Posted tagged ‘Mary’

Mary

October 21, 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to notice the changes when you are together day by day. When you see someone after being apart for a month or two, you notice the changes in a person.

Mary seems to be just a little bit weaker and a little bit slower day by day. Her memory is getting incrementally getting worse. We can tell her something, and five minutes later having the same conversation.

A couple of weeks ago, we had to be out of our condo for the entire day from 8 am to 5 pm for X-rays to be done on the building structure. Told Mary and told her again. Finally we showed her the piece of paper with the notice on it. She began to get it.

All in all, she did pretty good. We went out to a local diner and had breakfast and then to her hair appointment. We then spent the afternoon at our son’s place playing with the grandkids. Mary always likes to see the little ones.

Today, we all went to a park in Torrence to celebrate Jonathan and Sarah’s birthdays (Sept and Oct). We got a handicap parking spot so there wasn’t much of a walk. Mary loves to see all the little ones running around and riding their bikes. We brought a couple of camp chairs for our comfort. So she got some sunshine and fresh air. It was a good day.

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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.

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

 

At the Double Tree

August 13, 2017

My day is going much better than yesterday. Mary is feeling better. We decided to skip the OES fashion show and just hang out here at the Double Tree in San Pedro.

We try to not overload Mary with activities. So today we went to the hotel restaurant for a late breakfast. Mary and Paula shared an English muffin and a fruit plate. I had bacon and eggs. Very tasty.

The picture is the view from the rear of the hotel lobby. Some of the rooms have this view, unfortunately ours does not. I once owned a boat, a lot smaller than these yachts. Rich man toys. Not me. 

We all had naps this afternoon which makes us all much more pleasant to be around.

The service at the Double Tree is so much better than our stay at the Best Western in Roseville. We have been to parties and functions at this Double Tree before but this is the first time that we have actually stayed here.

I watched the end of the Red Sox-Yankees game on my iPad. Red Sox won 10-5. Woohoo!

Sunday

Paula is off to church. Mary laying in bed. As soon as house keeping stops by, I will get her up and head to the cafe for breakfast. The hotel has loaned us a wheelchair but last time we went to lobby she managed to walk up and back again. Waiting for the morning fog to burn off.

TTFN

Joe

Fidget Spinner

July 22, 2017

Last night we had our son and his family over for dinner. At the request of our grandson Jonathan, we had tacos, soft tortillas and NO onions. When Jonathan arrived he noticed my fidget spinner on the dining room table. He of course knew what it was and what to do with it. So both Jonathan and Sarah took turns playing with it during the evening.

Jonathan said he would trade all of his toys for one fidget spinner. Oh, the power of a toy that is the hottest thing in the toy universe. I considered letting him have it to take home with him, but Paula and I decided to leave it here and let him play with the next time he comes to visit.

It seems that the fidget spinner has been around for a while but only recently become popular. If one were to search for “fidget spinner” on Amazon, you get about 20 or more pages of offers. It brings to mind some other toys that were all the rage back in the day. There was the pet rock and Rubik’s Cube. Both of which were the rage long before our kids time.

Rubik’s Cube reached its peak in the early 80’s and can still be bought. The cube was invented by Ernõ Rubik, a sculptor and professor of architecture in Hungary.

The Pet Rock made the inventor a millionaire. Here’s the wiki. The inventor (Gary Dahl) died a couple of years ago. And of course, one can still buy a pet rock on Amazon.

In my recent post on Mary, I promised to get a recent picture of her. This picture was taken shortly after she got home from her appointment at beauty salon. As you can see in the picture, she has her chocolate shake sitting in front of her. Her chocolate shake is one of her favorite things to eat.

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!