About Me

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I have spent a great deal of my life battling illness. I suffered from Crohn's Disease and eventually had abdominal surgery, thwarting the Crohn's and budding cancer cells. Since my surgery in 1995 I have been relatively free from Crohns', although I had several subsequent surgeries related to my ileostomy..When my disease was in remission, I don't think my husband realized how bad it could get, but he has stood by me. I also have suffered from various autoimmune disorders and am diagnosed with Stage IV Kidney Disease. Fortunately, I am maintaining and do not need dialysis at this point. We adopted our son and later found out he had cerebral palsy, so he became my career. Dan has had two surgeries and tons of therapy and is able to walk because of it. He is a college graduate and is employed as an Information Specialist. We are very proud of his accomplishements. I am now part of the retired generation and still getting used to the idea. I do enjoy crafting, traveling and being with family and friends. I am active in my church and feel that the hardships we endure are there to build our faith. I like to live life in the "now" as we never know how much time is left.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
This is from my Red Hat Halloween Party.  I am the pirate with the red striped shirt.  We had a good time.
I love dressing up for Halloween.  It is fun to play a character! 

We used to have great Halloweens where I work.  Each department had a theme and would dress accordingly.  That sort of fell with the morale.  Then we at least decorated our department, then, nothing.
Last time I was the only one in our department in costume. I don't work this year, so who knows if anyone will dress up?

When I was a kid we used to go door to door at night.  Our Mom's took us and we even stopped at the neighborhood taverns where many patrons would buy us a full size candy bar!  Couldn't do that now!
We filled grocery bags!  One house always invited us in for hot chocolate and a rice crispy bar.
Then came the razor blade era and anything that wasn't wrapped was a no no.  They also started x-raying the candy.  No fun!

When my son was small, we had to push him in his special stroller as he couldn't walk because of the CP.  Do you know how many houses have steps?  If you don't go to the door, you don't get any candy.
He loved dressing in costume too.  I think his favorite to this day was his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bodycast that wasn't even Halloween! I don't decorate for Halloween.  It was fun when Danny was small.

  We will hand out candy, after our trip to the nursing home, the bank and the car repair shop. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On a Positive Note

For today, I will think of the positive. 

My mom looked fabulous last night.  She had her hair done and wanted to go for a spin today in her wheelchair.  The oxygen is attached so she has freedom from her four walls.

I will be job shadowing on Friday.  How can that not be a good thing?

It is the weekend and the sun is shining.  I will go to my mom's apartment and take the things she wanted me to have.  I will pack some things up, and give some other things away.

I am going to go for counseling to get me past this phase in my life.  I am thankful for friends who pull me out of the darkness.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

Hospice:  Medicine/Medical. a.a health-care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.

Does this mean my Mom can't try to be well?  Aren't we all terminal?  I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Usually when Hospice is suggested, it means the patient has less than six months to live.  But, how can I live like this?  I can't make plans.  I am afraid to move forward.

Yesterday I had the blues, because I miss my lunches over by Mom next to my workplace.  It's not the food, although Mom was an awesome cook, but just being there and watching "Days of Our Lives" together.
I miss the kiss goodbye and the dog barking at me. 

I can no longer park facing Mom's apartment building.

I work with her doctor and want him to make her better.

It's 4am and I can't sleep again.  I have to work today.

Mom can accept her impending fate, why can't I?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Job Interview and More

Yesterday I had a job interview.  I decided to wear my navy pants with a flowered cardigan as I feel comfortable in that, and if I wanted to be confident, I had to be comfortable. 

Was I confident?  Somewhat, and somewhat nervous.  I interviewed for an hour with Human Resources and then was sent to the clinic for a second interview.  The good news is that the interviewer was a RN that I worked with back in the days.  So, at least there is no prejudice against age, as we are about the same age.  The position includes registration, scheduling, and the switchboard.  They mix it up and I would work one station one day, another the next.  I am scheduled to job shadow on 11/4.  I imagine I will hear the results some time around then.

I went to seem Mom.  She is wanting to get better, although in her words, will never be A-OK again.  She wants to get her hair done, get her meds back and get rid of the catheter!  She wants to walk and join in the dining room.  We are very pleased with Mom's change of attitude.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just a Normal Day

I went to church and and after picked up my flowers from last week which still looked good.  They were in honor of my anniversary, but I wasn't up to attending services last week with Mom in the hospital and all.

