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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Life is Surreal

I have to continue to write.  Yesterday I made the picture board of my Mother.  It is a bit different than most.  Instead of all pictures of Mom, I have on one side pictures of her family as she was growing up and married and the other side is devoted to her with her children and grandchildren.
Most were taken from her room or wallet.

I didn't cry.  Life seems surreal.  I am sure it will sink in Thursday when the funeral is.  I am thankful that my cousin is staying with us then.  She is so calming and has such a great faith!  

Friday we are driving up north for a stamping convention.  It will be nice to sit in the hot tub, go to a casino, play with our crafts and shop.  My bff, Linda is also going along with another friend of ours and will be staying down the hall.  So, we should all have a good escape from reality.

I still have to clean, make a desert for tomorrow, price my stamps for the used stamp sale, yada, yada, yada!

Please continue to pray for both me and  Linda.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Journey Coming to an End

I write this blog to clear my head of sorts.  This is my story of one journey ending.  It is 4:10am and I should be sleeping, but I blog.
Time to face the music.  We met at the funeral home.  Words were exchanged between my brother and us girls.  (Let it go.)  Things can be the way he wants them to be.  That said, the mortician is very nice...this business has been in his family for some time.  (He is younger than me but we shared a class at the university.  I wondered then how he could want to be a mortician?)
The most difficult part of that visit was when he gave us the jewelry that Mom always wore:  two rings and her watch.  I made sure my sister got Mom's good ring and I took the one that my son gave her one year.  I also have her watch.  It is all scratched up, but it is Mom's. The act of  receiving the jewelry was so painfully final.
Mom is being cremated and the service will be a Christian burial.  I picked out three  songs that my son can download and be played on cassette:  "The Old Rugged Cross," "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" all done by country artists as my mom sure did like her country!  My sister and I will do a picture board.
I had picked up some boxes to be filled as we have to empty the room by Monday (today).  Walking down the hall of the health care center, the tears started to flow.  I was the first one there and alone.  Mom was not in her chair; her bed had already been stripped.  I called hubby and asked him to come.
We are donating the lift chair to the center and also much of her clothing.  What do we do with all of her stuffed animals?  They will use them for Bingo prizes.
My head and heart were pounding all day.  I couldn't relax or sleep.  I did laundry and looked for things for the funeral.  I spent a large amount of time on the phone, especially with my friend Linda, who lost her own mother (was it last year?).  I am also getting closer to another friend who had lost a mother.  I never realized the pain.  We all spoke of how peacefully Mom went and that she is with the Lord.  I still miss her though.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mom is Gone

We got a call around 8am this morning.  My mom passed away in her sleep.  The nurse went in to check on her and she was gone.
My only consolation is that she did not suffer and is with our Lord in Heaven.
Thank you for all your prayers and concern.

Watching Mom Sleep - Is She Dying?

It is 4:20am.  I am thinking about the events of the last two days.  Thursday my son and I went to see my Mom in the morning.  It was important for him to see her as Mom has pneumonia for a third time and didn't feel well.  She doesn't want to go to the hospital again.  She is tired.  The head nurse at the health care center came to talk to Mom about her wishes.  Mom had trouble talking because of the shortness of breath, but Dan heard it from her and could see that she was tired.  I think he came to grips with his Gram's wishes (Gramma helped raise Dan, so he is particularly close to  her and like me, very sensitive.)  The nurse assured Mom that they could give her oral antibiotics, keep her comfortable, etc.  It was reassuring to me as well.
Friday morning my sister called.  She had received a call informing her that sometime after Mom had breakfast, she had a "non-responsive episode."  They are not sure if it was a small stroke or what.  Mom finally opened her eyes enough to let them know she wanted to go to bed.  We cried, we prayed, and watched her sleep.  She would not wake up.  In the afternoon she awoke to ask what time it was and said she would sleep a while longer.  All day long, Mom would not wake up when we called her name, etc.  She did not drink, eat or take any meds as she would never be alert enough.
At dinner time, we went to see Mom.  No response.  She was still sleeping. I couldn't handle it, so I kissed her and told her I loved her and we left.
Last evening my sister called to tell me that Mom tried to get out of bed.  She wanted her glasses and hearing aide as well as a few sips of water.  The nurse came in and told her she had to rest (Mom still wasn't alert).  Later my sister called to tell me that Mom awoke and stayed awake for about an hour.  She drank some water.   She asked about Jim and Danny (thinking my sister was me), and was told we had to go home but that I was coming back tomorrow (today).  The nurse gave Mom something to relax and said they would go in every two hours to be sure she had some water.
I don't know if she will be alert today, drinking, eating or taking her meds or if she will be sleeping again.  I know I have to go see her, but this is breaking my heart.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Heaven Can Wait

We had a wonderful Easter dinner at the healthcare center.  It worked out well to have a potluck and hubby pick up the hot ham.  Mom had all her kids there as well as some grands.
This is the photo I chose when we thought we would need one for Mom's obituary.  I had copies made for my brother and sister too.  I think Mom looks so nice on there.
We went to the urologist yesterday.  Poor Mamma has had a Foley in for over a week.  Apparently it might become a way of life for her.  The urologist said there is no pill or surgery that will make my Mom go potty!  So, another thing to contend with.  I think what she misses most is having a bath instead of a shower!
She still hasn't received her hearing aide that was sent out to be fixed.  Her sight is going.  She is ready to meet her Maker.  Well, when God is ready for her and it's her time.... His choice.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Have a Blessed Easter

I know I am a day early, but I just wanted to wish all of my followers a Blessed Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life will be Brighter!

