Friday, February 19, 2010

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me - My Inspiration Today

Mom's Doctor Visit

The doctor visited mom Wednesday and confirmed she should not be driving.  He said if he found out she was driving he would call the motor vehicle department and report her.

I addressed the sleeping pills I found in her room in a Tylenol bottle.  Doctor said I have to remove all medicine from house that is not on her list.  I think brother number 4 is feeding her pills.  Why he would do that is beyond my comprehension.  She is on 22 prescription medicines now and if he is feeding her pills, they could interact with what she is taking now and ultimately harm her or worse kill her.  So why?  He is pathetic and does not care I believe. 

I'm frustrated, I'm stressed, I'm sad.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some of my favorites

Top left: Coyote - picture taken from camera trap in our back yard.
Top right: Morel picked in Michigan
Middle left: Hummingbird moth feeding on my butterfly bush in back yard.
Middle right: Garven and Max - in Upper Peninsula
Bottom left: Buck picture taken from camera trap in our back yard.
Bottom right: Max

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Father - R.I.P. Dad

My father, my hero growing up and not a day goes by that I don't think about him and miss him dearly.

He was just 17 years old when he married my 18 year old mother.  I can't even imagine getting married that young.....they went on to have/raise 7 children.  (I'm the youngest.  The oldest is a girl then five boys and then me).

I was sixteen years old.  It was Easter in 1987 and the whole family was together - which is rare for our family - some siblings live out of state.  It was a great time and I missed my sister and brothers.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I was awakened by screams.  Mom is screaming for me to call 9-1-1!  For a split second, I think someone has broken into our house and then I realize it's Dad, something is wrong with Dad.

I get out of bed, run to the phone and dial 9-1-1 - the 9-1-1 operator answered and I told her I needed an ambulance.  She told me that my mom had just called and help was on the way.  Then I hear my mom screaming for me to help her, I tell the 9-1-1 operator that mom is calling for me, she tells me to set the phone down not to hang up.  I run into their bedroom and she yells "Help me move him!".  I stare at my Dad's lifeless body, his eyes and mouth are partially open.  She yells again "Help me move him!" 

I heard her the first time but couldn't move - the second time I respond by grabbing his legs as she grabs his shoulders.  As I get him to the side of the bed, I underestimate how heavy he would be and he slips out of my hands and on to the floor.  I quickly grab his legs again and drag him to the living room.  As soon as my hands come off his legs, the fire department is in the house and I get out of the way.

I go to my room, they have moved Dad to the kitchen and begin trying to resucitate him.  I feel like I'm in a dream.  I don't cry.  I don't do anything but listen to the men working on my father.  I see them take Dad past my room on a stretcher.  I hear a loud wheeze and and an EMS yells "turn that off".  I later find out that they had punctured one of Dad's lungs as they tried to bring him back.

I'm at the hospital in a white, cold room.  My sister, my brothers and my mom are there.  Dad is in the center of the room on a stretcher with only a sheet on.  A priest gives him his last rites.  I turn to face the wall and begin banging my head on the wall.  I feel hands on me, I push them off and move away from them.  I hear my mom, kiss your Dad goodbye.  I can't - he's dead - I can't.

After the funeral, I remember her words.....I'm about 5 years old and she (Mom) tells me to go and tell Dad to quit smoking and drinking so he'll be here to walk me down the isle. 

I got married in 1994 and my oldest brother walked me down the isle.

Dad - I love you and think about you every day.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup peanut butter – can use creamy or with peanuts
½ cup pretzels – finely chopped
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Blend peanut butter and chopped pretzels. Freeze for about 15 minutes. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Freeze for about an hour (I froze mine overnight).

Melt chocolate chips in microwave. I set timer for 1minute and then stirred. Continue microwaving, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Roll peanut balls into melted chocolate, place on waxed paper on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate sets.

Very rich treat – sure to cure any sweet tooth.
Marissa 2/9/10

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lunch with Mom

I stopped over today and was pleasantly surprised...she was not in bed, she was sitting at the table.  Immediately though, she started telling me to locate things for her -- though I'm not sure why she can't locate the items why she would wait for me to locate them..... 
Anyhow, I set up the humidifer in her room.  Done, Check!
I also set up her new CD player in her room.  Done, Check!
I filled her medicine wheel.  Done, Check!
I left her house today and actually made it back to work on time - Yeah for me!

