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Wednesday, December 22

Blessings

I feel truly blessed-we met all the needs for the families that asked for help.  What a great feeling.  So many in the community offered their support or services and we received so many toys, baby items, food, etc.  How I wish I had an endless supply of resources or money.  To give to people knowing that Works in Faith  had the financial resources was fantastic.  Being good stewards for God is such a fantastic way to spend the Christmas holiday-what a wonderful reminder of this season.

Today I had movie night with my mother and it was not a great event.  Mom was so different today-could not work the light switches, did not understand hot/cold, could not figure out anything.  When I washed her hair, she wanted to help and so she started scrubbing the water and my leg.  She could not even wipe her eyes with the face cloth.  She was so discouraged with how little she can do and hates the burden she has placed on us.  I try to remind her that this is  a gift for us to give back to her as she gave for us her whole life. 
Truly, the biggest burden falls on my brother.  I do not feel bad for me, I have a great husband as a support, two delightful children and the ability to go out and find a job.  I do feel bad for my father because he has lost the woman he married.  But he had the family, the love of another, the ability to go where he wanted to work.  He shared his life with us and had her to do it with.  I know so many that are in their 60's and taking care of their loved one because of cancer,back injuries, mental issues, heart problems.  But it is my brother that I feel the worst for.  Here he is 36, single with no one to share his day with, no one to offer support, a hug, a loving kiss, or even an escape from the monotony of each day.  He works each day with a mother that runs around naked, he has to wipe her bottom, he has to change her when she pees her pants, and manage her as she freaks out.  He does this without ever complaining-rarely do I hear about the chaos that he dealt with during the day-I usually hear about it from my mother.  So now he has graduated and is able to go and get a real job-one that will actually pay his bills, allow for saving, and possibly buy something that he may want.  In the last few years that he has gone to school, he has had to live on barely nothing, buying nothing except for the occasional computer piece or game, living on the grace of others.  And now, he is still there.  He works for less then $10 an hour to care for his mother and has barely enough money to buy much needed shoes or clothing.  Yes he has been blessed with a new car and a house to live in.  If we hired someone to take care of my mother it would cost us around 1000 or more a month.  He does it for 800.  I plead with him to go and find work, to leave sebring and let Dad and I take care of mom.  I want him to find a girlfriend and have a future life.  By working with my mother, he is sacrificing his chances of love and a family.  He is sacrificing the ability to make some decent money.  I try to tell him that Dad is in the position to take care of mom more.  He can be the primary caregiver and use us as a reprieve a few times at night or on the weekends.  After all, I know my father would jump at the chance to be a devoted husband and care full time for his wife.  He did this so that my brother could earn some money while in school.  But now, things are different, and while it would be difficult for us at first, Mom would eventually adjust.  It is just not fair to continue to have no life, no money, no anything just for my mother.  It breaks my heart in two.  Did you know that my grandmother gave him graduation money.  Guess how he spent it...Taking my mother out for food and buying her dog treats at the store.  Now for Christmas, the only gift he wants is a Wii, something to play with with my daughter or to help him escape the burden of caring for my mother.  It is my quest to find one that I can afford or trade off services to help him get.  Another blog that is not about my mother but if you knew the pain I feel towards my brother and how I wish I could help him, you would understand.  While it is my father's wife, he had a life once.  He can escape and has the resources to go out and eat or buy a new gadget.  He can escape into work or visiting his mother or brother.  He has the support of wonderful people at Alzheimer's Spouse.  My brother is stuck. He cannot escape-his job is my mother.  He cannot escape, he has no one outside of me and my dad to talk with.  He cannot escape, he has no resources so if he had a date, he could not even take her out properly...Kevin I hate this mostly for you because you are losing  a life that you should have had.  I feel honored to have you as my brother and am continuously amazed at what you do!!!!

Wednesday, December 15

Wow

Today we were posted in the newspaper and I am at a loss to describe the craziness that ensued.  I am amazed with Liz who contacted the papers on our behalf.  The newspaper jumped on in monday morning and had the story posted online by monday night.  I woke up today and saw our picture on the front page.  I must say I am very appreciative and even more nervous. I actually hunkered down and hid out of sight today.  Luckily, I had excuses such as our first meeting for our teens with tots.  The outpouring of support is amazing-our vet gave us a credit, one church gave us gift cards for food, another called to send a donation, toilets and tools, toys and clothing all donated.  Furniture to the teens from the pastor at Grace Bible.  Dr. Summer Khan's support in helping our teen mothers and the items donated.  So many are stepping forward.  My dad did work for two people today and gave them the article to donate to. Another contacted the paper to do a public interest story of how we impacted their life.  I see so many paying it forward that my heart beams.  I was unprepared for this and hate the late hours it involves.  Selfishly I was so looking forward to having a break after two years with my masters.  Hopefully in the next few days, the pressure and amount of work with taper off and I will get to bed before the wee hours of the morning.  I am trying to do this gracefully, but really, I hate the limelight. I am having such a difficult time with the words of praise.  I am a mere instrument of God's and it is He who deserves the praise.  My stomach constantly turns and I have to remind myself that this is where God wants me right now.
I must apology for the direction my blog has taken.  I realize what started out as a journey through Alzheimer's has become much more like my diary. As I went to my mother's tonight, I talked with her about helping me with the blog, sharing what it feels like what she thinks, and how things seem through her jagged eyes.  She was very interested in doing it and hopes that her words might give caregivers some insight into taking care of someone with Alzheimer's.  Her first tidbit of advice was don't make changes quickly and give a routine.  In a world where nothing makes sense and everything is pretty scary, knowing what happens because it is the same each day gives them some order and some clarity.  As she said "it makes things less scary and confusing.  I guess when you have to expel so much energy just trying to make sense of this new world, the last thing you want is the unexpected.  I was impressed at this insight and amazed at how clear she can be with reasoning and thoughts.  She was rather nervous tonight and I find it so hard not to get irritated when she has me get up and down to stop and start the movie so she can tell me something about beck and his compound. I hate how many times i must turn on and off the air/heat and now we have a space heater to turn on and off as well.  Maybe because I am tired, but I wish just once she could stop the overflow of information that she starts spewing out as soon as the movie begins.  I promise the entire time I am there she is calm and quiet.  As soon as I hit the play button, she wants me to count her money, go ask dad about her money, check the locks, ask me about her teeth, ask about her chest and any new lumps, try to figure out what new tv series to play with Kevin.  Each of these thoughts take about 5 to 7 minutes to get out into coherent messages and the entire time, I cannot stop thinking about the movie.  Why is it that I know I will not watch the movie fluidly, nor do I actually care to watch the movie.  For some reason, once it starts going, I hate to have it stopped.  Strange Strange Strange.  So after everything, mom finally enjoyed the last five minutes of the movie :)Ok really late just looked at the clock so off I go-Good nite everyone and once again thanks for the support.  Here is a link to the article if you feel so inclined to read it .

http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2010/dec/13/works-in-faith/news/

