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Happy April 26th!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

It has been a long year already! I am sure April has 967 days!

Coping with COVID- I am working from home, thankfully have a job ( part time) to cover the expenses of the house that I co-purchased with Mom last year, that was newly remodeled, and so far has needed major electrical work, plumbing, and safety issues.

Work- Pre-COVID, my boss approved setting me up to work from home, and three weeks to the day, the state came down with Stay in Place orders. Now all co-workers are working from home. They decided that the experiment on my behalf worked well, so 10 people were not furloughed. That brings me joy.

Life with Momma- In June 2019 Mom went on a "vacation" to Oregon, fell the day before she was to return home and broke her hip. So she spent the next 3 months in hospital and rehab. This sounds terrible but I am glad it wasn't on my watch! When she did return home, she fell twice in 2 days and spent another two months here in hospital and rehab. She was released from rehab the end of March.

When Mom went into the hospital during testing they discovered she had a horrible UTI that turned into Sepsis. I discovered that frequent falls can be an indication of a UTI- especially in older folk ( Mom is 88). Now that I am aware, she has been referred to a Urologist who will monitor this through Home Health.

In the meantime, as DD ( Dear Dorothy) was in rehab, I got up one morning and as I stood up my leg collapsed. So it was a trip by ambulance to the ER. I discovered I am not a good patient ( I have NONE) and I am terrible on crutches! But I have a new Doctor to add to the list- an orthopedic surgeon. I got a shot of cortisone and am finally able to walk without crutches, canes or wheel chair. Not far distances but enough to get by. Physical therapy was postponed due to COVID - rescheduled for May ( possibly depending on status of pandemic). My knees are bone on bone- and the additional activity of running around to meet Mom's knees was a contributing factor. The other factor was ceasing to take the Naproxen in preparation for a breast biopsy, It was determined that I could in fact take the Naproxen and still have the biopsy.

So I did the biopsy and it wasn't the news I was expecting. Now I have added an Oncologist to the list of Drs in my tool box. What a way to meet new people! The good news is that because I have been diligent in having annual Mammos, this growth is new, small and easily treatable!
Again COVID has created a situation where things are a bit backwards. I started the medication to shrink the growth and will have a lumpectomy after June.

If you don't listen to your body, it is going to find a way to get your attention! OK!! I am listening!
I absolutely love my primary care physician. She and I had an appointment and she assured me that Mom was capable of doing more than she has been, and reminded me that my "job" was to take care of me.

Mom's love language is service- and one of her most used phrases is :" I have something I need you to do for me"- Dr. Ellie and I discussed this at some length, and now I have transitioned from do-er to facilitator. Mom has jobs now, including the dishes, her laundry, cooking simple meals, and again once COVID is over, will be taking the Senior Shuttle to her Dr. appointments.
Dr Ellie has ordered home health, personal services ( housekeeping and a handyman) and whatever Mom needs to take care of herself. She has a fall protection monitor with a button on the floor so that if she does fall, then all she has to do it push the button and EMS will come.
The last time Mom fell she swears she laid of the floor for hours before I woke up. I can't say that isn't true, but she is still grumbling about it :)

I had a heart to heart with Mom, and told her my expectations and my limitations, and told her that if she couldn't step up a bit, then we would have to look at an assisted living facility for her. She wasn't really thrilled with that idea, but I have noticed she isn't waiting for me to cook for her. I make sure there are simple foods available for her to eat when she is hungry.

I am not cooking to her pleasure- if she is hungry she will eat what I fix. Every meal was a challenge- it was hard to chew or too spicy or whatever. I have quit worrying about it. My comment is now, if you don't like it, then fix yourself something else. Now I at least get a thank you, which is a vast improvement.

With COVID, all of the restaurants have closed and are only offering take out and delivery. I am trying to support the local business by ordering at least once a week ( my favorite thing to make for dinner was reservations- LOL). This week I told Mom we were ordering from Garrets, and she chose her meal. After eating the whole thing, I heard how it was too much food, how the shrimp was too spicy and on and on. I just shrugged my shoulders and told her next time to order something else. Not my problem. I know that sounds harsh, but after a year of trying to meet her every whim, I am just done with the circus monkeys.

Mom is really a nice person, don't get me wrong, she has friends in Oregon that call her on a regular basis, and I get that moving to Tucson wasn't an option she would have chosen if she had a choice. She in fact did have a choice- she could have moved to an assisted living facility.
But I needed a challenge, right? LOL My sister Deb, who used to be Mom's go to girl for the last 20 years is finally getting a life, and is very appreciative that she knows Mom is in good hands. We have regular discussions and laugh about the idiosyncrasies. For 20 years, Deb would spend 3 days decorating Mom's Christmas tree, This past Christmas Mom told me all about how good Deb was about making sure everything was perfect. That tree sat in a box in the corner for three weeks, and finally Mom figured out that this wasn't going to be a one daughter operation, and she needed to get involved. I "helped" by putting up the stuff she couldn't reach, and we had a great time discussing each precious ornament. It was a beautiful tree when completed. We had a nice simple Christmas and Mom really enjoyed the tree.

