how are you all coping?

heydeborahAugust 1, 2006

hi everyone! So many new names -- welcome! it's hard to believe that living in northern ontario and on the shores of such a huge lake that it is so hot here! i don't know how you all cope coming from the mid-western states and no lakes. i don't ever remember it being so hot here and we don't have air conditioning. other than going to the malls and seeing fall clothing! (yuck) and floor fans running, how do you keep cool and also how do you keep you the person you are caring for comfortable? i will say going through "the change" and this heat has made me a bit cranky! debbie

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Hi Deb
It is very warm here in Michigan. At least we have a small air conditioner for the family room. I have been sleeping on the couch at night, hubby is up most nights anyway and he uses it during the day.
Our bedroom is upstairs and it is just sweltering up there, but out stupid kitties insist on sleeping up there anyway.
How is Al dealing with the heat?
Glad you checked in, I have been thinking about you.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 6:52PM
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Hot here, too, guys, but nothing like the heatwave the folk in the mid-west have had to endure. Awnings and some judiciously placed fans keep the house something less than stifling, well... actually A LOT less than stifling!

Emotionally, I'm not doing so well. Mum has been with my brother for 6 weeks and in that time I've reached the conclusion that I am no longer willing to do put my own life on "hold" to do what must be done to maintain her as she requires. I am terribly conflicted about this. The helpmeet feels it's time, too, but knowing him as I do I am quite certain he will steer well clear of "backing me up" by speaking to my brother.

My brother is hesitant to begin looking into long term care, having witnessed the same horrors I did when Mum was in one. However, he hasn't had the bellyful of daily caregiving that I have. He isn't married, and he hasn't had to sacrifice nearly as much as I have... so I struggle with this burden.

And how to tell Mum that she now requires more than I'm able to provide and still maintain a modicum of privacy in my personal life.

Nothing I've ever faced in my life has torn me apart the way this has.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 7:05PM
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This is my first full summer in FL- staying to help deal with my folks while my sister has moved in with them temporarily since Feb. to begin dealing with all their health issues. We had to call Hospice during the night as Mom's leg blood clot began seeping blood. I came home(a mi. away) at 6 am so I can be bright eyed & bushy tailed for work today. I have kept my part time job at 3 days a wk for the time being. Our husbands fly down at the end of the wk for a few days. My housework has lapsed!! DH will take over willingly when he arrives so I can continue to focus over at my folks.
We have central air & frankly, I was expecting to be much more uncomfortable staying all summer- so far, it's tolerable, but I miss sitting outside for morning coffee. When I slept over last night, I was glad mom allowed the ceiling fan on- but by 2 am, I was freezing so turned it off.Mom is generally quite cold & requires several blankets.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 6:45AM
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We have central air; but Pop is always cold, so we have it set on 78 (which, condsidering that the heat index was 112 the other day...) Pop wears sweat or heavy pajama pants, tee shirt, and sweatshirt or cardigan over his tee. I wear lightweight, loose cotton dresses and go stand under the ceiling fan or wrap a wet towel around my neck when the flashes hit.

Chelone, when you can't handle it; you can't handle it. You aren't doing Mom any favors taking care of her when you you've had a bellyful. One thing that will make it easier for Mom when you tell her, is if you give her a list of what you ARE willing to do once she goes to LTC. "I will bring you this or that. I will take you here or there x times a month. Etc.."

There is a difference between care that is "required" and care that is "demanded". One is not so nearly so wearing on the caregiver as the other. We had a couple of weeks with Pop when he was being a real booger - getting me up 7-9 times a night on the nights before I had to go to work; and what he was getting me up for were "wants" not "needs". He would sleep all day and throw a fit if you tried to keep him awake; then be awake all night and refuse to take meds to help him rest. He was wanting me to take FMLA (not yet) or quit my job (not happening), refusing to cooperate with care - not doing his exercises, not eating, ringing his call bell (wireless doorbell, works great) numerous times an hour for someone to come to his room, but refusing to go out of his room, not giving us a chance to eat, clean house, go pee for heaven's sake!! We had a "meeting". He was tearful/belligerent/remorseful/angry, etc.. Later on, he apologized; told me that he loved me and my daughter. I told him "We love you too, Pop; the thing is, we want to be sorry and miss you when you pass on; not be relieved that you're gone." I think that got through to him where nothing else did. Sometimes you just gotta be blunt and tell it like it is.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 4:08PM
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Hi Deb,
Thought I would drop in and say hello to everyone.
I still check in here every few days, but it has really been hectic around here for about a month.
The nursing home sent my brother a letter and he came up today to check on her, she has lost 9 lbs in the past month and the nursing home says they don't know why.
She now weighs a whopping 96 lbs.
They know that if they put food in front of her and walk away she will not eat.
My brother lives about an hour away, and since I can't drive anymore, at the moment can't walk to well either I am not too much help.
This makes me feel awfully guilty.
Just wanted to say hang in there everyone and take care and God Bless

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 10:23PM
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Hi Deb!
The weather has finally cooled off in the midwest...gosh it was hot!!! I don't remember a summer this hot ever in Chicago. Fortunately, we do have air conditioning so I really cannot complain, but my poor pups! Yes, they live inside and also have a/c, but when it was 110 heat indices, they wouldn't even go outside! I felt like it might as well be the middle of winter since I felt as if I couldn't be outside that long in the was stifling. Of course, out west they always say in Nevada and Arizona that it is a dry heat so it is not as bad. Well, ours is always a "wet" heat...very humid and when you walk out into it, it literally takes your breath away.

