Monthly Archives: November 2015

Dementia: I hate You! Part 2

Dementia: I Hate You (part 2)

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I hope this story can help others who are going through this!

I also hope my telling the story helps me as we all have doubts about if your doing the right thing or not!

Going to see the doctor was very peaceful. My mom loves her Doctor and I found her to be wonderful as well. My only complaint about the wonderful Doctor Barry is that she gets all up in your personal space. This is from dealing with older people on very stressful topics for years, no doubt. Mom however thrived being that close to her and felt very comfortable with her. She held her hand and looked right into Mom’s eyes the whole time they were talking.

Dr. Barry then asked some questions and also did a test with mom called the “Mini Mental” test. This test was eye opening to watch. The doctor asked mom questions that anyone would know easily and then had her do a copy a picture type of an activity. It was interesting that my mom could not come up with the names of simple objects but would try to cover with humor and laughter. The Doctor held up a blue paperclip and asked mom what it was but mom could not come up with the name so she called it a blue thingy ma bobby and mimed what it did. Mom did pretty well on the test but I guess, but missed enough to go on to the next level of testing.

Around this time because of all of my mothers needs I lost my job. My boss made it sound like a reorganization but I know it was because I needed too much flexibility and had only been working for him for a few months. Not long enough for him to care about my troubles one way or another. Oh well I needed to be available to mom anyway… She was our priority.

We were given an appointment with the doctors at our local hospital. The second level of testing was just a more extensive version of the Mini Mental test. The only real difference was that it included some balance and dexterity testing. She had no balance at all, but I don’t think she ever did. I think I have seen drunk people do better walking a straight line than she did. So after Dr. Barry looked over the new reports we were then given an appointment at L&M in New London.

In the time between doctors appointment I talked mom and my husband into doing a little house shopping and started searching for the perfect new home for all of us. Now most people would have had their mom move in with them or moved in with her but neither of those options would have worked. She refused to live with us because she would not be able to have her own space and because our house was not up to her standards. We could not move in with her because my husband would not be able to move that far away from his daughter’s mother so that they could continue to share custody of Hannah. SOOOO we needed to find a house that my mom approved of and that was close enough to Hannah’s mother. Fun Fun! It’s hard to remember to add in that my husband and I had to decide that we would leave/sell/rent our house and change our daughter’s school and everything else in between. We had lived in our home together for 5 years and he had lived in it for 5 years before that, so it was a bit of a painful decision that he made with out a backwards glance. (An angel he is!)

On the night before we were supposed to go house hunting at about 9:00pm my mother drove up to our house totally unexpected. She wasn’y supposed to be at our home until 9:00am the next morning. Mom thought she was on time for our house hunting fun. Hmmm… Its pitch dark out side and she was thinking it was morning. She had fallen asleep for a nap and woke up thinking she had slept all night. She got ready to come over thinking it was morning and drove to our house in the dark with out going hmmmm… something is amiss here! It was then we knew we needed to expedite things. Trying to explain things to her in a non-embarrassing way was difficult but we got her settled in to sleep on the couch and went to bed ourselves even though it was a little early for us. We did not sleep well but stayed up talking about the situation and listening for anything out of place in the house. Vigilance turned into a new way of life for us.

House hunting was a real nightmare because nothing was good enough and she couldn’t remember going to look at the houses not to mention if she liked one or another! Her friends were making it worse because I was moving her out of town, they made her upset time and time again by talking to her about it. They also called me to ask why it had to happen so soon and why we could not just live with her and a million other things. I know I had it easy in the sense that I did not have siblings to argue with but I really wanted to hang her friends by the toes a time or four. I must say that I truly love and respect both of my mom’s best friends. I used to call them my second mom’s and hopefully treated them with respect for the most part during this difficult time.

I have no idea what the specialist doctor’s name was but he was fantastic. We were lucky to get him for sure. He usually did not see out patients at all so our Doctor pulled a few strings to get us into see him. Mom was chatty the whole time we were waiting for the doctor but, I could tell she was feeling a little out of sorts this morning. I am not sure she really knew why we were going to see this doctor. All I know is what he had to say at the end off the testing changed everything.

