Thursday, October 14, 2010

Too much going on....

Since the summer, there has been a lot happening.  Too much for me to even contemplate just sitting and writing just to catch up the blog.  I'm tired.

The kids finished up summer learning to swim a little.  I was really pleased with the progress they made.  Kenzie can hold her breath the longest of the two of them (they had contest after contest until we'd have to stop them and tell Richelle that she had to breathe for awhile to replenish her body and cells with oxygen - she just kept wanting to do it over and over immediately after she'd lost...).  They got so they could swim a little more than halfway across the short end of the pool.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip in June.  No one realized it was fractured (at the time she fell, she only complained about hitting her head).  However, after a while, she ended up not being able to walk or put any pressure on her feet because of the pain.  When I took her to the emergency room, they did an x-ray, but it showed nothing.  We had a very astute emergency room doctor, who said an MRI would show up any fractures that might be there, especially in the elderly.  Sure enough, there it was.

They gave us a choice.  Operate and put some pins and plates in the hip, or she could be bedridden for a long time to allow it to heal.  Both had their downsides.  They said they had a choice of doing an anesthetic given in the spine, which I preferred over a general anesthetic. If they could do that, it might help mom get over the operation quicker and wouldn't affect her mind as badly.  If we opted for her to be laying in bed for what I was told could be months, she ran the risk of pneumonia and bed sores, plus her muscles could atrophy to the point she wouldn't be able to walk. 

I thought I was choosing the lesser of two evils and opted for the operation, asking them to do the spinal if possible.  The anesthesiologist tried to, but she had such bad arthritis in her spine, they couldn't get the needle through.  They had to do general anesthesia.

This has exacerbated her dementia.  She can no longer walk, toilet herself, dress herself, and can barely feed herself (she uses her fingers, she can't even use a utensil).  We've had to move her from the assisted living home to a nursing home. 

Worse, when she was there, she was highly agitated.  She would want to go to bed.  The nurses would take her and lay her down, and she's yell she didn't want to be in bed, she wanted to sit up in a chair.  They'd put her in her wheelchair, and start to wheel her out and she'd yell, "What are you doing? Where are you taking me?  I want to go to bed!"
Back and forth and back and forth.  Same with going to the toilet or not going to the toilet, watching tv or not watching tv.  I felt sorry for the nurses.  They suggested that mom get some help from a program that is well-known in the area for helping seniors get their medications straightened out to help with these behavioral problems.  However, there are some people whose behavioral problems have nothing to do with the medications and everything to do with the progression of their dementia. This is the third week mom has been at the clinic for behavioral issues, and still no word as to how it is going.  I go to see her, but it seems it just agitates her because she can't see her granddaughters, and she wants to come live with me. 

There are days I feel like I'm such a bad daughter.  But my first priority is my family.  I am taking care of mom as best as I can, given our limitations.

Kenzie and Richelle are back in dance and gymnastics.  Kenzie is doing tap again, and she's really pretty good at it... she is also doing a class that teaches more tap steps and has the girls practicing those new steps every week.  Richelle chose to do poms instead of tap this year.  She is actually better at poms - and looks adorable doing it. She takes the poms quite seriously.  I'll have to get some video of Kenzie in her gymnastics.  She's finally learned how to kick herself over from a back bend.  She's getting so much stronger.

And last but not least, there are the school pics.  Richelle's looks like she's got a million dollar smile.  Kenzie - I have no idea what happened to her.  She looks like she wasn't too thrilled to be there. I had been telling her to part her hair on the side (that was the way the cut was supposed to be styled) but she insisted on pulling her bangs down in front.  Poor baby...  after seeing this pic, she's been styling it my way since then.  She looks TONS better - too bad this didn't happen prior to school pics. 

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