Saturday, June 2, 2007

Oh My Aching Back!

I finally decided my back ache that has been coming and going the past two months is not from the hard hotel bed alone. It's Mom and the thought of going to Iowa on business and the beds combined. Friday night was "Mom night". I tried to take her out Wed and Thurs but it didn't work out that way. Tuesday I talked to her to set up supper Wed and somehow during the 10 minute conversation she ended up really mad at me and swearing. Mom doesn't swear - ever - until the past 6 months. Our conversation was about her confusion regarding Dad at his place. Trying to explain my family situation is pretty tough unless you're in the middle of it, even then it doesn't make sense.

Mom has always had someone else do her thinking and decision making. First it was Grandpa, then it was Dad. She never had a time where she was independent until Sept last year when I had to put Dad in Memory Care. The past several year Mom's memory has been getting pretty bad but she had Dad to make decisions and she coped. Now - no Dad, at least in the decision making part of things. He's doing great. The people where he lives care for him well and keep him safe and comfortable. Mom isn't bad enough to be "locked in" so I'm trying hard to keep her independent. She's in a senior assisted living apartment. She gets her meals at the restaurant there if she doesn't feel like cooking, lives in the building next to Dad so she can visit him daily, and lives about 2 blocks from Target so she can walk over and get basic foods and other things she needs. What she doesn't have is much of a memory. She writes a lot of notes, forgets appointments, feels overwhelmed but- its still better than being locked up and not being able to leave the building.

So - back to Tues. night. She couldn't understand why Dad wasn't at his place when she went over. I tried to explain they have a calendar of events posted and that 1-2 times a month they go out on trips (drive around the lakes, a picnic, etc). She confused her calendar with his and got all angry when I tried to help her understand the difference. So- she hung up on me and I didn't get supper arranged.

Wed. night I called her and set up supper for Thursday before we started talking, just in case she tried to hang up again. So far, so good. I tried calling a few times during the day Thurs. but she was out- exercise or Dad or whatever. The nurse at her place called to talk to me. There's a nursing service available if you contract for it which we haven't but, Mom went down there asking if they could cut her toe nails. I'll have to look into why she suddenly did this. So I got to her place at 4:45 when I told her 5:00. No Mom. Probably at Dad's still so I snooped around her apartment. Clean toilet, No old food in the refrig. A strange note on the board telling Dad she missed him at his place and if he comes in to let her know. Wait- isn't Dad locked in his building and hasn't it been since before Christmas that I brought him over to her place? So- how is he supposed to read a note in a place he can't get to? After a while I decided she wasn't showing up so I went back downstairs to go over to Dad's to see if she was there. Got outside and she came out the restaurant door. She forgot all about our supper and had gone in to eat there. Didn't remember our conversation from the night before even after I reminded her. Oh well. How about Friday night supper.

We try again. I called a couple timed Fri. and left messages to remind her we were meeting at her apartment at 5:00 for supper Friday (tonight). When I got there at 4:45 she was there! But - all worried about her checkbook. This is another weekly (or more often) conversation. She also said she didn't have any money (cash) and she gave Dad some cause he didn't have any. Another weekly conversation. Mom- Dad doesn't need money, it only gets lost or stolen. Remember I pay all the bills and his meals are already paid for, etc.

I'd love to give her money but any cash she gets, she thinks she had to give Dad because he's the person who takes care of the bills. She just can't learn new things like he doesn't remember anything beyond 5-10 minutes much less be able to handle money affairs. Sigh! We went out to supper and Perkins. I decided what we would eat, she doesn't make decisions. I had to re walk her through step by step how to pay the bill with her ATM card, how to give a tip, how much to give, etc. Another weekly conversation. Sigh! I keep telling my cousin I should just put all these conversations on tape and I don't have to keep repeating them.

My latest approach with Mom is to have her look at what she can do instead of what she can't do. Our cousins daughter is getting married next summer so I got Mom a stamped cross stitch picture to work on to give to her. I hope this works. I told her to spent about 15 minutes a day on it until she felt like she could do more. I hope it will get her brain working in positive ways instead of oh poor me ways. We'll see...

My Back- OUCH!
Back to my back. I really think it's her.. I got a monster back ache about 1 1/2 months ago when my Iowa project started. I don't like hard hotel beds. Each week I'd start to get better and back to Iowa- back to pain. I haven't' been down there for a couple weeks and my back was almost better until late this week with Mom trauma. I bet I'm letting all my stress of coping go straight to my back. Of course it doesn't help that I'm WAY out of shape and about a thousand pounds over what I should be.

Free Shopping Trip
Enough "poor me" talk. I have been knitting and playing with the boys and getting somethings straightened out at the house. I got a bonus at work for one of the projects I just finished. It was a gift card at Target so off I went to shop for "free". Life is good in many ways. Shopping and not having to pay is no of them. Whenever I get a bonus I buy things I normally wouldn't. You just can't spend bonus money on toilet paper, it's just not right! I ended up getting a 2 piece cover for the sofa so the boys don't have to sleep on ugly stripes sheets anymore and I got a really good back massager for me.

The boys sleeping on the couch before the new cover - the sheets will be going away!

I also found a good tea pot. I like real tea and real tea needs a good pot to brew properly. Most of my brewing options are for 1 or 2 cups. This one will handle 4 cups. Happy happy joy joy!
I have about 1/2 of the 2nd Sockotta mock cable sock completed. I also have much of my Victorian shawl finished. Finally I finished the Woolease quick try of my ascot tie scarf. I will write up the directions (hopefully tomorrow) and post them. I'd like a few of you to try the scarf and let me know what you think. When I originally made it I made it in Bemidji Wool with size 6 needles. This time I tried Woolease (it was laying around the house) and a size 8 needle. I'll give quickie instructions for both and you can let me know which you prefer.
Repeat picture of Bemidji wool version of scarf

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