happy monday…and happy thanksgiving week

I need to get back in the habit of posting more often. I miss you guys. 🙂

Last week was a fairly busy week. In addition to the ongoing goals, I had family night at the nursing home. It seems that I get an upset stomach every time I try to head over there – and I’m guessing that is too much of a coincidence to be a virus or food poisoning. So it stresses me.

When we first had to place Mom in the nursing home, I was over there three or four days per week. And I cried in the parking lot every time I left. I used to bring cookies or cupcakes and Mom and her lady friends would “help” decorate them and pass them out to the other residents. I used to be there for birthday celebrations or participate in their therapy play. I was there for every family night, even when Dad stopped going.

Over the past year, it was getting harder and harder to go see Mom. She sleeps most of the time and when she is awake, she stares vacantly at the TV. But I would still make it there a couple times per week. We’d sit and watch TV and I’d hold her hand or rub her back. These days, even that amount of interaction is hard. It’s hard to see her like this, she’s just not there anymore. I used to see a little glimpse of her once in a while but that’s gone.

Now with Dad there – I tried to be there at least a couple times per week. It was hard since he liked to yell at me and tell me how disappointed he was that I had him stuck there. He was already really confused but he went downhill quickly. When we visit, he either watches TV or he tells me how he went here or there across the state this week to fix some computer problem. That doesn’t sound that bad but… I don’t want visit. I really just don’t want to be there and I make it there less and less. He has always been difficult and he continues to be so. In a way, less, but I still don’t want to be there. On the plus side, he doesn’t know when I was last there and he doesn’t miss me.

So on nights like family night, my body tries to give me an excuse. I made it anyway. I was determined. The activities director had Mom already at a table for a change where I could sit reasonably comfortable and feed her and Dad could sit on my other side. Mom doesn’t really talk at all – though sometimes she says “yes” or “okay” when I tell her I love her. Dad currently mumbles and I can’t hear him with the background noise. On the one hand, he recognized Mom but on the other, he insisted that I had brought her with me and denied that she had a room there. It was a long hour and a half.

I feel for them. Alzheimer’s and Dementia are some of the worst things that can happen to you. Both of them are pretty much past awareness of their own illness. So in a way, that’s a good thing. I don’t think they suffer that much anymore and I’m thankful for the good folks at the nursing home. We’re quite lucky to have a good facility where they truly care about the residents.

Friday was doctor day. I’m on a whole slew of drugs including a z-pack for the bronchitis that never goes away, a new and very expensive inhaler and Chantix. Yes, I’m going to quit smoking. They say I should announce it. Consider it announced. The only way I’m going to shake this bronchitis permanently is to do this. You smoke for the first week so my official quit day is next Monday. I might be getting tons done around the house next week as I distract myself. I’ve meant to do this for a while anyway. It’s a shame I ever started smoking again.

As for cooking, I finished off the stuff I already had ingredients for including chicken enchiladas and stuffed shells. One of the things I like about this system is the portion control. Typically when I make chicken enchiladas, I make enough for several meals and I will keep grazing on it because it tastes so good. I’ve made and froze reasonable portions and I will be satisfied with the one and not have more to keep picking at. Oh, I also made an onion, apple and bacon tart and this time I paid attention to measurements. If I have time tomorrow I’ll get that recipe up because it is oh so delicious.

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6 thoughts on “happy monday…and happy thanksgiving week”

  1. Hard not to visit, but painful to do so…and if they don’t even remember you being there, it seems like a waste of a LOT of stress. I’m hoping for good things on the quitting smoking. Patt couldn’t use Chantix because of the chemo, but it’s supposed to be good. Best of luck! xoxo

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    1. I feel guilty when I don’t go but yes, it seems pointless. Too often I managed to get sucked into an argument instead of just agreeing with him.

      I’m feeling pretty ready to quit smoking. I really intended to last spring after Dad went into the nursing home – and I thought my stress would decrease. It’s time. I told the doctor I’d start drinking instead. He’s a good guy, has a sense of humor.

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  2. So difficult with your parents. Still it’s good of you to visit them. Maybe deep down they know you’re there?

    Best of luck with the Chantix. I only know of it because of the commercials– but the woman in the commercial sure seems happy with it… and you know commercials don’t lie! 😉

    Would love the recipe for the tart. Sounds like my kind of food.

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    1. Commercials never lie. I am hoping it gets me through the nicotine part. Honestly it’s the behavioral part that’s harder for me but what the hell.

      And just for you, I got the recipe for The Tart done this morning, mostly while waiting for the plumber and then while listening to him work. I could almost buy a new toilet for the cost of repairing this one but he’d have to go back to Springfield and I just want this done. Finally, someone showed up. Actually, they called me yesterday and confirmed and called me again this morning to say he was on his way. And the service call is just a few dollars more than what I paid the local guy a couple years ago.

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  3. I have a friend whose mum is at a similar stage to your mum (it seems to me anyway). It’s so hard for her to visit because her mum doesn’t recognise her, doesn’t follow a conversation, doesn’t respond when she takes her baby along. She’s been very ill and recovered and been ill and recovered again (the mum) so my friend never knows what she’s going to be met with. I can see how hard this must be for you.

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    1. Sometimes I think maybe Mom recognizes me – or at least is aware she knows me. That might be wishful thinking. She was actually on hospice two years ago. She’s at a plateau of sorts and I don’t think we’ll see any major change until she hits the final decline. It’s kind of okay when we visit. I don’t think she gets a lot of physical contact so holding hands or rubbing her back I hope feels good to her.

      It’s harder to visit Dad. I don’t like to say this but Dad and I always had issues and just because he’s old and sick doesn’t make me like him any better. I’m responsible for him and I still love the part of him that tried to be a good dad. But I don’t want to go see him the way I wanted to see Mom when she was at the stage he is at. And that is why I feel so guilty.

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