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    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2019
     
    bhv - speaking of wrought iron fencing - my in-laws had a wrought iron fence that my FIL had made. As a boy & teenager my hb would paint that fence. When we had our own house, I wanted wrought iron fencing, but my hb said no - he never again wanted to sit there for hours painting - he'd had enough & I knew I wouldn't be patient enough to paint it, plus he was a better painter than me. So, my FIL made us a wrought iron railing for our front porch - hb didn't mind painting that, because it wasn't too big.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2019
     
    DH is in respite right now, and I've been really floundering. This respite is just a stop-gap before permanent placement, and I think I'm grieving this next step.

    Anyway, one project I wanted to do while DH was gone was to go one by one through all my CDs and play them again. I don't have a big collection, so each one means something to me. Oh, my goodness! I could have gone to a therapist for a year and not gotten so in touch with the person I used to be before dementia. Each CD puts me in touch with a different part of the "me" that is now locked so deep inside that I really thought it was gone forever. I go back and forth between tears and dancing across the floor. But for the first time in a very long time I feel like there's a little tiny spark of life still left in me.

    After I finish the CDs I'm going to try to hook up the old turntable and listen to all my old albums. They go back to about age 15, so it should be interesting.

    Anyway, I thought I should share this in case this form of "music therapy" would help anyone else.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2019
     
    For myself, some music evokes so many strong memories of better times that it just makes me cry & I feel worse. I've had to change the channel in the car to a different music channel, so I'd not cry while driving. It was becoming a problem because of the tears which prevented me to see the road properly. Not too many people understand what music does to me, because most people enjoy remembering the good old days. I even have trouble when there's entertainment at my hb facility. If certain songs are sung, I start to cry - very embarrassing & uncomfortable..... I became more emotional when I started menopause & much more emotional since the Alzheimer journey. If I start to cry I have a lot of difficulty stopping - in public not a good thing.... And of course my favourite music is the one that makes me cry....
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2019
     
    I used to cry at TV commercials or snap off the TV and storm off because I saw a tender moment between lovers or a diamond ring thing or something about dementia. At one time I didn't even think about watching a TV program. There are still some songs I won't listen to in that same vein and there were a lot of songs back then I avoided because it tore me up to listen to them.

    That's too bad because we could really use the little oasis a song or show can bring. That's why I put up links to Utube things. I remember one year I watched Grumpy Old Men repeatedly because there was nothing in it that triggered anything and I got to feel familiar with it. Feeling any kind of comfortable familiarity with anything can be a godsend when we're under so much strain. Watching those eagles comes to mind.

    Without realizing it, I picked a number of things that were like safe places such as Father Goose and Pride & Prejudice and Moonstruck - which was a romantic comedy I was fine with while the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks one's hit too close to home. I also found a whole slew of things like Escape To The Country and Time Team and other shows that I could favorite on the PC and come back to.

    There is almost nothing I watch today that I literally lived on four and more years ago. There are SO many telling signs in my life both that it was so real how bad it got surviving and how much things have gotten better years after that ended. I remember those snippets both very fondly and with some very strange feelings because it's clearer to me now how going to them over and over was pretty strange really, just as it was a lifeline I desperately needed.

    I will never congratulate myself for escaping that deep hole. I know what a mess that was and how unorchestrated and random getting away from it was. I fervently wish though that everyone finds their way eventually. It would be hard to mess it up more than I did. I sat in a chair for seven years and waited. My brilliant not a plan - and even that worked.

    My plan in a nutshell was clinging to nothing hoping something better would occur to me while trying not to get too bitter or give up. What happened was nothing for a long time and then it started ebbing for a thousand years and an ice age later I noticed I had outlasted it and it was spent while I was still here. Patience of Job my behind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CI-0E_jses

    Glenn Miller - In The Mood

    -or-

    "Morning dickhead. Hello moron."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePRYhNNdzwk

    Grumpy Old Men - opening scene
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2019
     
    I am not sure which I like better: Grumpy Old Men or Grumpier Old Men. In the later I love Burgess Meredith's character. Love him messing around with Sophia's mother. Even love it when Jack Lemmon sits down next to him, starts talking then realize he is dead. Love that he died looking out across their favorite fishing lake. What a peaceful way to go.

    I think that is why I like the old b/w shows, mainly westerns - all shows I watched growing up. I like to play the golden oldies from the 50s and 60s. His favorites were in the 40s and 50s. In the car we have few radio stations to choose from so the Christian station is always on which is fine. They play songs from more recent not the songs we sang in years past at church. Weird when he is home every Mariners baseball game is on, every time there is a hockey game on I turned it on for him, Seahawks or Partriots games. Now I could care less about watching any of them. It is like the switch to enjoy them shut off - which is fine with me. I do watch many shows he didn't want to but I never did because I knew he didn't or were afraid they would be too complicated to follow for him. It is a new way of life being 'single'.

    I need to buy a turn table so I can play my old records. I have a whole can full of 45s and then the LPs.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2019
     
    One of the first things I did after everyone left was to transfer some of my favorite albums to the computer. For so many years I only had his Beach Boys and other oldies on cds in the car. I tossed all of them and put my songs on a usb stick. My new car doesn’t have a CD player. I just plug in the stick. Better than cds. Plays longer. I still need to add the Moody Blues records.

