Apologia for these journals:
They are not about taking care of a relative with moderate to severe Alzheimer's/senile dementia.
For an explanation of what these journals are about, click the link above.
For internet sources that are about caring for relatives with moderate to severe
Alzheimer's/senile dementia, click through the Honorable Alzheimer's Blogs in my
links section to the right.
I'm a little tense, today.
Last night, after Mom awoke from her nap, she fell in the bathroom. She insisted that she was not hurt, but fought me when I attempted to pick her up off the floor (she fell into a sitting position, going backward, hitting her head against the wall). While she was fighting my attempts to get her back up on her feet (which is difficult, even without her fighting me), she complained that her left hip hurt.
I called the paramedics, assuming that we would be transporting her to the hospital. When the paramedics arrived, they got her up and onto the toilet seat with ease, checked her thoroughly, found no problems, even monitored her and me as we transferred her, under her own steam with her walker, into the living room and her rocking chair. Throughout the evening she seemed fine, although she was a little stiff when she finally to head into bed at 0100 this morning. Other than that, her overall mobility was fine.
When we undressed her for bed, we noticed that she'd spotted a bit of blood onto her underwear. She immediately began calculating and came to the conclusion that "it was about time for my period."
For obvious reasons, I had to laugh. She's responded the same, in the past, when we were having trouble with recurrent UTI's of the e coli variety. I assured her, as usual, that, at 90 years of age, she wouldn't be having a period. I'm not sure she believed me, but, you know, whatever.
At any rate, I wiped her well after we got her prepared for bed and found no other indications of bleeding. She was adamant (as usual) that she felt "fine" and resisted my renewed suggestions that perhaps we should take her to the hospital and have her checked out. She had no problems standing (other than her usual ones), no problems remaining upright while she brushed her teeth, was no more iffy on her feet than usual, so I decided that I'd allow her a good night's rest and we'd revisit the situation when she awakened from her night sleep.
My intention this morning has been to allow her to sleep until the 12-hour-mark (as usual), 1300 today. I heard her coughing at noon, straight up. It sounded like one of her reconnaissance coughs, meaning she was ready to arise before the 12-hour-night-sleep-mark. When I checked on her (which I've been doing obsessively all morning, checking to see if she looks "normal" in bed, which she has), she immediately opened her eyes but said she wanted to remain in bed a bit longer. This also isn't unusual. I decided to let her go until 1300, which I typically do under these "not really a reconnaissance cough" circumstances, which are fairly normal. I asked several questions of the "are you feeling all right" type, conducting a full survey of all pertinent body areas. She was astonished that I was doing this, so I reminded her of her fall, last night, and the paramedic visit.
At this point, I am anxiously awaiting 1300 so that I'll be able to perform a full inspection through her usual morning routine. I'm assuming the best, however, I'm reserving the right to take her into the local emergency room if anything seems off, including a continuance of the spotting.
Just a few miscellaneous observations, here:
- I was surprised to discover, while talking with the paramedics (the ones connected to the fire department) that "our taxes" cover the cost of visits, whether or not they lead to an emergency room visit. I confessed to the lead paramedic that, when I have a particularly difficult time getting her up from a sitting position on the floor because she is fighting my efforts, I will "threaten" her into "compliance" by telling her that it would cost us "$1,000" to have the paramedics do this. This usually works, as she is equipped with an internal disgust for having to pay this amount of money in order to be set back on her feet. The paramedics told me that billed services don't kick in until hospital transport commences. Although I was surprised and relieved to learn this, I'm determined not to take advantage of this service, as I recall a maternal aunt who called the paramedics so often, then refused to go to the emergency room, that she was advised that from a certain point on, the city was prepared to bill her for these services if she didn't use them with a bit more wisdom and restraint.
- As is required, the senior paramedic took my mother's history from me as the others helped her out. As he was running down the sheet of possible conditions and I was responding "yes" to each, one of the guys joked that the form should have a choice for "all conditions apply", which could be checked in lieu of going down the list.
- One of the first things I did was inform the paramedics that my mother has "dementia-lite" and explained what this meant. One of the procedures they perform is an informal orientation exam which includes the questions, "Do you know where you are?" and, depending on the answer, "What city are you in?" As I stood outside the bathroom listening to this with the senior paramedic, when my mother answered the first question with an astonished, "Well of course, I'm at home," I mentioned to the senior paramedic, "I hope they don't ask her where she is geographically." Immediately, one of the paramedics asked her what city she was in. She waffled a bit, first said "Phoenix", then settled on "Mesa." I am pleased to note, here, that the senior paramedic asked me, "Is this a normal answer?" I confirmed that it is and explained that she previously lived in Mesa. What pleases me about this interaction is that either experience or protocol has suggested to them that when dealing with the demented the normality scale must be adjusted to take into account what is normal for various types of dementia.
