Tuesday 20 July 2021

How It's Going

Hello, my people.

Time flies when you're having fun, so they say.

"They" are wrong. I haven't been having fun at all, but, despite that, some of my precious remaining time as a living, functioning person has disappeared anyhow.

I'm trying to meet work deadlines.  One of the offices where I have to work in person has no air conditioning and the weather has gotten hot here, so I have to go at times I wouldn't otherwise be even awake. Then I come home and sleep during the day. Crikey. At least that job will end in a couple of weeks.

I'm stressed by my mother's problems, and have been to see my own doctor about my blood pressure and other issues. He recommended grief counselling, which I think is actually a pretty good idea because I think I'm kind of stuck, but then the conversation veered away from how to handle the stress I'm feeling and we never did get back to it.

My mother is declining further, cognitively speaking. She is mixing up her pills and I'm finding them in her clothing, in her purse, in the cushions of her chair, on the floor, etc. The pharmacy has blister-packed them but that doesn't stop her, it only slows her down. I've had to take the medications home with me, which therefore requires me to bring her pills to her every day. She is still talking seriously about getting a new car, and her geriatric assessment has been postponed by over a week. She feels she is doing very well and still has all her wits about her, quote/unquote. I do not feel that, at all, at all.

I was hanging on by my fingernails before; now I am basically doing the mid-air, leg-cycling thing that happens in the cartoons where someone runs off a cliff and keeps running until they realize there's no ground under them anymore. I haven't started the rapid downwards whoosh yet, but I feel it's only a matter of time.

I've been watching some YouTube videos on dealing with dementia as a caregiver, and that has been a little bit helpful. I've also developed some of my own methods of dealing with Mom. Number 1 is that if logic is not working, hey, guess what, more logic won't work either; it just sends my blood pressure through the roof. Number 2 is that I can't wrestle her to the ground and make her take her pills, and I can't hide them in her food like I do for our cat, so taking her meds has to be her choice and I have to let go of trying to control that. If she ends up with health problems from not taking meds, that's a risk I have to be willing to live with.

If any of you have any other tips, I'm all ears.

Moving on to lighter topics, I made an impulse buy last week. It was out of character for me to impulse-buy, but sometimes you just have to go with your inner voice. My inner voice was telling me this was the mug for me. For the record, I've only ever bought one other mug for myself in my whole life, and I don't drink coffee or tea or hot chocolate, and I don't like to drink cold beverages from a mug, so I'll probably use it to hold pens.

(If Laurie or anyone else with vision issues is reading, the mug says: I got so much procrastinating done today. I think this describes most of my days)



Last week these fawns were snoozing in my back yard. I've noticed that when there are two or more deer resting at the same time, they position themselves back to back. Smart deer! And they seem to learn this at a young age.


And this buck was resting by himself, on a different day. His antlers are growing. He was very laid back and his eyes were drifting shut repeatedly.

A couple of posts ago (here), I included a picture of one of our cats, Meredith.

Blogger Bonnie, from It Seems Like Only Yesterday, herself the servant of two beautiful cats, asked for a picture of our other cat, Lucy.

This week, Lucy deigned to pose for me.

No, she didn't. I took the picture without permission and she will likely sue me for it. That's just the kind of girl she is. But she has lovely eyes, doesn't she? And a delightful little pink nose. Which is right above her cobra-like fangs. But we won't ruin the mood with that little detail.

I've been doing a miniscule amount of gardening, as I usually do in mid-July, when the transplants I bought in early June are on their last legs and I have to get them into bigger pots or into the ground before they die.

Here is Frog with his gardening tools and little plant. This is a difficult planter to work with because the place where the earth goes is so small and oddly shaped, and the earth dries out so fast, but this little succulent is what I found to fit in it this year.

I rescued some transplants from the clutches of the earwigs and stuck them in a pot that's nicer than the actual plants are.

Lastly, a chalk drawing of "V for Victory" fingers a peace sign (thanks, Janie Junebug!) I came across recently. Hardly anyone draws on the sidewalks here and this doesn't really look like a child's drawing, so I'm curious who did it. 

We can't finish without a funny, right? (In case the caption doesn't get translated into sound for those with vision loss, it shows a take-out mug with "cark" written on it, and the comment, "I said my name was Marc with a "c" ...)

