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  1.  
    Yesterday was May Day. I picked up some pretty rainbow cookies at the grocery store's bakery for the family. Today is sunny and pleasant, as tomorrow will be, too, but then it will be getting colder again--with the possibility of some snow next Saturday, May 9. Seems unbelievable. Anyway, I am just in a blur of housework, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. The home schooling is a bit of a joke--the 7th grader does well with it, but the 11 and 9 year-olds simply are not interested, to the point of outright refusal, even with me and/or their mother sitting there one-on-one and practically tying them up with ropes. A couple little brats. It is unclear when I can get out of here and go back home to New York. The summer camps and programs they are all enrolled in are either not opening or don't know yet. I may need to stick around for--errrg--Grandma duties. I don't want to, but of course in the pandemic you put a smile on your face and do what you have to do. At least I can play my big piano. (Love that thing, but obviously couldn't put it into an apartment. ( K.Kawai RX-2 Blak, 5'10") My granddaughter's guitar is not as good as my own, but it will do. And no harp, of course. I just could not face lugging that thing down here for the kids to probably destroy. So on the piano I'm working on a couple commonly- known intermediate pieces--Burgmullers Arabesque and Bach's Musette. On the guitar I'm playing three O'Carolan songs that I already know fairly well--Planxty George Brabazon, Planxty Burke, and Carolan's Receipt. And I read a lot, as I'm waiting for the washer load to be done or whatever. They don't live anything like I do--personally, I think they live in squalor and chaos--but again, in times of pandemic I just bite my tongue, overlook a lot, and try to veg out by music and reading when I can. I would not keep house or raise my kids like my daughter does in a million years. But I keep a lid on my opinions. Bandit is fine, btw--has a high old time with the kids and the cats.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2020 edited
     
    Elizabeth, That's what's nice about dogs. They can make the best of a bad situation. I wish you could go home to NY, though. It seems that your daughter always brings you back to the Midwest.

    I'm spending my days out in the yard, if the weather is nice, and organizing the house if it's not. Sometimes, though, I don''t do anything because I'm paralyzed by anxiety over this pandemic and all the suffering, grief and hardship it's causing. Today is a nice day, though, so I'll spend some time in the sunshine.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2020
     
    Got bad news this morning and this is when I miss not having someone with me - my oldest brother passed this morning peacefully at home. Bad news is he passed - good news he was still in the early stages of dementia so won't have to go through it like our mom, our sister who was a year older and had VaD, aunts, grandmother, and my husband. My mom passed a year before her 80th birthday. My sister passed a couple weeks before her 80th; my brother passed 2 months before his 80th. I am dreading hearing when any of us get near 80. We are now down to 5.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2020
     
    So sorry about your brother Charlotte, but I do understand your mixed feelings of relief. My older sister died 3 weeks after her 78th birthday - the oldest in our family to date. Since this is my 78th year I wanted to get all my tests done and have a good talk with my dr.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2020
     
    I will have a long talk with my Dr Tuesday because if I do go first, there will be no other choice but to place him and he would rather die than have that. That's the truth, not just talk. I had my labs done Thursday and was interesting as the one I expected to be bad was quite good but the one that should have been great was not too good -- I don't understand it. Almost like the one medication is eating up the other. I'm about ready to quit it all and let what will be, be.

    Yesterday was beautiful, 85, I even had to bring down some summer clothes, but this morning it clouded over and the skies opened up with rain, wind, hail. Over now but way too wet to get out and do anything. Dh did get the mower started yesterday but did something to it and it stopped working. He breaks everything as he doesn't know how to work them now. I went to the local feed store Friday afternoon to buy some new clippers and pruners for my roses. Dh hides, loses whatever and I can never find anything so just decided to get myself some new ones. Wasn't home but about 30 minutes and he came in wanting my pruners to cut down some polk weeds. No -- these are for my roses, and I don't even have them out of the package yet. So off he went in a huff. I did go out and do a little pruning, but this morning was marking my tools (I use bright pink duct tape) and my pruners are no where to be found. Asked if he took them outside, he doesn't remember. If they don't show up by Tuesday when I go to the dr, I will simply stop and buy another pair. I've had it with never being able to find anything. the back half of my laundry room is stacked with hand tools I've used around the house, because if I don't keep them away from him they disappear. The grass is growing faster than I'd think possible, and I've a horse with laminitis. The only place on this farm that isn't covered in green grass is the house...and I'm about ready to let her in here. He couldn't mow the arena down because he broke the mower, can't/won't get her stall cleaned out...too hot, too wet etc. I'm ready to just chuck it all out the door and be done with it. I told him we needed to get a load of shavings when I put her in but that was like Greek to him, no idea what that stuff is. So in my new life as a married widow, I'm just getting what I want - order or buy it whatever. Talked to my son this morning and he asked if I needed any money, told him not now, but keep that thought, since I may borrow some before I'm done.

    We are starting limited openings beginning Monday, but when I was out Thursday I did see a number of places open. I've not paid attention to what is opening since the only place I need to go right now is the feed store/hardware store & doctors office. I did get the stray cat neutered. They came to the car, took the crate, I called later and paid over the phone then went out and they brought him out but would not touch the car, I had to pick up the crate and put him in. They sure did a number on him, I halfway feel sorry for him :) He was a very well endowed male and mature cat so I'm hoping it works. I read if they are not neutered young, it doesn't always take away all the hormone production. Hated to spend $60 on a stray cat, but he has decided this must be home. So gave him all the usual stuff they need, then had him neutered and a rabies shot.

