My Mom Is Improving, But Very Slowly. - Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking Blog at - 330253

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My Mom is improving, but Very Slowly. 
Jul. 18, 2014 12:14 am 
Updated: Jul. 24, 2014 11:36 pm
It has been about 3 months since my last post because things have been very busy here. First of all, I really want to thank everyone that has been following this story and has offered support and encouragement. I do know that there a lot of people going through a similar situation with a parent, and taking on the responsibility of caring for them is very difficult both physically and mentally. If you are one of these people, I can only tell you that your parent(s) is much better off with you, than committed to a nursing home. I will explain this opinion later in this post.

As I had mentioned in my last post, my mother has been off of meds and physically healthy (as least as far as blood tests can tell) for well over a year. It took us about 6 months to get her off of the meds through a good diet and supplements. If you have been following this blog, you know that we had a huge setback in her progress last June because of shingles in her eye, a 4-day hospital stay, and an ESBL UTI that she got at the hospital. This setback took her back to worse than she was when we brought her home from the nursing home. All of the progress that we had made up until that point was lost.

At this point in time, she is still not totally continent as she had been before the problems last June, but she is better. We no longer have to clean feces from the bed, and very often the bed is dry in the morning even though her pad is wet. She is getting much better at using silverware to eat instead of her fingers, and she is saying more phrases clearly.

I have not yet given up on the homeopathic doctor because we have seen small improvements such as the perpetual runny nose is much less. I never expected miracles with this doctor, and anything that he might be able to do would not be immediately evident. I do realize, at this point, that a good part of the cells in her brain have been destroyed. Even if this doctor can eliminate some of the inflammation and if we can get her brain to start regenerating new cells, cells that have been lost are gone. We will have to re-teach her many of the things that she once knew.

I am not going to tell anyone that the last 1 1/2 years for my husband and I have been easy. It really hasn't, and it has completely changed the quality of our lives. I suppose that I, like many others, have complaints about the lack of perfection in their spouses, but I have to say that my husband has gone above and beyond for my mother. I know that I have personally done more than I thought I would ever be able to do, but he has done so very much that I never thought he would be capable of. Perfect or not, I am very fortunate that he is the person that he is.

I have to admit that I have had times of extreme exhaustion and desperation that I have suggested to my husband that we let my mother stay at a respite home for a week or so to give us a break, but we are both afraid of what would happen to her. A 4 day stay at the hospital set her progress back almost a year. We are both afraid of the consequences of a break for us. We have started having a day care person come here for 4 hours twice a week. This at least allows my husband time to mow the lawn. Since we have 5 acres and about 3 1/2 acres of lawn, he has almost gotten through almost all that has to be mowed with the rain we have had. Our two-level brick patio that was once very pretty, is now covered with weeds, moss, and dead leaves. I don't know if there will ever be time to recover it. So much has been let go just because there is no time to do it when we have to be with my mother 24/7. At any rate, this is a personal problem that we will eventually find a way to do required maintenance for the house.

I had mentioned previously in this post that caring for a parent is better than some of the alternatives. I found out today that my aunt, who had taken care of my mother before she was moved to a nursing home by doctors, is deteriorating. Less than 1 year ago, my aunt was self-sufficient and keeping up her own home. Granted, her memories weren't always the best, but she could take care of herself, was relatively healthy other than some heart problems, and, for the most part, seemed mentally capable. Her ex-son-in-law managed to get her to sign a power of attorney without her knowing what she was signing and put together a will in his favor that he also had her sign. After this, he immediately moved her to a nursing home and sold her house. I couldn't reach her by phone so I called him to find out what was going on. He told me that she is now in hospice care, has been in the hospital a number of times, she falls often and needs help, and she can't care for herself at all. He also told me that she was on oxygen because she was having trouble breathing.  I couldn't believe that all of this could happen in less than 6 months! When I asked him how this could happen in such a short time, his answer was "She is over 90. This is what happens."

This is my mother's younger sister who had been caring for my mother prior to her being put into the nursing home. How could she deteriorate so quickly when my mother is at least maintaining and even getting a little better? Right now I feel bad that we couldn't take on my aunt, too, but we didn't have space and she wouldn't have wanted to move in with us at the time. I know that this didn't have to happen to my aunt if someone who cared would take care of her.

So, yes, my husband and I are giving up a part of our lives that we should be enjoying. Will we regret it later? I really don't think so. We are both doing what we feel in our hearts is the right thing to do. If we did anything else, we would both definitely regret it.
Jul. 20, 2014 9:03 pm
My wife is a residential care-aide, working in an assisted living facility and does what you describe on a daily basis with a myriad of residents. My heart goes out to you on what you have to field each and every day, there's not one in a hundred who can do that. I know for certain, that I could not. I know your situation is unique to you and your mom as they all often are so no one can speak as to what is right for you and your mom, except you. All my best.
Jul. 21, 2014 7:58 am
Prayers to all of you, Judy. I have often thought of you. God love your husband for being so supportive. Is there a way to afford the help a little more? Am aghast at the former inlay and the sliminess...they sure pop up when it's to their benefit. How can they sleep at night? Does your aunt have any other relatives to stop the evilness?
Jul. 21, 2014 4:57 pm
so sorry for you judy. it seems you are improving you mom's quality of life while her sister is being taken advantage of. so very frustrating! I hope your family can find some resolve.
Jul. 24, 2014 11:36 pm
Other than my brother and I, my aunt has only her ex-son-in-law that really doesn't like her, and his children (her grandchildren) who never visit her. If my mother improves and regains some of her cognitive ability, I hope to prove to others that it can be done. The really sad part of this whole thing is that my mother's condition could have been prevented. Even when dementia is in a person's heredity, it can definitely be prevented. Diet and natural supplements are the answer. People really need to learn how to take care of their bodies and minds - if for no other reason than to prevent them from ending up like my mother.
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Franklin Park, Illinois, USA

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Jan. 2012

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About Me
I breed large parrots, like to write, raise most of our veggies, completed my AS degree at 65, enjoy cooking specialty dishes and baking bread. I have done extensive study of cooking and eating healthy. A few years ago, I started researching healthy eating for my parrots, and it has since changed focus to the diet of my family. At this point, I make all of our bread using fresh milled flour that I make. We eat primarily pastures fed meats and eggs, and I make many of our condiments. We also avoid GMO foods and ingredients as much as possible. Since my 93 year old mother has moved in with us, we have eliminated the 10 medications she was on, and her physical and mental condition has improved considerably. I totally believe that we are what we eat. What is really best for us is a constant learning experience.
My favorite things to cook
I get bored with cooking daily meals, but enjoy making specialty and new dishes. I also enjoy baking breads from scratch using freshly ground flour made from various grains that I buy in bulk.
My cooking triumphs
One of my cooking triumphs was baking whole grain breads that are light, tasty, and healthy.
My cooking tragedies
My latest cooking tragedy was recovered with some effort. I made the Navy Bean and Ham soup that I posted and after the cooking time, much of the liquid had evaporated. I was tired when it finished and put it into containers and froze it as it was. The next day we had it for dinner and it was way too thick. As much as I didn't feel like it, I thawed 8 containers of the soup, added more broth, and repackaged it for freezing. It was really a pain, but I'm glad I did it. The finished soup was so much better.
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