The quieter you become the more you can hear ~ Ram Dass



Monday, December 26, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #9

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

 9

As I lay on the bed, I kept looking at my hope chest.  I may as well get up and look for the stuff for Jill.  Opening the chest, I rooted around looking for the family tree I had done years ago.  You see, Hank and I were only children so we didn’t have big families. We had cousins but we lost track of them over the years.   Here it is. I’ll put this in the locked drawer with my jewelry. 

I started looking through the chest some more and found a few empty journals.  Julie for years would buy me a journal for Christmas and tell me I should write my memories down and I never got around to doing it.  I should probably start doing that now while I can still remember things. She asked me for years if I wrote anything and I always had to tell her no.  I took out a beautiful lavender journal that had little violets on it and closed the chest.  I grabbed a pen from my purse and sat at the table with the journal. I opened it up and started to write.

*My first entry will be about Hank and me and how we came to be. We happened to join the same study group in college.  When I came into the library our eyes met and it was as they say “love at first sight”.  The next two years while in school, we saw each other as much as we could.  Since we were both from Ohio when we were on breaks we could meet each other’s families and get to know them.  When our parents came for graduation, we sprung the news that we were getting married the next day in the chapel.  They were none too pleased but that’s the way Hank and I wanted it.  I had called my best friend from home, Stella, and she and her husband came up so she could be my matron of honor.  Hank had his best friend from college stand up for him.  Our parents had given us some money for graduation and we decided to go for a few days to Niagara Falls for a little honeymoon.  To say the honeymoon was magical would be an understatement.  Back in those days, or at least how we were raised, there was no hanky panky before marriage if you know what I mean.  Enough said on that though. 

When we got back to Ohio, Hank and I rented a little bungalow.  He got an entry level job at a big corporation that he would eventually become the CEO of. I wasn’t going to start working until the fall as an English teacher at the high school.   It was so much fun decorating the house while he was at work.  We didn’t have a lot of money so I would go to Goodwill and decorate on the cheap.  I poured over recipe books and when Hank would come home from work, I would serve him my latest creation.  Sometimes I knew they were terrible but Hank would eat them without complaining. That first summer every evening, we would sit on an old swing on the back porch and have a couple of cocktails and dream about what the future would hold for us.  That’s about it for now.*

It’s 5:00 already.  I’m sure supper will be here soon.  I think I’ll go wash up.  When I came out Cheryl was leaving the room.  “Were you looking for me dear?” 

“Oh, I put your supper on the table.  I hope you’re hungry.” 

“Yes, I could eat something.”

“I’m going to be leaving pretty soon.  I’m sorry I never got to give you the tour.” 

“That’s okay, I enjoyed our conversation very much.”

“Me too.”

“I don’t have to work this weekend so I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Bye dear, and have a good weekend.”    


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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas


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A word

I'm trying to decide what to do for the coming year.  I'm not very good at resolutions.

I've heard of people selecting one word to focus on in the new year.  Has anyone done this and been successful?  


Monday, December 19, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #8

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

8


“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to interrupt you.  I didn’t see you were on the phone” Cheryl said.

“Don’t worry about it. Wait a second I have to write something down.”  I wrote look for family tree and put it on the bulletin board on the wall.   “I was talking to my granddaughter, Jill.  She is such an inquisitive child.  She always calls and asks me questions.  She’s done that ever since she was old enough to learn to dial the phone."

“That’s very nice.”

“Yes, it was nice.  Now I’m not so sure.  I’m worried about the time when she calls and I won’t be able to answer her question.  What will I do then?  You know the Alzheimer thing.”

“I understand your concerns about that but think about it this way for now.  Not everyone has the answers to everything whether they have Alzheimer’s or not.  How old is she?” 

“She’s thirteen going on twenty one”. 

“Oh, one of those, that’s how I was when I was that age” and she laughed.

“I was always in a hurry to grow up myself.  If I only knew then what I know now I wouldn’t be as eager.”

“Annie if you want to go for the tour we better get going.  I’ll have to get back to work in a little while.”

“How about we sit here and talk instead?  I can do the tour another time.” 

“I’m all for that.  My back’s killing me.”  

“Okay dear, tell me how you came to do this kind of work?”

“I’m going to nursing school and I needed money.  I took this job so I could put it towards my education.  At least that’s what I thought at the time.  I found that I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here.  It’s got me thinking when I do get my degree; I might want to do nursing with geriatric patients. I think I could make a difference in their lives. ” 

“What makes you like working with older patients?” 