    Some of them make me cry, but most just keep me calm. I still have to concentrate to make sure I’m driving safely. Those tidal waves of grief can strike at any time.

    I’ve been more stable for a few days. Not sure why. Then Simon and Garfunkel “I am an Island “ came on. I think I’m doing that. I am a rock. I am an Island. No one touches me and I touch no one. Something like that. Not a great long term plan, but it’s helping me get some work done.

    Finished painting today. Well, just the section and gate that were ready for final coat. Better this time, but takes waaaaay too long. Looks wonderful. I’ve no idea how I will do all the rest of it. Seems like miles of fencing. At least the one I see every afternoon is done. Now to tackle redesign of the sprinklers.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2019
     
    Have been down and crying because I decided not to go visit today even though it is day 3. The road there is notorious for accidents. With it being St Patricks and people partying and drinking, I didn't want to risk it. So, I went to Walmart instead. Was OK until I walked in the door and this song was playing which got me crying again. I changed the lyrics which are in caps. I have been trying to figure out why so emotional now. Reason: I was on antidepressants (went off in Dec) so was able to 'stuff' the emotions; the frustration with this place - when I trust someone and that trust is broken then it is hard to get back; think all the stuffed emotions are escaping now that I am allowing myself to cry and feel; tired.

    End of the World

    Why does the sun go on shining?
    Why does the sea rush to shore?
    Don't they know it's the end of the world?
    'Cause you don't love me anymore - CAUSE MR ALZ TOOK YOU AWAY

    Why do the birds go on singing?
    Why do the stars glow above?
    Don't they know it's the end of the world?
    It ended when I lost your love TO MR ALZ

    I wake up in the morning and I wonder
    Why everything's the same as it was
    I can't understand, no, I can't understand
    How life goes on the way it does

    Why does my heart go on beating?
    Why do these eyes of mine cry?
    Don't they know it's the end of the world?
    It ended when you MR ALZ TOOK YOU

    Why does my heart go on beating?
    Why do these eyes of mine cry?
    Don't they know it's the end of the world?
    It ended when you said goodbye (never said goodbye just slipped away with MR ALZ)
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2019
     
    Exactly.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2019
     
    Charlotte - I know exactly how you feel - songs make me cry often. I've never taken antidepressants - maybe I should have to take the edge off. In December while in line at the grocery store the song "I'll Be Home for Christmas" started to play & it took everything I had not to cry. I hate knowing that songs can evoke such sad emotions, because before hearing it, I was feeling fine (well, as fine as I can feel now). That emotion can sometimes last a while & put a damper on the rest of the day. I can't keep giving those emotions such control - must find a way to take back my control. The next time a song brings on sadness, I'm thinking of trying to accept that feeling, allow myself to feel the emotional pain at that moment & then let it go when the song is over, instead of dreading it & fighting that sad emotion, which doesn't work anyway. If I could manage to accept & let go, I think it would work. Perhaps could work for the other sad situations. Has anyone else tried that?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2019
     
    Getting to realize a pattern. One day when I visit he is fine, the next down and crying. Even taking him out to DQ and for a ride didn't help, especially when we got back to the facility. His roommate died I guess a week ago. I just figured he was out in with the rest. I guess he went to the hospital then they brought him back on Hospice but put him in another room. I was a little upset when I noticed his dead roommates name was in the shadow box but Art's was gone. No one could tell me why. Down to just missing 2 underwear and 5 t-shirts.

    They wanted me to sign a new care plan but I refused. I had told them not to do any special cleaning of his bridge. Toothpaste and brushing work fine. But, the care plan said to use denture brush on it and no toothpaste - no wonder another 'tooth' broke off. One broke a few years ago when he bit on a taco but the rest of the bridge was fine - just had a 'silver' tooth in the front. Now he has two. I crossed off the big instructions and wrote 'brush only with toothbrush furnished (it is a soft brush) and toothpaste furnished. NO special cleaning needed for bridge. I don't know what soap they are using but the instructions say to use provided Tone bar soap but it has never been used the 5 weeks he has been there nor has his shampoo.

    Otherwise, the weather is sunny and was a nice drive. Tomorrow I go for hopefully another cortisone shot in my left big toe. Finally got around to also make an appointment to see if something can be done about the bone spur in my right knee. I also want to find out about an injection in the knee joint. My friend who has the miserably failed knee replacement had one of the other doctors there inject something into her other knee three years ago to hopefully avoid knee replacement. It is now just starting to hurt which is surprising because she mostly uses it the last three years because the right one is worthless. All this driving back and forth is killing my knee. Every move from the gas to break that bone spur pokes me so by the end of the day it is really sore.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2019
     
    I just found out, from my poor DH, and not from the nursing home where he is having a respite stay, that his blood pressure has been going up to 190 on the top number. I talked to the nurse, and she explained that since he is just there for a respite stay, they don't treat anything. They don't contact me, and their doctor does nothing. I then asked her what the point was in even taking his blood pressure if it got to such a dangerous level and they did nothing about it! (I would be afraid to take my own blood pressure right now, because I'm afraid it would be at a dangerous level, too.) Tomorrow first thing I'm going to try to get him in to see his doctor. If that fails, we will be going to urgent care. And then I guess we'll go back to the nursing home and pack up his things, and I'll bring him home where at least someone will be paying attention to his medical condition, and providing appropriate care when necessary.

