TOGETHER

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

 

Mom and I are in this battle to put the ulcerative colitis into remission TOGETHER. Her battle is my battle! I fight my depression to put on a brave front and a smile for mom every single morning, afternoon and evening. She so enjoys that I have breakfast with her.  Lately, for breakfast, every morning, we’re enjoying a soft boiled egg, half a banana and half a croissant with our decaf coffees. Today for lunch, I haven’t a clue as to what to serve mom. I know I’m roasting a chicken this afternoon so she’ll have a thigh for dinner with some greenbeans.  The Prednisone is helping…I think…But…it is also increasing urination, which she did a lot of anyhow due to the lasix, but I think it’s more now. Tomorrow we are seeing the new gastro dr for the 2nd time and I will ask him about that, but I am also faxing her cardio/internist tomorrow when I know he’s in his office to let him know EVERYTHING that has gone on in the past week and for him to get back to me tomorrow regarding my Lasix and Prednisone questions. He will.  It’s so much easier to fax questions to the dr.  than asking them on the phone; I find this way the dr can refer to the patient’s chart, think about the questions and then just call me with a response.

Yesterday, I took mom sightseeing right in our home town. She loved that we drove to the golf course, we waved to my husband playing basketball in the same park as the golf course. We also drove to a beach that has a fishing pier and we both remembered my dearly departed brother taking my 2 kids fishing there with both mom and me. She really enjoyed that outing. I’m hoping to get her into the car again this afternoon. I stay local. I hate driving now.

TOGETHER

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

 

Mom and I are in this battle to put the ulcerative colitis into remission TOGETHER. Her battle is my battle! I fight my depression to put on a brave front and a smile for mom every single morning, afternoon and evening. She so enjoys that I have breakfast with her.  Lately, for breakfast, every morning, we’re enjoying a soft boiled egg, half a banana and half a croissant with our decaf coffees. Today for lunch, I haven’t a clue as to what to serve mom. I know I’m roasting a chicken this afternoon so she’ll have a thigh for dinner with some greenbeans.  The Prednisone is helping…I think…But…it is also increasing urination, which she did a lot of anyhow due to the lasix, but I think it’s more now. Tomorrow we are seeing the new gastro dr for the 2nd time and I will ask him about that, but I am also faxing her cardio/internist tomorrow when I know he’s in his office to let him know EVERYTHING that has gone on in the past week and for him to get back to me tomorrow regarding my Lasix and Prednisone questions. He will.  It’s so much easier to fax questions to the dr.  than asking them on the phone; I find this way the dr can refer to the patient’s chart, think about the questions and then just call me with a response.

Yesterday, I took mom sightseeing right in our home town. She loved that we drove to the golf course, we waved to my husband playing basketball in the same park as the golf course. We also drove to a beach that has a fishing pier and we both remembered my dearly departed brother taking my 2 kids fishing there with both mom and me. She really enjoyed that outing. I’m hoping to get her into the car again this afternoon. I stay local. I hate driving now.

Making the Right Decision

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

 

 

What a terribly difficult day! I took mom to a new gastro dr. The office was huge, I mean huge and so crowded…7 doctors in the practice and I gather they were all there on the same day!  I have never seen so many office personnel outside of a hospital.  We really didn’t wait long for the doctor and he was very nice. He said he really must do a sigmoidoscopy to determine if mom has an infection and the severity of the ulcerative colitis. He said if we hung around 1.5 hrs, we could get it done. Of course mom said can we schedule for next week, but mom has been debilitating and I knew if we left, I wouldn’t be able to get her back. She hates drs.  So we waited. I said it was a terribly difficult day because all of a sudden, mom couldn’t do anything, nothing, zilch…couldn’t walk, couldn’t get undressed, couldn’t get on the damn table. I really felt that she was going to have to be hospitalized right there and then. I do understand it was nerves…she was scared, frightened. Needless to say, the day not only took its toll on mom, but on me, too. Yes, office staff helped, but there was so much to do and I really did most of it…the dr. did help get her on the table, move her around. I got her undressed, dressed, undressed, dressed…we were in a few different rooms. Mom was a trouper, the dr was able to do the sigmoidoscopy, no meds and he saw mom was severely inflamed. She has severe ulcerative colitis and must be on Prednisone and he wants to see her in a week and I will also take her to the lab this week for bloodwork.  We’re not going back to mom’s gastro dr…All he did was look at her, he never did a test this time. Of course, I know the side effects of Prednisone, but he said it was that or hospitalization where they would do it intravenously. Mom doesn’t want to go to the hospital and I don’t blame her. I called my husband to meet us at the dr’s office cause I knew I couldn’t walk mom to the elevator even. When the sigmoidoscopy was over, mom rested, I dressed her and we all listened to the dr. My husband got mom to my car and then we met up at mom’s. I got mom showered, and yes, she got in the shower herself. We put on nice clean pjs, rested and my husband went to pick up the Prednisone at the drugstore and some steamed shrimp dumplings for mom. Mom had 3 of them, but she did have a nice cup of warm milk, a small piece of cake with 2 tsps of java ice cream. Then she took her Prednisone, both pills tonight to get started. Tomorrow we’ll start the Prednisone schedule of 1 after breakfast and 1 after dinner. Thank goodness for my husband, he is our tower of strength. I won’t go through this again by myself, he’ll take us to the dr next Monday since he’s off from work. I will only make dr appts from now on on his days off.  I pray the Prednisone works for mom and doesn’t make her swollen or sleepless or whatever some of the side effects are!!!   I will keep close watch. Must get to sleep now, very tired. I know I made the right decision taking mom for a 2nd opinion.