    Elizabeth, you make me feel bad, I opened my piano for the first time in ages, played a few hymns, then tried a few popular pieces....was a stretch for my wrist so didn't do too much. Dh had a few things to say about my playing, wanted to know if it was my wrist or me, LOL. Probably mostly me. I had to keep stoping to look at what key it was. Wish I was there to hear you play. But I did call my piano tuner and let him know when he's out and about again, I'm ready. He charges $100 but stays about an hour and just plays for me. Lots of ragtime which I love, so well worth it. It's a shame I let life get in the way and just quit playing for so long. I'm making plans for what I'll do if dh passes first, sounds ghastly but so much I enjoy has had to take a back seat while I take care of him. I've tried to get him to let a male come in a couple times a month to help with personal things but he flat refused so we'll see what happens. Home everyones May gets better day by day.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2020
     
    I don't think it is ghastly to think about life after. We need to if we want to have hope for the future. What gets discouraging is we don't know when that time will come - next month, next year or still years away.
  2.  
    Charlotte, so sorry for the loss of your brother. I understand the mixed feelings--in a way, he dodged a bullet....but still. He was your brother after all. And it's still a big loss.

    Oakridge, I just play a few simple things that I enjoy...that are good for my mood. I've given up any pretensions to being "good", and just play for myself. I still feel on much firmer ground singing a song than playing any instrument--when I sing, I have a pretty good idea what is going to come out. On a musical instrument, God only knows what whack-a-doodle mistakes I will make. :D
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2020
     
    forgive me but I am posting so this will move above the spam.

    I played the flute, still have it but have not gotten it out in ages. I think about doing it but then the neighbors will hear my mistakes! Neighbors on one side moved out and another one moved in yesterday. They are a couple with three children 8,3,1. It is their second family - their other three are 24,22,20. They are from Minnesota - he has a job nearby.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2020
     
    Charlotte, just tell them it is an old CD, LOL. One advantage of living on the farm, no one but the animals to hear me. Dh used to enjoy it when I played but since the piano is in the same room as the TV now, guess which takes precedence.

    Can't truthfully say I was ever "really good". As a teenager I played for church so the majority of my experience was with hymns, my teacher was the pastors wife, LOL. But even when I am so out of practice I can sit down and play for hours and forget my troubles. Same with my painting - and used to be with the horses. I'm starting with some easy books I have, was popular music a few years ago. I can still play all the hymns, seems like the ones we sang were aways in the same key. My old crooked fingers don't always find the right notes these days. Except for the Blue Danube. Not even sure I have the music but I can play it. Charlotte, get that flute out -- I think I would go crazy (ier) if I didn't have something. Elizabeth, as bad as my playing is, my singing is much worse. I love to sing and can remember to words to every old song I ever heard - but can't sing worth a darn.

    Are you guys still hanging in there? Know anyone about the new owners Paulc? Wolf, you are quite - got something more exciting to do?

    Oh yes, my news for today is, getting ready for my big Dr appt tomorrow, got everything written down. 8am they called to say be sure to wear a mask and be ready to be checked before I enter. About noon they called to say Dr went home sick so would have to reschedule, first opening was 3 weeks. Hmmm, no I didn't want to wait that long, I already had to wait to get this appt. So she is having me come in the 14th. I asked about the Dr but the nurse said she wasn't at liberty to tell me, the only thing she would say was it wasn't respiratory. My insurance agent had already told me she was having heart problems. I believe I am going to have to start looking for a new dr, and that makes me sad. I am getting close to saying just forget the Drs and the meds - I'll live till I die. Same with Dh, I think he takes too much medication and for what? he's 83 and has AZ. We have a good day and in an instant it will blow up.

    My new status as a married widow is costing a little money and I don't care. Can't find my garden tools, the ones I did find are too rusted and dull to use -- so got some new ones. The pruners I mentioned earlier - yep, he had them out with the mower. Saw a set on Amazon that are very nice with a pink handle so decided I'd get those as a Mothers Day present for myself, LOL. Ordered a new horse grooming tool bag and liked it so much when it came today I decided to use it for my gardening tools and order another for the horse stuff. But -- the price has changed and shipping was $7.98. I looked and looked trying to figure out the difference, finally wrote the company. I had received a very nice email yesterday thanking me for the purchase and letting me know about their lifetime warranty. Told them how pleased I was with the product but when I tried to purchase another the price change had taken some of the pleasure out of the purchase.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2020
     
    Hi Oakridge,

    I do actually have something to do. Having rebuilt the $60 man because 'we have the technology', I'm taking him out for a spin. Everything is in lockdown around here but I hardly notice. It's not all sweetness and light, but those tiresome potholes of depression and anxiety and loneliness are distant memories and I will probably be respectful of my good fortune for whatever time I have left.

    I've had a solitary crow for some three years now. He came one day looking curiously at the peanuts I was throwing to the Blue Jays, flew down and tried one, and has been coming back periodically ever since. Today for the first time he flew to the eve right above my window and peered down at me. My table and PC are right in front of the window (which is why I see so many sunsets). I got up and opened the window to throw out some peanuts but he brought friends. There were four crows watching on the bough of the Honey Locust tree in my backyard. I went to the kitchen window where the bag of peanuts are and threw a handful into the backyard there. Suddenly my yard was full of six crows hopping around watching my crow stand on a peanut and crack it open.

    The other crows caught on or didn't and shooed away the squirrels and blue jays that wanted in on the loot. I may need more peanuts.

    My next door neighbour no longer talks to me. I haven't a clue why. Now I don't talk to either next door neighbour, but I've made friends with a young couple where I have five back yards touching mine, and I've been talking to the new people that moved in across the court. The young couple just had their second child and are both on maternity leave anyway during this lockdown. Brilliant planning I told them.

