Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tough times!

My brother is completely incapacitated right now. His pain is debilitating and there is no position he can find that is without pain. Yesterday, he went for an MRI, but could not lie still for the hour to do it. Our doctor cousin, who set up the MRI for him, had to give him a shot of demerol laced with fenegren for him to be able to even get the MRI. MRI was read today and they saw several issues, but the main one is a bulging disc. They are making arrangements for an injection on Thursday. Not sure how that will help anything other than the pain. He is just miserable. I have had a herniated disc many years ago when they cut a 6 inch opening down the spine. They don't do that anymore, but I'm sure he will be a candidate for whatever they do these days for that issue. He has already had 2 spinal stenosis surgeries, so he thought that would be the problem. It's hard to see him in such pain and Mom just cries when she sees him hurting so badly. He is stubborn and will not let me stay every night with Mom and get her to bed. He just lays back in the recliner and gets up long enough to get her in bed when it is time.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Unexpected vacay!

I took an overnight trip to Lake Charles Friday. Unfortunately, it was to attend a funeral. My cousin's son took his own life...so so sad and tragic. His parents had NO IDEA! I decided to spend a night at L'Abuerge, which is really an awesome property and casino. I did rest, but I also lost a few bucks in the casino. The funeral was at 2, so I had to leave immediately without even changing into comfy clothes to get home in time to take Mom to the bathroom. We hired someone to take my place on Friday, but we didn't have anyone during that time slot on Saturday. Mom really misses me when I am gone, but I do understand the need for me to get away occasionally. Have a full day tomorrow. but I don't mind since the weather is so nice.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Still here!

Exhaustion along with depression has settled in on me this week. As a result, I have not been to the fitness center but once this week and slept all day yesterday and today until I had to leave to go to Mom's. I'm starting to dread going there every day. I never know what I am going to find. I am just TIRED.

 I have 12 sand bags in front of my front door due to the weather gurus predicting massive amounts of rain from Hurricane Isaac. We got 1 inch. Now I have to figure out how to remove the sand bags, which are very heavy. My brother put them there for me, but he has forgotten that they need to be removed. I don't want to remind him because he just has so much to do and he doesn't live in my town.

It is getting very difficult to fix something that Mom can eat or will eat. She almost always spits any meat out because she doesn't chew it up good enough to swallow it. It's disgusting and I am tired of trying to find something she will eat. She may eat it one day and the next day NOT! My brother and I have decided that if she gets hungry enough, she will eat whatever I fix for her. She doesn't like Mexican and she doesn't like cheese which pretty much eliminates any little frozen lunches. The caregiver doesn't cook any more. I don't blame her if Mom won't eat it. Mom won't even chew the peeling on the grapes. She spits that out as well.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Woo Hoo...renewed!

I took Saturday off and went out for some fine dining with my friends. We went to 2John's in Bossier City and it was wonderful. I was downright giddy at the idea of just getting out. The food was unbelievably good. I had Steak Oscar (filet mignon on a bed of the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted, topped with Louisiana lump crab, hollandaise sauce and a few green beans). Also, had a dirty martini, fried green tomato salad and ended the evening with creme brulee. We had such a good time and it did me a world of good. My brother and sister-in-law took care of Mom and even took her out to eat catfish. I guess I should do that more often because in December and January, my brother will take a few vacations and I will have it by myself.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I've been negligent!

Things are about the same around here. I was in panic mode one night this week when the caregiver scheduled to come in at night had car trouble and said she couldn't come. I have no idea how to change Mom during the night. My brother called the caregiver and told her he would come get her and she agreed to come, but her brother got her car to running before that happened. I guess I should take a CNA course!!! (Certified Nurse Assistant). Crisis averted, but I'm sure it will eventually happen when I have to stay.

Mom has been getting weaker and weaker and has started that old thing of holding food in her mouth and not swallowing. Her mind is also deteriorating. It is my hope that she can go on and join Dad in heaven before it gets much worse, but I know it's not our call. What we think is best may not be what is God's plan.

