Welcome 2nd Grade!!

No more sleeping late for us! It's back to school time!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where to begin?

As T's most loyal of readers may have noticed, I've been a bit too busy to blog.
I have been staying here all last week and this weekend, keeping an eye on my dad. Its a good thing, too. I've intercepted at least 4 telephone calls from my mom, asking to come home. I lied through my teeth to her, and told her that my father was asleep. Had to. He would get upset, and try to go and get her and break her out of the place. I'm sure that the police would be called, and he'd either be hauled off to jail for disorderly conduct or involuntarily committed... one or the other. Finally, after about 5 requests, I believe that the phone is out of her room.

On an upnote...my mom seems much healthier and continues to improve. They are giving her an appetite stimulant, which is making her eat more. She seemed much more alert and "with it" when I saw her yesterday. She can now walk 120 feet with minimal assistance with a wheeled walker. I said that the kitchen will be done just in time, b/c she's being discharged this Thursday afternoon.

Then the fun starts.

She will be transported home and the transporters will get her up the 5 steps into the house. She'll come home with a wheelchair, a wheeled walker, and one of those portable toilet things. We're debating the efficacy of a hospital bed. The toilet thing is handy b/c one can place it by her bed to use at night. Or, remove the bucket and place it over one's toilet, thereby giving the toilet handles. One can also use it without the bucket in the shower for bathing. Anyway, they will send someone to the house 4 times a week to assist with bathing, as she can not do it for herself. They will also send a physical therapist to the house 3 times a week, to try and continue her progress.

Needless to say, we need help in the house for them both. My sissy and I can't do it all, and neither can my dad, as much as he hates to admit it. We got lucky. We have found live in help. She'll be here monday through friday and sleep here. Dot and I will be on duty saturday and sunday. Her name is Donna. She took care of Dot's boss's Aunt for nine years. Poor aunt hildy died at 101 about 3 weeks ago, so Donna is looking for a new position. Of course, we'll have to lie through our teeth to my father about the cost, and make up the difference ourselves between me and Dot. I can hear him now..."What am I paying her so much for, all she does is sit around and watch TV". Oy.

I think he's in denial about what my mom's physical state will be. We're selling the idea of Donna to him, saying that its only for the first few months as we see how mobile my mom is and all adjust to it. I've told him that there is no more going out to eat every night for dinner like they used to. First of all, the cafeteria closed. Second, he can't get my mom in and out of the house, even if we did have ramps. So, Donna will be cooking healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hopefully that will keep my mom from losing more weight.

Pray that Donna works out.

Taylor has been so good throughout this whole ordeal. I've missed her terribly, but we'll be back together soon. I happen to know of at least one time wherein she conned aunt dotty into going to toys are us. Frankly, I don't think she had to work too hard to score. Like me, she's got Dotty firmly wrapped around her little fingers.

Night all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Three Steps ahead...two steps back

that seems to the be theme of my life at the moment. Yesterday I was feeling like things were looking up. My back continues to improve, my mom is making strides in her rehab, my dad agreed to redo the kitchen and cut me a check which I dropped off at the store. I called Dot to come meet me at their house last night, to help empty the kitchen. I'm mostly useless with this dumb back.

Anyway, I go pick up T and dinner for us all. As I getting out of the car, my dad is exiting the house and says, "Oh Carol, your mother just called and wants to come home. I'm going to pick her up".


Yes, he was literally going over to "get her". Misses her terribly and doesn't understand why she has to be there. I has a visceral distrust of all things medical. Anyway, I called the hospital, and told them to keep the phone away from my mom, and warned them that he might try and break her out. They're on red alert.

So, I slept here last night, on the pretext that workers were coming this morning. Really, it was to keep track of my dad. Anyway, he seemed better this morning, so I'm hopeful.

For my Aunt Connie's benefit, I think she'll only be in her room this week from like noon to 1:15, then back in her room at 4:00. I'm hopeful that they are going to start with the walker this week.