    My cable box shorted out in a power failure. I was afraid they wouldn't deal with it during the lockdown, but they delivered a new one and the fellow stood outside my window watching me install it and walking me through it. The young couple asked if I need anything but I stocked up when the virus hit Korea because I knew it was coming and I'm not going to run out of anything until June somewhere.

    "It's so hard being cooped up all day with nowhere to go" my sister complained. Yes, it is and that's too bad, I answered, but the truth is I can't even tell there's a lockdown because I wasn't going anywhere anyway. It's all in my book Eight Years In A Chair which I can't be bothered actually writing.

    I just got a letter from my virtual friends on the narrowboat in England. He was thanking me for writing my thoughts about what he was going through (he suffers from Apspergers Autism). I argued why what he thought of as a high point could be seen as a watershed and I think I may have touched a chord. It wasn't down - it was across was my argument and I know something about that topic.

    I can whistle Beethoven's ninth. I've made money proving that. I couldn't play an instrument to save my life. I took guitar lessons for a couple of years but it didn't take. I imagine playing the piano or the guitar but I'm tone deaf and can't keep rhythm. I'm fine with being inept at some things though. I can't sing either. I learned how to cook though and that has been a game changer. My poor friend had to remarry because he couldn't boil water.

    My brilliant plan was to not have any plans but like most plans that went out the window. More of me wants plans now than doesn't which is highly annoying at times, like a relative who's moved in and is showing no signs of leaving. I'm not to be toyed with though because I've been on this exceedingly strange rock for a long time now, and I happen to know that the only thing I really have is right now. I mean just then. Ok right now. Never mind.

    That takes me to one of my nephews whom I've been writing with recently. I sent him the piece on time I did for George here a few years back. He asked me what I think it all means. I told him that thinking it means anything means the lifeform asking that question is a human. Not what he was expecting. It never is.

    If anybody asked me, I would rather be living on Lake Como riding around on a Vespa with a good Italian cook preparing my meals and a balcony to sit on in the evenings sipping an expresso and eating gelato. Nobody asked me though.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2020
     
    Good to hear from you Wolf. A few things in there that made me smile and giggle.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2020
     
    Hey Wolf, good to see you're holding your own against the dreaded Covid-19. Too many letters in that to call it a four letter word but sure sounds like one to me.

    Reminds me of my best friends husband, he remarried in less than a year ..... because he hated to change the bed. Didn't mind other stuff but hated to change the bed. He's gone too now. Two more of my old friends/acquaintances have passed to the great beyond. Can't really call them friends since we've lived so far away for years, but made me sad. Won't be any need to have a big fancy funeral for me since there won't be anyone left. I hope they take whatever money is left and throw a big party, and you all are around to come! Oh Elizabeth, bring that harp, might be the only one I get to hear, and Charlotte can play the flute with Wolf whistling! Boy Howdy, sounds like a big doin'!.

    I have made a new friend, my husbands first love, LOL. Desperate times. Her Father thought he was too old to date her - 3 yrs difference at that time - so, as he says, ran him off. As it happened three yrs later she got polio and was in an iron lung for a long time, eventually able to get around, finished school, had a career but as she got older the bad stuff came back and she now has 24/7 caregivers, one who tends to her small, exquisite English garden. Yes, 47 yrs ago she moved to London - long story - she had visited and jobs were abundant in her area of expertise, so she moved there. She never married and in truth I believe she hoped she could re-establish something with dh, but that ship sailed long ago :) We found we have a lot in common. Amazing what this isolation can bring about. Evidently she had been trying to make contact with him for about 5 yrs, little did she know he couldn't work a computer if his life depended on it.

    I just checked, our library is due to reopen on May 18th. Was very impressed with Killing Jesus, by Bill O'Rilly and am looking forward to reading Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy.

    Would that I had a balcony anyplace, I'd invite you to sip an expresso - afraid I don't have gelato, in fact never had one. Was looking forward to it on my trip to Italy which got cancelled when my sister backed out. I didn't want to go alone and the tour people did put me in touch with an older woman (older than me at that time) who was traveling alone. She said her husband would never go anyplace so when he died she was taking a trip around the world. Would be arriving in Rome from Egypt and would enjoy sharing the Italy trip with me. I was too chicken to spend that much money and maybe not mesh with the person :) Now, looking at it from this point, I think she must have been one gutsy lady.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2020
     
    Today I filled out the paperwork for Project Lifesaver. It is really a good idea to have it at this point, but it was hard working on the paperwork. The questions were very pointed, like "is there a "most effective" way to approach the client?". Their questions made me realize that, yes, we are really at this advanced point in the journey. In the last three months, for example, DH has gone from cooking his own oatmeal to me having to explain to him what oatmeal is. That's a pretty big change for such a short time. He has no memory of us being married (49 years), and doesn't remember my name. (I do wonder who he thinks I am, hanging around like I do all the time!)

    Last week DH had three days when he slept almost all the time, and ate about half a cup of food each day. I was getting pretty panicked, but then he started eating normally and wanting to get up and do things. I couldn't decide whether he was more at risk letting him continue sleeping and not eating, or taking him somewhere for medical care and risking a deadly virus. Also, I had visions of them stopping me at the door, and trying to get medical information from him. Good luck on that.

    Our state is starting to reopen in stages. The advice for people like us--older or with medical issues--is just to stay home. For how long? Do they think that "old people" don't ever need to leave the house? I have visions of us growing moss in this apartment. It's not the staying home I mind as much as that there seems to be no thought given to how we're supposed to continue functioning without any help. Adult day care facilities are closed, nursing homes are dangerous, grocery stores are problematic... And yet we're supposed to keep everything going, just like nothing has changed.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2020
     
    Lately I have been giving a great deal of thought to denial. From the very beginning, I tried not to deny the outcome of this disease, and worked very hard to educate myself on what was to come. However, there were areas of "surely it won't get that bad"--until it did. And "I know he'll never do that"--until he did.