This is not my name (just to be clear) but it made me wonder: Have you ever had your name misspelled when you've ordered take-out? Or do you even give them your real name? I remember someone telling us years ago that they never gave their real name in a take-out pizza place because so many people in our area have the same last name (hint: Scottish settlers make for a lot of MacDonald's still living here).

I hope you're having a good week, my friends. If time is flying past you, I hope it's because you truly are having fun.


Bonnie said...

What a treat to hear from you! And thank you sooo much for showing us a picture of Lucy! She is gorgeous! Are her eyes blue? I have never seen a tabby with blue eyes and hers are beautiful.

I love your mug and it could easily describe me also. I spend more time planning what I need to do than actually doing it. Those fawns are so cute and I'm surprised to see a buck resting in your yard. They must know you are their friend!

Oh how I wish I did have some tips for you in dealing with your Mom. I do think it is very important that her geriatric assessment does not get postponed after this postponement. It sounds like you really need to get some professional help with her. I would hope there are many things they can suggest that would help. Maybe they could recommend and help to get a caregiver to help your Mom out and give you a break. You really need to be able to concentrate on taking care of you right now. I know you are emotionally worn down but it sounds like you are physically as well. High blood pressure can easily get out of hand especially with the situation you are dealing with here. I'm sorry if I'm saying too much here but I worry about you!

I sure hope your job slows down a bit for you. I imagine it can be a welcome distraction but you don't need it to add to your stress!

I love your funny! I've had my name misspelled but not that bad. That's hilarious!

Please take good care of you and thanks again for the lovely Lucy picture!

Elephant's Child said...

Your mother's assessment has been delayed? Huge sigh.
And thank you for the mug and the coffee related funny - both of which I loved.
And the deer.
Lucy looks like such a little charmer - which she no doubt relies on.

dinthebeast said...

I have found that I have to have a plan worked up to speak with my doctor about anything specific, otherwise their routine sort of takes over.
I really do recommend getting their help, though, even if it is a bit tricky to do so.
I have five pills to take each day, and I have a routine down to make sure they get in me when they're supposed to get in me, and if my routine gets thrown off I always catch myself wondering whether I took them or not.
Those are nice deer pictures. I've managed to get a few wildlife pictures on my phone lately, and Terry up the road showed me a picture on his friend's phone of a black bear that's been hanging around a bit lately.
Terry tried to make it sound big and scary, but it just looked like a regular old black bear in the picture.
The family of geese have moved from the mill pond to the much smaller pond up at the Christian Camp, and the campers aren't too thrilled about it. When the goslings were small, the family was kinda cute, but now that they're almost grown, it's just eight Canada geese that hang around together and produce really annoying amounts of goose poop.
But I got their picture the other day when they showed back up at the mill pond while I was up there.
The neighbor across the road has a couple of wild hen turkeys and their (I have no idea what a baby turkey is called) that hang out on their lawn sometimes, and I got their pictures also.
The cat is still under curfew, and while he's not really happy about it, he isn't displaying his displeasure with it much any more.
My favorite take out box thing is seeing how they try to spell Zsuzs' name. Mostly they give up and use her last name...
I hope you are feeling a bit better really soon, and good luck with your mom.

your friend,
-Doug in Sugar Pine

Infidel753 said...

I can second the recommendation for counseling. It can make a huge difference. I doubt I would even still be alive if I hadn't had my counselor to help me get through some of the worst times with my mother.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

So happy to see you again!
I hope and pray that your mopther's assesment won't get postponed any more and that the powers that be realize that you / she need help NOW! Your putting the pill problem "one step away" seems to me like a fine coping strategy.
I love that mug and see why you have to buy it - it's even beautiful as well.
I have my name misspelled regularly, as it is rather unusual (not intrinsically difficult, just different). As a child I lived on a street with a crazy name. I often admired the postman's skill in getting us our mail.

Joan (Devon) said...

That mug was meant to be yours. Every time I come across the word 'procrastinating' and variants I think of you.

I'm afraid I can't offer any advice on your Mum. Just like toddlers going through tantrums I feel the best way to deal with it is firmness and patience. It may seem fanciful, but I think that some elderly people aren't ready for old age and all that it entails and try to fight against it particularly if there are health issues/disability etc and that is why some elderly people start being awkward and behaving alien to their normal selves. You can prepare your home and garden for old age but the mind needs more time to get used to the idea. Only a thought for what it's worth.

Take care Jenny.

