About Me

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I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I was getting my mom dressed for dialysis and she asked. "Where are you going?" I said "You're going to dialysis" She said, "Oh, I thought I was done with that." I said, "Did you think I would just take you off dialysis without talking to you about it?!" She thought the dialysis crew was kicking her out. I assured her that that was not the case, that she would be the one to determine whether she would continue with dialysis or not. She said, "but what about what the nurse said?" I told her the nurse was telling me that her health has declined in important ways and that she expects it will decline more and quickly. I went over this in more detail with her. I felt s bad that she thought she was just done. I suggested we have someone come to talk about hospice and that I wasn't suggesting she choose that now, but there might be a time when she feels too bad to want to go to dialysis anymore and she should know what hospice is. I asked her if she wanted to set up  an appointment to have someone come to talk to her about it. She doesn't now. I asked her if she didn't remember that I told her that when I went for lunch from now on I'd be going home to pick Bruce up so he could help her into the car since I can't do that anymore. She didn't remember. She thought she was at the end of her rope. She's probably been very scared but she's been sweet and stoic. I think she was greatly relieved. I told her again that to save any mobility she has left she would need to physically do things and that I didn't know what she could preserve or maybe get back. She doesn't have the oomph to exercise though, so I think her nurse is right about decline. When we sat her up today she sounded very congested and she hadn't sounded congested at all when she was laying down. This makes me think she could contract pneumonia. They weren't too concerned about it at the dialysis center. Our lawyer came to visit her at dialysis today. He said he thought she looked better than I described. They did labs today so I should have more information when I get those results. I also need to get a lab set up to check to see if the C-diff is really gone this time. Bruce just makes my mom happy. I am so grateful for him. And it's hard for him to leave the house, but he will do it for her.

In house news, the windows will be here tomorrow. And I picked out the granite (it was less expensive than the Corian I was planning on) and the flooring and the tile for the kitchen. Clark got the fridge and the sink, so we are progressing on the house. Clark also offered to help with my mom and because Bruce is agoraphobic and I'm afraid he will hurt himself helping my mom I think we should take Clark up on the offer if he's there on dialysis days.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The dialysis nurse asked to speak to me privately today. She said from what she has seen in the last 2 weeks (my mom has lost more than 12 pounds, is increasingly lethargic and is very physically weak) that I can expect a rapid and serious decline in her condition. The nurse has been a hospice nurse so I am guessing this is probably accurate. Mentally my mom is still very much here and I don't think she's quite ready to die. I feel so bad for her.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

So, I am feeling terrible. Today was a dialysis day and it went ok till it was time to go home. I'm already wheeling my mom out and trying to tow her oxygen and balancing a pile of belongings like pillow, blanket etc. I can get her out of the car pretty efficiently but in, especially after dialysis is a totally different story. She has little muscle tone. She cannot stand independently, she needs a LOT of support. She cannot walk. I had a gait belt on her today because on Tuesday when I tried to get her in the car she ended up laying on her face butt hanging out of the car, legs out of the car and unable to get in any way vertical. Fortunately, a taxi driver who had seen us in that state once before saw us and came to help for which I was deeply grateful. I sent him a card and $40 this morning. He had suggested I stand in front of her and walk her to the car, have her pivot and sit down on the seat and then sort of spin her in. I tried. What happened is that as soon as she was even in front of the car door opening she lost all power and started going down. It's like she sees a surface and her body just lays down. I can't pick her up (describing this to Bruce he says things like "Can't never could" and I chew my teeth in an effort not to physically attack him) So today, no one in sight to help she has her face on the car seat but she's mostly out of the car. I am screaming that I can't pick her up ad she needs to try to sit up so I can try to muscle her into the car or at least somewhat onto the seat. She can't and she's very sensitive to my screaming which is sheer panic because i feel I am going to have to call 911 to get her in the car. I know my mom. she is feeling guilty and like there's something she should be doing, but she CAN'T and somehow I manage to get part of her butt on the seat then into the car but she is not erect and I have used all my strength and right now I am very sore and know I will hurt worse in the morning. All the way hme I am apologizing to her bu that doesn't do a lot of good. she says she will get better which breaks my heart. I say we need to schedule a van to take her in her wheelchai. She adamantly does not want to do this. But if not one or both of us is going to be seriously injured or die. I can see having a stroke in the fucking parking lot.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Today was lawyer day. Bruce and I made out living wills and wills. It was a rather tense and emotional day. Hard to think about my death.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