Good Morning

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

 

Woke up feeling good on this Sunday morning on the East Coast…not the heaviness I sometimes feel from depression over Mom’s condition. It’s a new morning; yesterday was a good day for Mom and I told her that, she needs reminders.

Today my husband and I are married 32 years, but because yesterday was a good day and I was in a good place, emotionally, we celebrated our anniversary at a local Italian restaurant last night. It was so very delicious. We had baked clams and we each had a shrimp dish; mine with risotto and pancetta and my husband’s with linguini and spinach. I ordered their calve’s liver veneziana to go and will give mom a small portion of that today for her dinner.  Many years ago I had the real thing in Venice…so many years ago.

Tomorrow mom and I will visit the new gastro dr and let him go over her ulcerative colitis history (I’ve typed it up for him) and let’s just listen to what he has to say. I reassured mom we’re just getting a 2nd opinion…he may agree with her current gastro dr…he may not…all decisions are up to us. I’m not looking for anyone to do any invasive testing!!!!  

Yesterday I bought mom a very sweet and delicious cheese danish which she requested. She ate some of it and will probably consume the rest today. I made sure she had an egg for protein at breakfast time.  I know that if I remain calm, it helps mom remain calm.  It’s a new morning and I’m hoping for another good day!

Am I Doing Right By Mom?

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

 

Since this episode of Ulcerative Colitis began near the end of April, I haven’t seen any blood until this past week. We have an appt with a new gastro dr for this Monday, mom really didn’t want to go, but she is. It doesn’t mean we’re giving up her current gastro dr and I did explain that to mom.  Now I have to make it through the weekend trying not to focus entirely on mom’s condition. It is so very difficult.  I know that blood is part of the UC disease, but it scares me. I am scared, anxious, depressed, nervous and I, too, have lost some of my appetite…not all, have no fear!

After I gave mom dinner last night, I asked what she’d like me to bring over for breakfast, she said, “Cheese Danish.”   I’ll go to my one local bakery this morning and I hope they have them…they used to. I’ll get one for myself, too and then I’ll go pick up 2 small decaf coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts.  My new routine is to bring coffee over in the morning, instead of making it myself at mom’s. It’s easier and I think mom enjoys it more!  Today my very busy daughter, who is very concerned about her grams (and me) will try to get here. She is a lawyer in a very busy firm. If she comes in, then my husband, daughter and I will go out for dinner later in town to an Italian restaurant to celebrate 32 years of marriage, anniversary is tomorrow!!!!  I am so thankful for my husband. He does all of the cooking and so many things around the house.

I do question myself as to if I am doing right by mom. Am I doing right by getting a 2nd opinion?  Am I doing right by now letting her eat what she wants to stimulate her diminished appetite and not worrying about her glucose level?  Am I doing right by letting her still live independently with me nearby and with me over the house for hours and several times a day?  Mom still gets around and has all of her marbles.  I think I will know when she no longer can live independently.  I am sure all Caregivers ask themselves similar questions or question whether they are doing right by their loved one.  I have written this with a heavy heart this morning and hope to shake this funk off before heading over to mom’s.

I do have a support system to vent my feelings: My husband, a friend of ours who is going through the same thing plus she is a practicing psychologist, my 1st cousin (daughter of mom’s sister who also has an inflammatory bowel disease)…so I can vent, I can let it out. Honestly, my daughter is so very sensitive, and I do not like to tell her too much since I don’t want to depress her. She’s depressed enough about her grams. I share my feelings more with my son in India, he, too is concerned about grams and I, but he is an up and coming Life Coach and doesn’t get depressed over how I’m feeling, rather, gives me advice, tells me how much he loves me.

