It is 2005 and there still is no room available for Mom in Assisted Living. My Sister just got news that her Cancer has spread to the brain. We talked and she feels so guilty that Mom is in the Nursing Home. She told her she would never have to live in one. But, that was taken out of her hands, and she still feels bad about it. So she will be going through all over Brain radiation.
Mom started to be interested a bit in her crocheting, and it was time for me to tell her that she was going to be Great Grandma again. One evening when I was visiting, I asked her if she had been crocheting and she said no, I asked why and she said because her hands hurt. Well then I said well you are going to have to start crocheting again as you are going to be Great Grandma to a baby boy this July. Mom was all smiles. I asked her if she wanted me to pick up some different yarn for the baby afghan and she said yes. I asked the color and she said blue. So off I went to get the blue yarn. When I returned I showed Mom the yarn and she smiled and said she liked the color. She pulled a skein of yarn out, picked up her crochet needle and started to make the chain that would start the baby Afghan. She was busy crocheting, and would make a mistake if I said something, so I told her I would come again to visit.
The next time I came to visit Mom had 1/4 of the baby afghan done already, her activities director told me that Mom was so proud of the afghan that she would take it to all of her activities and show everyone. I was so happy that she seemed to be more like herself again. Each time I came more of the afghan was done. What would have taken her normally 1 week to do, took her 4 months. But, that was OK, that was 4 months she was more like her old self.
Well , it sure became a very long winter for all of us. Mom was busy with the afghan , and she seemed glad to see me. My sister had to stay away due to her treatments and her immunity being way sown. That was suggested by her Doctors. So I visited Mom as much as I could. My sister did not want my Mom to know that she had more Cancer. So we said nothing. In the meantime, my cousin decided it was time to have a family reunion, as Mom was still aware of goings on, and My sister was just about done with her treatments. So the date was set for June. I asked Mom if she wanted to go to the Family Reunion and she said Yes, so we made arrangements to have my cousins husband pick Mom up at the nursing home with his van.
We all arrived to the Family Reunion, and were waiting for my Sister and my Mom to arrive. My sister got there first with her husband, son and grandchildren, and Mom arrived a short time later. The family reunion was in the basement of the large field house that they rented. So about 4 of the men had to carry Mom down the steps in her wheel chair. They sat her at the end of a long table near her cousins. I didn’t notice it right away, but, mom was just more sitting and staring. I think it was too much for her with the noise of the little ones running around, everybody talking and Karaoke being played.
I got Mom some dinner and of course got her favorites, today we could cheat a bit on her diabetic diet. I had made her German Potato Salad Recipe. My cousin Roasted a 35 pound home grown by her husband and herself. There were pasta salads, beans, burgers, hot dogs, a bit of everything. I brought Mom her plate and she ate everything. Relatives were stopping by to chat with Mom and she would just sit there holding her hands and smiling. My son went over to talk to Grandma, he was just chatting away, and Mom wasn’t saying anything, she just looked at him and smiled. I know this made him uncomfortable, cause he was running out of things to say. That is why to this day he will not go to the nursing home to visit her. Which is a shame. There was singing, pictures being taken, visiting, games being played, everyone was having a good time. But, it seemed as if Mom wasn’t quite with us that day. The nursing home had sent along her insulin, which my cousin had agreed to give Mom her shot at 4 p.m. We left early, but, we heard that Mom stayed till the end of the reunion. The nursing home said she slept well that evening, and her blood sugar was fine, even though I gave her some dessert. Now Mom and I would have something to chat about on my next visit.
Well we got good news that my sister was now in remission. Which was great news. So when I visited Mom I told her that my Sister was now in remission. You could see the relief on her face. I also had the pleasure of telling her that her Great Grandson was born. I took the picture that my son and his wife gave me of my Grandson and blew it up so Mom could see her Great Grandson. I asked her who that was, and she said that is little Zachary. His parents were going to come up to the nursing home and bring the baby about 3 weeks after he was born. Well, that never happened. My Mom has missed out on holding her Great Grandson.
It was time for a care planning meeting for my Mom again at the nursing home. To me these were so useless, as they never indicated how the Alzheimer’s was progressing. At this meeting the Head Nurse was rattling off her usual incontinence, etc., and then all of a sudden she said your Mother is doing well on her Parkinson’s medicine. I said my Mom was told she didn’t have Parkinson’s, and she said that she had just been diagnosed with it. And that Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are the worse to diseases to have together. This is why Mom was having more and more trouble walking, and she also stopped crocheting all together. We started seeing a decline in her condition once again.
Great news, Connie called me from Assisted Living, and said that 2 rooms were open and would it be OK to evaluate my Mom, I said sure. Then she said if your sister and your self would like to come and pick out her room that she would be at the Assisted Living Home around 2 p.m. the next day. I called my sister needless to say she was thrilled and so was I. Mom would finally be living where she wanted to be and my sister would no longer have to feel guilty anymore.
We arrived about 10 minutes early for our meeting, so Connie took us to view the 2 rooms that were available. We chose the one we thought would be best for Mom, we even rearranged furniture, so there would be furniture she could lean on when using the bathroom, as she was starting to walk a bit more without her walker. We got all the paper work filled out and everything was set to go. We just had to wait for the Counties COP program. We received a phone call the next day from Connie telling us, that State funding had been cut, and that nothing would be available for 6 months or more. This was truly disappointing, but, thank God we did not tell Mom about her room. So once again the waiting began.