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      Monday, January 07, 2008

tales from the parkside
06:52 PM - 01/07/2008

The topic: Cats and other stuff


We just went over and got my mom’s cats.  The older one, Miss E, Lisa’s half sister, older by six months, has quietly found a space under the loveseat.  Next to Gracie Ann, who moved there from the garage.  But Bobby wasn’t nearly so mellow.  When Brian first put him in the crate, he let out this gawdawful yowl.  Never heard such a noise from a kitty cat. And he yowled all the way home (less than a mile). Then I let him out and he went crazy.  Actually tried climbing a wall in the garage and climbing the mirror in the bathroom.  Knocked a picture off of the mirror, made a bunch of noise. I was able to get a hold of him and pet him a little, try to calm him down, but wasn’t really successful.  But he didn’t try to kill me, either, he’s just really scared. He finally found his safe spot under the sofa.  I don’t think it will take long for him to come around, the other cats want to sniff, but that’s about it.

And my mom seems to be doing a little better.  I had to go to Walmart this AM to get her something to wear (going through her drawers wasn’t something I really looked forward to and having to find something that would fit wouldn’t be easy; new was easier) and while I was gone, she called home.  Told Brian she didn’t know how she got to where she was, she must have taken a wrong turn (God bless her).  And she told him she didn’t belong there, it was a hospice (the woman in the bed next to her was pretty bad, just had some major surgery and was in a lot of pain). 

Brian told me about it when I got home.  I got the new stuff washed (I won’t wear new stuff until it’s been washed) and we went over to the care center to fill out forms and visit with her.

She was a little more lucid than yesterday, Brian said she was better than this morning.  There was a nice doctor with her, he works at UCSD hospital and his specialty is geriatrics.  He asked her some questions about where she was, what year was it, things along those lines and she didn’t do well at all. He told me he wanted to run some blood samples that he felt would tell him more than the ones run last Friday and possibly take an x-ray. I don’t have a problem with any of this, she’s got a problem or problems, she’s had them for a while and maybe we’ll finally get to the root of them.

The doctor left and I wanted to show mom her new clothes. She was happy to see us, not angry or fussy at all. Previously, when I’d mentioned getting her something new she was adamant about not needing new clothes.  When I told her I’d gotten them, she was put out.  I took her robe (a nice heavy thick one) out of the bag and told her I’d washed it just that morning.  She was thrilled.  Then I took out the sleeper bra I’d gotten.  I showed it to her and she said “oh, good, thank you!”  Then I pulled out the new socks and the new underwear and the new sweatshirts and sweatpants.  She was happy.  I asked if she wanted to change (she was still in the clothes she put on yesterday morning) and she said “no, I want a shower first, before I put on clean clothes”.  And she told us that she can’t shower without help. They won’t let her. And I got the impression, she felt this was a good thing, even though she didn’t say it. And I was pleased to hear her say that she wanted to be clean before she wore clean clothes. A thing of hygiene.  And it was so good to hear that she still knew that clean clothes were better when the body was clean.  Maybe she’s had a hard time taking a shower on her own and just didn’t want to say anything about it, as if it were an admission that she needed help. It sounds like such a simple thing to most of us, something we wouldn’t even think about. Not until we come face to face with someone who can’t.

She got a little sharp with the physical therapist, but that girl held her own.  And mom mentioned something about the woman who’d been in the bed next to her’s and the therapist told her “I got rid of her for you”.  Mom really liked this.  (I guess the woman had had surgery and was very, very vocal about the pain.  Screamed, I guess. Anyway, the therapist asked mom again to stand up and walk.  Mom did her little pout thing, said she wasn’t going to.  The therapist put her hands on her hips, looked at mom and said “you think so?” The next time she was asked, mom did as she was told. Mom made it over to the walker, then they left the room and were gone for about ten or fifteen minutes.  We had to fill out a list of what we’d brought (I’d labeled it all before we went) and we told them we’d be bringing the laundry home.  Less chance of anything getting lost.  They made it back to the room and mom plopped down on the chair.  The therapist asked her a few questions about how her legs felt, then said goodbye to my mom, said goodbye to us and left.  Mom was looking worn out.

