Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Is the End Near?

     Are we nearing the end? It is hard to tell. There are good days, when he is awake and responsive and seems to enjoy life. And there are days when he sleeps and doesn't eat and sleeps some more. These days seems to happen more often than the good days. And I watch....
     He is weak. Some days it is too much to make the trip down the hallway to the bathroom. Some days it is too hard on him to change his clothes. There have been times he doesn't want to brush his teeth and he doesn't have enough strength to let me do it for him. When he does want to walk down the hall we use the walker. Many times he can make it back with help. But more and more the trip back to his chair takes place in the wheelchair. He is having increasing bouts of what I call 'stutter' steps. The Parkinson's that causes his feet to freeze and he just can't move them. But there are days that he wants to get out of the house. The cabin fever has set in. And I treasure those days. But, unfortunately, they wear him out and then he has 'bad' days while he recovers.
     Sometimes when I look into his eyes, he doesn't seem to be there. He looks back but it is as if he doesn't know who I am. This doesn't happen very often. But there are times. I watch him at night while he is sleeping. Or while he is staring at the ceiling. Is he lost in thought? Or does he see things that I cannot see? He mumbles to himself. Or to those I cannot see. He never, ever talked in his sleep before. And I watch....
     There are changes in his skin. It is very dry and very flaky. I brush away skin cells each time I am near him. At times his skin color is grey and he gets cold and clammy. And then, slowly, the pink color returns and the temperature  goes back to just being cool. He is often cold. He wears his flannel pajama pants with a sweatshirt over a tee shirt. And socks. And always covered with three blankets. Sometimes more. Sometimes he wants my quilt. He likes my quilt. He says it smells like me. This makes me smile.
     He is at times confused. What day is this? What is the year? When is Justin coming (and Justin has just left), where are the kids? Is this the Parkinson's dementia? The stroke? Lack of oxygen to the brain? He always knows people when they are here. And he knows who we are talking about. I think. But there are times he looks around the house and has a look that says, 'where am I?' Those are not the good days.
     He has no appetite. I try to entice him with foods that he used to love. His tastes have changed. Recently I wanted to fix him a poached egg for breakfast (he used to eat 5 eggs a week, usually poached) and he replies, "I don't care much for eggs", then tomorrow he will ask for an egg. We let him decide what he wants to eat. We let him decide when he wants to eat. This is hard. It is natural for want to feed someone. It is the ultimate offer of comfort. I am happy when he eats a quarter of a cup of something. He used to have a big appetite. He has slowed on drinking. Maybe a bottle of water a day. And always a Pepsi. He didn't used to be a big soda drinker. He likes his Pepsi now.
     He sleeps a lot. Not always on my schedule. Mostly on his. A lot during the day. A little during the night. Long periods at a time. Or little short naps. But it is usually peaceful sleep. He is not restless. He is not in pain. His breathing is shallow with little gasps at the end. Sometimes. And sometimes it is regular and deep. Less often is it regular. But sometimes.
     There is little that he can do for himself. I help him with his toilet needs. I help him brush his teeth. I shave him. I change his clothes. I walk with him. I raise his head while in his recliner. He cannot adjust the recliner any longer. I help him with food and fluid.
     Is he dying? I don't know. Crazy, huh? I am a nurse. Can't I tell? In the hospital it was usually sudden. Or we just found them. In the nursing home I was only there 8 hours of the day and I couldn't just sit and watch. And I had 30 residents to watch. But I wonder. And I watch.....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Archetype me

Archetype Me....a new place to waste more of my time. I took a quiz and this is how it classifies me. Not surprising to anyone who knows me. 
Go here to try it out yourself. 

44% Caregiver

A Caregiver is someone who lives to give and needs to be useful. Caregivers are nurturing women. You make spectacular teachers, siblings, and of course mothers.
21% Intellectual

If you're an Intellectual, you're always seeking knowledge and wisdom. Rational, well-read and deliberative, you tend to think before you talk, a rarity in a world in which anyone can spew and hit "send."
15% Rebel

Rebels are fearless, anything but ordinary, and often incredibly sexual. You love to experiment and push boundaries, and you don't mind causing a stir.

If you want to friend me here...I am listed as Paula Kaye! Come see what it is all about

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Do You have Words that You live by?