Yesterday, I went to the funeral of my high school chemistry teacher. I learned so much from her and still remember all those damn symbols, which I have never used except to answer trivia questions. She was one of my inspirations to become a teacher. One of the young men in my class was struggling with his chemistry and she assigned me to help him. He passed and I wanted to become a teacher!!

An aside! I am so glad I no longer have a landline phone! NO POLITICAL BS! Sooo...I'll just add my political BS here!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Nice surprise!

I got a call tonight while I was on my way home from Mom's from a dear friend that I had when I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast. We had not spoken in probably a year and had very few emails. She and her husband have sold their home in Texas and moved to the mountains in New Mexico. She was sitting on her porch looking at the beautiful moon tonight and was reminded of a time when we were at their beach house on Crystal Beach. We were supposed to be cleaning the beach house when I told her I was going outside and watch the moon. She decided to kill the vacuum and join me to look at the moon across the water. I have no recollection of this, but she was reminded of me tonight and called to tell me so! Some friends are forever friends. I have promised her that the first time that I am able to get away that I will be coming to New Mexico to see them. Probably won't happen as long as Mom is alive, but it will happen some day. Great way to end the day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dog Pile!

Our night caregiver that had just come back to work after finding out she was diabetic with an 805 blood sugar is back in the hospital with congestive heart failure. She is only 52! She is now off the ventilater, but it is doubtful that she will ever be back to work. The other night caregiver has not yet returned from her colon surgery, but we have had to advance her some pay so they wouldn't cut off her power at home. She returns to her day job at a nursing home this week, but has no plans to return to us until August. I have to keep telling myself to "Let go and let God!"

AND the deer are eating my flowers! Caladiums are going bye bye.
AND I need a goat! My yard man hasn't been in almost a month!!!
AND the man I called to get him to come spray my bahai grass never returned my call!!!
OH....and I have those damn little black ants in my kitchen that I can't seem to get rid of!

HOLY CRAP! Can I please get a break?????

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Both our night time caregivers are in the hospital now! The second one went Wednesday when she was having all kinds of strange things happening to her. Turns out her blood sugar was 805! OMG! She had no idea that she was a diabetic. She will be back to work next week. In the meantime, our daytime caregiver has found someone to fill in for the other night caregiver, so, if our one that had surgery Friday is ever able to come back, we will have another one that is already trained to fill in when necessary. She cares for a man every day M-F and is coming to Mom's at 10:30. Tough duty, but we told her she can take naps in between checking on Mom. We have two caregivers that have other jobs. Don't know how they do it, but they are much younger than me.

On the bright side, my brother got a new trap and finally caught two coons that were eating our corn! That's a total of 3! Since then, there have been none in the corn! He gave those to someone who wanted them to cook! EWWWW! I'm not eating coon!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What next!

We hired another night caregiver today to fill in for the one who had emergency surgery on Friday. The downside is that no one would do it for the $7.25 that we were paying, which means that everyone will be getting a raise. The daytime caregivers do so much more than the night caregivers because they have to fix meals, give baths, wash clothes, etc. The night people only have to change her and turn her every two hours. They can recline and rest  in between those times. Yesterday, I was completely stressed out about it because I worry about what we are going to do when Mom's money runs out. The daytime caregivers have been getting $10 an hour, but I'm sure we will have to raise that to $11 now. I just hope her money doesn't run out before she does!

Time to uncork a new bottle!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Sooner rather than later!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Oh, my goodness!

When I got to Mom's yesterday, my brother told me that the caregiver who had been with her all night went straight to the ER from there. She has a hole in the small intestine and had emergency surgery yesterday. They ended up removing half her colon. Haven't heard yet exactly what the problem was. Cancer was a possibility, but I have not been told if that is what it was. That poor woman had been in pain all night and didn't call either me or my brother so she could go on to the ER. I feel bad that she didn't do that. Don't want to go visit her today because I know the second day is the worst, but I did send some flowers from our family.

