Category Archives: God

..Spoke too soon…


Monday morning, the nursing home calls and the are sending Mother to the ER. Same thing, different day. She had just finished the last antibiotics she had been on three days before.

I met her at the hospital and they had already ordered antibiotics. I put a halt to those and after a few hours, a long talk with hospice – part of which was telling them about her DNR and living will – we decided to send her to the Hospice facility.

Hospice doesn’t work exactly how I thought it did. I always thought you get close to the end, you move there and well, basically they keep you drugged up until you die – no matter how long it takes.

Throughout this process, I have found that while that is true – it is not that simple.

Hospice took over care of her major problems- basically, bluntly, the disease that is killing her, faster every day it seems, her COPD.  While the nursing home doctor still takes care of the other things, her blood thinners, blood pressure meds, thyroid, stomach meds, the hospice doctor takes care of her lungs and pain. The hospice doctor has a great deal more leeway with the pain meds and narcotics than the nursing home doctor as he provides for end of life care – the part about keeping her doped up until she dies.

I followed her to the hospice facility and as we got her checked in, went over a bit of her meds, etc. Filled out her menu and I went home. I assumed that they would follow the med list that she had been ob and that the word had been passed about no antibiotics. Remember the saying about that word, “assumed” – ass out of u and me – well…

I got there Tuesday morning, after voting (I voted, did you?) and before work. The nurse came in to give her the morning meds – timing, huh?

This is the kicker. She told me they had done a urine culture and started her on an antibiotic for a UTI. NO. She is not to have antibiotics. “The dr. started her on them just in case of a UTI”  No antibiotics means NO ANTIBIOTICS. PERIOD. ” Is this the rule at the nursing facility? The ER? Because those do not apply here”  NO. This is in her living will. “why not? It is for the UTI. You are going to need to talk to the doctor”   No antibiotics for anything. The antibiotic for the UTI is going to also treat the pneumonia and she will get better(ish). Then in two weeks we will be right back here. Which is what she does not want. She is tired of the merry go round.

She held it, but gruffly told me I needed to speak to the doctor. Fine. As I left, I put a note on her table with a message for the doctor to call me. I am still waiting.

I went back up after work, and the chaplain was there, so I didn’t stay long with mom. I found the nurse in charge and we went over the med list. I have had to learn to reign in my temper. These things make it difficult. Everyone is not on the same page and I really though that is how this was supposed to work. UGH.

They changed some meds, they don’t have some of her meds on site. These meds are not necessary.  Grrr. I walked away, with a stern look and asked her to please have the doctor or LPN call me. I forgot something and turned around – she was on the phone with her and said she is at the front office if you want to talk to her.

I meet her ….she tells me about the meds not on site – her stomach meds – without these meds she can not eat. She put her back on 2 that she doesn’t need to be on because the CDIFF seems to be returning, but they don’t test for that. They changed one because mother said she had been on it forever and it didn’t seem to work – so they put her on one that she took before that does NOT work . The  one she has been on  – that DOES work. The paperwork says that they have to talk to ME for changes. ARGH!

When I went in yesterday morning, she seemed to be feeling better. The afternoon, not so much. She said she felt worse and looked like she was feeling worse.

I am fairly certain this is because she was on the antibiotic and then she wasn’t.

How crappy do I feel now? Very. I know this was her decision. We talked about it between ourselves and with the staff at the nursing home. Still. She was feeling better and 8 hours later….

I thought hospice was supposed to help make all of this easier.

Of course, nothing with this experience has been easy.

Christmas this year…


We had our Christmas with my family here in FL on Christmas Eve, and it went rather well, I think, considering…

Considering?

Considering that dinner was planned at 5 p.m. and I was still shopping for gifts at noon.

Considering that dinner was planned at 5 p.m. and at 1:30 I was broke down in the Auto Zone parking lot (thanking God for small miracles that I was already there when it happened).

Considering that the money I had set aside to get The Man’s gift from last Christmas installed on his car had to be spent on a new car battery… remember the days when they were only $50 or so…yeah…those days are gone.

Considering that dinner was planned at 5 p.m. and I was still shopping for gifts at 2:30 …

Considering that dinner was planned at 5 p.m. and I finally got home at 3:30 with the last of the ingredients that I had forgotten for dinner..

….that I still hadn’t wrapped a single gift.

