Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad –Scary Week

hospitalLife sure does throw you some curve balls sometimes. Last Tuesday I got a phone call at 4:30 am. It was my mom telling me she fell. Hearing this woke me up very quickly. I asked if she was ok, and she begins to tell me what happened.

She woke up to go to the bathroom, once she was there mom got dizzy and fell. She hit the counter top of the sink and landed in the bathtub. She hit her back, belly and her head. I could hear that she was scared. I got dressed and drove straight over. When I arrived Mom was setting in the living room, she was white as a sheet and scared.

I called the squad. They arrived within 7 minutes. That’s pretty quick since mom and dad live about 6 miles away from the nearest town and the fire department is all volunteers. The EMT’s scooped her up and we were on our way to the hospital.

Dad and I were so concerned for her.  When a person is 70 something, has cirrhosis of the liver and is a heart patient, a fall is scary. She could have a concussion, broken bones, internal bleeding or any number of things.

The doctor and nurses checked her out thoroughly and ran a few test. Thank the good Lord she did not have any head injuries or broken bones. The ER doctor decided to keep her overnight for observation since she fell and hit her head. They wanted to make sure nothing would develop.

My sister spent the night with mom on Tuesday. Since dad had been up with mom since she fell early that morning. Overnight mom became very confused, anxious, agitated and restless. She was not resting and not acting like mom.

Boy did my sister have her hands full. Mom was so restless she did not sleep at all. Mom was more confused and very upset. My poor sister didn’t get any rest, mom was running her legs off.

In hindsight, I am so thankful the hospital doctor did not release her that day. By Wednesday things turned.

The doctors ran more test and those came back negative. We could not figure out what happed to make her so sick. It’s scary to watch your loved one suffer. You feel so helpless.

Thursday the hospital ran a couple more tests and found out that mom was dehydrated and her blood pressure would bottom out every time she stood up. This was the cause for the fall. The doctors began to make some changes to her medicines and began to hydrate mom. We were hoping to see a change. That did not come on Thursday. Mom hadn’t slept in almost 48 hours and she was still very confused and just not a happy camper.

Thursday Dad spent the night with mom. Another sleepless night for both of them. Mom was still confused and not happy. My Dad worried all night and did everything he could to help her but mom wouldn’t have any of it. It didn’t matter what any of us did she was not going to rest.

Friday was more of the same. But she was beginning to sleep a little. I do mean a little. She slept for a couple of hours but during her sleep she was very fidgety. She would pick at her blanket, move her pillows, roll from side to side and mumble.

Throughout the week mom would share her dislike by giving us the evil eye as Dad calls it. If looks could kill, my sister would be dead at this time. Mom would curl up her lip at a nurse she didn’t care for or roll her eyes as a doctor would leave the room. Mom may have been very confused but she sure could communicate what or who she didn’t like.

I spent the night Friday with Mom. I got to see firsthand what my Dad and sister were contending with. I found out quickly I was one of those people she didn’t like. I got the evil eye and mom informed a nurse that I was the meanest kid she had.

I know my Mom loves me and this did not offend me. She didn’t know what she was saying, she was just communicating her dislike about the situation and I happened to be there.

Friday night was another sleepless night for both of us. Mom didn’t rest at all. She was constantly fidgeting with things, throwing her blankets and pillows to the floor, playing with the bed rails, mumbling about things and people that weren’t there.

What a scary thing to watch. Seeing your mom is such a state and you are completely helpless. That messes with your head.

Saturday was more of the same but Mom did sleep a little bit. Still restless but sleeping.

My sister spent the night Saturday. Things were a little better. Mom slept for an hour and a half during the night. Mom was still running our legs off and sharing her dislikes.

Sunday was different story. By 8:30 am Mom was sleeping soundly, no fidgeting and no mumbling, she was snoring. As my sister said, I never thought the sound of snoring would be so peaceful.

It was a good day. Mom slept most of the day and when she was awake, she was no longer confused or agitated. She finally ate more than 4 bites for dinner. It was so nice to see my mom and not the ‘sick’ mom.

Mom slept all night Sunday and almost completely back to her normal self.

Mom will go to physical therapy to help her gain strength and learn how to use some helpful tools to get mobility so she can come home. She is on her way to recovering from this scary ordeal.

I have to thank all the nurses, doctors and technicians for all their hard work in getting my mom feeling better.

Thank you to those who are praying for mom and our family.