    This really sounds like medical malpractice. To have numerous readings that high and do nothing? Were they waiting for him to have a stroke so he would be a permanent resident there?

    Up until now, DH has been "with it" enough to let me know things that happened during his respite stays. I don't believe that it's an irrational fear to think that when he can no longer tell me what's going on, he's not going to last very long in a nursing home. Even if I visit frequently, there's no telling what will be happening when I'm not there.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2019
     
    Jan, That's not just a rhetorical question. Why WERE they taking his blood pressure? The stupidity of the process would infuriate me, too.

    Charlotte, All that driving must be wearing you out, especially with the bone spur. I hope the doctor can do something for your knee short of major surgery.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2019 edited
     
    Jan I am so so sorry you are experiencing this lack of caring or poor values from this place. Yes, you should be made aware of it. It could be the stress of being there causing it but that is no excuse to not address it. It is so horrible that we should even have to deal with these issues.

    I remember when my sister put her husband in respite she had to furnish his bed which was a flat bed. She found him laying in bed when she went to visit him wet and hungry. They said he never got up. Well the guy's whole body was bone on bone and getting up without help he couldn't do and they knew it. She was livid. She was paying them $4000 for a month of respite. For that you would think they would care about him but they didn't.

    I have been sitting her tonight getting angry over his bridge. I will check when I go Thursday to make sure it is tight. I might even make him a dentist appointment to check it which means I would keep him overnight probably. Otherwise it would be driving to there, back to Richland, then back to there in one day. But, if I bring him home for a night will he fight going back?

    Got the shot in my left big toe. It hurt worse this time than before so must have been inflamed real good. It doesn't hurt now and is a little stiff but tomorrow where the injection was done it probably will hurt. Will let you know tomorrow what I find out about my knee. Removing the bone spur, if they can do it, should be a simple laparoscopic surgery where I don't even need to be sedated and should be up about not long after. I am hoping she refers me to the other doctor who did the shot in my friends knee. Maybe he could do the shot at the same time so it doesn't hurt as much.


    Update: got the cortisone shot in my knee. Xray showed not much change the last year. I didn't remember getting the shot a year ago so it much have helped until last fall. It it doesn't then will go to the 3 shot series that lubricates the joint. This did not hurt compared to the one on my big toe yesterday.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2019
     
    HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE. Hope we all have a sunshine day. If any of you are in the midwest where there is all the flooding stay safe and hopefully dry.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2019
     
    He is at home tonight. Today when I got there he was crying cause his knee hurt. I took him out to Walmart then for a banana split but he had a lot of trouble getting out of the car - said his knee was giving out. His left knee he injured as a teenager playing hockey and has bothered him now and then over the years but not this bad. Plus, the cramping he has in his calves which has been going on for over two years. Are they really that bad or is it his damaged brain making them worse? I tried to get him in to the doctor either at the VA in Walla Walla or the non-VA doctor here with no success. they all said take him to the ER -cause of the leg cramps they were worried about blood clots. After 1 1/2 hours at the ER he was getting agitated and restless, didn't understand why people were coming and going but not him. We left. Tomorrow I will either go back or to urgent care. He was running a low grade fever and has lot 10 pounds since I placed him 6 weeks ago. He is in bed now - gave him 3 ibuprofen, a valerian root to help with the pain too, and a melatonin. Hopefully he will sleep well. He was still wearing the same clothes he had on Monday so in the morning I will take him to the big shower in the park.

    I am exhausted - been a long day. I left him with Paula while I went to the support group meeting. Not sure how much she enjoyed him.

    I need to do some rethinking. They have tylenol to give PRN. I said something to the 3rd in line there and she said he probably never asked for anything for pain. That set me off. I reminded her this is memory care. They are not going to think 'oh I am in pain, I need to go ask the nurse for something!' How long I keep him home will depend on what I find out tomorrow. I also need to decide whether to keep him there or not. Gas goes up 6 cents every 3 days that I fill up. It is getting expensive even at 44 mpg, plus the wear and tear on my old car.
    Do I leave him there? Will I ever trust them?
    Do I bring him home?
    Do I rent an apartment, get rid of the RV or store it, and bring him home keeping him at home til the end? All I want to do is cry at either choice.

    Also, they gave him a haircut. That surprised me cause nothing was ever said. Cut his hair but he had not been shaved since I was there Monday. Nor had his teeth been brushed - not with what was built up on them.
  1.  
    Charlotte, the care in that place is so sub-standard that it's scary. I know it's hellacious having him home again, but just going by what you've told us on this forum, I would not place him back there.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2019
     
    Charlotte, When people say "Well, you know that a nursing home won't take care of them like you would", do you want to scream? What these people don't realize is that sometimes there is not even basic care provided. That's hard for people to believe until they are in the trenches dealing with it. Something that would get a caregiver reported to adult protective services is normal operating procedure for a lot of nursing homes, in my experience. And DH has been to respite in five of them so far, so I do have experience.