Anonymous said...

If you think counselling will help, then go for it. I like the idea of an objective person listening to you.

I am trying to convince my mother to use the pharmacy service to put her pills into a dosette box. Instead my brother whose her carer does it three times a day before she takes them, except he nearly drunk when he does her evening medication and she thinks he mixes them up. Sorry I don't have tips but if your mother has enough money to buy a new car, I am sure she can get her medications put into a weekly dosette box.

Ha, you are the coyote pursuing the road runner.

Locked down here again, we made plans of window and wardrobe mirror cleaning. We haven't. I need your mug very badly.

Yes, one deer looking one way, the other, the other way.

Lucy does have amazing eyes.

Funny about Cark. I gave my name for coffee yesterday as Andrew and the guy repeated back to me Andy and wrote that on the cup. The cheek of him.

Marie Smith said...

The grief counselling sounds like a good idea, Jenny. I hope your mom’s evaluation happens soon. A mishap with pills must be a real worry.

Mary said...

Ah, Jenny. Glad you got to see your doctor...grief counseling does seem like a good idea. A place where you can say things out loud without judgement (as opposed to saying things around other family members), but hopefully with someone who may be able to give you perspective or ideas for coping.

Wish that I had a clue about dealing with your mom and the pill taking issues. Hope that team that evaluates her is made aware of this issue...not sure if you have any input into this assessment? The team would be half deaf if they only listen to her.

Try to do something good for yourself at least once a week, even if it means tuning out the rest of the universe (mom included). No procrastinating about this!! Thinking of you.

Steve Reed said...

I'm sorry things seem so out of control. I hope you keep talking to your doctor, and yes, perhaps a counselor can help. You're right about your mom -- you can't really MAKE her take her meds. All you can do is try.

The fawns are adorable!

I once had a Starbucks worker write "Stip" on my cup. I thought at the time that maybe it was Polish for Steve, because she was Polish -- but actually I think now she just misheard me.

Red said...

Irrationality is a very hard thing to deal with. It's difficult for us to understand that the other person's thinking is so far off the normal. Help and support is hard to get particularly when someone is not willing to accept help.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

If you can possibly take some time for just you, dear Jenny, please do it. I am assuming that you are the only relative that lives near your mom so all the responsibility is on you. There is no easy answer to that, but there is some help out there. Most cities or communities have organizations that address caring for the elderly. Even if they aren’t near, they still may be able to help in some way. I think you are right about grief counseling. You have been through so very much this past year and you need time to take care of yourself. If you can’t go anyplace, there are some online sites that may help. Reach out, you need it and deserve it.

The pictures of the fawns laying opposite from each other shows that all creatures need our own space at times.

Rachel Phillips said...

I would love to have counselling because I have nobody I can speak to who is one step removed, so do accept it if it is offered. If you don't like it then you need only go once.

I took care of my mother through dementia. My only advice is go with it, trying to battle with her only made things get all out proportion and perspective. Once we went along with her it was easier for her and all of us. I hope that helps.
BTW mum had been on some heart medications for years and she visited the hospital for an appt on something else and I told the doctor what pills she was on and he was appalled and said she didn't need any of them. She had been taking them for about 15 years! She stopped there and then and never took any more and she still lived on.

I love the photo of Lucy. I have 4 cats.

e said...

The deer and Lucy are beautiful. Grief counseling was helpful for me as was a course called Writing Your Grief with Megan Devine. Find out if your province provides any respite care for those caring for an elderly family member. That may help. There are also some online supports. Sending hugs...

Mr. Shife said...

I loved hearing your update, jenny-o. I hope things can get to a better place with your Mom because the last thing you need is something that is elevating your blood pressure. I am also glad you made an impulse buy and it made you feel happy. I know you know this but it is important to take care of yourself and that means treating yourself occasionally. Take care.

Joanne Noragon said...

I have to tell this first, before I forget. I had a dear friend, a nurse, who was giving a talk before an important group. The group's secretary called for her name and she said Linda K. Lastname. When she arrived, the big board in the lobby was welcoming Linda Kay Lastname.
Here's something I learned when I had a big set back. You keep living until you are living again. It happens. You find a way to get to grief counseling if you can. It helps. Love from Joanne,

messymimi said...

How i wish i could do more than just read this and pray for you and hope you find time for counseling.

River said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mother and have no advice at all since I have never had to deal with this. I love your new mug and your plants. Can you phone your doctor and ask about grief counselling? Or google to find a group near you?

gz said...

Push for grief counselling...and they may also have some ideas re your mother.
You need help because there's only one of you!!

Love the mug...oh yes....I'm procrastinating now!!

kylie said...

You have packed so much into this post! Grief counselling might be helpful, especially since there is so much to unpack, complicating factors like your mum's decline and covid. I hope the perfect opportunity pops up for you.
When you are finished with the mug, you could send it to another procrastinator, if you get around to it, we all relate I think.
When I visited the US ten years ago I had a barista mark my cup with "Carly" one of my US friends still calls me Carly and it's lovely, a reminder of times spent together

Janie Junebug said...

Oh, dear. Although I hate nursing homes, maybe it's time to consider one for your mom. A nurse can and will mix her meds in a spoonful of pudding and give them to her. I don't think I've ever had a name mix up at a fast food place, but many years ago I went to a bridal shower with a friend. She introduced me to the hostess and said, This is Nancy. From that moment on, I was Nancy when I was with her. When I called and her husband answered, he'd say, It's Nancy. It was hilarious. I do have to emphasize to people that I'm JaNie with an N, not Jamie. I'm also not Jan or Janet. I think the V fingers are a peace sign, based on the colors.


Jennifer said...

I will echo someone else here who said to talk to your doctor about a referral for grief counseling. It couldn't hurt and it may help. As to your mother, I wonder if you could find a support group nearby for dementia caregivers. My father in law found one when my MIL had progressing dementia and it really helped him to cope and was a good place to both vent and to get advice.

Best of luck to you.

baili said...

i think the advice by your doctor for grief counseling is considerable dear Jenny .it will only help i believe .
this is really sad and bit challenging that while you are going through hardest time of your life you also have to look after your mother and deal with her cognitive decline.My mother developed throat cancer within a year and i saw how quickly she changed form most wise person i ever knew to a stubborn woman who's mind was shifting swiftly among different time periods of her life and things she would say would leave me with shock and wonder how and what will make her my same old mother again.will you believe that she would not eat sometime from my hand and from my sister's as well and accuse that we will poison her. nothing can hurt a daughter more than such accusation from a mother for whom i could have done anything to protect her from her illness and sudden mental trauma.More than her death her situation hurt me and will keep hurting from that she suffered in her last year .
i agree that it is time for you to place her in safer place where trained staff can look after her .this will be in her best interest i believe .
i loved glimpses of your yard and the deer images are splendid !
i would have picked the same mug ,blue is my so favorite .
new plant pot is elegant.
yes your both cats are lovely and lucy has beautiful eyes and look either :)
you are in my thoughts and prayers dear friend ,i hope you will keep posting so i can learn you are doing well.
sending you my love ,hugs and tons of healing energy!!!
please stay well and healthy!

Diane Henders said...

It's good to hear from you, and my heart goes out to you in your struggle. I hope you are able to find some support. I remember you're on the east coast, but can't recall which province - I'm thinking Nova Scotia? If so, you can find grief support groups and counselling links at // and // (just add 'https:' in front of these addresses - I didn't want to include active links in case the spam filters grab me.) Some of their programs are virtual, so you could just phone in.

There's also an Alzheimer's caregivers' support group here: Annapolis Valley Health Seniors Mental Health Dementia Support Group - Their dementia caregiver support group is held on the 3rd Monday of the month (except July/August) from 1:30-3:30.
Location: 5 Chipman Dr, Kentville Industrial Park. Contact Pam McKinley, 902.365.1701 Ext 2866.

If you're not in NS, just let me know and I'll research some other links for you - I know how hard it can be to find the time and energy to dig these things up when you're already overwhelmed.

Hope this helps.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, and Lucy thanks you too :) Her eyes are green with some caramel coloured patches, although you can't see that in this picture.

I hope Mom's assessment helps to resolve some of the problems that are landing on me, although - rightly - their interest is in the welfare of the patient (Mom), not me. I want her to be happy, but I also want to look after my own health, and the two seem incompatible unless something changes. I'll be glad when the assessment is done.

jenny_o said...

By now, the new date for the assessment is getting much closer, and I've managed not to go off the deep end, so thumbs up :) Lucy has never once been called a charmer or anything remotely close to it in real life! She says to tell you she appreciates your extremely perceptive comment, though!

jenny_o said...

At my doctor appointment, I think I had too many things to talk about and everything ended up getting shortchanged even though I had a list. But the doctor did give me two names of counsellors; now it's just a matter of finding time to call and make an appointment. I feel like I can't even get the time for me in order to do that. But after next week I hope things slow down. Famous last words :)
A regular old black bear still sounds scary to me! Sounds like you have lots of nature's children to watch there. And Zsuzs's name is definitely hard to spell. I always have to look at how you've spelled it!

jenny_o said...

I'm sorry you had difficult times with your mother. The fact that you did, and you found counselling helpful, gives extra weight to your recommendation in my eyes. The doctor gave me two names and I just need to make the call when work slows down a bit.

jenny_o said...

There are so many ways to spell relatively simple names, it makes me wonder why parents go for the really complicated spellings! Their kids have to learn to print those names as one of their first jobs in school :)
Taking Mom's pills home with me keeps her from taking the wrong dose but it means I have to visit daily, which I find hard on the head. I can't bring myself to just make a quick stop, as she has no other social outlet except my visits, but it takes a long time each day just to take care of that one thing.

jenny_o said...

I think you're absolutely right that some (maybe many) elderly folks are not ready for the reality of old age. My mother wants to go from "healthy" to "dead" with nothing in between. Don't we all? But hardly anyone has that good fortune. Thank you for your always kind comments, Joan. I hope you are doing okay. Have you thought any more about starting a blog yourself? I would read it!

jenny_o said...

I was thinking of the coyote when I was writing that; very good, Andrew :D
If a dosette box is the same as a blister pack (which I think it is), then we've already done that and it hasn't helped. So I have to visit daily to give Mom her pills. It's not a quick visit, which I find very hard. She has become very repetitious in conversation and I just do not have the patience I used to have.
You are Andrew, not Andy!! lol

jenny_o said...

I'm counting the days until the assessment happens. I hope it doesn't get postponed again. I really need some help with the issues my mom is facing. Grief counselling sounds good to me, too.

jenny_o said...

Yes, I think the counsellor may be able to help not only with grief but with strategies for coping with Mom. Although (and I feel selfish for saying it), I would rather just concentrate on the grief part. I feel like my mother's care has taken over so much of my life, I want to keep the counselling as something just for me, and the help for just my grief. Does that make sense?
Even if I do not have a chance to have verbal input at my mother's assessment, I will be giving them a letter listing the difficulties she is having. She can come across as better than she is, so that's a concern for me, although I think they are well trained to tease out the problems; that's their specialty after all.
Thanks for your kind thoughts, Mary.

jenny_o said...

Isn't Steve "Stefan" in Polish? I would be the world's worst Starbucks waitress. I always ALWAYS ask people to spell their name if I'm not absolutely sure what they said, and that's no way to run a coffee shop :)
"Out of control" describes precisely how life feels at the moment. It's scary.

jenny_o said...

Your last sentence hits the nail on the head in this case, Red. Mom is okay with family helping her, and in fact has come to expect it - and "family" is me. Period. She resists any other solutions, and I am worn out.

jenny_o said...

I don't think there is any kind of organization like that around here except respite care, and for that you need to have the person on the official list for a nursing home, which my mother is adamant will not happen. The only way anyone else can force that decision is to have the doctor declare her incapable of making her own decisions, which I don't think will happen yet. So on we go. Maybe the folks who do the assessment next week will know of some other solutions. She is really resistant to having people in her home or going out (except if it's her idea - she would go for groceries every day if she still had a car). I am definitely going to call a counsellor as soon as work slows down next week. I need to be able to find time to actually keep an appointment.

Dear Arleen, thank you for all your kind comments, and know that I will be thinking about you in your absence from the blogging world. All the best to you and yours, my friend.

jenny_o said...

Four cats is a herd! We had four for a short time, and they couldn't all be together, so it was a lot of work shuffling them around so each one could have people time. It was exhausting. I hope yours get along or at least co-exist relatively peacefully.
I wish you could have counselling since you feel you would benefit. I think most people would benefit, to be honest, as long as they found a counsellor they were comfortable with. As you say, it's someone who can listen objectively. I really need to be able to talk about the loss of my husband and everything that haunts me about his illness and death also.
How long did your mother have dementia? I agree about the value of not getting into battles, but it is so easy to get sucked into them. It usually starts with her asking me a simple question like, What is this pill for? and progresses through many hills and vales to comments like, The doctors are only trying to make work for the workers at the hospital! and I have such a hard time knowing what to say. I don't agree with her comments, and if I don't say anything she pushes me to. Gah!
It's scary how an elderly patient can end up with medications they don't even need, isn't it?

jenny_o said...

