Friday, April 30, 2010


I wish I had taken a picture! Yesterday Mom went to a Past President's Luncheon for a volunteer organization she used to participate in. She had on more BLING than I had ever seen her wear!


Gold cross necklace, plus a long string of pearls.

Gold rings of all kinds on her hands. She must have had 7 or 8 different rings on. She was looking for another gold pendant necklace  to put on, but couldn't find it. Probably a good thing, as it was I'm not sure how she used her hands to eat (with her arthritis and all the weight of the rings) and another necklace might have weighed her neck down!

She had a great time and I was so happy she went. She said someone took pictures; I hope they send some to her.

Bless Dad for taking her!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More medication worries

Well today when I got home from church I checked both Mom and Dad's meds. I found a medicine cup with three Aricept pills, 5 days of blood pressure medication and 7 days of an over the counter med Mom takes for arthritis.

After I found that, I filled Dad's pill box. Mom and Dad had gone to church elsewhere, so I was able to fill Dad's pill box without Mom knowing. That seems to work,  but this not taking meds is another story.

When I try to talk to her about it, she denies missing any pills or comes up with an excuse for not taking them. And she gets defensive and angry.

I know if I don't get one of the doctors to back me up, this is just going to keep happening and it could get even more dangerous. It may be time to have a recheck with the neuropsychiatrist.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cry Out To Jesus

I just needed to hear this a few times today. I don't know how to add music to the blog, but here are the words...

Cry Out to Jesus
by Third Day

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
And they've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus

When you're lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trying something new...

Today while Mom and Dad were gone, I poured meds for them both without telling Mom. I left today's slot without meds in Dad's and today's and Saturday's slots without meds for Mom. I'm hoping she will think she has poured the meds. This is quite possible and if it works, I'm going to try to keep doing it.

I also updated her medication lists on her computer- she goes by the list and doesn't have one of her over-the-counter meds for allergies on the list. I have to be careful because Mom uses nursing abbreviations for how many times a day, dosage etc.

Every morning she takes the medicine for the day and puts it in little medicine cups and separates it for morning and evening. I'm hoping this will be enough to keep her feeling as if she is doing the meds.
I'll let you know the results! Please pray and keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Medication Issues

The other day, Mom handed me some prescription bottles and said she needed them refilled. She asked me if we could get them refilled locally. We have of course done this already with a number of prescriptions. But she doesn't remember so I tell her I can do that. But when I see the bottles, I realize some have already been refilled at the new drugstore.

She denies this- saying she is completely out of the meds, including Aricept. I know she has Aricept. So I go into her room and find a stash of meds in a different drawer. Sure enough the Aricept is in there. Then I worry that she has not been taking it. There were only a couple left in the old bottle before I refilled the Aricept last week. She says she took it every day, that she just ran out.

So I got her 7 day pill container out of her bedroom. And I asked her to show me the Aricept. She showed it to me in the slot for the next day and I noticed there were two Aricept in the same slot. I opened the rest of the days, and there were duplicates of that medication and 2 others in the following days. 

Mom looked at the meds and when I mentioned there were duplicates, she said "I noticed that. I've been meaning to fix it." Of course, then I was afraid she's been taking two every day... But she assured me since she is a nurse, she wouldn't possibly do that...

I asked her to let me fix the pill container, but she got upset and said she would do it herself. I told her I wanted to check it after she was done and she said she understood.

It took her a little more than an hour and when she was done, she was missing a few days of thyroid and theophylline. And she was out of her sleeping medication and almost out of another med.

So I called in refills to the local drugstore and they said they would contact the old pharmacy to transfer the prescriptions and the meds would be ready by noon.

Mom and Dad went in the afternoon to get the medicine. She filled in her thyroid and theophylline into the days they were missing.

We had dinner together and then went to our separate living-rooms to watch tv and read. Around 10 pm Mom came in to our area very agitated.  She said when she got to the pharmacy (9 hours earlier) the pharmacist would not give her her sleeping medication. She claimed the pharmacist told her she was taking too many medications and she wouldn't fill it. Then that turned into the pharmacist was disapproving of her taking a sleep med and she had no right to judge her!

I suggested that perhaps she didn't hear (correctly) what the pharmacist said to her. With her severe hearing problems sometimes she doesn't hear things correctly. She got really worked up and upset by the very idea and was sure that the new pharmacy was judging her because she took sleeping pills. Then I suggested perhaps the prescriptions had expired and that made her angry too.

I promised her I would call the next morning and find out what was going on.