That's it for now.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

News from Rehab Central

All in all, its good news. I actually drove today, and also got around without aid from the walker. Big day!

My mom also had a good day. She had lots of visitors today, but still only wants to come home. Not sure how well the old poster is working. Meanwhile, I saw her stand, turn, and sit on the porcelain throne, with some assistence. I was so thrilled I couldn't stand it. Started tearing up. The nurse turned to me and said in the most beautiful Haitian accent, "Dis ees St. Catherines, bebe. Dis ees what we do. She'll be walkin wit de walker by friday. You see."

From her mouth to God's ears.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Collage

Here's the collage I had made by Costco's photo center. Did it all online, it was ready the next day, and only cost about 9 bucks. I love it! We'll be taking it to my mom today. Hopefully, it will help.

Meanwhile, T made my mom a card. You may not recognize us all, but T reports that she drew me, her, Aunt Dotty and Grandpa. I believe that this may be T's first foray into drawing a boy, since we basically have an all girl household. All in all, I think it was a fine job!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

A Slow Recovery

Both my mother and I continue to improve. I love this new hospital. They have someone with my mom 24 hours a day...aka a sitter...b/c they are afraid that she'll try and get out of bed, thereby potentially falling again and reinjuring herself. There is a big staffing meeting today, where all the various therapists and doctors working on her case get together to discuss her progress, her goals, how long she'll be there, etc.

They dress her everyday. At night they dress her in a nightgown. No hospital gowns any more! I figure that makes a person feel human again.
Her memory is still an issue, but I was able to make a 20 x 30 inch collage of photos from her hospital stay at costco, and put the following on it:

"You fell at home, broke your hip, and had surgery. You can come home as soon as you walk better. Love Thomas"

We're going to adhere it onto a stiff cardboard poster, and put it in her room so she can see it. It has all the pictures from when she was in the hospital.

I have a handy man at their house, installing grab bars around the house, a handheld shower nozzle on a vertical bar so that it can be lowered in their shower, putting on levered door knobs, and widening their bathroom door.

As for me, I continue to recover. I can now stand up straight and I can walk slowly with the help of my mom's walker, which we snitched from their house. I can also sit up in a chair for a few hours. I'm resting again today, and then will venture out tomorrow, with Dot driving and with the help of the walker.

Tomorrow, I have the bug man coming to their house for the first time, a mattress set to be delivered so that I can sleep there, and we need to go to the kitchen store to finalize a plan for the kitchen.

So, things are finally looking up!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Highes and Lows

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows.

The highs:

  • My mom is in a facility that offers competant adequate care. You have no idea what a relief that is.
  • Mom was evaluated by all the therapists yesterday. They got her dressed, sitting a wheelchair, and wheeled her down to the gym for physical therapy.
  • A Neurologist stopped by who I like. Her old one was an asshole, and we searching for a new one was on the now-lengthy to-do list.
  • Taylor has been particularly good dealing with the whole thing, and there is no problem at all in taking her to visit grandma.

The Lows:

  • My dad is lost and doesn't know what to do without my mom.
  • I arrived at their house yesterday to find a flood in their downstairs utility room and den...which resulted in a high of a coworker sending over her brother and cousin, who are both plumbers, who fixed it on the spot...and got the hot water in the washer working. So, not sure if this is a blessing or not.
  • Mom can't remember breaking her hip, doesn't understand why she's in rehab, and gets mad. Guess that's to be expected. I'm going to make up a book of the pictures I took of her in the hospital, to remind her.
  • Lastly...brace yourselves....between carrying in groceries, mopping up the flood with heavy wet towels, helping my mom shift in bed and bending over it the past few days....you guessed it...I threw my frickin' back out. I'm in bed as I type this. Can't stand up straight.

So, new plan is for me to recover enough so that I'm on my feet by friday or saturday. Spending the day in bed and maybe tomorrow. Dot is here to take T to school, and then my friend Marie will pick her up.

One day and one task at a time, that's the only way to survive.

