Life Changing/ When The Parent Becomes The Child - What Joey K has to say! Blog at - 324244

What Joey K has to say!

Life Changing/ When the Parent Becomes the Child 
Mar. 23, 2014 9:12 pm 
Updated: Mar. 27, 2014 11:51 am

 Just before Hurricane Sandy blew into town and turned the east coast upside down my Mom arrived in town and turned my house upside down. Just weeks before Sandy I got a phone call from my brother in MI that Mom is in the hospital. No big deal he says just not feeling well. I wasn't satisfied with what I had heard so I call the hospital and got hold of a DR that after giving me  a long long list of problems say but don't worry she's not dying today. I hung up the phone spoke to Bill and early the next morning I was on my way to Michigan. I drove from 3 in the morning til 3 in the afternoon without stopping except for gas and to pee. I cried and prayed the entire way there with an occasional conversation with Mom's love, her sister mom and dad all who have left this world but not my heart. Begging them to hold her in their hands til I got there. I got there and went straight to Mom's home and my brother. The condition of Mom's home was unlivable to say the least and with little or no thought I knew without a doubt Mom would not be returning to this home.

My next stop was the hospital and a visit with my Mom. She was a mess. Her sugar level in the low 400's how she was surviving that is beyond me. Heart and kidneys failing her, no ability what so ever to control bowel movements, her ability to read or write just gone. Mom was barely with us when it came to comprehending. After a little thought and a conversation with Bill I gave Mom a choice a nursing home or home to NJ with me. Not much of a choice I know but that was the only choices she was getting. Her allergies made my one brothers home out of the question with his cats and the other brother was to sick himself to take care of her anymore so it was me or a nursing home. Let me be perfectly clear Mom and I are oil and water, there is a reason I live 600 miles from my birth place. This was not an easy decision for her but she picked me. I didn't give my brothers time to think about it or even a chance to question it I just acted and within a week of her hospital release I was on my way back to New Jersey with one very sick lady in the passenger seat.

Once we get home I get medical treatment started in my home and what I hear is so so disheartening. Dementia, heart and kidney failure, diabetes, thyroid problems. Mom was so far out of it she slept more than not and when she was awake she didn't talk read books, knit, do puzzles or any of the things she normally did. Getting dressed was a big accomplishment each day for her. Every other day she had PT here at home as well as an aid to help her dress and stuff, and a nurse came daily to check her progress. I restricted her diet easy to do because she was unable to help herself I made her meals and served them so Mom ate what I decided. Her days of free grazing and a steady diet of chocolate and candy were over. Through all of this Mom begged pleaded and cried to go home. She wanted her freedom back and hated that she no longer had control. Bill and I stuck to our guns and kept telling her this is her home, she is home, and we would point out why it was better for her to be here, reminding her she was lonely living alone with very few visitors and now she wasn't ever alone. This normally would calm her down she would enjoy life for a little while until another tug of war over whatever between her and I and then the I want to go home would start again.

 Over the last 2 years things have changed a great deal. I started with child's books and Madeline. Mom began to remember how to read and Madeline began to learn to read. I gave her yarn and told her don't worry about what your making just knit, when I figured out she can't really do a crossword puzzle I gave her word searches easy at first and then a little harder. She loves her word searches and is a champ at them. When she got a little stronger I started taking her to the library to pick out her own books. All of this helped her mind and brought her back into the rational thinking world. While working on her mind and its alertness I was also working on her diet and eating habits. Something that just absolutely ticks her off and causes our biggest arguments. The first time I said to her "you will eat that because I said so" I almost stunned my self silent realizing I was now the parent caring for and looking out her best interest. When Mom is having a clear day this fact just makes her so angry and she can be a little ruff to deal with.

 Working on Mom's diet paid off big time. Mom is half the size she was when she got her and she no longer requires insulin, her kidneys and heart are both working as best they can and are not getting worse. She is very strong now and can go for short walks and long drives. Her mind is as clear as I have seen it in the last 2 years she reads, knits and does her puzzles. She also writes letters she forgets to finish, reads a book 3 times not realizing she had read it already and she folds her own cloths as well as makes her bed and dresses herself.