At 6 am the next morning, Mom wanted to know if I was going to call. She started in on how the pharmacist was judging her again and I quickly told her I would call as soon as the pharmacy opened!

When I called I talked to the lady who had helped Mom the day before. She was very nice and remembered Mom and told me right off the bat that when she had called the old pharmacy for the prescriptions she was told TWO of the prescriptions (sleeping aid and Vitamin K) had expired.  That is what she told Mom.
To make a long story shorter- it took two days to get the refills called in from the doctor's office and I spent quite a bit of time with the new pharmacy and pharmacist and found both to be exceedingly sweet, patient and helpful, in person as well as on the phone.
Mom wavered between being angry with the new pharmacy and the old pharmacy. She was angry with the fact that a prescription expires after a year even if refills haven't all been used. And then of course, the new pills and the old pills and the new containers and the old containers are not all alike and that is upsetting. Change is difficult.
Now my dilemma. How can I be sure Mom is taking her meds correctly? This is not something she is willing to discuss or to give on.

Monday, April 12, 2010

One Month

Mom and Dad have been here a little over a month now. All in all, it was the right decision. I don't know how much longer Dad could have handled things on his own. He is happy and more relaxed. 

For the most part, Mom is not happy. Well, I shouldn't say that. She has good days and bad days. She has happy moments. BUt she also has a lot of anger and a lot of confusion.

The other day, she demanded a house key to the condo (even though it is empty) and 10 minutes after I gave it to her, she wanted to know why she had the key. She couldn't remember what it was for.

She gets obsessive about certain things on certain days.There are times when she obsesses about the things she left at the condo, although she doesn't remember what they are. She doesn't sleep because she is angry with either Dad or I, but can't remember why she is angry. If she is angry with me and she can't sleep she makes sure she lets me know. If I ask her why she is mad, she can't tell me, but she wants me to suffer! (or so it seems)

When I am blind sided I tend to react badly- I say the wrong things and it makes the situation worse. When I can anticipate something being brought up, and can think ahead of what I might say I do better to keep things on an even keel.

My brother sent me an email that contained the following:

Hi Sis,

There was a short item about Alzheimers on NPR this morning. In short, a happy or sad experience may be forgotten 5 or 10 minutes later but the feeling lasts longer.

Love you,

This makes sense to me after seeing how Mom reacts to things. (Thank you Bro)

It seems like I apologize a lot to Dad- for not being able to say the "right" things to Mom. Dad keeps telling me he has had a lot more practice.

I wish I could know what is going to set her off and make her angry. D says she feels so lost and so bad she doesn't want to be happy and looks for things to make herself unhappy. Maybe that is it. I don't know. All I do is pray pay some more that she will be happy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Two GOOD Days!

Monday and Tuesday were really good days. Mom's memory was not good, but it didn't matter because she was in a really good mood. She laughed at things and laughed at her own memory lapses. But there was no paranoia and her sense of humor was intact. It was good to laugh with her.

This morning was another story. (All good things don't last forever!) Mom fixated on her luggage- or rather her lack of luggage. She doesn't remember that she said it was ok to sell it, but she did remember it is gone and wants me to go get it. If I don't she says she will buy new. I asked her where she is going and where she is going to store the luggage. There is no more room! That was not the right comment to make...

Then she told me we have to sit down and talk because she is terribly unhappy because I treat her like a child and it is my fault she doesn't sleep well. There is nothing wrong with her and she doesn't understand why she and dad had to move in with us.

This evening we are back on a more even keel. I've been gone to meetings and I think that helped!

Now Dad wants to know if the four of us can make a trip this summer... Here comes the luggage issue!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's Easter!

Easter has been a long and sometimes wonderful, sometimes frustrating and very tiring day.

Up at 4 am to get ready for the community Sunrise Easter Service. Thankfully, no one else as up! Sunrise service went off well. Breakfast following in the church basement. We had about 150 in worship (people up in the balcony!) and at least 100 for the breakfast.

Came home for about an hour to get ready for the 10 am service. Had a text message from my son saying he thought he might have strep throat and to call him. Tried to call him, no answer. D called him and left a message.

The 10 am service was nice. Not sure how many were in the service, but it was a lot- guess I'll find out when I see the attendance sheet. We had two baptisms and 4 people joined the church. We combined the traditional and contemporary service music and I believe it went well.  

Came home to find Mom upset. She couldn't find an expensive piece of jewelry and was really upset. She swore I put it in our safe (I didn't) To make a long story short- she argued that she had asked me to put it in the safe and so it must be there. She has never asked me to put anything in the safe.

