Thursday, May 28, 2009

Peace of Mind (Loggins & Messina)

First of all, I want everyone to know how much I cherish your blog comments as well as your private e-mails (Linda, I promise to reply personally soon) - it means much to hear from you, even if I'm not always able to respond. My days are not my own - between meals/doctors/laundry, etc., I've really not had much time for myself (no surprise there)...

I also want to say that, I of all people understand that life gets busy - even if you haven't weighed in, we can still feel your support...

This is truly the most difficult thing I've ever had to do... so please keep those thoughts, prayers and love coming - they are oh so appreciated...

Two more Connie Circle updates:

Sent: Wed, 27 May 2009 12:03 pm
Subject: Connie Circle update - 5/27/09

Hey, All -

Okay... two forward, one back - we'll start with the latter... :-)

~ I told you in yesterday's update that we had Hi-Tech switch mom from her 40 ft. (skinny) tubing to 25 ft. (high flow) - welllll, we thought we'd be fine logistically (didn't it always seem like she had way too much slack?) but, when mom went to motivate to bed last night, we realized she could only go as far as her bathroom doorway (whoops!).

Fortunately, we had taken the possibility into consideration and had her use the hallway bathroom on the way - I called Hi-Tech, took full responsibility for the mis-calculation and they will come out tomorrow morning to switch back, but this time to a 40 ft. high flow (crisis averted!). She does seem as if she's getting more oxygen since the switch - her color looks better and moving doesn't seem to take quite so much out of her...

~ We noticed some lesions on her back and shoulders yesterday and, after R took a look last night and suggested she see the doctor, I made an appointment with Dr. Mini for 3 p.m. today - good news...

~ We heard back from Crossroads Hospice today - they were more than willing to come out this afternoon but, since we had just made the doctor's appointment, they will come at 2 p.m. tomorrow instead. They are sending a nurse for an evaluation and someone from their office if we need to initiate paperwork/consent...

~ Mom called the cemetery (to talk about getting spaces for Marie, herself and B) and they do make home visits - she's to hear back from a Mr. Lawson sometime today to make an appointment...

~ Thanks to B (R's husband) who came over to measure for a screen door (which mom's been wanting) - I will pull up some options on Home Depot's website, mom can choose a few in order of preference and Brad and I can pick one up Sunday...

~ Mom called her newspaper carrier and asked if they could begin hanging the newspaper (Thursday-Sunday delivery on her front doorknob (rather than at the garage door where they've been throwing it) - they are more than glad to do that...

I think that's it (for now) - I'll keep you all posted... and thanks again to all for everything!


Sent: Fri, 29 May 2009 2:01 am
Subject: Connie Circle update - 5/28/09

Hey, All -

To quote my favorite singer-songwriter Dar Williams, "I lived a whole life in one night" - where to begin?

~ Hi-Tech (the oxygen company) called back this morning and it seems that the 40 ft. tubing does not come in high flow - we decided to make the trade-off of limited mobility for increased oxygen and mom is okay with it (more on this further down)...

~ I got her to the doctor yesterday afternoon for her lesions and she was immediately diagnosed with neurodermatitis, very common in people of her age and circumstances -the doctor prescribed a topical ointment to apply twice a day for the next 10 days and we are all so relieved to know what it is and how to make it better...

~ Two guys from the funeral home/cemetery came out yesterday to talk to mom about not only her arrangements, but the interment of Marie's cremains (who passed away last June) - B said he wanted to be with both his mothers (mom and Marie) so mom decided on three side-by-side niches in the Catholic section. Her words: "signed, sealed, delivered"... :-)

~ With my brother's help, I bought the screen door today, only to find out we really needed a storm door - thanks again to B, R's husband, who took me back up there tonight to make the exchange... and he will install tomorrow or over the weekend...

~ The newspaper was delivered to the front door today, but not hanging on the doorknob - we'll give it another few days before we call back..

~ Okay... two women from Crossroads Hospice came this afternoon, Connie the supervisor and Harriet, the caseworker/nurse - they were amazingly informative and experienced and compassionate and, after only a short while, it was determined that now was indeed a good time for mom to begin the program. M and B (my sister and brother) were here as well, and everyone could tell this was a mutual decision, for mom's benefit - peace of mind... priceless... not to mention the fact that Medicare covers everything. They will send a wheelchair, shower chair and bedside commode out tomorrow and a visiting nurse will come Saturday (she would have come tomorrow as well, except for the fact we have company mid-day and wanted to concentrate on them) - there will be a team of nurses, caregivers, social workers, spiritual counselors, etc. not to mention all of mom's oxygen and medications will be taken care of through Crossroads now (we are especially reassured about the switch in oxygen providers)...

~ After reading lots about hospice programs, I realized someone has to step up to be primary caregiver and that role seems to fall naturally to me - I've said from the beginning that my unemployment was a blessing in disguise. I plan to stay up here indefinitely to oversee the progression, as well as take advantage of the time with mom - M and B will come over when they're able (considering they're both working full-time jobs) and M mentioned getting wireless at mom's so she can work from there (since Internet has been so unreliable here). Everyone has promised I will get breaks, which I will need - fortunately, everything I need to accomplish in the next few months can be done from here, and we will take one joyful, comfortable, peace-filled day at a time (it's now all about abundance rather than deprivation)...

I'm pretty talked/typed out... but so glad to know the responsibility will now be umbrella-ed under one resource... and we can concentrate on spending quality time together - much love to all as we continue on this journey together... <3

SONG: Peace of Mind by Loggins & Messina

No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh

POEM: To Look at Any Thing by John Moffitt

To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say,
"I have seen spring in these
Woods," will not do - you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

QUOTE: "The world that was not mine yesterday now lies spread out at my feet, a splendor. I seem, in the middle of the night, to have returned to the world of apples, the orchards of Heaven. Perhaps I should take my problems to a shrink, or perhaps I should enjoy the apples that I have, streaked with color like the evening sky." ~ John Cheever

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