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Live Life Every Day, Fullfilled


Alzheimer's Quotes

My life is a roller coaster ride. Six months ago, if anyone were to tell me that Ma would be in a nursing facility undergoing rehabilitation. I would not have believed them. She was living independently with mild Alzheimer’s, functional and in the community.

Present Day

Ma has transferred from the hospital to the rehabilitation-nursing facility. The doctor in her care informed us that her Alzheimer’s is at a moderate stage. How is that possible? To me,  it appears severe. A close friend had to enlighten me by saying, ” Ma is not bedridden, not in diapers or is being spooned fed.” I am not content with that! I feel that she has spiraled towards the severe versus moderate since Hurricane Irma and sustaining a fall at our home.

To top it off, she fell again attempting to get off the bed. Staff found her on the floor in a sitting position, conscious in the early morning hours. They have an alarm hooked up to her bed because she won’t remember to press the ‘Call for the Nurse’ button. She is undergoing physical therapy ( her legs are weak), and occupational therapy. The reality is that Ma cannot come home and is need of more supervisory care.

I continue to pray for strength. The one thing that I learned from all of this is to live life every day, fulfilled. I try not to take anything for granted and not fester over the small stuff.

Alzheimer’s Quote

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My New Normal


Quote: What You Do For Someone You Love

You never know where you are going to end up. My situation as a caregiver is my new normal and my heart aches for my mom-in-law. She suffers from Alzheimer’s diagnosed over ten years ago but since Hurricane Irma, her condition has spiraled to worse to horrible.

Yesterday morning, I was awakened by my mom telling me that my mother-in-law had fallen in her room. Ma is what I call her, was confused and not knowing how she came to be on the floor. The room had this awful stench. According to my mom, she believes that Ma got confused as to where the bathroom was and proceeded to do her business in her room causing her to fall forward bumping her head. She had a whopping bump on her forehead, it was ginormous!

I immediately called 911, the dispatcher recorded the incident and diagnoses. He instructed me to leave the front house light on, the door unlocked and more importantly, for me not to move her.

All the while, as he was giving me instruction I thought about this horrific disease and all that comes with it.  The person inflicted with it is not aware of what is happening and the caregiver witnessing it will carry these tragic memories. It is not fair!

I dread how this story ends. I pray for the strength to carry me on this journey with my Ma. These days I try to focus on Ma, the way she is and her essence. I believe that it will allow me to move forward no matter what obstacle is laid on the path before us.

Alzheimers.net


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Moments of Confusion


Have you ever walked along a shoreline, only to have your footprints washed away? That’s what Alzheimer’s is like. The waves erase the marks we leave behind, all the sand castles. Some days are better than others.

-Pat Summitt

This disease sucks to no end! When you witness your loved one going through what I call moments of confusion.

When she finds herself lost in a space that is her home, not knowing whether to turn right or left to find her bedroom.

It is sad, you want to save her, make her better but you can’t instead, you can only guide her and stand by her.

She lives between moments of confusion and lucidity. I live it with her every day alongside her as her caregiver.

I am her family, I love her and I support her.

Brainy Quotes


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​Moments of Lucidity


Alzheimer’s disease is devastating and horrific, it may come with moments of lucidity but when it is witnessed by family members, it is a memory to remember fondly and wholeheartedly.

The moment of lucidity happened last night. I got a visit from my Ma, the person I remember as being Ma! It was late I was having trouble with sleep, and all of sudden through the crack of my door, I noticed all the lights in our house were turned on. It stemmed from the hallway, entranceway, living room all the way to the kitchen.

I was concerned that somebody broke into our home. As I opened my bedroom door towards the living room I suddenly heard, ” I am up, it is me!” The kitchen is located off to the side connecting to the living room. There she was, standing against the counter with a small pot in her hand as she says, ” I want to make some coffee.” Ma usually did her coffee the old school way processing the coffee grains through a strainer, then heating the milk in a small pot similar to the one she was holding.

I was concerned that she could hurt herself in making the coffee, so I said, ” I will make you coffee, Ma. Don’t worry! ” I proceeded to make the coffee all the while thinking how clear she was and talking. What a blessing to be able to have a conversation with my beautiful mother-in-law. When I told her that it was 12:50 am, she became apologetic. I reassured her not to worry, the night is young. I joined her for a bit, serving her coffee, crackers, and butter and made myself a cup as well.

That is a memory that I will always carry in my mind and in my heart. I know that this disease is devastating, crippling to both the person inflicted with it as well as the caregiver that witnesses it but if we can focus on those moments of lucidity, then perhaps we can make it through. Food for thought.


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Coping with Alzheimer’s


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I recently found myself soul-searching within the very depths of my being. Caring for a person with a severe illness is taxing, to say the least, but when you are the caregiver, it becomes something totally different. At times, it becomes gravely overwhelming, if not careful you will find yourself sucked into the depression, the isolation of it with no escape. Having a great support system is key to your survival and keeping your sanity.   

