Thursday, April 29, 2010
As of May 1, 2010...
Sunday, December 31, 2006
So, this is what "vacation" means, for me, in case you're unclear:
She finished off breakfast about 1530 and lolled at the dining table with her magazines and her Detox tea. Her thirst appeared to have kicked in and she was regulating her fluids well by herself this morning, so I didn't have to mention, at all, anything about drinking this or that.
At 1615 I announced to Mom that I finished all the chores while she lounged over tea and tabloids. "I've even finished your bed!" I announced, to highlight how spectacular this change in chore business was.
"Well," she said, giving me a sly look, "I guess I'll have to go try it out." I could see she was bracing herself for an negative onslaught.
"Well, let me go turn on the oxygen. Stay here for a minute, I'll help you up, or, if you're faster than me, I'll meet you in the bathroom."
I think I caught her steadying herself from falling off the chair. "Don't you think it's too early?"
I met her head on. "Do you?"
She looked around as though expecting someone to coach her. "Well, no..."
"There's your answer."
I believe she almost tripped over herself, heading for the bathroom before I changed my mind. While we were in the bathroom she said, twice, as I supervised the change in undergarments, "I'll be taking a nap in these, you know."
"I know," I assured her.
"I guess I'd better not dally about taking advantage of this chance!"
I grinned at her. "You'd better not. You never know, with all this sun, when I might harness you and throw the plow behind you!"
So, she's back in bed. Probably napping hard and fast before I change my mind and haul her out of bed.
We had an interesting discussion over breakfast this morning. We were talking about tomorrow being the beginning of a new year, 2007. We mulled this over as we picked at our food.
Mom looked up at me and said, "That makes me 90, doesn't it?!?"
Wow. She can always remember what year she was born, but doesn't relate it to much, anymore. "Yeah, it does."
We thought about this.
"So, Mom," I ventured, "did you imagine, when you were much younger, a kid, maybe a young adult, that you'd live to be 90?"
No hesitation. "Oh, goodness yes. At least."
Well, she was right about that. I was curious. "Did you assume you'd see 100?"
She hemmed and hawed about this. "Yes, I think so."
Do you think you're going to make 100 now? That's 10 years away," I reminded her.
Her face immobilized into placidity. Her eyes focused somewhere just above and beyond my head. Although they remained open, they appeared to be running an internal scan, perhaps of body parts, perhaps of will, spirit. She didn't look at me for a moment when she stated, "Yes." I think she was looking at the year.
Do I think my mother will live to be 100? No. But, then, when she was 75 I didn't think she'd see 85. Do I want my mother to live to be 100? No. Although I might be wrong, from what I know of her health and her personal trajectory, if she lived for another 10 years I foresee that lots of those years would be spent in some sort of institutional confinement, for one reason or another. She does not mind confining herself to her home and at least one loved one, but she does not like being confined by formal institutions. It is a peculiar gift of mine that I have not bothered, day by month by year, to project into the future in regard to this journey I'm on with my mother. Others, though, might not consider this a gift. But, then, others are not making a home with her.
Selfishly, I do not want to be doing this when I am 65. I can barely imagine being alive at 65, but, then, when I was in my 20's I imagined 40 but assumed I'd be dead by 50, so, I don't know, I hear it's surprising up there. This certainly is. I can only imagine the surprises my mother has already negotiated and might continue to negotiate. I imagine I have been privy to only half of them. Those have been pretty amazing.
At any rate, she fell into reality earlier today, but was securely in another reality when she headed for her bedroom: She was asking if "[Dead Brother's Name] and Dad [my dad, apparently] had made it back in time for dinner." Since I wasn't sure, I said I didn't know. That seemed to satisfy her.
So, I'm thinking I'll watch a movie. I picked up a second hand copy of Magnolia today and am anxious to see if I respond the same to Tom Cruise's character now that my hormones have settled waaaaay down. I didn't dislike him, before, I was surprised by Cruise's facility with the character. But, I'm seeing things from a markedly different perspective, now, and I'm wondering how that will affect a viewing of this movie.
I think I'm observing a vacation...
I'm feeling a subterranean renewal, and I'm relieved. I thought I might be stuck and had no idea how to jar myself out.
I spontaneously invited some company. I don't know if they'll take me up on the offer, but, amazingly, I hope so.
Just as quickly as I noticed the holidays and worried that I'd noticed them too late, "I'm well shot of" [Thank you Love, Actually] them. I feel as though I'm taking an after holiday vacation in the tropics and, fuck, I'm enjoying it!
I thought I'd rouse Mom at 1400 today, if she's not already up. I hear noises coming from her room which tell me she may have one bleary eye on the clock, as well, and be ready to greet me at 1400. I thought we'd have salmon tonight with broccoli, Hollandaise and an interesting looking dessert for just before midnight that I picked up today while looking at baked goods. Tomorrow we'll have the ribs and probably potato salad, because I don't have to go out for that. It's been a long time since we've had potato salad.
We don't watch football, so if there are any games broadcast tomorrow, we'll be oblivious to them. We'll probably watch the rentals I've got, both of which look good.
I'm contemplating doing some reading. That's how relaxed I feel. That's a lot of relaxation. Serious reading, as well.