I have a few pics of my mom all dressed, and one of her actually smiling, that T took. Can't post, though, as there's a glitch with blogger at the moment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Progress! Slowly but surely!

Here's my sweet mother, on the move! Big, big day! Not only did they sit her in a chair for about an hour, they also transferred her to the rehab facility, Vill@ M@ria/St. C@therine's Rehab. She has her own room, and they will start tomorrow with the hard work. They'll get her up, dressed and fed, then take her to rehab in the morning. Back to her room from 11:00 to noon, then back to rehab from noon to 3:30. Then back to her room for the rest of the day.

I suspect that she'll be exhausted.

Taylor, also had a fab day. I dumped her off with Uncle Jack and Aunt Jodie today, and she couldn't have been more excited.

Anyway, it took 2 rehab therapists to get her on her feet, but she did great. Took little steps and everything.

It gave me great hope for the future.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Life is Upside-Down

My mother continues to recover, but unfortunately the hospital that she is in is a literal hellhole, especially during the night shift. Dot stayed there 2 nights, but then we hired a nursed aid to sit with her from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

While my mother remembers us all, she doesn't remember that she broke her hip, that she had surgery, nor that she's in the hospital. Every few minutes its a chorus of "Let's go home". Either tomorrow or Tuesday, she'll be transferred to Villa Maria, which is a rehab facility.

Rehab is the key to everything. If things go really, really well, she'll be able to walk again with a walker. I suspect that won't happen. I'm praying that she rehabs enough to at least be able to stand and transfer, from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to toilet, etc.

So, I'm also trying to get their house in order in anticipation of her return home. Doors need to be widened to 36 inches, the kitchen needs to be redone. More railings installed, ramps, etc. If things don't go well at rehab, then we'll have to enlarge their bathroom so that she could be wheeled into the shower. That's major construction. Oy. Lots to consider. Before she comes home, I want the carpets steam cleaned and the house tented.

So, I'm coping with it all by just concentrating on the next step. I cleaned out some of their closets today, and also her bureau drawers. We're set to widen the doors this coming week, and begin finalizing the plan for the kitchen. I can't control how she'll do in rehab much, so I'm refusing to worry about it.

Meanwhile, I'm so, so thankful to all my friends for their help with T. I couldn't do this without them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

All is Well...

...or at least as well under the circumstances. My mom came through the surgery well. She had a partial hip replacement. They explained to me that the ball of the leg in the hip had broken...a piece had broken off of the ball... and they were going to rebuild it into a round ball again, take out the piece that broke off of it.

I've been told that's a better solution than a rod and pins, and not as bad a surgery as a full hip replacement. Anyway, the surgery itself was not my biggest fear. My biggest fear was putting her under general anaesthesia (sp?). My mom has memory issues. She's well oriented to time and place, but ask her what happened 10 minutes ago, and she is unable to say. Not so bad. Problem is that when you put someone with that mental state and age under general, it often speeds up and exaggerates the memory issues, from which they never recover. Basically, I was afraid that she'd wake up from the surgery, and be gone mentally speaking, i.e. not remember us or my dad.

FORTUNATELY, they did not put her under general. They were able to give her an epidural, and complete the surgery that way. She breathed on her own during the whole thing. Minutes after the surgery she was somewhat alert, and recognized my sissy and me immediately. So, all is well for the moment.

She'll probably remain at the hospital for a couple of days, then be transferred to a rehab center for about 21 days, to try and get her on her feet. The doc said that patients often recover "at step back" from the surgery. Meaning fully abulatory patients need a walker or cane. If a patient needed a walker or cane before, they often need a wheelchair after, etc. So, we're hopeful that she'll be able to get back on her feet...at the very least enough to be able to transfer from bed to chair or chair to toilet, etc.

While my mom is in the hosp/rehab, I'll be working to make their house a bit more accessible in case she needs to use a wheelchair.

So, that's that. Dot is on duty tonight, staying at the hospital with her in case she needs anything. I'll try and relieve her in the morning.