She got back into bed when one of the nurses came in and the nurse raised the bar at the side of the bed.  Mom watched with interest and the nurse explained it was so she wouldn’t fall out.  Mom understood.  I went and sat by mom and she asked about the television a couple of times.  The one that was there belonged to the screamer and there was none now. (Mental note, find old television and bring it in.)  It was past her lunchtime, so Brian and I said goodbye.  On the way out we asked about filling out the paperwork. 

We had a nice talk with the administrator and found out that cable is $30.00 a month, but that was okay if it would entertain mom.  And they have an onsite ombudsman and tomorrow we’ll get the Power of Attorney and Living Will taken care of.  On the paperwork, there was a page about critical care, what did she want and it was hard to think about.  If her heart stops, she wants it left at that.  If she needs a tube to be fed, then don’t do it.  It’s different to talk about it, but now, there it was, on paper.  At a care center.  *sigh*

We got home,  checked the mail, made some phone calls, then went to CostCo.  While at CostCo, the doctor called.  He wanted to change the anti-depressent she was on to one that also had an appetite stimulant in it.  Fine with me. Since she’d only taken a couple of the others (started Thursday, had one Friday and Saturday, none that I knew of since), he felt it wouldn’t be a problem changing over.

We got home, unpacked and I went in search of the television.  Guess what? Brian told me there wasn’t one, that I’d taken the old one from the extra room and put it in the office when we got the new one for the exercise room.  I don’t know if I really think that’s what happened, but it sounded good.  So, off to WalMart again.  There was a 13” for under $95.00, a 14” for under $120.00 and a 13” with a built-in DVD player for $130.00.  Brian had said that he’d like to get one for up at the property, since he’s planning on getting his little wind generator going soon.  He said you can pick up three stations over the air and a TV might be nice.  I called him and described the choices, because when I’d left, he requested I keep it under $100.00.  I got the one with the DVD player.  *lol*  I also picked up a table to put it on.  I knew I had to take it out of the box, because I didn’t want mom thinking we went out and bought her a new tv.  I wanted her to think it’s one we had here at home, that we weren’t using.

So, I get home, test the television, it works.  Time to get the cats.

I tell Brian.  He’s reluctant.  I said I’d like to get it over with.  He got the carriers, put them in the car and off we went.  And now the cats are loose, and things have gotten quiet.  Miss E and Gracie are under the loveseat.  Ross and Bobby are under the sofa.  I’m here.  Brian’s feeding KittyMeeze and I’m finally feeling relaxed. 

I think it might be okay.

Your mom sounds like she’s in a good place right now.  So do you.

Good luck with the kitties, I hope they settle in quickly.

Posted by Naf @ Monday, January 07, 2008 - 8:14:56 PM

I a so glad to hear that you have all of this more under control… and your mother sounds like she is in the best place right now!

Posted by Kerry LSM & Kitties Mum @ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 3:21:43 AM

I agree. You need to know that she is being taken care of so you can recharge and relax.
Seems like she is also relaxed, I’m really glad to read that!
Hope the KittyCats are doing well, too.

Posted by Bobbie @ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 9:45:48 AM

Thanks for keeping us updated. It sounds like you’ve got a good handle on things. Stay strong, hugs to you and the kitties. Can’t wait to see pictures of them. So much of what your mom is going through is the same as my GM who is 93. She lives on her own in a retirement home apartment with her own furniture and still does her own laundry. The doctor is always telling her she needs to eat more. They clean, offer 3 meals a day in the diningroom, I think she only has two and a slim fast for lunch! She has lots of friends there, they meet for cards once a week and bible study. They offer assisted living, it just isn’t needed yet. I credit that place for keeping her around this long, she’s happy there. I wish that for your mom.

Posted by Melanee @ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 10:06:17 AM

You are doing great.  It sounds like your Mom is doing better now too.  There is a real fear in going to a ‘nursing home’.  In the old days it was more like a prison, and not a nice one.  People who couldn’t get jobs elsewhere would be the main workers.  It is much more watched now, but the fear remains and who can blame anyone.  The places that are care centers are so much better, and the attitude of society is so much better. 
My furkids and I will send positive thoughts to you and yours.

Posted by May Ellen @ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 12:27:29 PM

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

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