Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Morning Staff Meeting - The Prodigal Blogger

First of all, I would like to apologize for being gone so long. The creative well had run dry, so to speak. I added up my combined blogging efforts and it was almost 1,800 posts. Add to that my current living situation and you got .... nothing! Still, I cannot believe I left you for so long with only that stupid sandal to look at.

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We are all as well as can be expected for our age and circumstances. Since last we visited our son moved out into a townhouse, which is a good thing because this was quickly becoming an assisted living facility and he gets enough of that in his job as a nurse. That leaves the Farmer, the Other Mother and yours truly. The Farmer and the Other Mother have both been in the hospital, the Other Mother's diagnosis is ..... "She's 91-3/4 years old." The Farmer was in the hospital with a diagnosis of .... "faux heart attack brought on by stress". We must change that situation so that the faux heart attack doesn't become a real one! He's joined a gym and is working out 3-4 day a week. He's doing good. I've had eye surgery, a cataract is each eye. The surgery is really nothing these days, I remember when people had their head sandbagged and couldn't move for a very long time. It does give you pause though, to think that a surgeon is coming towards your eye with a scalpel. Sorry for the mental image. Honestly, the surgery is a breeze and the results are really terrific.

Let's talk dementia. Both the Other Mother and the Mother are suffering from dementia. Since the Farmer is still working I have the burden of responsibility for the Other Mother. My sister has the burden of responsibility for the Mother and I am the backup. So you can see where this is going.

I do not have a life.

I am not even kidding about this.

So, what's to write about? Well, remember when your mom said if you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything at all? Well, that's pretty much been the situation. Believe me when I say that caregiving is the most isolating experience ever.

When the Other Mother was released from the hospital she was so weak she couldn't get out of bed. The conversation with the doctor's office was the most bizarre exchange ever!

ME: "Now she's so weak she can't get out of bed."

OFFICE: "OK, well bring her in so that we can check her out."

ME: "Hmmmm, well that's a little difficult because like I said, SHE CAN'T GET OUT OF BED!!" 

OFFICE: "Well, we need to see her in order to make a referral or recommendation."

ME: "OK, well thanks. This was the most ridiculous conversation I've ever had."

We clearly needed some in-home help. Thank heavens for the internet because we didn't even know these type of companies existed. It's is not skilled nursing care, but basically what a CNA would do in a clinical setting. The only problem was that the minute the Other Mother was out of bed and mobile, she fired them! If she's not flat on her back there's no value in it for her.

The bottom line is that you cannot leave a person with dementia for any siginificant period of time. You can run a quick errand but that's it. And so, there you go. That's a quick synopsis.

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I haven't even been reading blogs. That's bad. I did check in with Chocolatechic one day and see that she's blogging once a week on a Monday. I think that's a good idea and a way that I can try to get back into blogging. Certainly I can find ONE thing to write about during a week's time.

My visit to Chocolatechic's blog was serendipitous because it was the day she was talking about adopting a U.S. Soldier. Hey, I could do that. I'm basically housebound with plenty of time on my hands. I love to write - it's a match! So I've adopted two soldiers through Soldier's Angels and I also write to some others through their TLC team.

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 I forgot to mention what I am serving this morning. We are going to share some shrimp and grits! Look, if you don't like grits it's only because you haven't had them cooked right. Trust me on this.

Get the water boiling good, add the grits and still constantly for at least one minute. Continue to cook the grits until the water is almost absorbed and then start adding some heavy cream, a little at a time until they are real creamy. Put olive oil in a fry pan, add chopped onion and green peppers, fry until the onions are translucent. Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes. Deglaze the pan with some white wine and add heavy cream to make a sauce. Serve the shrimp mixture over the grits.

Heaven on earth. I could eat grits every day.

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My upstairs sewing room has been transformed back to a guest bedroom and all my machines and fabric now have their own spot in a studio in our basement. It's a good set-up and I continue to make aprons, wallets and whatever else strikes my fancy. When the Farmer is home on weekends I'm able to get out a do a few craft shows and farmer's markets. The online shop is languishing a bit until I get some photography work done. So, that's basically it for me.

I'd LOVE to hear what you've been doing. Please share!!



Debbie said...

Dear Suzanne,
It was so nice to read your post today. I hope you will remember me; I met you at a bloggers luncheon at White Pines State Park a few years ago. Too many, in fact! Of all the ladies there, Michelle the quilter is the only one I've noticed still blogging, or maybe I'm missing someone. Anyway, it's good to see you back and I hope you keep posting,as I really enjoy your humor and I know many would agree. Your situation is difficult. Many of us have been or will be there. I was. Perhaps this is one good way to communicate. Hope you hubby does find stress relief, and that you do too. The shrimp and grits sounds delish!
Lets try and keep up with one another!

Our Hopeful Home said...