The labeling over at The Dailies is going slowly, even though my labeling technique is much less sloppy this time around. It's the publishing process that seems to take so much time. It reminds me that one eats an elephant one bite at a time.
Well, guess I'd better rev myself up for Mom.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Oh, wanted to mention...
I believe this effort is a bit touched. Angelically, I hope, but I fear otherwise.
So, happy birthday to me, and me, and, later, me...
I guess I've been experiencing some kind of viral attack...
Actually, it's felt pretty good. I've been drifting in and out of naps for the last two days, and probably will for two more. I set Mom up with holiday or animal (or both) fare in front of the TV, stretch out on the couch, the kitties find me and settle in with me, maybe I'll watch the program, maybe I'll doze...I suspect that I've had a fever off and on but I've also been taking ibuprofen, for comfort. Chores and entertainments socializing have proceeded as usual.
Very low key weekend.
She's been moving around a normal amount, although last night I fell asleep for about three hours and discovered that she was pretty much glued to her chair. We got her to the bathroom just in time.
I apologized to her for the lack of excitement.
"Oh, no problem. I'm plenty excited." Such a wry woman.
Last night all this relaxation caught up with both of us. She remained up until 0245 this morning, read until 0315. I last remember looking at the clock in my bedroom, on my way between the down, and noticing it was "05:09".
Very satisfying evening, though. I love those serendipitous late ones.
Odd, I feel as though I've already been through 2007 and it's time for 2008. Doubly odd because I prefer inhabiting odd numbered years, in age and calendar designations.
I expect we'll toast in the New Year. I have a bottle of carbonated raspberry...hmmm...and something else cider, non-alcoholic, cooling in the refrigerator for the event. We're not ball watchers. But, we'll probably find some good movies, or, you know, something.
Although I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with certain social aspects of caregiving, I seem to be enjoying my mother's company more than ever. This is good. It allows the bugs up my ass to be a bit more tolerable.
I was awake at 1015 this morning. I know I died soon after I looked at the clock, so I was surprised that I was up so early. I was also in a sweat, so I must have had a fever. I vaguely remember thinking about taking ibuprofen and then deciding against it last night.
I'm pretty much going to let Mom determine when she will arise today. We've got a commercial pot pie, which requires thawing before baking, for this evening. That baking, alone, will keep her up and alert.
I've lately been experiencing spasms of, oh, I don't know, emotional overload. I'll be in the middle of a fairly mundane portion of a day and suddenly, "out of nowhere", I'll be beset with a need to weep...not out of despair, but from being touched so deeply. So, I let some tears drop and go on about my, or our, business. I was so seized while I was rubbing my mother's legs down last night, er, make that early this morning.
My mother noticed. She threw me a "oh brother" look and didn't say anything.
I, however, was feeling soft and couldn't let the look go by. "It's nothing bad," I assured her.
She waved away my explanation as if to say, "I don't care. I can't relate, right now."
It's funny, the older I become, the more I appreciate my father's extreme sentimentality/emotionality. It was much harder for him to express than me. But, I understand more about where he was coming from than I used to. I also understand why my mother dismissed this in him as she dismisses it in me; with the exception that she pays a little more attention to my expressions of these.
The lady isn't sentimental.
I think we're cocooned in her for the weekend, through Monday, I guess, isn't that right? You'd think holidays wouldn't affect those such as us, but they do.
Still no real snow. No In A Christmas Card experience. I'm becoming suspicious of those long range forecasts.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Our snow day and a half was disappointing.
It's supposed to remain cloudy until this afternoon. Maybe some rain and sleet, here. Probably not, considering the last few days. Oh well.
Did anyone notice this? I've been forgetting to mention it. It's one of those "little things" that everyone seems to be ignoring and, yet, it seems important for my generation, at least. I read about the possible connection between marijuana use and the lack of development of Alzheimer's, and general dementia, too, as I recall, around the time this probably came out. Read it in Mom's daily newspaper, buried in "Section A". Then, again, heard it on a national news program; probably the evening before seeing it in the newspaper. I remember, as well, a few days later, seeing a very small headline tag running across the default news service on my dial-up ISP home page.
Then, the story was buried. I wonder why. I'd think there would be lots of other questions worth asking, for my generation, anyway. Questions to which I'd like to know the answers. Like (in no particular order):
- What does this mean for people who interspersed regular marijuana use throughout their lives, probably beginning in their teenage years, with periods of abstinence?
- Is this effect lasting? At what dosages?
- If not lasting, what are the "recommended" dosages at this time?
- Are there any studies beginning or in the works which study reported past use of marijuana against mental acuity in later years?
- What about steady recreational use?
- What about past and/or present use of other "soft" drugs such as acid, mushrooms? Is anyone curious about whether use, either occasional or habitual, for periods or continual, of these drugs affects later rates of senile dementia?
- Is is possible that our generation will either be less suseptible, overall to dementia, or prone to "other types" of dementia, or a combination of both.
Just a thought.
I'm continuing to label over at The Dailies. It's going to be a long haul. I'll probably begin skipping around, doing other types of maintenance. I remain interested in reading what I wrote so off the cuff on a disciplined daily basis. Very interesting, spontaneous, stream of consciousness observations. Minimum of agony. Maximum of detail. Can be successfully accessed in bits and bytes.