My mother-in-law is a loving person, she is slipping away day by day and there is nothing I can do to fix her. Yes, I have said it, fix her! She is stricken with Alzheimer’s. She is living with us, my mother too lives with us and is helping. My mom is my strongest support. I am blessed to have her. 

The situation has shifted towards the stage where my mother-in-law sleeps all the time,  losses large blocks of time, and she refuses to shower causing me to have to assist her. When she sits to eat at our kitchen table. I find myself observing her, and thinking, where does she go when she drifts off in thought?  Is it a specific memory? Is she aware what is happening to her? It is a horrible disease! 

When I think back to the last six months. Ma was living in the community, independently, renting her own apartment managing her everyday life until Hurricane Irma hit, inundating her apartment, and changing her life for forever.  The trauma of losing her apartment sped her illness forward to severe. She went from being a very active individual to someone who needs total daily assistance.

I treasure her lucid moments and sense of humor when it shines through. She remembers her past with such detail and sometimes shares such painful memories that I would prefer those memories to have been erased from her memory, but unfortunately, the memories continue to surface from time to time.

To our sweet lady, we will continue to care for you, love you dearly and cherish your every moment for as long as you are with us.

 

 


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My Holiday Letter 2016


The year 2016 brought forth many challenges, and the lessons learned were pretty difficult, but we came through it, a stronger and a more united family. I want to share a few highlights of our year.

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Our nephew, David died at age 34 in his sleep, a person with diabetes and was not on any medication. He was a kind soul, left behind three children and worked hard to get his life back on the right track just before he died. It is never easy losing someone so young.

The Pulse Tragedy

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I watched the news in horror seeing victims carried out of the Pulse Night Club. An armed gunman entered the club opened fire with an assault weapon. My mind began to recall that our son JP frequented that club. Chills came over me thinking that JP was in that club, so I quickly started to text him, “ JP I need to hear from you as soon as you get my text.” Thank God, he responded, and that is when he told me about the death of his friends. He said that earlier that evening his friends spent time with him on a visit before going to the Pulse Night Club; they invited him along, but JP had a commitment with another friend going out for a birthday celebration. He later told me that he almost canceled with his friend to go with Drew and Juan. I was emotionally distraught thinking about all the lives lost in the name of hate and the realization of how close I came to losing my son. It was difficult for us and for many attending the funerals and the vigils; it was heart wrenching.

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Baby News

fb_img_1480284147011I became a Grand Aunt of two beautiful baby boys; Asa Caden of my niece Kisha, dad Glen and Michael Frangel of my niece Amanda, dad Frangel Anthony born within days

of each other. Wishing you all many blessings in the years to come.

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Growing Pains

Jayda, my beautiful granddaughter, turned 14. Where did the time go? It was just the other day I witnessed you being born. She is becoming quite a young lady, and we are so proud of her.

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The Election

The Presidential Election cycle was down and dirty. John’s fellow opponents used every dirty, disgusting trick in the book to discredit and malign him to no avail. As his wife, I was determined to stand firm against the evil doers, and if they are reading this? Beware!  God does not like ugly! He won the election, sworn in and is to begin his second term as a Florida State House of Representative for District 43 in Osceola County!

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Thanksgiving Eve Crisis

The day before Thanksgiving as I was about to cross the street I stepped down on the curb, OH MY GOD! Suddenly I hear a popping noise behind my right knee with tears welling up in my eyes as the pain was unbearable. My co-worker had to help me to my car; I thank God she was with me. I kept thinking, how am I going to drive home in this condition? By the grace of God, I was able to drive home by using my driving foot alternate with my non-driving foot. I was definitely in survival mode. My doctor informed me the injury might be a torn meniscus, an MRI scan completed and the results are pending. Wishing for a positive outcome.

Marriage News

Josh and Mary tie the knot. Wishing them many blessings as they embark on their marital journey. Always remember to love, laugh and talk it through no matter how difficult the situation.

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Life Lessons

My takeaways of the season are not to take those around you for granted, honor family, stay connected and show love, compassion, and caring whenever possible.

From our family to yours Happy Holidays!

holiday-wreath


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Celebration of Love 35 Years


A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.~ Paul Sweeney

Our anniversary weddingTime passes by so quickly that before you know it you are older, wiser and if you are one of the lucky ones?  You get to marry the love of your life, your soulmate, and best friend all rolled up in one person. It is hard to believe that on September 10, 2016, we will celebrate 35 years of wedded bliss.

What began as a night out with my girlfriends turned into a beautiful evening with a handsome young man. I did not have any intentions of meeting anyone on that night of February 23, 1980. When our eyes met, I felt that special spark that many take a lifetime to achieve. We danced, we talked, and when it was time to go home you gave me your number without expectations. Can you believe I still have the sign language card with your number? Who would have thought!

Years later, we have a loving family with two adult children and a beautiful granddaughter. We were not without challenges, trials, heartache but we got through it. If asked, “what is your secret to a successful marriage?” My response? You have to talk it out, have an open mind, experience lots of laughter, be forgiving and have each other’s back no matter what comes along!

Happy 35th my husband!

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