she asks you to explain who you are-which she will do.  She just cannot comprehend our relationship, as she totally cannot fathom that she was ever married. ON ONE LEVEL.

She did however spot an old wedding picture of her and my dad and piped up,”there is a picture of Toney and me”. So it is too confusing. 

Part of the day she just talked nonsense and the rest she asked the same questions, or made the same comments over and over again. 

Physically she is doing ok, with the exception of her feet.  She has diabetic neuropathy, and while her diabetes is under-control and she doesn’t have to take medicine or insulin, the disease has taken it’s toll on her.  She has some ulcers that must be cared for by a podiatrist-get this-medicare will only pay for part of her care because she doesn’t take diabetes medicine.

Mood wise, she is pretty good.  She gets kind of weepy at times, and worked up when we got ready to go back to the nursing home. But they won’t continue to medicate her like she was at first, because it is not in her formulary and there is no generic.  Terry says it costs a $50 co-pay and she can’t afford to be on the medicine all the time.  It is only used PRN.When she gets very agitated, and fortunately that is not often.

We had a great visit. Went out to lunch and Mom ate like there was no tomorrow. Terry & Chris and I talked ourselves out I think.  I can never repay my wonderful brother and his wife for all the care and concern that have given my Mom.  Terry goes over nearly every day after work, and takes Mom out some weekends. They do her laundry and generally advocate for her. Terry has stepped up and done so much for our Mom.  He has been my shoulder and strong rock to lean on.  I really love my brother.

Below, after I curled and combed out her hair and lipstick on her. 

Published in: on August 20, 2006 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

MOM Saturday June 24.2006

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100_1448a, originally uploaded by lal3509.

Mom enjoys a much needed brownie.

Published in: on June 25, 2006 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Every Day is a Brand New Day

Returned from visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Decatur, and we spent the day with my mom. Picked her up from the nursing home in the late morning and she spent the day at Terry's house with us and the little kids. My nephew Mark and his little family was there as well. 

As expected Mom did not know my name when I arrived at the nursing home.  She was so glad to see me, recognized me as someone important to her, but who, she could not say.  She was just so glad to see me and hug me.  And I was so glad to see her too.  She is actually physically doing better.  Her posture and walking have improved since she has been having Physical Therapy  several times a week.

Most of the time she really cannot tell you who she thinks you are.  Just that she knows you, but can't remember your name, or what the relationship is.  She confuses my brother with her father a lot of the time, and at times thinks my brother ownes the nursing home where she lives.  She asked him one day if he was a big shot there, since everyone seemed to do what he wanted them to.?

She was in good spirits most of the day, but taking her home was sad.  She wet her pants, and that embarrassed her to no end.  Then at the nursing home she didn't want us to leave, and she didn't want to stay.  She was very frightened, which makes me sad, because I feel like I am abandoning a child in a strange place.That is how it feels.  After a while she was overcome by exhaustion, from being out all day with only a short nap and she agreed to go to bed.  We left her with her teddy bear that we brought her for company.

Every day is a brand new day for mom. I am sure that she won't even remember that we were there.   Slate wiped clean. New memories to forget. Imagined jobs to do.   New places to go that aren't there, people to meet she knew 60 years ago. A husband to forget, children you don't know you had, a lifetime forgotten.

There is still a lot of love in her heart, I can feel it when she puts her frail arms around me and her head on my shoulder. I don't believe I have felt so much love for my mother as I do now. 

Published in: on June 25, 2006 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mom-Update

Well my mom has been at the nursing home for about 4  weeks now and seems to be doing pretty good. My brother has been keeping me posted on her since he stops by the nursing home daily.  We are going to Decatur tomorrow for the weekend to visit him and see mom.  He always has a story about some little thing that has happened.  One day he went in and mom was wearing two different shoes-one was hers and one was her neighbors. Another day she had on someonelse's shirt; never did find out who it belonged to.

For the past two weeks she has complained that her eyes hurt and she couldn't see.  So Terry took her to Lenscrafter-where he just got her new glasses in March-to see what was wrong.  Well, she had on someone else's glasses!!! Terry was so flabergasted that he didn't even notice that they were not the same frames.  Well, never did find the glasses so we got new ones from Lenscrafter and he put some bright tape on them, hoping we could recognize them if they go missing again!!

I am looking forward to seeing her.  She told Terry recently that she hoped I would come visit her since she hasn't seen me in two or three YEARS.  We probably will have a great reunion.

Everyday is a brand new day for mom

Published in: on June 23, 2006 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mom

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Mom, originally uploaded by lal3509.

This is my 83 year old mother. The picture was take a few days ago, it was her third day at the new nursing home . She is on a floor just for Alzheimer patients. She looks great because the first thing she asked me for is lipstick. That much of her is still present. Her pride/vanity in the way she looks. I will know when she is no longer inside her mind when she fails to take notice of how she looks.
For the past 6 months or so she has been so anxious, and finally the doctor gave her some medicine that really mellowed her out. No more fear and nerves. She just smiles and seems so calm.

Published in: on May 31, 2006 at 1:15 am  Leave a Comment