- Why do these seemingly emergent blips always happen on or just before a weekend????
The account switch has taken place.
There may have been some blips of service in email, site access and comment publishing over the past few days due to some technical issues, but these have been resolved. I don't get very many visitors, though, few messages, even fewer comments, so I'm hoping that everything that was meant to come through has come through. If any of the blips affected you personally, I apologize. Everything is working now.
I'm looking forward to the possibility of rain and snow this weekend. My mother, of course, is not, but as we watched the local weather last night, me with excitement, she with dread, she said, "Well, for your sake, I hope we get snow and you enjoy it to the fullest. If you need me while it's snowing, I'll be in bed!" Bless her huge heart! Actually, she probably won't spend any more time sleeping than usual if it snows; as long as she's cozy and warm, she enjoys looking at our picture perfect snow-view through our front windows, and, I think, she enjoys the super-charge I get from inclement weather. I've promised to bake, so that helps.
Reminder to myself: NFCA.
In the meantime, everything is going along as normal. I'll be back...
Just a quick note to inform you...
...that with the renewal of my server account, my area is being switched. This may require a publishing hiatus for a bit. As well, there may be some interruption in email service. Can't really give you an absolute idea of whether and how long interruption of publishing and email will occur, but I'm not expecting a huge delay. Thank you, in advance, for your patience. Luckily, since I get so few visitors, I don't expect this hiccup to cause any changes to earth's revolutions, etc.
I'm pleased to announce that it's officially a Rabbit Rabbit year.
Mom and I both made it to midnight and well beyond. I kept an eye on the clock so we wouldn't miss saying "Rabbit, Rabbit". We spent the evening counting down to the new year with the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers TCM marathon, during which Mom and I decided we'd like to take tap lessons. I might actually do that, if I can find a convenient class up here.
All Christmas recipes of note have been recorded here at the food section of these journals. Pay particular attention to the Family Date Bar Recipe. Although I may be wrong, I doubt you'll find this one anywhere else. Tomorrow's New Years Dinner will be ham and bean soup (the beans are soaking as I speak) with blueberry cornbread, frozen from our last bean soup foray when MCS&BIL were here the weekend before Thanksgiving.
I also posted the results from Mom's latest CBC tonight, drawn on 12/19/07. We'll be going for the last of the once-every-two-week (give or take a day or a week) draws day after tomorrow. I'm curious to see how her hemoglobin is holding up, since this last draw showed a .5 drop from her immediately previous one. The results for this week will allow me to determine whether to spend a little longer drawing every two weeks, or revert back to the monthly draws, which I won't be wont to ignore for quite awhile. Still and all, she's holding her own. I think I'll include a BMP this time, too.
She seems to be tolerating the high dose iron supplementation extremely well: No problems with her digestion and her bowel movements have become less troublesome than before, which is a pleasant surprise. Rarely do I have to fish huge, rock hard, iron laden turds out of the toilet, anymore. You'd think that doubling her iron would have also doubled the bathroom fun, but the opposite has happened. Good lesson for me to keep in mind: When Mom's getting the right amount of iron, her digestive tract operates better.
There are other things to mention, but I'm running out of steam and it's almost four a.m. I love New Years. It means the holiday season is officially over. I guess many people suffer a let down right after New Years, but I rev up...for me it signals that it's time to put away an excruciating saddle and return to my usual bareback ride through the year.
Here's to the refreshment implicit in the end of the holiday season!
Ach! I just pulled a date bar search of the internet and the very first recipe on the list is very similar to ours! A few less dates, no spices, no butter, double the salt, but otherwise the same recipe. Without the butter it might bake up a little dry, though, although three eggs certainly provide a decent amount of fat. According to this review of "Date Bars and Squares Recipes", our family recipe is apparently not as uncommon as I thought. I wonder why I've never encountered any but the oat struesel ones outside of our kitchen? Could be that date desserts aren't all that common, at least here in the U.S. Oh well. If you like dates, try the recipe. It's rich and delicious.
All material, except that not written by me, copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson