Living with Mom–The Fall

From January 30th at 1:39 AM
Today while I was at work Mom took a spill. She was not home alone. She tripped over her own slippers. She broke her left Femur and her left wrist. She is also complaining of neck pain but we need to wait until morning for a full MRI. They also need to wait for the orthopedic surgeon in the morning before they proceed with setting her leg or arm. She may need surgery again. Sorry for the super late update everyone, it has been a horrendous night to say the least. Rest assured she is not alone.

Today is February 15th
It has been a long couple of weeks
I got the call while on my way home from work. As anyone who has cared for an older person knows, this can be one of the worse phone calls you ever get.
She was in the hospital for 2 weeks. It took 3 days before she could have surgery and get the leg and arm set.After surgery she spent 3 days in Surgical Trauma, where things really looked bleak for a bit, she kept on saying she was going to die. I was scared to death and worried sick, that she WAS going to pass. On the fourth day they moved her to a step-down unit, where she spent most of the time for the next 5 days sleeping and lethargic. She finally started to come around last weekend, talking and joking, and just seemed to be almost back at her baseline. Two days ago they finally released Mom from the hospital, she was moved to a skilled nursing facility for Rahab once again. She is smiling and laughing at my stupid jokes, and silly face dances.

They removed the pins from the previous Hip surgery,she now has a steel rod in her leg, and a cast on her wrist. With the progression of the dementia, it is going to be much harder for her to follow simple instructions. Therefore making rehabilitation a much longer process. We are hopeful and positive though. On the brighter side of things, she is already making friends there. She seems to be much more comfortable than she had been at the previous facility, which BTW refused to have her because we would not put into long-term care and chose to care for her at home. This new facility is clean, the staff is very friendly and it is much more home like. My apologies for the long break in posts, but it has been a long couple weeks.

Into the Darkness

Endless scenarios they swirl, the pieces do not fit
Clouded by obscurities, they flutter through the mist
Lost without a cause or clue, restrained by ghosts of past
Imprisoned by the fears, they were by others set to last
Wandering alone it seems, time has slowed and slipped
Comfort and conclusion from the mind they have been ripped

Eyes so lost a light so dim, echoed screams of fright
The sands of time for you it seems,have turned day into night
Broken and bewildered at the hands of evil minds
The vengeance and the retributions so shall come with time
No way to ease the torment, no calm to the storm
Nowhere to hide and shelter from the cold, no place to warm

Into the darkness and unknown wandering, disturbed
Unsure and indecisive, cannot hear what you have heard
Eyes so dark and distant, reaching out for a hand
In a world so far from lucidity, unable to understand

The Empty Chair

5AM I sit and stare in the corner at Mom’s empty chair
Although right now she only sleeps, the thought it still cuts me deep
In the corner alone and dark, the storm that brews still leaves its mark
The journey long and filled with fear and I for one am glad you’re here
I know in my heart and in my head, as you lie sleeping in your bed
One day you will no longer be, and the empty chair is all I’ll see

It scares me fills me with such fear, the thought of you not being here
We were not so close when I was young, now so far and close we have come
In your head dark scared and lost, to bring you back I’d pay any cost
I awake today and I watch you sleep, and listen to you as you breath
For granted these things we often take, when they end our hearts all break
It rips my heart as these words flow, things I never thought I’d know

My life so changed, so rearranged
You so scared, with empty stare
My biggest fear your empty chair

As you awake I feel your pain, my tears they fall like salted rain
So alone you feel though you are not, unaware of all the things you have got
Thoughts so scattered no connection, random sorted recollection
The little things I have learned to embrace, the simple smile on your face
So often you call out in the night, in the darkness looking for the light
I try to comfort, and assure as I stand outside this shuttered door

These words I speak my heart I share
As I sit and fear the empty chair

Living with Mom

Today is Wednesday January 24th

Today is Mom’s 73rd Birthday.

Here is Mom at her 60th B-day party. I sure do miss that smile.

Brevity, Lucidity and Death!

It’s morning, my favorite part of the day. Not because Mom is not awake yet, but because this is the time of the day she is most lucid and able to hold short conversations. It’s the time of day when she is able to communicate to me, how she feels, what she needs, and the things she wants the most. As the day progresses, she gets more distant and is only able to answer the most basic questions and her thoughts become more scattered it seems. Sadly, lately all she says is, she wants to die. She just don’t want to be like this, she is scared and feels alone even with the people around her. She has asked on several days in the last 2 weeks if I could help her die. All I can do is tell her I love her and we are not ready for her to go yet, as my eyes well with tears. I am so heartbroken when I look into her eyes and I can feel her loneliness, and isolation.

Mom and I were not always close, but she did always have my back when I needed it the most. I feel it is my place to have hers as she progresses through this nightmare. I try to reassure her as often as possible, but it doesn’t always help. She doesn’t trust anyone much any longer, she thinks everyone is trying to hurt her or take her money. Last night while helping her to the bathroom, she suddenly had this look of terror in her eyes. She was terrified, and said she thought I was trying to kill her. I think I may have died a little inside right at that moment.I gave mom the tightest hug I could without hurting her to assure her I loved her and would never hurt her. I find myself having to reassure her everyday that she is loved and wanted.

Today was especially tough as we navigated the day. She was convinced no-one loved her, because everyone wasn’t waiting here when she awoke. “It’s my Birthday everyone should be here to see me.” Trying to explain to her why her entire family wasn’t here at the crack of dawn was not an easy task. There was no comforting her for a good portion of the day. We went to Marie’s for dinner and cake, and she seemed to be a little more happy than she had been. Oddly we were able to get her laughing and smiling by singing “if you’re happy and you know it”. We had 2 cakes, a plain yellow for us and a Strawberry shortcake all for mom as it is her favorite. She ate most of the cake, and was definitely in a good place at this point. I wish she knew how much it really means to us all that she is still here, and that the reason I keep her at home is because we love her and care so much.

I don’t sleep much anymore, as I need to be on the alert for her calling in the night. Even with the bed rails there are nights when she tries to climb over them to get out of bed. Most times its just because she needs to go to the bathroom, but there are times when she is in a half sleep state and can become quite the handful. It’s a strange state of mind, as most times she seems to be stuck in an event from her past. It never seems to be a happy event, and bringing her back is a challenge. It is so hard as this is not Mom. She was always a sweet, caring and relatively reserved woman. Her personality is now the complete polar opposite, and when she is in this half sleep state,it is magnified significantly and her strength is truly unbelievable. I find that just wrapping my arms around her and trying to hold her and tell her it is going to be alright works most times. Then there are the times when it just doesn’t and she yells and becomes violent.

I share our story in hopes, that maybe it will help someone else in this same situation. I hope that others will follow and learn some of the methods we develop to deal with the various situations, and challenges we encounter and maybe share some of their experiences with us.Everyday is an adventure, and a challenge and makes me a better person. Tonight I am happy, she made it to another birthday and through the Holidays with enough of her self to understand what is going on around her. This disease seems to be progressing faster than I expected and I fear that by next Christmas she will be too far along for her to even understand. It scares the hell out of me, wondering what it must be like for her in her head like that. I pray every nigh that there will be something to reverse some of the effects before she is too far along for that, but it certainly does not look promising. I pray every night for God to give me the strength and patience to care for Mom, and thank him every morning that she wakes for giving me another day with her.

I want to thank everyone for following, and sharing our story.

Sometimes I just need to rant!

I get it! I see the world a little differently than most people, and I negotiate situations differently than most as well. I will be the first to tell you,I always find all the negative first in any situation. Once the negative has been processed, the logic takes over and develops a resolution to all the negatives allowing me to properly navigate most any situation.

If one creates a situation, then avoids a confrontation and does not present solution, to me it’s just not understood.
If the actions of your doing, find yourself and others screwing, yourselves over, you’ve got to understand it’s not good.
When the wake you leave behind, lands others all up in a bind, then its time your eyes get open and you see
If the the path down which your heading,has all the good things shedding, this is probably not the place to be
Let there be no misunderstanding, of the lesson I am handing out and the thing that I am really trying to say
If you stumble off your path and in fates own face you laugh, in the end you are the one who has to pay.

Daring wildlife rescue saves great horned owl from the clutches of ravenous coyotes!

June 16th 2014 Mullica Hill New Jersey

While visiting a friend on his farm in Mullica Hill, I decided to step out onto the back veranda to partake of a smooth refreshing Marlboro cigarette. It was just around dusk, maybe around 7:30 and the sky was a beautiful array of fiery oranges and reds. I took out one of those refreshing cigarettes from the familiar red pack, and placed it to my lips, I could really smell the unlit tobacco as it was a fresh pack of those smooth refreshing Marlboro cigarettes. I lifted my purple BIC lighter to ignite my cigarette, when out of the back field came a screech unlike anything I had ever heard before, followed by an incredibly loud rustling. Started I dropped both the purple BIC lighter and that smooth refreshing Marlboro cigarette, and looked up to see what was causing such a horrendous disturbance to my peace. I could see a relatively large bird with a most white underbelly making a severely labored attempt to escape the clutches of what we are sure where the pair of coyotes that recently took up residence in the area. The large bird appeared to have escaped, and made it into a tree as we could hear it screeching for almost an hour after the ravenous attack. I commented to my friend that the screeching sounded much like an owl. We eventually returned inside to resume whatever it was we had been doing prior to the “incident” as it would come to be known as.

Fast forward to June 18

I again visit the same friend where the “Incident” occurred , and he informs me that his wife had a close encounter with an Owl earlier in the day and she thought it may have been injured because it let her get so close. I thought nothing of it, having forgotten so soon about the “incident” of 2 days ago, and explained that many owls will let humans get fairly close if they do not fell threatened. We proceeded to check the general area, but saw no sign of the said owl, we did not realize he was playing hide and seek! Again we resume whatever trivial activity it was we were involved in and the conversation mostly forgotten, until the next afternoon, the fated date of June 19th 2014. While leaving to go on a WaWa run for some hot refreshing WaWa coffee and a fresh pack of those refreshing Marlboro cigarettes , I noticed something moving near the end of my friend’s driveway, so we stop to see what it is, and Lo and Behold, there he is the Famed Injured Owl. And yes he was injured and a little bewildered too, both his left wing and left leg\Talon were injured  and he required some human intervention to get him up off the ground where he was pretty much coyote food, since he could not escape nor defend himself while confined to the ground. See the pictures and video of the dramatic (actual pretty anti climatic) wildlife rescue below.

please follow the links for Video Viewing

The Owl was Taken to the Tri-Sate Bird rescue in Delaware

This is a true story, everything actually happened just as the story proclaims

Today is Wednesday June 18th

It is the 169th day of the year and the are 196 days remaining in the year

There are only 189 days until Christmas so you had better start shopping now!

The War of 1812 was begun on this day, can you guess what year?

In 1928 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic ocean

Today is Paul McCartney’s Birthday, so be sure to give him a little ring dingy and wish him well and make sure you tell him Uncle Albert called

The weather forecast for today: hotter than the devil with a fever

Life.. its what you make it

A saying that I find now that I am older to be so true. One can choose to be unhappy, and negative about their circumstances or one can choose to use those circumstances to their advantage and make happiness where there once was none. Not every situation is going to turn your way, in fact in reality, probably most won’t. It is how you take those situations and use them to your advantage that can be the difference between happiness and unhappiness. So you lost your job? your wife? you can sit there and be down and negative or you can take any of these situations and make them have at least a somewhat positive light.


I lost my job:

BAD: damn how the hell am I gonna pay the bills, what if I can’t find work

GOOD: Get motivated you have skills, you’re not out of work, you’re moving up in the world use what you know

My wife left me:

BAD: how will I ever survive without her?

GOOD: This is awesome, now I can date that hot girl in accounting

you get the point, you can sit around and mope feeling all sorry for your damn self or you can get off your ass, get motivated and make your life great!

Great men and women are NOT born, they are made every day

Make yourself great!