This doctor asked question after question for almost three hours. He was trying to tire her out to see if her memory got worse as time went on. I don’t know that it did get worse during the testing. He asked the same questions at different intervals and she would answer them wrong more often than not. She knew who I was most of the time but she never knew where we were or why we were there. She always tried to cover and make light of what she was forgetting. She would say things like “Why would I care to know” or “everyone forgets that” or “wow I knew that a minute ago” or “oh it’s on the tip of my tongue. It was also interesting on how much she would look to me to fill in for her. I guess this has been our game for a while and before that it was what my Step-dad did. She would start to answer and then turn half toward me hoping I would jump in and save her. It was painful to not be able to jump in during the testing. My job was to let her try to answer and be there to clarify if she was right or wrong. Talk about feeling like a traitor. I had to point out every time she was wrong and I know that just made her memory worse through all of the embarrassment and frustration she was feeling.

By the end of the testing the doctor somehow had his diagnosis. He said that without a doubt my mother has Picks Disease. Which is one of the most awful types of dementia. Mom listened as he spoke but I am not sure what she understood. I did unfortunately understand and was just a little more than totally devastated. I won’t go into the features of Picks disease this time but stop here for now.

Except to say that this doctor help me by telling mom she could no longer drive and that she needed to be living with someone sooner than later. More on this in part 3.

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Friday Favorites (November 20th edition)

Whoo-Hoo its Friday! For most this is the best day of the week… At least when the clock hits 5:00 or so! Its now time to wind down, enjoy the family and catch up with your life.

My Friday favorites for this week are

1) The turkey I have cooking in the oven right now! It smells sooooo good! I covered it with bacon so it smells better than ever. Now some would ask why I am cooking a 21lb turkey on the Friday before Thanksgiving and that would be because we are going out to eat on Thanksgiving. I will be eating squash ravioli instead of turkey so we won’t have the much loved left overs.

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2) Visiting family… I don’t have a picture but we will be visiting my husbands grandfather who just had surgery. He is 86 and has dementia. He was and is a joy to us. He is half deaf, confused and not feeling very well but we love him and try to see him as often as we can. Its just hard to get to the other side of the state as often as we think we should.

3) Spending my Birthday with Joel and Hannah. Joel/Hubby brought home Chinese food and presents for me and we just chilled out and watched The Librarians. Very fun show that we don’t mind our 13 year old watching. I have come to understand that a birthday is better spent quietly with those you love most than out partying with people who really don’t care who you are.

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4) So excited to get my new Cookbook from Hannah for my birthday, (it is what I asked for.) I just love the Pioneer Woman Ree Drumond, I read her blogs, sometimes watch her show and now have all of her cookbooks.  Her new Cookbook “The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime” looks awesome. Now to pick out my favorite recipe!

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5) Thanksgiving… I love everything about Thanksgiving except the cleaning up. We watch a parade, eat snacks and then a big lunch, and then we decorate for Christmas. We of course have cookies, eggnog and Christmas carols playing. Thanksgiving is just all about being thankful for who we have in our lives and thanking God for all of our blessings. Its nicer than the commercialism that is Christmas even though I do love the Christian meaning behind Christmas. Its just been turned into a time of gimme. So much stress. This year we will be eating out with Joel’s fathers side of the family and it should be a nice dinner at a nice restaurant with no muss or fuss.

I can’t wait to dig into the squash ravioli with brown butter sauce…. Sooooo Yummy.

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Eat. Thanks. Love. Dr. Oz The Good Life Article

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I love Thanksgiving! Its a time to get with those you love and thank God for all of the blessings in your life…Thanksgiving Should be a time to pray and reflect on your life. Some people see Thanksgiving as a time to just eat until your stomach hurts and then you fall asleep watching football in front of the TV. We live in such a truly secular society that many people do not care that the early Thanksgiving celebrations were a very pious and prayer filled event. Even the Native Americans celebrated a feast after a good harvest centered around thanking their creator.