Hi Suzanne. Long time no chat. I'm so glad I found your post today. I've been so busy lately that I haven't had the time to read any of the usual million blogs I follow....I know your situation is a tough one. My father had Alzheimers and my husband's father now has end-stage kidney disease. It has taken it's toll on my MIL who refuses to accept help with the caregiving. KUDOS to you for getting help when you need it! And what a great idea to adopt a soldier! Sounds like the crafting side is keeping you busy, and that, too, is a good thing! You are so talented!

dot said...

My gosh I'm happy to see you're back. I've missed you terribly, and was hoping all was ok with all the Mother's and the Farmer. Suzanne, thee best books I've ever read have been recommended by you, with No Time on My Hands being the All Time Winner!! Please tell me about a few more! I feel like I could just walk into your kitchen, pour a cup of coffee, and just sit down and chat!!

Stephanie said...

So glad to know you are alive and well! Being a caretaker is a very lonely and underappreciated job. Remember to take care of yourself! I enjoy your blog very much and am so glad to see you back at it. I'm looking forward to your posts.
PS I am a frequent reader but have never posted a comment.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you post on the daily life of what it's like to look after a person with Dementia? I'm sure many of us will be in the same situation at some point and it would be good to know what we are in for.

Millicent said...

Suzanne, I am SO GLAD to see your post this morning. I click on your link each day and usually see the sandal,so I am thrilled to see a post. I, too, have been in charge of caregiving for a parent, and I know how difficult it can be. Loved the shrimp and grits this morning, but most of all, the conversation is the best. Praying for you and your family. Looking forward to seeing what you've been working on in your shop soon. Blessings...Millicent

Anonymous said...

There are so many in your situation...who are or have cared for aging parents. Know that they all understand and appreciate the stresses you're living with. Take care. Glad to see a post from you again.

Ren said...

Do you know only yesterday I was wondering about what an earth had happened to you and hoping it wasn't something awful. So glad to see you update. I'm sad to hear you're so isolated caring for the other mother. I hope getting some help is going to give you a little bit more time to do you things. I look forward to your next post. xx

Ruta M. said...

Welcome back. I too have been checking your site and wondering what has happened to you and your family. I'm glad that you are able to share your daily life and I hope that you will find some relief from all your responsibilities. Our 25 year old son was found dead on the 1st Feb and I know that Facebook and blogging were a way that we could communicate with people without the pain of direct conversation. The support of on-line friends has helped a lot and reading about other people's lives has helped me emerge from a tight ball of isolation. I hope that you too will find comfort and support from the blogging community and that you will find ways to cope with all your responsibilities. Our thoughts are with you.

linda/Il said...

So glad to see you back. I TRULY understand your situation-or very nearly. My mom is early dementia, living alone, driving & will be 93 the end of May.

I'm her only child nearby (2 M.) and get it all along with trying to help out DS & wife with 3 grands, who I love seeing. Along with farming, DH & DS#2 I truly understand the term "sandwich generation". It's often a chunk to swallow. Would love for you to post on your thoughts.

franinoz said...

Suzanne, so glad to see you back here and so sorry life is weighing heavily on you and yours. Whenever you have the time and energy to blog, I'm sure we'll be here to listen.

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

You have been missed! Being a caregiver is a lonely tiring, exhausting job! Sounds like you have had a full plate of situations. Glad the farmer is exercising

Grits--yuck--and I live in the South--you ca have my portion

Good to know about the eye surgery--having my first on Monday

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

I've missed you, Suzanne. I cannot imagine your daily routine. I was very fortunate in that respect. I have really slowed down my posts because when you are trying to slim down, why write about food and all those forbidden things. It does help clear my head on occasion and all I need to do is read a few comments and then I am excited again. Take care.

Pamela said...

YEAH, you're back! I never gave up! Caregiving is a long, hard path. I'm glad you have found the energy and desire to reach out again. Take care of yourself and hopefully you will feel the support of the people who read your blog!

LDF said...

I've been a bad blogger this winter too. Trying to return to things, but its so often work work work (I have no life ... I have a job in a non-profit organization that pays crap but demands long long hours ... play that violin oh poor me!) that I can't think of anything brilliant to post! In my work, I deal with seniors who are struggling with inadequate health care and lack of affordable support. Sonme days its heartbreaking ... especially when I remember I'm only a few years away from the same issues! Hang in there!

Vee said...

Oh how lovely to find you here and you've been here all this time! Your blog is not updating on the blog roll for some reason and I had come in to see if you had met the six months thing I have going for my own peace of mind.

Your situation does not sound pleasant. At least, with my grandmother, I had her power of attorney and medical power of attorney so there was no way that anyone was "fired" unless I did it. Perhaps your husband can look into that.

I'm getting pretty excited to think that I have more of your posts to read.

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