Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's Your Name Again?

I've been working on a children's book for 3 years about Sunny and my Mom....this weekend is the SCBWI conference (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Right Now I am putting together a book dummy....like a mock up of what the book could look like if published.  Wish me luck!!!!  More about it later, I've got to get back to work!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Everyone is coming!!!

I'm so excited.  We are all going to be together for Peggy's 80th birthday.   David, Paul, Lois, Peggy Lu and our spouses and kids.  Joan is coming down too.  Peggy helped raise all of us, and I'm just so happy we can all be together because of her....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Mother's Advocate

Not something I do well.  I had a "nice" discussion, and then came home picked up the phone and left what I really wanted to say on his voicemail....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My friend just sent me this....

Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of "cocktails", "highballs" and just a good old-fashioned "stiff drink".Pepsiwill market the new concoction by the name of:  MOUNT & DO. Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them. If you don't send this to five old friends right away there will be five fewer people laughing in the world.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Forget Memory by Anne Davis Basting

Forget Memory

This book is a wonderful way to look at the effects of Alzheimer's.  And yes, there is a wonderful way to look at it.  After the cherry pie, I read through this again, and felt confidence in how I am with my Mom.
Trust me, I had my hand in the toilet for an hour trying to get a urine sample from Peggy.  And it was okay.  It was probably one of the silliest times I have ever had in my life.  I brought new clothes for Peggy over and stopped at the library and got videos and books for the girls and we went over for the afternoon. Because I really wanted to accomplish this "tinkle task"again, (yes, this is not the first time I had to do this.)  It's hard enough to get my girls to go on the potty. But I do, so I was up for the challenge!  Anyway, the girls kept coming in the bathroom giving her dixie cups of water and doing a fashion show of Nana's new clothes, dragging them on the floor and giggling like crazy, as I constantly had to explain to my mother why I had my hand in the toilet and what tinkle was, and.....it makes me laugh, not cry, and that's okay.

I'm sure this is the most ridiculous review of a very helpful book, but please add this to your collection if you are researching or curious about the disease.

p.s. no tinkle.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cherry Pie with Carey Grant

There have been a lot of changes with Peggy lately.... she is really can't walk at all anymore, and is in the wheelchair all the time.  She also has developed a weird kind of stuttering, a hyper high pitched nanananannananananannnanNANANANANAN! kind of sound, ususally goes with a finger point and then laughter.  There have also been some major changes at Sunrise.  Changes in staff and fees. I got a letter saying that she was going to be moved to a plus plus care level....(more money).  I have to admit I was really taken a back by this, I was very frustrated and quite offended that we didn't have a conversation about Peggy. Instead, I got a form letter.  I am a present person there, and not being involved in any conversation regarding Peggy,  I felt very very....sad,angry and deceived.  I have to be my mother's advocate on all levels.  So I took her to the Doctor and we talked about what's happening, what it means.  It means it's a degenerative disease.  It's going to get worse.  I know that.  But how?   Time.  How much?  Years?  Geez....I cried at the Doctor....ugh.  More drugs?  Back on drugs?  That's my decision.  I don't think so...I know where this is going, I just want it to get there....and that makes me cry.  

So I took her out for cherry pie.  This diner had these old Hollywood Pictures, she loved Carey Grant and kept asking who that was. She liked looking at all the pictures.  I started to relax with her, it took a while to just let it all go, let her be who she is now, and for me to just get a piece of pie too.  

When I brought her back to Sunrise, I was able to handle this stupid disease again.  I talked to the nurse there, made an appointment to talk to the management.  Went and bought her some new summer clothes at Drapper and Damon's and went home.  Hugged the girls, wrote down all the  follow-up appointments on the calendar and thanked my husband for watching the girls while I spent the afternoon helping my mom.

Just watching Tv with Nana

The Scholastic Books classic video series

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

one step at a time

   When my mom was first diagnosed we all took it one day at a time....now it's one step at a time. Alzheimer's seems to have a progression like a stair case.  Steps. Not a slide where she slowly fades away or becomes more confused. Big giant steps where one day she can do or remember something and the next day she can't and then that's where we are.  
    The other day this nice gal was doing a painting lesson with the residents.  The girls were excited and jumped right in.  Peggy was over by the TV area.  So I got her up and wanted her to join everybody.  I swear it took us 20 minutes to walk 50 feet.  Every step would be "where are we going?"  and I would respond... "over there, with the girls, see them?"  Then Peggy would say "Oh, okay, how wonderful." and not move.  I tried to get in front of her and coax her, I tried to walk with her, I tried to hold her arm, say different things....then she might take one tiny step and then it would start all over again.  "Where are we going?"   She has no forward momentum.  She can't take a step, because she doesn't remember the last one.  She's stuck in this place.  She's stuck in this place of...I don't know....she's constantly on rewind and the tape keeps playing shorter and shorter.

We finally sat down and I think she enjoyed watching Sunny paint right across from her.  She always says how beautiful we all are, and she is still present, she is still here, and so are we.
More photos of our paintings can be found here....Painting with Peggy