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The MAD Life: Episode 28

So this is how perimenopause is going: I just joined 15 groups on facebook about it. The migraine and dementia groups have helped a lot. Over time, I may add or remove groups as I learn which help most.

I finished listening to What Fresh Hell Is This by Heather Corinna (they/them). It’s a fantastic book, and I’m anxiously awaiting my paper copy. They provided too many great tips and resources to even try to remember to write down when I parked.

In the meantime, I realized I’ve joined groups in the past that have been greatly beneficial. Now, we shall see. If you’re going down this path, and it’s particularly NOT fun, I’d love to chat.

Moral of the story: Seek help! Find resources. Get information. Join support groups of any kind – in person, video chats, facebook, email … whatever. Don’t go it alone. You’re never alone. Someone else is suffering too. When two or more can relate together, it divides the pain.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 27

MAD now stands for Mischievous Adventures Daily. Why? Because it’s no longer just migraines and Alzheimer’s disease. Nope! There’s SO much more.

This morning some of the Bourner family descendants gathered for breakfast. We all wished more had joined, but we were glad for those we had with us. We talked, laughed, ate, and enjoyed each other. It is such a blessing to gather for the first time with this group since COVID started.

This week, I had a similar experience with colleagues. We gathered for the first time in person as a small group. We also wished more were with us, but we enjoyed everyone who was present. I had not seen my new supervisor in person since March 2020 (and she wasn’t my supervisor then). What a joy to hug each other!

Now that things are going back to normal-ish. I’m finding I am trying NOT to become overbooked. I need to select what I can both handle AND brings me joy AND doesn’t overwhelm my schedule. That’s not easy, and I am sad that I sometimes disappoint others. Yet this is life, and we all have these moments. My family and friends have these times too. We must give each other grace.

I was doing far too much pre-COVID. COVID put the breaks on my life in a way that I didn’t know I needed. I NEED down time. I NEED rest. I NEED time sitting and staring outside with a cat by my side. I NEED to sit under the little shelter outside in my antique yard chair in the dark of night.

As much as it is wonderful to be together again, it is also important to remember self-care. If you’re like me, and you NEED time alone or at least not out of the house, do it. Claim it. Do what you need to do to care for yourself.

Now that I am in deep with perimenopause (better known as menopause (and shorter to spell and say)), it is more important than before to be protective of my time alone. With symptoms of menopause, I am sometimes barely holding on:

  • Hot (not) flashes (they are 90% of my waking hours)
  • Chills with shivers in the middle of the night
  • Vivid nightmares and dreams
  • Crying over next to nothing
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • UTI’s
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased depression
  • Increased IBS episodes

And that’s JUST the menopause … NOT the migraines, broken back, arthritis, and keeping an eye on my mom in memory care.

We all have something like this going on in our lives from time to time. This is normal. The hope is that these things will be short-lived and that our family and friends are supportive. Our response to these normal life happenings is what makes or breaks us. I try to make it with humor. Whatever helps you make it (without harming others), do it!

Moral of the story: Life is complicated. Sometimes our bodies make life more complicated. As Pastor Amee says, “Give yourself grace”.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 26

Happy Holidays!

I sent out my 2021 Christmas cards last week. It included mom’s new address as of May 28, 2021. She’s been at Heritage one year now.

Two women of a certain age (numerous decades) are sitting at a table with a red table covering, with plates of lunch in front of them, wearing sunglasses, and smiling as I take their photo.
Jean and Ilene, sitting in the sun.

It also included that I’m not able to do birthday & anniversary cards this year. I just can’t. I actually missed November & December of 2021 too. My ducks are not only unable to get in a row: their feathers are too fluffy or falling out, their feet are two sizes too big or too small, and some are nearsighted while others are farsighted.

A row of 9 ducks crossing the street. They are all facing left, and 2 of them are next to each other near the end of the row of ducks. Two have already waddled up onto the grass before the sidewalk.
These are SO NOT my ducks! It is what I hope for my ducks to become.