My mom now has oxygen at 2 liters per hour. Her Dr wrote the prescription but the company providing the oxygen says there isn't enough documentation to bill Medicare. So, hopefully documentation will be made (Every home health care nurse and the nurses in the hospital all ask if she uses oxygen at home- her level was in the 70's at the hospital when she went to get her carotid catheter replaced. The nurses could get it into the low 90s or high eighties by chanting " Smell the roses, blow out the candles" But she naturally breathes very shallowly so it isn't a level she will sustain. $150 a month till documentation is provided that she needs this. She needs it and fortuately can pay. Jeez!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017


My mom got sent home again from dialysis. Last time there was a clot. This time there was too much variance between her arterial and venous pressures and Celeste, her nurse, tried many things to at least squeak her through today, but it didn't work. So now I'm waiting for someone to call me to tell me when my mom can be scheduled for surgery to replace her carotid catheter. I hope today because she needs dialysis to stay alive. She also is going to need surgery to improve her fistula which is not maturing properly and once that is corrected (hopefully a second surgery will do the trick) that will need more time to mature.

My mom has been so sweet and has been trying so hard to do all the things she's been told can help her live and this is just a kick in the teeth.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

40th High School Reunion

Not long ago I got notification of my 40th high school reunion. I was surprised to find I wanted to go. I'm an introvert and while I am curious about the lives of more people than I ever interacted with, well, I never interacted with them. I didn't even attend my own high school graduation. So yes, I was surprised. I thought about this and I think much of it has to do with the fact that I NEED a vacation. I'm planning to go for at least 1 or two weeks.

When I told my mom that I would be going, next June, her first question was if The Ghost was going. At that point I didn't know, but it turns out he is not which pretty much guarantees that I won't see him again in this life. I truly doubt I'll go to any 50th reunion. But that's ok. It would have been hard on me and perhaps awkward. I've made plans to visit my friend Grace and I am going to rent a cabin and I've invited another friend. She can bring her husband if she wants to. I hope to see cousins and maybe another couple of friends. I invited Bruce and my mom but neither off them want to go. I'll have to make arrangements for nursing care for my mom and food preparation and stuff and transportation to and from dialysis. But I'm really planning to go. And I'm really planning to take some time to just be. Hell, I may even go to Disneyland or something. I will go to thebeach (Grace lives in Costa Mesa)

The reunion is actually going to be in Mission Viejo at a hotel and I've requested 3 nights there. Then I can stay with Grace and I am looking for a good cabin in Crestline or some town nearby in the San Bernardino mountains.  Something with a fireplace and not all too modern.

Updates on the Landscaping

We have moved to the inside of the house now. The front room is being worked on. I dread the kitchen, bu I am also very much looking forward to it. The landscaping is mostly done. I have a bunch of flowers and shrubs that I thought I was going to plant today. So far it hasn't happened. I als planned t clean the chicken coop. Hopefully I will do something out there!

Saturday I had friends over and we made a fire in the firepit and roasted weenies and made s'mores. I haven;t toasted a marshmallow in YEARS but mine came out perfect! It was fun. Dayan brought River's acoustic guitar and played a little. Jetty Lee bit Kaige but that was the only sour note. Everyone had fun.

