Archive for the ‘Mary’ category

Mary

August 25, 2017

Time for an update on Mary. Sometimes, it feels to me that she is going to live forever.

There hasn’t been a lot of change since that last time that I reported here. Perhaps, she is a little bit weaker and a little bit slower. But those things are hard to measure. That being said, here are a couple of stories that I need to get off my chest.

One of the things that is painfully clear is that Mary is not the person that she was say five or ten years ago. Her personality has been changed by the dementia. She has no consideration for anyone else but herself.  Here are a couple of stories from the last couple of days.

Friday is the day that she usually gets her hair done. Oftentimes, people bring tasty goodies to share. So Mary comes home with a couple of pieces of blueberry cake. Are you going to eat those pieces? I ask. No, probably not. She pushes it aside and picks up the OES newsletter that Paula had just put down on the left hand side of her seat at the table to read. I ask Mary, did you not see that Paula was going to read that? I get the stupid look.

We are constantly trying to get Mary to finish the serving of meat that we serve on her plate. Last night, I tried to have her serve herself. The meal was pot roast with potatoes and carrots. My idea was to have her to control the portion size. Not going to work. She asks Paula to serve her some. So again, she doesn’t finish the meat but takes seconds on the vegetables.

I tell her that I had an uncle who was in the US Navy in WW2. He told me when I was young lad that the Navy always told him to “Take all you want and eat all you take”. That’s what I want Mary to do.

And she has room for dessert (watermelon). No matter how much (or how little) I put on her plate she won’t finish the meat. She always has room for watermelon.

Sometimes her complaint is that the meat is too tough to chew. Not the case last night, the pot roast was soft and pliant. She is worse than a three year old who won’t eat his peas. Sometimes, I think she does it just to annoy me.

And another thing, we continue try to figure out is why she won’t go to church on Sunday or Bible study on Wednesdays. She usually says that she is too dizzy. But she is never too dizzy to go get her hair done on Friday. She NEVER misses a hair appointment. NEVER!!

I don’t know whether even she knows why or understands. She just doesn’t want to go. My suspicion is that she has given up on God or that God has given up on her. We’ll never know. She also doesn’t ask that Pastor Jacques come to visit her.

So when I get frustrated with her, I either grab a cigar and go out on the patio or into the office to login to my computer.

At any rate, it’s time to start cooking. Our son and his family are coming over for dinner this evening. Paula says she will be doing a peach cobbler. I suggest to her that means we need some whipped cream. No, she says, vanilla ice cream. We got both.

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A Few More Hours…

August 14, 2017

img_5185Time to pack up. We are first going to hit the breakfast buffet, then finish packing. Check out time is noon. We get back into our condo at 5 pm, so we have a few hours to kill before we get home.

Paula will be working at the Asst League gift shop. We will probably get Mary a couch upstairs in one of the offices. I will find an office to do computer stuff.

Well, we got checked out of the hotel. Junior manager came to our room to load up all our belongings and we headed out to the parking lot. Nice guy, he wouldn’t take a tip.

Now hanging at the Asst League. Found out the WiFi password so I can go online. Got Mary settled down on the couch in the president’s office. Now to wait until 5 pm to get back into our condo unit.

Overall, the Double Tree in SP was very nice. Only down side was the WiFi was a little bit dicey. Everything else was 5 stars (out of 5). If anyone is looking for a place to stay when you visit San Pedro, this would be a good choice.

So tomorrow, we need to do grocery shopping and arrange for someone to look at our dryer.

TTFN

Joe

 

The Adventure Begins…

August 11, 2017

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, I’m certainly not. Our condo building is being fumigated for termites this weekend. So we have to vacate the premises starting now until Monday at 5pm.

We spent the day double bagging all of our food in the kitchen including freezer. We’ve taken the opportunity to throw a ton of stuff out and finish up loads of leftovers.

And to add to our misery our dryer conked out. So we’ve got a bag full of wet clothes. As soon as we finished checking in to our hotel, Paula is heading over to a nearby laundromat.

We thought of going to Las Vegas, but decided that would be a bad idea. Mary doesn’t travel well. She’s worse than a three year old child. Are we there yet? Where are we going? Why do we have to do this? Etc. So we got a suite at a Double Tree hotel in San Pedro. Got a roll-a-way bed for Mary. King bed for Joe & Paula.

Tomorrow the exterminator will be tenting the entire building and on Sunday filling up the building with some kind of poison gas. Lovely.

