You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

Who is the idiot trying to teach the old dog new tricks?

That would be me.

After all these years going knowing my mom, and experiencing the razzle-dazzler, I should have been more prepared for the care meeting with my mom’s social worker, care manager, and head of Physical Therapy.  You’d think I’d have my defenses up, played through the possibilities, be on my guard due to how past interactions with doctors, bankers, or nurses have gone.

No not me.  I blindly go where so many have gone before.  A set up.  Hmm, what was the first clue my mom gave me 45 minutes before our meeting?

  • Clue #1:  When I walked into the room at the skilled facility nursing my mom announced to me that she believed she would be going home the next day. Thinking back to my compassionate communication class I gently shared I did not think she would be going home that soon.
  • Clue #2:  Rather than use her call button to use the bathroom, my mom got out of her chair, grabbed her side walker and walked about 20 feet to the bathroom. She did almost lose her balance, but kept up the brave commitment.  I sat dumbfounded thinking I know what she’s doing right now, and I watched.  She had bragged she’d done it a few times before.

When the 3 VIPs arrived, before they could even start the review of my mom’s 3 week evaluation, my mom made it clear she was not staying there any longer.  She said it makes no sense she is there, and whatever she’s doing there, she can do elsewhere.  She wasn’t very sweet about it.

My mom being of right mind, or at least, I haven’t used my Power of Attorney to say otherwise, put me on the spot.  I’m not remotely prepared to have my mom come home.  I need to set up all her appointments for follow-up care, make sure medicare is sending the necessary equipment to my home, interview caregivers, oh and then there’s that emotionally thing I need to work on first.  See nobody knows my mom more than me.  She can razzle-dazzle her way around your block and then some.  For the most part her razzle-dazzling is still quite effective.

Rather than come off as a caring loving daughter, who just brought her mom clean underwear and Starbucks, I look like a uncaring daughter that won’t let my mom come home.  When I use the term home, my mom made it clear that she lost her home, her husband and my brother. Therefore she had no home, she was living with me.

All eyes were peircing through my body and soul.  I literally felt my mom’s eyes burning through my chest.  Now, I’m in charge of my mom’s broken pelvic?  I’m the one determing what she is capable of doing?  WTF?  My mom signed the paper that she wanted to be discharged and then it was handed to me to sign.  Yes, I signed it. Geez that’s embarrasing to write.

Honestly, you’d think I’d learn by now.  What pisses me off the most is how this played out situation, got me so upset.  Like nothing like this has ever happened to me.  I’m sure I shaved off a few more years by not controlling my emotions once I left the facility.  One thing for sure, my mom knew how very unhappy I was.  I also told the nurse that they need to check my mom’s blood pressure, because it constantly runs high and I knew this drama, her playing the drama queen, would take a big toll on her blood pressure.  It did, it was well over 180/90.

Shortly after I left, my mom called me to ask for forgiveness, admitting she knew she hadn’t let the care team talk. The very sad thing here is it’s pretty impossible to teach an old dog new tricks.  As it is impossible for my mom’s 89-year-old body not to react to all of her preempted movement.

Without me having to say too much, my mom’s body spoke up and sadly, she had caused herself so much unnecessary physical pain that she readily admits she’ll be needing care through the holidays.

I don’t know how many times I’m going to put myself in that same scenario, and then be upset by the outcome. It’s sad that my mom is in more pain than before.  It’s sad that my mom after all these years of taking care of others can’t give herself some time to heal, without being knocked down by pain.  It’s sad that I’m expecting something different.  Sad, no more stupid.  I need to read my own blog, that way I’ll be prepared for our next care meeting.

Hey, it’s Christmas time, maybe, just maybe my mom will take the time to heal and do what’s best for herself and for me.

 

Advertisements

Seniors listen up, if you can.

Seniors, yes I’m talking to you. Okay, I’m literally writing to you. It works out better for both of us since you might be hard of hearing.

If we’re talking senior discounts, seniors may refer to 55+-65+. Sure the first time I asked for a senior movie ticket I wanted the uninterested kid behind the window to say, really? He didn’t. I love saying, I’m 61 years old, or I have 7 grandkids when I hear delightful words, no way, you look so young, as if I birthed all 7 grandkids. Sometimes I say it and get no response. Sometimes I look all the years I am and then some. Stress, lack of sleep, and eating crappy can do that.

I’m a bit off track from the real purpose of this post. I’m going to get personal now.

