Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
This should be rather short and sweet because there were no major adventures with my mom, at least not the doctor appointments and all. My kids were off school on winter break so I was determined to be available to them since, sadly, we stayed in freezing cold Michigan this year. Last year's Scottsdale, AZ trip is but a sweet memory.
I did stay on the case regarding chair exercise classes and followed up with the Med Team when I caught them not giving my mom the escorts to class. I will stay on it this week, too. Being a caregiver has taught me that sometimes you have to be the "squeaky wheel", but it is not normally my way and sometimes hard to get used to.
Me and the kids paid a visit to my mom. It's been awhile since they have all been there at the same time. Somehow, we got into this "thing" where the kids would say, "grandma, make a frowny face" or "Grandma, make a fishy face". They get such a kick out of it. I think they used to do this when Grandma was living with us.
We all got some laughs out of it and Megan even wanted in on the picture action (normally too cool of a teenager).
I know I vent and complain a lot on these Monday posts, but we have also learned to laugh at things that may seem inappropriate to others. Even in the midst of this disease, my mom has said many times, "if you don't laugh then you're gonna cry"!!!
Enjoy our "emotion" pictures!!


Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     You would think I would be used to the idea by now...  I think I've said it before.  I have a fourth child and her name is "Mom".   As we've discussed, mom has hoarding issues.  A few weeks ago, I discovered someone had given her this bag to hang on her walker.  It is very big and deep.  I am sure their intentions were good.  However, I purposely only provided the "red basket" to minimize how much she could "carry" around.  Reading glasses, mail, keys, tissues is about all she needs.  Now look what needs to be cleaned out every week.  This is one week's worth of "stuff".  Fruit, empty plastic cups, yogurts, brochures, junk mail, place mats, tissues, makeup bag, stuffed animals, etc...  I removed the red basket.  Eventually, this bag is going to have to go.  She will not be happy!!  The bag is also preventing her from taking full "strides" while walking.  If I did not keep up with her place on a weekly basis, I can only imagine the amount of stuff she would accumulate.  Every pill cup times about 3 per day...  Well, there would be over a thousand of them...  Drinking cups...same!!  Place mats...  Those who can't believe what they see while watching the show "Hoarders"...well believe it!!!  I am not a doctor, but I can tell you it is more a result of an illness than a choice -- and not at all funny if it touches someone close to you.  We are also still dealing with my mom's previous residence!!

     Since my last post, I also met with my mom's care manager from the Area Agency on Aging.  We speak by phone at least monthly and then meet every 6 months to go over her care, finances, and general well being. 
     Very recently, a fellow blogger and I found each other.  She also cares for her mom who has Alzheimer's Disease.  While reading a recent post of hers, I was particularly struck by what I was reading.  I took it as a "sign".  Although my mom's mammogram was getting close to the top of my "things to do" list, it was time to move it to the very top.  Truth is, my mom was three years overdue for one.  For this I am not proud.  Normally, I am very diligent about such things.  There are a variety of reasons this got put off which may be difficult to understand.  All I can say is I'm doing the best I can with her care...
     Obviously, I am scared to death just thinking of how I would handle any other medical issue that could come up with my mom.  At the same time, I know knowledge is power... 
     So, after a few too many phone calls and a bit of the runaround and insurance research, off we went for my mom's mammogram.  Thankfully, there were moments of quiet rest on the way...and although very cold, the sun was shining!   
     I think her appointment time fell close to her morning nap time...
and although she made some rather inappropriate remarks in the waiting room, particularly when she saw a man there...  I knew we were doing the right thing and that it was long overdue. 
     Afterwards, it was reward time for mom.  After continually asking for a "slushie" on the way home, I picked up one for her and a Junior Whopper and fries treat to boot!  Over four hours later, I was ready to go home. 
      Today, mom and me are off to her primary care physician for a checkup.  You may recall, I had to cancel a couple of weeks ago when we got hit with an icy snow storm and my kids were off school. 
     I have also been saying some silent prayers for negative results on my moms tests -- we should learn in the next few days. 
     Meanwhile, I am sending positive thoughts, support and prayers out to Kim, her mom, and her caregivers.  Despite the circumstances, I am thankful that our paths have crossed!!



Outta My Mind

Random Tidbits Straight From My Little Brain
     As you may or may not have noticed, I've been struggling to get some posts together.  There's plenty going on...just lacking in making the time!!  In the meantime, here's what's on my mind... 
     The other day, my 15 year old daughter said, "Can we get a German exchange student?" in the same way one might say, "can we have pizza for dinner".  I laughed and said, "oh sure, would you like a girl or guy student?"  She said "either one" (how accommodating!).  Truth is, I've actually thought about participating in the exchange program.
I'm not a big fan of running errands when the temp is in the 20s or lower.  Yep, 30s is actually tolerable (almost warm) for most of us who have always lived in Michigan.
OK, was Tierra on The Bachelor REALLY faking the whole time...or did she just drag out her hypothermia incident??  Either way, she's gotta go, right!? 
I'm excited for the movie "Identity Thief" to come out tonight/tomorrow. I might even sneak away to see it tomorrow morning.  I am hoping for a brainless movies that makes me laugh...ya know...no deep plot or confusing characters to follow!!
My husband's birthday is Sunday. He's the only one in our family NOT having a "milestone" birthday this year, but I think he still likes presents...probably should get some and hope he's not reading this!!
Speaking of husband, he sent me a message yesterday that we have a dinner reservation at my favorite restaurant on Valentine's Day!  That has literally never happened before (over a week before Valentine's Day!!??), and I have accepted even though it's going to make my attempts at healthy eating a challenge!!
My new favorite app is "What's the Word??"... I would never know of these apps if it weren't for my kids...they're on top of all of that stuff!!  What's your favorite??
Level 20: LUCK
Speaking of apps, I recently got on Instagram and am really liking it.  Much less time consuming than Facebook.  Unfortunately, I can't get any of my "over 40" friends to join (you know who you are -- your age is showing)!!!  Follow me @Cindy24seven!!!
Anyone else feel the need to organize everything!!  The closets, pantry, laundry room, garage, basement...except I have no patience and don't know where to start!!
We are currently under a Winter Weather Advisory here...my kids are praying for a snow day!!  Honestly, I am praying for a school day!!  My kids had one two day week and two four day weeks since the beginning of 2013...and next week is their last week before winter break!  Feels like Christmas break just ended -- go to school already
 so I can organize some stuff!!!
 Radar feb 7