This blog series called MAD is suppose to stand for Migraines and Alzheimer Disease … but a few other things are popping up for me: IBS, Menopause (with many of it’s gloriously frustrating indicators), a broken back, and pain management. Maybe MAD could stand for something else. NOT Mutually Assured Destruction. Oye! How about Mischievous Adventures Daily? (That took me an hour to figure out!)

Well, that’s enough for me today.

Moral of the Story: Quit when you need to quit. Keeping on will just make messes … everywhere … at least for me. When enough is enough, go home to the cats … or walk out of the home office and sit with the cats. Relax, breathe, let your shoulders down.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Today was a God is Good Thing!

Today was a God is Good Thing!

Last night, my modem died … because my kitty Joy got her head stuck in a glass of water and splashed it everywhere when she got it off … including all over my modem. Hence: dead modem and wet cat. No one was happy, and she didn’t appreciate my efforts to dry her off with a towel. Then it was a long time with Spectrum/Charter to help them realize that a dead modem is a dead modem and needs replacing. First thing this morning, I went to the local store to make the trade from dead to living.

Joy, not wet. She’s my black/gray tiger kitty with lovely green eyes.

On the way home, I stopped at McDonald’s for a breakfast treat, since I was in a foul mood and hoped it would cheer me. It REALLY cheered me because the wonderful person who handed me the sausage biscuit was non other than Rayna! We went to church camp together umpteen years ago.

Seeing her instantly cheered me! I adore and respect her, and it did my heart good to see her. All of my frustration immediately disappeared, and I felt joy at seeing a kind soul.

When I got home, I had to call a number to get the modem hooked up. I was told a 6 minute wait, but it was only 2. Then the person made the change right away, and I was back on the internet in under 3 minutes!

Extra phew, because I had a client appointment in 12 minutes. I didn’t want to miss that client meeting because she helps get BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) books into the community. She’s a sweetheart, and I am always inspired when speaking with her.

Today was a God is Good Thing!

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 25

Dear Lord of Love,

Might the day slow down? Perhaps the remainder will be calm, clean, and careful? A little less stress?

It all began last night when…

11:00 p.m. my eldest kitty got sick on my bed. Not urp, but poo. Sick poo. I cleaned as best I could and put it all in the laundry. Then I cuddles and cooed to my kitty, hoping she’d feel better.

Joy on a cushion under a desk.

1:00 a.m. the phone rang. No, it’s never good after midnight. But it wasn’t horrible either. Mom had fallen and needed to go to the ER for the 2nd time in a month. A couple of weeks ago she fell and cut open her finger. She’s wandering her room in the wee hours when she falls.

The same was happening at home … but I didn’t always hear her right away. Fortunately, they check on each person often throughout the day and night, so they know quickly. This time, she fell and hurt her neck. Fortunately, it’s just a sprain and no other injuries.

Jean/Mom in blue coat and white fuzzy hat

5:00 a.m. the ER Nurse called asking me to pick her up. I said no, that would be Heritage. They said, we know, but she’s insisting it’s you. Since I am in town, able to go, not sick, and such, I went.

8:00 a.m. I washed all of my bedding for a second time. It looked and smelled fine … but I just couldn’t yet. Another round won’t hurt it any.

9:00 a.m. work meeting. Phew! Nothing wrong here. This is a weekly team meeting, and it’s often short. I am blessed beyond measure to have a fantastic program manager and delightful colleagues.

10:30 a.m. finally enjoying the breakfast of champions! Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. There’s not much on their menu I like, but they do okey dokey on beverages.

Shamrock Shake on Desk by Window

Lord of Love, thank you for already turning the day around. Thank you for being in my life and guiding this errant squirrel who can’t walk in a straight line to save her own life.

Amen!!!

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 24

Alzheimer’s sucks.

  • It’s so random. I try to figure out where she is in time by the people she refers to. Sometimes she’s here today; other times, she’s in the 1950’s. The decade she is currently living in can change in a single visit. It’s wack-a-mole.
  • In the last few weeks, my mom calls more and more asking why her mom isn’t listed on her phone for her to call. Her mom passed on several decades ago. Usually I say something like, “I haven’t spoken to her in a long time”, and mom figures out she’s gone. This makes her sad, but not inconsolable or too upset, and changing the subject helps … or talking about how awesome her mom was. (Truly, her mom was the best of the best.)
  • Sometimes, after speaking to me for a while on the phone, she forgets who she is talking with. I get that, since there’s no visual clue.
  • Yesterday was the first time she forgot me in person. But then I got to thinking, she may not have known me at all. When I arrived, they said, “Jean, your daughter Kim is here.” It isn’t bothering me because I keep hearing about this from the far too, too, too many who have already walked this path. Those who went before us on this journey are a great help in sharing their knowledge.
  • Mom’s always been kind to those she doesn’t know well, so that’s a plus. She’s usually kind to me, but as her closest family member, I often get the brunt of all things that concern her in any way … and she can go from sweet to angry in a millisecond … and this is not new to Alzheimer’s … it’s just who she has always been with any of us descendants.
  • Whether her ability to remember me is disconcerting to me or not, mom was very happy to go for a drive. She has always liked that. She was happy to go out even if we didn’t stop anywhere. Whether she knows me or not is not the priority. Whether she is happy or not is the priority, and the goal is for her to enjoy whatever time she has left.
  • Any which way, we went for an hour drive to determine her stamina since she’s had COVID. She’s weak for sure. The cough seems to come and go. She’s also tired and her tummy is often upset. For now, I’ll just take her for drives to get out. I don’t want to wear her down and cause a relapse.
  • Oh! Visiting hours have opened up. One still must wear a mask and have a recent negative COVID test. Otherwise, visitors are welcome most any time! Mom loves visitors. She’s a social being, and it’s not whether she remembers you are not (most of the time she’ll figure it out), but it’s about enjoying her while she’s here.
 
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Posted by on November 3, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 23

Mom is feeling better. Which means she’s more bored than ever because they’re still social distancing. Although she has many people to call, she just isn’t doing it. If you have a moment, please give her a call and/or send a card. Please let me know if you need the number or address.

Sleeping Beauties: Eileen, Beth, & Jean (before mom got COVID).

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 22

Well, it’s going around again. My mom has COVID, as do several of her fellow residents at Amber Place. The good news is that they’re all vaccinated, and they have mild cases.

Mom sounds stuffy and thinks she just has a cold. Other times she remembers that they told her it was COVID.

Mostly, she’s bored. Phone calls and cards are greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you’d like her phone number and/or mailing address.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

The MAD Life: Episode 21

Please keep my mom, Jean, in your prayers. She does not have COVID at this point, but 4 of her fellow residents at Amber Place do. All residents are now confined to their rooms and the staff have increased the PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) that they wear.

Normally, all are permitted to gather together for meals, games, walks, movies, outings, and sitting in the sun in their garden. Since COVID is now present in their home, they must each stay in their rooms. Mom could really use LOTS of phone calls and mail to help with this. I’ll be taking picking up the newspaper for her each day it is printed and oodles of magazines. She isn’t into crafts, and not so much into crosswords and such. Sometimes she’ll color, but not often. She enjoys reading your letters and short articles in magazines and the newspapers. She loves short jokes and updates on family and friends.

Anything you think of to help her pass the time would be greatly appreciated. It’s only been a day since they’ve been confined to their rooms, but she’s already bored silly. She is use to engaging with her fellow residents, and she has made good friends with two of the women. She’s missing their companionship very much.

Please keep all residents and staff of Amber Place in your heart and prayers. They all have their vaccines, but this does not preclude them from getting COVID. Hopefully, their cases will remain light. However, these precautions mean that the staff must now deliver all of their meals individually to their rooms, plus any snacks and such. Their workload just quadrupled to say the least.

Your prayers, phone calls to Jean, and any mail or letters to Jean are MOST appreciated!

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

Silly Checklist Title

This is silly!

The things to be done soon can be put in a sticky sheet, because there are only 1 or 2. There are too many lines for this title.

Plus, I like to include things I’ve already done so I can get started on my checkmarks.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

 
 
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