“Part of it is the wealth of knowledge they have.  I’ve learned more about history from some of the residents than I learned when I was in school.  Also, most of the time, the residents are so appreciative and good hearted of what I do for them.” 

“Only most of the time?”

“I guess it’s not that some aren’t on purpose but with the unique situations of everyone sometimes they just can’t.” 

“I think I get what you’re saying.  My dad had Alzheimer’s and he could be very difficult at times.  I think it takes a special kind of person to deal with older people and I think this is a good place to figure out if this is where your heart will lead you.”

“It’s exactly what I thought.”

“Are you married?” 

“I’m engaged to a paramedic.  Next year, we are getting married.”

“How thrilling.  I suppose you’re getting all your plans ready.”

“Kind of, we are going to be paying it for ourselves.  Neither one of us has a big family so we thought we would have something small.”

“I’ve learned over my years, people spend more time worrying about how they can make it into an extravaganza then about the actual getting married and what that means.  When Hank and I got married, we had a small ceremony. We had our parents and a few classmates and went out to dinner.  I never regretted doing it that way.  On that wall, there’s a picture of me and Hank on our wedding day.”


Cheryl got up close and looked at the picture.  “Wow, you looked gorgeous.  Not that you don’t now” she said apologetically. 

“I know what you mean dear.” 

“Your husband was quite the handsome man and you both look so happy.”

“We were.” 

“Where did you graduate from?” 

“I don’t mean to brag but we went to Harvard.  He got a scholarship and got a degree in business.  He eventually became a CEO.  I got a degree in English and taught high school.” 

“Annie, it’s time for your medication” Katie said as she came into the room and handed me the little container and water. 

Cheryl stood up and said, “I guess it’s time for me to get back to work.  I’ll talk to you later.” 

“Bye dear” and she left.  “I like that girl.”

“Most of the residents do.  She has a way with them.  Is there anything else I can do for you before I leave?” 

“No, I think I might lie down for a while.  Is it okay if I close the door to keep out the noise?”
 
“Sure, I’ll close it on my way out.  Have a good nap.” 

“Thanks.”
 


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday Centus #85

It's Saturday Centus again - in a nutshell, Jenny Matlock gives us a prompt from either herself or a guest submitter and then we have to write 100 words or  less related to the prompt (the prompt doesn't count toward the 100 words) Then link it up to her blog. It's open until the following Saturday, so that means you have all week to participate by either reading or writing.  The prompt is in blue.


This week it's a picture prompt with 50 words.




“Hello?” 
“Mary, this is Joanne.  Have you seen Jenny’s house?”
“No.”
“She’s got a Christmas tree in her yard with all sorts of meats and vegetables.”
“She always has been an odd one.”
“There are animals there chowing down on it now.” 
“Oy vey, there goes the neighborhood.”  

Disclaimer: Any Resemblance to our hostess of Centus Is Purely Coincidental.. LOL

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Random thoughts

1. My brother and his wife watched Corky while we were in Vegas.    When we got back,  my brother decided to keep Corky at least for now.   Ever since I've been trying to get all the dog hair out of my house, ha.

2.  One of my Dinner Friends became a grandma for the first time.  He was born on 11-11-11 in Room 11.  How cool is that!

3.   Interesting December so far.  Hardly any snow.  Avg. 4.9", last year 11.9", this year 0.9".  Calm before the storm?

4.  I'm having issues with the new tree.  When I close the blinds at night and the tree lights are on, I have a reaction.  I can't exactly explain it (it kinda makes me feel dizzy).  Hippie used to say the lights bothered him on the old tree.  I thought  he was nuts until now, ha, ha.   Anyone ever have these problems?

5. I've only had my hair cut once since I had chemo in '04.  It was very long.  On Tuesday we had to stop at the drugstore for a few things.  There's a hair place close by.  On the spur of the moment, I went in and got a haircut.  It's pretty short.  Everyone in the family will be shocked when I see them over the holidays (hi family!) LOL. 







Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #7

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

Chapter 7

 I started unpacking the last box.  I put my anniversary clock Hank had bought me many years ago on the dresser.  I was just pulling out my jewelry box when Cheryl walked in.  “How was your lunch Annie?”  

“It was delish.” 

“I hope you don’t mind if I give you a suggestion but I see you have a jewelry box.  If you have anything expensive in there, I wouldn’t leave it out.  We could put it in our safe.  You see, when some residents walk the halls and they see things in peoples rooms they would like, they take it.” 

“ I have a lock on my one drawer” and when I opened it the key was in it.  “Yes, I have the key.  Would that be good?” 