    I've finally come to the conclusion that some level of denial is a useful tool. If on day one you could see the entire impact of this disease on your spouse and on you, it would be very hard to get up on day two and deal with what was to come. If at the time DH was diagnosed I could have fast-forwarded through the next 17 years to where we are now, I think my head would have exploded from the impact of all that knowledge at once. It's a lot easier to keep a little of your head buried in the sand, and just deal with what happens that day. Certainly there's enough to deal with on each new day. As we now enter one new phase right on top of another new phase, it's getting harder to have the solace of denial. Now I'm wondering how soon I'm going to be calling hospice, and hoping that I can survive what is coming next.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2020
     
    Well, I wrote a post, saying how glad I was to hear from you and it sounded like you are in a better place........but it all disappeared so guess it wasn't meant to be.

    I have been trying to find a mental health counselor experienced with caregiver problems but that's easier said than done, so guess I'll just do like the rest. Try and get through every day till there comes a time I can't.

    I wasn't familiar with Project Lifesaver so looked it up, we have something similar called Senior Alert. It's one more time that you can say you are doing everything you can to protect him.

    You do sound better and I'm thankful for that, I doubt the experts are even considering how covid-19 is affecting people like us and not sure they really care. Said last night I think I'll make a Posy to carry, like they did during the Black Plague, and keep it under my nose when I have to go out. Would probably do just as much good as a mask....and I hate to say it out loud, is it out loud if we say it online? that I'm at a point I don't care anymore. I've done all I can to protect my husband -- so If I contract covid-19 and don't make it, so be it.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2020
     
    Yes, we need to educate ourselves how this disease runs, but we may encounter - I did that from this site. The knowledge here is vast. Until Joan's husband died this site was very active, so there was a lot to gleam. Now it is home. Back to educating ourselves - is good but then I lived in the day. I knew what was to come but not the emotional impact the stages would have. When he was put on hospice last October I was not prepared for the emotions that would emerge. I signed the paperwork as a matter of fact, this is the way it is attitude. The motions came later. Then when he gained some weight, stabilized and was taken off hospice another roller coaster of emotions. Now I can't visit and he is loosing weight. I have no idea what is next - will he stabilize or continue? I am not there to assess him myself. This disease is a roller coaster of emotions. Just when you think you have adjusted, it changes. I think what may be worse is when that changing takes a break, the roller coast stops at the top, I get complacent, then the roller coast sudden starts again.

    oakridge I know what you mean. To be honest, I think the only reason for now that I still am around is because there would be no one to advocate for him. I was talking to the nurse last week about it not being the worst thing if he got the virus, but then she brought up I would not be able to be with him or say goodbye. A catch 22 situation I guess. And because I am the only one I am careful of going out and who I am around.

    I agree - they talk about the effect on people but not how much worse it can be on caregivers who looked for that chance to just get out for something different for themselves and the person they care for. I was talking with my friend whose husband suddenly died almost a year ago how she use to do the same thing I would - go to the stores and just wander around to be around other people even if they are strangers and you don't talk to them.

    Yesterday I ordered a pillow for Art. On one side are our picture when we got married, a 1991 picture and 2017 picture of us. Where the 4th picture could go I put: Art and Charlotte May 16, 1971. On the back was a picture of me I took yesterday and one of the best pictures I have of him in December holding the dog. It should be here a couple days before our anniversary. I am hoping he likes it and since he always carries a pillow around he will carry this one to remind him of us. It is a 16 x 16 so not quite as big as a regular pillow but hope it works. I will give strong warning for the staff if it gets dirty to not wash it but give it to me to wash.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2020
     
    I think maybe I'm going to start answering some of this spam, just rant at them and see what happens, better than talking to dh. I am going crazy and there is no help for it. Kids try to get him to come visit but he won't, he won't go anyplace, he won't/can't do anything. Always says, I give you my word - shoot, that isn't worth a spit in the wind anymore. I'm stuck - oh I could get out and do something but for only so long I still have to come back to the same life. How do I live with a grown man, with the mind of a 2yr old, but enough whatever to fight me for what i want to do?? I'm liking more those old southern families that simply locked their crazy family members in a room upstairs. Better yet, maybe I'll lock myself upstairs. I'm going to go to the pharmacy, maybe the store and stop by a local farmer that sells plants. But first I've got to finish up the front of the house. I moved things around and can't get any help so just going to throw it away unless it's important to me. "As soon as this program is done, maybe 5 minutes", but they just follow one after the other so there is never any stopping point. I am so sick of Gunsmoke when this tv goes out, if I'm still alive, I'm going to activate one of the smaller ones upstairs and tell him if he wants to watch it go up there and shut the door. Ahhh, it's a bad day today.

    Charlotte, I'm sure Art will love the new pillow. I used to make those to sell, they were called memory pillows. Imprint the pictures on fabric and I would add fabric/trinkets/mementos that were important to them. Made my last one for my youngest son - which got destroyed in the CA fire. Their anniversary is this month and I'm trying to find their wedding pictures for a gift for them. I know I have a full set, just don't know where :( Also made one for my youngest grandson, 20 yrs younger than the others, with the 5 generations but not sure if it ever meant much to him. We already lived back here when they were born so have never been able to develop the same bond as we did with the older grandkids. I was thinking last night I needed to get some pictures made of specific items in the house that I mean to go to each kid. But there are some, like the bible my Fathers Mother and Father, gave to her Mother for a birthday gift about 1905-10? My Dad was orphaned not too many years later. The inscription is priceless to me -- but not sure any of my DIL's would have that same feeling and my kids are grandparents. Thought about my sisters daughter, who turned 64 last week, she has a daughter who might treasure it. Otherwise -- I don't think sons feel the same and know their wives - who never knew any of those people - and not that interested. What will happen to all this stuff? Kids today just don't seem to have those same sentimental feelings our generation did. In any case, I'm sure Art will be thrilled with the pillow and if this covid virus hangs around he will be able to see you every day.