Here are some pics of the yards and the chickens

Aint Bea Pookie Pi and Glory

Vim, Aint Bea. Pookie Pi and Glory

Dusk and Rudder

 Vim (white Leghorn in front), Dusk (to the left), Glory, Pookie Pi, Aint Bea, Rudder

Vim (she's my favorite)

Update on My Mom

Today is Sunday 09/10/2017.  My mom is having a good but quiet day. I am having a good but quiet day. Many of the past days have not been good or quiet. First of all, C-diff.... Oh NASTY NASTY bacteria!!!! And very contagious although, miraculously, neither Bruce nor I have succumbed. And I wasn't wearing gloves for the first bit of it. C-diff causes terrible, incredibly stinky diarrhea where the sufferer has no control whatsoever. We went to a three part washing system. An outside squirt off, followed by 2 runs through the washer in hot water with bleach. C-diff can live on surfaces for 90 days. Alcohol will not kill it. It laughs at hand sanitizer. Hot water and soap dilutes it to something that may be innocuous. Only bleach kills it. When I got the diagnosis I was required to call my mom's home health care service and her primary Dr's office. People in contact with her wear protective clothing. Now, my mom is at this point dialysis dependent. She is not passing any urine. She would die without dialysis. So I have to take her and she is on the machine for at least 3 hours and 15 minutes, plus travel time. I've felt so badly for her! Everything is covered with chux. There was no stopping the virulent diarrhea. You could smell her from a great distance and I couldn't change her till I got her home. Before I learned about barrier cream I was worried she'd end up in the hospital just from sitting in the irritating mess. It was awful. Of course she's been dehydrated. Most people have fluid removed during dialysis, my mom has been getting fluids. And she lost a lot of weight. Most diabetics have a strict diet with little carbs or potassium. I've been told to feed her whatever she will eat. But C-diff also kills your appetite. She doesn't want to eat. Even though we are almost done with a 2 week course of very strong antibiotics 3 times a day (which have been effective as far as I can tell) she still doesn't want to eat or drink much. And she's supposed to have potassium, so I am begging her to eat foods she used to like, like avocado or bananas. She isn't hungry. Her Dr gave her Marinol (synthetic THC) to quell nausea (she's had nausea badly) and to stimulate her appetite and it seems to have helped for the nausea but hasn't had much effect on appetite. I wonder if natural cannabis would be better. Her Dr wouldn't say so directly but he did say there is a dispensary in nearby Mesquite NV where marijuana is legal. I think about going.

I'm still shocked at my mom's loss of functions. She's still mentally all there but she is losing physical abilities so fast it makes my head spin. She can't stand alone. Her physical therapist, who I really like because he can motivate her to do things I cannot suggested she have a medical recliner so that she would not be laying down all the time. Her oxygen level is in the 82-85 range which is not good. Sitting up, even in a recliner would help. She has used it twice and once was briefly. He tried to get her to stand and march in place Friday. She could only stand for about 45 seconds and forget marching. This was with him spotting her. Some of the CNAs who come to shower her don't seem to realize that she can't stand or walk. The one who came Friday did not call beforehand and I had waited till 4 before I assumed no one was coming and went out to do errands. That was a horrorshow. One of the CNAs, Melissa is good with her. Takes her time. Puts lotion on my mom. Sanitizes the shower after and dries my mom's hair. Makes good and sure the site on her chest where her catheter is won't get wet. the oe on Friday did none of this.

My mom has remained grateful and funny and uncomplaining though I wish she would tell me more about how she feels so I can maybe do something about it. Some days she is so weak and tired she doesn't want to go to dialysis and I have to stress to her that not going is not an option unless she is ready for hospice. She tries so hard to cooperate. It's heartbreaking.

She really likes the flannel shirts Bruce donated to her cause. Dialysis makes you cold and she is under heaped blankets at home even when it's over 100 degrees outside. I bought her some new flannel shirts and she likes those. I also got her and electric throw to use at dialysis but she wont use it because she's afraid of a bout of diarrhea. Fortunately she hasn't had that happen for awhile thanks to the antibiotics. I can usually get her home before she has to go and it's much less smelly and of a better consistency. I'll have to take another stool sample in to see if the bacteria is eradicated, it might not be even after the two weeks  in which case the Dr will either up the strength or go to an even stronger antibiotic. It can also come back. Nasty bug!!!!!

