“Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound.”

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

I used to always listen to the folksinger, Tom Paxton, and his line, “Can’t help but wonder where I’m bound, where I’m bound, Can’t help but wonder where I’m bound” just popped into my mind. Mom said this morning she wants to see the gastro dr the following Friday and I said, NO, cause if you want to see him, we’ll see him THIS Fri and that’s what we’re doing. We don’t know where we’re going with this ulcerative colitis and I wonder….is it even ulcerative colitis?  In 2009 when diagnosed, she had had her first colonoscopy. In 2010 when it reappeared, she had had a sigmoidoscopy. This time around, not tests, no bloodwork, nada. Yesterday I took mom to lab for her cardio dr.’s bloodwork so I called his office this morning and told them to fax a copy of bloodwork results to the gastro dr.’s office for Fri. The cardio dr. must first share the results with me before faxing to another dr. so he’s going to call me and he usually does.

My stomach is in knots. I just walked thru the park, enjoying a cup of decaf as I do this posting, will shower, read and try to relax. I can’t tell mom what to do; I can’t tell her which meds to take; it has to be her decision..it’s her life. I can only support her decisions. We made a list of questions for the gastro dr that we’ll present to him on Friday. If he’s tired of seeing us, too bad.

I went to the store and they had such a lovely beef stew with greenbeans already cooked and a lovely yellow rice with peas and carrots, that I bought some and went back to mom’s an left in fridge. That will be tasty.

24 LIttle Hours

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

 

I’ve always loved the song, “What a Difference a Day Makes” recorded by the great jazz vocalist, Dinah Washington and others. Many, many years ago, the song made a comeback with Esther Phillips and I saw her in Greenwich Village..oh must be 40 years ago.

24 little hours made a difference in how mom was when I got there this morning at 6:45am. She was up and getting dressed to go to the lab. She also slept all night! Yesterday she went back on her former medication for Ulcerative Colitis and maybe, just maybe, that is helping so very quickly…I say maybe, haven’t a clue. She also ate that entire sliced steak I left for her dinner last night and that was unexpected. After the lab this morning, I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to get decaf coffees and their plain sticks. Once home, mom took her morning meds and I made her a 1-egg swiss cheese omelet that she enjoyed with half of the stick cruller. She loved it.  Talked with her a few times this morning since I left and she sounds better, more up, more hopeful.

“What a difference a day makes….24 little hours.”

Today’s Menu:

B: 1-egg Swiss Cheese Omelette    1/2 Dunkin’ Donuts Stick Cruller   Decaf

L:  Chicken Salad     Sour Pickle  Decaf

D: Roast Chicken quarter     Left Over Roast Potato from last night   Applesauce and maybe a little salad…maybe…up to mom

 

Free Will

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

 

Today mom decided to stop the newer medication for Ulcerative Colitis that she started July 11th and she resumed her former medication. Both meds have the same basic ingredient. I supported her decision. She said it was aggravating the situation and it also decreased her already small appetite. I left a message with the gastro dr.’s secretary this morning and told her to get his feedback and she must call me back.

Mom has free will, all of her marbles and only she knows how she really feels. If it was up to me, maybe I’d say take nothing for a while, but I’m not suggesting that. Tomorrow I will take her for her bloodwork for her scheduled visit next week with her all around cardio/internist. This morning, since I know he’s in his office, I faxed him a 1-page letter telling him what mom has been going thru…so…if there’s anything in the bloodwork, at least he has a background.  I like him. He returns calls and he has a very busy practice. The gastro dr has a busy practice and he really doesn’t return calls so that’s why I told the secretary she must call me back.

Today’s Menu:

B: 1 Slice French Toast    Decaf

L: 1/2 can Sardines   Decaf

D: Sliced boneless rib steak     Roast Potato Slices (Mom said NO to any greenbeans)

IF bloodwork shows her glucose level and A1c ratio is much lower, then I am going to let mom have more tasty food. Tomorrow I am going to let her have a sour pickle, which she loves, with some chicken salad I prepared today.  Mom is depressed and disgusted with this ulcerative colitis and who can blame her?  She’s exhausted, too.

 

Having No Answers

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

 

I have no answers when it comes to really knowing exactly what to do for mom. I’m just doing the best I can. Am I doing right by her?  That’s a question that sometimes weighs heavily on my heart and on my mind. I woke up a bit depressed this morning and working it off through this posting and then I’ll exercise.

I’ve read and researched Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and I’ve been trying to plan meals according to the research. Her gastro dr. says she can eat anything. Other drs say follow a low residue (low fiber) diet. We have been doing the low residue diet and adding things back in.

She’s been on the new med 2 weeks, really no difference. Her gastro dr says it takes 2-4 weeks to kick in. Mom has never been a thin woman, but she has really lost weight, about 16lbs since end of April. She is 90 and a half years old. It’s been hard trying to get her outside, but that really has a lot to do with needing the bathroom nearby, quite understandable.

Anyone out there have experience with UC?  Any suggestions?  I’m not switching gastro drs….Mom likes him, he has a good reputation and so far, I don’t dislike him.

August 7th, we’ll let her cardio/internist know everything when we see him for her scheduled appt. I so hope the bloodwork that we’ll do on Tuesday has her numbers within normal range.

Yesterday when I walked through the park for the 2nd time, one of the park workers asked me how my mom was doing. I told him and he applauded me for making sure mom lives at home. That’s her desire, that’s my desire.

Hoping for a better day today and that I shake off this depression. Going to exercise now, that should help. Not listing a menu, cause I have no answers.

Keeping a Positive Attitude

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

 

When I can get mom to go outside, then that is a better day. It’s harder and harder to get her outside and having ulcerative colitis really hinders her desire to want to go out and that is quite comprehensible. This morning I tried, but she was exhausted from the condition.