….that I did not get the tree finished until 4:15.

I was pleased. I think everyone else was, as well.

The plan had been to have Christmas Day here at home and go to the In-laws in GA the day after.

However, my sister works at IHOP, and they are open on Christmas (one of their busiest days of the year, at that)  and she had to work, so we decided to ‘do’ our Christmas on Christmas Eve, and then go to GA a day early and surprise The Man’s family by getting there on Christmas.

Yeah. Well…

I was exhausted by the end of the FL Christmas. We used, as we rednecks do, paper plates and disposable cookware, so all that we had to wash was a crockpot and a few small things that could not go into the dishwasher. I put them to soak and went to bed – leaving everything for Christmas morning to be cleaned.

I know – sounds crazy – leaving the mess of 10 adults, a toddler and an infant – to clean the next morning, before we leave to go out of town, knowing we also still have to pack. I work best under pressure and it could have been done. The Man wasn’t feeling 100% yet (or even 80), as he had been sick, so far, 5 days of his vacation. So, we decided to wait until the day after to leave, as originally planned.

Christmas Day..was AWE-some! In our 20 years together, we have only spent 4 at our own home, having lived out of state all but 3, so it was kind of nice.

I took the dogs to the dog park, and they had a blast. I refused to play ball with Princess Dixie so she had to play with the other dogs (she doesn’t usually play with other dogs – being obsessed with the tennis ball and all). Not having to throw a ball every ten seconds, I was able to sit and relax … well, as close to relaxed as I can get. I parked my fanny on a swing next to a man who owned one of Dixie’s playmates and we started talking about, well, what else? Dogs.

I usually only keep the dogs at the park about 30 minutes. Having begun talking to this man, came to discover he was from GA, too, and had even lived in one of the towns The Man and I had lived in, though, many years before us. So, we talked and reminisced about small towns growing to big towns, traffic and such…

Two hours later, the 3 Stooges and I headed home. It was nice, to have someone to talk to there. I usually go alone in the morning, and there aren’t many dogs at the park on rather chilly December mornings. Floridians having that thinned out summer year round blood and all. Sixty degrees and they want to turn on the heat and light a fire. When there are groups – they are usually youngin’s who have created their own little cliques. So it was nice, and well, get me talking about my kids or my dogs…..

Today is the day after Christmas ( wait – it  is 2 a.m. so I suppose it was yesterday) ANY-who…

We were putting our bags into the car to leave (running an hour late as usual) when The Man’s father called.  Mom has the flu. So we decided to stay home.  “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Getting the flu, that is. Glad we were running late…

I admit though, I am a bit disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing everyone. Health and well being come first though! I am praying she feels better soon.

So, this Christmas is being spent at home. The entire holiday, vacation, etc.

Yeah. Vacation.

The Man has had his vacation, now, it is time to start on my Honey-Do List…

 

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! Wishing you a very happy new year – as I say every year – may it be a darn sight better than the last…

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My hopes for my children…


My cousin, Sylvia Orozco, posted this on facecrack, written by Lee Pitts , and I felt  the need to share it, so that maybe my boys would see it….

” I would really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would. I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen. It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him. When you want to see a movie and your little brother wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head. I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a girl. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove . I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it.. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa . May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. These things I wish for you – tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life. 

I would like to add – that I hope you feel strongly enough in your beliefs to stick to them and up for them. Yet, don’t turn your back on those who believe differently. Sometimes, you have to agree to disagree. The world would be a very boring place if everyone agreed on everything. 

Sometimes, you will be wrong. Be honest and humble enough to admit when you are. Don’t gloat when you win, and shake the winners hand when you don’t.  

If someone falls, help them up. One day, you may be the one to fall. Never be afraid to ask for help, but be sure to offer it as well. Thank the Lord every day for the things you have. Your health and your family, and pray for those who who don’t. Pray for those who serve and fight for your right to do so. Pray for not only your friends, but your enemies. Forgive and forget, life is too short to be angry and hold a grudge. 

Sometimes, in life, you have to settle. A car, a house, even a job, but don’t get comfortable there. Always  continue to strive for more. Don’t just live your life content with where you are. But NEVER settle for the person you spend your life with. Hold out for your soul mate and once you have found her, never let her go. 

NEVER give up, never surrender.

…and remember … you are never too old to hold your mother’s hand.