    I brought DH home from respite early yesterday. It's surprising how much attention he (finally) got when I said I was taking him home. The nurse came, and the nurse practitioner, and the social worker. With me there, they (finally) got concerned about his very, very high blood pressure. They wanted to (finally) adjust his two blood pressure meds.

    The staff explained to me that they don't usually notify family about health issues, but they do notify the patient. What? When DH checked in, they decided he was not competent enough to even self-administer a cough drop, so why do they think he's competent to tell them what to do about serious health issues? I was trying to be calm, but I was very much wanting to use my "outside" voice and say four-letter words I don't normally use.

    In the discharge papers, they wanted to check that he was going home because he had improved so much that he no longer needed their care. Seriously? I changed it to he was going home because they couldn't meet his needs. Which is very true.

    After picking up DH from respite, I took him to the hospital for labs. Today he has a doctor's appointment to see if they can get the blood pressure under control. Oh, and while he was in respite his glasses broke and three of his front teeth broke off large pieces! Oh, my. Fortunately his teeth don't hurt--yet, but they need immediate attention. Another thing the nursing home didn't bother to mention--and believe me, it's very noticeable! It makes me wonder what it would take for the nursing home to contact me.

    There was supposed to be another week of respite before the whirlwind started up again. Instead, it's back and moving faster than before.

    Yesterday morning started with me trying to tape the glass back in the side mirrors on the van. (I hadn't yet found the perfect product to fasten them back in.) Within about a week, both glass pieces just fell out on the ground. Fortunately they didn't break. But standing in a freezing drizzle/mist trying to do something like that made me a little grumpy before I even started talking to the people at the nursing home.

    Charlotte, another thought. DH also suffered from bad leg cramps. When we asked the doctor about them, he said, "Oh, a lot of older people have those". Grrr. I did some research, starting with medications that can cause leg cramps. DH was taking two of the top ones. So those meds were adjusted. Then we started adding magnesium and foods rich in potassium. And it helps when he can use his legs more, like using our "air walker" to exercise. All this cut way down on the amount and severity of the leg cramps. It seems like our doctor should have been able to tell us some of these things to try, but he didn't even make one suggestion for help. I understand you asking if you will ever be able to trust the nursing home. My instant response to that is--NO. Just for starters, why has your DH lost ten pounds in six weeks? That's certainly a red flag. (At the nursing homes DH has been in, shaving is supposed to be one of the care services provided. However, a haircut is an additional charge. Maybe that's why your husband got a haircut, but his teeth were not brushed. Several times when DH was in respite, the nursing home wanted to do physical therapy--which DH did not need. But they can charge extra for that.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2019 edited
     
    Jan, so sorry for your headache. It just does not seem right nor fair but facilities have a bad reputation. Sorry about his teeth - that can be expensive.

    I know my hbs bridge would cost probably $6000 because he would need all the rest of the upper teeth pulled and a top denture. Not going to happen.

    Getting ready to leave and see if we can get some answers somewhere. I agree the leg cramps, which he has had for a few years but getting worse can be caused by mineral deficient. If I bring him home I will try to get him to eat a banana a day for potassium. I will see what I find out today, then will have to make some serious decisions if they won't change there. His haircut is so short he can't even part it and comb it.


    UPdate: he has fluid on his knee plus osteoarthritis which is expected at his age. I will keep him home for the weekend because I can't trust them to give him the ibuprofen and ice it like prescribed. I sent an email to the director asking for a meeting on Monday and why. If he doesn't want to meet then I will go pack his stuff up. If he can't build some trust, I will bring him home. That is the last thing I want to do. Even just one day in the MH has been hard on him. Thankfully it is nice out so he can go outside. Think I will pack up the shower stuff and go give him a hot shower. Should make him feel better.
  2.  
    When Larry's permanent bridge fell out, we just left it out--it didn't show from the front. He had a couple teeth break off (not in front) and the dentist just had the oral surgeon take a look and remove the roots of those teeth. They were both very good with him, and care was quick and excellent. I can't imagine what would have happened had he been in a nursing home and those events would have happened.

    He always had a lot of trouble with leg cramps. Back in the day when Quinamm was still allowed, it worked quite well. (It was outlawed because of causing too many heart attacks.) None of the recommendations for what to replace it with worked for him--a good B complex vitamin, drinking tonic water...he was keeping me up a lot at night. Fortunately in a way, his congenital neuropathy of the lower legs was getting worse, and he was put on Soma (carisoprodol--a muscle relaxer) and Cymbalta (given for the neuropathy, but also--yay--an antidepressant.) Auto-correct is not letting me write the generic name for Cymbalta--sorry. Anyway, this combination knocked out the leg cramps and also put him in a better mood. Win, win.