I enjoyed reading the Article Eat. Thanks. Love. In the November issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life. It was filled with anecdotes from a bunch of famous people about how they celebrate being Thankful during Thanksgiving. They had spending time with family, going around the table and telling what they are thankful for, drinking and dancing as well as having topical food themes for the Thanksgiving menu. What I did not see was any mention of God. Not a single famous person acknowledged God as the giver of all of these blessings. Lisa Oz was the closest to showing a Christian leaning in how they give out meals on Thanksgiving. Her big quote was that “giving in this way makes me happier”. I guess this makes sense for the Oz family when Dr. Oz describes his beliefs as a mystical form of Islam closely related to Sufism.

Ok so the article disappointed me. I want everyone to believe as I do! (I do not force my beliefs down anyones throat) I just want those I care about to espouse the same values as I do. This is because I love them and not some need for control. I believe that my heavenly father is the giver of all good things. Knowing God and being saved has made me want the whole world to have the same security and love.

Anyway… This Thanksgiving make sure that you thank God for all of the family and friends you have and every other good thing in your life. Prayer

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30 Days Of Thankfulness – November 8th Edition

So very tired this morning…. Stayed up to late with the girls talking and snacking! Now to get back to crafting once I peal myself out of bed.

I am thankful to have the time to leave my family and spend that time with friends. I don’t leave my family very often and it feels strange when I do, but its good for all of us to have a little time away. I’m away this weekend and Joel will be away next weekend hunting so its really odd that we will be separated two weekends in a row! We usually spend all our time together, especially on the weekend. Whatever will I do! LOL I think I will live in my PJs next weekend! IMG_0013

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30 Days Of Thankfulness – November 7th Edition

Friends… I am spending a weekend with two good friends, Michele and Shauna. We are doing some Scrapbookin for sure! I love our weekends together! We have not done a whole weekend together in a while! I know some snacks will be eaten and maybe our nails may get Jamberried. Who knows…. Maybe a glass of wine will be drunk. We are relaxing together with out the hubbies and with out the kids. Michele has been a great friend for years, we started a coffee house at church together, did singles ministry events together and then she was my maid of honor in my wedding 7+ years ago. Shauna has been a friend that I made through Michele and scrapbooking. We don’t hang out or spend any time on the phone but she has become a true friend that I know will always be around if I need her! Whats better that that. We all need friends to just decompress with and that just what we are doing.

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30 Days Of Thankfulness November 6th Edition

Hmmm… I used a bunch of things and people in my Friday favorites post!

I will choose to mention that I am very thankful that God has gifted me with ability and skills to do so many things. I love to craft and God has given me some talent in that area. I love to garden and God defiantly gifted me in that area this year. I love to read and have always excelled in that area in school and have read hundreds upon hundreds of books in my lifetime. I guess what I am saying is that I am never bored whether I am with other people or on my own. I never need to be entertained, This has made the last three years that I have not been working very pleasant most of the time. And for the record we do not have cable TV either…LOL We do have Amazon prime but the selection is a bit poor.

Happiness is being content with what God has given you and making lemonade out of any lemons that come your way

 

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Friday Favorites – November 6th 2015 edition

Happy Friday

These are just some of the people and things I am loving right now

 

#1 – Learning how to do the techie stuff for my Blog from Udemy Videos. If you have never used Udemy or even heard of it, let me tell you it is awesome! You go on the site and find something you want to learn about and sign up for a class. Many classes you pay for but some are free. Joel is taking a course in a computer language and I have taken classes on Youtube videos and Blogging. I will also be taking classes on soap making soon. So exciting.  “UDEMY” Look it up!

#2 – Scrapbooking with friends! I am going on a weekend getaway tonight to my girlfriend Shauna’s house where we will spend time talking, eating, napping, and even a little scrapbooking together. Its so nice to take sometime to reconnect with friends that you don’t see that often! Scrapbooking

 

#3- A Husband who makes all things possible! I tell him I want to make photo coasters and… Joel figures out what I need and pushes me to buy the supplies. He even does the comparison shopping for the materials. Now he is going to build a pouring surface for pouring the epoxy. If I come up with a scheme he is usually right on board to help me in any way he can!

Listen up ladies…. Mary a man who does not drink and that does not watch sports! You will have a man who is more willing to do stuff with you that way.