When I got home, Hubby and I went for a ride to take some items back that I had purchased.  It is good to have some extra money in my checking account, but was so difficult to leave the store when they had a 50% off sale.  I did though.

We had a lovely lunch in a Mexican restaurant.  We both love Mexican/American food. 

On the drive home, I fell asleep in the car.  When I got home, I took a good nap on top of that!

I called my sister, and Mom had a good day.  She is showing signs of wanting to get better.

I watched the rest of the football game (our home team won), watched TV till 9pm and went to bed.  I slept through the night till 5am, which is an improvement for me this week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life is a Little Better

Yesterday we packed some things up for Mom.  It was sad.  I know I will never be able to go over there for lunch again. 

We bought Mom a new comforter and she liked that.  Put some more things in her room to make it "homey."

I washed Mom's face, put a little makeup on her, then we managed to talk her into seeing the place.  She said all the people there are loony.  Unfortunately they are more so in her unit as they require more care like she does.  We took her to see the aviary and then the "town square" and chapel.  The facility is quite pretty, but I am wondering about the care.

She doesn't like the food, and if they don't offer an option, she doesn't suggest it.  I told her to go ahead and bitch if she needs something.  The room they show you is perfect, then you get this
mattress that is awful, crummy food, unruly patients, etc.  Things are never what they seem.  Now she is saying the other nursing home had people in it that she knows.

Baby steps, ha!  I am calling Hospice today.  Mom has her good hearing aide and still can't hear.  I don't know if it's the sound of the oxygen machine or if she needs her ears cleaned.

I slept a little better last night.  Actually slept until 4am!  That is almost 8 hours.  I will take a nap sometime today, do my own laundry, put my summer sandals and shoes away.  I will take baby steps too.

The good news or is it?  I have a job interview on Monday.  It would be for the same thing I am doing now only at the competitor's clinic.  I wouldn't be parking my car next to Mom's apartment, I would be working three days a week and get benefits too.  I just put it all in God's hands.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life is a Series of Baby Steps

Life is a series of baby steps right now.  I am still awake at 3am, but I'm not crying.  The nursing home staff dressed Mom yesterday and she went to the dining room for breakfast.   Baby steps.  She is getting used to her surroundings. 

I am sure things will improve once she has her hearing aide.  She can hardly hear right now so that must be scary.  She will feel more social when she can hear.

I am slowly going to let go and learn to trust the staff at the nursing home.  Baby steps

A week ago, we thought Mom was going to die.    Now we have a new reality.
Plan for today:  Buy her some "nursing home" clothes and  a new comforter for her bed.  We are working on making her room prettier, although it is decorated quite nicely with paint and wallpaper border, etc.

Yesterday we paid for the funeral trust.  Today is a fun day to make Mom happy!.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Warning: Depressing Post

It is not quite 3am.  I can't sleep, so here I am.

I can't seem to post on other's blogs, less I say something depressing.  I am depressed.  Mom moved to the nursing home yesterday.  It is not a good transistion.  She doesn't get half the care she got in the hospital.  The food is lukewarm at best and not all edible.  She is feeling down, I can tell, and that is what bothers me.  It is difficult for me to leave her there.

Her hearing aide is in for repairs, so she has her TV on full blast, which makes it difficult to visit.  I think she is escaping into her TV.

My sister is always cross, and I can't take that anymore either.  Today we have to go to the funeral home to pay for Mom's  arrangements.  I want to go a month back into time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Halfway Good Day!

It's 4am and I can't sleep again.  More like sinuses than anything....plus I am off kilter now.  Will go to bed later.

We had to tell Mom she has to go to a nursing home.  This is one of the hardest things we have done, but Mom took it better than us.  The facility is like the Cadillac of nursing homes.  It is just beautiful and highly recommended.  The hallway has the facade of a little town, with a high ceiling that looks like the sky.  The rooms are small, but private and clean and modern.  We felt good about our choice.

Yesterday Mom sat up in her chair and ate by herself.  She sat up in bed last night to eat.  I am so happy she had a good day.  She still is not on any meds but on the nebulizer for her cough and has a Foley catheter so she can go potty.