We met with the manager this morning to review our prep work. Then they have to remove the tarps and air the joint out.

Mary has been very confused by all of the commotion. We could have gotten a cheaper place but we’re trying to be comfortable. And we have our three DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies.

We’ll be glad when this is all done with.

Mary

July 20, 2017

Okay, it’s been a while. Here’s my update. Paula and I were having a conversation with Mary last night after dinner. We were retelling our story of how we came to be out here living with her. She listened attentively and she did something that I have been waiting for now for five years. She finally thanked us for being here for her. I called it the big “Thank You”. Of course, she remembers none of this.

The big “Thank You” was one of my issues with her. She would thank me for getting her a cup of coffee or fixing her oatmeal, but never thanking us for giving up our lives in MA and moving out here to be with her. Last night, she finally did that. It only took her five years to do it.

She continues to get weaker and weaker. She sleeps all night, then eats breakfast and then goes back to bed and sleeps until we get her up for dinner. Once in a while she will join us to watch the evening news. She will read the newspaper in the morning and then reread it again in the evening. She doesn’t quite get that it is the same newspaper.

I saw her reading the sports section. I asked her why she was reading the sports section? Mary is not much of a sports fan. Doesn’t care a whit about baseball or basketball. Of course, Paula reminds me to STFU. Let her read the sports page if she wants. So I do.

We struggle to get her to wash her face and brush her teeth. Some evenings, she just goes straight back to bed. We try to get her to do a bath 2 or 3 times a week. That’s Paula’s department.

Paula and I started having the “Nursing Home” discussion. We’re not quite there yet, but we might be there sooner rather than later, especially if she becomes totally bed-ridden and/or incontinent. I talked with my doctor at my physical this week about the situation. He gave me the number of Kaiser’s social worker department. Or perhaps, we will talk to Mary’s doctor.

We are looking forward to a weekend away in first weekend of August for an OES reception up in the Sacramento area. We will have caregivers for the weekend.

I don’t have any good recent pictures of her to post. Perhaps, tomorrow after she has been to the beauty salon to get her hair done, I will take a picture.

Later,

Joe

 

Mary

July 5, 2017

Time for an update on Mary. It’s been a while and I have some stories to tell. First overall, she is doing fine. Though it seems that all she does is eat, sleep and go to the toilet. I had told Paula a cruder version of that statement. But this is a PG blog.

We’ve managed to get her to go to church a couple of times so far this summer, but not without serious nagging.

So this morning, I was in charge. Paula was off doing something at Assistance League and she left me in charge. So I get Mary up and offer her breakfast. I give her the usual oatmeal and blueberries with cream on top. So she eats about 75% of it and asks me to put the rest in the refrigerator. I tell her no I wouldn’t. Just finish it, I tell her. It takes up valuable space in the frig. and you won’t eat it anyway, because you are up only for breakfast and dinner. I don’t think anyone ever told her no before. So she finished it toddled off to brush her teeth and went back to bed.

Here’s another morning story. First, she has trouble differentiating between morning and evening. So she was eating her oatmeal and I hand to her meds to take. I fill up her water glass. Can I have some wine please.  No, you can’t have any wine with breakfast. If I drink water, I have to go to the toilet she says. That’s a good thing I tell her. I give her one glass of wine a day with her dinner. This was the second time I got that request from her. Rule #1, no wine with breakfast. I’m not sure anyone ever said “No” to her before me.

She has complained about not getting enough exercise. We would be glad to take her for a walk. I tell her that she needs to get up out of bed and come out of her room and tell us that she would like to go for a walk. That hasn’t happened.

So this elder care stuff is beginning to suck the life out of me. We were watching “CBS Sunday Morning” last night. (Ah, the joys of DVR’s). They were doing a piece on the Grand Canyon. So I was telling Paula, I would sure like to go there one of these days. She agreed with me. That won’t be happening any time soon.

The thing is that any travel means that we need to arrange 24/7 care givers for her. That gets expensive. Care givers get about $22 per hour with OT over 9 hours. Do the math. We already are doing a trip up to Sacramento in August. And we did a trip back to Mass. in May. Oh Lord, I need a vacation.

One more thing and then I will STFU. We just got a notice that our condo HOA is doing termite extermination in August. That means for a weekend in August we must be out of our condo three days and stay in a hotel with Mary. Not looking forward to that.

