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Oregon 2006 Jan

Oregon NewsFrom: Mary
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:02 PM
Hi,..an afterthought with my Oregon trip.......
I never realized how much Dad values his Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy stuffed dolls on the wooden swing. For a couple of mornings, I found them on the floor. What had happened.... is that Dad sometimes is up at night and walks here or there and doesn't realize that he's knocked Ann and Andy onto the floor. Since I was concerned about him falling over them while he's checking the thermostat or wandering around, I moved Ann and Andy to a different end table in the living room. Dad was still in bed when I did this and then I left to go and see Mom. When I returned home, Dad was in the shower. On the refrigerator was a note....""Where is Raggedy Ann and Andy?"" Then, later I found 3 messages on my cell phone asking me where Raggedy Ann and Andy were. (he wasn't sure that the second message was recorded so that is why there were 3 messages).. ......So, I showed him where I moved them and told him why I moved them. He told me that there's an interesting story behind the origin of Raggedy Ann and Andy and that he gave a speech about it. So, for future reference, please take very, very good care of his Raggedy Ann and Andy. He treasures them. I guess I need to look up the origin of Ann and Andy and learn more about them...
love, Mary
From: Mary
Subj: check out Applegate?
Hi, Diane, you asked about Oregonian jobs, I have one for you but first I wanted to give you the background. Margaret, this is a continuation of our conversation in the car while you drove me to the airport.
Background: About halfway through my Oregonian visit, I was concerned about how Mom's bathroom needs were not being met in a dignified fashion. I wrote briefly about it in the family email. I received an email back from one of my siblings saying that staff is overworked and underpaid and that they have 14 other people to take care of besides Mom and that we shouldn't expect the staff to be able to tend to her bathroom needs when the Mom had the urge to go because there's only 2 people on the floor and they need to take care of everyone else..............
From my visit in September, I knew that the private nursing home that Margaret and I toured had a similar staff/patient ratio (2 to 14) as Royale Gardens has. So, my concerns were squelched down as I figured this was how it is everywhere and we don't have any other choice and there's good and bad to each place and that's life.
But it still bothered me......when Mom would be sitting and she had to go to the bathroom and she didn't want to do it in her pants but she would because the help isn't always available when she needs it.......I believe that it affects the dignity of the person (maybe because I have laid in my bowel movements when I was paralyzed I can relate to what Mom is going through)
So, during the drive to the airport Margaret mentioned the Applegate nursing home. I had assumed that the staff/patient ratio would be the same as everywhere else. Margaret said that the staff/patient ratio is better and that Mom's bathroom needs could be better met there
So, Diane, I'd like you and Margaret to go and check out the Applegate place. If it might be workable, I'd be willing to write or chat with Dad about some of the down sides of Royale Gardens......usually I only told him the good about it when I was there.....
The bottom line for me is .....Mom deserves the best care that we can find for her!!! She deserves the BEST and we should do everything that we can to give her the ""BEST CARE"" possible even if it's a bit longer of a drive to go and see her.
Thanks for listening to me....
If Applegate is truly better and there's a spot for Mom I think that we could convince Dad to do what is best for Mom. She deserves the best care available.
love, Mary

From: Margaret
To: Diane
Dad looking forward to your visit--he put it on his calendar today!

From: Margaret
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 7:02 PM
went and visited with Mom today--she was a bit confused--and was afraid of the rain--staff in A wing was pleasant and casual--left her watching some of the residents attempting to play a game with Amanda!
love Margaret"

From: Margaret
Re: the folks
went and saw Mom after work today--she had one adavin this morning and I could certainly tell she was calmer---she was a bit confused and looked tired--but definitely less anxious than this past weekend--
got water and bananas for Dad--he wasn't feeling well-sores on leg--some swelling----hopes not to go to Selinger--thinks he can heal himself--with aloe vera and cream--has skin doctor appt next Wednesday--
Shelia is town--stopped by Kathy saw new baby Audrey--very cute and peaceful---the rest of the house very noisy--Evan, Shelby, Tyler and Joey!!!!
love and good night , Margaret