The coons have found our corn and the deer and found the sweet potatoes. Traps have been set every night for the coons, but only one has been caught. They continue to manage to get the marshmallows out of the trap without tripping it. We have no idea how! The potatoes have been surrounded by reflector tape as of yesterday, which we have been told is a deterrent to deer. Deer also like okra, so it will probably be next!!! It's not producing yet, but it will have some ready by next week if the deer let us have any of it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Holy CRAP!

I am smack dab in the middle of the book and movie, The Help, in real life! There is definitely a network that tends to undermine the caregivers. My brother, who writes the checks, finally told the main caregiver on Friday that it was not right for her to put down 8 hours every day when she never gets there at 7 and never has. We just overlooked it during school because she has children that she has to get to school. That's fine, but don't put down that you worked 8 hours when you clearly didn't! My brother goes over every morning to check on Mom and he is always there before the caregiver and many times goes ahead and gets Mom out of bed. Well, the caregiver didn't like him reprimanding her (very gently, because we know how defensive she is). She called one of the night caregivers and told her that my brother was checking on her in the middle of the night to make sure she was doing her job. He's hiding out in the woods and watching the house. What a bunch of crap! That caregiver called and got me instead of my brother. She just wanted to know why he was watching her because she does her job and she is even there early every time. I calmed her down and told her that there was not an ounce of truth to that. The day time caregiver is just trying to start mess because she was busted and wants to bring everyone else into the fray! I made her understand that if we had an issue with her, we would approach her directly...not someone else! We love the night caregivers because they do their job and do the 8 hours they are paid for. What a bunch of crap! We have ignored the indiscretions of the daytime caregiver because we know how defensive and sensitive she is and we are afraid she would take it out on our mom, but it adds up significantly when you get paid for 8 hours every day and you have only worked 71/2 every day or less! I guess it just finally got to my brother enough to bring it up. It just pisses me off that she tries to involve the other caregivers. I would like to fire her ass and keep the others, but it is too hard to find a replacement.
The night caregiver that called me told me not to mention it to the caregiver who started this mess or to my brother, so I didn't. My brother would really be mad if he knew what the daytime caregiver was doing and the lies she is telling about him.
My brother is a rock star! Yesterday, he got a 5 gallon bucket of corn ready to cut off the cob and freeze. I cut it all off and heated it, cooled it and packaged it. He watched how I did it. I talked to him a few minutes ago and he had picked, shucked, silked, cut off, heated, cooled and packaged another 5 gallon bucket by himself. Not many men would even begin to do this! He did it at Mom's house so he could be with her as well.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I'm still here!

Monday, May 21, 2012

All is well!

It's a busy time of the year and I have been neglectful of this little blog spot. Mom is doing well. Saw both her GP and her cardiologist last week and seems to be doing well. Some days she understands more and is able to talk a little bit, but other days...not so much. We are still taking her outside everyday in her power chair, but it is getting really hot and the flies have been relentless this year.

The best part of the garden is happening now. Those days when we get the FIRST tomatoes, cukes, and potatoes. YUM!

I have invested in yet another gadget! I could be Inspector Gadget! It is a high tech pedometer that automatically updates to my computer. It is called Fitbit and although I just used it for the first time yesterday, I think it is going to be really good for me. I don't even know I have it on. That's how small it is. The goal is 10,000 steps a day. Yesterday was only about 4,000, but it was Sunday and I did very little activity. Hopefully, today will be better. I am determined to prevent heart disease and stroke since I have everything in the genes working against me!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Another one gone!

My mother's sister that I mentioned in the last post died Friday night just 3 weeks after her husband died. Their 4 children and 2 grandchildren have really been through it. It has been hard on Mom as well. Her sister was slightly younger than her. This picture was made when we took Mom to the hospital to see Aunt Dorothy. They just held hands the whole time. We stood mom up out of her wheelchair so she could see Aunt Dorothy in her casket and she just cried and cried. She didn't cry like that when my dad died! Of course, she was so exhausted when he died that it was a relief for her.

