Saturday, January 30, 2016

Left to my own Devices

In between my 8-10 hour daily visits to be with Mom, I manage to get in quite a bit of puttering around here. Mom is doing a little better every few days. It is difficult not to expect progress or at least the same level of improvement every day. I come home excited and optimistic due to a wonderful day, but the next is often a deep sleep day. However, when my son and I look back on the weeks, Mom is definitely much stronger. We are looking at next week as our last in the hospital. We have the orders signed for a hospital bed, air mattress, and all kinds of med supplies, pill crushers, home health assistance (thank goodness!!).

I can see in the faces and hear in the voices the kindness and doubt that I can take care of her at home. I must confess I feel it, too. I know only that I want to try. Time will tell. I know I'm usually capable of doing more than it looks like... My dear friend in Florida says that Midwesterners are "pluggers."   We just keep on plugging away. I know that was true of my dear daddy. I like that idea so much. I hope I am a plugger!!!

Thought I'd share a little Valentine love, beautiful little gifts from my sister/cousin. They enchant my kitchen table. Today is Saturday. Five weeks ago tomorrow Mom had that stroke. Hey, Lady... You've come a long way!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Personal traveler's notebook wallet

I've been enjoying some really interesting YouTube videos that feature these traveler's notebooks as journals, as wallets, as planners. So, I decided since I never like to be without paper, etc., this looks like me.

If you are a YouTube watcher, check out Jenny Penton Planner Perfect for ideas.
Chic Sparrow has some beauties, so I've opted for one called The American Dream Deluxe. In Pacific blue, size personal... It's filled with cool pockets, and I have a coin zipper pouch on the way. Just a little scrapbook paper does the trick to jazz up ordinary fillers.

I had my name engraved on the front and all that wonderfulness. It's fun to plan and make grocery lists all in the same place. The idea is to have a little wallet that is more useful. It also holds my phone. And makes soup... Well, not the soup. But it would if it could.

Mom is in her chair right now. Doing pretty well. Not sure when, but looks like she will get to come home soon... In the next few weeks or days. Then we'll see what we can do.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Full Moon Muse

Oh, how I love me a full moon! On snow? Well, clearly it is magical.

Mom is better most of the time. It is good to hear her sass. She has made a few jokes, ordered everyone to watch the roads, and clearly disagreed with my opinion of the value of physical therapy even when it hurts. Good to hear,

Tonight the full moon is simply exquisite. For years I told my son and his friends that I needed the full moon to shine on me in bed in order to be "right." No excuses now.

Just made a big cup of cocoanut coffee with sugar cookie creamer. Added a cranberry orange English muffin, and brought it in for "breakfast in bed with moonlight." That sounds like the title of an oil painting!

Hope wherever you are in this wide world that you found a minute to see the moon and whisper a wish and a dream to it.

I sure did.

                                                                                                                          Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow day

It snowed just a little more through the night, and I saw snow plows running at four a.m. Several schools cancelled today. I haven't quite made up my mind, but I think I'll stay home today. My son can go in because he's working right across the highway at his regular computer workplace.

P.S. I went in... She is asleep, but I'm here anyway..

I changed the mantle from Santa to snow, snowballs, snowflakes, and village. And I couldn't bear to part with the cheer that Copper boiler brings me. I love how it twinkles at night with its red tiny lights. It's just a big garland with silk poinsettias tucked in and a red stand of mini lights wound through. However, it seems almost to be a cozy fire in the old, worn fireplace. That takes me back to the childhood nights when my dad made it warmer than warm and we three sat around the flames and cooked hot dogs for supper on a little motorized rotary gizmo Daddy invented and made. He called it the "Gayla Cooker." Never will a hot dog again taste so exquisite. That was long before "they" gave them such a bad rap about their additives and fillers. Those little sandwiches in white bread flapped over and a little squirt of ketchup, relish, (and mustard for dad and me. Mom hates it) were food for the gods...

I spent hours last night and this morning steaming the floor in the kitchen. I bought a new Bissel hard surface steamer. Love it! As I've said before, these linoleum floors are about sixty years old. All the stream and love in the world can't make them pretty again. But I had such a good time trying. Is that odd? Do I care?

I've been to the hospital or staying , overnight in it every day since December 27.  I don't think Mom will be ready to come home when her Medicare runs out, so we will have to co pay a while. A word to the wise: Get a Medicare supplement in case of this kind of scenario.

There is some kind of wild animal rustling around on the front porch. He's banging into the wicker furniture. I've seen all kinds of tracks up there, including ground hog and even deer. Think I'll keep my nose inside and let him be.

Mom's nurse called. She said Mom was rather quiet today but doing about the same.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Today is the biggest snow we have had. Slick roads and schools dismissing early. Mom is doing about the same, but with more conversation! Everybody stay safe!

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Goodbye, Christmas!

Packed away, totes back in their closets, Christmas is a beautiful memory. Today was a sleepy one for Mom. (Our dear friends who read this blog came to visit her today, but she really didn't wake up much. Thank you anyway!)

Tonight I'm home early, cozied in, ready to brew some orange tea and watch TV. Hoping for a good week for Mom and for my son.  And for all of you, as well.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hey there! Fun for who?

Still doing really well. I hear more and more from Mama every day. Today she shot off her numbers to 20 in nothing flat when I quizzed her. She does a series of questions and opposites. Her ideas are cute. In goes with out. Up goes with down. But bacon goes with... tomatoes. (Of course, it does!) And when I say black, she fires off... blue!

