Wednesday, June 09, 2010

::chirp chirp::

The crickets around my blog were getting tired of being by themselves!! So I am happy to keep them company again.

Our visit with my grandfather went well. He was more mobile than I expected (have you seen how long those at-home oxygen cords are?!), but there were still some times (dinner at Perk.in's when he didn't want to bring his oxygen, but it was so chilly in the restaurant (he was visibly cold), he asked the waitress to turn down the a/c!) when he seemed weak and frail and so precious that I just wanted to hug him for a while. I imagine the adrenal.ine of having everyone visiting lifted his spirits/helped him be more youthful, because my aunt emailed me and said that he had a really tough day yesterday. We are so glad we got to sit and talk with him as much as we did! Plus visiting all my extended family was fun, too!

My grandma is in the early stages of alz.heimer's and her kids don't think she would be safe at home by herself. So their plan is to move her into an assisted living place after my grandpa passes.


Mr. A is obviously a super amazing guy.

But I had no idea how vehemently he believes that kids are to take care of their parents in their last years, if/when they can't take care of themselves. (They took care of you 24-7 when you were little, and when they need it, you should return the "favor".) He is completely appalled that my aunts/uncles are considering moving her to an assisted living place right now. At this point, she is not really a danger to herself or anyone, just a little off in her own world (not even that much detached from reality, if you ask me). I realize that alz.heimer's is a very complicated disease that will require some pretty specialized care in its advanced stages, but my grandma is just not there yet. But right now, it is pretty sad for me to think of her all by herself in a random assisted living place.

Mr. A said that she could move in with us, but I don't know if her kids would want that, since we live about 400 miles away from them and where she has spent her whole life. I suggested that maybe my mom (a nurse) could quit her job and be paid through my grandparents' estate to be my grandma's care provider, which one of my uncles thought was a good idea, but my aunt seems to have alot of concerns with that. I realize there are alot of variables to consider.

So in addition to my grandpa's declining health, there is this whole sad issue with my grandma. (Which, by the way, she is not even being consulted on the move idea- how tragic would that be- you lose your husband of 60+ years and then you get shipped off to a random place where you don't know anyone!) I don't really think it's my place to have a very active role in what "happens" to her- she's not my mom, and I guess I just pray that my uncles and aunts (and mom) will seriously consider some lifestyle changes that might allow them to welcome her into their home or allow them to care for her, instead of giving her the boot for someone else to deal with.

The other reason that I thought it was an amazing idea to have my mom go be her official nurse is that my mom is super attached (emotionally) to her parents in a way that I have never seen in another mid-fifties woman. She is not admitting it, but all of this is really hard for her. She does not deal well with being separated from her parents on a normal day, much less right now when both are experiencing fairly substantial health concerns. Her and my dad need time apart right now, to put it bluntly. She takes all her anxiety, anger, and worry on my dad, and he (so far) has hung in there, but the emotional and verbal abus.e she is spewing is getting to be overwhelming for him. I am honestly worried that he is going to snap or something, but he is such an upstanding guy that I don't think he wants to be the one to put his foot down or stay somewhere else until she can get herself under control. I can appreciate his dedication (in good times and bad, eh?), but I think I draw the line in an abu.sive relationship. I suggested that he go stay with a friend, even for a few weeks. Is that bad or un-matrimon-ily of me?

As for me and Mr. A, we are doing pretty darn great. We are loving our pool this summer!! I have no idea what CD I'm on (but pretty sure somewhere after ovulation). I think we were together around when ovulation might have happened, so there is this dang bird in my head that taunts me with "maybetherewillbeamiracle", and while I acknowledge the thought, I have done pretty well with leveling out my expectations. Because really, after not having any beer for like 5 months, it is nice to kick back by the pool with a book and a local brew. And have I mentioned how many cups of coffee I've allowed myself per morning? Not that I wouldn't give that back up in an instant if we get pregnant, but it's nice to not feel guilty about it.

Our garden is doing awesome. We have pretty much finished all our spinach and it was excellent. We hadn't grown it before, and it tastes SO much better than the spinach you buy in the stores. We are now moving onto our bibb lettuce, which is equally as yummy. My new favorite lunch (or dinner) is a huge salad of our own greens, feta cheese, cooked chicken, and vinaigrette. YUM. We planted cantelope and watermelon plants, but they seem to be growing slowly/not at all. I really hope they kick into gear- we have heard that homegrown fruits blow your socks off!! We're getting a couple raspberries per day- with a billion about to be ripe all at the same time!

I still have not called my RE, and much to my dismay, they have not called me either. If I ever have an RE practice, you can bet that that WILL be part of the protocol- to call patients who've had failed cycles. I think I'd like to give clomid a shot next month (you know, if that bird on my shoulder happens to be wrong), while I think I do have one more refill, I probably should talk with the RE. Hopefully he will be willing to do a phone consult.

Banana is doing great, too- we now have between 2 and 3 dogs who walk by each morning so she is getting to play/socialize alot!! She really seems to enjoy it. She still won't go in the pool though, silly pup!!