From: Margaret
Re: Gold Hill house
heather and I did a drive by of the house on foots creek--it was like Susan said--older but looked like it had potential--I did not like its location by the turn off road---that was my first impression--
other houses looked good that you sent website for--glad sherry is looking closer to us!!!!!!
see you soon--
Helen saw Mom last night--said she was getting a cold---in an okay way--not fearful--but not making much sense either---
love Margaret

From: Susan
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 2:58 PM
Subject: Re: Gold Hill house
boots. hope pictures came thru..... house is quaint and livable...older but cute... creek does flow thru property...a nice additional..... road is close to house but it has fence around and definitely worth a look.... inside house was quiet however you could hear outside traffic if outdoors...... q

From: Diane
To: Susan
Cc: Sherry yahoo ; Margaret; Kathy & Shelby
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 8:49 PM
Subject: RE: Gold Hill house
Q - got the pictures. The kitchen looks like pink cabinets? Is that just a reflection from the floor or?? Wood in living room looks appealing.
Seems like there's a few questionable areas and it feels better to drop this opportunity instead of forcing the timing...
But it opens doors of a different way to look in the future..found two other pieces in RR for sale (links below for MLS 5256813 and MLS 5258267)..will check out when I get there!
Hugs, Boots
p.s. Thanks Sue & Dave for getting the tour and giving us feedback.

From: Margaret Peterson
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 7:18 PM
Shelby and I went to see grandma after school today--stayed till dinner time--she wasn't feeling well , looked very tired, and was confused-- --has a sore throat and hoarse voice--, also complained about a headache--but in the next breath she said she was fine--she did enjoy Shelby’s company-as shell played with all the stuffed animals and knick knacks--nurse came and gave her some Tylenol and I asked Elizabeth to put her to bed early--she of course said sure!
Mom had a haircut last week and her hair looked very good--and of course nails very brightly polished, tooo---
love Margaret

From: Susan

From: Diane
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 12:00 PM
To: Susan, Margaret, Kathy
Subject: Diane’s arrival time
I get to Medford at 5:44pm sat Jan 28. I have mixed feelings about coming back but it will be grand to see you all again. Have apt Feb. 1 to spend the day with a realtor.
Just making plans with Bill...I'll be bringing up MANY oranges off my tree..so don't buy too many/any this week...
Hugs, Diane

From: Susan
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 8:07 PM
To: Diane
Pray tell what are these mixed feelings about...... q

From: Diane
To: Susan
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 8:24 PM
Am very content being in my own home with my own routine. I seem to be hibernating today and loving it. I don't want to see Mom and listen to her fears. I wish the future was revealed (not really)….IF (and when!) my house will sell, for how MUCH, where will we live, with or without sherry, where will she wind up, what compromises, where stand fast, etc. .. too much unknown so am focusing on comfort at home and am not ready to leave..which is fine since I'm not leaving today anyway. ..
Am sorting Tupperware/plastic junk today..after open house yesterday and today. More look-y loos then normal but no obvious potential buyer. Oh well..
Tomorrows another day..
Hugs, me

From Susan:
To Diane:
I can relate soooo.... for me there is never enough time at home doing all those things that need to be done and actually enjoying it....... I would love to be bored for a month..... Mom is far less fearful with the ativan... a bit too sleepy though... will ask them to cut back...... Dad is really really looking forward to your visit...I am their every other day at least and when I’m not he is calling asking me some issue of little importance concerning usually his health.. I have a sore...maybe you should call Dr. Selinger and make appointment...he is becoming doctor dependent..... however he does have minutes of chatting about TV shows and his issues but they are coming less so... that doesn't count the number of times Margaret stops by..... she makes short visits...not her cup of tea....on sat. we both ended up going to store for him and running into each other at Mom..... poor timing on our parts..... Margaret believe it or not I went to see Dad on sun... never thinking he would need a thing from the store,, silly me.... he had me run prior to coming home.... called today.... will go up tomorrow to see him and Mom.... work wed thus sun.... will be in med till fri. night and come home after work... will take sat prior to going to work.... so perhaps you and or Helen can do wed -fri....he needs a new stove.... Dave went up and check and told him.... didn't believe him so call in a maintenance man who told him the same thing.... so told him I would take him tomorrow he said no he'll wait for you..... yeppiiiieee....I of course did not argue.... so get you alone time in.... you will be busy and hopefully find a place here...... is it worth lowering the price...... interesting how most of us do not like having too many choices....... part of the personality test...... I work sat. so probably george Ann will pick you up....hope the sun shines soon...it is here today..... 'count your blessing if you want them to grow' ...love q