She called me shortly after I sat in my chair, and asked if I could call her at 3:00 so she could get up and test her sugar! 

I am kind of mad about that - I mean come on I'm at work and she wants to call at 3pm to wake her up from her nap!  I would be appalled to ask my son that.  I always think about those things.  I always think to myself that I will take care of my health - it's my responsibility - not my son's and I will never ask him to wait on me when I'm capable!

Friday, February 5, 2010

"When do I Test my Blood Sugar?"

I'm at work and the phone rings, I see mom's number...I take a deep breath and answer.  "Umm yeah, when do I test my blood sugar?" she asks. 

Trying to control myself (she has asked me this everyday for the past three weeks!!!)....I take a deep breath and say two hours after you ate mom.  "Well I got done about 12:40", she says.  Well Mom, then you would test at 2:40 that is two hours after 12:40.

[praying for strength to control myself and to treat her kindly when she asks me the same question over and over]

Strep Throat

My baby (he's 10 years old) has strep throat!  I have not seen him this sick in a long time!  At least he is on antibiotic and should be feeling well by tonight.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time Test Beauty Tips - Poem by Sam Levenson

It helps to have support from your husband and his willingness to listen to me daily as I vent about my visits with mom and also by reading.  I wish mom could of lived her life this way.  I love this poem by Sam Levenson.  It was one of Audry Hepburn's favorite poems! 

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone... People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed and redeemed and redeemed. Never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others."

- Sam Levenson

Umm Hello - She was in Bed again!

Left work to go to mom's today -- I was not going today as Atsirk was going...I decided to go because I knew mom was getting a Ecko today at home and didn't want Atsirk to have to deal with mom alone. Atsirk is my niece and without her to talk to and join this journey -- I'd go absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y!

Mom was in bed today, when her meal arrived (via Meal-on-Wheels) Atsirk went into her room and let her know it had arrived...she continued sleeping. Her shower lady pulled in the driveway and once she knew she was here, she got right up!

As mom was entering the bathroom, she asked me if I knew were her "joint medicine" was. I'd been waiting for that question. I manage mom's medicine and was not aware of any joint medicine but recall seeing some bottles in her room. Come to find out she ordered the medicine off the TV! I read the warnings - Do not take if you have asthma, do not take if you are on prescription medicine...well mom is on about 28 prescription medicines and has asthma. I told her that and she said she got this from the doctor. Lie! She lied to my face! I manage her bills and saw a transaction on her Visa bill for this same joint medicine!

I want to beat my head on the wall......taking care of her is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I think God must think highly of me for him to give me such a hefty burden. I keep telling myself this because right about now it feels like I'm being punished.....

She's in Bed [ahem....again!]

I stopped by mom's yesterday and she is still in bed - it's my lunch hour so it's 11:30am.  She didn't hear me walk in (the alarm didn't sound - chain of bells she strings on the door). 

I mumbled to myself as I enter, wondering what orders she will yell from her bed.  I try to be quiet and move to the kitchen and as I pass her room, she is still sleeping.  I enter the kitchen and look in the refrigerator and begin filling her insulin needles.

Her medicine wheel sounds....she doesn't stir.  I grab her medicine from the wheel and put it on the table for her.  I wake her up and tell her the Meals on Wheels man just pulled into the driveway.  I met the driver on the porch and take her meal.  By this time, mom has moved from the bed to the table.  I place her meal down, get her silverware, cup of milk, butter and her insulin.

She tells me her nose is stuffy, I called her doctor and ask what she can take. (Mom's diabetic)  Afrin, they say.  I tell her I will go to the store and get it - she yells her grocery list as I stand down the hallway with my hand on the door knob.  Darnit, I almost escaped!

I come back and tell her I have to go back to work, that if I don't leave now -- I'll be late.....15 minutes later I interrupt her and say "Mom, I'm really late, I have to go".

Driving like a madwoman, I make it back to work--really really late -- still reeling from my visit.