    Sorry for the rant but am ready to explode -- I'm trying to keep my BP under control by keeping my emotions under control - but not sure that's possible living with AZ every day.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2020
     
    Rant away - we can handle it!

    You could sabotage the TV downstairs!

    I know what you mean about things meaning nothing to current generations. There are always exceptions. I offered my niece my china set - said she loved the pattern but she is using the china my mom - her grandmother - had and doesn't want to give it up. My daughter and ex-daughter-in-law said they would take it but every thing I have given either of them has been lost or destroyed. I will probably end up donating it to the hospice thrift store. I have seen the sets sell on ebay but then I would have to ship it.

    I watch the covid 19 reports every day. It has been getting promising. If not for the 249 at Tyson Fresh Meat plant diagnosed the last 3 weeks, our numbers would be way down. I pointed out yesterday under the report on Facebook how good it is looking. Using logic and math pointing out the numbers in the hospital - 5 died but the count went up 2 that is good progress. Boy did I get a lot of angry replies from that. There are those out there that are so afraid to go out and those are the ones attacking - are mostly younger people.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2020
     
    The nurse called me today. The facility doctor wanted to add a drug for appetite. He has no problem with appetite - he eats lots. She agrees with me 'no'. He lost weight before, then gained. He may do it this time or may not. Loosing weight is part of the disease. Plus he walks around all the time burning off what calories his body has absorbed from the food he eats. They are giving him the Ativan in the morning which allows them to change and clean him up. They even got him into the shower yesterday - first time since first of March as far as I know.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2020
     
    I am sure that the people who post the spam never read responses. It is all to sell stuff. More of a shotgun approach, put this up everywhere on the Internet and maybe something will get sold. More of a scam on their clients. They say "look how many posts we made to help you sell stuff" even if it doesn't result in sales.
  3.  
    Snow this morning--about a half inch on the ground.Unbelievable for this time of year in northeastern Ohio.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2020
     
    We had a slight threat of snow in the Washington DC area, but record lows for the month of May here.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2020 edited
     
    No snow, but did wake up to a good frost. Even the weatherman is shaking his head. I did cover what I could but hoping it wasn't bad enough to get the big stuff. I haven't been far enough out to check yet. They say to expect rain again for the next 5 days - if we don't get some mowing and/or weed eating done no one will be able to find us. I don't like this feeling of helplessness. I can't start the weedeater, or the mower, the riding one is broken etc. I looked online at the electric start, but gas operated self propelled mowers. Or just go buy another riding mower and hide the key.

    I need a drug to stop my appetite, I eat when I'm bored, anxious, mad etc. Feels like there is nothing to do but eat. I've gained my Covid 10lbs :) Oh, in my Mother's day box were a few books, one, Black Moon, is so strange. Some type of "manufactured" epidemic causes people who catch it to develop insomnia - not just for awhile but till they die from it - right now sleeping pills are like gold on the street. Strange how close it mimics how people have responded to the Covid-19 virus. Strange things happening but the government stepping in and saying
    just do what we tell you. I'm not sure I'll finish it - almost scares me to read fiction that is so close to what's happening in the world now.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2020 edited
     
    I agree on reading things that are too close to our reality. That is why I have read few books on Alzheimer's Disease or even listen to all the various online conversations different groups have.

    As for the grass - I would try to find someone to come in to get it under control - cleaned up. The landscape company they have come in to cut the park grass finally did their job this last week. The started a month ago but were not weed eating or even cutting between the RVs. Last Monday I trimmed myself around the tree flowerbed, power pole and sewer line. I guess the new guys they have this year are afraid to work around the RVs. Anyway, after trimming I poured vinegar so that grass is dead. I need to do it again cause I missed a few spots.

    E TV is playing the old series Las Vegas today. I liked it - so glad they are. Something 'new' to watch.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2020
     
    Happy Mothers Days to everyone, even those who play the part of a Mother :) It's always wonderful to hear from the kids, first CA then NY, then CA again , then Oregon. My GD fixed dinner today followed by a soak in her hot tub then as we returned home the DILS called and we did some face timing, was so much fun.

    Did get some mowing done yesterday but the grass is so tall, heavy and damp that even with the big mower it was too much so will have to wait. My neighbor uses our top pasture for his cows - in exchange for keeping our fields mowed, but only done it once. I'm going to have to talk to him, He's very nice but always so busy and his equipment is stored at another location. Now rain for at least the next 5 days.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2020
     
    you could always let the cows graze in your yard!

    Just another day here. I was surprised that my son sent me a text wishing me a happy mothers day but nothing from daughter which is what I expected. When they were kids I tried to get hb make it special like I did for father's day but it never worked. When they were about 12 and 13 there was a volkswalk in town I wanted to do. They did it making the whole walk miserable. That was the last mother's day I tried to celebrate.

    I will need to see if the vet is open. Jas caught one of her dew claws on the blanket breaking it up near the top. She has broken them before but it has been a while. She needs he claws trimmed anyone.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2020
     
    Funny, the cows were grazing here when we bought it, in exchange for the neighbors keeping an eye on the place. It did look like a park since cows ate all the scrub. But their leavings were as big a problem as the weeds :)

    Had asked my dr office why all my lab tests had not been released yet. Got an answer from the doctor herself this morning. Said she is working as fast as she can on labs but would go ahead and release all mine so I could see them. I have an appt for Thursday, and she said she is hoping to be in the office on Wednesday but I could go ahead and make a video appt or phone appt with the nurse. I don't want a phone or video appt. I want to talk to my doctor and it's impossible here. Can't even go in another room and hope for privacy.