Just Sayin’…

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

 

2 days ago was a particularly bad day, a “long day’s journey into night.” I was at mom’s from about 7am until after 5pm, didn’t want to leave her. Yesterday was a much, much better day and I was able to really rest in between visits to mom.

On Monday we will see a new gastro dr who is part of a well-respected group; I couldn’t get appt with the dr recommended by my own physician and by some friends of mine because he is away for 2 weeks, but I heard this dr is very nice, too. In fact, I heard all of them, besides being very good drs, are very nice and they call back!!!!!     I feel we need a 2nd opinion regarding ulcerative colitis…what can it hurt?   He may totally agree with mom’s current dr, fine!   He may not…we’ll see.  At first mom said no, but then she agreed. I told her she’s doing it for me.

I slept much better last night, thank goodness. I am also not going to do my leg lifts with my ankle weights, I think I pulled something yesterday, so will just take it as easy as I can….I like doing that, especially!!!!!!

For the past 2 days, I have been going to the bagel store and buying coffee and one breakfast sandwich on a nice soft roll and mom has been eating almost half of that with me eating the other half. I usually eat All Bran with sliced banana and some pecans, much healthier…Oh Well, blame it on Mom!!!!   Since I am not being Herr Commandant anymore on what Mom eats and just want her to eat, I bought a small container of sour cream and put it in her fridge. Perhaps mom will have some sourcream and sliced banana for lunch, she has always enjoyed that…me, too!   Last night she enjoyed the shrimp and pasta I made for dinner. Very simple: I sliced some garlic and chopped some onion finely and sauteed in olive oil with a little salt, pepper and parsley flakes and I then threw in some pasta. I tossed that with 6 pre-cooked shrimp I bought at my fish store. Mom ate half of that for dinner and will have rest today. Now I’m going up to roast some chicken wings before I go to Mom’s this morning. She may have some, maybe 2 (3 might be too much, maybe not, who knows?) tomorrow night for dinner.  I’m taking it meal by meal, day by day..just sayin’.

 

Traveling New Territory Together

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

 

Mom and I are traveling this new territory of aging and illness together. We have no plans, just each other and hopefully, good medical treatment. I called her gastro dr on Monday and his secretary did get back to me with his message that he told us several times that Mom should take the suppository…yes, it’s true, he did tell us several times. So, I laid down the law on Monday and I did it for mom and I will do it every single day. I pray it helps. We do have an appt for this Friday at his nearby office, so if Mom wants to see him, we can.  I had also called a new gastro dr and have a tentative appt for Monday, but even his secretary said he may say the same thing (suppository).  Ideally, it should be done at bedtime, but, honestly,  that is too late for me. I lie down very early from exhaustion and I do have insomnia.  What I started to do is return to mom’s in sort of the late afternoon, between 3:30-4pm, a fairly quiet time as far as visiting the bathroom is concerned. I make sure she’s clean, just do it, she puts on her pjs, and I sit in her guestroom with her where she has Dad’s old electric bed that stays in one position: elevated legs, elevated head and we watch CNN.  I stay 1-2 hrs to ensure all is quiet, she’s calm, suppository is retained. 

I threw out all of the food I had in Mom’s freezer. She wasn’t going to eat it. Yesterday she requested a Ceasar’s Salad (which I knew she shouldn’t really have for Ulcerative Colitis). I bought it, kept most of it for myself (it was truly delicious) and put a small bowl in Mom’s fridge. I also bought 6 pre-cooked shrimp, medium size. Well, last night she realized she shouldn’t eat the salad on her own, so I’ll throw it out today. She did enjoy the shrimp. Then she had a few teaspoons of ice cream. Today is a new day, it’s pouring here. Each meal, each day is new, I can’t even buy groceries until we figure out what the hell she’s going to eat.

New territory indeed!    I look at Mom and I see my grandfather so clearly now in her face! Last night was his Yahrzeit, the night to light a special candle in his memory. I left the Yahrzeit candle out for mom, I’ll see if she remembered. They’re very safe, in small glasses.

We will reiterate what we are thankful/grateful for: Each other, she’s in her own home, she’s alive…blah, blah, blah. Does it help?   I don’t think so, but I’m trying to remain positive and hopeful even though it is so damn hard. I told mom that being positive and hopeful affects her body chemistry and brain and perhaps that impacts the illness as well.