    Cymbalta is...curses, the autocorrect keeps changing to the wrong word. Well I tried.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2019
     
    It is so sad and maddening to read so many cases of poor care at facilities. I’m glad I am not dealing with that. While visiting my wife we ran into other people visiting their parent at the facility. They mentioned how happy they are with the quality of care. Since they know my wife I assume they visit frequently. There is no excuse for poor quality except management doesn’t care (good managers will ensure that staff cares, and replace staff if they don’t, bad managers chase away good staff). Charlotte’s husband’s current place sounds like a disappointment, I hope that the VA has a spot for her husband soon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2019
     
    I am so exhausted. I don't sleep well for various reasons. Last night it didn't cool off in here - could only doze off and on. Wouldn't put his cpap on so had to listen to snoring. I woke up at 5 and he was cold - no covers on him. Turned his mattress heater on high, covered him up and managed half sleep. Hour later the blanket was on the floor.

    The two nights he has been here I have hot flashes all night which had stopped when he was gone, so it is stress. He won't sit in his chair but wants to sit in my desk chair which is where his chair use to be. Forgot about sundowningl. Got nasty last night cause he kept wanting to take off. Doesn't want to ice or rest his knee.

    I feel sorry he has to be alone at the facility. But in all honesty I love just me, Jasmine and Sage. I know now it will not work bringing him home. Just hope Monday I get some honest reassurance especially since the next guy up is coming.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    For those of you dealing with leg cramps -- my doctor recommended increasing my magnesium another 400mg, which has helped. I also buy the magnesium oil, which really isn't an oil and comes in a spray bottle. Think it was $9 for two cans on Amazon. It's great if you've forgotten a pill or get an unusual cramp. Amazing how much our body uses magnesium.

    On a similar subject, following a chiropractic adjustment, which hurt -- first time ever -- I began having leg jerks, just as I was falling asleep. They came every 4 seconds and my life was miserable. Dr prescribed Tramadol, helped for a bit. Then it started happening whenever I sat down to rest too. They called it Primary Limb Movement Disorder, now the name has been changed. Similar to restless legs but the "limb" actually jerks. It started in my right leg, then the left joined it. Almost like an electric shock. Dr finally described Ropinerole ( brand name is Requip) I took a 2mg tablet, three times a day. As long as I remembered, I was OK. Forget and I was miserable. I've never been sure what the chiropractor did but after I had spinal surgery it went away over a period of a few weeks and two years later still no problems.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    I feel so bad for everyone, as I read through your comments I wonder what will ever become of all of us. I cannot imagine those of you who dealt with the last stages for so long. Dr has said my current medical problems are stress -- but there isn't anything she could offer but drugs and a counselor. I've tried the drugs but finally had to say no more, no matter what I took I always felt a little fuzzy which didn't help.

    We are having company in April, a wedding in May then more company in June, July and August. I so much wanted to get the house finished but not sure I can. Our week of spring gave me hope but now we are back to rain, mud and a major thunderstorm with large hail coming later today. This is tornado season for us.

    I can get away for a few hours, got my hair cut yesterday, but always come home to AL. Wish I could stop time and let me catch up. People tell me to get away and do something but what I really need is for him to go away for awhile so I can get done what i need to do. But he doesn't intend to go any place, period, not even for a short time. He has been incapacitated since September, first with the foot ulcer, now with the burn. I do feel bad for him but soaking and changing the bandage, is just one more thing to add to my day. He complains about the pain and I have to explain it to him again. Boy, reads like a pity party, which I guess it is. I wonder how long I will be able to handle everything. Just sometimes seems hopeless for both of us. I'm not sure I could handle him being in a nursing home after hearing all you go through. He is not a man who would be easy to handle and he's a big man, which makes it harder for even me. He is still stronger than me though, LOL. With my arthritis I can't open even a bottle of pepsi, which he does for me. Jars, etc -- also kills big spiders. Says that's what I keep him around for, LOL. Keep good thoughts, my daffodils have finally started blooming and the bulbs are pushing their way up. I've moved the horses up to the north pasture, they have plenty of good grass and the stream runs through there for water -- so for the time being all I have to do is go up to check on them every few days.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    The daffodils and tulips have come up but no buds for flowers yet. Budding leaves showing on trees.

    Oakridge, many facilities are much better than what you have been reading here recently. His moving will be soley your choice. It sounds like you can go one this way only so long. If you think he will be a difficult resident then you should be looking now, finding an appropriate place can take some time. I am not saying you should move him into a facility, but to be ready if the time comes where he has to move.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    If we can't safely rant, complain and/or have a pity party here, where is it safe?

    Yes, bulbs are blooming - crocus for now. Daffodils have flowers but not ready to bloom yet.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    Wow, I read about your crocus & daffodils. We're still under 5 feet of snow here!! We've had a bit of spring-like weather & some of the snow has melted, but it was snowing a bit today. The only flowers I see are my indoor plants, which I really enjoy, especially in winter.
    • CommentAuthorSedgly
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    If you have anything green and living in your yard whether a crocus, daffodils or blade of grass, know that I am envious. The snow here is still up to my knees.. 1-3" tonight and tomorrow morning... then another 6 the end of the week...

    We have experienced the best facility, where we had Mom. It was simply perfect. And the worst, where we had Dad, a VA in Texas.

    I have no plans of placing Jim soon but plan to look at a few of them when I get away from him.

    My BIL's girlfriend works as a CNA at a large one 20 minutes from here. Online it has a 2 star rating. She says it is wonderful. My 1st ex sister-in-law's Mom is there and sister-in-law also says it's great.