From: Mary
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 5:48 PM
To: Diane
Hi, Just a side note.....if you give Dad some computer lessons, you might want to clarify how to shut down a computer. He said that you said that all he has to do is to push the button on the computer screen. I said there are other steps that need to be done first (shutting down the hard drive etc). So, he definitely believes that all one has to do is push the button on the screen and then everything is shut off.
Enjoy your time being at home with your hubby!
Take care!
love, Mary

From: Diane
To: Mary
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 7:47 PM
I did tell him there were a few steps to shut the computer off but it's rather confusing (Bill thinks it's RIDICULOUS to press Start to start the process of shutting off.!!) I told Dad he could just shut off the monitor because the computer (hard drive) was set to automatically shut itself off after 2 hours (or whatever) of non use. Since his learning windows are so few and small, I thought wasting some electricity was worth the pleasure of him doing something more useful. I'll check the settings and make sure the computer is shutting itself off...or teach Dad the 'normal' way!
I did stop at the local jeweler. A similar Mother's ring would now cost over $500 and that includes cheap stones ($20 each). I've looked at thrift shops a few times just for any ring and didn't have any luck. I have a few rings I never wear so will bring them to Mom so she has something on her fingers ..at least for awhile!
Keep your ideas coming!!
I am enjoying my time at home with Bill and am NOT ready to get back up to Oregon. My attitude will adapt and adjust as the time draws closer but, for today, I don't want to go. Oh well... Back to being in NOW.
Luv ya, Diane

From Mary:
ah!!!! interesting....now I understand....since I've never done the automatic shut down after 2 hours, I didn't realize how he can just shut off the screen then.....ah....interesting.....I do agree that it's good to simplify and give him tiny bits of useful info....he can only absorb tiny bits at a time.....computers can be overwhelming!! Thanks for explaining this to me.
Thanks for checking on the rings....wow!!! that's a lot of money!!! I'll look in thrift stores also in the future.
Enjoy NOW and the future will take care of itself.
This is the Moment!
love, Mary

From Margaret:
Mom "just talked to Helen she visited Mom today--she still has a cold-although it moved from her throat to her nose--Helen said she was slumped over in her wheelchair in the TV room with other girls--when she got there--Helen did not think she looked well--buy she got her to sit up straight, put her coat on and took her out to the garden--we had sun this afternoon--a rare treat---Helen said it was warm enough out for Mom and they stayed for awhile--then went in and had some cranberry juice---
then Mom didn't want Helen to leave so she stayed through dinner---nurse said Mom is not eating welll-soo Helen stayed and encouraged and made sure she ate some--nurse said Mom would go to bed early because they knew she was not feeling welllll---Susan is visiting tomorrow and then Helen and I will finish the week out---
so yes Mom is getting older--she has good and bad days---
Helen said that robin said Mom went to a magic show today--which of course she doesn't remember---but at the Moment-I am sure she enjoyed some of it---
love Margaret

From: Margaret
saw Dad today--got him some fish, bananas, water and peach applesauce---
he already has a new list going for Susan--and then Diane---
his leg looks infected and sore--but he said he feels better today than yesterday---
love Margaret

