We Made It!

November 24, 2014

It was around this time a year ago, when Paul and I drove my mom to the emergency room at the hospital in the middle of the night. Everything started to come to light that night of what had been going on with my mom for the last several years & especially that year. 

This last year has been a big process filled with stress and some sleepless nights, but looking back a year ago.... life is much easier this year. 

The holidays this year are easier and more stress-free. We have our answers. There are no questions. No continuing doctor appointments. No continuing testings. No wondering what will happen next. We have a routine down. It works out pretty good. My mom is happy with the routine.

My mom's update & for my records -

- Paul bought my mom some black long women socks to keep her feet and legs warm. My mom has just been wearing ankle socks and has a very hard time changing her socks & realizing that the socks need to be changed out. We have her feet prepared for the winter!

- Nate took my mom over to his place to have dinner with his family this week. They had a nice dinner and played games on the Wii. My mom told me they played bowling, biking, and other games. She mentioned that Nate always wins at bowling and she continues to say that. Sammy had a birthday on the 20th and turned 10 years old this year.

- Jon invited my mom to a movie with his kids on Thanksgiving. Paul and I drove her up to Centerville and watched Big Hero 6 with them.

- My mom has been enjoying watching the Canadian Geese at the Taylorsville Park by her house and listening to her music while watching them. I walk Lucky around the park while she listens to her music and she enjoys the beauty & I do as well.

- My mom's favorite things right now include: 

 - watching for new Christmas lights or decorations to be put up at houses
 - she loves seeing police cars and firetrucks with their lights on. She will even ask me to go drive by them to see what's going on even if I'm not going that way.
 - she loves feeding Tiger his cat treats
 - she loves waving goodbye and blowing kisses to me out her kitchen windows while I'm in  the car before Paul and I back out of the driveway to drive away every night.
 - she loves watching these tv shows during the day: Kelly & Michael, I Dream of Jeanie, Rachael Ray, Judge Judy, & Magnum PI.
 - she loves her daily movie time at my house (she is lucky if she fits 3 in a day)
 - she loves to check for her mail & if she doesn't get to it during the day, she will do it when we drop her off at night.
 - she is very focused on putting her garbage cans out and bringing them in right when the garbage man empties the garbage cans ( she doesn't understand why others don't stay on top of their garbage cans the same way)
 - it is a must that she leaves on certain lights before she leaves her house. If she has forgotten this or left earlier in the day so she didn't do that, she will ask me if we can stop at her house to turn on the lights. 

The things my mom has a hard time with :

 - showers
 - distractions
 - missing her movies
 - she gets frustrated when she doesn't understand something which can be at different times of the day  ( food sometimes can help this and boost this up so she has a drive)
 - attention span is low
 - washing clothes and changing her clothes
 - realizing what type of clothes to wear for certain types of weather
 - my mom stopped doing her watering and yard work in the summer. She was very obsessive with her yard work and she let this obsession go and didn't care about it anymore. 
- has a hard time with any personal care
- money management
- long conversations
- texting
- answering the phone
- of course this list can & does go on and on.......

A Penguin Experience This Week

November 21, 2014

Every week I have something new that is fun and entertaining that happens with my mom. The experiences make me smile and laugh to myself. I always want to write them down because I always forget them, because new experiences happen again and there are so many stories I could tell.

I was driving my mom and I through a neighborhood 2 days ago and my mom told me "you almost hit a penguin". 

When things like this are said, I always have to think to myself "did she just say what I think she said?".  I said back to my mom as a question to her, "I did?" She said "yeah, you did. There was a penguin back there. "

A bird had flown in front of the car and this is what she was referring to.

As we kept talking....

 We had seen bird droppings earlier all over a sidewalk and fence on a busy road. She is very into details and noticing things these days, so she of course noticed this as we were waiting for a red light to turn green.

My mom then told me it was probably the penguin that had made the mess on the sidewalk and fence, also.

 I don't correct her anymore. I just listen to her. I don't want to make her feel less of a person just because of her disability that is messing with her language. 

I have talked to her since then and I believe that she was thinking of a pigeon, but she was saying penguin and was totally saying that as if that was normal.

This is just an example of what I hear on a daily basis and how her words get mixed up and at times it can get really confusing at what she is saying. 

I am thankful that she can still talk and have a conversation. I will take advantage of this time I have while I can still converse with her. I know some people with this disability can or will become mute. It may just be a matter of time. Who knows? I will just keep on being positive and thankful!

Caregiving & My Favorite Quotes

November 12, 2014

I often can't even put my thoughts into words as a caregiver. I have read some really inspiring blogs/ facebook pages and quotes lately that have stuck out to me and it becomes an "ah ha" moment inside of me or a "that is so me" feeling inside of me. I want to post some quotes that I want to be able to remember. 

I want to be able to come back to this post and get boosted up when the going gets tough. These quotes will & do inspire me. These quotes are from fellow caregivers that understand me and I understand them . . . .


I can honestly say that caregiving has been the richest experience of my life.

A young friend of mine called the caregiving journey a “Blesson”—and it truly is. I was blessed to have been able to care for those dearest to me, and to make a difference in their lives at the most critical times. I was blessed to learn just how capable I am and how much patience one can muster if there is love. The lessons, many of us know, just keep coming—we’re always learning something new. But the flip side of the richness, is frequently stress, great sadness, anger, loss and grief.

 I pray that I can be a glimpse of the mother to my children that mine has been to me and her grandchildren. When it's all said and done, what is it that brings us joy in life?  The money, nice homes, beautiful cars, far away vacations...things?  For me, the answer is simple.  Enjoy every waking moment with those you love. Taking nothing or no one for granted.  Try to make each day a "memory."  Realizing that we will all travel this road again, but in a different way. 


As I have written many times, this woman was my hero, my confidant, my best friend. I will always cherish our memories together. I would just like to encourage each of you who has a loved one with dementia. Please, don't tell yourself that there's no use in visiting them because they won't remember. I have learned that the visits aren't so much for them, but for us. Try to remember the good times that you've shared and know that they aren't responsible for their words or actions. God bless each of you who give of your time and energy, but most of all, "yourself" as a caregiver. 


 God Bless my precious mother and all those who are trapped in their world of dementia. 


 May God bless each and everyone of you who is facing the same struggles as my family and I have. Only God has the answers to it all. 


  I pray for families all over the world, that one day, there will be a cure for this dreaded disease, dementia. The thief that is stealing the very souls from the ones we love. 


 My prayer has always been and will always be through this crazy "up and down" journey with my mother, is that I can serve HIM while serving her.


Only God knows how much I love my mother. Only He can remind me of this love as I care for her. I pray for much needed strength and patience as I make my way down the stairs each morning. 


 I know that I have enough love for my mother to care for her on a daily basis, I just hope I have enough strength! 

A lot of the quotes that I posted come from the blog www.porkchopsandpianos.blogspot.com. I have enjoyed reading this blog that I recently found because I can relate to it. A daughter blogs about her journey with her mother and dementia. 

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