Thank you to my readers for your understanding and patience as I juggle the new job, my family and trying to write blogs.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Sharing The News

newsThis past week was a little better for me. The week before had me on a nasty emotional roller coaster ride. I would get up in the morning, get ready for work and everything was fine. After being at work for an hour or 2, thoughts would overwhelm me and I would be weeping at my desk. The next day seemed to go fine but on my drive home I would be in tears again. It was like this the whole week. I was exhausted.

So many thoughts and emotions go through my head, I can’t help but cry. Which leads me to this blog.

I was asked by mom to inform the family that she was in stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver. I was glad to take that burden off her shoulders. She didn’t need the stress of telling the same diagnosis to 30-40 family members.

Mom also asked me to inform their friends that she and Dad have known for 60 plus years.

For the family I knew it would be too hard even for me to make those phone calls. I decided that I would send one email to everyone.  I know it’s not very personable but I just couldn’t go through those emotions at that time. That was a tough email to write. I am just an amateur blogger. Sometimes words do NOT come easy for me. That email put me to the test.

I was able to conjure up words that made sense and inform almost all the first cousins. (Sad to say that I was only informing cousins because out of the 14 brothers and sister mom has there are only 2 brothers left. Mom informed them of her news). I received many phone calls and emails letting us know that they are thinking and praying for our family.

Within hours of sending the email, I was full of love and support from so many responding. Many telling me that if I needed anything that they would be there for me. That gave me great peace of mind knowing there are so many that are willing to be there for me (mom/dad).  So many shared their love and concerns. So many were heartbroken for Mom and our family.

Shortly after I sent the email, I decided to call Mom and Dad’s friends. These are folks I have known all my life. People that went to school with my parents. A long line of history is there.

Our families would get together and all of us kids would play while the parents would play card games eat, and have a great time. I have so many memories with these families.

My sister and I even had a couple of these ladies helping in our school.  These ladies watched us grow up and helped us become the people we are today. Thank you.

I knew that call was going to difficult. The first call I made was to Mrs. B. I didn’t beat around the bush I just blurted it out……”Mom is in stage 4”. I know I took her by surprise but she was great. Mrs. B helped me. She was saddened by the news but she was very uplifting to me. She took the burden off my shoulders and informed the other friends in the group about mom.

What a blessing. Thank you Mrs. B for lightening my load. Thank you for being so kind and supportive. Thank you for informing others and carrying that load for me.

Once I got off the phone, I was on overload with emotions. The emotions of having to inform so many of such awful news. Worrying how this news would affect them. Saddened by the sorrow so many were feeling that night. Realizing that I had just upset some households, I was beside myself.  My dealing with my own emotions on the severity of this reality.

It’s hard for me to put into words the range of emotions I am going through daily. I am hoping, someday I will be able to vocalize those emotions into written form. But for now, I will stumble through the blogs and my emotions.

Thank you to my readers for your loving and supportive comments, likes and shares. You are fantastic!!!! I know the last few posts have not been the most positive in nature (I’m working on that), Thank you for your understanding.

Just a reminder to myself. I may be a raw emotional wreck, but I have people that love me and want to help. Remember to reflect at the end of the day and look for the little things that made you smile or better yet lightened your load. There are blessings out there, sometimes you have to search for them. Take the time, it will always be worth the look.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Accepting

hugs

 

Onto the next journey which has already been in motion for a while. That’s the journey I am on with my parents.

As we know, when our parents get older the roles can be reversed and we begin to care for them instead of them caring for us.

If you have read my blogs about my folks you know that Dad is a heart patient and Mom has stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic) and a heart patient. Both are in their 70’s, their health is declining and things are getting harder for them to do.

It’s sad to watch such strong, independent, self-assured, and capable individuals decline. Even if it’s just a little bit and one thing at a time.

My parents have always done things on their own. They have remodeled their home, built a garage, taken care of their property, repaired things around their home, planted gardens, raised 3 kids, taken care of 3 grandkids, helped others, worked in their church and have always been the ones called upon for assistance. My parents have been there for so many.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Now my parents are the ones needing assistance. Granted they are still very capable of doing so many things, but need some help doing others.

As their child I am heartbroken for them. I know neither one of them want to relinquish their independence or admit that they need help sometimes. It has got to be difficult to ask for help when just a year ago they were capable. What a difference a year makes.

I can only imagine their own struggles they have. They say growing old is not for the weak. I am beginning to understand that statement more and more each day.

This journey I am on with my parents will be tough and heart wrenching. The one thing I am sure of is, I will not regret going on this ride. There have been rides that I have taken in the past and regret but this will not be one of them.

With their permission I will be sharing this journey we are on. Granted most of the posts will be about my journey and sharing a glimpse of theirs. I am not looking for sympathy or kudos. I just thought this would be a good outlet for me and maybe a way to help others that may have to jump on the same type of ride.

 Stage #1 (for me)-Accepting the fact that my parents are not invincible. As children and even adults we want to believe that our parents will be with us forever. The reality is most likely they will not.

Accepting that they need your help. I didn’t want to help because I was holding onto my parents were invincible. If I helped then I had to let go of the dream that they would never perish.

Accepting that my own personal priorities will change. My folks come first and everything else is second.

Accepting that my role as a daughter has changed and will continue to change.

Accepting the new emotional roller coaster ride I am on.

Accepting the reality that they are very sick.

Accepting responsibilities that my folks bestow upon me with grace and love.

Accepting hugs out of the blue.  

Accepting the blessing that will come from this journey.

Yes, I did say, “blessings” I know there will be because I have already had a few.
For right now it’s learning to accept whatever is thrown at us.

I know for me, I will do my hardest to find the blessings even in the emotional craziness that may consume me. I will do my best to accept whatever roadblock, downfall, bad day, funny moments, quite times and quality time I have left with my parents.

Sorry this post is not the most positive, I will work on that. I will do my best to keep you updated once a week on this new journey.

Please feel free to comment or share your journey with me.


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2015 In Review- One Year Anniversary

WOW!!! It will be one year tomorrow since I started blogging. The love and support I have is amazing. Your encouragement means the world to me. You all ROCK!!!!

I am amazed that I have over 300 followers. I have posted 152 posts including this one. The blog has been viewed almost 5,000 times. I have reached over 50 countries. I am shocked that so many have taken the time to read this simple blog.

I am blessed to have you in my blogging world. You encourage me to do so much more.

I have no idea what the future holds for me and the blog. I can’t wait to see what happens next and where this journey takes me. I also hope you join me on these little adventures.

Thank you so much for all the comments, likes, shares and pins over the past year. I wouldn’t be doing this good without you.

Here are some stats from WordPress for  you to review my/our progress.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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My Journey: New Job-Still Waiting

hourglassAfter a month or so of “busywork” on the new job, I still have no clue on what I’m doing. Or what I’m supposed to be doing.

Weeks into the job, I finally got an eight-hour training session on one of the four programs I need to run. The trainer was great, full of energy and kind of funny. She knew her stuff, and when she didn’t, she brought help in. I liked that about the training class. She did move through the training quickly, which I didn’t like, I wish she’d slow down for us old folks to catch our breath.

A handful of us (semi-newbies) were thrown into this training class that had been in process for a week. We were only there to learn the one program.

I was thrilled to finally have some training, even if it was only for the one program. I was excited to learn more about my job, and it was a great change of pace from the mindless work that I’d been doing.

After the training, I go home having a sense of accomplishment, thinking ‘great! Tomorrow, I’ll have the opportunity to start doing real work!’ I even took a few minutes to review the course work that was handed out, and I was pretty confident about starting the “real” job.

Boy was I let down. I walked into the building, thinking, ‘today is finally the day I get to work on the computer program for real.’ NOPE!!! My supervisor informs me, that we are swamped and she cannot pull a person from their job to sit with me. So, back to the “busywork” it is. (Bubble popped). They are unable to provide a timeline for starting the ‘real’ job.

Don’t get me wrong I will do “busywork,” all day, for the next twenty years, as long as I know that is my job. But knowing I was hired for a different position, makes me feel less productive than I should be. I am very grateful for this job, and I will continue (with a smile), with the “busywork” till they are ready for me.

I can’t wait for the chance to shine a little. Until that day, I will continue to make friends, learn as much as I can from my co-workers, do what I am told, and do it very well.

Abiding my time, grateful for new experiences, adventures, lessons to be learned, and leaving my comfort zone. Before I know it, all of this awkwardness will be in the past and everything will have worked out the way it is supposed to.

AS A SIDE NOTE: The team is beginning to warm up to me, or I to them. Things are still a little odd at times, but they are getting better. People are beginning to carry on conversations with me, and a few are even laughing at my sense of humor, or maybe just me. Either way, I’m okay with it.


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My Journey: New Job-Fitting In

The past few weeks have been tough ones for me. I started a new job, helped with our family Thanksgiving dinner, we had a death in the family, and I helped organized and cook for the funeral lunch.

The new job has been hard enough for me to deal with let alone all the other things going on.

I am not used to getting up so early. Not working for a year had my sleeping habits skewed. Buying clothes and going through that torment was rough.

friends

Now trying to fit in at a new company. This has turned out to be a challenge for me. I am not used to that, in the past I have been able to make at least one connection and made a friend by the 2nd day.

This has not been the case this time around. I have been struggling trying to make new friends. I know I am a goober and have my own unique ways. But really??? Still no connections. I think I have lost my touch.

The company I am working for is one of the most different and odd places I have ever been in.  There are no cliques. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves. It took 5 days before I heard laughter in the office. That just blows my mind.

I know this is a workplace, but come on….no laughing? Even outside where the smokers gather…no one talks to each other.  Just weird.

I have never been in an office setting where there is silence and you can hear every cough, sneeze and phone conversation. Did I mention this office holds around 100 people?

I have been trying to make friends by jumping into light conversations with a joke but they seem to ignore me. I have introduced myself to over 50 people and I get nothing in return.

I was beginning to get paranoid, thinking they don’t want to have anything to do with the ‘fat’ girl or the old woman. Yes, I am the oldest person on my team. Even my 3 supervisors could be my children. I was thinking maybe I was the smelly kid in the classroom or my attire didn’t fit in.

I know none of those are true. I am not the only ’big’ person there, I am not the oldest person in the facility, my clothes are just as nice as everyone else’s and I shower every morning.

What am I doing wrong? I may not be the most social individual but I can carry on a conversation.

Today something happened. I was setting with one of my team members shadowing her. We began to talk and she was sharing all kinds of information about her family and baby. I let her do all the talking and didn’t share one piece of personal information.

What I did though was share my personality as she spoke. I made sarcastic comments that directed back to my behavior and listened carefully to her stories and asked questions.

After a few hours setting with her, one of our team members jumps into the conversation. He looks me in the eye and says…..Can I ask you a person question? I said, sure just ask long as it’s not my weight. We all laughed at that one.

He asked me how old I was. I responded honestly. He had a big grin on his face and said, thank goodness, I am no longer the ‘old man’ on the team, we now have an old lady. I had to laugh. I know how he feels.

That was that. I made 2 friends within minutes all because I gave them the opportunity to share with me.

I have been doubting my choice by accepting the job offer after the past couple of weeks. But now, I think I will hang in there a little longer to see where this weird ride takes me.

You are never too old to learn how to make friends.


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My Journey: New Job-Orientation

orientation

The new job has begun. First day is orientation day.

This is the boring part about starting a new job. The first day is always a unique experience.

You have to hand in your paperwork in order to get you parking pass. Then you get the privilege of some young pup take your photo for your badge.

The waiting begins. Waiting on everyone to get their badge just so we can leave the lobby. Waiting on the facilitator to start the show. Waiting on the late-comers, so everyone can begin.

Now it’s time to listen to security  run through their lists of the most common sense things, like if three’s a fire…..leave the building. Don’t leave your badge at your desk, because you won’t be able to get back into the building. If you see a strange package, don’t open it, move it or taste it. Yes, I said “taste”. That was actually in the PowerPoint.

Having to fill out all the paperwork for the W-2, direct deposit, emergency contact information and beneficiary information on the computer. I am so used to doing this on paper. It was nice just typing the information in and knowing someone else wouldn’t spell my name incorrectly.

This is when I realized I was the ‘old’ person in this group of 18 people including the facilitator. I was amazed that some of these folks that had a family didn’t know what a tax exemption was or how it worked.

I was surprised that over half of them didn’t know what/who a beneficiary was. The facilitator had stepped out and the class started asking me their questions. By the time the facilitator had come back all forms were filled out but mine. The class was now waiting on me.

The sad part about helping all of them (which I happy to do) was, only 2 people thanked me for helping. Where did common courtesy go?

The fun begins. It’s time to learn all about the company, what they do and what our obligations are. This is all done on the computer with a module base learning. Which is nothing new to me. That’s how my old job did all their training.

Setting in front of a computer screen with headphones on for 3 hours, watching/listening to some real boring information. A module on harassment, any type of harassment. Another one on keeping your desk clean. Yes, that’s right…how to keep your desk clean. A module on fraud, what to look for and how to report it. A module on confidentiality and how to secure your computer and paperwork. And the list goes on.

If you have worked for any large company you realize this is some of the most common sense things to remind us all. Then I was thinking, these kids have no clue what they are doing and they have to be taught these things.

It’s sad really that these young folks don’t know work place etiquette and how important all of those boring modules really are.

Even though it was a boring day for me, I have started a new job and I am on my way to a new adventure in my life. I am grateful this company has given me the opportunity to shine.