“Sure.  It’s not when they take things they are being malicious, their mind just doesn’t tell them they are doing something wrong.  We pretty much know who takes things, so if you’re ever missing anything let us know and we’ll hunt it down for you.” 

“Okay.” 

"I came for your tray.  I’m going to have a break in about half hour and thought I could show you around a bit.”  

“That would be lovely, dear.” 

“Okay, I’ll see you in a bit.”

I put the jewelry box in the dresser drawer and locked it.  I also found the key for the hope chest.  I opened it up and got out one of my mother’s fancy white laced runners.  All these years later it still looked as beautiful as the first time I remember seeing it.  I put it on top of the chest.  I also got out the quilted throw that Stella had made for me one year for Christmas.  It was burgundy, green and an off white. I always feel so cozy when I cover myself with it.  I think it’s because I know Stella took the time and love to make it for me.  I put it on the back of the rocker.  Then I locked the chest.   I decided the clock would look better on the chest and I moved it there.  I knew that girl, what’s her name again, will be coming soon.   I can finish with this box later.  I better put this in the closet and hide it.   

 I sat on the rocker holding the quilt, what’s that girl’s name that will be showing me around?  I bet you know.  It’s just terrible not to remember things. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been calling a lot of people dear.  It’s less embarrassing than having them see me fumble to recall their name.  When I was younger, I never could understand people calling someone they hardly knew dear, or honey and now that’s me.  I know I’m feeling sorry for myself and I don’t care.   I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I was an English teacher at a high school many years ago.  Now, I don’t mean to brag but I had such a good memory; I could remember kid’s names years later after they had been in my class.  They would be so tickled if I met them somewhere after they had children and I would greet them with their name and a little anecdote of something they had done in my class.   Now I can’t remember someone’s name I met a few hours earlier.  Think about it, how disconcerting that would be.  Another thing I never told anyone but the doctor I went to.  A couple of times when I went for a walk, I would forget how to get home.  It always seemed to happen at the same place, a bench in the town square.  I would sit there until I remembered how to get home.  Julie and Jerry would be so upset if they knew.  

 Excuse me; the phone is ringing “Hello?” 

“Hi grandma, it’s Jill.”  

“Hi Jill, I’m surprised to hear from you.  Aren’t you supposed to be in school?” 

“Didn’t mom tell you I was home sick today?” 

“No, she didn’t mention it.  What can I do for you?”  

“I found your number and I wanted to ask you a question.”

 “Okay, what’s your question?” 

“I have to do a school project.  It’s about putting together a family tree as far back as we can.  Do you have any of that kind of stuff?”  

“Yes, I have a lot.  It’s here in my chest.  I’ll sort through my stuff and can give it to you when I see you.” 

“Annie, are you ready?”  

“Who is that grandma?” 

“That’s some very nice girl that’s going to show me around.  I’ll have to go.”  

“All right.  Try to remember to look for that stuff okay?  Bye.  I love you.”  

“I will honey.  I’ll write myself a note so I remember.  I love you too.  Bye.”

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jinx

I'm officially a jinx I'd say.  I was all thrilled that this year Mom was doing so well.  I even put it in my Christmas newsletter.

Last Tuesday my aunt (whose not really my aunt, ha) called to see how Mom's been doing.  I was regaling her about how wonderful she's been this year.

Wednesday night I get a call at 10:30 from the nursing home that they are taking Mom to the ER.  Apparently ( TMI) she was bleeding and they thought she might have a UTI.  We were there until 3 a.m. and she left back for the nursing home at 4 a.m.   They sent her back with antibiotics.

The next day, they call again this time at 2:30 p.m. she wanted to go back to the ER because now she was having a lot of pain and (TMI) clots.

They checked her and put a catheter in and decided to keep her to further evaluate her.  While she was there, she was in more and more pain.  For over a half hour I was asking for pain medication for her.  No one was bringing it.  Finally, I was so ticked (think Terms of Endearment but not quite) I went to the desk and yelled said "I want to talk to whoever is in charge."  The doctor happened to be coming by and asked what was wrong.  I then proceeded to blubber and yell tell him that I had been asking for pain meds for mom and no one was doing anything.  He said he didn't know and he would order her some.

A few minutes later the charge nurse came in and got things going for the pain meds.  I bitched and moaned to her that my mother was supposed to get comfort care and so far it hadn't been happening. I thanked her and she apologized for what had happened.

Anyhow to make a long story shorter, Mom got out of the hospital yesterday evening.  After doing CT scans and ultrasounds, she just had a very bad UTI.

When we went to see her in the morning yesterday they had her in an isolation room because now she has C diff.  She's supposed to be in an isolation room now in the nursing home.  I know she's probably not thrilled with that. 