Saturday, December 11

Tis the season

December 11, 2010 Photo Shoot with my mother

 
Did you miss me?  I know, preparing all that food should have freed up so much of my time and it did.  I was able to complete my schooling and I am proud to say that I am finished.  Completely and utterly finished!!! I also am proud to say that I have graduated Summa Cum Laude as of Friday.  I am so pleased with that title and know that I should not be so boastful.  I just never thought I could make straight A's.  Never once in my life did I accomplish that until now!  I guess I just was not busy enough when I was younger.  Anyway, now I can start looking for a part time job or something that can bring in some money since Jason and I stink at fundraising for Works in Faith.  The best part is we are able to live off so little that we can give the majority of our income back to the people of this community.  Like right now, we have six families that will do nothing for Christmas.  I am going to try and raise $500.00 dollars to help buy some toys and Christmas food for these families.  I am going to tug on heart strings right now and use my blog to motivate some of my readers to go to our website and donate anything they can.  Help me raise the money to give these people a good holiday.  You can even specify what family you want to help.  Family 1: single mother with one daughter that has been robbed twice in the last three months.  She has no money to even buy her prescriptions after paying all her bills.  She was a nurse but due to an accident, her doctor will not release her to go back to work.  Instead of collecting Social Security, she is enrolled in school to obtain a degree in some other field to help her go to work.  Her daughter has had some horrific things happen to her and are too personal to mention.  The house has a roof that is leaking and we cannot fix it because we do not have the resources to pay for the materials.  Family 2:  This is a family of four that often has six, seven, or eight in their home.  They are a foster family that bring all sorts of children into their home.  They recently had three little ones come into their home to celebrate the Christmas holiday and were unexpected. With the new additions, there will now be 7 children present.  With a limited budget, they already have purchased the presents for the previous four that are in the house.  These are children that have been uprooted from their home due to neglect, abuse, or both.
Family 3:  This is a mother of three children that moved here unexpectedly.  She found work within a week of moving, but due to the holiday season, was quickly unemployed again.  She is looking for work and has secured another job but will not have enough to get the children anything for Christmas.  Family 4:  This is a mother and father of a two year old.  The father recently got laid off from work because the contractor did not have work for him to do.  He is looking for a job and has yet to find one (In our county, it is very very difficult to find work right now unless you know someone as I am finding out).  Those are our top four, I will blog about the rest next week.  Please if you can give anything, I can guarantee 100% of all donations will go to the families. As it is, I am using the $200 I would get for my paycheck for the last two months to go to some of the families food needs.  Rather than buy the things I would like to get my children, I have gone to yard sales to buy their gifts and will do the same for these families.  I will stretch your money to help these families.  Consider mailing in the donation because then paypal does not get a %.  While sometimes I hate that I cannot do as I want to for my children, they are never without.  Even more amazing, is that compassion and desire my daughter has to give to others.  She goes through her clothes and toys and gives without reservation. http://www.worksinfaith.org/

Back to this photo shoot:  Things with my mother has been bizarre to say the least.  Last week she was a mess.  She now sits on the toilet with her pants on and shakes all the time.  She no longer has the strength to get out of the tub and I have to pick her up.  She could barely talk and would jerk her arms and legs.  Movie night was frustrating because she did not watch the movie at all but rather asked me to stop it so she could tell me something only to forget.  Then all of a sudden, the jerking, shaking, and nontalking stopped and she is the lady in the pictures above. Still unable to do much, still peeing on the toilet through her clothing, still losing her train of thought, but happy oh so happy.  And loving.  I do not think in all my years of my life my mother was as sweet and as kind as she is these last few days.  

Whatever it is, I want this to stay.  I find myself wanting to go and be with her even when i am not required.  I actually miss her and enjoy the time with her so much.  I know that my brother and father feel the same because I watch them.  My brother goes up there when he does not have to , my dad comes home early to be with her.  And I must say, I think it is because we are all in shock.  This woman is probably the best mother I have ever had even though she cannot do anything.  She can talk and boy she uses those words to encourage and uplift saying how much she loves us, how happy she is to have us, how blessed she is for all the help. She praises and gushes over us.  How can you not like that...The one thing about all this that I do not understand is her ability to grasp it all.  I wonder how many of you that have had a loved one with Alzheimer's had someone like this.  She can tell you exactly what it feels like to have Alzheimer's.  How she sits on the toilet and knows she will pee her pants and
does not want it to happen but cannot figure out what to do to stop it.  How her body is rejecting her thoughts and she cannot control her own emotions or movements.  How she hears and sees people

and has to kick them out because they are not real.  Although she admits that one or two of them she lets stay because they comfort her sometimes even though she knows they are not really there.  She will talk about everything going on and is aware of our president, our current affairs.  She cannot raise her arm on command nor brush her hair.  She cannot dress herself at all and cannot drink from a cup without a straw.  She can no longer read, write, or tell time.  How then is she able to do all this other stuff.  It seems as though her process memory is shot but not her other memories.  She is aware of how people feel about her and that is the part that bothers her the most.  Well almost the most-really what bothers 
 her the most is the way she looks.  She was soooooo vain growing up and still is.  Yesterday the reason we had the photo shoot is because I was able to do her makeup.  Yes, I know that is unbelievable-Kimberly actually put makeup on someone and it turned out nice.  I am finally learning how to be a woman-I can cut her hair, style her hair, and apply make-up.  I still cannot do it to myself but eventually in time I may.  Fortunately for me, my hubby hates me with my hair done and make up on. 
  Back to her friends.  This woman was such an amazing friend to everyone.  She took care of everyone and helped strangers.  It bothers me that now, there are literally four people that care enough to still be with her.  One is her very best friend that has been with her through thick and thin for over 25 years.  The rest.....all elderly ladies up to 90 years in age that show her more love and compassion than anyone else. 
One took her out to a restaurant yesterday.  My mother was so happy that someone other than my brother, father, or me took interest in her.  Then she got home and the 80 year old invited her over to visit.  Finally, the 90 year old woman came by just to chat with my mother.  Can anyone tell me why no other family or friends talk with her or take her out?  Why do they avoid her-because they cannot understand or accept???? Ah well...Keep Jason and I in your prayers as we are in transition looking for work.  We are also in the process of getting long term disability and insurance so I can get my testing done finally.  I have to know if I have the gene or not!!!!Now that finals are done and school is complete, I hope to blog more often!!! Please remember to donate if you can.  Christmas is about giving and often we forget about those that are not in our immediate lives.  Sometimes we grab an angel off a tree or give some money to the man ringing a bell, but we never know if we are helping someone or enabling someone.  I promise that all those we help are not being enabled.  They must  be helping themselves and contributing to bettering their lives, not just leaching off of others.  Thank you so much for everything.  Oh and for those of you that have sent the furniture for the dollhouse-I cannot thank you enough.  I will post some pictures of my daughter's face when she opens them up.  I did not mention you by name because I am unsure if you want to be public but your gift of kindness has not gone unnoticed.  I am so grateful for it!!!

