Thursday, April 25, 2019

Gorgeous Day, Clemson’s Shower, Mom’s Challenging Check Up

Priceville, Ontario
The night and the early morning hours of Thursday, Apr. 25th pretty much went by undisturbed. Except for my own paranoia of worrying that I wouldn’t hear Clemson jump off the bed, I otherwise slept pretty good. He has been up through the night for the last 4 at least.

There is the little ball of curls drying off in the sun
"What did you do to me, Mom?"
So, it was a fitful sleep for a couple of hours between 12:30 and 2:30 until I was sure he was settled down for the night. He came under the covers and snuggled right next to me. That in itself gave me a different kind of sleep but at least I didn’t have to get up. He was a good boy for Mom when Daddy is away. I woke and got up at 6:45 and opened the blinds.

It was down to 62F/16C inside but felt cooler so I turned the heaters up. It would have been a nice but cool morning to walk at 32F/0C but I had to stick around home until Clemson got up. I was going to clean this morning but instead I had my tea and took our furry little guy up to have a shower. Not me, him. He has a lot of varying sized hair follicles, common to small, older dogs, and a couple are bigger than the rest. His hair gets matted when they ooze and he won't let us touch them. Sorry for that vision.

Breakfast, not what I expected
I had already decided that that would be a chore before taking him in for a haircut next week. I got him an appointment with Kate on Tuesday. The one on his head seemed to have detached from his skin but was caught in a mess. The warm soapy shower fixed that as I’d counted on it doing. I just don't know if it will remain that way. He was such a good boy in the shower and I was as quick as possible getting him in and out. He looked like a little drowned rat when I brought him out so dried him as best as I could before letting him sit in the sun. Such a performer.

Going down the road, he didn't mind his leash
I communicated back and forth with Nicole (Bill’s boss) and Bill in London about his hours next week and then made up a batch of Black Cherry Jell-o to set. Sugar-free, of course. Can’t beat 5 calories per serving. The added cream and cream cheese is right up the paleo/keto alley and as you all know, we enjoy the guilt-free treat. I thought I’d attempt to make the Low Carb I.P. Yogourt but after mixing the 3 ingredients together, realized that I don’t have that setting on Madame IP.

New grass to sniff
I posed a question to the IP for Beginners 101 group on FB and I very quickly  was directed to new instructions. Hmm. Bottom line is that I had taken it too far to make the change, plus, it needs to cook for 8 hours. I’d missed that key instruction. No, that isn't going to happen. Oh well, I’ll use the mix of milk, heavy cream and yogourt for a milk shake. I just need to pick up some ingredients to add.

For breakfast, I made a batch of scrambled eggs with a twist of cuke and green pepper. I ate it but it was basically ‘blah’. I’ll be going back to making quiche for the mornings when I don’t feel like bacon and eggs while trying to avoid the carbs in bread. There is some weight around my belly that I want to get serious about losing over the summer. We have a Cancun holiday in our future! Carbs are not our friend.

A pretty little church
Baptist Church on Baptist Church Road
Clemson was dry now so we went for a walk down the lane. It was too early for the mail. Once there, since I had his leash, I decided we could go to the corner to get some exercise and add to my steps at the same time. The temperature has risen to 56F/14C and with a sky of some blue, some yellow and some white, this is a lovely day.  I had a coffee around 10:30 and then got ready for a trip into town. I was meeting Donna at Rockwood around 1.

Every year now we need to get Mom to the Owen Sound hospital to get her pacemaker checked. She has had it since 2007 and each time they do a check, they discover that she hardly uses it. We found Mom in the hair salon with curlers in her hair. Pam had just set her up under the dryer. Oh-oh, somebody goofed! The nurses knew that Mom had an appointment and had to leave by 1:15. So we let her sit there for another 15 minutes before the curlers were removed and we scooted her out to Donna’s car. We borrowed a hair pic (curly hair owners know what I mean)

We laughed at Mom's shadow - Alfalfa from Little Rascals
We needn’t have worried, we made it to O.S. with 15 minutes to spare. I combed Mom's 'ringlets' out now that it was dry. They ask that you be there 15 minutes early to register. What was a nice drive with Mom talking about the trees, houses and our destination, changed dramatically when we arrived at the hospital.  I won’t go into detail because it is too painful but the effects of her dementia were visible in ways neither of us had witnessed before. We don’t know if it was triggered by the wheelchair or what. Who knows how a dementia’s victim’s mind works?

The drive TO Owen Sound was great
Here is Mom sporting her ringlets
Unfortunately, the day didn't call for other pictures after I combed them out
Once we were all in the room, I remembered Mom showing some of these same symptoms last year. It sure makes you appreciate the nurses who deal with this a lot. It took no more than 10 minutes and we were out in the hall again. As quickly as the personality changed, it changed back and we had our Mom back again by the time we got in the car. 

That didn’t last and within 10 minutes of ‘home’ we watched as her mood changed again. It was hard to leave her in her room; she was very upset and there was no reasoning with her. Donna and I were both fighting back tears as we walked down the hall after saying goodbye. We think we’re tough. Not so. We saw that Aunt Mary was at her table for dinner so we stopped to say hello and to wish her well on our way out.

I was too slow to catch this log house but it was a pretty picture anyway
We sat on the bench outside and discussed what had happened, realizing that this is only the beginning. We all know that taking her out of Rockwood for events is not a good idea and stopped doing so last spring. There are circumstances, such as today’s, where that couldn’t be helped. I’m just glad there were two of us, each supporting the other. It was a very difficult afternoon. After such a great 'one on one' just two days ago, it rattled me. Hopefully, there will still be more of those this summer for each of us. Donna and I parted ways in our own vehicles.

