January (a couple weeks late)


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    • Gold Top Dog

    January (a couple weeks late)

    Belated Happy New Year everyone. Mom ended up back in the hospital on New Year's Eve day and was just released on Thursday. Seems she had accumulated more fluid in her lungs plus some pneumonia to make things extra special. She was in ICU 4 or 5 days, then moved to the regular unit.

    The dogs are sleeping away as I type this--Ronnie is doing some new obedience stuff (here at home--nothing fancy or formal classes or anything like that). He seems to love it, and he's pretty good at it. I've figured out we can work a bit each day for 3-4 days, then he needs a week or so to think about it. Then, he's got it. Right now, we're doing different types of turns. Mozey, my girl who hates car rides, is willingly "loading up" in the car and going for rides! She got to see Mom at Christmas, and I think that helped the light bulb click for her. Rock is on winter vacation from therapy, but he might get to start working with some high school students who have cognitive disabilities as part of their career exploration. I am beyond excited about the opportunity.

    • Gold Top Dog

    I hope your mom is doing well Kate. Mine is again in the hospital. She has an extreme UTI and liw sodium. Her doctor feels that is time to withdrawall the meds other than the BP meds. No more tests either. Shw feels that the end is near and that mom has been through emough. tj a t means no heart meds. No antidepressents and no antiphyschotic drugs. She finds non exsistant bugs and wirms in her food. She hallucinates. Her paranoia is througj the roof. The dementia has syolen tje essence of mom.. My heart is breaking. My mind knows that mom wouldnt want to live this way. My heart isnt readyvto give up on her.

    Today my spoiled girl scarfed down two rabbit sticks

    She pouted long enough to guilt me into running to th

    e locally owned pet store for more bunny stic

    ks and TWO 3FT beef sticks. I think that she inhaled 6 ft of beef stix in 10 minutes. Then she inhaled about 4 scrambled eggs!

    We wont talk about the 10 munchkins later.....she defonately has us well trained! But...iIs a real crap shoot falling in love with a dog online and we really hit the jackpot with our girl. She is an absolutely perfect fit for us!

    • Gold Top Dog

    sorry for all the typos!

    • Gold Top Dog

    Kate -- glad your Mom is home.  Aging parents is such a difficult time.

    My Mom went remarkably fast except that whole month was just ... like a snowball rolling down hill and it all just got bigger and worse..  I can remember that last week -- the doctor hasn't totally diagnosed it yet as mini-strokes BUT instead she was even considering that it might be some sort of seizure state (which might mean that the right drug could have brought her out of it).  

    But by the time I got up there Glenda ... she was completely non-verbal and unaware (except they told me her heart rate went up when I went into the room so on some level she knew I was there).  I knew then there was no coming back from this ... and more importantly -- she would not have WANTED to live in such a diminished state..  Her breathing was SO labored (even before they took her off the meds) -- Glenda I knew then that the memory of seeing my mother GASPING for each breath would haunt me forever -- and it has.

    Honestly at that point I deliberately turned off the hurt in MY heart "wanting her back".  I deliberately looked at her and at the situation as MOM would have.  I knew how afraid she would be (and my Mom was afraid of NOTHING in this life -- meet it, take the bull by the horns and DEAL ...) ... but she would have been terrified at the thot of a half-life like that.  I signed the DNR (and they didn't even give Mom oxygen -- that was her wish -- but they DID keep her on laudanum so she wasn't afraid and wasn't in distress).  

    I had held Mom's hand for a long time (rubbed emollient on her skin all over because it was so dry and I knew it would soothe her).  Then  I put on my "big girl panties" and said the hardest words I've ever said in my life. ""Mom -- you've told me how you want things and I will do my damnedest to make sure I do exactly what you want done with everything.  I love you so much, and I will miss you for the rest of MY life.  But don't be a hero Mom.  It's ok to let go.  If you see Pa?  GO TO HIM.  If you see Pippy ... follow him because HE will take you to Papa.  It's ok and it's gorgeous there.  And God WILL have a garden for you to play in.   I"m going to leave now ... not because I want to but I don't want to hold you back.        It's time, Ma ... just let go."

    I left then ... hearing her 'breathe' all the way down the hall.  **MY** Mom wasn't there any more.  What you said ... the strokes had "stolen" her.  The body that was left behind just needed peace.  

    For what it's worth?  I got a call less than an hour later and she was gone.  Like everything else in this life, my Mom had it her way.  and she had Peace.  

    I can remember years ago hearing someone say something similar and feeling "Oh that's horrible -- it's like you wished she would die".  But now that I have been thru it -- I know I didn't want her to "die" ... I just wanted her to have Peace and rest.  Those words have an entirely different meaning for me now I guess.

    ugh -- too maudlin ... but I hope it helps you.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Luna, Tink and Charlie are fine -- Charlie says "CAN WE PLEASE OUTLAW FIREWORKS!!!"

    Luna is 14 now ... slowing down ... *some*.  Still attitude all over the place

    Tinkerbell is still pure joy.  We discovered that a bad tooth was causing the lttle tummy trubble she's had for 8 months.  It was a carnassial and looked 100% healthy from top (no bad pain nor anything 'bad' as the vet looked at it -- but he just "had a feeling" and ones he got under the gum line with a probe most of the danged tooth was gone -- only held up by part of the back wall of the tooth.  Carnassials are a b**ch to pull --      but he got it all and SHE FEELS BETTER!!!

    • Gold Top Dog

    thanks Callie. It does help. Yes. Mom does deserve peace. Back in september both my dead sister and my son visited mom. Dad hasn't yet and I think that needs to happen.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Hi all, Happy New Year, am I fashionably late?   Ron has been not feeling well so I have been a nurse and driver lately.  I am happy to say he has gotten past it and all is better for now.