Wednesday, November 24

disney always brings smiles

I promised my dad I was heading to bed early and that was my intention.  However, as always, I found more and more to do.  Today was a pleasant day although I am rather sleepy.  I did manage to get to work early and typed for a few hours.  I realize that this job is not going to last long-just enough to make some money and then I will need to leave.  The repetitive motion numbed my hand and cramped me for the next 13 hours.  My hand and forearm is just starting to feel normal. I am sure that three days of it and my arm will be shot.  I was surprised to see my hand fail me like that.  I am hoping to get to the dr next week for my left should that I did something to last week when I jumped down from my attic. WHile I am there, I will find out a bit about my mother, a few things in her past report that bugged me. I also need to get my eyes checked because I am having a hard time driving at night now and my right eye never seems to clear-it always seems cloudy...
SO after work, I drove a friend to the airport.  I was so blessed to have my father go along with me.  It has been a long time since

 we did anything together and I had a great time.  He needs to realize that it is ok to have fun and to enjoy himself.  It is hard because our first reaction is how we wish mom could enjoy this with us.  I reminded him of the fact that going places with mom had never been fun to begin with.  Family vacations and holidays were the dreaded words growing up and it is easy to forget the bad when you see her this way.  I reminded him that if she were the way she used to be, there is no way we would be able to do this little trip or rather no way I would subject my children to it.  She was such a control freak that if things did not go her way, ohhhhh watch out.  Anyway after dropping off our friend, Dad, I and the kids went to Disney village. I love this place because it is free and the kids love it.  It was so nice to relax with my father and watch him interact with my children.It was nice to see him smile.  The kids love him so much!! The amazing thing is how much my daughter loves Gigi.  She asks about her all the time and begs me to bring her over.  She is so excited to have Gigi come play tomorrow. 

I ended up going up to see my mother to count her money and while I was there, my dad could not resist showing me his new toy.  I had a delicious cup of coffee from his new coffee pot.  Dad was beaming from ear to ear-it is not often that someone buys someone a gift that is absolutely a perfect match.  Thank you for making him smile even more!!!

Back at home and I actually negated all of my responsibilities, picked up a book, drew a bath, and relaxed.  Now I am heading off to bed to watch a movie with hubby!!! Happy Turkey day everyone. 
Ganster mom






Recent picture

Why am I still up?

I am very sleepy and yet I feel this strange compulsion to torture myself and write my blog. I know that if I do not write tonight, the feelings and emotions will pass and I will not have a record of it.  I contemplate ending my blog when I actually realize that my personal life is being broadcast over the Internet and sometimes what I write is misconstrued.  But then I remember that I wrote journals all of my life and stopped when I had children.  I have years upon years of memories that I can open at anytime until the birth of my children. Sure I have journals that I wrote in once every five months to say that my children were growing and I would go into detail in the morning. The funny thing is when morning came, a million other things popped up and I forgot.  With my blog, I feel obligated sometimes to right and therefore I do.  I put it on my to do list and as with all my lists, I feel the need to cross it off.  It is also easier to tell people who want to know how my mom is doing to check my blog.  Every conversation, every person, every instance my mother comes up into the topic.  I visit with my dad or brother and guess what-we talk about mom.  I go to visit friends, they ask about my mom. There is another life out there that I forget sometimes-a world that does not involve my mother.  My dad and I talked the other day and he said something that really made me think.  He mentioned how sometimes he does not know how the children are doing or what they are doing, how my life is going.  It was then that I realized our convo's are discussions about mom's meds, her appointments, what he has to do that day before going home to mom's, how to break the death of a love one to her, how to plan our trips around her, how to figure out Thanksgiving-everything has to be figured out and discussed.  That leaves little room for how Mackenzie is doing well on the violin at four years and her instructor never takes children under 6.  How Connor is reading 10+ words at the age of 2.  How both my children are always sick with some cold or some illness -like right now both have bronchitis. How I am now working at a job that pays less then 10 dollars an hour in between the rest of my daily tasks.  I look at the craziness of my life and I realize that some how something must change but I cannot see how.  I cannot make my mother well, I cannot give us more hours in the day, I cannot make my children well, I cannot make people give money to Works in faith so that my hubby or myself can get a paycheck,  I cannot turn my back on what God has called us to do. But I can do it all gracefully and feel blessed that my husband is willing to do what God has called him to do no matter the cost, that I have a brother who is working hard to finish his degree and take care of his mother while cementing a bond that few siblings will ever have the pleasure of knowing, a dad that has provided for his children, his wife, and multiple others and is always willing to help, two amazing and quirky children that can brighten up the worst of days and energize me when I feel depleted, an education that one day will bring me some financial stability, and a Lord and Savior that has given me the gift of eternity. So tomorrow when I crawl out of bed at 5:15 to drive to a job where I will sit at a computer for three hours creating accounts only to leave there to visit an elderly woman briefly on my way home where I can pick up my two children and my friend to drive her to the airport an hour and a half away then come home to prepare thanksgiving dinner, complete my graduate portfolio of 100+assignments, finish two case studys, prepare the books for Works in Faith, and spend some time with my hubby, I will use the strength of God to put a perma smile on my face praise God for the wonderful day and Thank him for all that I Do have, and whistle while I work.  Sorry for the rant but I think I am in need of some pity :)

So tonight-ah tonight what a wonderfully awful experience.  Yet again we had another death-this time my dear sweet Great Aunt that is such an amazing woman.  Or was such an amazing woman.  I contemplated how to break the news to my mother.  With my uncle, we were prepared for it-it doesn't make it easier to grieve but it was expected.  My aunt was completely unexpected.  Since my grandmother's death, my mom has clung to Aunt Irene and felt slightly connected to her mother.  Of all the people, both friends and family, my aunt and uncle continued to love my mother and stay connected.  They never made my mother feel unwanted or a burden.  despite having surgery, my aunt drove just a month ago to visit my mother at a restaurant to spend time with her.  Watching everyone in my mother's life disappear, I was amazed that these two stuck around.  They tolerated her rants, her behaviors, her love, her late calls-they accepted her unconditionally and for that I am grateful.  My aunt was so spectacular and I feel a heavy heart tonight.  I will miss her terribly because I feel she is the only one that truly cared what happened to my mother. She did not turn her back and pretend that this ugly thing was not happening to my mother.  she dealt with it full on and I will always admire such  an unbelievable woman.  Well the amazing thing about it, my mother handled the news well-she cried as any other would and we looked through pictures and shared some memories.  She said her aunt told her she was dying the last time they saw each other and I guess my mother believed her and prepared herself mentally for it.
After that, we picked out a movie and started to watch it.  My mother is incapable of doing much of anything now and is having incontinence and difficulties with all her tasks.  She went to use the bathroom and actually sat on the toilet with all her clothes on.  I tried to tell her to pull down her pants and dainties, but she started to get upset with me.  It took her twenty minutes to figure out what was wrong and to pull down her clothes.  She can do no more self help skills at all-no brushing teeth, washing hands, wiping, etc.  She cannot hang up her shirts, get clothing in and out of the dryer/washer, talk on the phone, and sometimes she has a hard time understanding one step directions.  Her communication is getting to the point where I cannot tell what she is saying and she is forgetting things left and right.  I just realized that it is getting very very late and so with that I will end and say thanks for lett ing me vent.