My understanding is that respite care is available only for patients who are on the waiting list for a nursing home, and that will not happen as long as my mother is in charge of that decision. Unfortunately. Maybe the geriatric team that is doing her assessment next week will have some helpful information, although I've already spoken to them at length by telephone and didn't hear them say anything about that. Thanks for the hugs, e. It's really a comfort to know that there are folks out there who have been through these things and who care.

jenny_o said...

I didn't think about the mug purchase as self-care but now that you point it out, it's true. And pretty cheap self-care at that :) Thanks for the good wishes, Mr. S. I'm hoping things get better here soon.

jenny_o said...

"Kay" instead of "K." - hah! I do intend to go to counselling. I think it will help. Even just the thought of it has helped me keep going.

jenny_o said...

Finding the time is a problem right at the moment, but work should slow down soon. As soon as I see a few days open up I'll call and hope they don't have a long waiting period for appointments. Thanks for your kind wishes, Mimi.

jenny_o said...

The doctor already gave me two names of counsellors who have a good reputation in grief counselling. I'm looking forward to going, just need to find time, which should happen soon.

jenny_o said...

Yes, there are days I wish cloning was a reality :)
Logically, I know a counsellor may be able to advise me about how to deal with my mother, but something in me wants to keep the counselling to my grief issues only. I feel like my mother's care has completely stripped me of time to progress in processing it and I want the counselling time to be just for me and my feelings of loss. I know that might be counter-productive but I feel I have to draw that line in at least one part of my life. I can't draw it anywhere else at the moment but I can draw it there.

jenny_o said...

It's nice when a "mistake name" turns out to have good feelings attached to it! At a business my husband ran for a few years, one of his employees couldn't remember my name so he always called me Glenda. It always made me smile then and it still does.
The doctor gave me two names of counsellors who have good reputations for grief counselling. I hope there won't be a long wait to get in.

jenny_o said...

Thanks for the tip about the peace sign. I guess you can tell I was too young in the sixties to know the difference!
My mother is so obstinate about her pills (and everything else). That's a great part of what I find so difficult. She wants to know what they are for. But then she argues that she doesn't need them, because she feels fine. But she feels fine because of the pills, not in spite of them. She can't follow the logic, and if she can't understand it, she simply won't take them. Good luck to the nurses who end up having to deal with her eventually! We have good nursing homes here; we are quite lucky. They all have good administrators. When my dad was living in one, I seriously wished I could put my name in to live there. Beautiful meals, lots of activities, always people to talk to if you wanted, privacy if you didn't. No dishes to wash or housecleaning to do. Sounded good to me. I'm sure the reality is different when you can't go home, but I think Mom might enjoy the social aspect a great deal.
Can I call you Nancy from now on? You can call me Glenda, lol (See my reply to kylie, just above your comment)

jenny_o said...

Hi Jennifer - thanks for your thoughts. I had thought about looking into an Alzheimers caregivers group that I know used to meet locally. I'm not sure if it's still running in the pandemic or not but it's something I should follow up on. My doctor has already given me a couple of names of counsellors who have a good reputation for dealing with grief issues, and I'm looking forward to going. For both the support group and the counselling, time is an issue, but it's kind of a catch 22. Things won't improve without some help so I have to figure out how to make the time.

jenny_o said...

I think that must have been a very hard thing to hear from your mom, baili. And even though we know it is the disease talking, it is still hard. I'm sorry you had to experience that with your mom. And yes, the trauma from that kind of thing stays strong a long time, perhaps always.

I am looking forward to grief counselling as I feel I have "used up" the patience of my family and friends but I still feel the need to attend to these feelings and the best way I know how is to talk about them.

Thank you for your lovely comments, as always, my friend.

jenny_o said...