I have decided not to work the rest of this week, but spend my time with Mom and get my rest.  Tonight is our wedding anniversary.   We will go out for dinner.  We have been married 31 years.  Love that man!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some Kind of Normalcy

My bff took me to Hobby Lobby yesterday.  It was good to go somewhere other than the hospital.  I needed some sleeves for my scrapbook pages and they were on sale.  I also managed to find a photo book at 40% off for my sister's birthday .

We then went up to the hospital.  Mom is sleeping quite a bit now.  We went to the cafeteria, came back upstairs and my brother and sister were there.  I have not been sleeping and fell asleep in the chair in my Mom's room.  We  met with the hospice nurse.  We had questions as to whether or not she shouldn't be back on antibiotics.  In the end, it is Mom's decision.  She doesn't want to live out the rest of her life feeling nauseous.  The nurse said no doubt that Mom will be transferred to a nursing home.  I hate to do it but she will get care 24/7 and I don't think any of us could provide that for her.

Our children are having a difficult time accepting this.  In this time of modern miracles, why can't Grandma be saved?  It is difficult to explain to them that if it isn't the pneumonia, it will be something else, like the septicemia.

We stopped by her last night and she was resting comfortably.  We went on with our lives.  Hubby and I went out.  It was a nice diversion, but then I came home realizing that life goes on amongst the pain.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vigil: Day 3

Mom was doing allot better today since they took away the antibiotics.  Her color was better, she was more talkative, watched TV, and ate a little more.  She even took a phone call from her granddaughter.

Still, she is on hospice.  She doesn't want antibiotics for the pneumonia.  She doesn't want life saving measures.  Is this the calm before the storm?  I don't know.  Could the outcome be reversed?

I still cry.  It wasn't as bad today, but it is still hard.  Work has been very understanding which helps if I don't have to worry about my job.

It is the middle of the night, and I need to talk to you dear friends.  I have to unburden my soul.  How do I do that?  I have prayed and prayed.  This is worse than any operation or anything I have gone through before.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Take her Home

Nothing can prepare me for the pain of losing my mother.
I watch her sleep.  I don't want to let go, but I don't want her to suffer any longer.
God, just keep her comfortable.  Take her home.

Reality has set in and I don't like it.  I want my mamma.
I want to go back in time and relive some years with her. They were such a gift.
She was such a gift!

My tears fall down. I am not ready to let go.  I will never be ready.
My heart is breaking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No matter what, they are always your Mamma!

I cannot help worry about my Mom.  I am not ready to lose her.  Just a couple of weeks ago she was here for dinner.  Now she is lying in a hospital bed with septicemia and pneumonia.  So frail.  The doctor has put her on stronger antibiotics and they are giving her some protein supplement shakes too.
She was doing better in the morning and noon, but by evening she starts feeling awful again and gets nauseaus and feverish.

My brother and sister and I met to discuss what to do with Mom.  We agreed she can no longer live alone without someone coming in to look after her besides us.  First my brother said my sister and I could take turns cleaning Mom's place, but I said, we have our lives too.  Is that selfish?  I don't know.  I don't even like cleaning up my own messes let alone someone elses.  We decided that if she is on her own again she will have someone come in to clean...tough love.  Another option is assisted living.  Anyway, when she is discharged, she will end up going to a nursing home for rehab or stay with my brother and have home health care come in.

Nothing prepares you for their imminent death.  They are your Mom.  Mom's are supposed to take care of you and not get old and have to be taken care of.  I love my Mom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Look, Mom! I'm a Scrapbooker!

Who would have thunk it?  I have become a scrapbooker.  I have tried to resist, but my trip to Washington DC demanded it.  So, I gave in and went to a scrapbooking retreat.  I have managed to get all my pictures in.  I do need to journal and maybe embellish some of the pages.  When I knew I was going to DC, I went a bit crazy with the DC stickers, etc., more than I need! 

Some people bring a lot of craft stuff!

This is the way to scrapbook!  We had our own 4'x8' table to spread out our stuff, could work in our pj's at our leisure, be that 6 am or 2 am.

The retreat center was beautiful!  It was in a remote area by a lake so we took many turns to get there, even though we later found out we could get there an easier way!

view from the deck

We didn't have to cook!  We didn't have to clean!  Just scrapbook, go for a walk in the woods, enjoy the scenery! 