Saturday, November 20

Buzz Buzz Buzz in honor of the swarm of African bees

I was surprised today to learn about the migration of the african bees.  It seems that my Dad got a new client and is not able to start working because there is an infestation of bees, and not the wonderful honey producing kind, but the I hate you and will attach you if you venture within a mile of my nest kind. I had not realized that the KILLER BEES had made it to the tropics of Florida. After the day I had, I feel as busy as a bee.  I started my day off with an interview at my old school.  It was strange to go back there and I am excited and yet very apprehensive at the possibility of returning to teaching.  I should hear something back after thanksgiving break.  After that, I had a phone call from the neighbor letting me know mom was freaking out crying and running around the neighborhood.  A quick phone call to dad and he was on his way home.  I headed to the house to start a marathon of cooking.  I have decided to try and cook all my food for the next month.  Jason was a dear and bought all the groceries last night so that I was ready to go. I made Mexican casserole (new recipe quite good), taco soup, hamburgers, lasagna, Shepard's pie, spaghetti sauce with meatballs, and prepared for tomorrows continuing marathon.  I went a picked up Kenzie and her friend came back with us.  All the children played while I baked and cooked and labeled and put in the freezer.  Kenzie's friend left and off I went for a second interview for a job which I got.  It is a data entry job and I will start on Monday.  I can work whenever I want to and can earn around $20 an hour if I work at it.  I will let you know how it goes.  I got home and left to go to my mothers.
Mom was pretty good all night and I finally saw what Kevin sees.  She was silly and happy, laughing and calm.  I brought her some of the food I cooked and she liked it all.  I was able to bath her and she had a very difficult time with it.  It was the fastest bath I have ever given her.  She kept her eyes shut the entire time and it was really bizarre.  It was almost as though she could not remember to open her eyes.  She tried to rinse her hair by herself which resulted in her putting her face under the water (remember her eyes were shut so she could not see how close to the water she was).  Bath finished and we cleaned up her room.  She had greater difficulty with recalling words, trying to hold a conversation but not able to get her thought completely out.  During the movie, mom could not stay put.  She would get up go out come in go out come in and go out.  At one point she tried to plug in a hair dryer even though her hair was dry and the bathroom mirror door crashed down on her.  I do not know how it came off the hinges and perhaps it is better that I don't know.  She cried for a bit but I was able to distract her.  At one point, I had her in near tears from laughing so hard because I started to talk in such a twang in honor of the most amazing movie ever "Sweet Home Alabama (insert sarcasm font here).  The best part of the whole night is the set up I did to my brother.  He is now going to have mom calling him snooky pooky since I told her he kept calling her that.  It is about time I got my brother hahahha.  Got to have some fun sometimes.  I am off tonight since I have a full day of dinners planned and a music festival at the state park tomorrow night.  I love days that go like today-I can see God working in every area of my life and just feel so blessed. 

Wednesday, November 17

I hate this

Today was an awful day - a day I felt like screaming this is not fair.  Make it go away.  I hate this disease and want to to disappear and have my mom return to me. Watching my mom the past few days has tugged at strings I did not know existed in my heart. She has become such a zombie from this medicine-there is a cycle.  I have this risperdone down to a T-day 1, 2, & 3 wonderful happy mom no anxiety cheerful, friendly, jokes around.. Day 4 slowly zombified talking slower, losing focus more, loss of directionality or functionaility.  Day 5 loses the ability to run the DVD player and by day 7 we want to pull her off it. Today is day 7 and of course I want her off now! I looked up the drug tonight and hated what I read. This drug can hasten death with a person with dementia-there are so many side effects and things that I hate about it.  I do know that she is better to control and direct.  During the day she is happier and funnier.  She is gaining weight and eating more.  Battles are not quite as bad in fact she lets us have more control all the time.  But she is aware-she knows that she cannot hold a conversation at all, that word retrieval is almost nonexistent.  She is aware that she cannot recognize common objects, cannot work the tv or dvd, cannot understand why the ac blows and makes her cold but off and she is completely on fire.  The biggest pain is that she is aware of the grandmother she could have been and the grandmother that she is.  Just thinking about that makes me tear up.  She would have been an amazing grandmother. I picture movie nights once aweek with Kenzie sleeping over.  The two of them laughing and teasing each other while my mom does her hair, nails, and makeup.  Then out comes the video camera that mom always used to get to tape someone singing and dancing. Finally, there would be my mom, ending the night with her own renditions singing sweet Kenzie to sleep or telling her stories.  So many could have beens that will never be.  Instead, I watch this strong woman that had control of everyone and everything become decrepit and an empty shell unable to process a single thought.  Tonight I miss my mom and want her back. 

Monday, November 15

Shutterfly

It is that time of year again-making preparations for the holidays-where to spend Christmas, how long to go to MS, will I have a job that I have to schedule time off. So many questions that I have so I am postponing thinking about. It is also that time to decide on Christmas photos and start taking some preholiday photos. I must say that I am overly impressed with Shutterfly’s quality and design choices. Over the years, I have used their site for a variety of items. First it started with just ordering pictures. Then I found the simplicity of using their site to make little story books for the grandparents. Now I am using them for Christmas cards. http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards I also found their calendars to be of excellent quality and just the perfect gift for those family members wanted my children’s photos plastered all over the place. http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars. The best part of Shutterfly is the fact that it is easy to upload and quick to do. In less than ten minutes, I can have the perfect card. In the next few days, I will post some pictures of my children and you can help me decide which one to send out. If you want a Christmas card, make sure you email me your address. I wonder how my mother would enjoy a calendar with the little ones on it. She is obsessed about getting her calendar form a local health food store-she has had it for the past four years. I wonder if a calendar from Shutterfly would mess her up or start a new tradition???? Of course I will have to try. Check out their site!!!http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery .


I am also going to try and get into the Christmas spirit a bit more. I have a slightly cynical view on all the major holidays since they actually originate from pagan holidays. It is not that I mind doing the holidays, I just have a hard time teaching my daughter and son about a great big fat man that is addicted to milk and cookies, is cruel to animals (talk about inhumane-making reindeers pull him and enough toys to give to all the children in the world along with those lonnnng hours in the coldest of all conditions), enslaves those poor elves, breaks and enters into homes, and only leaves a toy if you have been good. Good according to what standards?

Already we have the Christmas music out and starting to look for toys and things to give. My daughter and I had a discussion the other day about Santa as we do each year since she was two. My only hope for this year is that my daughter is old enough to stay quiet about our “secret” and not tell all the other ones that Santa is their mommy and daddy. Just yesterday, she wanted to play pretend that Santa was coming to our house. She tells me to go get some toys and hide them under a tree. Still has fun with it, still finds the enjoyment, and in a few years will not experience the sadness and confusion that I had when I found out my parents were Santa. The only thing I fear is that she will ruin it for those other children…

Mom has been unusual lately. We started her on ¼ ml for the past six days. While it mellows her out slightly, she is still getting quite confused. She seems to have difficulty with coordination and with vision. She looks around for things like me or my daughter and says where are you even when standing straight in front of her. I did manage to get her to church Sunday evening and she did well. She can no longer open or shut her door, stands around waiting for you to direct her where to go, freezes or shuts down when confused, and mumbles a lot. Yet she is able to ask me to buy gold because soon our money will be taken away from us by Obama, tells me to buy MRE’s because we will run out of food, and to sell anything I am not using. She understands refinancing and tithing and yet cannot hold a phone anymore. Strange disease.