I think I'll sleep really well tonight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad News

This post is mainly for my Aunt Connie.

Mommy fell, either yesterday or today... its unclear exactly when... and broke her left hip. One of my biggest fears has come true. Apparently, something happened this morning, that caused my dad to call the doctor, who called fire rescue. She has been taken to North Shore hospital, and is still in the ER waiting to be moved to a room. Dot is with her.

No exact treatment plan yet, but all have been saying to prepare for the fact that she'll probably need surgery, to put a rod in her hip. She'll be in the hospital at least a week. Then, she'll be moved to a rehab facility, and then hopefully home.

There is nothing you can do, but wait and see. I plan to take T to school tomorrow, then go get my dad to take him to the hospital to visit in the morning.

I'll keep you posted, as to what is happening.

Please, everyone, keep my mom in your prayers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Please Pray for Haiti

No matter what your personal beliefs, please keep Haiti in your thoughts or prayers. Both the victims and rescue workers need all the help they can get. The next 48 to 72 hours will be crucial.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wee Update

...yes, I know its spelled incorrectly, but I figure that will keep people searching for Wee stuff using the correct spelling off the site. Anyway, Wee, spelled with two "i"s, is great fun in this house. I can report that T is a big fat Wee hog. The thought of me getting some exercise? I don't think so. I may have to get that exercise bike sooner than I thought.

Each night when I pick her up from school, the first thing out of her mouth before even "Hello", is, 'Mama, can I play the wee game?' Makes me chuckle every time b/c it sounds like she's trying to channel her dead great-grammy, albeit without the Irish brogue.

So, we've spent the evening creating animated characters that look like us. My very literal, unable to lie little girl would not let me have a barbie doll body. Quite demoralizing to hear her laugh and yell, "Fatter, Mama, Fatter! You're fatter than that". Hehe.

Out of the mouthes of babes!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm so out of shape...

...its pathetic. Because of this, I went out today hoping to purchase an exercise bicycle. Back in the days when I lived on SoBe and actually went to the gym religiously, the exercise bike was always my fav. Since I have ZERO chance of going to the gym with or without T given my schedule, I thought I'd buy the bike.

I did some internet research, and found one that I like. Unfortunately, all the comments speak to how difficult it is to assemble. As Dot pointed out, "You had enough trouble with a big wheel, you really think that you can assemble that thing?" Oy.

She has a point.

So, the only place that I found locally that sells the bike I'm interested in and that would also assemble and deliver the thing, is sports @uthority, aka in T-speak as "The Exercise Store". We went tearing out to buy it this morning, only to discover that they didn't have it in stock. Just my luck. Didn't even have a floor model so that I could look at it. As I was trolling this section, T discovered the Wii... and commenced playing the thing... like a pro. Seriously.

So, yep, you guessed it, I came home with the Wii sport and fitness. I just did a small 30 minute routine with the fitness program, and am sad to say that it is proving to me how sadly out of shape I am. Even if I could, which I can't, I don't want to do too much yet, as I don't want to throw my back out before a trial again, like has happened in the past.

So, the bike is on hold for now, as I play around with this thing. I highly recommend it, if anyone is thinking of getting it.

We'll see how much my muscles ache in the morning.

Meanwhile, T is playing golf as I type. I'm laughing b/c golf-afficionados would cringe to hear her saying "Hi-Ya", and attempting to karate chop the ball. Too funny.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Note to Loyal Readers

I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but my little blog received a spam comment, written in some asian language with a few english words like "sex108".

I have removed it, and placed the comments on "moderation". Therefore, your comment won't appear automatically like it used to. First, I get to read it and decide if it will be posted.

So, don't worry if your comment doesn't appear. No need to keep trying to post it. It will show up eventually after my approval.

Love you guys!

Friday, January 8, 2010

In all her glory...

Here she is, with her new gap-toothed grin.

