3/29/04 8:21 AM
Hi to all of you,
I added some names to this, so some of you might not be completely in the loop. Sorry if I haven't been in contact with some of you, but life has been tough, but it's much better now.
My mother Eleanore, who was Ed's caretaker after a stroke 13 years ago, herself had a massive stroke in October, 4 days after her successful triple bypass heart surgery. Through much hard work, creativity, flexibility and coordination from us kids and various relatives and friends, we finally moved them to Houston in a rental 27-ft recreational vehicle (because Mom couldn't fly), and into a small assisted living apartment.
However the management decided they were too much in need of help to live there, so we rapidly renovated my house and finally moved them into my house yesterday. Hopefully this will be their last home. It's a ranch style house all on one level. Ed thinks I built a new house for him and Eleanore, whereas in reality, only handicap ramps by the doors were added and the master bath was being renovated - bathtub removed and a handicap wheel chair accessible shower was installed. He likes my backyard as there is a nice large wooden deck with 2 large oak trees and lots of flowers birds. He really likes to watch the birds. They both seem to like it at my place and are peaceful.
We've arranged for a licenced certified nursing assistant (CNA) to be with them 7 days/week from 7am to 7pm. I'm there in the evenings. There will be a lady to clean also, and a several times a week a home health agency sends out someone to keep track of their blood pressure, help bathe Mom, and do physical therapy for both of them.
Mom still is not speaking, but she is very alert and aware of what is happening. She will hold the phone and listen while you talk to her. She gets a really big smile and perks up when she listens on the phone.
The busy time in the evenings is 7:30 to 9pm, so if you call I may not be able to answer depending on what I'm doing at the moment. The CNA gets Mom in bed before she leaves, but Daddy may still be up and about. He's been wanting to go to sleep about 8 pm give or take a half hour. I give them their last pills of the day. I change Mom before I go to bed 9-ish, and then once or twice more during the night. It's not bad at all now that they are in the same house as me. From March 7 until yesterday they were living in a small apartment nearby with the CNA's 24 hours during the week and also weekend days, with me taking the night shift and sleeping on their couch on Friday and Saturday nights. It's much easier now with us all here in one place.
Mary & Jerry (my sister and brother-in-law) live only a few blocks away and have been a TREMENDOUS help, as also have been friends Kelley and Buddy, and Jerry's father and brother. So I'm not on my own having to take care of them by myself by any means.
I'll keep you updated from time to time, but always remember that no news is GOOD news!
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