Wednesday, November 10

On again off again

Last night I spent some time over at Mom's for Tuesday night movie night.  This time there was no bath-we spent most of the time trying to figure out what movies she wanted.  The night was a series of confusions and difficulties.  Yes the disease is progressing.  Mom was very anxious very nervous, and could not focus at all.  Kevin had a hard time with her during the day for the past two days-there is a huggggggge difference with her off the meds.  Today, mom woke up well and treated Dad fantastic.  That ended by the time Kevin got there.  Her eye hurt her again and she was obsessed about it.  After rubbing it raw, Kevin took her to the eye doctors.  Turns out her pore is completely clogged and has something the size of a pebble that was removed.  During this time, Kevin discussed dosing mom.  He gave her 1/4 ml of her 1 ml dosage and it seemed to do the trick today.  She was mellow and relaxed with an hour of getting the medicine.  She also did not seem as drugged out as previously mentioned.   She actually went to bed at 7-whether she will sleep all night or just for a brief time we will find out tomorrow.  So keep her in your prayers that this dosage works. 
As for me, well I job hunted today.  The results-a second interview with olive garden, a possible at red lobster, a def at a road side assistance/travel place (which I cannot bring myself to do for 9 an hour), and a maybe as a sub at a christian school.  I still have not heard back from my former school and I find myself saddened by that.  I loved working at the school and loved the people there.  I was so hopeful and now I cannot help but wonder why there is no call for interview.  I can only assume that God has other plans for me.  I cannot take a 9-5 job due to my children, my mother, and our non-profit, and the restaurants have the flexible scheduling that I need.  It is hard to picture myself in the restaurant. biz after being away from it for so many years.  Yet, I will do what I must to help my family.  Jason and I are in constant prayer, we know that if it is His will for Works in Faith, He will provide the resources to do so.  Without Works in Faith, our lives would be much simpler and we would have more financial resources.  I cannot help but think of how many people we would not be helping though and am so conflicted as to what our Lord wants us to do.  How do you know if it is God's will or our will-is Works in Faith our endeavor or God's.  I cannot imagine it was our will  considering the sacrifices and selflessness of it (not to mention neither Jason and I are the type to take from others-we like to be the givers and neither of us like the attention or praise of others).  However, the resources are not there-we are stilling waiting to hear from 16 foundations for grants and we do not actively fund raise.  Hmmmm decisions decisions.  I feel we are at a pivotal point.  Keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, November 9

Long overdue

Quite funny that I actually wrote about writing more often and in actuality, I wrote less.  Ah well blame it on the risperdone-that crazy fickle drug that has us in such a quandary.  This drug is both a miracle and a curse depending on which day it is.  We put her on this wonderful "vitamin B 900" and for a few days, mom really liked it.  She mentioned how it made her laugh and not react to anything and that it did.  Dad was loved again, Kevin was funny, and I, well, I still managed to get kicked out :).  She was relatively pleasant that first Tuesday that I came up.  The bath went well, I remember she was so silly starting to pretend to tickle me and act all babyish (the way you would when playing with a 9 month old).  But she was happy.  She bathed and we styled her hair.  Somehow, during the the styling, she decided that her hair needed to be cut.  She grabs the scissors from me and almost cuts her finger.She is unable to open and shut them.  The scary part is she grabs the front section of her hair and proceeds to cut in an upward fashion about half way up her hair. At this point, I realized that if she manages to cut off a piece, it is going to mess up her hair and make her relatively angry.  I try to remind her that she does not want me to let her cut her hair and to that she gets upset.  Because she is on this new "vitamin" she is on a quest to attempt all the things that has given her difficulty lately.  I persist in telling her that it is too late to start a trimming hair and we wont get to watch our movie.  She replies that she could care less about the movie.  I beg her not to cut her hair and finally resort to pouting and telling her that I cannot sit by and watch her cut her hair.  I am leaving.  She gets upset with me, and kicks me out, but not before asking me to trim one piece.  I smile, grab the scissors, and trim away.  Episode is forgotten, movie night continues.  As I spend more time with her, I start to feel as though I am with a drugged out zombie.  She has this mellow happy disposition, but is completely out of it.  Zoinked.  It reminds me of those olden movies with the opiate induced stupor.  I hate it totally and see no resemblance to my mother at all.  She is helpless-can do nothing and I mean nothing.  Cannot turn on the TV, cannot open the door, cannot walk well she stumbles. The plus side is that she is semi happy, she is out of pain (the neuropathy has receded with it), she does not jerk violently, she eats a lot, she treats my dad as a hero and a lover not as the devil, and she wants to go out.  The bad is that she is completely aware that she is zonked out of her mind, that she is cloudy and cannot think, that she is wobbly, dizzy, and feels sick, that she cannot talk and knows it, that she cannot walk and knows it, that she is completely helpless in every single act or action and relies solely on us.  How do we choose what is best for her? 

Well after a week on the medicine, she wants off.  We want her off as well.  While she is still understanding what is happening to her, we feel it is only fair.  Now however, she is back to screaming, throwing, kicking us out, hating dad, hating me, in pain, miserable, cranky, malicious, negative woman that we have grown accustom to.  The only positive and i mean the only positive is that she has clarity and is able to do the basic things like run her Dvd which believe it or not is the only thing she cares about.  That one task makes her feel completely independent. 