Do you think hearing aids make you look old? You’re wrong. Stubbornness and not hearing make you look old.

Mom, isn’t that a wig you’re wearing? You love the way you look, it immediately gets you feeling prettier. I noticed at night your teeth floating in fuzzy suds. You have gorgeous dentures, and dear Lord, without them I’m scared. Glasses help our tired eyes see, and we consider our glasses a fashion statement. However, hearing aids which help you aaahhh… hear, strengthen your brain and help you keep your balance are out.

Mom you’re not alone. Since finding myself in this dilemma with you I hear many other stories about seniors refusing hearing aids. Now if the cost of hearing aids makes or breaks your bank account I’m more sympathetic. My husband Tim gets his new hearing aids this month, and they are 6k. He is getting the deluxe tiny inside his ear, because working in television the last 25 years helped for our Insurance to kick in. Costco makes affordable ones, and you can make payments with a Costco card.

I’m a senior. I don’t feel like one, doesn’t change the facts. Since my own hearing test in 2011 to this week, my hearing has changed pretty significant. The ENT isn’t recommending hearing aids, but if she did, I’d be all over them.

I’m not about to cause my family and myself more frustration than life offers. I want to hear each and every conversation my grandkids have with me.

I think that makes me smarter, more attractive, and a hell of a lot more fun than a senior denying their need to hear.

Do you hear me?

Letter to my daughter, with reply from daughter.

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please.

I don’t mind if you want to discuss the same thing over and over, but mom if it’s negative, it might get hard to keep hearing, Dear mom. if I try to encourage you to change conversations by gently saying, I hear you, I understand, the dinner was crappy at the skilled nursery facility, that pumpkin pie I brought you was delicious and all you really desired.

Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me.

I never want to embarrass you mom. It seems to me that you don’t mind embarrassing me. When we have a plan to share truthfully with the doctor that you’re in constant pain, and Norco on request isn’t working, it’s hard because you deny your pain when asked in front of me. Then I remind you to be honest and your response is, my daughter wants me to ask for pain pills.  This doesn’t seem to be age related, seems more pride related.

My dear mom, the day I see you getting old, I ask you please try and understand that my suggestions are for your safety, which affects my well being too. My dear mom, when I see your getting older, that means I’m older too, so rather than I take a passive childlike attitude I want to be a proactive adult and caregiver. My mom, try to remember how you took care of me as a child, remember I’m still your child, and I want the best for you mom and for me.

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day.

I have gone the distance with your computer needs, often dropping my own plans to turn back and drive a half hour to simply turn on AOL mail. I’ve never laughed or made you feel less smart.  I did the same for Pete, constantly.

The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

I do understand what you’re going through. It breaks my heart on so many levels that you’re not enjoying being the matriarch of our family. What an honor that is, not a competition with me, you’re only daughter. It’s not a competition mom, we can do this as a team.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient, or arrogant.

And mom, if I lose track of what I’m saying, it would be better not to say, see you’re no better than me at remembering. That’s hurtful. Remember how you’d protect me as a kid, nobody messed with me. Not even my brothers.  Why mess with my self-esteem?

Mom. I want so badly to be patient, never arrogant, but I can’t help being nervous. I’m nervous all the same for your safety. Mom remember how you protected me the best you could from danger, mean people, and being unhealthy? You protected me from even wanting, when I wanted something you always did your best to work it out.  That was from new pants, to a new car, to a new home.

It’s my turn to protect you. Mom dear mom, I shared my heart with you about our hardwood stairs. I tried every angle to keep you from going upstairs. Your own bedroom furniture is in the downstairs bedroom. All you toiletry needs are where they belong, in your private bathroom connected to your bedroom. There’s two TVs downstairs, one for you with TV ears in your own living room, and one in the family room where you’d join us nightly.

And yes, I was frustrated when you’d find reasons to come upstairs. I told you where I was as often as possible, put my plans on a whiteboard on refrigerator. I encouraged you to use the house phone to call me on my cell phone. My cell phone I wear as jewelry so I don’t miss a call.