Owen Sound hospital on 8th Street
Before leaving Durham, I dropped Mom’s income tax slips off at Tim Summers’ office. He was right on the ball; he said he had seen Mom’s name earlier and expected to see me soon. I drove home to a pooch who was waiting for his supper. I didn’t realize it was after 5 already. At 5:45, I heard from Bill and he was on his way home. That would mean 8:30 so I suggested he grab something to eat on his route. I had the second chicken thigh and carrots to eat so warmed that up for me.

Supper was good
Clemson and I sat in my recliner after I did dishes and I basically crashed. It sure takes special people to look after those like Mom and Donna and I applaud them, especially after today. They see it all the time and deal with it through pleasant communication. My head was pounding so I just laid back and relaxed. My brain wouldn’t settle down so I turned to a new book by Stuart Woods to wait for my sweetie to come home. This one is Short Straw and it started out good right off the bat. That was what I needed.

I snapped this through the screen on the window
Clemson was on my lap and I wasn't about to move him
Bill drove in with Ptooties at 8:30 and unloaded his stuff and the groceries that he picked up at Costco. He’s had a long couple of days so it was a quiet evening before we went to bed. I hope Clemson manages to stay put through the night again. This was a good day with some trials and some triumphs. I hope you had a good day too.

And Bill drove up in the middle of this blurred pink reflection
Good night y'all!

Thank you for checking in on us.


  1. What great pictures of you and your mom to treasure.
    I have fried radishes but never cucumbers, how were they?
    I cannot believe all the turtles you have in the pond. Pretty sunset above.
    (((Hugs))) We have been there and know it is not easy. Some days deserve a good cry and others like the pictures of the two of you a good laugh.

    1. The fried cucumbers were very good! I think you'd like them.
      There sure are a lot of turtles living here. :)
      You're right about the good cry and the good laughs. Thank you for the hugs. :)

  2. Here's a dementia tip I learned from my Dad who had it. Unfortunately my Mom never figured it out even though I tried to tell her. My Mom would tell my Dad something like go sit down to eat and he'd go out of control The reason, he didnt like to be told things as it would fry his mind and he couldn't do what was expected. It wasn't that he didn't really want to do what was told, but the act of telling him just fried his mind so he couldn't do it. They don't seem to like authority so it fries their mind so what is needed is to change how you tell them stuff. Like instead of saying go sit down, try an indirect approach like we are getting ready to eat and you can join me if you like. In other words don't be direct which fries their mind but say things in a more indirect way so their mind doesn't get fried. I told this to a doctors wife I was working for whose husband was getting dementia and she used it with success and had far less trouble. It's not that the person wants to be bad, it's just that what and how you said it fries their mind so they can't do it and things get bad. You mainly have to learn that telling them what to do fries their mind and they can't do whatever it is you want, so don't be direct and hopefully things will be better for the both of you.

    1. Hi Bob. Well put and I can see that in Mom's actions too. Thank you for the tip. I will pass this along to my sisters and try to adopt it. If it makes life easier for her and for us, anything is worth a shot. I appreciate your input.

  3. Life is not fair some times. Just remember that it is not her that lashes out. She is the smiling lady!! Big hugs from Sue and I. Glad Bill is home to be your rock.

    1. You are right and I try not to expect it to be, especially when dealing with Mom. She is a gentle and grateful person. I was grasping at the pictures of her laughing and tried so many things to get her to snap out of her anger and frustration. But of course, there is no way to do that. Thank you for the big hugs, I appreciate them very much. Plus Bill's solidity when he returned home.

  4. Not fun dealing with dementia, we dealt with that for about 4 years with my mother, so sad to see them going down hill like. So frustrating for everyone involved. Keep remembering all the good memories.

    1. Thanks George and Suzie. We will try and do our best for Mom as we know there will be more and more days like this one.

  5. That's a very interesting tip Bob and definitely worth a try. I can remember my dad doing the same thing. It's so sad to see them in such a state. Thankfully you had your sister there.

    I guess I'm going to have to make the jello treat. I don't think I can live without sugar!!!

    1. I thought what Bob said was good advice too. We'll try anything that is in our power to try. Yes, thank goodness I wasn't alone and visa versa.
      Yup, you'll like the jello and it makes you think you're eating regular jell-o.

  6. You had me tearing up with this post..I feel so bad for you and Donna dealing with that with her. My mom had the beginnings of dementia when she passed and even those signs were tough to see. My mom had a pacemaker and we did monthly tests over the phone and she didn't have to go to the hospital until it showed that the pacemaker was way down. Don't know if there's anything like that there. Luckily your mom seems happy as long as she doesn't have to leave. I agree I'm thinking Bob had some good advice. Glad Bill made it home for you. What would we do without our understanding guys?! Hugs Patsy...

    1. Thank you so much Shirley. I know it is only going to get harder for us and for Mom. i can't even imagine what she feels inside. :(
      We will hang on to our good times with her even tighter now. For as long as possible.
      I'd have been lost if I didn't have Bill around last night. Thanks for the hugs. I felt them.

  7. I can only imagine how tough of a day that was, hopefully your next visit with your mom puts a smile on both your faces.

    1. Thank you M.T. We have a gathering on Sunday for her and there are a lot of prayers on my pillow for that to go well.

  8. Sorry you had such a difficult and unsettling day with your Mom. Big hugs.

    1. Thank you Contessa. We just never know, one great day and then this one. I can only take them as they come, we know many people are going through the same thing.