 I got to come home at 6:30 tonight. My brother has two nights this week that he won't be available to help, so he sent me home tonight. I am glad because we just had a storm with hail and my car was in the garage!

Friday, April 27, 2012


Didn't realize that I had been gone so long. Not much has been happening. Mom is doing really well, but her slightly younger sister had a stroke and she has turned into a really mean person. She has been so "off the chain" that her children could not even tell her that her husband had a stroke as well and died. Not sure they have even told her yet and he died on April 15th. She has been on the Senior Psychiatric unit of the hospital to try to find something that will calm her down. Made me ever so grateful that Mom's stroke left her unable to walk and talk instead of just being a mean old woman. She is even mean to her own children. It's really quite sad. I am afraid to go visit my aunt for fear that she would be mean to me.

Gardening is well underway, which is great therapy for both my brother and me. We had to re-plant almost everything due to hard rains that hardened the ground so the little seeds couldn't push through. We have tomatoes, squash, beets, cucumbers, bell peppers, okra, corn, and eggplant. Brother also has sugar cane planted.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

I love Texas!

I didn't take these pictures, but what I saw looked just like this. So, so beautiful! But why are they called Bluebonnets? They are clearly PURPLE!

Friday, April 06, 2012


I'm back and had Mom duty last night. She is fine and I am rested. Made a lot of difference to me and my attitude to have a few days to just kick back. Since I was in the path of the  weather on Tuesday, I checked out of the Gaylord Texan and headed south just to get away from the storms. The plus side to that is that the storms didn't go there and the wild flowers in the hill country were awesome.

My brother cut my oak tree down for me while I was gone. It wasn't real big, but it was going to be too big for my yard and the roots were going to be a problem. I have someone coming today to grind the stump and I am grateful to have that behind me. This is a patio home that was professionally landscaped. Why he put a tree that was eventually going to be huge in such a small yard is beyond me. One would think he would know better. That's two trees that I have had to cut down because they were going to be too big. 

Now if we could just get a new government in D. C. I might be able to breathe deeply!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Strange things!

A family friend brought her 4 week old son to visit my mother Wednesday night. My mother lit up like a Christmas tree and started talking about that baby in words that we could clearly understand. Yesterday, she didn't remember their visit until my brother reminded her. Again she started talking about that sweet baby. The brain is an amazing thing! Hers used to be more amazing than any of the rest of ours. She was so smart. In fact, she got married when she was 16 and continued to go to school and graduated valedictorian of her class. She never went to college, but she would have kicked butt if she had. She was thrilled that both her children got college degrees.

Well, it's official! Sunday, I am leaving for a few days to luxuriate at the Gaylord Texan. I told Mom that Stewart is going to forget to give her the coumadin every day at 4 because I have my phone set to alarm so we can remember to give it to her. He said he would have to figure out how to set his phone alarm. She knows I am leaving and she seems to be ok with it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


After the caregiver took Mom to get her hair done Thursday, she took her to the nursing home rehab section to see her sister. Her sister is now in the same rehab facility that Mom was in for so long. How strange that almost none of the same people work there! Her speech therapist heard she was there and she ran to the parking lot to see Mom before she got away. We are grateful to the caregiver for doing this. It made Mom and her sister feel better.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's time!

Tomatoes, squash, bell peppers, cucumbers, egg plants. Potatoes are coming up. Got some corn planted today.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

He's BACK!

My Bro is back and it makes me very happy. Well, he always brings me orange creams from the candy store! Soooo.....today, I don't have to rush and get things done at my house so I can head to Mom's to be there by the time the caregiver leaves at 3. Except the one day when that mean old lady kidnapped my mother, Mom did OK. She missed my brother like crazy. I asked her when I got there if she talked to Stewart yesterday morning. She started on and on about something which I could not understand and then just busted out crying! Oh, my! What have I started was all I could think about. Turns out she just missed him!