My dear mom, when I asked you to wear a life alert, only at night, because when we’ve upstairs we might not hear you if you need our help it was out of love and concern. It’s also selfish, because as I explained to you I’d prefer not to find you hurt in the morning, or worse. Especially since the first two weeks you lived with us you did fall coming out of the shower. I didn’t know for two hours. Yet when I ordered a life alert and begged you to reconsider you got mad and refused. Yes my mom, I remember doing that as a kid when you’d say no, but as the mom, you’d win. I’m mad at myself for letting you win… still. I’m mad at myself that I wasn’t strong enough with you my dear mom, about the stairs and now you’re lying with a broken arm and pelvic in the hospital. I know it wasn’t deliberate, but so very preventable.

As I shared with you on one of our many conversations for my sake mom, your only daughter’s sake, the one with heart disease, 7 grandkids, and 3 daughters that need me, and a husband, please don’t go upstairs, because I feared you’d fall. Oh, you fell, and it was probably your most unnecessary trip upstairs of all, with socks on.

Now I cringe when I go down the stairs, and I don’t like my foyer anymore, because that is where I found you lying.

Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

My dear mom, I’d be honored to walk with you slowly, that requires you to be willing to let me. I’d be happy to carry the brunt of the groceries in the house, you wouldn’t let me. So, I’d have to watch you struggle and the next day be in a lot of pain from using your bad arm (and that was before this recent fall). I’m happy to be with you, that’s why you live with me.

My mom I have to apologize, I should have listened to you when you asked why I thought you’d be happy at my home.  You made it clear you weren’t planning on being happy.  I know if you had owned the home you were in, you’d probably had stayed there.  The home was leased, and for one year we all knew you and Pete had to find some place else to move.  When Pete died, you had less than 2 months to move out. After Pete died, we had no choice but to move you in quickly to my home.  The reason being is that you were suicidal.  All day, every day you shared you didn’t want to live.

When days come, don’t feel sad—just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.

My dear mom, I do feel sad.  Very sad.  I wanted so much for this time at my home to be fun.  I wanted you to finally after two long marriages, one to my dad for over 40 years, and to my stepdad Pete, for over 30 years, give you a break.  Allow you to see how it would be to relax and live without someone constantly demanding your time, effort, and care.   To enjoy life without being barked at all day and night.  I thought seeing the grandchildren more often would be fun.  I thought you’d love that we moved in most of your furniture to my home.  Our living room is yours.  Our dining room is your dining room, not my office.  Our kitchen table is your kitchen table.  We didn’t need to move any of your furniture into our home, we had our own. I liked my own more.

I’m very proud of Tim and myself for redoing our downstairs to make it well lit, safe and beautiful for you.  We added a security system inside and out so we’d be safer.

Mom, dear mom, I want to say I love you too!  I wanted this last jaunt of your life to be fun for both of us.  It hasn’t been at all.  I’m sorry, it could have been.  Hey maybe it still will be.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that you being at the end of your life, doesn’t leave me far beyond.  Perhaps, you can remember that.  This is my time to be a grandmother, (Gaga), you had your time, and you’ve had 14 years of being a great-grandmother.  Which no one calls you, my grandchildren call you grandmother.  You’ve been such a superb grandmother and great-grandmother.  If I can follow in your generosity my family will be blessed.

Most of all my dear mom, I want you to have peace with God.  It seems like we’ve gone through so much.  Many people live with hardships, loses, sadness, weakness, and pain.  Everyone has a story. No death, sickness, loss, or wildfire is fair. I realize that doesn’t take away your pain, but we’re not alone.  Maybe you do have something in common with other seniors, afterall. This life is a freaking journey, and most of it is a struggle.

Though you’ve in a skilled nursing facility for awhile because of your fall, I hope you know how much you are loved and cared for.  I hear how you long to come back to your home, my home, just to be in your own bed, your own recliner, your own room.  Maybe this is what it took for you to appreciate all of what you have, but I need you well enough to come home, my love for you can’t do that.  That my dear mom, takes work on your part, and a lot of God’s love and strength. It also takes forgiveness and trust on my part. Today when you said,  I’ll never go upstairs again, is possibly true, I doubt you’ll be physically able too. It felt like a lie, you said that already, a lot.

Most of all dear mom, I want to spend eternity with you.  I pray you come to know Jesus in a personal way.  Jesus loves you more than you know.  He’ll fill your room with light and peace.  He’ll comfort your soul deep down, and best of all Jesus will fill you with the hope to live for eternity.

Original Letter to my Daughter was found on Facebook. I want to give proper credit, but only found the same letter on the Alzheimer’s site. No author named.

Back in the day!