  • Yep, life isn't fair. My mom used to say this to me all the time. I said it to my kids. And now I am saying it to my grand kids  No matter what, life is not fair. But, for the most part, it is still GOOD.
  • And I could write a book about this one. You know what happened at my job when I broke my leg in 2004? After using up all my benefits they terminated my employment (and I had worked for them for almost 25 years) They kept my job and rehired me. But, I started all over like a new employee.
  • This one is really, really hard. I WANT to win all arguments.
  • Oh, and how I struggle with this one too! The past is the past...move forward.
  • It is really hard to not compare your life to others. But to be truly happy you have to quit doing this. The green-eyed monster called envy will kill you if you don't. This is one I try to teach  my grand kiddos, every single day.
  • Working on this one right now...both for me and most especially for Darian when it comes to homework. He says," I don't have any homework  but I have a test tomorrow" I try to get him to study more for it, so that he is sure is is really well prepared.
  • Yep, start wearing purple, with a red hat, and crocs right now. Don't wait until you are old!
  • How much of the things in my life really DIDN'T matter in five years! Should not have spent so much time worrying about them.
  • Ha! Ha! This might be true. But I like to know what other people think. Especially, if it is good. Not so much if they just want to criticize. I do enough of that with myself, all on my own.
  • True! But I can't go back. I can only try to remember this now. And hopefully give Darian and Harley a BETTER childhood.
  • How True. I will keep all of my problems over the problems that I have seen other people have.
  • Already talked about envy. It is such a waster of time.
  • I will work on this one. I will get UP (I have no choice) I will at least change clothes, and I will always try to be there for someone.
  • No bow was tied to my life, that is for sure. But I wouldn't change it for anything. Okay, maybe there would be a few things I would change. But I can't. So I am not going to look back.
What about you? Any words of life you want to share?

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Menu Plan for February 5-February 10

    Menu Plan for February 5 through February 10

    Tuesday February 5

    Beef and Noodles
    Mashed potatoes

    Wednesday February 6

    Grab and go to church day

    Thursday February 7
    Celebrate Harley's Birthday

    Chicken cordon blue
    mashed potatoes and gravy
    Ice cream Cake

    Friday February 8

    Lasagna soup
    Garlic bread
    (Maybe I will actually get this made this week!)

    Saturday, February 9

    Mushroom covered chopped steak
    Baked potatoes
    corn on the cob

    Sunday February 10

    Cheesy meatloaf
    Cottage cheese and pears

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    February's Simple Woman's Daybook

    FOR TODAY February 1, 2013

    Outside my window...

         It is late, and dark and cold. But today is Groundhog day and he saw his shadow, so that is supposed to mean an early spring. Bring it on!

    I am thinking...

         Why are there so many idiots in this world who really believe that our government is trying to dupe us or take away our rights? I was reading a post about drunk drivers and there are a couple of guys who are arguing about it being an illegal search to be pulled over in a DUI checkpoint. What has caused so many people to become so paranoid? I see nothing at all wrong with trying to get drunk drivers off the road.

    I am thankful...
         I continue to be so thankful that I live in a country that allows us to have so many rights. And I am thankful for law enforcement still being here to protect the majority of us. And I am thankful for my son being safe in such an ugly job.

    In the kitchen...
         Tonight we had Tacos! Leftover from last night. Good both times.

    I am wearing...
         My newest uniform..sweatpants and tee shirt.

    I am creating...
         Not being very creative right now. 

    I am going...
         Crazy! It is one of those days when the burden of being a caregiver is getting to me. 
    I am wondering...

         What tomorrow will bring. I wonder that everyday.
    I am reading...

        Color Me Grey
    I am hoping...

         That my dear husband will sleep long and fast tonight.

    I am looking forward to...
         A new week.
    I am learning
         That it really requires a lot of patience to be a home health giver

    Around the house...
         Oh I don't even know where to begin

    I am pondering...
       Harley's  Birthday which is Monday. She will be 13. Egads!

    A favorite quote for today...

    One of my favorite things...hot coffee on a cold evening!

    A few plans for the rest of the week:celebrate Harley's birthday!

    A peek into my day...

    This boy turned 15 on Thursday! Happy Birthday Darian