My brother is insisting that I take a little R & R as well. It's different when I do it because we have to hire someone to come in to help because he cannot take her to the bathroom. She only has to go one time while I am there, but someone has to be there to take her and I hate to have to pay a caregiver $10 and hour because I am gone. We are blowing through her money like crazy. I am thinking I may check in a couple of days at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas....just outside Dallas. Never been there, but I hear wonderful things and all I want to do is rest in luxury! Judging from the cost of the rooms, they damn sure better be luxurious!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


My brother is in Branson this week. Mom did great the first day he was gone and walked with the caregiver. My brother walks her every day and he told her that she must walk with the caregiver. Everything was fine.  Yesterday, some mean old woman inhabited the body of my sweet mom. She refused to walk, refused an enema, shoved her lunch plate away...just all kinds of crazy, unusual for her, stuff. All I could do was apologize to the caregiver because I have no idea why she does this. She doesn't very often, but when she does, she is mean and rude. That is sooooo not my mother. Of course, I got angry with her and fussed, which she will not remember today. This will be my brother's last vacation until next December....thank goodness! I hate it when he is gone. Time for me to get out in my yard and relieve some stress!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Great Day!

After two days of enemas, Mom had a good day. The caregiver took her to the hairdresser, so she was looking all pretty. My brother called me and said he was going to bring Mom up to the hospital in my city to visit her sister. It was great! The sisters were so happy to see each other! They just held hands the whole time. One of our cousins was there, so we got to visit with her as well.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


Didn't realize I had been missing in action for so long. Things with Mom are about the same. Her sister has had another stroke and is in rehab now. I think I may be looking into my crystal ball as far as genes and health goes. I am now trying to combat as much of it as I can. I know I can't change the genes, but I can change the way I take care of myself....which is poorly! Although I am not a Catholic, I decided that during Lent I would do some sort of exercise every day. I joined the ALL HOURS fitness because I certainly need access at all hours. So far, I have been to it every day except Friday and that was strictly not of my own doing. I had no control over my time that day...SO, I guess I have already failed, but I will continue until Easter and then I will probably tone it down to a few days a week. My workout usually lasts about an hour, which includes 30-40 minutes on a treadmill or other cardio machine and some upper body and lower body weight machines. I enjoy it.

The gardening season is upon us. It's always a time I look forward to. My brother does most of the work because I don't get to Mom's until just after 3 P.M. He has been taking her outside in her power chair so she can watch him work and he can watch her between the time the caregiver leaves at 3 and I get there. He got the potatoes planted. My contribution to that was to get the seed potatoes all cut up the night before because I could do that after Mom was asleep. He also got his sugar cane in the ground. We also planted a few tomatoes in a raised bed. Last night we had to cover them with buckets to protect them from the cold. Gardening is just therapy for me. My dad loved it, too!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


We took Mom to the surgeon who put the peg tube in and got it out. My brother and I both left the room because we didn't want to see her hurt. By the time we got out, the doc said, "It's out!" We are all happy now. Mom turn 87 today so we told her that was her birthday present!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More frustration!

Mom woke up screaming and crying two nights in a row because of pain from that damn peg tube. Home Health told us yesterday to take her to the ER. We have already tried that and they did nothing, so we didn't do that. We may try to take her to the surgeon who put it in this week. It has been nothing but a pain...has never worked right for us although the Rehab nurses had no trouble getting her food and meds in. We have not used it since the first day or two after we got her home. It has blood around it and she won't let us touch it. It has only been in since December 21st and the doc says it has to stay 3 months and heal completely. It is never going to heal. We are just so frustrated seeing her in such pain. I started giving her pain meds Friday night.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Things have been much better lately. My brother comes over every night to help me get Mom in bed and we are switching up staying with her after she goes to bed until a caregiver gets there. It has made it much easier on me to get to come home by 8 or 8:30 a few nights a week. Makes a huge difference. Don't know why it took us so long to figure this out. I still have an occasional melt down and cry a lot, but those days happen more rarely. My brother is going to be gone for a long weekend next weekend and he will go to Branson again in March. They have told me that I need to take a few days and go somewhere, but I told them it would be pointless for me because my brain wouldn't be with my body even if I went away.