We're going to see her later to see how she's doing, after the patio guy comes for I think the 4th time to see why it's still leaking.  Grrrrrrrrrr.

































Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mrs. Dunkin #6


 This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.


Chapter 6

     I was already looking through the boxes when Julie came back to the room.  “Mom, you’ll never guess who I saw leaving the building. Do you remember Sally Baker?  Her mom’s here.  She had a stroke last year.”  “Why yes, I do.  You used to be pretty good friends, whatever happened to that?”  “I had some important things to get done; you know things like med school, marriage, starting a practice and having kids.  All my friends fell by the wayside.”  “That’s not good.  Women friends are very important to have.  You should really think about reconnecting with some of them.”  “Yeah, I guess.”  “How is Mrs. Baker doing?” “We didn’t have a lot of time to talk.  She had to go back to work.  She did say her mom’s in a wheelchair now.  Sally also mentioned that we should get together and talk.”  “Then you should do that.  Trust me you won’t regret it.”  “Okay, mom I will.   Your room is starting to feel kind of homey, don’t you think?”  “Yes, it’s getting there.  Now if you can just hang some of these pictures on the wall that would be great.”

     Julie started looking at the pictures and hanging them on the wall.  “Annie, your lunch is here.  I’ll put it on the table for you.” “Hi Cheryl, let me introduce you to my family.  This is Julie my daughter, son Jerry and grandson Joshua.” “Hi Cheryl” they said in unison.  “It’s nice to meet you all. I see you brought more stuff.  The room is starting to look very nice.   I’d stay and talk but I have other meals to give out.  Feel free to ask anyone if you have questions.  Bye.” “Bye” again in unison. 

      “She seemed nice but didn’t stay very long.”  “Son, she’s not here to entertain us.  There are other residents here.”  “I know mom.  Look me and Josh have to go.  He’s got rec basketball at 1:00 and if we leave now we’ll be able to make it.  Is that okay?”  “Of course it is.  You go and Josh I hope you win your game.”  “Thanks grandma” and he gave me a kiss.  Jerry hugged me for the longest time, I thought he would never stop and then said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”  “Uh no you won’t, I don’t want any visitors until at least Sunday.  I need to learn the ins and outs of this place and I’d rather do it alone.  And don’t get that look on your face.  I’m fine.  I wish everyone would believe me.”  “Okay, I won’t argue with you.  I’ll see you Sunday afternoon” and they left. 

     I sat down at the table and Julie peered over from where she was hanging a picture.  “Well mom, let’s see what you have to eat.”  I pulled the covers off the food.  There was fish with tartar sauce, french fries, green beans and a slice of chocolate cake;  glasses of milk, juice, water and coffee.  “I don’t know why they give me so much to drink.”  “I’m sure they don’t want the residents to get dehydrated.  You know just because it’s on the tray if it’s too much, don’t drink it all.”  “Is that your professional opinion?”  “Yes it is” and we laughed.  “Do you want some?”  “No, I’m stuffed.  I ate a big breakfast.  You go ahead and eat and I’ll finish hanging the pictures.  I’ve got to get back to the office in a while anyhow.  I’ve got a couple of women that are coming in that are past their due date.”  “You go ahead”.

     While I ate, I watched Julie.  She has her whole life ahead of her and she has made a wonderful life.  When the time comes, I know she’ll be okay.  She’s strong although I know at times she doesn’t think so.  That will be my job from now on, to make sure she realizes that.

     “I’m done Mom.  Does everything look okay?”  “Yes, it looks great.  Why don’t you go now, I’ll finish up with the rest of this stuff later.”  “Okay, if you’re sure.”  “I am, see you on Sunday.” “Love you mom, bye” and off she went.  

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mom's eyes

 I haven't mentioned about mom's eyes lately but ..

Good news - In October we took Mom back to the eye doctor after she had issues with the one cataract eye surgery.  Mom was able to see two more lines on the eye chart than she did before.  They checked to see if with glasses she could see even better and she could.  Although we didn't get any there.  She told the doctor she could see well and he told her if she didn't want to she didn't have to wear glasses.  He did ask her if she could read without glasses and she said yes.  I knew she couldn't.  When we waited for her transportation back I had her try to read a magazine without her glasses and she couldn't. 

Bad news -  The doctor told me Mom has macular degeneration from aging in both eyes but the left is worse.  She will now be taking vitamins which some studies show helps slow the process.

Good news- She had her eyes examined at the nursing home in November, she should be getting her new glasses pretty soon, ha!