I feel like my mom is tolerating the dialysis better. it doesn't wipe her out as much as it used to. But I am still very concerned about how she sees her quality of life.

She's still very funny. We've been having work done on the house and the other day I told her that Bruce has been working his ass off. Without pause, she retorted, "What ass?" I had to tell him my mom is scoping out his ass.

Friday, August 11, 2017

I write to vent. But I think it is inappropriate to write about this particular day. But I am so astonished and worn out and concerned and hoping with all my heart I can be patient and cheerful and empathetic.

Bare Bones Update

I'm very tired and very worried.

My mom was in the hospital from Monday evening till Thursday afternoon. She should have been in there earlier but I am a hospital neophyte. And I intend to stay that way. I told her I will only take her to the hospital again if she asks me to. The staff members were all very very nice. And efficient. But I felt their the Dr's and the Palliative care people's subtle emphasis on End Stage Renal Disease. My mom did choose to start dialysis though, and that entailed having a carotid catheter installed as her fistula isn't seasoned enough to use yet. She was a trooper. But she has been so weak and so nauseous and she wasn't eating or drinking. This morning I was so excited because she ate some oatmeal and drank some cranberry juice, but it gave her diarrhea afterwards. I have learned to change briefs pretty efficiently. And I am so glad she is letting me, both for hygiene reasons and because she is so weak I am afraid she will fall. She's in good spirits. She missed her tv and Toby and the no-hospital feeling of home. Bruce has been so good to her, for her and with her. And she is grateful for everything we do.

Tomorrow I attempt to take her to dialysis at the regular center for the first time. I hope it goes well. I'm really anxious for them to change the dressing on that port as I have no supplies to do it and haven't been taught and I am terrified of it massively bleeding. I will remember to take a blanket. a pillow and have her in a buttoning shirt.

She had an assessment at the hospital by an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. They were optimstic that she could regain strength and function. I certainly think she could if she could eat and drink. It worries me gravely that she is eating and drinking almost nothing. The home health care nurse came today to get those services rolling. I am grateful. If she needs labs done between dialysis days they will be able to do them at him. They will be able to administer IV fluids. They can assess whether or not she will need oxygen. There's a lot they can do and I want them to do it while we see if dialysis can give her a decent quality of life. If it doesn't, then we will look toward hospice. Quality of life is more important than quantity.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Back Yard as of July 26, 2017

The patio is almost done. I've ordered 6 glider chairs and 6 side tables. Bruce put together one of the glider chairs, the instructions were terrible but he did it. He wonders why I am getting so much seating. I want the back yard to be able to comfortably accommodate some people. He wonders who.

Tomorrow Dan and Clark are going to work on the water feature. I wonder if the firepit is usable now. I could go for a fire!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Peace Today

Because I make awesome hotcakes. but seriously thankful because that negative stuff wears me out and especially when applied to my mom's situation which seems way too tenuous to want to waste precious time with it. I think Bruce helped, he talked to her companionably for a long time last night.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mama Drama