I have taken advantage of some beautiful weather to do the spring cleaning in the yard. All the flower beds are clean, but I don't have them mulched yet, because Wal Mart is too slow getting the stuff unwrapped. All the flower pots are cleaned and ready for new soil and more beautiful flowers.

Also managed to get my new cabinets finished in the garage. Don't have it all organized yet, but maybe by the end of this week, I will.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Monday, January 16, 2012


We spent all Friday afternoon in the ER. Mom's peg tube is stopped up again, has blood in it, and hurts her when it is touched. Something is wrong and her doctor told us to take her to the ER and get them to remove it. The ER doctor barely even looked at it, called the surgeon who put it in and he told the ER doc that it could not be removed, yet. It has not been there long enough to heal and it must be healed before it can be removed or the holes will not heal properly. Not sure what we will do now. The doc who put it in told us just to leave it alone since we are not using it anymore and not even try to flush it. I'm afraid this is not going to turn out well. She also has another UTI, which is why she must swallow her Cipro. She swallows everything else with no problem, including lots of other pills.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Divine Intervention

I did nothing but cry at Mom's today. Don't know why I am such an emotional wreck. I just held her and told her I couldn't stand to see her this way. I also had to deal with some bathroom issues tonight that I am just not equipped to do and that just threw me for a loop. I put her to bed at 7:00 like I always do and went back in the kitchen to read my book. My brother came in after his Bible study and told me to go home. He was going to stay until the caregiver got there. I was so grateful...but, he had NO CLUE what a wreck I had been all night! I just said "Thank you" and came home. Divine Intervention! I think so! There are NO coincidences!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

No words!

Things are going OK with mom. She is having a hard time walking every day, but we make her do it with my brother or with the therapist. She ooohs and ahhhs the whole time, but we just ignore it because she is not hurting. She is just scared.

Finished up my root canal yesterday, got my regular check-up today from my doc.......so I am good to go until something else falls apart! Didn't even have to do blood work because everything was so good 5 months ago at my last visit.

It's Mardi Gras time in Louisiana, which means I miss being a member of my krewe. All the festivities started Saturday night with 12th Night. I'm trying not to be bitter!!!!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Home Again!

We brought Mom home on Wednesday because she just acted like they were killing her in rehab when they would try to get her to stand and take a few steps. My brother and I made the decision to just take her home...exactly the same thing we had to do after her last time in rehab after a stay in the hospital and getting so physically weak. She still was not swallowing and didn't seem to be making any progress with it. The caregivers said they were willing to try to take care of her at home even though she was much weaker and now had a peg tube. Since we got her home there has been a miraculous turn around. Not only has she swallowed everything, but she is walking with my brother and not having all the drama to go with it. She is getting stronger every day making it not so hard for me to take her to the bathroom during my shift. She is still getting her meds through the tube because we just have not tried getting her to swallow them, yet, but we have not given glucerna through the tube at all for the last two days. She seems to be eating enough.

As we were getting ready to check out of the hospital on Wednesday, I ran into my cousin in the lobby of the hospital. Her mother, my mother's sister, had been in the same hospital for two days. She went home the same day Mom did, but she is back there now with internal bleeding from an unknown source. This has Mom upset.

Mom doesn't seem to have much residual damage from the embolic strokes other than just mostly not being aware of much of anything and not being able to talk enough for us to understand. We had gotten where we could understand some of what she said, but not now. I guess we just dodged another bullet. We are thinking of gradually getting her off lexapro because she doesn't have much emotions left anyway and that is an expense we could dismiss.