From: Mom
Helen went and saw Mom early this afternoon--
Shelby and I went at 4 ish
I thought she looked awful-very confused, cold, anxious--
I asked Tasha the nurse for an adavin for her and she gave her one--she did not have any meds all day-Tasha said---
--we stayed for dinner--Mom was eating with her fingers!!!!!---I attempted to give her the spoon she wouldn’t take it---but she let me feed her---
she seemed more thirsty than previous visit---
she held onto my hand for lots of the visit--we walked--went to the extra room--went and had tea--watched some MASH---people watched--called and chatted with Carol---
looking forward to Diane and Carol’s visits--
love Margaret

From: Diane in Oregon 1/29 & 1/30
Here we go again.....
My flight was cancelled yesterday (Saturday) due to mechanical problems. I started doing my taxes and got to sleep in my own bed one more night. Today's flight went smoothly until I realized I was sitting at the wrong terminal in San Francisco and my flight was supposed to leave in ten minutes. The counter person sent a message that I was on the way from the remote terminal (they're phasing it out). Luckily the bus driver took me directly to the plane and I went running up the steps expecting a full plane. The lone stewardess was baffled and wondered how I got through security. All other passengers were being held inside because of a mechanical delay! My wonderful cell phone allowed me to call Margaret and stall her trip to Medford to pick me up. One of my suitcases was missing. The suitcase with oranges from my tree made it. My clothes are missing! Luckily I have another partial wardrobe here.
Margaret gave me a few things to add to the 'list' -- 'tis always a list of things to do no matter how many of us are being of service to the family group.
Dad was happy to go eat at JJ North (similar to Home Town) and catch up on family news. I can only eat veggies & more ssoooo slow and Dad suggested I go take a walk while he finished eating. The walk was refreshing but cold. I'll dig out my gloves and hat as soon as I get back to the house.
After a ten minute nap, I went to visit Mom. I found her sitting straight in her wheel chair holding Doris's hand and talking to her. She was happy to see me but I don't know if she really knew who I was. Mom's face looked thinner but relaxed. Her hair was curled and I like the new style. We got a cup of tea and visited with Marion (bulging eyes) and other ladies waiting for their dinner. Mom did mention at least 20 times that she wanted to go home but she also mentioned that she wanted to ride a horse (Gunsmoke was on). I stayed for dinner and watched her eat tarter sauce with her fingers. I dipped her fish in it but she licked the tarter sauce off it and put the fish back on her plate. She ate one bite of jello after I had a bite. She wouldn't even try the cole slaw. Amazingly that was more then Doris ate! Elizabeth and Mick were working and said it's quite normal there.
I left after 1 1/2 hours and went to my Al-Anon meeting.
Monday AM -- A real estate phone call woke me up so I went to Northwest Club and exercised. Then grocery shopping (Dad had rewrote the list last night so I could read it!). Breakfast of scrambled eggs/tofu and yogurt pancakes was devoured by both of us. yummy ...really! 'Tis 1:30pm now...time to go see Mom...
Mom was slumped a bit in her wheel chair and sitting in the dining room. There were four young children playing nicely in the same room - a nice distraction for the residents. Elizabeth says kids are there often especially around shift changes and after school. Mom drank a vanilla protein drink. Mom was in a clinging mood and not able to be distracted. I tried singing from the great song book (words of Mom's favorite songs). She kept wanting to go home. I tried different tactics -- sympathetic, understanding, detachment, anger, humor (I'll take you home again Agnes...instead of I'll take you home again Kathleen). We called Aunt Edie on the big phone in the lobby. The conversation was almost non-existent but it was good for me to hear that Uncle Eddie and good and bad days too. I'm always cheered when I hear Aunt Edie's voice and laugh. Mom & I got tea, got an adavin (anti-anxiety pill), walked the dining room hallway, looked out the garden windows, the front parlor, and happily visited with Robin (activities director and Susan's neighbor of 20 plus years). Robin is going to start doing some www.braingym.com activities with Mom. When Robin takes Mom to different events, she puts her near someone who won't mind having their hand help -- tightly at times. Robin reads 90% of Mom's mail to her and visits her most day near the end of her own lunch time.
Dad was eating his lunch when I returned around 5pm. He finished eating at 7:30pm and enjoyed being waited on again and having someone to talk with/to. I chopped broccoli and onions for him to go with his fish. Also made the potato/squash/leek soup which will last for about a week.
Computer is up and running again. Needed to uninstall EarthLink.
Tom -- what's your correct email?? Happy Chinese New Year -- the year of the dog.
Good night to all...Diane