    However, my son happened to get a call and was doing a job there and said not only did the place reek of feces and urine but they were screaming at the residents....I told him if he ever sees this again to pull out his phone and record it...if ever Jim is placed... and inside of me I realize it could be sooner or later, he will come with multiple hidden cameras.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    Sometimes where an ALF has both regular floors and memory care the MC might be good while the other floors are poor. This would be due to differences in staffing.

    Do check your state’s reports on facilities. While every facility might get reported you want to look at the frequency and severity. If you see drugs poorly managed I suggest staying away. My wife’s first ALF was hit hard on drug handling and the charges were very severe. Watching them handling drugs looked troublesome. I was taking care of my wife’s meds at this ALF. It a facility is on a provisional license and the state is coming over every month for a new exam, that is a bad sign.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2019
     
    Charlotte, rant, complain and have a pity party. We will toss a lifeline and send virtual hugs. You’ve been constantly on my mind. Like Oakridge said, I worry what will happen to all of us. We won’t have a Charlotte, Jan or Paul to intercede for us. It is awfully scary.
    I am praying as hard as I can that your meeting with the manager on Monday will help turn things around. Keeping my fingers crossed too.
    ————+———-+————+———-+————+ lifeline and HUGS.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2019
     
    thanks Bonnie.

    Had our meeting. He promised to address all the issues, said there was no excuse for what has gone on. First issue - his room was an iceberg. The heater would not come on, only cold air. They finally hired more laundry help and he said the baskets full of clothes are gone. He ask I let them wash them and see how it goes. Said I should be able to come and enjoy my visit, not spend my time worrying about what is or isn't getting done.

    I bought a battery toothbrush - was letting him use mine and he did fine with it. Left extra batteries. Told him I didn't like having to reteach him how to brush his teeth or wash himself. He needs to be allowed to do with he can which includes using the bar of soap I provided vs their liquid on a wash cloth. He never has used a wash cloth. He agreed he needs to still do what he can. His knee was doing better - I said to keep giving him the ibuprofen as prescribed.

    When we arrived he went in with no problems. I left him to eat lunch while I went to the meeting. Afterwards I left, I just could not go back and see him. The last two days he was so sweet. He was hugging me, kissing my cheek, massaging/scratching back and telling me how much he loved me. It has been decades since I saw that person. I cried the whole way home stopping enough to go in the store. It is tearing me apart - me, that person who couldn't wait last fall to place him.

    After 4 nights of little sleep and lots of hot flashes hopefully tonight I will sleep and be better tomorrow. Right now the hot flashes appear to be stress induced.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2019
     
    This sounds positive, especially the part about you should be able to enjoy the visit. I am hopeful they follow through. Funny, my husband never used a washcloth either. I tried liquid soap and he couldn’t figure that out for sure. I get that it’s tearIng you apart, but I’m glad he was so affectionate for a couple of days. It really is sweet. Hang in there my friend. Sleep well.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2019
     
    Little stories are filtering in to me about DH's respite stay. There are a lot of things that DH may forget, but I have yet to find him unreliable in things he has told me.

    He said that they provided drinking water in styrofoam cups. His roommate caused a problem because he liked to chew up the cups. The nursing home's response was just not to give him any water! When DH realized what was happening, he got him water in a hard plastic cup he had brought from home. The nursing home had no objection to DH providing the water, which made me wonder why they couldn't have, for example, given him drinking water in one of the plastic glasses that were on the meal trays. I can't believe that anyone thought that just stopping him having any water was a decent idea.

    As I may have mentioned, this was the fifth nursing home DH had gone to for respite. At each of the other ones, there were some things that were irritating to him. This one, however... When DH tried to tell me about it, he got tears in his eyes. "It was like a jail", he said.

    The good news is that now that DH is home, and his doctor has adjusted his blood pressure medicine, he is eating our lower-sodium meals, and we changed a couple of his other meds, his blood pressure is back in the normal range again. I still get chills when I think that if I hadn't gotten him out of that place and to a doctor, he could have had a stroke before the respite stay was over. I am not over-reacting when I say that. When I called his doctor's office, the nurse talked to me about symptoms which meant I should take DH to the emergency room immediately. She was that concerned about his blood pressure. All the nursing home did was "monitor" the blood pressure. What if DH had been beyond the point of being able to tell me that his blood pressure was so high?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2019
     
    This is so repulsive. With the money these places are paid either for respite or fulltime resident, there is no excuse for lack of caring. Dehydration is a serious problem with anyone but especially the elderly and those sick. To deny water is abuse. I would be tempted to report them. We have enough to deal with without having to play 'care cop'! I am glad Jan he is home and now safe.



    I think I figured the hot flashes problem. Last Tuesday I got the shot in my toe, Wednesday in my knee - cortisone caused! On Thursday my face was bright red but thought it was the sun being out. Last night I sweated all night. I went to bed at 9 and got up at 8 with numerous potty and dog outside breaks during the night. I don't know why she thinks cause I have to pee she does too!! Hopefully that side effect will soon wear off.

