Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30th

Remember last week I described my food tray for the evening meal? Here's a picture.  What do you think?  

Tracy knows I don't care for brussels sprouts (yes, those are cooked-to-death brussel sprouts), so I didn't eat those.  

There just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to food trays.  Sometimes, there's enough food for a farm hand; other times, a scant three or four bites.  Enough about the food.

My weekend included an additional visit with my son.  What would happen to me without my children who keep a sharp eye out for me?  There are many people here who don't have visitors.  Some of them eat very little and fail to prosper.

If you have a loved one in a care facility, please look out for them.  They can't look out for themselves.  They may not be able to ask for help or to thank you for caring.  Go, anyway.  Do, anyway.  Many of them (most, really) are as vulnerable as babies and completely dependent on their caregivers.  And some caregivers don't care.  

Thanks for stopping by here.  Come see me.

(Tomorrow we'll discuss a daily routine for Addie and when the best times are to visit.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, June 28th

Dinner tonight was interesting.  Ham again (probably left over from last night - but that's okay, I like ham.  I'd just like more than four bites.)  Another resident's tray contained a whole piece of ham (he's on a soft mechanical diet like me which means everything is supposed to be chopped or pureed if it's difficult to chew or swallow) but his ham was NOT chopped and they pureed his SWEET POTATO? Sometimes some things around here just don't rate a comment because I can't think of one!

Tracy was surprised at some of my responses today.  I actually answered some of her questions with total clarity and diction.  

Plus, another visitor had a humorous story to share with her.  This visitor accidentally stepped on another resident's foot while trying to maneuver a wheelchair into position, and she apologized profusely. It's always been my nature to look out for people around me so I took the towel I like to hold in my hand, snapped it sharply at the offending party and said, "You leave her alone!"  

(That's the spirit, Sis!) 

I've always loved company.  Come see me!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26th

Today was Greg's day!  He's usually here on Thursday and Saturday.  It's hard for my children to know if I recognize them, but sometimes there's a reason to think perhaps I do.  I was in a good mood for him and enjoyed the dinner he fed me.  

This past week I developed small blisters on my inner arms and thighs, and on my back.  One small eruption on my face.  The nursing staff is convinced it isn't a staff infection, but I have an appointment in two weeks with a skin doctor. The doctor on staff thinks it has something to do with the auto immune system. Another thinks it's the combination of aspirin and Plavix that I'm on.  Anybody's best guess? It's difficult to get into dermatologists so, hopefully, by the time the appointment date arrives, I'll be all cleared up. 

Thanks for stopping by and staying in touch.  No one wants to be forgotten!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25th


Well, here we are halfway through another week.  I hope yours is going well.

Dinner tonight was pretty good.  Chopped ham (meat is always chopped for my soft mechanical diet), mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans.  Always get my side items of magic shakes, cottage cheese and fresh fruit.  Sometimes I have jello, and almost always a dessert.  My appetite was good tonight.

Here's a picture of my new haircut.  Notice:  No more color from a bottle.  Au natural!

That pretty girl on the left is Susan Everett.  She's Tracy's hair stylist and now I guess she's mine, too.  She did a great job and I STILL love getting my hair done.  

If you're looking for a stylist in Roanoke, she's your girl!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday, June 24th

Today was pretty much a normal Tuesday, if you can call anything about living here normal.  Dinner tonight was edible - pinto beans, cabbage, potatoes, which Tracy fed to me.  Of course, I got my regular cottage cheese with fresh fruit and my "magic shakes", which are packed with protein. .  Most meals include some kind of meat.  The cook must have been on vacation today?

After I broke my hip at Carriage Hill in Bedford on December 31, 2012, I was moved to Friendship Manor in Roanoke for treatment in a skilled nursing facility.  I was making fair progress recuperating from that surgery but I was allowed to become dehydrated and spent a week at Roanoke Memorial.  I lost a lot of weight simply because I couldn't feed myself and no one was feeding me.  The nursing staff kept sending me for blood transfusions; I was losing blood, but how, where?  Tracy finally began bringing chicken livers (which I love) and my blood began to rebuild.  I lost a lot of my ability to communicate after the broken hip episode and I have been wheelchair bound since then.

Tracy is usually pretty satisfied if I eat 50-60% of my dinner.  She or Greg are here every day to make sure I receive the nourishment I need.  The staff supposedly feed me breakfast and lunch and Tracy has raised such a fuss with the staff that now my food is adequate and I stay hydrated. I've regained all the weight I lost, so no more forced feeding.  Thank Goodness.

This Picture was taken when I was living for a few months at Pheasant Ridge in Roanoke before moving to Carriage Hill.  These were difficult decisions with little choice, but my children have been devoted and dedicated to doing what's best for me.  I have to trust that.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm Ba-a-a-a-a-ck!

Hello, Again!  

Did you miss me?  I've been busy - lots of company lately.  And, yes, I got that haircut.  How do you like it?