 The changing of roles between us has not been easy on either one of us. It is not easy for mothers and daughters who are best friends and it is not any easier for mothers and daughters that were never best friends. We both gave up a lot for this arrangement to happen and we have both felt the strain of making this work. There have been raised voices and crosswords and at times it has seemed down right hopeless, like we were never going to pull this off. Even still to this day we have our ruff spots but all of it is worth it to me because well I would rather be arguing with my Mom than not. 


Mar. 23, 2014 9:22 pm
Great Blog, Joey. Yes, it is better to have Mom to argue with than not. The rose changes are hard, I have done that and surprisingly my father handled it more grace than I expected. Nothing about this is easy though. Blessings to you.
Mar. 23, 2014 9:24 pm
Awesome blog Joey and your mother is so lucky to have you. I have watched as you have struggled with the trials and tribulations and I have admired your tenacity and dedication. We should all be so lucky to have a daughter like you.Hang in there kid.
Mar. 23, 2014 10:53 pm
You have done a remarkable job. My mother and I would have had a very hard time in your situation and I'm not certain I would have hung in there. I admire your tenacity. Under the best circumstances it isn't easy. You should be so proud of what you accomplished.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:05 am
Your Mom is very lucky to have you.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:11 am
Penny I didn't know you cared for your dad. It is worth it no matter how hard.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:13 am
Maui not sure I want a daughter like me, but yes I truly hope my son is able to help me if I ever need it. Thank you for the compliment.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:17 am
BSM you know there have been times I really did want to give up. Really that isn't even an option. I am proud of how well Mom is doing. They went from only a few years to more like 13 years, that is a change I can live with.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:19 am
Magnolia thank you so much, I don't hear that enough. Really thank you all you ladies for the high praise it brought a smile to my face this Monday morning.
Mar. 24, 2014 10:25 am
Hi Joey, I commend you on your care of your mom. Your mom is so lucky to have you. The hardest thing I ever went through was caring for my parents and going through what you are going through now. There were days when I would get really frustrated, but I would give anything now to have my parents back.
Mar. 24, 2014 10:34 am
Lela I hear you. Both Bill's parents are gone and boy do I miss his dad. He was a real great guy and funny too. I never met Bill's mom but it is his love for her that makes him so understanding of our life now. I thank God everyday for Bill because he is what helps me get through those days when you think you can't take no more. I am blessed of late there are more good days then bad.
Mar. 24, 2014 12:19 pm
What a wonderful daughter you are. I've always felt there's just something really special in relationships between mothers and daughters. As tough as it can be at times, appreciate every moment you have with her. So good to hear how her health as improved.
Mar. 24, 2014 1:13 pm
Thank you Lutzflcat, and even when I am cranky or upset I am more happy that she is here. The health improvement is a wonderful thing and now my challenge is to maintain it.
Mar. 24, 2014 8:00 pm
i love you joan. i remember when i brought my wife home. i was scared. i had so much to re-learn with her...hope, tolerance, patience and love. we only want the best for our loved one and to be questioned about your care can really lead to chasms in the family. i love you and wish your mother AND you the best.
Mar. 25, 2014 5:14 am
Joey, you have taken on a huge task, and you have done well. Congratulations on your mom's current state of health, which is directly related to the way you had to stand your ground about her diet. Love wears many faces, and even though you say you were not best friends, the love comes shining through your words. Well done!
Mar. 25, 2014 5:14 am
Love you right back gderr and if all goes right I will be telling you that in person in Sept.
Mar. 25, 2014 5:17 am
Thank you Bibi, yes there is love that is for sure. I can't be happier about her health. The PT trainer is most impressed with how well my 88 yr old Mom is doing.
Mar. 25, 2014 6:56 am