Deb, how are you doing? You had a period there for a while where you were having one "mishap" after the other. And Al? and the kids? Everyone doing ok?

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I have been reading the posts now and then. I hope you are doing well,
take care,

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 8:09AM
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Hi Debbie & Everyone... Good to see so many new caregivers and you dear familiar ones. What a special and priceless group you are. May God bless you and your loved ones and give you strength, grace, and wisdom for each day...

Chelone, I understand your plight... May God be with you, your "mum", hubby, & bro. I have found He is able to make a way where there seems to be no way. ~abreeze

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:40PM
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Hi Deb - hope Al and kiddos are fine - am I remembering correctly that DD will be attending college soon?

Everyone here is going downhill. Mom is losing weight, sleeping a lot, disoriented quite a lot; Dad had two TIA's last month - didn't think anything was wrong - I had to make him go to the ER.

SIL's Mom was sent to hospital last week after falling twice in the NH - haven't heard yet what the tests found (if anything)

and finally, DH's 88 yr old aunt had a stroke and has some sort of growth at the place where her brain joins the spine!

Can you tell I am stressed a little?

I just keep saying 'this too shall pass'. Carolyn

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 8:19PM
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hi everyone,computer is fixed up again, andit'sstill so hot here, right now it's 87 and no breeze, you think living right on shores of lake superior we'd be cool, and i can see thelake fromourdining room window. al has had about 4 minor heart attacks and refused to go to thehospital each time, says just give me my chewable baby aspirin and it will go away (men!!). our daughter has decided to go to theuniversity we have here (Lakehead University, where i used towork)(and al, works at the local college here), she's one of thelucky ones, where hard work pays off, with scholarships are bursaries she will only owe 250.00! (she also qualifies for a student loan, which i don't think she will need). our son went to Winnipeg for ahockeytournament last weekend and was on a team with some one from the chicago blackhawks (yeah mimi) and also bmx riders he had alot of fun and was offered a job at a sporting goods store ifhe want it. we don't have a garden anymore because of the heat everything burnt. well that's about here up north!

ps great to seesomenewnames!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:08PM
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Hi. I'm new here. I am a 43 year old gal, married, with a teenage daughter, and I'm caring for my grandmother, who is 90 and has AD.

We got all the information from her doctor and the nursing home, about getting her set up in there, and we also talked to our attorney.
After finding out the nursing home takes everything, then puts the patient on welfare, we decided to NOT let that happen.

We are going to care for her at home. We have sunk all our savings into adding on 3 rooms to her house, so she wouldn't have any stairs to walk up or down, so she'd be a bit more safe. We will be living there with her, and she'll have someone there 24/7. So, I hope this all works out, because if it doesn't, she'll end up in the nursing home and the nursing home will end up with the house AND all the money we put into it!

My grandmother is quite difficult sometimes, she's very wobbly when walking, but has no other health problems, other than the AD, which IS a pretty big problem (and it'll only get worse. I know that.).

I know this is going to be tough, long haul, but I'm determined to do it, and take care of her until the end.

I hope I'm doing the right thing! For her AND for myself and my family!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Update on DH's 88 yr old aunt. She had a massive stroke, is blind in one eye, incontinent and is being released from rehab tomorrow - must have help 24/7. She has no short term memory, We are now in the process of getting her affairs in order- temporary live in help until we can get some things sold - -I expect she'll be in a nursing home before the end of the year.

I hope I can deal with this (along with my own aging parents). Carolyn

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 8:50PM
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well here i complaining now, it's 40 out right now!! but it's supposed to go up to 89 with afternoon, so much of a difference! i drove dd to university this am, it's her first day! she goes from 830 to 4, and on tuesdays she goes from 830 to 5. i spent the other night at emerg. with ds seems eating fast food is not good for you (as if we never told him that), anyways after he had a 5 hour wait before we left (so many patients but there are no doctors here) we went to the grocery store and bought food with fiber for him -lol also i had to pick him up on sunday, seems there was a bear in the back yard where he lives, long story short, they tried to tranquise it but ended up killing the poor things, infact the city police had 17 bear calls on the weekend!! well i'm going to try and enjoy the morning and i hope you all do too!


    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 9:46AM
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