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Old 10-29-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
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I'm doing Double Duty.....

As many of you know, my mom has been in a NH for the better part of a year with Dementia.

My aunt, her sister whom is even older, just had her hip-replacement surgery yesterday. She's amazingly alert and like herself unlike my mom when she had her hip done. Mom already was showing signs of confusion and it just progressed it.

At my aunt's age of 82, she's phenominal with her memory and still is post surgery. I thank God that I don't think I'll have to deal with her having problems going home and being on her own after rehab.

She will be going to the same facility as my mom as they have a rehab unit for this kind of surgery. I'm doing fine, so far, with taking care of all the paperwork etc.

It just amazes me that sometimes when it rains, it pours. My husband's brother passed away yesterday at the tender age of 54 due to many health-related problems including cancer. We know he's in Heaven with his mom and other brothers.

Funeral is Friday, the same day as my aunt will be discharged from the hospital to rehab. I have to be at the funeral that same day. I've made arrangements with the hospital and rehab facility to let them know that I probably won't be there for the transfer. They assured me that it's okay and not to worry.

Like I said; rains it pours...but that's life, right?!

 
Old 10-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

Come on Sunny, just spread the towel out a little farther and spin around and I'm sure that you can get to all of the functions at once!

I'm sorry about the brother...Is he boeing buried close enough that you can do a dash from one spot to another to check on your aunt? How utterly true to form that this would happen. Only with our group, you're right! But your aunt will be tired and they will cover for you.. and you can check by phone. Get the number of the nurses station so you can call to see how she is doing so at least you can keep tabs on her that way until you can get over to see her..

and BTY, you family is in my prayersss. and do take a clean towel along with you....

 
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

Yes Sunny.... that is EXACTLY how it happen..... all at once!!!

I am truly sorry about your brother in law. Take the time to be with your DH. He will need you. Then you can take care of your Aunt. Yep, she will need you too. Then you can swing by to check on Mom. She always needs you. After that... throw up your feet, grab a glass of wine and take care of yourself for an hour.... until you fall asleep.

The hospital and NH will take care of your Aunt's transfer. Get the number of the nurses station at both places and give them your cell number. Or just tell your Aunt to call if necessary. Do a little preplanning and it will all go well. I will throw in a clean stack of towels to add to IBakes..... Hang on to the blue one because we have the other end of it.

You have an incredible attitude and you will be tired but ok when it is all over. I will keep you in my prayers for the energy and creativity to accomplish all that you need to do. I will keep your hubby, aunt, mom, and the rest of your family in my thoughts and prayers as well.

Love, deb

 
Old 11-02-2008, 07:22 AM   #4
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

Thank you both so much for your condolences and just being there to listen to my tale of woe.

I'm happy to say that the transfer from the hospital to the NH went as planned while I attended the funeral.

Today I'm not going to go visiting...I came down with a cold that I probably picked up from the NH...they're all coughing and sneezing over there including my mom. I'm most worried about her as I'm so afraid she'll get worse with it, but yesterday she seemed somewhat better.

My aunt in the rehab section is being her usual stubborn self. While she's able to walk pretty well after just having her hip replaced five days ago, she refused to go to OT/PT yesterday morning because she said it hurts too much and she needs to get some sleep. She seems to think she's going home by this Thursday! She's nowhere ready for that and I certainly cannot move in with her to care for her. Hopefully, I can talk some sense into her next week about leaving so soon. Last time she had her other hip done, she signed herself out of the rehab center before they wanted her to leave. Luckily, she did manage on her own once I got her home...of course, I kept check on her by phone and regular visits. But she's 7 years older now and to be honest, I'm running on empty myself.

This is so tiring, isn't it?

Well, thanks much again and my thoughts are with you both.

 
Old 11-02-2008, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

It is no wonder you caught a cold -- we seem to lose our natural defenses when we are under stress, and the germs know just when to attack!

I hope you are feeling very much better soon.

I do hope your Aunt can be persuaded (or forced!) to stay at Rehab as long as needed!

Take care of yourself. Tea with honey may help!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 11-03-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

I'll spare you the details, but yesterday at the NH/Rehab was a war zone...and I couldn't be present due to my sniffles!

Auntie had a friend who was a retired nurse visit her and she stirred up a lot of unecessary anxiety in my aunt...spoke to my aunt's nurse..or the charge nurse of the facility in a very rude way....even told her to go back to school!!

Anyway, charge nurse is taking care of my aunt the way I knew she would; plus today my aunt is much more cooperative and feeling very well. She went to PT/OT and is back to being her usual sweet self.

What a weekend it's been...at least things are going smoothly for now.