What a lovely thing to do for me, Diane - yes, I'm in Nova Scotia, and yes, it seems to take so much energy to dig for information. My doctor actually gave me a couple of names of counsellors who come well-recommended, so all I need to do is call. I'm waiting for a lull in the busy-ness, hopefully next week. There used to be an Alzheimers caregiver support group here in my small town, and I need to find out if they are still meeting during the pandemic. I would rather keep the one-on-one counselling for my grief issues and go to a group for the dementia issues. Thanks for your support and kindness; it's much appreciated.

River said...

not a blister pack, but a series of small plastic boxes joined in various configurations according to need. You can get a seven set marked with each day of the week or a three set marked with morning, noon, evening and so on. They are filled each evening ready for the next day.

jenny_o said...

This sounds like the blister packs prepared by the pharmacy for their patients, except you can get a month at a time prepared this way.

Martha said...

I'm so sorry about your mom and all you're dealing with. It is really difficult to care for someone whose cognitive abilities diminish. That assessment can't come soon enough! Grief counseling can be a very good thing with the right counselor. And how about a support group where you can get together with others and talk. I did that after my brother's death and found it very healing. Whatever works for you to help you! Time is flying by but there hasn't been that much fun. Most days we're indoors because it's too hot and humid to be outside!

Mr. Shife said...

Hope your week is going well, jenny_o.

LL Cool Joe said...

When I was caring for my mother she started messing up her medication, that was one of the first signs that things weren't right. As well as the 16 phone calls a day. The 7 day pill organisers really help. I use one myself for my eye vitamins etc. When I first took my mum to have a memory test with her GP she came through it with flying colours which was frustrating as I knew she had major problems. Finally when she had a routine hospital visit I managed to pretend I was going to the loo and spoke to a Doctor. She then did a further more complex test and realised that her memory was bad enough she shouldn't be living alone.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Martha. I know your mom had similar problems well before she passed away. I'm looking forward to the chance to speak to a counselor, and have also looked into a caregivers support group. It feels like I could use both.
I hear you on the weather - I wish the summers could be just the right temperature to get outside and enjoy the lack of winter clothing!

jenny_o said...

I can imagine how distressing it must have been for you to know your mother had serious deficits and yet the GP didn't recognize them. That's what I'm afraid my mother's assessment will show as well. The report goes directly to my mom's GP and officially it can only be released if my mother requests it. Unofficially I think the GP can share it if he feels it is important to making decisions. It will be a while before he gets it and I'm just taking things a day at a time until then.

The 7 day pill organizer is something my mother used for the past few years and it worked for a while. But when a new medication was added it just seemed to completely throw her off and she's never regained the ability to understand what to take, and when. We had her pills blister-packed but it didn't help. She just opened the foil and took the pills out and mixed them up. So I have to go every day to give them to her. She won't allow any outsiders to come to her house. She says she's afraid of "this virus" but I don't know if there's more to it than that. She'd go to the grocery store every day if she still had a car!

37paddington said...

Dear Jenny, I have done this care giving dance that you are trying to do for your mother. You will have to get help, someone to come in daily who will give her her pills and make sure she eats a meal. You cannot do it all, especially while you are trying to also care for yourself in the midst of grieving your life partner. Yes, counseling sounds like an excellent idea. Can you call your doctor and ask for a referral today? Perhaps counseling will also give you a place to explore ideas about how to care for your mother as her needs increase. You are only one person, dear friend. You need support.

jenny_o said...

The thing is, my mom won't accept any help except mine (she'd accept my brother's help but he lives a three-hour drive away - I have him on standby if I need a few days of rest, though). I've tried to convince her to have the visiting nurses come to do her pills - nope. I've tried to get her to accept a driver to take her for groceries or drives - nope. I have realized there is only one of me, but she doesn't. And so I am trying to set boundaries. I will take her for groceries once a week, no more. I will give her her pills daily, but when I am ready to go home, I will walk out in the middle of her stories if she doesn't stop when I tell her I have to leave. It's hard on the head, because I want her to feel cared for, but what makes her feel cared for is sucking my life dry. So I have to face the fact that no matter what I do, it won't be enough, and do what's right for me as well as her. I know she can't help her condition. It means I end up (in her head) being the uncaring person who doesn't spend all my time with her, but I just have to accept that.

The counselling is something that can happen as soon as I make a phone call, which is going to be early next week. Support group for caregivers is also in the works. It may be dumb, but I want the counselling to be only for me and my grief over my husband, not for my mother issues. Those ones I'll save for the caregivers group.

Thank you for caring, my friend. It gives me strength to read the caring comments I receive here.