    Last night I was writing about his being affectionate. It hit me it was like he was saying I love you, thank you and goodbye. Maybe he sensed he was going downhill faster. Or maybe just my emotions going wild. I need to stop crying or I will have to go back on the antidepressant.

    Bonnie - got your pool open yet?
  3.  
    Charlotte, you are probably correct about the relation of the cortisone to the hot flashes. It may also be why you are crying more, although you certainly have enough stress in your life to cause crying jags. Give your body some time to process the excess cortisone. I'm sorry these facilities are so bad. No matter what anyone says, it is always about money.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2019 edited
     
    Remember Art was upset cause he said he was married for 40 years and they wouldn’t let him be married there. Might be why he’s being affectionate. When I was about to place Jim, they said it would let me go back to being the loving wife. I hope things improve at this place so you can have that. It’s a huge adjustment for you both. And it’s your party and you can cry if you want to!

    Jan, I can’t comprehend five places being so awful, and especially this one - not telling the family about a medical problem. Really frightening.

    Yes Charlotte it is open. I nearly jumped in today. Just put in my feet. Water is already 65 degrees. Yesterday it was 80 on my patio. Today in the 70s. Didn’t want to say anything cause the Canadians still have snow. I gotta clean the filter tomorrow.

    There’s a bullfrog living in the pool. I’ve moved him several times but he’s baaack. Sounds like an old man snoring in the back yard.

    My crowd of hummingbirds seem to have headed north. I ran into a huge flock of robins on the golf course this morning. Robins used to winter here in a neighbors yard. So they must be headed your way. They’ve been talking about a massive migration of painted lady butterflies. They are flying through here in clouds.

    Just south of me at Lake Elsinore there is a super bloom of wildflowers. The hills are bright orange, purple and green. They say it is visible from space. There are massive traffic jams and accidents and an awful mess. They thought they were ready with some porta potties and shuttles from a parking lot off the freeway, but were totally overwhelmed and had to close two exits. People were parking on the side of the freeway. Older folks were trying to walk several miles and needing to be rescued. Some rattlesnake bites too. They all want a selfie in the middle of the field so they are trampling the flowers! So last weekend they hired 40 extra sheriffs and charged $10 for the shuttle hoping to keep it under control, apparently with little success.

    I’ve seen it before so decided not to get involved in the traffic. I have a mini bloom in my ravine. Mostly yellow, but a few orange California poppies. Tried a picture yesterday but the phone was too overwhelmed with all the yellow and made the poppies yellow too. Tomorrow I will take the good camera down there and see if I can post my poppies on Facebook. There’s just a few though. Everyone’s ice plant has come back to life making for some dramatic, colorful hillsides! Mine are magenta.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2019
     
    I have to laugh at the picture of the bullfrog. With the chemicals in the pool at least you know he is clean!! And be thankful it is not an alligator! LOL

    Last night slept better - turned the heater on to keep the bedroom warmer. Cold air seems to trigger them.

    I saw a picture of the massive blooms someone posted online. Spring in the desert can be beautiful. I remember in 2010 when we left Yuma for north the wildflowers along the road were to pretty - no massive blooms but enough to reward our drive. Our desert wildflowers are just starting. The next few weeks as they cycle through should be nice if I get myself out to see them. They are not big massive displays unless you hike up onto the hills.

    Would love to see the butterflies land - that would be awesome. As for the Robins - you can keep them. The west side of the mountains have them all year long. Here we will get some in the spring (same with those annoying starlings) but they thankfully all move on west. They bother the finches and other little birds that live around her all year long.

    Will be waiting to see your FB pictures
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2019
     
    I took the camera down in the ravine this morning. I had worked all last year trimming the native plants there to below knee level. They are waist high again and have filled in even more, so difficult to find a path. They have completely covered the drain that takes the seasonal stream under the street. It looks like a lot more water went flowing through there than I knew. There are deep gulleys. I fell twice. That’s when I realize I’m not a kid any more. It is difficult to get up! And I forgot the cell phone. STUPID. If I had broken an ankle or something no one would have found me. I really need to get serious about a safety plan. Fortunately I didn’t run into any snakes. No ticks either. Yay. Will fuss with the camera and computer tomorrow.

    Have been feeling quite a bit better since the discussion with Wolf on the other thread. But went to the support group this afternoon anyway. Met a different guy. When I said I felt comfortable with them they all blushed and thanked me for trusting them. Had interesting conversations with one guy who is caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know how it would be since I’m a widow now, but it feels right and they want me to come back. They even told me about three other support groups they go to. Once a month for a little while might work for me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2019
     
    I went later today and not a whole lot changed. They were putting the voltren on his knee but had not given him any of the motrin because it says "as needed for pain". Well, since he never complained nor did they witness him looking in pain, they never gave it to him. I was mad. When he gets up and first puts weight on it you can see it hurts and he limps when he starts walking. He won't sit still cause sitting/bending it hurts.

    When I was leaving he was shivering - asked them to check his temp. Was 100.6 - they didn't want to tell me. They said they would give him Tylenol. Suggested strongly they give him the Motrin for his knee which would help inflammation and fever. They finally gave in giving him the Motrin. When I left he was at the table waiting for dinner while shivering and coughing. They said there's a bug going around Walla Walla. I almost brought him home, probably should have.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2019
     
    So terribly hard to know what to do. Maybe they believe the story that people with Alzheimer’s don’t feel pain. I kept hearing that from all kinds of people. Never made sense to me.