June 2017

December 2017 – 3 weeks after fall.

img_0501

One of my many happy places – granddaughters and me 🙂

In-N-Out

Two weeks ago today my mom fell. What that equals to me personally is 6 missed personal training sessions, 2-3 missed nights of tennis, under 7000 steps daily, and wait for it… a double-double at In-N-Out. I’m not even a fan of named hamburger establishment. Oh and there’s that vegetarian thing I adhere to for heart health.

My left side was completely out of wack, it’s better, due to intense accupressure. Now my right side is out. Kind of weird you can feel rope like knots on top of my ribs and neck. Usually I cause my own problems by carrying my grandchildren. Those 5 years and under. My gorgeous 5- month old grandson weighs 21 pounds. I’ve done no heavy lifting of lovebugs since my mom’s fall.

I’m stating facts, without regret. To quote my mom and your mom, it is what it is.

I want this experience to help me grow as a human being. I believe this situation isn’t to kill me, but to refine me. I attended a class called Compassionate communication and that class taught suggested responses by changing wording around to be agreeable, kind, and compassionate. Shortly after my mom moved I also attended a six-week class for Alzheimer’s caregivers. My mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. I felt it would help me. It has. One glitch is that my newly educated self hasn’t remembered this education. How did I forget I play Lumosity? It hit me last night that all I need to do is agree with my mom because the reality will speak for itself. I’m hoping to implement my recent education in my conversations going forward with my mom. I’m not getting the top grade in the class. Yet.

Today’s visit went well. My mom did not remember she had a broken pelvis. I’m not 100% sure I’m supposed to tell her it’s broken. Either way I happier with myself. I was sympathetic, agreeable, engaging, and I brought my mom Kentucky Fried chicken.

Portable Commode

Today my mom made it two feet to the portable commode. She insists she is able to go there on her own. She is not. One or two qualified people help her and get her back in bed and situated. I let her know that she cannot come home until she can make it 9 feet from her bed at home to her bathroom and back in bed.

Is that mean?

This conversation was initiated when she stated there’s no reason to make it to the bathroom when there’s commodes that can be rented. Now this isn’t verbatim, but it’s damn close.

First let me explain my life up to around the age of 40. I am the only daughter. As special as it was to be the only girl, and youngest by 8 minutes, my mom didn’t want me to do much of anything for myself.  My mom did not depart to me any homemaking skills. To the day I got married the most I was asked to do was clear the  table. It never crossed my mind I didn’t know anything either. Pretty funny on our honeymoon, we had a condo by the beach, and we bought a fish at the market and when we brought it home, Tim asked if I knew how to cook it?  Not sure why being married one day made me think I could cook, but I put the entire fish, yes with it’s eyes looking at me, in a frying pan.  When Tim came over he nicely asked if I wanted to go out to dinner.

My mom did it all while I was growing up with my three brothers.  She was everything a mother and wife should be.  She even added being so good looking people constantly stopped her thinking she was Elizabeth Taylor.  This wasn’t the best feeling, cuz I wasn’t any runner up for Elizabeth Taylor’s daughter.  My mom also was an awesome volunteer.  She was so good at volunteering at my elementary school that the principal, Charlie Welch wanted to marry her.  In those days, the lines were very easy to cross without problems, so because of Mr. Welch’s devotion to my mom, he’d swing by my home and take me to drive-up fast food.  He had a purple convertible, no lie.  I couldn’t eat, obviously, I just wanted to go home.  I knew firsthand of Mr. Welch’s devotion because I found my dad one night sitting by the dog house crying.  Is this a good time to say FU?

I digress.  When I had my girls, my mom kept up her perfection as a mother and grandmother.  My mom took my girls anytime they needed anything done at the dentist, When Bethany got her wisdom teeth out it was my parents that took her to the orthodontist, then back to their home. She returned healed. It was the same with each daughter. As much as my mom spoiled my girls, she was always there for me.

When I was 37 years of age, I literally was dying. I agreed to an experimental drug program to hopefully stop my liver disease. I had been sick for over a year. Those six months I wasn’t too alive, so my mom really stepped up. Thanksgiving came during my six month treatment and it was one of my worse days.  We had planned on Thanksgiving at their home, but the only way they could get me there was to put a speaker right next to my ear with music loud, so I could be distracted from my sickness.  I was too sick to go home with Tim and our girls.  My mom sat on the couch in the guest room, while I lay in bed. Around 1 am I felt I could handle food,  my mom made me the best turkey sandwich ever. It tasted delicious.  I kept it down, that turkey sandwich is still a good memory.