From: Tom
Diane, thanks for your visits to mother and Dad.
Nice to know that mother is eating.
Sometimes changes in eating habits can be a sign of depression.
I understand that the crocheting is even beyond mother already. Poor woman.
Appreciate that you are there and able to be with them. Many thanks.

From: Tom
Diane, thanks for being with the folks.
Mother might like to slice broccoli/onion. if it can be arranged.
It is time to go.. peace, Tom

From: Diane
To: Tom
I did bring Mom scarves that Margaret made for me ...each needed knots at the end...it was beyond Mom....but I will think about food possibilities....today she let us feed her...wasn't interested in reaching out to pick up food or cards or her necklace or anything but she was calmer and at least she did eat...that's progress...
I changed email address books (mine and Dad's) to ur yahoo address.

1/31 Diane wrote:
I can't believe it's dark outside and the day is coming to an end! I woke up at 8 AM and went to the bathroom. I heard Dad calling for me and he said someone was knocking on the door. Susan was there to pick up me and said it was 10 AM. I had a hard time believing it but she was right! After quickly getting ready, we had a grand day together: shopping at Wal-Mart, YMCA yoga class, Sue to swim & me on treadmill, shower, bakery for goodies and visit Mom for tea and crumpets, then visit Dad for an hour too.
Mom was in her room and ? helper was in there talking with her.
Susan & I walked right up to her window and waved. Mom looked SO relaxed and gradually responded with a wave for us to come on in. We took Mom to the dining room where they were bowling (metal rails guided the ball from wheel chair height to the floor...much easier then 'normal' bowling) and enjoyed our bakery goodies. Mom wasn't interested in feeding herself but kept nibbling and drinking as we put things in front of her mouth. I was happy to see the results of anxiety pills and hear the story of how they were approved for Mom (no one should live in fear near the end of their life & Dad agreed). We tried to play cards but it didn't work. Mom was moving her feet as we slowly pushed her down the hall. I normally put the feet pegs on but see the advantage of her legs hanging down -- she uses them and gets some exercise. The nurses/helpers were changing shifts so we got to chat with many of them. Mom was content for us to leave since we were going to cook dinner (that's a
women's job!). She did call out for Margaret as we walked down the hallway!
Sue says Dad's infected leg is looking! g much better. He's on day seven of ten days of antibiotics ...the second time around. I think his leg looks ugly and am glad I didn't see it sooner. I'm glad he is improving...slow is better then nothing.
Dad & I enjoyed soup together. He's still eating salmon, saltines, soy pop, organic chocolate... his normal routine....with Mash & John Riley on TV.
I finally unpacked my suitcases and somewhat organized the bedroom.

Carol, Danny, Barbara, Uncle Gene -- are you getting this email?? I got a message that your emails had permanent fatal errors.
Tomorrow Helen will be visiting Mom and I'll be looking at real estate.
Good night to all.

RE: Oregon 1/31 "Diane,
So good to hear that mother is moving her legs...and recognized you and Susan.. and invited you both to come in.
I am sure she benefits from all the visits. It must help lift her spirits.
One of my thoughts on the real estate is getting a place big enough so, that when you are old
there can be a younger family living there .. and looking after you. (it is the Chinese way.)
But I don't know if it will work in this country... who knows..
Or the Irish way...of changing rooms into a B&B and saving them until later.
Any way, I wish you well with your Real Estate search.

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