    How was his mood though? Did he recognize you? Did you bring the dog? Was he happy to see you? Was he shaved? In clean clothes?
  4.  
    Just a sub-standard place. Based on what you are telling us, you need to pull him out of there, Charlotte. Maybe the VA place?
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2019
     
    Oakridge, 4 years ago I bought a Subaru Outback. I am still happy with it. It was my first Subaru.
    I did most of my shopping by email. That worked for me. On financing I used bare and switch tactics.
    And that included warranties. They will soak you for that if you let them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2019
     
    I miss my computer. It is in the shop seeing if it can be fixed cheaper than buying a new one. My last computer did a similar thing - the screen goes black. Sometimes it recovers with the comment "graphics accelerator has recovered" but most of the time I have to turn it off and reboot. I bought a new one giving my old one to a guy who thought he could fix it. He did for around $100. It is time consuming to hen peck on my kindle!!

    I called yesterday afternoon to check on him. All staff were in a meeting but the woman said he was not running a temp but appeared depressed. Called last night: ate all his dinner, was in a good mood, him and his new buddy Jim had been out gardening in the raised beds they have. Haven't decided whether to go this afternoon or wait until tomorrow.

    Vent time
    I think my friend P was too overwhelmed the two hours she watched Art last Thursday,so I could go to the support meeting. We stopped by Saturday but she was cold to us. Even Art could not get her to smile which I could see was puzzling him. That is not uncommon. I never know if the warm and cheerful P will present or the cold, don't bother me when I visit. She has has two strokes a few years ago. Since I did not know her before, I don't know if she was this way before them or after. Anyway never heard from her until Thursday night,when she texted me but I didn't answer. She wanted to know if I had been fluffy up the RV.

    She texted again yesterday asking what was going on then commenting "you sure are quiet". I finally answered back no I have not done anything but cry most of the time since Monday. That I don't have the energy or desire to be social. Answers back "oh ok". Then asked about the meeting on Monday. I didn't answer back so she replied "won't bother you." Now to see if she really cares or disappears.

    I still am much the peace keeper like I was growing up. Some days I visit she is fine and cheerful; other days she is like Saturday - withdrawn. If I get there and she is moody I try to chat a little then come up with an excuse I have to leave. I have put up with it because she is the the only 'friend' I have. When she is up we have a good time. But like with everyone, I listen more,than I talk. Other than when in counseling, no one really wants to hear my real thoughts. I know she has no idea of my inner,struggle. She was married once for 9 years - not 48. She keeps pressuring me to give up the rv and move into an apartment. Says if she can do I can. She has a son who buys her nice used cars and helps her financially. I don't have anyone - just me, myself and I - like so many of us here.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2019
     
    I went today and he was out of it when I arrived. He was near the door so the dog ran to him but he pushed her away. I took his arm saying 'lets go to your room'. He hesitated at first then smelled him so took his hand taking him to his room. I think he was recognizing me. Got to his room to find a lot of dried hard poop stuck on his butt. I tried cleaning him up with wet paper towels but,decided a shower was called for so called the front desk telling them I needed towels to shower him cause he had poop dried on him and he had a rash on his inner thighs probably from when he pooped since his is always soft/diarrhea type.

    I was about half done when the male aid came in to finish and put the butt creme on him. His poor anal area was raw and bloody from getting the dried poop off even though I tried to soak it with water.

    I asked when they were giving him something for pain and/or putting the pain cream on his knee. She said she didn't have that information only the director does. That they can't give anything not ordered without his permission. Which means there is no nurse on duty during the weekend and they were not putting even the cream on.

    He was still favoring his knee but not as much. I brought him home, going to try to get him either into the VA or urgent care to check on it. I had to wait over a half hour while they got permission to release his medications to me. I do know from now on when I get prescriptions there will be no "as needed for pain" because that means they won't give it if he doesn't complain of pain or physically show it so it is very obvious.

    Not sure what I will do. Where he appears to be getting near diaper stage, not sure. Or he just couldn't find a bathroom fast enough.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2019
     
    Oh Charlotte. I am so sorry. This is devastating. For both of you. Wish I had an idea that could help.
  5.  
    A couple thoughts: First of all, I would be picking up their hot line phone (does Washington have those in every facility the way New York does?)...and reporting this place to the state. Secondly, I would really be planning to pull him out of there and getting him somewhere else. The care is simply sub-standard. Not acceptable.

    And I'm sure you know this, but dried poop will come off easier if you soften it with lotion--lots of lotion.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2019
     
    Didn't think about lotion - didn't have any anyway. Will remember next time. My son tried to call last night before I let him know what was going on and they would tell him nothing. Said only Glenn could talk to him. Right now waiting to hear back from the VA to see if they were able to get the ER records, if not will take him to the hospital urgent care where they will.

    Hit me last night the way he was yesterday when I arrived was how he was thee weeks ago when he was in pain from the raw butt crack.