That night she told me try to sleep because in the morning they would take me to buy a new van. That was super exciting, and it gave me something to think about other than feeling so sick. See presents work. The next day they bought us a blue van and it was the newest model where both sides of the van doors opened with a remote.

Moving along. Once my girls started having children, there developed an unhealthy bit of competition. One sided, cuz it was my place to be the grandmother (Gaga). The competition was all about my mom competing with me. By the way my first grandchild was born when I was 47. It’s still happening 7 grandchildren later, I’m now 61.

My mom constantly over-worried about my health. Granted there was reason.  I did inherit all of my dad’s heart disease. I do get it that she’s older, tired and in pain. I do have major empathy mixed with sadness, and anger.

Please know I’m not mad at God. I’m honored He thinks I’m strong enough to go through this. Myself doesn’t want to get out of the way to claim that strength.

Laughter is good for the soul. Therefore I started laughing when my beautiful, classy, educated, prideful mom mentioned that she can use a commode next to her bed. I began laughing with tears. Mom that can’t happen. Your bedroom will smell like a toilet and how would that stuff, okay I could have said ‘shit’ get out of there? That isn’t the relationship I’m going to have with you.

The first person that came into the her room my mom told them that she just found out she can’t go home until she can use the real bathroom. How is this news to her?

I feel if it was me and my mom was younger she’d allow a commode in my room in her home and gladly clean it. I am happy because I’ve been feeling so guilty and pressured about everything. At least putting this commode theory out there got us closer to perceived reality. I think?

I do believe whenever my mom is released into the wild, it will be in a wheelchair. That wheelchair has to be super light because I wouldn’t be able to pick it up. The hospital gave me one. My back is still out putting that wheelchair in my truck, over two weeks ago.

Today is Saturday and it’s the first day I haven’t gone straight there in the morning.

Mixed emotions on this.

CODOP!

Another clear indication that a child of a difficult older parent has not understood this insight is when the child continues to try to change their parent’s personality or behavior. Given the impossibility of changing another person, the only rational choice left to the adult child is to let people be who they are.

A few big realities hit me tonight.  One I’m allowing this new challenging situation to control my thoughts and attitudes.  Actually it has controlled by every waking moment way before my mom moved in. I’m allowing it to take over the conversations with my girls and that’s not fair.  Since my mom moved in six months ago it’s taken over most of the conversation with my husband as well.   I have never accepted the situation or I wouldn’t continue to complain about it. In fairness to myself I’m not complaining, I’m discussing in length how I’m feeling. Which happens to be fairly consistent.

Here’s an excerpt from a book I’m reading:

Being realistic includes acknowledging that certain dreams, yearnings, and hopes can never be fulfilled. Children of difficult older parents are often plagued by impossible hopes that their mom or dad will finally become loving, attentive, and appreciative. This hope is unfounded in most cases. The sad truth is that the child’s dream of having healthy, loving parents and a mutually satisfying relationship with them is already dead. The child of a difficult older parent must let such dead dreams die. The child of a difficult older parent who repeatedly expresses amazement, shock, or surprise at Mom’s or Dad’s latest outrageous or difficult behavior has not accepted this insight. Surprise at yet another unpleasant act is clearly not justified. How is surprise possible, after such a long track record of similar behavior? Quite simply, surprise reflects denial and a lack of acknowledgment that the hope and dream of a healthier parent are dead. Indeed, as in any death, for the child of a difficult older parent, there is much to grieve. The situation includes so many losses involving the impaired loved one: their health, their intelligence, their abilities, their broken personality, their companionship, the good that might have been, etc.

Another clear indication that a child of a difficult older parent has not understood this insight is when the child continues to try to change their parent’s personality or behavior. Given the impossibility of changing another person, the only rational choice left to the adult child is to let people be who they are. Their parent is going to be who they are no matter what we do, so we may as well accept it. The child of a difficult older parent begins maturing when she stops being surprised at the thousandth replay, begins to let dead dreams die, begins grieving this loss and all the other losses, and begins letting people be who they are. This is realism. This is healthy adulthood.

I have to vent, and this might be the best way.  My daughters don’t read my blog and if they do it’s their choice, not mine taking over the conversation.