This week  is looking much brighter.  Oh, the weather is still dismal, but I am feeling better.  Unfortunately, I think I shared my cough with my son.  The cough still lingers on and woke me this morning, but not before I slept all night!
Mom has her good days and bad days.  The other day was good.  I sit right next to her so she can hear me.  I gave her a ride around the healthcare center.  She has a Foley catheter which she is not too happy about.  On the other hand, she said it is convenient at night so she doesn't have to get up and go!  Love her outlook!  Monday she goes to the urologist to see why she needs the Foley to "go."
Plan B:  I cancelled our reservations for Easter and we are having it at the healthcare center.  I got a room, ordered the ham, etc.  Everyone chips in and brings a dish to pass and it will be so good for Mom!  The best part is all the family can be together for her.
My bff has breast cancer.  It is scary for me.  My bff married my sister's husband.  (We like to say that!)  My sister had a three year battle with breast cancer and lost.  Her husband remarried and Linda became my best friend!  So, we don't want to lose her too!  BUT!  (Big but!)  There are so many advances in the treatment of cancer and the survival rate is so much improved!  We go up north (God willing) for a stamping convention the first weekend of May.  I am sure she will be in the midst of chemo then, maybe be tired or not feel well.  I have gone to convention after surgery.  I had to rest more, stay out of the hot tub, etc.  Linda is very independent and resilient.  She will have her Nook, and knows how to relax and be alone if she wants to be.   Whatever she wants, her friends will be supporting her and that means me.  I hope I can be as good of a friend to her as she has been to me.
I went to another Stampin Up party last night.  For some reason I am becoming a little more sociable even thought the table/s were very crowded with guests.  We had a good time.  This is one of the cards we made.  (for some reason it is a little out of focus...sorry!)  I am not crazy about the color combination.  The other card was beautiful, but I am giving that one to Linda!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

62 and Content

Yesterday was my birthday (62 years young!).  I got the blues, because I was thinking of all the stuff I did wrong or didn't do.  How did I get here?  Then, I got so many wonderful birthday greetings, that how could I be blue?
My hubby took me to lunch (my choice: a greasy burger, fries with gravy and chocolate malt).  We talked and looked at all the ways I have helped people, most which I will probably never know about.
(why do you always hear the bad you do?).  We looked at the successes:  our marriage, our son, we are comfortable with a roof over a head, and new cars that run.  I looked at my many friendships and thought life ain't so bad!
Then we went to visit mom.  She is declining and that is hard to see.  I hadn't seen her much since I got the bronchitis, so it is difficult for me.  I miss my perky Mom.
I spent the afternoon napping and just watching TV.  I did nothing special, but I was content.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coming out of Hibernation

It has been a while since my last post.  Again, nothing much new.  The cough lingers on, but I am starting to come out of hibernation.    I got my hair cut and colored (wash away that gray!)  There is still gray, crusty snow on the lawns and not much greening up, (can't add color to the landscape yet) but I can finally put our winter jackets away!
My Mom had an incident the other night where she woke up very short of breath.  Apparently (this is their story), the oxygen tubing had a pin size hole in it or a kink.  They put the breathing mask on mom as she was beginning to turn gray!  This was not reported to us or the unit coordinator.  I question whether it was even documented, but it magically appeared in the documentation yesterday.  (after I said, that we could have had a lawsuit).  Mom has not been feeling so well since.  She is fatigued, no appetite, etc.  Maybe it will warm up more so we can take her outside!
My bff, Linda, needs your prayers.  To protect her privacy, I will leave it at that.  Thank you so much.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

When I don't have any New News!

Tonight is our Red Hat meeting.  I won't be going.  I am just too exhausted and still coughing away!
We cancelled our trip to Savannah which was scheduled for April 5th.  I had the purse, sandals, vest, etc.  I had my scrap booking paper, album, stickers, all set to record the trip.  Oh well.  Instead, I have medical bills to pay!  (too bad insurance doesn't cover 100%).
I have been trying to catch up on reading the blogs.  I don't always comment, so please forgive me.  Sometimes I just don't have an intelligent opinion (Yes, really!).
I haven't seen my mom yet, but I hear she is doing well.  Last Saturday there was a band in the town square and she was swaying to the music, wore her blush and lipstick, and looked like she had never been sick at all.....let alone dying!
Now the problem.  When she got back to the home, her hearing aid went kaput!  They have a call into the audiologist, but not soon enough for my sister who is having a time communicating with mom.  I haven't even bothered as I barely have a voice most of the time.
My cough is starting to loosen up....a bit.  Still, it feels like I could blow a lung!  I have no energy as coughing takes it all out of me.