Posted tagged ‘Mary’

Mary

April 16, 2018

2018-04-16 10.25.51Time for an update on Mary. She is doing pretty good for 94 years of age. Her memory though is failing badly. We try to get her out to events where people know her and will interact with her. So we get her to church on Sunday. She doesn’t seem to put up a fuss about going. We usually can get her to OES meeting. And, of course she gets her hair done on Fridays.

While Mary is under the hair dryer at the beauty salon, Paula and I get together for coffee and to do grocery shopping. Wonderful to get some time alone together.

So on Saturday, Mike and his family came over for dinner. Sunday was Mike’s birthday. We watch the kids so they can go out to a movie. So on Sunday morning, Mary sees the Happy Birthday balloon on our table and asks “Who’s birthday is it?”. We tell her “Mike’s”.

“Who is Mike?” she says. He is your grandson, we tell her. So we go out to lunch after church at the Pacific Diner. Then, on Sunday night, the question gets repeated, “Who’s Mike?”. Sigh. Then, she asks us what day is it? It’s Sunday. Don’t you remember going to church? Going to the Diner for lunch? Apparently not. More sighs. Got to get rid of the darn balloon.

 

Mary (and other stuff)

March 12, 2018

2018-03-11 12.32.38It’s time for an update. Mary had a tough go of it a couple of weeks ago. She came down with an urinary tract infection on Monday 2/26. So Paula made an appt to see her primary care doc in Torrance. Her doc got a urine sample and wrote her a prescription for an antibiotic and sent her home. He had us give her ibuprofen for the pain. So Paula gets the Rx filled at the local CVS. She was feeling pretty miserable.

Two days go by and she’s still not getting much better. Paula takes her to urgent care and sees a different doctor. New doctor prescribes a new antibiotic and gives her an Rx for Tamaflu. He was thinking that maybe the flu was involved although she wasn’t running a fever.

She’s feeling much better today. She was feeling good enough to come to church with us. It didn’t hurt that our grandson Jonathan was singing in the kids’ choir. The picture above was taken this morning during brunch at the Pacific Diner in San Pedro. (One of our favorite places for brunch after church.)

2018-03-03 19.11.38In other news from San Pedro, I celebrated my 70th birthday on March 3. Paula and I got a sitter to watch Mary while we went out for dinner for just the two of us. It was so nice to get out without Mary. We went to a steak house called “The San Franciscan” in Torrance. I had a steak and shrimp, Paula had the prime rib. Very tasty.

We shared a piece of cheese cake for dessert. When Jonathan saw the picture of my “birthday” cake, he told us that wasn’t a proper birthday cake. Grownups, I try to teach them right. So we got a real chocolate devil’s food cake for last Friday when Jonathan was over for dinner. Much better he thought.

We’re finally getting some rain. It rained yesterday and today. Forecast for rain on and off for the next week or so. It’s been a light rain. No soaker like we had last time a couple of months ago that caused mud slides up in Santa Barbara. It’s finally beginning to feel like a typical San Pedro winter with temps in the 50’s and rain.

Mary

February 23, 2018

It’s time for another post about Mary. Every once in a while, the topic of nursing homes comes up between Paula and me, especially after we have had a frustrating few days at home. It all started at dinner on Monday. On the first and third Monday evenings we all go to our Eastern Star (OES) meetings in San Pedro.

On those nights, we usually have a pizza for dinner. So Mary asks us, “What’s this?” and “how do I eat it?” Once again, we patiently explain for the hundredth time what pizza is and how to eat it.

2018-02-22 18.45.45So she is sitting at the dining room table in her PJ’s. She had basically slept all day until 5:30 PM. We tried to get her to hurry up and finish so we could then get her to get dressed. “Why do I have to go?” she says. Because we don’t want to leave you alone.

So we eventually get her dressed and we get on our way to the lodge building. So, here’s the $64K question, do we give up on getting her out to meet with her friends? Or, do we look for a regular sitter for the evenings when we need (or want) to go out?

At this point, she usually doesn’t go to church or Senior Bible study. The only other events that she goes to are to get her hair done on Friday’s and the monthly luncheon at Assistance League in SP.

We are considering getting a sitter for the Mondays for OES meetings. Maybe for all Mondays, that way we can go to the movies (or something) when we are not going to OES meetings.

We’re not quite ready for a nursing home, but the time might be coming soon. Nursing homes cost big bucks. We can afford a lot of sitters before we get anywhere close to what nursing homes cost.

Here’s another issue we are facing. It seems that she is eating less and less. She rarely finishes the portions that we put on her plate. And we always put less on her plate than for Paula and me. We seem to think that maybe she is unconsciously starving her self. There is nothing that we are planning to do about it except encourage her to eat. We try to have meals that she likes and are easy for her to eat.

And one more thing, a couple of years ago the three of us went to an event put on by an elder lawyer by the name of Susan Geffen. She has run seminars that present various elder agencies and service companies to talk about their offerings. She is the author of a book called “Take That Nursing Home and Shove It“. It’s worth reading.

TTFN

Joe

Mary

February 2, 2018

Well, as you all know, we celebrated Mary’s 94th birthday last week. So, today was the time to pay the piper. It was time for Mary’s annual physical.

So a couple of weeks ago, Paula scheduled her physical with her primary care doc. Dr T. had put in all the orders for blood work and urine sample a few weeks ago. Paula took her up to his office a couple of weeks ago to have her bloods drawn. The appointment was for 10 am this morning.

So the good news is that Mary is doing just fine. All blood work was in normal ranges. Her cholesterol is low and without any statin drugs, either. She just hasn’t been sick. We made sure that she got her flu shot a couple of months ago. Have you had your flu shot? Not too late. If we can keep her from falling, she probably will live to be a 100.

2018-02-02 10.00.18So while Mary and Paula were at doctor’s office, I decided to go to Starbuck’s for an iced coffee. Picked it up at the store and found a nice table outside.

The sun was shining. The temp outside was about 70 with a nice light breeze. Not very crowded. A lot of times the place is loaded with people sitting in front of their laptops and coffee. Not today. The place was almost empty.

So I started working on the NY Times crossword puzzle. It was surprisingly easy for a Friday. Finished it in about 15 minutes. Then, I read some of the current book that I am reading (“Darkest Hour”) about Winston Churchill. So at 11 am it was time to head home.

We’ll all be going to lodge tonight for casual dinner with our lodge friends.

TTFN

Joe

Mary

January 28, 2018

I am overdue for a post on Mary. So here we go. This week Mary celebrated her 94th birthday. We managed to persuade her to go to Senior Bible Study at Ocean View.

Side note: We have managed to get her to Sunday services for the past few weeks. First occasion was to see Jonathan perform with the kids Christmas Cantata, then to see Theresa in the adult cantata. Trying to get her in the habit of going to church again.

She hadn’t been going to the Bible study for quite a time now. We had told her that the people there missed her and encouraged her to return. I told her that Betty Walker would be getting her a cake and we would all sing “Happy Birthday” to her.

So we were continually trying to figure out what her problem was with going to Bible Study on Wednesday and services on Sunday. I think that I finally figured it out. She didn’t want anyone to see her all decrepit and walking with the aid of a walker. I told her that several people there used walkers and canes. She wasn’t the only one that was a having trouble with walking stability. It seems to help if there is a reason to go.

So we continued with the celebration this week. Mike and his family came over for dinner on Friday. We got another cake from a local bakery for the occasion. We ordered a banana/whipped cream cake from Amalfitano’s Bakery in San Pedro (a family favorite). It was very tasty.2018-01-26 20.10.20

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.

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.