May 22nd – Mom suffered a devastating intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke. She was awake and lucid when the EMTs transported her to the ER. The doctor explained what had happened and that there were two options, transport to another hospital for care in a neuro ICU or hospice. Mom chose hospice and we knew that would be what she would have wanted us to choose if she hadn’t been able to convey that message to the medical staff in charge of her care. She was so happy when the EMTs brought her home again and placed her back in her room and comfy bed.
We celebrated each and every day after that. And on June 3rd at 4:32 am, Mom’s journey was complete. She passed away peacefully. I was grateful to be there when she took that last breath.
We are forever grateful for the Intermountain Homecare & Hospice team that helped us in Mom’s final days. Their support was wonderful and while Mom surprised us all by ‘extending’ her stay nearly a week beyond what anyone thought. We admire what you do and the compassionate care you provided not only Mom but our family and continue to do for other families in similar circumstances.
While this part of our journey with Mom is now complete… we’re looking at how we can help others in similar circumstances navigate their journey with Alzheimer’s – or as caregivers and know that they aren’t alone.
Our hearts and lives have been forever altered through this experience.
Grateful that life hasn’t changed much overall since our last post. Mom’s holding her own. Surprising her doctors and hasn’t gotten to the point of just giving in and giving up.
Her last visit with the neuro left him stuttering. I think after reading the notes from her last visit with her PCP he figured things were really going downhill… as Pallative Care is now on her chart. He wanted to know if hospice was making regular visits. Ummm, no. We’re not ready or to that point yet.
We did talk about having to cue more frequently, change things up a bit to keep the anxiety levels to a minimum and music seemed to be the key in that respect.
There have been several studies recently concerning music and Alzheimer’s. And we have to agree with their findings. Mom loves the music from the 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s. We’ve been able to find several stations that cater to those eras and they bring her lots of joy. She’s able to relax and enjoy the day and evening more frequently. Her appetite increases and she asks for her music quite often now. We’ve noticed that the “picking” decreases as we find she’s keeping time to the music with her hands and her feet. And her hair is growing back.
We’ve listened to audio books and then watched the movie… she prefers the movie to listening to the book. Books and magazines don’t hold much interest at this point in time. She does enjoy looking at pictures and we’ve just learned that some old family albums have turned up in a box and will be delivered this week for her to have at chair side. I think she’ll enjoy that.
We continue to be grateful for each day we have with Mom. She can be feisty when she doesn’t want to do something or isn’t feeling particularly well — but for the most part, she is the sweet, kind, ever smiling woman we all love and care for.
I’ve recently re-read John Gordon’s book, One Word. It’s a great way to stay tuned in, if you will, to positivity and building inner wealth. Your own and others.
Creating open doors and opportunities for self growth through positive self-talk as you live and breathe your ONE WORD each day. Choose a word that will make a difference in who your are, set goals that will help you achieve the best version of that word. Then, pick a time period; a day, a week, a month or a whole year. Let it be your gift of greatness to self and to those in your circle of influence. Your impact can make a huge difference in your work, your health, your spirituality and more importantly, the changes you make will ripple out even further.
My word for February is being “present.” Present in the moment and seeing what is going right and good and naming them in a journal to be more accountable. I believe this is a very precious gift I can give myself and my family. I’m amazed at all that’s happened so far and we’re only one week into the month. I’ve accomplished more, listened more, felt more lived more fully in the last few days. I hope to establish this as a way of living from this point on.
If you choose to take on the One Word challenge, I wish you well!
There’s a beauty and peace that surrounds you when you are “filled.” Recently here in the United States, we celebrated Thanksgiving – a day set aside for giving thanks. While we have personally experienced lots of ups and many downs over the past couple of years, this most recent Thanksgiving was one of truly being filled — emotionally and spiritually; giving thanks and gratitude more fully and deeply. As we shared our gratitude around the table, I was overcome with the fullness of being filled — not with food, but with so much more.
Over the past year and a half we have been blessed to find steady work, maintain our health without insurance, build friendships, extend a helping hand, teach, share, learn, give and love more fully within our family and extend that out to our circles of friendship. We have connected with friends from long ago and renewed relationships.
There is joy and so much more to be felt when you can reach out and live it!
Take a few minutes today and renew your gratitude! Make it an everyday thing — not just an obligatory once a year event. Be grateful for the treasures you have and even those things you don’t have, but may desire — there is often a reason that it may not be in our grasp at this moment. Be grateful for patience and the wisdom it takes to wait. Please know that we are grateful for each of you and your gifts that you bring to our table each and every day. Our life is FILLED!
Every time you suppress some part of yourself you are in essence ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you and destroying your design. Choose to do great things with it; it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have. Oprah
Whether done consciously or sub-consciously, our creativity is an important part of being well-rounded. Today is your day to open the book again, and entertain that inner artist and reclaim a dream.
A little gratitude changes your whole outlook, like lighting a single
match in a dark room. You see things that were there all along and
realize how amazing your life already is. Soulseeds
Now is the time to take a look at where you are on your pathway — light the match, see those hidden things and change your outlook if needed or ramp it up a bit more. Be grateful for what you do have in your corner.
This past week has brought so much to light for us. There could be so much more going wrong — but there isn’t. I’m grateful for what we have going right and trusting that the what and where will lead us to answers we have been seeking. We are being blessed in so many ways, there are the temporal things: health, a home, food on the table, a job that is still paying bills, friends, the freedoms to say these things in a forum such as this, and so much more. There are also the spiritual things as well – these are very private and personal feelings at the moment yet intertwined in every aspect of who I am.
Another blessing to lighting your pathway, is that you are also lighting the way for others to follow — who are you reaching out to help today?
This thought and many such acts of gracious kindness have been repeated over and over by many, throughout the ages – there goes that rippling again! Simplistic? Yes. It’s simple to do. The more we give away, the more we get in return. I truly believe that and I truly have been the recipient — maybe not in monetary gain, but in so many other ways.
Give a little more, stand a little taller, and more will come your way… as paraphrased from a song by Nancy Hanson and Sam Payne. You definitely will be better for it. Think of those who paved the way for us with their generosity, courage, and other gifts – and without them, we would not have the gifts we have today.
Give a gift, large or small today. Pay it forward — be it a smile to a stranger, a hug, a donation to your favorite charity, some time at your child’s school, or an organization of your choosing. Just do it and let the ripples begin….. be the difference today and every day. Make it happen.
“There are spaces between our fingers so that another person’s fingers
can fill them in.” — Anon
Close your eyes and think about the last time you held your partner’s hand — felt it’s warmth, truly cherished that moment. Felt the energy that passed between the two of you. Yes, the energy that was exchanged — whether you were sharing words or not — just think about all that passed between you in those moments – I enjoy watching couples old and young engage in this “old-fashioned” entanglement if you will. Often you can see smiles form as arms swing back and forth or bodies snuggle just a little closer as the energy gauge raises a notch.
Hold a hand today — even if it’s your grandbaby’s! 😀 I’m wishing mine were closer…….. Love you all!
“Many acts of service cost nothing and take little time: encouragement, compliments, listening, gratitude and compassion. Any time you affirm the worth of others, you serve.” –Chris Karcher
It takes less physical energy to say something nice, than to complain. Yet more positive Life energy is generated when we say something positive. The Nurtured Heart Approach™ techniques offer you even more opportunities to share the joy of service. Watch the face and eyes of someone who is the recipient of a sincere, specific detailed and affirming recognition. Did you see the shift in their posture? Do you feel the energy ripple outward? How does your “heart” feel now?