Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksgiving and Beyond....

It's been a long time since I've written, mostly because I simply haven't had the heart.....and there's been little good news to report.  The picture looks like a happy Thanksgiving, but looks can be deceiving.  Actually, Thanksgiving day was good, but my mother had "an episode", for lack of better words, the three days leading up to it.  Tuesday night she was up and down all night until about 1:30 AM when I finally turned on all the lights in the house and asked her if she wanted to come to the kitchen for some milk.  She came down the hall looking at everything as though for the first time and said, "This place is just like your other place."  She walked through every room and looked at everything on the wall....and seemed to approve!  She had milk and we sat a while until she said she was tired and thought she would go to bed.  After the events earlier in the evening, my first thought was "sure!", but she went to bed, to sleep and slept until 9AM on Wednesday morning.  Of course by the time she decided to do that, I had sweet potatoes baking in the oven, the dishwasher going, etc.  I finally made it to bed around 3:30!  She spent most of that morning in her room, finally coming out around 3PM to help with the cooking....probably after the increased dosage of morning meds had time to kick in.  She was rational after that and Thanksgiving Day was quiet.....and quiet is good.

Today (Monday, December 3) is a bit different.  The episode began yesterday but didn't escalate during the night.  This is the first time it has happened during the day....for the whole day.  She is going home and has (literally) packed everything in her room and bathroom.  She has been at it all day and I've just left her alone.  The less I say the better, so I've picked out a gallon bag of pecans, baked cookies and cornmeal muffins. She said she would call her NC neighbor to come get her, then asked if I would call a taxi and see how much that would cost.  Again, I remained quiet.  It's 4:15PM and she just changed into her PJs so maybe she has decided to stay the night. I've called the doctor again and he suggested doubling her nighttime dosage of Seroquel.  That should at least help her sleep....and me,too!  Here's hoping for a better day tomorrow.....

A note to Allan and Ann, both of whom left messages on my phone today.  We were here but in absolutely no condition to talk.  My sincere apologies for not picking up but, believe me, I spared you!!

If you haven't guessed, my mother has officially been diagnosed with dementia.....and I think we have both been in denial.  The aides from Amedisys used the word when they were assisting her after her hospital stay in September, but I'm not sure she picked up on it or knows exactly what is happening to her.  But, it has definitely caught my full attention over the last few months.  The word was first used when I had her doctor complete his portion of the application for Aid and Attendance Benefits but, again, I didn't pay too much attention to it, thinking they were just trying to be helpful.  That idea was shot down in no time flat.  Now that I can no longer deny it, I've contacted a few places to see what my options are.....and South Carolina, one of those states that refused the Medicaid expansion required by Obamacare, makes it difficult for someone without major physical problems (unable to dress or feed self, etc.) to receive assistance.  So, it isn't likely to be a quick or easy path.  When she is feeling better, I hope to speak with someone in person in order to get a grasp of things.  I know that her needs are quickly outpacing my abilities. I've emailed the relatives and spoken with friends, giving full details.  Today I returned the Talking Books equipment, which she never seemed able to process or enjoy.....and it's such a wonderful service.  I hope there will be someone who can benefit from it.  That was my acknowledgement of the reality of our situation.

Just home from Vet's clinic.
My lament (in my last post) about my kitties proved prophetic.  The day after Thanksgiving Gabby had scratched three raw places on his head.  I'd taken him the month before for an allergy shot and just figured it was time for another. He had also been eating very well but was becoming boney, so I asked that they do blood work to make sure everything was okay. From the point of the vet visit on, he stopped eating and became more and more lethargic.  By Sunday he was so ill that I was really afraid for him, so I called the vet.  The secretary actually received the message and, since she was passing the office, stopped in and pulled the blood work up on the computer.  Gabby is diabetic and the allergy shot exacerbate it.  The vet called and explained the problem and said I should bring him in on Monday at 8AM...that he would be alright until then.  But, by that time he had also stopped drinking water or moving.  He would just lie wherever he was placed and had a blank stare.  So, I called again around 3:30 and told her I was afraid he wouldn't make it until Monday.  She seemed none too pleased about seeing him on a Sunday, which I called her on....."Oh, no no!  It isn't that"....if anything was wrong, she couldn't leave an unsupervised, unprepped cat in the clinic overnight.  If it was serious, I would have to take him to the clinic in Savannah.  I told her that was okay with me.  What I didn't want was a dead cat in the morning.  So, for a hefty sum she agreed to meet me and see him.  He was very dehydrated, so she gave him fluid and a pain reliever.  Needless to say, I had him at the clinic at 8AM and he was there for two nights and three days. The first two days home he required two insulin shots a day and two pain meds per day.  After that it's the insulin and an appetite stimulant every 2-3 days.  I do want a follow up for him as soon as things settle with my mother..... He is such a sweet kitty and my main source of love and encouragement.  I really don't want to lose him and I hope he is able to fully recover.

Well, Gabby's scare just totally unhinged me.  My emotions have been (and still are) on my sleeve and I've spent a lot of time crying, for both Gabby and all that I've been sublimating about my mother for such a long time.....just a deep well of sadness.  I know that "this too shall pass" and life will not always be this way, but it is very difficult when going through it.

Christmas?  I'm just hoping to get through it and get it over without disturbance.  We put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving but have not been able to get anything else done.  My heart just isn't in it and my energy level is zip.  It can't be over soon enough......

Wish the news from this end was better, but I hope things are going well where you are and that everyone is in the Christmas/Holiday spirit. If so, read this and count your blessings!! Thanks so much for keeping us in your you are in ours.  Lots of love for the holidays!