Today my mom had two big appointments.  One with the care team from the facility and one with a orthopedic surgeon, my own doctor, Dr. Solpour.  Both times in these meetings my mom acts prideful, and loves to throw me under the bus.  I’ll give you an example:  Please talk louder so my mom can hear.  My mom did hear that and says, oh I can hear fine.  The care team continues and without me pointing it out my mom guessed wrong on some really important questions they asked her.  When the spoke louder, geez she heard it.

Also my mom tells me about all her pain.  Pain is legit in her case, and she deals with pain very well.  She can get pain medication, every 4 hours.  All hail elder rights, but they can’t give her the pain medication unless she says so.  95% of the time when I am present, and she’s asked about her pain or need for her medication she does everything but answer the question.  To the point where she might not get it.  The nurse leaves the room and I tell her again that she needs to be honest and it’s okay to tell them she’s in pain.  She wins no prize for not telling them.

Today at the doctor when she was asked about her pain, she went so far as to say, I’m not in much pain.   I corrected her and said, mom you just told me you were/are in pain.  And you have been all day.  And my mom says to the doctor and two of his team in the room, my daughter wants me to tell you I’m in pain.  WTF?

Let’s go back up to the inset above, and let’s just say I must be in huge denial, because I am shocked once again.  I get so mad inside I want to leave her there.  I stay mad for a few hours, going over in my mind the same thing.

I can change this.  Be quiet let her listen and not hear and let her be at the level of pain she is.  I look foolish, and I need to mature.  Gosh I hope I figure this out before I waste more of my precious life.  I ain’t no kid anymore.

Stairs – here we are!

Love my beautiful hardwood floors. When my mom moved in 6 months ago we set her up with every possible thing downstairs. Private bathroom-attached big bedroom- our kitchen, laundry room, living room, family room downstairs. Since my mom already has a metal shoulder from a fall on her carpeted stairs 2 years ago we discussed not going upstairs. That wasn’t completely adhered too, if she didn’t get an answer because occasionally I’d have to use the bathroom she’d come up.

Eight days ago we all were having a great time with my 10 year old granddaughter on a sleepover. My mom was included in everything. Around 9 pm we went upstairs just to change into our pj’s. And lo and behold, great-grandmother just couldn’t help herself and came upstairs a few minutes later. She had socks on.

Now let me fill you in on my attempts to curtail her stair climbing: Mom you say you care so much about me, and if you fall I will either have to find you on the ground or see you fall. It was the same battle with night time. My mom wouldn’t wear a life alert either, which meant I was constantly worried about her safety because we slept upstairs behind a barrage of fans, sound machines and humidifier. I shared a life alert would help me.

Back to the stair climber, on my mom’s way down she did fall. Seeing her sprawled out on the floor was super fun. More fun was it was dark and the fall knocked her wig off so from my vantage point I thought it was a pool of blood.

So here I am 8 days after her fall sitting in a “skilled nursing facility” while my mom lays in bed with a right broken pelvic and the left arm’s bones around her metal shoulder broken. Get the dilemma?

On a selfish level I’m trying not to torture myself with unnecessary madness, frustration, sadness for the ridiculousness of this situation.

If you’re new to my life, here’s a small timeline of this year. My stepdad, my mom’s husband of 31 years died April 27. That was after surviving small cell carcinoma of his lungs and while in a 4 year remission got Lymphoma, only to get through the chemo for that and be in remission to succumb to esophageal cancer. A month after my stepdad’s death my mom moved in with us. June 8 my twin brother died from a stroke.

I’m not even going to mention that my 35 year old daughter, mother of 4 girls under 10 years old has a very rare heart disease and needed a defibrillator/pacemaker when her 4th baby was 2 months old. My youngest daughter suffered two miscarriages and my husband after 25 years at CBS Television was put on the graveyard shift.

Would I be complaining if I mentioned that my oldest brother committed suicide and my dad had two open heart surgeries a month apart and then died on vacation in Hong Kong? My dad was 57.

Life is hard. Thousands of people daily live with much worse hardships, and the Bible states do not compare yourself to others.

Galatians 6:4, NLT Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.

I’m so very blessed with 7 beautiful, healthy grandchildren, the 7th being my youngest daughter’s beautiful son because my daughter didn’t give up. I like my husband of 40 years and for the most part I like myself. Betty my dog is my BFF and is the best dog I’ve ever.

I’m being stretched in ways I didn’t ever plan on.

For now that’s al I have to share.