I know I have alot of catching up to do with you all, and I'm going to do my best to get back into things very soon! I read sometimes and am praying for all of you! I love how we each have specific requests/needs- although we are all praying/thanking for healthy children, we all have such unique situations. I love how that keeps my prayer time vibrant and exciting!!


Rach said...

Glad to hear all is good, especially the grandparents. I've been enjoying our pool this summer as well!

Jessica said...

Good to hear from you, and that you are enjoying your summer! Glad your grandpa is doing better!!

Basic Girl said...

So glad to hear your summer is off to a great start! We've been hitting up the pool too this summer, its been so nice in Chicago! So glad your grandpa is doing better, and I hope the situation with your grandma works out and they can find another solution that works for everyone!

Katie said...

My husband has the same view. He doesn't think we should ever move our parents into a home, and I agree. So I can understand why you are concerned about your grandma, especially when all of this is going on with your grandpa as well. I hope things work out to where your mom can take care of her and she doesn't have to go into a home.

Ask or Imagine said...

That is something I hate to think about, those kinds of family decisions for aging relatives - it's just so sad! I hope your mom & her siblings make the best decision for your grandmother.

I'm so jealous of your pool - I've been longing for one recently!

Coco said...

Oh hun. That's so many hard things. I totally understand about your Grandpa. My dad is getting weaker every day. They couldn't even do the chemo this week because his white cell count was too low. It's so hard to see someone that you love waste away and be in pain.

Well, obviously I agree with your husband. My parents are already living here during Dad's cancer treatments, and we've already told my Mom a billion times that IF he dies, we want her to move in. It's just the right thing. I wouldn't ever trust someone else to take care of my family. Alzheimer's is hard, and I know there comes a point when they are just a danger to themselves, but it doesn't sound like she's there yet. So hard. Praying that all works out for you guys. I agree that losing her husband, family, and freedom all at once would be too much for her.

I think I have the same little birdy perched on my shoulder. Even though just a week ago the doctor told me that I would NEVER have more children and even if I could get pregnant then I would "certainly" have another miscarriage... I just can't help hoping and believing. It almost seems cruel to have hope sometimes. BUT I just keep thinking of Sarah. God can do anything. And I just have to believe that His plan for my life is better than my plan for my life, with or without children. Hope everything works out for you and your family.

Georgia said...

As assisted living becomes a part of the full array of long-term care supports and services in more states.

Ashley said...

Good to hear from you! You have been in my thoughts and prayes. :)

the misfit said...

That's so hard about your grandma. You can't tell them what to do, but maybe if you OFFER for her to live with you, it will be a hint...inspire them to think about it themselves? WRT your parents - I think pro-matrimony means doing the right thing, and the right thing is for your dad to make clear when your mom has absolutely crossed a line (or vice versa). I have been told before that it's NOT a moral good to allow someone else to do things that are wrong at your expense (if it's someone you love. Offering up persecution is fine, but allowing someone to harm an important relationship - not fine). So, if he has to take some time staying elsewhere to get the message across, that may be the right thing to do. And he probably needs you to say so - emotionally damaging situations skew people's objective analysis of where they are, I think. So, I think you're a good daughter, is what I'm saying.

Glad to hear you are taking it easy and enjoying yourself this cycle! The pool sounds fab. Hope your rotten RE calls you :(.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

So sorry about your Mom & Dad. I don’t know what I would do in that situation.

The moving in is such a touchy subject, but having had my grandfather live with us (my mother and I), I can only say it is one of the subjects to never say never and to go with what is best at the time.

Here is my long story (sorry it is long): Grandpa had very early stages of Alzheimer's when he moved in with us, but physically was in great shape. During the day, the Alzheimer’s wasn’t bad at all – you wouldn’t even think he had it, but it was bad at night. After he first moved in, I woke up one night with the fire alarms going off. He had gotten up to get some water and in his confused state, turned all the knobs on the oven (to broiler) and stove burners on, the smoke eventually set the alarms off. We don’t know how long they were on and are so thankful he didn’t accidentally throw a towel into the flames, but we started unhooking the oven at night (we couldn’t block off the kitchen and needed to make sure he had access to the bathroom). That was not something the “daytime grandpa” would have done. That was the start and “little” things (i.e., dangerous things) like that kept happening. My mother worked full-time and I was in graduate school full-time, so we had a “sitter” stay with him during the day for a year. It was horrible when she would call in sick because it would be a mad rush to find someone else (there are agencies out there that specialize in this, but replacement people are VERY expensive).

We eventually found a “day-care” of sorts for elderly and disabled adults which was open Monday through Friday, 6am to 6pm– that’s something your family might could look into – where he went while we were at work/school. Mother dropped him off in the morning and I picked him up in the afternoon. They did craft projects, took walks with the people, etc. It worked for a while (I think he lived with us for 4 years . . . I was married and gone and he stayed with Mother another year or two). It broke my Mother’s heart, but it eventually became too much and she did have to put him in a home, but she really should have done it sooner than she did (those little situations became big ones). Just hope and pray they do right by her, but know that you are right, it is a very complicated subject.