What a challenge you have faced. And done well! Your mom and your family are fortunate people.
Mar. 25, 2014 8:34 am
Congratulations on your success with your mom and her situation. Lovely that she's got such a dear friend and daughter.
Mar. 25, 2014 10:17 am
Remarkable story. Good work, dear. I know it's challenging but you have done so well. Hugs.
Mar. 25, 2014 10:30 am
Thank you. It is encouraging to hear that so again thank you.
Mar. 25, 2014 10:33 am
Elle, Lace, and Maggi that thank you is to all of you. I was a little fast on the post button. I don't think I have blogged any at all here since my Mom came here it is nice to get back at and chatting with you all.
Mar. 25, 2014 2:13 pm
Joey thank you for the heartwarming story. I always see you as the caring and heartwarming person that you are.
Mar. 25, 2014 2:33 pm
joan, let me know if ya will be driving or flying i'll make arrangements to pick ya up, or stay here. this is a seriously fun time/vacation. we DO have a blast! freak flag will be awarded.
Mar. 26, 2014 5:35 am
Your welcome bd. You flatter me, thank you.
Mar. 26, 2014 5:38 am
gderr driving I think not to sure yet. Also think Mom will be coming as well. Not sure about that but most likely because it is like 100.00 a day for someone to stay with her. That flag is MINE!
Mar. 26, 2014 1:39 pm
Hi, Joey, I have to commend you on the job you've done with your Mom. You say that you and your mother are like oil and water and there's a reason you live(d) so far from her. Can I ask you how you were able to do what you've done for her despite not getting along with her? My mother and I are also oil/water ... it is very difficult for me to do what needs to be done, although I do it, it is not with a generous heart. I would love to know how you care(d) for her.
Mar. 26, 2014 4:23 pm
Joey, I told you before that I've thought of you a million times ever since the first of the year when my sister and I began caring for my mom. I know exactly what you meant when you talked about how much she has improved when you took over her care. I know my mother would not have done as well had my sister and I not been preparing her meals and doing all we have. She had been eating less and less, yet we didn't realize it until she had her spinal fracture and we had to actually live with her. I'm so glad your mom has improved in health and cognitive ability too. I think of you often and wish you the very best as you care for her.
Mar. 26, 2014 7:14 pm
Max first let me say it is so nice to know there is some one like me out there. I created a group with a few TRUSTED friends to complain and Bitch about Mom and how hard it is to fit her in my home I figured out when I can leave the house and have some me time before Mom wakes up. I MAKE Bill give me a day off And most of all I force myself to focus on the good things about my mom. I hope this has helped.
Mar. 27, 2014 7:10 am
Paula I think of you as well, I enjoy seeing the tea cups every day. I know even with your sister to help taking care of your Mom is still not easy. You are a good women too.
Mar. 27, 2014 7:59 am
email me at
Mar. 27, 2014 11:28 am
hey joan, bring your mom! she will be among friends!! and from where ya are coming I'm on your way!!
Mar. 27, 2014 11:51 am
gderr I am more then sure she is coming with us. It is easier to get doggie care then Adult care.
Mar. 27, 2014 11:51 am
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Joey Joan

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Clarkston, Michigan, USA
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Hainesport, New Jersey, USA

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About Me
I am married I work part time in a flower shop. have 1 grandchild and 1 son.I like to cook,sew,make soap and I love the ocean.
My favorite things to cook
I love making fried foods,it is not so healthy for you but the flavor and juciness of fried food can't be beat.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Hands down has to be the Thanksgiving meal.The whole thing from the turkey to the pumpkin pie.
My cooking triumphs
Gravy! I am now the Queen of gravy but that wasn't always so.Lumpy was the least of my problems.For years I would buy the gravy in a jar,not any more I got determined and I mastered the art of gravy.
My cooking tragedies
Well I had many many gravy tragedies but I have had more baking bloopers then gravy.I can't seem to manage a cake from scratch,you can either use it as a clay brick or as saw dust on the floor,so I leave cake baking to others.
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