Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mom in May

I drove over after church today to make Mom some dinner. When I arrived I took a picture of her in the red chair. This is usually how I find her..sometimes awake, sometimes asleep.

I asked her if I could take a couple of pictures ....she protested at first, but then gave in. I can see how much she has changed in the last two years.

Mom seemed different today. She said she was so blue. After dinner and cleaning up the dishes, I insisted that we go for a drive and get some ice cream cones. She got her favorite Black Walnut ice cream. We drove around a bit, mostly just in the North End of Seattle. Mom always comments on how many new buildings there are in Seattle now.

I finally drove Mom home and helped her get into her apartment. She really seems to need a lot more help with walking. After I got her settled, I asked her how much water she had had today...only about a glass and a half. I asked her to drink more before she goes to bed.

Tomorrow I take her to her doctor for a checkup. I told her I would bring the wheelchair. She can choose whether or not she wants to use it.

She told me all the things she usually tells me as I leave...she loves me, she appreciates all that I am doing for her...and I walk out the door after hugging and kissing her goodbye.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today is my Mom's 57th Mother's Day. To celebrate, I took her to lunch at her favorite restaurant.

She was all dressed and ready to go when I arrived. First, I showed her the pot of flowers that Pamela had put together. She loved it...I had selected two pink geraniums, some beautiful pink and green stripped coleus, and a bright green potato vine. I placed it on her table outside on her she can see it and easily water it and tend to the plants.

We made our way downstairs, me with a bag of garbage and holding on to Mom's arm. She is unsteady on her feet now, so it is important to hold her. We went through our usual routine: she hands me her cane, I put it between the front seats. She moves slowly into the seat and I help her get her legs and feet into the car. I buckled her in and shut the door. Off we went after stopping at the dumpster to leave her bag of garbage.

Luckily, when we got to the restaurant, there was a free handicapped parking spot right by the door. I helped Mom get on of the car and made sure she was steady on her feet before closing the door. As we made our way into the restaurant, several men opened the doors for us. I kept my hands on Mom as I helped her up the stairs. I got her seated on a bench and then put our names in. The place was packed for Mother's Day, so we had to wait about a half hour...since we wanted lunch not dinner. They made everyone wait to be seated for lunch.

I asked Mom if she wanted me to go get her anything, since she kept saying that she was really hungry. She wanted a milkshake, so I went to another restaurant on the wharf and got one of the best chocolate shakes I have ever tasted to date! Mom sat drinking her shake and watching all the people passing by. She loves to watch people.

Eventually, they came to seat us and we made our way slowly through the restaurant to a booth that was build up off the floor. I helped Mom up, and helped her get comfortable by straightening her skirt underneath her. The waiter brought drinks and the focaccia bread right away...which is what Mom always remembers about this restaurant. She ate several pieces and looked at the menu. I decided on a Shrimp Louie, but Mom seemed a little overwhelmed by the menu. I sat next to her and offered a couple of ideas. She finally just told me to order for her. Given her problems with swallowing food, I went with something easy ...shrimp fettuccine.

Mom ate like she was starving. Despite the fact that her portion was huge, she managed to eat two thirds of her dish. I told her we could have them box the rest for her, but she wasn't interested in taking it home. She did however jump at the chance to take home some of the bread.

After I paid the bill, we started to make our way slowly through the restaurant. Again, people opened doors for us as we exited. I got Mom into the car and then we went for a little drive. We stopped along the way to pick up a few things that Mom needed at the grocery store.

As we were headed home, Mom told me that she is really lunch she mentioned that she sleeps about 12 hours a day plus takes naps. When we finally got home, I could tell that she was completely wiped out. She said she was going to take a nap, so I suggested that I help her undress and change. I got her into her house wrap and some slippers. I found a golf game on TV for her to watch and doze to.

As I was leaving, Mom looked and me and said she wasn't going to be here much longer. I told her that may be the case, but while she is here, I am looking out for her. I gave her a hug and a kiss and turned to leave. She closed her apartment door smiling at me.

I got in my car and drove home with a heavy heart. Even when you have had a difficult relationship with a parent, it is sad to think that someday you will never be able to talk to them again. I feel that all the time about Dad.

Sometimes I wonder....does Mom have a 6th sense about her impending death...or is she just being melodramatic? I have no idea...I just know that it is hard to deal with the situation.

On the bright side, she had a good afternoon out, a wonderful lunch and little drive ....all with her only daughter who is doing her best to help.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bacon grease

Mom has second degree burns on her left hand from a bacon grease accident yesterday. I talked to last night right after it happened and told her I would bring some ointment today. I talked to her as we were getting ready to leave for an event I couldnt go last night.

I packed up my supplies this morning and made it out to her place by 10.00am. She was sound asleep in the chair when I arrived. As soon as she woke up, I took a look at her hand and assessed the damage. Her hand is swollen with large blisters on the last three fingers. I cleaned it off with an alcohol wipe and then put some Solarcaine on it. It has Aloe Vera and cools the hand. After that, I went over to the drugstore and bought her some vinyl gloves to keep her hands dry, and some liquid antibiotic wash. Once I got back, I wrote up a care sheet for her and explained everything twice.

Mom seemed really depressed today...said she was more trouble than she is worth, and just generally down on herself. She cried a little while I was I tried to get her back on track. This latest event seems to be pushing her into a deeper depression.