Tracy's hair stylist came to Friendship Manor to cut and style my hair.  She did a great job at no charge.  Can you believe that?  I'll have to ask Tracy for her name so I can pay it forward. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday, June 14th

(Author:  If you have a loved one or friend in a nursing home, please visit them.  It really does make a difference in the treatment they receive.  Addie is at Friendship Manor in Roanoke. Sometimes the care is good, sometimes it isn't.  Future posts will include both.)

I was in fairly good spirits when Tracy arrived this evening, just a bit sleepy and non-communicative.  Dinner was pretty good; spaghetti and a green vegetable mixture, but I wish I could show you the video Tracy shot of the BREAD.  After Tracy repeatedly banged it on the edge of the table, not a single crumb broke loose.  Hard as a brick.  Now, I've had hard rolls, but never had a ROCK served to me before.  That probably wouldn't have gone over too well at Frank's Cafe in Rocky Mount.  Maybe somebody will figure out how to transfer the video so it can be uploaded here.  It's pretty funny (not).

I'm thinking I'd like for Tracy to bring me some of her homemade spaghetti.

Time for a haircut on Monday. 


Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday, June 13th

My son, Greg, visited last evening to make sure everything is okay with me.  He and Tracy trade off visits, but one of them is here with me every day.  They also make sure I receive proper nourishment and hydration while they're here.  I know it's hard for them; every day since January, 2013.  But I love them for caring for me.  Tracy also does my laundry.  She wants to know my clothes are clean so she washes and bleaches and rinses, sometimes three cycles, depending on the state of soiled clothing.  She knows how I feel about dirt!

Note from Author:  Tracy and Greg, you're respected and loved more than you'll ever know for your devotion and dedication to your mother.  I think somewhere in her mind she knows what you're doing.

Tracy's hairdresser is coming to give me a haircut on Monday.  Thank goodness!  It's long enough in the back for a ponytail.  Well, a short ponytail, anyway.  As you can see, my hair color now is natural and very becoming, don't you think?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday, June 12th

Yesterday was a much better day for me.  I don't have a UTI, and when Tracy arrived, I was in a much better mood, smiling, talkative, and the appetite is BACK!  I know by the amount of food I'm eating that Tracy is cutting back on my calories and must admit it's time, since I've added back a lot of the weight I lost when I became dehydrated.  But I miss my chicken livers!

And I DO LOVE ice cream!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Today was not one of my better days.  After a long period of being alert and fairly communicative, today I wanted to sleep.  Hardly opened my eyes for Tracy, but she learned a long time ago that I have a great appetite and will eat with my eyes closed.  Tonight, though, I didn't have much appetite.  These periods of sleepiness and being uncommunicative sometimes indicate a Urinary Tract Infection, so Tracy has ordered a UTI test.

Tomorrow?  Maybe a better day!

Hard to believe all these years have gone by since I came into the world. I've seen so much in my lifetime, it's impossible to capsule my history but some things never change. For 45 years, my husband and I owned and operated Frank's Cafe in Rocky Mount, VA. I miss all the public we served. So many of them became like family. Now I'm in a nursing home in Roanoke suffering dementia. I don't remember very much anymore but occasionally I favor my daughter and son with some brief exchange of remembrance.

This was our family home.  I am the fifth born daughter of Oglesby and Madeline Basham.  Here's where we lived when my twin brother, Alcoy, was killed in a farm tractor accident when we were 16 years old.

After graduating high school, there was a happy time of living in Roanoke with the Littons, who were like parents to me, I worked at a mill job and traveled by bus back to this home almost every weekend.  Then ---

You live your life, busy, tired at the end of the day, only to wake in the morning to begin all over again.

You get married, start your business, buy a house, have your babies.  You enjoy holidays and birthdays.  You travel.  You honor your parents and choose a church which you will attend for 40 years.  You lose your parents and family members.

Then one day you lose your mate, and you're alone.  Alone with a business you cannot manage alone.  So you sell it.  Then there are the house and grounds; too much to keep up alone.  So you sell it.  And you enjoy the freedom an apartment brings for several years.

Then, one day, you're confused.  You call for help and later on, you can't remember the three days you spent in the hospital.  The doctor diagnoses Alzheimers.  MRI's indicate mini strokes.

Slowly, day after day, memories fade.  Medical emergencies happen.  Long story short, now I'm wheelchair bound and in a nursing home in Roanoke.

My children visit me every day, making sure I'm nourished and hydrated so I don't end up dehydrated and in the hospital again.

Sometimes I know my visitors; sometimes I don't.  Give me a chance to recognize you.  Staying engaged is stimulating and mentally very healthy for me.  Your visits help with that.  Come see me.

Author Barbara

Addie's daughter, Tracy, and I will be blogging this for Addie. We will be her voice as we post about her day.  We hope you'll be interested in following this blog.

Addie says:

Here I am, holding Dale's hand, standing between him and Larry, at the last reunion I attended in 2012. These are my nieces and nephews that were there.  That's my daughter, Tracy, 4th from the left.  She's a hoot.  I love her and enjoy every visit.  Recently, she was able to get me on video telling her that I love her. She was soooo excited.