This blog is shorter than most because right now I am tired and achy.  I hurt my shoulder today and I am having difficulty with typing  The reason I have not blogged is I have been traveling to Dr.s that are over an hour and a half away for those sweat tests, endoscopy, fecal fat, etc. My mother in law came into town last week and I enjoyed it so much that I did not have time to blog.  I chose to spend as much time with my husband  in the evenings since someone was at home with the children.  I miss her so much and am so grateful to have her.  She did so much for us and is truly the most amazing woman I know.  If I can aspire to be half of the woman that she is, then I will count myself blessed.  Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, but her heart and nature is of grace, elegance, and godliness.  She is there for me to lean on and I am there for her.  And it is not until this very moment that I realize she is my best friend.  I talk to her more than anyone and actually feel out of sorts if I do not hear from her daily.  I run everything by her and respect her advice, her opinions, and have such a desire to please her. 
Anyway, we still have no idea about Connor and are awaiting a fecal fat test study.  Why the wait-well I need to figure out how to collect every ounce of fecal matter that comes out of Connor.  In theory sounds easy.  Reality is much different.  Considering that he has chronic diarrhea, is still in diapers because of the diarrhea (potty trained for #1), and that the diaper absorbs it all, not so easy anymore.  Tried plastic bags, tried no diaper and constant supervision-but it gets foiled when night time comes...But this last test will help determine what to do next so I will figure this out... As it stands Connor has malabsorption, fecal fat, high celiac numbers, negative biopsy, perfect inside, chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive/low weight 23lbs, an underbite, possible asthma, and the newest issue-a rattle in the chest that turned out to be bronchitis after Friday's xray to the chest.  Mackenzie thankfully only shows failure to thrive/low weight 29lbs, fecal fat in her stools, and as of yesterday, a very deep cough (maybe also bronchitis).  We have yet another appointment this Friday.  We are still mentoring two young teen mothers, working with multiple elderly clients, have now a total of 9 teens in our lives coming to us regularly, and I am looking for a job to help with our ministry.  I have applied for a teaching position at my old school and am awaiting the interview call.  I am also debating on going to waitress.  Since we have not heard one way of another about the grants, I am tired of not being able to help our clients.  Some have money to pay for the materials, others it takes them a month or two to raise some funds, and even others completely go without because we cannot provide the funding and they aer on such a limited budget that there is not a dime.  We have one woman that is in need of dentures-she has only the tops and cannot get the bottoms.  It has been three months and we still cannot get them for her. It breaks my heart.  That is just one of the needs and the worse part is that I do not stop thinking of how to solve the problem.  I spend many many nights trying to figure out ways to raise the money for each of the clients.  I sold my engagement ring to help one person and am trying to sell this beautiful diamond necklace to help another client.  The only problem is finding the person to sell it to.  anyone interested?  So many people play the lottery or have great dreams of what they would do if someone left them a great deal of money.  Yes I dream that someone would donate thousands or hundreds of thousands to us so that I could give it to all those that we see around us.  People will spend so much money sending help to Haiti or Ecuador, Ethiopia and other places and yet they forget that here in America, there aer so many hurting and without.  When Jason and I started this, we realized that this call from God may cause us to lose everything and we are prepared for that.  I have lost the desire for material thing's (well the vado looks pretty good I must admit and I would love to get one)and the family vacation was put on hold.  We have no cable, no money for diners out ( my two year old has yet to go to a restaurant) no movies in the theater.  Everything we have been able to do has been from the generosity of our family.  There are times when the selfishness in me wants to go to cirques de soleil., skiing in the mountains, get my vision checked (blurred eye and bright lights bother my right eye as well has difficulty with glares from lights at night), fix two teeth that need some attention I believe, buy a new book or clothing.  I do miss the selfish spending sprees on new items not bargain items from freecycle, but then I get a call from  a person whose roof is falling in and they cannot fix it.  Or a person that has no insurance is really sick and cannot go get checked because they lack the funds to go. It is in those moments, I am so grateful for what I do have.  God has given us so much and I want to do the most for Him with it.  So pray that I get a job that can supplement what we are doing.  I will miss being home raising my children, but I feel that at this moment, it is something that needs to be sacrificed.   Ah sorry for the rant-it has been a burden on my heart and for some reason felt compelled to share it so that you can say prayers for our ministry!! The best part about all this however, is that we have found a church.  A place to call home.  A place to rejoice and hear the word of God.  What an amazing Lord we serve and I am thankful for His mercy and love!!

Monday, October 18

Request for more

It is amazing how many times in the past week I have been asked to blog more.  What a compliment to know that some of you out there actually look forward to my blog-honestly I did not think I was that interesting.  I was surprised that my brother checks daily, but even more surprised to hear that others are as well.  I look at my life and laugh at the craziness often wondering if other people's lives are like this. How many of you are laughing with me as you read my words-is it really entertaining and encouraging?  How many of you have a life that leaves you breathless, and keeps  your mind turning like the gears of a clock.  There are nights when I try to slow those gears down just so  I can actually process what is going on in my life.  Then I realize that if I do try, I might get jammed and completely stop.  What are the gears in my life that keep me spinning (thanks Dad for fixing that grandmother clock-I am now comparing my life and thought processes to all those parts). 

Well today I promised my mother that I would go up there to do movie night with her and my daughter.  Mackenzie was extremely tired and not in the best mode for movie night.  My mom was up until at least 5:50 this morning (we know this because my dad woke up at 7 and the movie she put in was still playing).  She was in a nasty mood and very very tired. She made little sense and had difficulty understanding what I was telling her.  A new thing she is doing is misusing items.  I am reminded of the little mermaid when she used the fork as a comb.  At lunch she tried to eat with her glasses rather than the fork. 
Movie night did not go over well because Mackenzie was not interested in watching the movie and mom kept falling asleep.  My mother got rather upset with me because Kenzie wanted ice tea like hers.  I poured some in a cup and Kenzie got upset because it was not as full as Gigi's. I told her that she could not have as much since she was smaller.  My mother got upset with me since I would not give more to Kenzie.  I tried to explain to both of them that it was not good for her to have more especially this late in the day and given our issues with all the testing and stomach problems. Kenzie understood but my mother got so angry with me.  I could not get her to see what I was saying.  To her, I was being mean to Kenzie and to her.  Tomorrow we start the Risperdone-Kevin will give her a dose at 12 and although I hate the thought of her being on it again, I know that it is time.  It is hard because the other day the light was there and we had so much fun.  The night I dyed her hair was the first time in a long time that she was enjoyable and had some life in her eyes.  I know once we do the Risperdone, that little bit of light will go away and she will be a zombie.  However, if it is easier for Kevin and my dad, then it is essential for us to do it.  We shall see how long she stays on it or if she tries to get off it.  The best part is we now have it in liquid form so we can continue it if we need to. So that is the most difficult gear in my life that is constantly being reworked and tweaked to keep running. 

Then we have the children-both now with positive stool samples for fat meaning they are not absorbing fat.  Connor is also slightly anemic and other malabsorption issues.  Tomorrow we go for his endoscopy and biopsy.  I cannot help but wonder what they will want to do for Kenzie once the Doctor sees the results of her stool sample.  I hope we do not have to do an endoscopy on her as well. The possibility of having to change our diet so drastically is slightly daunting but seeing my children actually thrive will be so fantastic.  Getting rid of the label failure to thrive one day will make me jump up and down like a giddy cheerleader.  So there is Gear two and three.

It seems that when my children are requiring such attention, everyone else does to.  My "adopted" girl has been quite a bit of work lately.  Daily visits to the school to discuss her failing grades, set up a plan to get the work completed, monitor her to complete the work, bring up aspirin because of a tooth ache, and visiting with her family to keep a relationship growing for trust (so I can be a part of Gloria's life) is becoming a very difficult task.  I cannot give up on her now. 
 Then my other "lost" children.  It is becoming part of our every day life that one or more come to our house to visit, eat, unwind, get advise, cry to, talk to, request a ride to somewhere, or some other task.  As one puts it "your house is a home, we feel so welcomed and have a place to relax and have a mother".  Really....sometimes I do not want to be welcoming, I want to yell and say go away I need peace.  But I look at their face searching for answers and for stability and realize I do not have that luxury so with open arms and a forced smile I say come on it.  Gears number 4-12

Then there is my grandmother and our newly "adopted grandmother" and you thought it stopped with only adopting children.  I feel sometimes as though I should do more for my grandmother  but realize that she does have others to help her out.  Our newly adopted one has no one.  As our relationship grows, so does the time requirements.  She now calls daily, sometimes two or three times a day.  I take her to the doctors, get her records, give her advice, lend an ear, and other misc. things.  Gears 13 and 14.
Gear 15 is my schooling which in a few months will be removed from my clock. Gear 16 is our non-profit which you can read about in our wif blog.  The last gears are the gears for My life-my husband and my Lord both of whom I gather support and give me the strength to face each day.  I am blessed with a husband that loves the Lord and loves his family.  While we may argue or bicker, I know that I have a partner that will stick by me through thick and thin.  I know he will support my decisions and help carry the burden.  He is my source of inspiration and each day I am amazed at what I learn from him.  I am also blessed with the love of my Lord and Savior.  I do not understand how people can go through life without having God in their life.  The peace that He provides carries me through the difficult parts of life and refreshes me on the worst days.  I am grateful for the grace and love He gives me.  

By the way, you may wonder why I constantly change the theme of the blog.  Until I find the one that feels right, I will try a million of them.  Feel free to offer suggestions as I am on a quest to find the right one :). It is just like in my house.  I arrange and rearrange the furniture (much to my husband's dislike)  until I find the perfect fit. 

Saturday, October 16

Results are in

What another fun filled week where I felt like I could not catch up to myself.  Monday I had to bring the children in for a sweat test to check for cystic fibrosis.  Luckily, I go the results today and it was negative.  The other tests came back and both children now test positive for fecal fat meaning that they are not absorbing fat-surprise surprise.  I mean who would think that a 4 year old weighing 28 lbs and a 2 year old weighing 22 lbs with absolutely no fat on their bodies does not absorb any fat? :) Connor goes in for an endoscopy and biopsy on Monday and we will hopefully have more answers in the next few weeks. After the long drive on Monday, I came home and went right to my mothers.  Long night and little rest.  Tuesday another busy day with multiple children coming to my home.  This house has officially become a refuge for over 9 children and while I realize that they need us, sometimes it is exhausting.  I drove two around looking for jobs and gathering items.  Wednesday I drove Mrs Fischer to the doctors then drove up to the middle school or our dear Gloria.  I met with her teachers and developed a plan. Children came over and I felt like a revolving door.  Yesterday I helped a woman sort out items that she has had donated and was able to get some things for the two teen soon to be mothers.  And then today-the day that beat all days.  Wake up, drop Gloria off at school, drop Kenzie off at school, visit grandma and cook breakfast for her, phone call from middle school for Gloria, get home change Connor go get kenzie, get medical records for kenzie, get home visit with my brother and his friend, go home and two teens show up. gather them up to go get Gloria, meet with her teachers, bring everyone back to my house.  Two more teens show up -one pregnant and the other needing community service.  So now I have five teens, two little ones, and two adults.  Two leave, another shows up to get some items from me.  Another comes later to drop off some stuff.  Luckily my brother was a dear and decided to cook dinner.  Even more amazing is that there was plenty to feed everyone.  So we all sit down to eat, Gloria, my two children, my hubby, my brother, his wonderful friend, Kayla, and Stephen.  We finally get dinner served and eaten and off everyone goes.  Many phone calls from my "lost children" and I am off to my mothers.  Seriously my head is spinning and I do not have a moment to think.  What is strange is that this is becoming the norm.  We are up to 9 children/teens coming to our house and it just seems to grow.  I do not understand how they find us-the two today rode their bikes over 8 miles to come spend time with us.  How do you turn them away? So many of them come from dysfunctional families and are in need of so much guidance and resources.  It breaks my heart that I cannot take them places and buy them necessities.  One has no shoes literally cannot go anywhere because of the lack of shoes.  Another one has no money for basic needs.  The list of heartwretching stories is maddening.  This one kicked out, that one out of school, another on probation.  I did learn one thing today-multitasking and managing.  My house was spotless after they all left.  I put one in charge of the children, one in charge of dusting, another the mirrors and tv screens.  Before I knew it, all the laundry was done, the house was clean, and the children were all pleased with themselves.  I really need some prayers on this because selfishly I want my own house with just my children and time alone.  I realize that it is not the way God wants it because he keeps bringing them to us.  I may be losing two because I refuse to help those that are not willing to help themselves. I have had "the talk" with them and told them that if I do not see effort soon, I will help no more.  They can come but I will not take them places, buy them necessities, or other things I do when they do not do for themselves.

I realize that what initially started as a blog for my mother has now become much more than that.  I am sorry but more and more has changed. Anyway, tonight went well with my mother-she was calm and docile.  She hates what is happening to her and realizes just how far she is slipping.  She wants to be normal and have her life back.  It is very late right now and I have a very busy busy day tomorrow so I must go and write more later.  Night Night. 
Remember to say some praises for the wonderful news about the children.  Also pray that we get some answers with what is causing the malabsorption.

Thursday, October 7

ARGGGGGGGGGGG

What a night-maybe it is because I do not feel well or the two huge projects I have looming over my head or maybe it is because of the deteriorating status of my mother.  Whatever it is, I am feeling such sadness for my Dad.  Let me vent and then I will touch upon why I feel so bad for my father.  Today after three days of my mother disliking me for whatever reason, she is my friend again and needs me to come over to check her eye.  I decide to head up there early so that I can get home early so that I can finish my work for school.  I have a mid term exam that will take quite a bit of time to write, analyze, and include a PowerPoint.  On top of that, I have another observatory report for the other class.  Well that did not go according to my plan.  I did not get up there early and I did not get out early.  When I got there, my mother was a disorganized mess.  She was half naked and trying to figure out what clothing she needed me to wash. 
 She ends up taking off all her clothes and adds it to the pile I had gathered.  I gather the clothes and bedding and off to do some wash.  She then sits on the bed and asks me to look in her eye.  I remind her about getting dressed by asking her what danties she would like to put on.  She picks a pair and decides to go get some ice tea.  She comes back and asks me to do her eye.  I remind her about her danties and she lets me put them on her.  I get her a house dress to put on.  From there it was a constant barrage of questions and trying to figure out what she wanted or what she was trying to tell me.  She asks me to read the Bible before I leave so I make a quick mental note.  She wanted to call her friend and we did so.  She stayed on the phone for about twenty minutes which gave me a bit of time with my father.  Man, the one thing I miss most is spending time alone with my father or brother.  We are all so busy taking care of Mom that none of us get to be with just each other.  We have to spend all our time with her.  

But I digress. She gets off the phone and she wants to go out to eat with her friend.  What she does not know is that her friend is too afraid to take her out.  I tell my mom that her friend does not like to eat out anymore because of the noise so she would like to bring the food to her house. Mom thinks that is a great idea and asks me to call her back.  Then she freaks out because her dog will bark non stop while her friend is there.  She has a melt down trying to figure out what to do.  I suggest to both my mom and her friend to have dinner at her friends house.  That solves that problem.  My mom mentions that she can no longer answer the phone.  I reprogram her phone to answer as soon as it is lifted from the base.  I decide to have her test it out and this broke my heart.  As the phone rings, she yells at it and tells it to talk.  Finally she picks it up and tells me it is not working it is not working.  She is looking at the phone and I tell her she has to put it to her ear.  She puts her hand on her ear and tries to talk.  Again she tells me it is not working.  I try to get the phone up to her ear and she is completely confused.  She puts the phone down and tries to talk to my ear.  Yikes.  During this time, I have to cough and I know it is only a matter of time before my mother notices it.  She does and you will love this excuse.  Mom I am coughing because I went to a football game and injured my vocal cords by cheering (I hate football and my mom used to know that).  She does not even question it. 