    We have had a fairly  decent Jan.  The weather dipped down a few times and we had some Ice and snow that lasted only a day or 2.  Trisha is not having any trouble ruling the roost :)  She has Ron and Garth under her spell.   She loves me but knows they are mush when it comes to her. LOL

    So happy to see everybody, stay safe and warm.

    • Gold Top Dog

    You know it's been too long since posting when you have to try multiple log-ins and passwords before you get the right one!  I see there are two January threads, so I'll try to refer to news in both of them in this post.  

    Good to "see" everyone in the New Year, even if it's a bit late.  Starting with the lighter news, I'm glad to hear everyone's dogs are doing well -- Glenda and Ginger, your girls sound like charmers, that's for sure!  And Callie, your dogs are blessed to have such an attentive and loving home as seniors; you're the best senior dog Mom (the DOGS are seniors, not you -- ha!).  Kate, I'm glad Mozey has figured out that car rides sometimes end in happy locations and Rock's possible work with the special needs students sounds like a great opportunity!  I saw on the other post that Sky continues to enjoy the natural landscapes and buddies at the park, regardless of the winter season.  

    Ruby is doing well, despite what has been an extremely unusual cold and snowy winter here.  She's had to wear her coat very often, but she still shivers if the walk is long.  There is such poor road care for clearing snow and ice here that it can be scary walking her -- I almost need cleats on my boots!  Now the rain has returned and there's flooding -- luckily, we're a bit south of the hardest hit areas, so our melting didn't cause any trouble other than a few really large "puddles" on some roads.

    I'm sorry to hear about the tough times both your mothers have been going through, Kate and Glenda. I can definitely relate to that.  DH's mother has severe dementia, and while her physical needs are met very well by the staff and hospice team at her facility, it's extremely hard on DH to see this "shell" of a person withering before his eyes.  She has lots of hallucinations, too (bugs are common, but there have been complex things like people in the closet having secret conversations with the Chinese government).  As for "visitors," she has said DH's father has been there many times, and DH has explained that he's in heaven, but she doesn't understand.  

    Similar to your story, Callie, when she was hospitalized last summer and doctors were sure the end was near, DH had a similar conversation with her about it being okay to let go, that we're all going to be okay, that my FIL would be happy to see her (she'd "seen" him a few times before then).  Yes, it's a sad conversation to have, but several people have told us that type of "permission" is sometimes needed.  But, she doesn't seem ready to go, as she continues to rally and never expressed a wish to be with my FIL or to not be alive.  She's comfortable and has a voracious appetite, so things are stable, other than she's bed-ridden 24/7.  Honestly, it's been much harder on DH the past 2-3 years than it has been on her.  I worry a lot about his health as a result since he also juggles an extremely stressful job with long hours.  I'm glad we don't have children who also need our attention -- I don't know how "sandwich generation" folks do it.

    It's been a rough start to 2017 for me -- NYE I came down with a bad sinus infection which knocked me out for a few days.  Then when I was feeling 75% better, I had to have a root canal last week.  I was still feeling so fatigued from being sick that I actually thought this during the root canal:  "This is kind of relaxing, lying here listening to a podcast, eyes closed, with a lap blanket, for 90 minutes."  Who thinks a root canal is relaxing?!  Me, apparently!  :-)

    • Gold Top Dog

    Tracy I was wondering earlier today where you were.

    I actually had that conversation 11years ago and she got very agitated even though she was totally out of it. When I called the next morning to see how she was doing she was up in a chair eating her breakfast. very lucid and almost completely back.

    She was released from the hospital Tuesday and seems to be doing well. Without all those drugs she seems much more content and far more able to carry on a conversation. Honestly I think she was being givwn far too many pills (25) each day. So far so good. All we can do is hope for the best now.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Glenda, I'm glad to hear your Mom is doing as well as can be expected.  Being overly medicated definitely makes the dementia symptoms seem even more severe.  We've noticed that, too.  However, when they take her off some of the drugs, she becomes very distraught and agitated, even belligerent.  So, they try to find a balance with meds that ease those things since it's not good for her or for the staff when she's in that type of mental state.  It's a difficult fine line.

    It's odd you mention your experience 11 years ago --- when the doctors confirmed for DH  last summer that she was clearly in her final weeks, if not days (her kidneys were even starting to fail), he had that conversation with her that night before he left the hospital, even though she was hallucinating very heavily.  When he stopped talking, she became very lucid, looked clearly at him and said, "Well, you've never said anything like that to me before!"  The next morning, she too was sitting up, eating heartily, and has been in stable shape (physically) ever since.  It's interesting how some people are really ready to die and seem relieved to be given that permission, while others are not, even if their quality of life is totally gone by most standards.  My MIL has always had behaviors of defiance, and we continue to see them now.  She's had many medical emergencies in the past 30 years (she's 90) that would have killed many people, but she has the ability to rally, that's for sure.  Yet, we've had two acquaintances die of sudden heart attacks in their early 50's in the past 2 years, with no apparent symptoms or habits like smoking or obesity.  It makes no sense sometimes.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Aging parents is SOOO Not for cowards!  I've said that for years ... that said, it has made David and I **adamant** that we are going to make SURE this house is ready for us as we age.  So our quality of life won't be diminished by things like a lack of ramps or accessibility.

    My Mom was SO terrified by the prospect of having to go to a nursing home even temporarily ... and yet, I couldn't get her to put a small elevator in because the steps from the garage were so horrible.  As it is, the dr. told me flatly at the end that had she not passed but had been able TO go home, no way could she have gone to a home where it wasn't accessible even with 1 or 2 full time aides.  You've got to be able to get someone TO a doctor.