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#4- This favorite is another person… She is someone who I have not actually seen in years but I still see and chat with on Facebook. Amy Manseau is a beautiful woman of God. She is beautiful inside and out. She works hard to homeschool her boys, Seems to be an incredible wife to her husband David, works in her church, has a regular job and also does Jamberry sales on the side. I read her Facebook posts and I think to myself that this is a woman who does it all.

Many years ago when she still lived in Connecticut I was going to be going into the hospital for spinal surgery. My mom was out of state but flying in later in the day on the day I was having the surgery. I was going to be alone, in pain and more than a little nervous the night before the surgery, SO Amy and the Pastor of our church decided that Amy would spend the night with me and stay during my surgery.  She has  a true servants heart and stayed up with me all evening and talked and we also watched some TV together. She not only stayed with me until Pastor came to the hospital to pray before surgery but she stayed long after surgery until my mom got to the hospital. Thats just who Amy is! The world could use a lot more people with a heart like hers!

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#5- My puppies who keep me company all day while I am unemployed. They are the cutest little pests imaginable. This house would be so empty without Gizmo and Molly!

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30 Days of Thankfulness November 5th edition

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I am thankful for the ability to try something new, or at least something I have not tried in a while. I tried doing a family/slice of life blog that got thrown to the side due to the busyness of life. I will be starting a new blog soon…. Next week I hope, that will show the life of a Christian family who are getting ready to start a new life on a homestead/farm in Maine…

God gives us the ability do do so many things in our lives… He gives us talents that we are born with and H e gives us the ability to build and develop skills. I hope to do something wonderful with this blog and showcase all of the skills that we are learning in order to start our new Maine adventure. I hope to inspire others through our successes and failures to step out to do something new. We all need to find our God given passions and boldly run with them.

 

 

 

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Whats In A Name? – Reliance Farm

Hi all….

Joel (My handsome hubby) and I were riding along in the car and started discussing our property in Maine and all that we need to do to make our dreams come to fruition. I then brought up my thoughts on a name for the farm. We went back and forth with a few ideas but both came to agree that it needed to show our belief in God and that our blessing of owning this farm is all because of Him. We came up with Reliant farm and both really liked it and we thought we were settled until the techie stuff came into play

We needed to make sure that we could brand the farm in all ways. We needed to make sure we could use the name for our website and for my Blog and for any farm based products that we will someday be selling. Unfortunately Reliant Farm was taken but we finally settled on RELIANCE FARM which I have come to believe is even better!

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We have the Blog ready to be created as well the Website ready to be built. Now for a Logo and branding/marketing strategy. It may be early for some of this but when you realize how busy our lives will get when this project is truly up and running I think getting some of this stuff out of the way is important.

More and More Later!

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30 days of Thankfulness for the month of November

Day 1, 2, and 3…

Hmmm – Taking and running with Amy Manseau’s Thankful posts on Facebook for the month of November… Time to catch up!

November 1st – Thankful that on Sundays I have an incredible church family to worship and serve with!
Everyone needs a good church family. If you don’t have one please come check out mine! lol
If your not serving and getting involved with the church family then you will never have an incredible church family. It takes time and effort. If you think a church should be full of perfect Christians then you don’t know Gods family. A church is a hospital room for broken people that come to your church and heal with the love of God. You will find bad attitudes and other not nice sinful attitudes in the church, but it our job as Christians to learn to loose our bad attitudes and actions as we develop our God attitude.
November 2nd – Thankful for having the best husband ever. He is sweet and wonderful and capable of so much. Joel loves God and tries ever so hard to live in a Godly manner. He believes in me and loves me for who I am. I will never claim he is perfect but he is perfect for me! What more can a woman ask for!
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November 3rd – Thankful that even at 13 my step daughter asked if we could have a pajama day so week could watch movies together all day! Spending the day hanging out together laughing at movies we’ve seen a million times before! Joel was happy to go to work today for sure!
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November 4th – I am thankful that I grew up in a family that loved me… My family was the picture of disfunction and craziness but my family made sure I knew I was loved. My mom always made sure that no matter who was mad at each other that I knew that love was underneath all of the stupidity. My family was and is just a little nutty!
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