Monday, August 26, 2013

I get it, I really get it!

So, I follow this blog about a woman who is raising her daughters while taking care of her mother who has alzheimers.   She writes about the good, the bad, the funny, the ugly.....everything......and I've learned alot from it and until recently never realized how much I have learned from it.

Today, I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my stepdad for lunch, with a few chips on the side.  You wouldn't think that would be a big deal now would you?  Well, you see that's that where you would be wrong.  Every meal, well almost every meal, is a fine balancing act to get him to eat.  It either looks funny, tastes "like crap", is too sweet,  isn't sweet enough or he just doesn't understand why he has to eat it.  More often than not he will ask why he has to eat whatever is in front of him and more often than not we have to bribe him with a drink(milk or orange juice, his drink of choice. LOL) to get him to eat.

It's like living with a small child, only one you have to give respect to because they are your elder.  It's not a matter of telling him to do something, it's more like reasoning with him.  He's always had a very logical mind and wanted to know how things work.  So with the Dementia and the "forgetfulness" he struggles with the understanding of the why.  Why does he need to eat?  There have been numerous times when he said he wished there was a different way for him to get his food. I've told him the only other way is to get an I.V installed and being force fed.  He isn't too keen on that idea, so that usually gets him to eat.

So what does all that have to do with the blog I follow?  Well, it prepared me (prepares me still) for the road ahead.  While I don't have all the complications that come with Alzheimers, I do have my getting him to eat.  But, because of her blog I can relax a little and not stress out about the struggles as much and know that I'm not alone.  Because no one ever likes to feel they are alone.  It gives me courage to speak out myself.

Check out Nancy's Notes on Nothing.  You'll laugh, you'll'll feel!!!  Enjoy it, I know I do! (She REALLY needs to write a book about this too! hint hint Nancy!)

Are they really that bad?

The other day my family and I were watching some videos on YouTube.  They weren't just  any videos, no they were dash cam videos.  Not just any dash cam videos, but Russian dash cam videos.  If you haven't seen one of these videos yet, you really should.

It all started because I was slightly bored and there really wasn't anything good on tv, well anything worth watching.  I was scrolling my FB feed and came across a post about a Russian hovercraft landing on a beach (click to see the video) and well, one thing led to another and I found myself submerged in compilation after compilation of Russian dash cam videos (again click to watch).

There was turning right from the far left hand lane, turning left from the far right hand lane, running of red lights, confusing lane changes, driving too fast for the conditions and even a horse drawn carriage whose driver was passed out.  There wasn't a video that didn't make me wonder if they actually have to take a test to get their license, or is it handed out to them when they are born.  Numerous times you could hear me saying "Oh, don't do that, don't do that" or "Please tell me you are going to stop".  It got to the point that my family finally had to see what I was watching and then they too joined in with the commentaries, laughter, and complete dumbfoundedness at the escapades shown on the screen.   In fact I was ready to stop and go to bed at one point, but they kept wanting to watch more.

Finally, we could take no more, and there was plenty more, so we called it a night.  Wondering if dash cams were installed on American cars would we have just as many videos like those?  I think we all agreed that there probably would.  Ignorance is bliss.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What's it going to take?

What do you do when you get out of a routine?  How do you get yourself back into a routine, especially when everything around you is changing?  Lately I have felt as if I have been floundering in everything I do, somehow getting by.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not in dire straits or anything.....and is it dire straits or dire straights??? Does it matter that one is the name of a band??  I digress.

Having your parents live with you really messes with your routine.  You are used to things a certain way, a certain smell, a certain sound. You add in two new, well not new :-),  people with their own way, own smell(yes, I went there), own sound and it just throws everything off.   Add in the fact that those people are your parents that you fought to get independence from and one of them needing extra help and well, life just won't ever be the same.  

So where does that leave me?  Changing that's where, learning to be flexible.  It's easy to be flexible when it's something that you know isn't going to last, but being flexible 24/7/365??  Is that something a person can really do?  I'll just say that it's something I'm learning to do.  Am I always successful?? Not by a long shot, but I'm trying and that's what's important.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's so bright I've got to wear shades

Earlier this week we were running out of one of the medications that my step-father takes twice a day, so my mom decided to cut it back to once a day to hopefully make them last until the refill arrived.   Turns out that was the best thing we could have done!  Before he was sleeping all the time, could barely finish a sentence and rarely could he feed himself as he was just too tired and basically in a fog.

The first morning waking up after a single dose we saw a difference.  He was sitting up in bed....on his own and was more alert.  By the third day he no longer needed the assistance walking around and was carrying on full conversations, slowly, but he was doing it!  He was even getting himself out of bed in the morning and feeding himself most meals.

Getting ready to go sit by the pool.

He does still get tired after sitting out in the heat, but who doesn't?!  But there is a light to his eyes and a smile on his face.  He's even gotten his sense of humor back.

Will he ever be 100%, I don't think so, but at least he is happy again, no longer in a fog.  A week ago we were looking for the sunshine, this week that is all we are finding!

The happy couple