I told her that my son was going to go to Columbia for awhile and then come by here. I asked if that sounded like fun... She thought a minute and then said. "Fun for who?" Indeed, Mama...

I packed away about two-thirds of the Christmas decorations and cleaned on the kitchen last night. I'm convinced that elves come in at night and during the day and make messes, get laundry dirty, and generally cause housework to pile up while I'm at the hospital.

So, as in other posts, it's one day at a time and hoping for the best.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weather Forecast

Missouri is having a roller-coaster winter. Yesterday it was super warm, almost balmy! Sunny and bright. I told Mom what a pretty day! Then I mentioned it was gonna get cold on Sunday.

"How cold?" she asked.

"Minus two."

She thought a minute and then said, "Oh, cold cold."


Mom is doing much better. We have to overcome the swallow test and several other hurdles, but when she talks to my son, it just melts his heart... and mine, too.

Snow possible today... Time to rise and shine.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Zig zag upward

We were told that stroke recovery was a zig zag upward line. Yesterday was such an improvement. Today might be. ....or it might go backward a step.

She managed to swallow some water from ice chips yesterday, to sit in a recliner for the second day in a row several hours, to communicate, call my son's name, and make a sentence about her little bootie socks ("I don't like yellow." With great effort) Not bad at all. Loved the bootie socks comment. She always said she liked yellow on other people but didn't like to wear it. Supposedly about 85 years ago she begged her mother for a yellow dress to be a sunshine in the school play. She told her all the girls would have yellow dresses. Actually times were so hard that mom was the only girl in a yellow dress. Evidently Gramma was ticked, and she made Mom wear that dress until she outgrew it. It must've been traumatic because her anathema of that wardrobe hue remains strong through all this.

Have a good day. Ours is cold and clear with a bright yellow sun.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A little update

Just as soon as I post this, it will be different. Mom is mostly asleep. She gave little to no responses Sunday, but today there was a baby step of improvement. Vitals are strong. Each day she seems stronger, or am I dreaming? I go in about ten and leave about 8. I have wonderful friends, and so does Mom. My son has been a rock. But he has gone through such anguish because he and his granny are best buddies.

This house is just too quiet. People pray for us and send their best while all around tragedy seems to echo through the hospital, of course. It is good to be close to home with people and a doctor who care personally for us.

That is where we are. January is nearly half over already. Unbelievable.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Here we are...

Not a good day today.  Hoping for better tomorrow...  

Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Dog named Bridget

We moved today. At the hospital in our home town the nurses were our friends, the doctor went to high school with me, the distance is only 10 miles. Mom is in just fragile shape, but she has come up with some wonderful ideas. I told her this morning that when I brought her home, I would get us a little dog. She nodded when I asked if she would like a dog. "What will we name her?" I asked--- not expecting an answer. The question was barely hanging there in the room with the IV's the feeding tubes, the extra pillows to prop her up.

"Bridget," she announced.

You got it, Mama.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

In My own little corner in my Own little World

Remember that song from Leslie Ann Warren's Cinderella? It runs through my mind often. "In my own little corner in my own little world, I can be whatever I want to be."

Mom's new room is a step down single person room with a bench for me to sleep on, which I have. I came in here January 1st with her. Today, if all goes as planned they are dismissing her to travel to my home town to a swing bed unit. This hospital is done. She can stay there as long as she improves for 21 days. Then...???

My observation: Hospitals really don't want sick people any more. People in crisis, yes. Truly sick or old, no.  Medicare rules continue to dictate the actual health care of illness... A person has to be improving in order to qualify for further care. Imagine if that carried over to everything. Sorry, your car needs to be running in order for the mechanic to fix it. Oh, too bad, your child must already be learning in order for us to start the unit. Oh, wait! Your house needs to be turning green by itself before I can paint it that color.

The future? Well, honestly, even that 2:00 trip is too far in the horizon for me to think about. We are just stringing moments together. And my son and I are collecting little golden words that have suddenly become treasures of our hearts to go along with the years of treasures and easier words.

Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers. This is a pretty bad start to a new year. Hoping for the best

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Several times...

The hospital lobby tree... this is a beautiful tree. Something about the sparkle and color of it just pleases me. I'm thinking I need one just like it next Christmas.

Watching Pioneer Woman with Mom at the hospital. She says a few words, and some of them are amazing. Quite a bit of progress, but so far to go.

I need to caution you if you have an elderly person in your family. Hospitals do not want you to leave full code as the status. They have decided that at 91, do not resuscitate is the status they want to leave. We have had this conversation with doctors and staff at least 12 times. I respect the opinions of everyone, and all situations and prognosis are very different, but as long as there are improvements, why would we change our minds?

Today the doctor told me to be quiet when he started it. He said he needed to hear it from Mom. Then he painted what he later volunteered was a worst case of resuscitation. He asked Mom if she would want that. His voice totally led for a no. She was quiet. I held my breath. He repainted it twice and asked for a response. She had been talking to him. Finally I heard her say, "Everything. Try everything." THEN "I've already been legally dead, so.... Everything."

He seemed surprised and said he wouldn't ask again. I doubt that. But be cautious if this happens to you. They continually harass my friend about her husband... Same question. They even called her MID-CODE to see if she really meant it!!!!! She did. He revived and is much better...

Is this a secret euthanasia? What is the reason? Is it a conspiracy with Medicare? Just amazing.... And scary. Is there a way to keep this from happening? My mother dreams a lot right now. What if I'm not here? What if she says the wrong thing? This shouldn't be repeated...

Take care