Having a fight with my mom an it is totally draining me. It's also making me feel guilty, and as if I should not speak bad truth to my MOTHER who is old, infirm and waning. However, that is not what I did. The fight was about the car she gave to my friend Grace because a) she could not drive it and B) my alcoholic, unlicensed, uninsured nephew refused to give her her key. At the time I told her she could have the car disabled, have it taken to a junkyard (you should have seen what a mess it was) or she could give it away. My friend Grace offered to take it. My mom signed the title and we had the car towed, pronto. While my widowed sister in law screamed that it should be hers or Corey's.... The whole point was to do it fast before Corey had a wreck possibly hurt or killed someone and got my mother's whole estate taken from her. But my mother felt it was too fast. Did she want the car? Could she drive the car? It would have been a done deal, except that when Grace tried to get the title changed to her named the DMV told her there was a lienholder on the title, so we had to contact the credit union it was financed through and get them to take the lien off. I knew my mom had paid off the car, it was a 1997 Camry. She had owned it free and clear for YEARS. But she was miffed with the speed with which we had acted and the credit union had become another credit union and blah blah blah. I tried several times to resolve it. I got nowhere. Meanwhile, Grace had taken that car apart and cleaned it thoroughly and gotten it into as much running condition as she could without driving it. A LOT of work and Grace is a skilled worker. My mom has for some reason labelled Grace as her enemy. I cannot fathom why. When her wreck of a house had the burner of a fairly new electric stove burning on HIGH for MONTHS Grace was the one who went and turned the thing off. Not the nephews. They are lucky the house did not burn down. I think my mom is jealous of Grace and it makes me sick. Anyway, we were getting notices threatening a lawsuit because the car, still on my mom's name, was not registered. It was a fiasco. I did not have the time or the know how of how to resolve it so I finally resorted to contacting the lawyer (who my mom has met like 5 times in her life and while he is a nice guy and I like him he makes $230 an hour and she has amended her trust to give him his outstanding student loan-currently $60,000.) But she objects to me resolving the matter and she objects to me involving the lawyer (on the basis of money mind you) Anyway I did, after a year, resort to resolving it and his secretary (Notary public) came by yesterday with papers for her to sign. She knew the lady was coming but she is further mad that I brought her into her bedroom (it's hard for my mom to get up and about) Also, papers to resolve this issue were not the only papers she brought, the lawyer, unbeknownst to me though he had written me an email mentioning it but I didn't read that till later) sent durable power of attorney papers naming me as her durable power of attorney. I had no idea. Now my mom already feels she is losing control. I have wanted durable power of attorney because it would make acting on her behalf so much easier but this was just sprung on her. Shocked I asked if that was necessary and the secretary said it's just somethin people sign in her situation. That's disingenuous. My mother said to just give it to her and she would sign it. And she did. But we've been arguing and she's been pouting ever since. Thing is, my mom is no angel. When she said, "I don't trust you" I told her flat out I had less reason to trust her than she had to distrust me. I asked if she wanted to get into it. She said she did so I started ennumerating things she has done to me. The last thing i want is contention but I am not up for installing her on a pedestal and kissing her ass either. Nope. Just not. Even if I landed on the street, which I easily could. So today has been an unpleasant day. I don't know how much longer this situation will last. To me it's just plain stupid and self defeating. she refused breakfast this morning (I did test her blood sugar and it was 235 so she may have eaten somethig in her room) And I tested it again and it was 166 in the afternoon so my fear of low blood sugar reaction was unfounded. I brought her dinner and just left it with her and I believe she ate it. but good grief! WHY all this drama?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July, 2017

I was about to go bugfuck crazy. I needed some fun. So I messaged my friend Rebecca and we decided that she and me and 3 of her kids would go have a meal and go bowling.

Now, I probably haven't been bowling in close to 20 years. I sure haven't been in the 16 years I've been involved with Bruce, though I used to beg. But, Bruce's dad, at some point in quite a varied career path was a professional bowler and Bruce was a good bowler (in the 200s)  He SAYS he won't go because he cannot smoke in the alleys anymore, but I think it also has to do with going with a person whose good bowling days are in the 60s.

The last time I remember bowling I was sick as a dog. But I was very happy because I was on a roadtrip with Miles and we were in Moab. We'd been to Mi Vida  restaurant on the top of the bluff (long since closed) It was an upscale joint. I was so sick I only ordered French onion soup and I remember the stretchy, rich cheese. Miles ordered something with capers and when it came the look on his face was so hilarious I will never forget it. I was so dang sick that things seemed hallucinogenic. Despite that, I was the one driving. And damned it I didn't see myself run a red light right as I ran it. I was very surprised and upset, but not as upset as I was when I noticed the police car right behind me. As I was getting my ticket Miles was cracking jokes which made things worse in my opinion but sick as I was and embarrassed I could not help thinking the man was funny. We proceeded to the bowling alley and I bowled my usual dismal score (I average about 60) but I had a lot of fun. As we were leaving the proprietor came running out after us. He said we hadn't paid. Now I thought we had, I've never stolen anything on purpose. I paid him out there and was further embarrassed. That was one funky illness! I don't remember getting back to our motel.

Anyway, the bowling today was fun. We went to Fiesta Family Fun Center and shoe rental was free because of the holiday. I wasn't the worst in our group, but I sort of felt badly that I wasn't. The high score was 99, so we all sucked. But happily.

Now I;m about ready for bed and should go there and grab some sleep as I need to be up at about 4 am to get my mom to the hospital to check in at 5:15. I'm sure fireworks will have me up way past midnight. I'm worried about the surgery. I think it's pretty minor, it's outpatient, but my mom will need to protect that arm for the rest of her life and it's going to be very fragile. She has to go to her nephrologist the next day.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


We ordered my mom an air-horn. She decided to take a bath, which I am all in favor of. She takes Toby in there with her and closes the door. I was in my bedroom, mere feet away and I heard Toby baHrking a little and decided to go check on her. She has always liked long hot baths. I go in and she's sitting in the empty tub and tells me she's been calling me for awhile. I never heard her at all. Toby of course, had pooped on the floor and when I let him out of the room he peed in the hall. I helped my mom out of the tub and into her room, got her some clothes and then proceeded to bleach things. I use more bleach more regularly than I ever would have imagined and laundry is a serious time consumer nowadays. But I'm getting better and more organized at it.

Bruce thought a bicycle horn would do but nope, I want a freaking air-horn. When I went to Lorena's graduation someone in close proximity to me had one and I was impressed at how its utilization launched me out of my seat. That's what I need. Something unsubtle and unmistakeable. She's going to feel so powerful!

I Need To Be More Aware

I knew that today was July 2, but thought it was Saturday. I was getting very confused trying to mentally prepare myself for the week with that erroneous presumption.

I am, (and it is blissful!) debt free. When I paid off my one measly credit card I blocked it because I saw 2 charges on it I didn't understand. One was for Classmates, which I really don't use. The other was for Netflix. "Wait! Doesn't Netflix come out of my checking account?" I checked and indeed that is the way it was set up. I could not figure it out until last night I remembered I had set up a Netflix account for my friend Steve. YEARS ago. I don't even know if he ever used it. But I've been paying it for years. One one hand I hope he was getting use from it in which case I feel badly for cancelling it, but since we don't currently talk I think that was the right thing to do. But if he wasn't ever using it-what a waste of money!

I'd like to think today is going to be a more relaxed day than I've been having lately, but reviewing the necessary to do list in my head I see that it is NOT, unless I choose to leave things undone.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Consultation with the surgeon who will create the fistula Monday 6/26 at 11:30.  My mom was not pleased it is so soon, I am.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

06/22/2017 Nephrologist

I really like my mom's nephrologist. He was so shocked by the drastic plunge in her kidney function that he had a nurse draw blood and ran the test again while we waited. Her other numbers were improved on the previous test so it seemed weird that creatinine went to 3.7. He asked what was going on. I told him how much she is sleeping and mentioned the huge weight gain which I don't think could possibly be food since she barely eats (another symptom of kidney failure) I told him about the increased edema in her feet. I told him about diarrhea and falling. Today was the first day she let me use the wheelchair and I hope it made things easier in her perception, it sure was great in mine! He decreased her nightly insulin to 7 and the nutritionist he brought in suggested I could do 6 if I felt that was better. I love the flexibility. Her blood sugar was just 51 this morning after 8 units of Lantus last night. The nephrologist doesn't want hers lower than 100. That seems really good to me. I don't give her any if the night's blood sugar reading is 200 or less. Anyway, her toxins numbers are good (about 35) so something is working. He thinks she's dehydrated. I'm encouraging her to drink more water. He removed an alkalizing medication for now and her blood pressure medicine for now also. Those will probably be re-added if she gets stronger and her nutrition improves. We asked about whether hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis would be better for her. He said he generally prefers peritoneal dialysis for his elderly patients but that for now she is too weak. He's referred her to a surgeon to create a fistula but that needs to season. Because her other numbers are good he is not ordering a catheter in her neck right now. Hopefully the fistula will have time too season. We have to go back a lot more often. We have an appointment in 2 weeks and I should get the surgery scheduled by Tuesday (don't know when it will be though) If she improves on the hemodialysis we can switch to peritoneal later. I am happy she is willing to try dialysis and that we have a plan. She will also be taking a protein supplement and fortunately she likes it so that will help with protein. we went out to dinner at her favorite buffet after the appointment and she ate better than she has in a long while.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I feel so sad and also kind of numb.

Today started with some wry humor, if you see such things as humorous. I was up at 4 to take Toby out and to bring my mom her juice. Then I went back to bed. But Toby's imperious "baHrk" got me up to take him out. I staggered to the bathroom (I'm not getting enough sleep. I don't think there IS enough sleep) and was greeted by a live mouse in the toilet bowl. I put that need on hold and went to take Toby. He peed on me (but not till we were through the sliding glass door)

My mom is being very brave. She says she wants things to continue here as usual. Of course, I don't think that's possible She has such a sweet, beautiful, innocent face. Last night, trying to impress on her the gravity of the situation I told her, than unless she opts for dialysis from what I've read, she will only live for weeks. She feels she's done what the Drs have asked and she doesn't quite understand how her situation could have gone so far down so fast. I don't either. We will have lots of questions for the Dr tomorrow. At this point I think I'd like to check into a home nurse. I'm betting she won't like that much, but I'm wondering if I am doing something wrong. I am trying my bestt to take good care of her and to balance that with her wishes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


While I was grooming Ruffles today, my mom's Dr's office called with results of her lab tests. She's gone from stage 4 kidney disease to stage 5. While the person was giving me information I understand less I was grappling to get her to give me the kidney function #. It went from 19 at her last visit to 11. She's in the do dialysis or die territory. I am shocked. i knew she wasn't doing as well because she's mostly been sleeping and the red rings are coming back under her eyes. But that seems to be a huge drop very quickly. Bruce went in with me to tell her. Because I want to to be thinking about what she wants to do at this point. She looked stunned and resigned at once. She didn't want me to be string at her. I think she has a good grasp of the seriousness of the situation. I feel gut punched and so (this is not such a good word, but it's the best I can do) concerned for her. Not pity, though I sure wish I could change this result, but protective and aware of her vulnerability. But also sort of like the wind has been knocked out of me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Exhausted, frustrated and Concerned

My morning began between 5 and 5:30 when I got up to take Toby out, do my mom's readings and give her her morning medicine and juice. I knew there was a problem as soon as I was in the hall. Something stank. Badly. Entering my mom's room I saw what looked like a crime scene, but in shit instead of blood. Toby had had BAD diarrhea on her bed and he and my mom were sleeping obliviously in the middle of it. I took her readings first, then took Toby out and then to the groomery to bathe him. The excrement was so dried on it took 4 shampoo-ings to get it all off. I am sure he felt better after the bath. Then I stripped the bed down to the fitted sheet (which I thought was clean) and started trying to get the bedding clean. Lots and lots and lots of laundry. I had planned to do my bedding and other laundry today, but so far the machine is commandeered. My mom wanted hotcakes for breakfast and so I made some. I can't remember ever making worse tasting hotcakes and I can't think what went wrong, I mean, it's not rocket science! My mom has a Dr's appointment and labs today and even though I try to take how slow she is under consideration we didn't get there till 1 (they wanted us there at 12:45) She won't let me use the wheelchair I got for her and she did indeed fall in the dr's office. She gained about 25 pounds which is incredible to me because she eats so very very little. The first reading of her blood oxygen at the Dr's, which was taken right after she was back in a chair after the fall was 79. Not good! They later took it again and it was 90 which is better but still not terrific. I had the Dr look at her feet because I am noticing edema and her toes are purplish. She was mad at me for that and madder at Bruce because she thought it was at his instigation even though I told her I have been concerned and rightfully so because with diabetes, paying attention to one's feet is critical. She gave 5 tubes of blood for labwork. I discusses diarrhea with her Dr who advised me to bring it up with the nephrologist next Thursday. We're reducing her Lantus from 10 to 8 at night because her morning readings are so low. I told her Dr I am not giving her Lantus if her blood sugar is 200 or lower. Thankfully he agreed with that strategy. I took home a hat and a sample cup to do the urine sample at home. I'll take it back later. She can never manage to pee in a Dr's office even if she drinks water which she did. After the appointment she just wanted to come home. she was worried about Toby (and indeed he has crapped all over the floor of her room and smeared it everywhere- another bleach job for me today) Bruce changed her sheets all the way while we were gone and I am doing even more laundry. Getting her in the front door, my heart was in my throat and even though both Bruce and I were spotting her she went down AGAIN in the cement and bumped the back of her head. The lady across the street came running over with a blanket to help. My mom needs to lay there awhile before she wants us to try to help her up. I hope the lady doesn't think I was rude to send her away, but it's not a quick fix. Nothing with my mom is quick anymore. Things work better if we go at her very slow pace. I'll get a thank you card for the lady and try to explain. Once she was in the house my mom just wanted to lay down, so she didI added a pressure releasing pad under her. Bruce went to check on her a few minutes ago and she is asleep. I'm going to need to wake her up to get the urine sample. That makes me feel bad, but they close ar 5. I told Bruce I am considering getting my mom a helmet. He suggested kneepads too. I'm grateful for him. He really cares about my mom and checks on her many times a day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Still Working on the Front Yard. No, It's Not Completely Done, but Close Enough

This may be the last set of pictures I post of the front yard until the side yard is done. but I'm so excited to see progress. Dan won't be back till Monday and he'll be working on the back yard then. i wanted to get an estimate for windows (and kitchen remodeling) but Bruce tells me I am going too fast. There is prep work to be done. Much cleaning and sorting and getting rid of stuff. He's correct. So I will try to focus on the prep work. If I ever have time! And I say that when I've taken a little time and not touched the prep work. My mom needs attention or something weird comes up or I am flat out so exhausted I just sleep. I'm worried about my mom. She does have a Dr appointment Thursday and then her nephrologist the following Thursday, but she is sleeping so much and she only really eats breakfast. There's more, but it's depressing and some is pretty gross. Anyway I am pretty concerned. I did take her out to see the front yard. I got her as far as the bench. I don't think she was able to see too much but she liked what she saw. She also liked listening to the birds. we sat out there for a good long while. It was pleasant

This is basically whatt it looks like from across the street.

Bruce thinks the bench is hideous. I love it. I actaully wanted it in the gravel between the tree and the rock but it's too big. Oops. Now, the bed we saved to plant columbine and bleeding hearts an other stuff may need to be re-imagined to avoid the current odd, awkward look.

I think Bruce enjoyed sitting in the front yard more than he thought he would. It WAS right pleasant out there with lots of birdsong. Dan has pointed oit to me natural water basins and likely places lizards will move in. We already have lizards and they are fun to watch- doing their push-ups. This will be a more natiral environment for them.

When Dan and Seth unloaded the tortoise (the only time I've actually seen Dan breathe had) they were in some dismay as I had them move it to a few differnt places. Not many, I'm not cruel. But the first thing Dan said as he was unloading it was that if I put it too close to the street, kids would ride it. I busted out laughing when Bruce came out the front door, saw the torttoise and, well, you can see what happened. He is a big kid. And I love that about him. I'm trying to think of a name for the tortoise.

Btuce says the tortoise reminds him of a stubborn, Scottish face Max can wear. I can see it. There's something longsuffering in it too.

Part of the flagstone path. I love the path and I love the varigated colors.

Another attempt a a whole front view. I'm not doing that very well.

Primary focal area.

The bench looks lonely without a booty in it. But I love this view of the path.