Just talked with her on the phone now and I can always tell when she’s distracted (the TV was on) and her comprehension was a little off, not a lot, just a little. Many times, my daughter and I tell her to mute the TV when we call; sometimes she does that and other times, not. I didn’t remind her to do that now cause I wasn’t saying anything terribly important.

I am focusing on the good. Mom continues to live in her own home and get around on her own 2 feet…Hallelujah!  I walked in the park after Mom’s this morning and I also visited my little coffee shop in town and sat outside a few minutes chillaxin’ with a cappuccino.

Today’s Menu:

B: 1/2 Mini Bagel with Melted Swiss Cheese     A few slices of Peeled Cooked Apple  Decaf

L:  Finish salmon from yesterday  A Little Store bought Potato Salad   Decaf

D: 1/2 Cornish Hen     Salad   Finish Cooked Apples from Breakfast

 

Acknowledge Your Greatness as a Caregiver!!!!!

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

 Each stage of one’s life has its successes and rewards and it’s crucial to self-acknowledge one’s achievements, shout it from the rooftops if you want. It feels good!!!! For example…here I am a little after 10am already home from Mom’s. I was there at 7am and between 7am and 9:30am, this is what I accomplished:
-Cleaned Mom’s Home B4 she got out of bed and so did her bedroom last
-Changed her bedding
-Helped her shower
-Did usual examination of mom from head to toe…you’ll never know what you may find!
-Did usual daily massage of feet and legs
-Set out clothes for the day
-Sat and talked about what we are grateful for this morning
-Prepared breakfast
-Washed, dried laundry
-In between, I did usual things like check to see there’s a new roll of paper towels in kitchen…that there are enough rolls of toilet paper and paper towels in the bathroom, that she has enough Poland Spring bottles of water opened on her kitchen table, that enough napkins are in her napkin holder…There are so many little details to maintaining Mom’s comfort.
-Went shopping for my hubby and my meal for tonight and it will be mom’s dinner tomorrow night
-Stopped quickly at my dr.’s office to talk to secretary
This is why I wouldn’t bother having someone clean mom’s home or take care care of her: No one, absolutely NO one would see all of the details that need to be addressed. It’s all in the details on living a comfortable and safe life. I am so very happy I can do this for Mom and believe me, NO one is more grateful and appreciative than my Mom!!!! She continues to be a wonder…her intelligence, her kindness, her generosity, her love have never known any bounds.

Today’s Menu:

B: Cheddar Cheese Toast   1/3 Sliced Banana  Decaf

L:  Egg Salad Plate   Decaf

D: Thin slices of Roast Turkey Breast I had in the freezer   Leftover carrots/potatoes

Recapping Every Morning or Every Visit

**Disclaimer: This blog does not give any medical or financial advice.

 

I’ve always been a very early morning person and that continues into my life as a Caregiver for my Mom. Since the Ulcerative Colitis episode began in April, she has been up earlier than normal, so we have quite a few hours every morning together. If I get there before she rises (after having been up quite a few times to visit the bathroom), I get the coffee on, the floors swept and wiped down, the house inspected, bathroom cleaned…all before she gets up for the day. As she showers, takes meds, eats breakfast, I get a few other chores done, but constantly check on her.

I find it’s very helpful to remind mom a few times in the morning as to what her meals will be (and it is written down right on her table) and what we are thankful and/or grateful for that morning. I’m always at the top of mom’s list. I am trying hard to get her to focus on the good things. Mom has never been a complainer and she still isn’t even though she would have good reason to be.

Yesterday I broke down and let Mom have a very small wrapped package of frozen Chinese food that I had saved for her from one of my meals. She loved it!  Due to the carbs, high sodium and high glucose level in Chinese food, I really do try to keep her away from that. I realize tasty food is helpful for mom’s spirits so I also ordered a small pan pizza yesterday and wrapped each of the 4 slices individually and put into her freezer for future use, i.e.: one slice could be a lunch. There are a few things in the freezer we still have to use up; with that in mind, I also purchased a store-bought rotisseries chicken yesterday, wrapped pieces individually and also put in freezer for the future after we use up the chicken that I made and froze.  The store bought is much tastier.  Tonight my husband will make some baby lamb chops and 2 small boneless rib steaks in the cast iron skillet that I will individually wrap and put in mom’s freezer tomorrow. This way I’ll have enough cooked food for a while. Of course, when hubby and I have fish one night, we always make enough that mom will have that fish the very next night for dinner.

Thank goodness, I installed phones in Mom’s home that BLOCK unwanted calls. She just called me know and said that she must’ve received about TEN blocked calls already this morning!!!  I told her to not think about them, they’re computerized and just call randomly. Blocked calls ring only once and the Caller ID says “Blocked Caller.” One of the best investments I ever made!  I have the same phones.

It’s only 10:41 Sunday Morning as I post this…I was finished at Mom’s this morning within 2 hours. She’s now elevating her legs and watching “Meet the Press,” then she’ll read a little while, relax, etc. I am lucky Mom doesn’t get bored with being home, very lucky indeed! We are on the phone many, many times during the day and my daughter calls her Grams several times a day as well.

Today’s Menu:

B: 1 Banana    1/4 cup Special K  1% Lactaid Milk   Decaf

L:  Freshly Roasted Turkey Sandwich on 1 Slice White Bread    Iceberg Lettuce   Mustard    Decaf

D: Roast Chicken     Greenbeans

Monday’s Menu:

B: 1/2 Mini Bagel    A little Cream Cheese    1 Scrambled Egg White   A few slices Cooked Apple    Decaf

L:  Tuna Plate

D: 2 Baby Lamb Chops     Roasted Potato   Greenbeans