She was mad but we still had to go to in laws to celebrate Easter and birthdays. Son called and he was staying  "home" and sleeping.

Easter dinner was wonderful and we had a nice time.  Came home and tried to relax, but son called and needed to go to Convenient Care. Another long story...

Long day, but when I got home, Mom had found piece of jewelry. Later she showed me where she is "hiding" it.  Doesn't want it in the safe, that would be too confusing (!?)

All in all- a long but nice day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Rainy Saturday Morning

I'm  sitting in the peace and quiet of the early morning listening to the rain falling gently outside. No storms, no thunder or lightning, just a peaceful rain. I've been up for more than an hour reading. My alarm went off at 5 am, but I hit the snooze and stayed in bed for awhile.

I'm praying this peaceful rain will stay peaceful and that it is sign of the day to come. It would be nice to have it stop soon and the grass dry out so the Easter Egg hunt can take place outside of the church this afternoon, but it will be what it will be.

Holy Week is almost over and I have been blessed beyond belief. The Good Friday service was well attended and everything went very well.

The week was rocky at times at home. I've been in the dog house a number of times this week with Mom. Had nightmares of my mother "grounding" me...

I am still learning how not to react- and I haven't gotten the "therapeutic fibbing" down. I had an auction house come to get the rest of the "stuff" that was at the condo and had to cal dad to double check on something. Mom overheard the conversation and later asked me a point blank question about my being at the condo. I told her I had been and she wanted to know if it was to set up a garage sale. I told her I didn't have time for that and had someone come from a auction house to get the leftovers to sell.

She was upset- wanted to go through the "stuff" one more time in case she wanted to bring home some more of it. I told her all the things that went into the auction were things she had OKed to get rid of. (the truth) She denied that. And was angry.

The next day at dinner she wanted to know when the auction was going to be and if it was going to be in their garage. She wants to bid on her luggage. I told her she can borrow mine if she needs luggage. She swears I have gotten rid of luggage already packed and now won't be able to go on a trip at a moments  notice. She is mad at me.

Another day she got some makeup in the mail she ordered, but it is not what she wanted- but it is what she ordered. Now she has 5 of the same thing (and she had already given me some before she ordered it- I don't like the makeup line but have learned to accept what she wants to give me) I find in my dresser a small tube of what it is she wanted to order and try to give it to her. She is suspicious that I have taken it from her and wants to know where I "found" it. I tell her it was mine and I kept it in my room and she wants to know where so she knows where to look for hers. I try to explain it was mine and I have no idea if she has any or where it might be. She gets angry because I won't tell her where I found it.

The temperature is never right in the house. Too hot, too cold. She was too hot one night when she slept, even though she had the windows open and the fan going. Of course she wore a heavy long sleeve nightgown to bed and had her heavy quilt on the bed as well. Her bathroom is too cold in the mornings (probably because the fan is on and the windows open- even when the furnace is running) When she is cold, she won't put on a sweater and if she is hot, she won't take off her sweater. She wants to constantly play with the thermostat.

Mom was afraid she had no money left in her checking account and went to the bank. They balanced her checkbook and found she had $400 more than what she thought. She told me she was going to start figuring out her balance using her head and not an "additioner." "Additioners" don't do as good a job as her brain does. Oh my.

D is talking about getting a new thermostat with a lock on it. He's afraid this summer we will live in a refrigerator if we are not careful.

A dear, dear friend, L, is worried about me and this arrangement. I will get help as it is needed and I will do everything I can to stay healthy.

Dad seems happy and content with this new life and I am happy he is not handling this burden on his own.

Had a religious "argument" this week. Mom told me I needed to remember the 4th commandment- "Honor your mother and father." I told her it is the 5th commandment (hence my blog address) She told me I was nuts. So I got out the Bible to show her how they are written in Exodus. She told me she didn't think the 10 Commandments were in the Bible. I reminded her of Moses bringing them down form the mountain top. She didn't know who I meant until I mentioned Charleton Heston- then she got it.

But who knew that the Catholics and Protestants have the 10 Commandments numbered differently? She brought out a book (Catholicism For Dummies) and sure enough it said the 10 Commandments were different for Catholics and Lutherans than for the other Protestant churches. Weird. Of course to Mom "her numbering is right. Not going to argue that- not important! Dad suggested checking with a Rabbi to see if either of us was right. LOL.

Well, I've been sitting writing for quite awhile and my second cup of coffee is cold. Time to get up and move a bit and start the day in earnest. It is still gently raining...