So where is Sunny now? Just taking one day at a time. Making my health a priority- balancing life and sorting out and simplifying life.

One of the blessings is attending church online- today I set up Mom's computer in so she could watch - something new for her. A funny moment was Ringo of course was looking for the voices in the computer- we both got a giggle over that one.

When Mom was in rehab, I had help come over and decluttered Mom's room and moved her computer to a corner in the living room. Trying to eliminate areas that are hazardous. As the housekeeper said, do what you think, Dorothy will adapt. LOL I told her I was gonna tell Mom it was her idea!

Every day has new challenges, new joys and new opportunities to become a better person than yesterday.
Today I am having groceries delivered from Sprouts, DD is gluten intolerate, and Sprouts has the best selection of foods that meet her needs.
Now that Mom's computer is up and running, I am going to teach her how to order online. :)
Not today- just baby steps.

I am going to work on the plan for the yard. I have a grapefruit tree and an orange tree and a beautiful Saguaro cactus in my yard. Now to work out a plan to get it watered on a regular basis! That is my goal anyway! I have come up with a red-neck watering system ( relatively cheap & automatic to some degree, using water hoses, times and soaking hoses). My handyman is going to love it!

It has been a challenge for me to realize that I need help- I have been fairly independent most of my adult life. I have built houses, done all my own yard work, most of my own home repairs, and have finally realized that I can get help. So far I am able to work, since it doesn't require physical labor, so I can pay for services,albeit not big $, and I have to save up for some things.

The first order of business was getting a small area fenced in so Ringo would have a place to do his business. I didn't want to have to get permission from the park to dig and put up a fence, so I ordered a no dig fence, and Neal, the handman installed it for me. Now all I have to do it open the door and Ringo can go outside. Ringo loves it! I love it!

We have javelinas that go through the park, so I made sure the fence is javelina proof. Ringo seems to just go out and bask in the sun for a while and then comes in and gets a drink of water and takes a nap :) He is about 14 now so that is OK. He still gets excited for a car ride, and has the housekeeper convinced that she needs to take him for a walk, which she gladly does. She only comes in every other Thursday, but he greets her and patiently waits for her while she is mopping the floors, then he knows it is his turn.

Well enough for now, my intention is to spend a little more time on Spark and get my life back to some semblance of normal. In the past year I have regained 20#'s of my 50 lb loss and I want to get back to taking care of myself. I need Sparks!!

HUGS to everyone!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sorry it has taken so long to realize you wrote this blog!! BUT glad that you're getting things under control. IT IS DIFFICULT to be carer. I did that for 2 yrs. in my home w/both parents, and 3 yrs. before that long distance (2 hr. commute each way, once/week). Talk about exhausting. BUT main point, you are sooooo wise to set limits and glad your Mom has help. That assistance is so necessary.

    373 days ago
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    412 days ago
    So great to hear from you and hear how you're doing! You have a lot on your plate but it sounds like you are working through it like a champ. Best of luck to you during these strange times!

    414 days ago
  • LSIG14
    emoticon emoticon emoticon What a delight to see a new blog from you! I have missed you! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate but you seem to be handling everything very well. Please be sure to take care of yourself first - I will be praying for your good health! It's so good to see you back on here!
    415 days ago
    Oh my goodness, you are going through so much! Are you planning to have a knee replacement? I am still recovering from a bilateral total knee replacement I had just before everything went crazy.
    Keep your chin up and know that your friends are here for you!
    415 days ago

    Good plan... working on your healthy life-style..

    415 days ago
    You sound like a lemon into lemonade kind of person.
    I have 6 trees from TEP 3 not planted from last year and three from this year. Was hoping that my grand son would be able to help, but that hasn't happened soooo. It will take a long time for me to dig . 5 will be outside of our fenced back yard so have wire cages to discourage the javelinas. Our landscape is desert with prickly pear and choir, and some barrel type cactus.
    Going to be hot. Keep cool and hydrate. emoticon
    415 days ago
    So, so, SO very good to hear from you. Sounds like you and Mom have been through a really trying time. Glad your work at home job is a good fit for you! I hope you will be posting often and look forward to more stories of this transition for you and your mom! Yes, YOU CAN!!
    415 days ago
    emoticon good to hear from you again hope we will hear more from you Hugs
    415 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    This aging business is definitely not for sissies!
    415 days ago
    Oh, what a trill to see a message from you. It has been so long. Sorry to hear about you mothers falls, and now you have to tend to her. Reverse caring, I call it. Glad the Ringo is such a easy to satisfy fur baby, but I do have to look up what javilines are, as I have to idea. We are find here, just keep plugging alone. So do write when you have time, and do take care of yourself,.
    415 days ago
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