After the phone we go back to her room and she wants to show me how she puts movies in her closet.  The only problem is she needs to use a step stool to see them up on her shelf.  It is a rather scary thing to witness as she attempts to step up.  I go to the garage and grab a cardboard display case and put it on the floor of the closet.  She loves it but now we have to organize the closet.  She has me move all the shirts to one side-nah do not like it.  She has me move the pants to one side-nope hate it (each time she starts freaking out because it is not right).  I move everything back and just push the clothing aside and now she is happy.  She decides that she wants to go through her shoes because she does not like them all.  We go through all her shoes which is a very good thing since some have rather high heels.  First load of wash is complete and I remake her bed.  She starts complaining how she wants her home video's.  I show her the videos that I made a year ago and she wants to see them. We start watching movie after movie to find ones of her mom.  We find one with her old dog Middy and she starts to cry.  Then her mom comes on the screen and she gets even sadder.  I distract her and turn off the movie.  By this time, the clothes are finished and I go to get them.  She gets changed which takes over 15 minutes now and it is 9:45.  She starts freaking out about her socks not being washed until she realized that they were washed.  10:00 and we start the movie.  Throughout the entire movie, she rambles and cannot focus at all.  She gets agitated that my dad is still up at 11:00.  The movie finishes and I am about to leave. As I am about to enter my car. 

She reminds me that we did not read the Bible.  Tell me anyone how is this possible.  How can she remember to read the Bible but not remember how to answer a phone. It is like her processing memory is shot but her ability to remember important details (those that are important to her) is still there.  We read the Bible and I head home.  She asked me to call her when I got home which is ironic because she does not know how to answer the phone.  I call anyway and she does not answer.  She figures out how to call me back and is upset because the light is red on the phone.  In my trial and error period with programing the phone, I forgot to delete the message.  It is 12:45 in the morning and I cannot possibly drive back up there.  I am way too tired and feeling sick (hacking up a lung at this point) to go up there just for a red light.  I tell her to let me wake up dad to let him fix it because I cannot do it from here.  She agrees and I wake my poor Dad up.  He gets up to go help and I will try to describe what ensues as clearly as I can.  She starts screaming GET OUT GET OUT NOOOOOOOOO AHHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAA HELP ME GET OUTNOOOOOO.
 Then what follows is similar to the scream in that movie splash where the mermaid breaks every t.v.  It was so deafening and so high pitched I cannot believe nothing blew.  She just starts screaming and screaming.  At one point Dad tries to explain and has to raise his voice to be heard which I yell back Dad, she cannot hear you-Stop trying to explain to her. I am frazzled and I am not even in the same room as he is.   I call mom and try to calm her down but only end up making her very mad at me.  I try to tell her that I did not want to have to go up there and she was ok with him. She replies with he is the Devil he is evil and a liar and I HATE HIM I HATE HIM I HATE HIM AND WISH I NEVER MARRIED HIM HE IS EVIL AND MEAN AND YELLS.  At this point I know I should say good night but I never learn. I said he was trying to help you and fix it and you freaked on him. This is why your throat is so sore-you cannot yell like that and not hurt yourself.  Can anyone guess what happened next.  A)  My mom agrees and says oh good you solved my problem about the sore throat
B).  My mom screams "You are not a Christian and you think you are nice and kind but you are a bit** and a thing, You pretend to be nice but you just want people to think you are so good and so helpful but you are evil instead and a horrible horrible girl
C)  My mom realizes she was mean to my dad and goes apologizes to him.  If you guess B, you are correct!  She hangs up the phone and then calls me back to say she fixed the phone (what seriously she cannot answer the phone but figured out which buttons to push to play the message and delete it) I congratulate her and think this is the end and I can unwind before bed.  Some how and I am too tired to rethink what was said but somehow, I anger her again and she starts screaming and yelling at me once again.  ARGGGGGGGGGG.

What I realized today is that no matter how much Kevin or I do for my mother or how hard we have it with her, at the end of the day we can leave.  With my Dad, no such luck.  He cannot escape.  Once home, the jail bars go down and he is in his cell until the sun comes up.  I must admit there have been times when I thought well Dad does not realize how hard we have it with mom and that we equally share his burden or sometimes have more of a burden in caring for her.  I bath her, Kevin is with her all day Monday-Thursday I have her for ten hours Tuesday or Wednesday nights and Friday nights and sometimes take her to my house to give Dad time in his house.  We all share Doctor and feeding duties and now with Kevin's sweet ride, he can do more of the outings. Dad is free from her until 5 or 6 at night Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and full time Saturday and Sunday.  But here is what I finally realized.  Despite the fact that he may have plenty time away from her, he is a prisoner in his home with a crazy deranged lunatic for a cell mate. 

I do not know how he actually can have a sound nights sleep, I would be terrified that one night I would awaken to her standing over me with this evil grin cackling an insane laugh while lightening flashed in the background and the deafening sound of thunder clapped around me.  He can never just relax-there is always a fear of what might set her off or what task will he be awoken for during the night.  Even worse is the fact that despite all he does, he will always be unappreciated by her and insulted beyond belief.  As he cooks her dinner, she may spit in it or throw it.  As he fixes a broken light, she will scream at him and call him a Fu**ing Bast***, or shout you did it on purpose you are evil and mean I hate you I hate you. There is no more thank you no I love you no hug or kiss no affection of any type.  Only bitter angry malicious spiteful words aimed directly at him.  And while my life, in my opinion, is much more demanding, I have two precious smiling children that do say thank you and I love you.  I may get less sleep, but I have a husband that I can bounce things off
of.  My dad has the insane ravings of a Alzheimer's woman that has eaten away at my mothers personality leaving only the negative miserable person and removing all traces of the sweetness and humorous person she once was.  In fact, as I looked at the home videos with my mother she actually asked me who my mom was in the video.  She did not recognize herself.  It was hard to watch those movies because I heard her laughter and beautiful voice and then look over and see this emaciated hollow woman with a permanent scowl on her face. I just want to reach over and hold her and kiss her but know that if I do she will scream and cry at the touch of me. 
And I will end with this.  It is 2:15 am and my phone just rang with my mother apologizing for her behavior.  She is very sorry and when Dad wakes up, she wants to apologize to him. She actually said I do love my husband but I do not like the way he treats me....So Dad if you wake up and read this before mom wakes up, remember to act surprised and maybe just maybe you can get that hug that we all wish we could have.  I will say that I am blessed to have my brother and father in caring for my mother and we are the Three musketeers or maybe the three stooges....Not so sure.  And considering how late it is, please excuse me for not proofreading.  I just wanted to vent a bit to relax and head off to bed since tomorrow does not have a pause button. 
One final thing.  My old school had a posting for a reading resource teaching position.  I applied for it today so please keep me in your prayers that I get it.  Working will give us so much more financial reources to help so many more people out!!!
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