    I did look up counselors in my insurance plan, most were either very young and/or specialized in sex and/or drug dependency. Guess thats where the money is these days. Did more reading and they say join a support group or talk to a neighbor. No way would I tell my neighbor what I'm going through. Don't even tell the kids anything. He's definitely not ready for a NH but I'm sure he would do OK in an ALF, but couldn't force him to go unless medicated and no way would I make it there. I might be old but I want my home. We have friends who's kids put them in one, it's very nice but you have to eat lunch at 11:30 or 2:00. I could not live like that. Maybe a better wife would but I feel like at some point I will have a life again. Probably false hope as the dr has already said it's a good chance he'll outlive me. I don't even worry about that anymore, what will be will be.

    I'm getting quotes on keeping the grass done up - but almost sure it will be more than I could afford. Then I have to fight with dh if I even mention it or anything connected other than "he knows he can take care of it -- WHEN HE'S READY." They are building over 55 senior apts across from when we lived in town, I'm going to check the price - but again, that entails getting rid of all our animals. They usually accept one small dog. Like your kids, which one do you choose? I'm already worried about what will happen to them when we die.

    Read this morning, 66% of people who had self-isolated are catching covid-19 now that they are being allowed out.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2020
     
    Yes, the 66% came from a survey of those in NYC that were diagnosed. We all know getting out and fresh air is good for us. That is probably why flu goes down during the summer months when it is warmer and people are not stuck inside.

    As for the grass - maybe have them come in once to do it (sounds like a hay mower is needed!) then you can keep it up easier. Would have to just find a way to convince hubby that the grass is too tall for your mower, that once cut then he can do it. (fiblet).

    Seems in many places video appts are the norm and probably as doctors find it better with many patients and insurance will pay for it, will become more common.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2020
     
    Ok - I did it. After 60 days I went to see him. For some reason my stomach was in knots. But, he did recognize me and Jas. He was not happy he could not hold the dog. We spoke for a few minutes then he walked away. So he wasn't upset. Good to know. I guess he has started stripping his bed in the mornings now, so at night they have to remake it. They even got him to take a shower - again. He has one last week. They took him off the resperidone and have him on Ativan PRN which they say is working good.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2020
     
    From what I've read couples moving into assisted living where one has some form of dementia doesn't work out. Often staff will let the well spouse do all of the work so they don't get a break. Most of the time the well spouse will move out, It can work but you have to be careful that the ALF will do the work of taking care of your spouse. While the routine might drive you crazy it is probably good for the spouse.

    Cats woke me up at 4:30 this morning but stayed in bed until 5am. Then regular workday wakeup routine since I had to go tot he office. Not at my pre-COVID early time. I don't have to return until Friday for a meeting at our new office space which is under construction. Next week 3 or 4 trips to DC for getting Internet connected to our new space and a moving related task. Then Memorial Day weekend hopefully only 2 trips, one to install new network equipment and the other to move my server room.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    Good news, I did hire someone to take care of the lawns, a 4-5 acre area. They will do mowing, weed eating etc. The hay field we have baled and my neighbor will do the brush hogging when things dry out again. It's two young boys, happen to be the sons of the local sheriff, wanting a summer job. Pays to have friends in high places, LOL. They will come every other week and do it all up - then dh and I can take care of gardens, flowers etc on the off weeks. Sheriff said the boys were so excited they'd probably do anything we asked them to, :)

    I finally told dh this morning, he started huffing and puffing till I told him it was the Sheriff's kids. That seemed to please him, so one down, 110 to go, LOL.

    It is so cold and rainy here again, don't know where this weather system is coming from - just unusual.

    Charlotte, glad you got to see Art.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    That is good new oakridge. Great job.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    This morning I heard something that was new to me: "mombie"--which means a mom who is beyond exhausted (in a zombie-like state) but stays up late anyway since it is the only opportunity she has for kid-free time. I think there should be an equivalent word for caregivers!
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    Jan K, just read in the AARP newsletter that in this situation when a caregiver feels like they're going under they should practice "controlled worry". Set aside 30 minutes to worry, or write down your worries, which will in turn make you feel better and able to take action. I've got a few choice words I could say about that advice - mainly, ain't one of them been down this road alone. I've tried to take in a couple of seminars on Zoom, downloaded it, all looks OK, but when it's time for the meeting, nothing comes up. Hard to believe I was the go-to person for all things internet not that long ago.

    Supposed to see my Dr tomorrow, she still isn't in the office but the nurse assured me she will be tomorow. We'll see. Contrary to what everyone and everything tells you these new video calls for your appts just doesn't cut it for me. I just read how great they are and will probably become much more popular in the future. If so, I won't be happy. Tomorrow I have to come alone, come early, wear a full mask the entire time I'm there -- not quite figured out how the Dr will check my throat and nose. I was practicing talking with my full mask on today and while it's ok for a bit, my appt is for 40 minutes. I have to prepare her for dh's appt prior to his appt. Then if I break down crying, I'd probably choke. I think I'll just come home and forget about doctors. I have had to cancel 4 appts with her either for the virus isolation, or her own health. I asked again if she was planning on retiring, although she is only late 50's and they say no. If I change Doctors I also have to change my dh.....not sure it's even worth it anymore unless I have a serious problem. What's the worst that could happen? At our age - it's gonna be sooner or later and whichever really isn't too important.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    I finally managed to make it through to Zoom, but the meeting had expired. They give time zones all over the world which isn't too hard to figure out but not always the best time of day for me. But to join in you have to turn on all the games etc controls which I'm opposed to so guess I'll have to forget about it.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2020
     