Now for some sad news.   My Mom is in the hospital with pneumonia. She was admitted while I was off having fun.  Glad that I have my sister and brother to look after her too.
I think she will be okay, but she has to get her appetite back!  I would appreciate your prayers.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sleepless in Blog Land

Whenever I have a trip planned, large or small, I can't sleep!  It's a curse!  This weekend I am going away on retreat to both scrapbook and get a spiritual recharge!  The colors are at their peak so hope to get some awesome pictures.

This week has been profound.Tthe acquittal of Amanda Knox: the Lord knows the truth and I trust that His will was done.  I would think it has to be the worst thing to be in prison in a foreign country.  She is fortunate her family supported her by flying back and forth to see her.

I am sorry to hear about the passing of Steve Jobs.  Even though I don't have an Apple or an Ipad, he was a true innovator in his field and an Edison of our time!  Every brilliant mind contributes to the competition in the marketplace and where would we bloggers be without our PCs, laptops, tablets, etc.?

I lifted this quote from him:  "Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

I like that statement.  I am still connecting the dots.  Some are not connected as of yet, but I trust they will be.  How about you?  What dots have had a profound effect on your life?  Mine has got to be my illnesses, but I just keep trusting that all will be as it should be.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Last night I went to the Pretty in Pink event at a local salon to raise money for breast cancer patients. All the money raised stays local and goes to paying for a cancer victim's new wig. It's a good thing when life gives you a blow and then someone else gives you a gift! It only cost a $10 donation and there were raffle tickets for sale. Although I was in it to win it, my money was a donation. My bff did win a prize though.

There were at least ten groups of six. We were in group #2. There were ten stations.

1. Eyes:  She used a darker eyeshadow on me than what I am used to, but maybe I should try it sometime.

2.  Lips: "What color lipstick do you usually use?" Well, these girls went for the opposite shade on all but one. I do not do nude!

3. Nails: We got to choose from four shades what nail polish we could have. I went for the darker shade of pink.

4. Facial: No, we didn't get a facial, but the types and products used were explained to each of us.

5. Body Wraps: The types of body wraps and their benefits were explained to us.

6. Aromatherapy: I discovered that Tea Tree Oil helps my sinuses! I smelled like a musky basement the rest of the evening, but I finally had a good night's sleep!

7. Massage. We each got a back and shoulder massage as well as a hand massage. I had a huge knot in my shoulder, so it was great. Can you take home the massage therapist?

8. Yoga: We learned some yoga moves to expand our chest and breathing. We are all natural slouchers. It felt pretty good!

9. Mammography: Discussed the importance of annual mammograms!

10. Hair: Got a choice of hair tinsel, feather, or pink extension. Since my hair is so short, I went for the pink tinsel! Just a little glimmer for my life!

Added benefits to the evening: 25% off all retail merchandise, jewelry, nail polish, hair care, purses,etc. Horsdoeurves and Punch was available!   What a fabulous evening for a wonderful cause.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet me on Monday

Here are the questions:  You must copy and paste and then answer the questions so we can all get to know each other better.


1. I can't stand when someone ________?

2. Do you do daily, weekly or monthly grocery shopping?

3. What kind of car do you drive?

4. Crunchy or soft tacos?

5. What's the habit you are proudest of breaking?

My answers:

1.  I can't stand when someone betrays me.

2.  We usually do weekly grocery shopping, but sometimes, it becomes daily.

3.  I drive an old Dodge Intrepid 2000

4.  I like cruncy tacos...if they break, I have taco salad!

5.  I am proudest of quitting smoking 12 years ago.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More than Monuments

This is the old Executive Building near the White House.  They were going to tear it down in favor of the new Executive Building...a plain red brick, downright ugly building!  Jackie Kennedy Onassis persevered to save history!

How could I not sneak a picture of this "rasti man?"  He is such a contrast in a city filled with "suits" and tourists!

 I love this curly old tree, but what is it?

It produces some kind of nut or fruit.

Okay, bend your neck to the left.  We went to an all you can eat Seafood Buffet!  I see food, I eat!
There was all kinds of seafood, so I didnt' even make it to the prime rib.  Did I mention the desert buffet?
No wonder I gained four pounds on vacation!

So much more than monuments in Washington D.C.!