Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2010
Mom seemed much diminished this Christmas. She has been having a lot of foot pain and edema in both legs. Her legs and ankles are really swollen. Overall, she seemed quieter. She enjoyed the meal that Pamela made and ate everything on her plate. When we moved to the living room to open gifts, she was slow and needed assistance to get to the couch. Once she was there, she seemed to enjoy her Christmas presents. She also enjoyed sitting with Haven, our 7 month old daughter.

It took both of us to help her to the car. I took the long way home so we could see some Christmas lights. After I drove her home, I took her upstairs and helped her with her nightly routine; folding back the bed, closing the blinds. She insisted on sitting up for awhile in her chair. She has been ending up in this chair fairly regularly because she wakes up short of breath. Last night, she was there from 3am onward. She told me she was tired when we arrived today...and then poured out the whole story: waking up unable to breath, moving to the chair for the rest of the night..the overall exhaustion.

I really wish she would let me take her to a doctor. She appears to be in pretty shaky condition. Pamela thinks I should just take her to the hospital. I can't do it..that is the last thing in the world that she wants. It is so hard to watch the slow deterioration.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This will be a slow descent

I took dinner over to Mom last night. In the last few days she has been telling me how exhausted she is feeling. She talks about her heart feeling weaker. Her ankles and lower legs are also swollen with edema. I feel like I am watching her slow descent into the next and perhaps final stage of her life. The good news is that she had a good dinner and some company for awhile. After dinner I took out her garbage and then helped her get ready for bed.


Edema is a condition of abnormally large fluid volume in the circulatory system or in tissues between the body's cells.

Heart failure. When the heart is unable to maintain adequate blood flow throughout the circulatory system, the excess fluid pressure within the blood vessels can cause shifts into the interstitial spaces. Right-sided heart failure can cause pitting edema, a swelling in the tissue under the skin of the lower legs and feet. Pressing this tissue with a finger tip leads to a noticeable momentary indentation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And she just went walking along

This was Mom on her 89th birthday, March 1, 2009. She walked to the car aided by her cane but with very little assistance. We switched her to the transport chair to get her into the restaurant and to our table. She remained in the transport chair throughout the meal.

This in Mom on Thanksgiving Day 2010 with her new-to-her walker. I put pink tennis balls on the back legs because I thought that might convince her to keep it and actually use it. It was the right tool at the right time. Mom embraced her walker and has been using it every day. This is something she has resisted for at least 2 years. Timing is everything.