Travelling with Mary is a giant PITA. At first, we thought of taking her to Las Vegas. But that won’t work, she wouldn’t do well with a four hour drive. Last time we did that (3 years ago) she complained about the ugliness of the Mojave Desert. Not doing that again.

Staying with relatives won’t work. Our son doesn’t have the room. His life is crazy enough with out having three extra guests. I’ll try and find a suite somewhere local that will be comfortable for three days. We have to go to a meeting in July that will explain all the things that we need to do to get ready. UGH!

Early Fathers’ Day

June 11, 2017

Admiral RistyToday is not Fathers’ Day. That’s actually next Sunday. But we decided to jump the gun and go visit the Admiral Risty in Rancho Palos Verde and celebrate today. We figured that restaurants would be less busy (which it was) than next Sunday. Here’s the pointer to the YELP review.

The Admiral Risty has a view to die for of the Pacific Ocean. It was a bit gloomy today. Our table had an excellent view.

Price is a bit more than our usual diner fare on Sundays but it was worth it. I had eggs benedict on a dungeness crab cake. Very tasty. I was thinking about having a Bloody Mary, but decided to pass.

Mike and Theresa were on board with the plan. Even Mary liked the plan, though I’m not sure how much she understood what we were planning on doing.

We told Mary that if she wanted to go to the Admiral Risty for brunch, she would have to get up and go to church. We also promised visits to the grand kids that she loves to see. So finally, we got Mary loaded in the Jeep and off we went. We even found an HP parking place at church.

So our reservation was at 1 pm, which was a little bit late but worked out okay. Pastor Jacques’ sermon was on the Gospel of John, Chapter 12. The service ran on to Noon (start time was 10:30 am). Once Jacques gets started there’s no stopping once he has a full wind in his sails. But, we still had plenty of time to get to our brunch date.

Jacques can’t afford to run long at the 9 am service. Got to get every one out in time for the arriving 10:30 folks.

We had all of the singing (no dancing). Jacques did a baptism of a ten(ish) year old boy. After the baptism was done the kid started swimming laps in the baptism pool. What a hoot and caught on video, too.

All done and back home. Time for a nap.

TTFN

Joe

 

Mary

June 8, 2017

Time for an update.  Mary was up bright and early at about 9 am. For her, this is early. She was all dressed and ready to go somewhere, I’m just wasn’t quite sure where. We had no appointments for her today.

Paula was scheduled to work at the Assistance League in San Pedro. She was going to be there from about 10 am to 3ish. I was just going to be hanging out. I had work to do on my computer transcribing scores for my music app. So at about 2:30, I hear the noise of her walker. Her walker has a distinctive noise from the feet. It is kind of like belling a cat.

So I come out to the living room and there she still all dressed with her purse in her hand. Where’s Paula, she asks me? She’s not here she’s at the Asst League. So the door was open and she was just about to go out to try and catch up with Paula.

So we have two problems. She is hearing voices that are telling her to do things. Second, we fear that she is going to start wandering. Now she doesn’t move all that fast, but…

So we have a couple of possible solutions. First, we start using the baby monitor 24/7. I might be in the other room and not hear getting up and heading for the door. Second, replace the lock on the door to one that has a key on the inside as well as the outside. We figure that might slow her down a bit. The baby monitor is audio only. We’ve had it now for a couple of years. She hasn’t a clue that it’s there.

Overall though, she is a little bit slower and a lot weaker and a lot more frail. She doesn’t care to watch the evening news anymore. She will read the newspaper at least twice, once in the morning and again in the evening.We tend to wake her up for breakfast and dinner. Sometimes, she is confused as to whether it is morning or night.

The other night when we got back from OES, she wanted to put her walker into the closet. Paula tells her, no that walker is always. Our fear is that she might try going to the bathroom without the walker and falling. Another fall will likely kill her.

She has told us that she needs to get some exercise. We tell her you need to take the first step and get out of bed. Then we can take you out for a walk around courtyard. But that hasn’t happened.

She still goes with us to OES meetings but steadfastly refuses to go to any church activities. We just don’t understand why. She says that it is the dizziness in the morning, but she’ll go to her hair salon appointment in the morning. We’re going to try to get Pastor Jacques to come visit her sometime soon. At any rate, Paula goes to church on Sunday, I go to Bible study on Wednesday. As always, she is always happy to see the great-grandkids.

TTFN

Joe