My mom wants to get in the car and visit her sister, my aunt, stressing that she's just down the hall from her makes no sense of course. My mom has a cold so once she's better I'll walk her over to rehab to visit her sister.

Charge nurse told me today that she thinks my aunt has the beginning of dementia...so it looks like she may be there for the long haul within a couple years too.

Question...I've gone to my aunt's house to keep check on it; water plants; etc. and she is what I would call a hoarder...saves EVERYTHING! I didn't realize how bad it was until I was alone in there by myself. Is this a symptom? I always thought it was because she was 82 and set in her ways.

Thanks to you all, and though I don't post much; I keep you all in my thoughts.

 
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

Martha is right Sunny.... stress will break down your defenses and little bugs that you usually shake off will grab hold of you. You are right.... you need some rest. Between the services, your Aunt, your Mom, taking care of your house, aunt's house, and everything else.... are we surprised a cold bug ran over you... NOT!! The first thing you need to do is get yourself back in good working order. Your aunt is in rehab and your mom in the NH and you know they are taken care of. Grab yourself some extra sleep, plenty of fluids, and give yourself time to recover.

As for your Aunt's house, it would depend. It this a life long pattern? Has it gotten markedly worse? Are there certain items that she is hording. Is this a change in behavior for her. My Mom was a neat freak that was amazingly organized. Remarkably I have every important paper, dated back to 1950 organized in a binder with protective sleeves. I have every documentation I could want..... until about 2004. At that point she started saving magazine clipping for things I have NO idea why she was saving them but threw her medical POA in the trash and shredded tax information. We cleaned out cases of sugar free jello pudding mix and graham cracker crust. Her neatly organized drawers because a clutter of random items. What was needed was missing or not where it was supposed to be and some random item was in it's place.

So watch for patterns..... or the lack there of. Try to determine if it is a life long pattern or a new behavior. That should give you a better idea of where it is coming from. Also check her financial records and see if she is keeping her bank balance and if her bills are paid timely. Check for burned pot.

It could be the anesthesia, pain medication, or the trauma of the sugery wearing off that has caused the immediate and hopefully temporary cognitive problems the nurse is noticing... or it could be the beginning of your next venture with this horrible disease. Time and a good specialist will give you the answer. If you find more continued reason for concern I would definitely check with a specialist that can give you some answers.....

Love, deb

 
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:02 AM   #8
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

Hoarding, saving everything, is not related to old age. People of 30 do it, people of 90 do it. My Mom was the opposite, she kept a clean, sparse and neat household.

I think it is called obsessive compulsive - and it is hard to or treat or change. If the things are piled up everywhere, making a fire hazard or an escape hazard or a falling hazard, someone needs to go and help her clean out. But probably she will replace the thrown out items with many many more.

It should be mentioned to her doctor, too.

Good luck!

Love,

Martha

 
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

Yes, obsessive compulsive, but in some cases, it's just laziness. I once cleaned out 20 years worth of old newspapers from my parents' basement. They were saving them to recycle, but never got around to it. Their whole house is like that, piled with junk everyplace. My mother laughs and says she doesn't care, because one day her kids will be the ones who have to take care of it. I shudder even thinking about it, because they told me they named me executor of their estate. Last time I was there, the pile was growing enormous again. If you can consistently pick away at it, do so. More will be added, but every little bit you can clean out helps. It'll be that much less mess/hazard.

If this is a new issue, it would certainly be a symptom rather than a habit.

Blessings,
Emily

 
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:14 PM   #10
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

I think it's more of a habit, it's been going on for quite some time (years) but it's just gotten too overwhelming for her.

I saw auntie today and she at least gave me permission to get rid of the incoming junk mail...unbelieveable amounts of this stuff after just one week in the hospital. So it's a start! I can't imagine her trying to go through all that once she gets home.

All space on her kitchen table is full of boxes of newspaper clippings, charity letters, you name it. I'm going to have to sit down with her and start going through it. Maybe it will help her if I can just get her started.

She's doing well, but miserable that she can't come home until 11/15. I stressed that once she's home, she's on her own as I can't be running over everyday and spending hours there. I can't do it...I'm about burned out now and hubby is worried about me and my own well being.

 
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:52 PM   #11
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Re: I'm doing Double Duty.....

We are also worried about you Sunny. Make sure Auntie stays where she is until she can be on her own. If not let her have home health care for what she needs and you just visit once in a while. You have a full plate and need to get help where you can. If you don't take care of yourself first then you can't take care of anybody. I learned that the hard way

Sorry your Auntie is miserable but you know this is for her own good. The mess at her house can wait for a while.... just throw out the junk mail while she is not there so that doesn't add to the piles!!

Get some rest and hope your cold is better

Love, deb

 
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