Meanwhile, I'm exhausted. Fairy work is really hard. Last night was like a replay of xmas eve. T would wake up every time I would get up to go get the money...or turn over to reach for it after I moved it into the bedroom and put it on the vanity next to my bed. Finally, around 3:30 a.m., I was able to sneak $2.00 under her pillow.

T scored a dollar bill and also four quarters. She was thrilled. I had the ingenious idea of putting the tooth in a box, so that it wouldn't get lost under the pillow. Figured it wouldn't be good for T to find it after it was supposedly nabbed by the fairy.

So, another milestone reached. I just wish they'd slow down.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Officially the Tooth Fairy!

yes, indeed, the tooth is out. T lost her first tooth at 10:58 p.m. tonight.

More proof that you just can't stop time from ticking. Four years ago on January 9th, we were boarding a plane to start our china journey to meet her. Now she's losing her first tooth.

Where the hell has the time gone?

Pele step aside!

Taylor is in the house!

Guess who had a FABULOUS time today at soccar? Mrs. M reports that the coach had nothing but glowing things to say about my little athlete. She was quite dirty, but very happy.

Great day for everybody!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snaggle-Toothed Taylor

See that tooth on the bottom jutting off to the right as one looks at it?

That's the tooth in question.

It's days are numbered.

Meanwhile, just got an email. Its a good thing that I got T some sport clothes. Her soccar class starts tomorrow during after care.


T is all set for some more cold weather, which is apparently on its way. Scored a couple pairs of navy pants similar to sweats but a bit more fashionable. Also scored a couple oxford shirts, one of which is too big.

Lastly, I scored some "athletic" wear. 2 long sleeve shirts that are touted to be some kind of special fabric that wicks away sweat from the body and has a tight weave too it, for the cold weather. Frankly to me, it just looks like a thin polyester, similar to the fabrics my mom used to sew with in the 1970's, sans the odd patterns and colors.

The biggest news was the xmas aisle. 90% off. And there were bags of candy, which included pieces of dove chocolate. 74 cents per bag.


So, if anyone needs a chocolate fix, I highly recommend hi-tailing it out to the nearest T@rget.

T still has her tooth, but its wiggling more and more, and was the subject of much discussion when I picked her up today at school.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Burning Question


Here is the Q of the day: What is the going rate for the tooth fairy?

Given the state of T's wiggling tooth, I figure I better start finding out. I didn't think it would last much through xmas, but its hanging in there.

T is so proud of her wiggling tooth, that I'm starting to worry how she'll react when its gone. She shows it to everybody. And I do mean EVERYBODY.

Even complete strangers.

So, PLEASE leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Swamp Winter

Yep, its official. Winter has hit the ol' swamp with a vengence. Gets down into the 40's at night, and only gets up to the high 50's or 60's during the day. For me, I love it. No sweating, makeup and hairdos don't melt. Lovely.

For T? Not so much. I've realized that she doesn't have enough warm winter uniform wear. Usually, it wouldn't be a problem, as we usually don't have cold weather more than 2 or 3 days in a row, tops.

Not this year.

It will be cold all week. Poor T doesn't have anything warm to wear on gym day. I failed to purchase the sweats. I mean really, what are the odds of having a cold day fall on a Thursday? Slim. Real slim.

Except, of course, this year.

So, in between prepping for trial, I need to sneak out on my lunch hour and hit the uniform store. Although, after seeing the prices again for stupid "official" sweatpants, I just may hit Target instead, for some "generic" ones.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Derby Queen

Guess who's about to run away from home to join the roller derby?

Aunt Dot got T some roller skates for xmas, and they were out practicing with them today. T did really great.

Me, on the otherhand? I spent the day getting rid of the last of the pews. They are officially gone. I've been singing the halleluyah chorus all day.

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A marvelous plan was made in the stars,
to create a miracle across the ocean so far....
Then entwine and weave all the hopes and labor,
it would take to bring us this joy called "Taylor"....
Now three lives are blessed and somewhere in the stars,
the planners are smiling, as we all are.

Taylor's Gal Pals

How Long We've Been a Family: