Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Where Have I Been?

It’s time to play catch-up.  The past few months have been a wild ride.

As you know my mom is sick. The good news is she is not progressing downward. She is maintaining. That is a relief on all of us. Mom still has some bad days and is still getting weak. She has fallen a few times over the past months, but thank goodness there were no major injuries or hospital visits.

In the upcoming weeks she will have a procedure done to try and help with the fluid building up in her stomach area. We are hoping this will make Mom more comfortable and feel much better.

Dad is doing well. We had a scare with him about a month ago. He passed out and went to the hospital. Come to find out his pacemaker/defibrillator was not working right. He had a heart Cath done to make sure all was well. Thank the good Lord above there was no issues. The doctors corrected the pacemaker/defibrillator and he is good as new, well as new as can be at his age.  J

Now onto “the kid”. After he lost his job he fell into a deep depression with anxiety attacks. After months of him trying to cope by himself, he finally reached out for some help.

He is now seeing a therapist and through those visits we have discovered that he is just not a ‘quirky’ kid. He is on the Autism spectrum, very high functioning. Considering ‘the kid’ has gone to college (out of state), can hold a job and take care of himself.

All these years I thought I was raising a ‘quirky’ kid. Come to find out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This tore me apart. Finding out my parenting skills have been all wrong for him for the past 25 years.  Realizing I was blind to the things right in front of me.

The best part is I can change my parenting skills and he is finding the help he needs. The therapy is helping with is depression and anxiety. In August he is going for testing to verify where he falls in the Autism spectrum.

I love that he has not changed through this journey of discovery about himself. He has a few fears about what all of this means. The biggest fear is he is afraid others will treat him differently or less than. He is still the same quirky and smart kid we all love and adore. We now have an explanation why we raise our eyebrows at times with him.

About the job: I made it through my 90 day probation period. I am finally doing my job. The awkwardness is still there but I am either getting used to it or conforming.

The job is boring but at least I don’t take it home with me. I am still learning and the learning process stresses me out because I feel like I should have this job down by now.

The company is working with me with all the family issues going on. I am very grateful for that.

My supervisor is warming up to me. Killing her with kindness seems to be working.

The past 2 months I have been working 10 hour shifts and overtime on Saturdays. The stress of my finances is getting to me. Working all these hours gives me less time with my parents and ‘the kid’. I don’t like that at all.

At least I have a job to go to and complain about.

Even with all of this going on, it still doesn’t explain why I haven’t been blogging. You would think that I would/should have been writing about all of these issues and doing my own writing therapy. Sharing with others to help them and to get this stuff out of my own head and get some support.

Well, here’s the truth. I was not in a position to write. My brain was/is on overload. Writing was the furthest thing in my mind. Coping with my mom’s illness. Just wrapping my head around that issue was hard enough for me. Let alone the new job. Then discovering ‘the kid’ was falling apart. It was all too much for this little brain to handle.

I was not coping well. I was crying all the time, not sleeping, feeling run down and I felt yucky all the time. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I was hoping that he would give me a ‘happy’ pill and I would be on my way.

Instead, I got a full work up. I had blood work done and few other tests. When all the test results came back, I found out that I have depression and anxiety (already knew that). I guess ‘the kid’ and I are too much alike. I have high cholesterol, I have developed type 2 diabetes and I have neuropathy in my feet.

WOW, I went to feeling crappy at 40 something to feeling real crappy and 70 in just a matter of minutes.

I did get a ‘happy’ pill, along with few more medications. I am not on insulin injections, thank the Lord for that.

Making the adjustments to taking medications every day and testing my blood sugar was a big deal. I had major side effects to a couple of the medicines. For a few weeks I was completely out of sorts. The side effects have worn off and the ‘happy’ pill is working and so is the diabetic medication. The high cholesterol med is still something the doctor and I are working on. That type of pill is not good for me….the side effects are too bad.

Because of all the stress I lost almost 30 pound before I even went to the doctor. I have changed the way I eat and I have lost a total of 47 pounds in the past 4 months.

My goal is to be off the diabetic medication in a year and be 100 pounds lighter.  Wish me luck.

So there you have it in a nut shell.  A little glimpse into my world the past few months and now you know why it’s taken me so long to get back to writing.

I am hoping that I will add a post a week till things get even better.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I have missed writing and I have missed all of you.

Please keep checking in. Leave me a note of encouragement or ask me a question. I could really use the support.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – The Little Things

the little things

You don’t realize how important the little things mean till you watch someone else find joy, peace or pleasure from those little things.

Watching my mom during her hospital stay for the last three weeks was tough. The first few days were the hardest for all of us.

The little things, like watching Mom brush her teeth for the first time after 2 days in bed. She gave me a nice smile and an AHHH!!! I know that had too feel good even though she was still confused and agitated at the time.

My sister doing mom’s hair. That gave her a few minutes of contentment. Mom is always concerned about her hair. My sister did a great job helping mom feel better after her hair was combed, teased and fixed the way she likes it.

Getting a bath. Even if it’s not a real bath. Just having someone clean you up and give you a new gown to sleep in. The nurse was so loving during that time and I could see mom relax a little.

Resting on clean sheets. We all know how nice it is to crawl into a bed with clean sheets. Mom would have a few minutes of peace whenever the nurses or techs changed her bed.

Giving Dad a break from the hospital and seeing his smile when he walked back in the room.

I never knew how much pleasure could come from someone eating ice cream or whipped cream. My mom has a sweet tooth. She eat sweets over any food you put in front of her.

Through her confused state Mom could not order food for herself. We always ordered something sweet, fruits, Jell-O with whipped cream and/or ice cream. She loved the fruits but when we ordered Jell-O with the whipped cream, she would reach for that first, scoop off a spoonful of whipped cream and you could watch her face relax and she would be happy. She did the same thing with the ice cream.

Finally after days of restlessness watching my mom find a comfortable spot on the bed, cover her head with a fuzzy blanket and fall asleep. There is nothing like finding that right position and sleeping soundly. Having a peaceful sleep does the body good.

Hearing your mom snore. That brought all of us peace and joy. Knowing mom was getting the rest she needed was fantastic. We would stop worrying for a while and she was resting peacefully.

Having someone hold your hand and pray for you. Anytime there was a prayer we all held hands and I could see my mom relax a little. If you were holding her hand she would start out with a good grip but by the end her grip had loosened and her body would relax during the prayer.

Lip balm brought relief to mom. If you have ever been in the hospital, you know lip balm is a must. For whatever reason your lips get chapped. We did have to go through several lip balms to find the right one for her. Once we did, she was happy and she felt better not having chapped lips.

Having a pillow and fuzzy blanket from home. We all sleep better in our own bed. When you can’t sleep at home you bring your pillow and blanket with you. It’s like watching a sleeping baby. It brought a smile to my face knowing my mom was comfortable.

The little things are so important, they may not seem like much at the time but if you are sick those little things add up.

***Mom is finally home from the hospital and physical therapy. She is doing better. There’s nothing like the comfort of your own bed and relaxing in your favorite chair. Being surrounded by your loved ones and setting in the house that you worked so hard to make a home.

I am so thankful this little ordeal is over and Mom is back home. Thank you all so much for your love, support and understanding.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

ducks in a rowWhen a family is going through the tragedy of preparing for the final stages before the passing of a loved one, you tend to be overwhelmed and consumed with more important things. Being organized is the last thing you are thinking about.

The past few weeks have been chaotic to say the least for me. Just for my own sanity, I need to get organized. I NEED to have that sense of being in control of something, well anything. Getting my ducks in a row helps me do that.

Here are some things I am currently working on.

This past week I have gathered photos of mom, her family, Dad, us kids and the grandbabies to make a photo slideshow at Mom’s viewing (when the time comes). I have scanned all photos into my computer and have edited each one to make them better.

This was a hard task to do. But also very enjoyable. I got the chance to talk to mom about each photo, listen to stories I’ve never heard before. The best part was, it was like I was seeing these photos for the first time. Looking at them with new eyes. I never realized how pretty my mom is. She and my dad made the cutest couple. The biggest surprise was, I didn’t realize how much my sister looks like mom.

Now the only thing left for the slideshow is picking out a few songs to play while the video is scrolling through. Another tough challenge but I am up for that one. It should be fun listening to some beautiful piano music. Mom just loves a great pianist.

The other thing I am working on is a guest book (so to speak) for Mom/Dad’s house. Since all of kids work, we miss out on visitors to their house during the day. It’s nice for us to know they are not alone.

I was also thinking this is a great way to remember to thank the ones that have stopped by, brought food, helped out with chores or just volunteered to set with Mom while Dad ran some errands.

Not only that, if I don’t send Thank You cards out or miss someone, Mom would be disappointed with me. Mom is very proper when it comes to these sort of things. She always sent out hand written thank you notes within a week. I have some big shoes to fill.

I figured a guest book for their house would be a great easy way for me to stay up on all the visitors. This way the guests can sign in, let us know if they brought food, visited or helped in anyway. And I can be sure to thank them properly.

This weekend I will be bringing a notebook and pen to keep at their house so we can take notes on any arrangements that need to be made, write down songs she would like to have played, jot down anything we deem important or would like to remember and leave notes for the siblings.

I know all of this seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. I will be honest, I thought it was kind of odd too. But I’m here to tell you, it helps. I am not searching my home or purse for that one little piece of paper that had a note on it that mom wanted me to remember.

I will not be rushing around the last minute trying to go through photos (that will tear me apart) to make a slideshow. I know for a fact how hard it is to look through photos just after a death. I have helped a couple of cousins with this. 

I won’t have to worry if I missed someone for Thank You cards. I will have my list. And you all know how much I love lists.

This is just the beginning stages. There will be more challenges ahead. But for this week. I feel like I am on my game. I’m probably not but I do love the sense of control I have with these steps I have taken this week.

I hope in the weeks/months to come I can stay on top of all the balls in the air. Only time will tell. For now this is good thing.

If you have any helpful tips I would love to hear them. I can use any help I can get.


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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.