    Bring an extra mask with you in a zip lock bag. If you have to take the mask off in the doctor's office replace it with the new mask, don't re-use the one you wore earlier. If it is a cloth mask bring a second baggie to put the dirty one in. When I head out I have two baggies, one with fresh masks and the other for used ones.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2020
     
    Did exactly that Paul but then forgot to put on the 2nd mask. The Doctor had me lower it so she could examine me, and I just let it hang around my neck. Store was only a couple of miles and didn't even think about the new mask, just pulled the one I had on back up over my nose and tied it. I did sanitize the interior of my car as well as my purse etc, when I got out of the dr and again when I came out of walmart, as well as when I got home - cleaned myself good, changed clothes. Store pretty crowded, about half with masks, number of little kids in the store. I despise those blasted arrows, makes it so hard to find things-you don't know if they're out or if it's on another aisle. I was surprised at how little stock they had, I had gone to the super walmart thinking it would have more. I will try the ordering online next time - prices were high and it was difficult to shop.

    Dr appt went as expected, I had already seen my lab reports. I asked for 3 months to get my system back in a normal range, plus I'd gained 10lbs since December. I have to check in with my numbers twice a week minimum. If I can't do it with diet and exercise I'll agree to go back on the medication... I think it was the medication for my kidneys that started everything else. Her main concern is morning hypertension is making me high risk for heart attack -- especially with dh getting worse, but did agree with me on ALF or any other placement. She is sending in a referral for some one I can talk with - maybe relieve some of the stress.

    Made an appt for dh on June 2nd.....she is helping all she can but still says she thinks he'll outlive me so I should get more aggressive in planning for what will happen at that point, she knows he would never voluntarily go into any type of placement. Would have to be sedated all the time. What a life. He had a rough time while I was gone today, this is a newer problem, when I'm out of his sight he doesn't know what's happened. But he had vacuumed the area rugs with the full size vac and they looked great - that was a surprise. I set them out but didn't know if he would or if he even remembered how to. But he immediately started in on me hiring the boys for the lawns, after about an hour I said I wouldn't listen anymore so sat out on the deck till it started thundering and raining. When I came in he was fine again.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2020
     
    Oakridge - glad you were able to see the doctor in person. Sad that she says your husband will outlive you. :-(

    Gave Art his pillow today. It was not a good day for him as he didn't seem to recognize me nor did the pillow click with any memories. Hopefully later it will.

    I remember when getting married thinking 5 years was a long way off, then 10, 25 - can't believe it has been 49 years.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2020
     
    Yes, Charlotte. it's amazing at how much time has passed. Dh asked me this morning how long we've been married, I had to stop and add it up, 61 yrs in March. I can't hardly remember any other life, and these last 10+ yrs have been so rough they seem to have wiped out a lot of the good memories we had over the years. it's hard that I'm the only one alive who has these memories, he can't remember and was just he and I so much of the time. We have both outlived our expectations and, at least for me, I can't imagine why I'd want to live another 10-20 yrs. I'm so sorry your first visit with Art wasn't as good as you hoped. Maybe in the evenings, or mornings, whenever he is more alert the pillow will spark a memory. At least you can talk to him about each picture when you visit again.

    It's been a bad few days. I really feel like I'm about to lose it. The counselor called four times yesterday trying to make an appt. I was outside once and dh had heard my phone ring and later turned the sound off. When you return the call you just get a message and after hearing the first voice mail - I did ask they not leave a message as to why they are calling, just for me to call. He hears and/or looks at everything. The last time I saw the call had come in, I called back in just 1 minute but got the message. That is terribly frustrating. Why leave a call back number if it automatically goes to a recording saying leave your name. Just added to my stress, LOL.

    I was able to get outside this afternoon, rained buckets this morning, so was muddy, but at least walked around and looked at what has to be done. Our mowing day is Friday so rain today and now rain predicted next Friday. If I spend $$ on mowing, I think I may look into a housekeeper once a month - maybe twice to do the stuff I can't. Although, since our ceilings are so high -which is part of my problem - I don't know they will do that. I think I'll call the ALZ care place and see if they have special people or something. Don't want to pay a janitorial service - dh doesn't even want anyone in the house.

    He's really angry about the money he thinks I'm spending but I'm going to go ahead and order a new set of headphones for him...hope he can remember how to use them. Will at least try, can return them if not. I've gotten to where I turn music on my laptop or phone and just put the earplugs on -- makes him angry as he likes me to watch gnusmoke with him :) Oh, this life. I never ever expected my husband would be the one to develop AZ. He got in an argument with me this morning, about noon, because I was fixing dinner. I try and cook early and enough to last a couple of days. He never could figure out what I was making, a casserole, he loves them and they're easy to fix but he's forgotten what it is. After listening to him awhile I tired to tell him how much it upset me, and raised my blood pressure, when he argued with me like that...He never could put it together and finally went on out the door still griping and I was so upset my hands were shaking.

    I'll be glad when this isolation is over so I can at least go someplace and shop around, even if I don't buy anything, I can get a change of scenery.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2020
     
    I just called to see how Art was doing especially regarding the pillow. He was out of it on Saturday but I guess later that day when 'J' the director was there she was showing him the pictures (he was carrying the pillow). I guess he pointed to the dog and said 'that's Jassy!
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2020
     
    I’m so happy he was carrying the pillow just like you thought he might. That pillow was a stroke of brilliance! This post brought a tear to my eyes.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    This week I was watching an episode of a favorite tv show when I found my goal for the future. After a really bad trauma, and taking months to recover, this character is getting ready to go back to work and take up her life again. She takes a deep breath, looks herself right in the eye in the mirror, smiles, and says "There she is". Then she turns and heads back to her life. That's what I want to do. I want to look in the mirror and find myself there again, and be able to smile, and say "There she is".

    Okay, it made more sense before I tried to write it down. But I hope the general idea made at least a little sense.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020 edited
     
    It makes perfect sense, Jan. We all need to reclaim ourselves at different stages of our lives.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    I agree - it does make perfect sense. Getting to that place to say it is the current challenge.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    Ditto-Ditto-Ditto :) I keep coming back here because otherwise I'd go screaming into the dark night. I keep saying that, is it a line from a poem? Everything each of you say is one more validation that I'm not completely insane. I've tried several things to forget the life I'm living and pretend I'm me again, but it never lasts. Yeah, give it to me straight - not sure how much longer we've got to endure this but when it's over I'll probably be more last than I am - assuming I'm the one left, which the doctor doesn't think so.

    I tried to transfer some things from an old computer to my current one - things dh wanted - and ended up almost ruining this one. I deleted all the emails -- etc etc etc. Worked and worked to finally get what I thought I needed back to some degree, then this am I needed to go online to check something on our account. Oops - my password was gone, yes I have it written it down but you have to change every 90 days, and I had an old one written down. So called the bank, sweet young thing had to speak to my dh to give me permission. I had to stand there and answer every question she asked him, even what bank we used, till he finally gave me the phone saying he didn't understand her. OK, got that done. Then after thinking a minute I called back to see what I needed to do so I could handle anything regarding our three accounts without having him here. Oh he could sign a letter ---hmmm, we did that about 10 years ago, did it expire? No, everything was still there probably the girl just didn't realize what it was. Around and around - yes, we'll sign another one....then had long fight with dh who thought I was stealing all his money. Got the forms from the bank and decided not to fill them out rather take them in, with him. He has never handled finances, knows where the bank is but not the name. I guess I'll have to re-open the accounts in my name, with him as a co-signer. Here in MO, everything belongs to the man - no community property like CA. Of course he has to be there and OK all of that. Only other option I see is to move it all to another bank. But we've used this one for so long and have everything set up there - I just don't want to go through what it entails to get everything redone.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    My friend, who I often mention here, has a dh with Lewes Bodies. She called yesterday am, I knew from the tone of her voice she needed to talk, like we do here, but dh somehow thought it was one of our kids calling so came and sat right next to me. If I get up and move he thinks I'm talking about him. so just had to visit with her for a bit, till her dh got up, So a short time later I told dh I had to run to the pharmacy, which I did, and called her as soon as I got in the car. She did need to talk, her dh continues to get worse - but has now forgotten how to sit down in a chair. She fixed dinner, he came in and just stood there, she pulled the chair out and he said, now what am I supposed to do with that. She was just beside herself. So finally told her when she needs to talk just say so. I can hang up and go someplace where I'm able to talk.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    Washington is a community property state but I have my SS go to a different bank, an account only in my name. I did have my sister who is my POA sign papers so if anything happens to me she can access it. Husband's SS goes to the joint account at a different bank. The car and motorhome are in my name only. There is no 'right of survivor-ship listed like normally in the state. I had the problem with SS not talking to me which is when I went in to become his representative payee.

    For passwords I use to write them all down. Then I decided to try a 'password' manager. I use Dashlane which is nice. I was worried because I did not have a record of the new passwords, so every few months I print off all the information so I have a hardcopy of them. When I got my new computer, I just download the program which had all the passwords and sign in information with it. Pictures and documents that were not real important nor had critical info like SS# I save to google drive and pictures. My dell computer has Drive One where it saves stuff too.

    Here is a horrible story that makes my blood boil.

    Glad my husband's facility has been strict about what the staff can do in off hours and not letting anyone in.

    Was listening to Lars Larson radio show. This guy called him to tell the sad story of the care facility his grandmother is in. People were complaining because their mom or grandma would not be able to be with them on Mother's Day. They gave in and let many leave the facility for the day. 10 days later, a facility that had stayed Covid 19 free, now has their first case thanks to those families who didn't care and whoever in the facility gave in to their whining. I would have let them go but not come back if the families were that desperate to have them home for the day. How sad. I hope his grandmother stays Covid free.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    Most of our deaths have been In nursing homes. Most things opened this week at least partially and I heard tonight they are seeing new cases. Even so they plan to continue opening more places and not put a new lock down in place for now. I am getting a little concerned. Stock of regular groceries continues to drop rather than increase and the prices are up. We’re spending about twice what we normally would But not getting equivalent food and/or general items. Beef is especially expensive, chicken when you can find it way too high. No produce worth speaking of. I was able to get more real food at our little local market rather than In town, but paid dearly. Not sure if they plan to open farmers market or not. Am going to have to pull out some old cookbooks and look for some things we used to eat.

    Coyotes are constant and not afraid. I know they have pups to feed now and it’s calving season. Can’t see why their food supply would be diminished but they act like it.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020 edited
     
    Oakridge, earlier today, you wrote "otherwise I'd go screaming into the dark night. I keep saying that, is it a line from a poem?"

    Is this what you're thinking of?
    "Do not go gentle into that good night."
    Dylan Thomas
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2020
     
    I just got home from the store. Yes, things are more expensive. There is lots of produce and meat. The only thing I couldn't find is the Red Baron pizza on french bread two pack. Otherwise there was a good supply of most everything. Flour is still low but I finally found that two weeks ago when I went.

    Farmer's Markets are opening here but there is no shopping yourself. They ask you wear mask. You will tell them what you want and they will bag it. Thankfully what I like which is fruits and veggies won't be ready until mid summer.