Tag Archives: caregiver

The Rest

24 Mar

I can’t believe how tired I am. I go back to work on Monday and I am looking forward to it. But some down-time would be great. Yesterday was a busy day. It was our last visit to the hospital. Mom had blood work at 7:00am, a CT scan at 7:30, breakfast and then Physio at 10:00. I tried to get the running  around done while she was doing part of her physio so I got my exercise, running back to the parking garage, to the parking office (the other side of the hospital from the garage), up to physio, back to the parking office, to the pharmacy and then back to physio. Crazy! Then learn all Mom’s exercises for home with her. Afterwards we started saying our good-byes. There was some wonderful people in the transplant program, friends we had made over the last six weeks. Only those who have gone through this process can understand just how easily friendships are made as you cheer each other on.

After we left the hospital, we headed back to the apartment to pack up. It is scary how much stuff we accumulated in the last month! Of course it had snowed overnight over 5 inches so packing things out to my Escape was a little more interesting. I managed to fit everything in, including my mom’s chair! I cleaned, vacumned and tidied up. By the time we were ready to leave, I wanted a nap!

I will almost, but not quite, miss these places. The hospital was a busy, but not impersonal place full of caring people. The little apartment was our respite even when it started to feel closed in. It was an experience that we didn’t really expect but one I won’t ever forget.

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The Home Stretch

22 Mar

We got permission yesterday from the doctors and the transplant team to go home at the end of the week! This has been a 6 week journey to this point and we are down to the home stretch. And its a good thing!

I am a fairly solitary person. To get some alone time, I have been staying up late. This doesn’t work all that well as I am a morning person and don’t sleep past 6 am! As well most of Mom’s appointments are early so we head out at 6:30!  Yesterday, I actually left Mom alone at the apartment and went and visited a friend. I played music as loud as I wanted in the car!

Even Mom remarked today that its a good thing that we’re going home as we are getting on each other’s nerves!

I think this is a part of caregiving that doesn’t get enough attention. I love my mom so very much, but being with her 24-7 is another thing!

Baby Steps

13 Mar

After a weekend away from taking care of Mom, which was supposed to be a rest (ha, ha), I came back to trade places with Dad this morning. I had planned on coming back in last night but spend a 13 hour day working at my part-time job and was too exhausted to drive. This meant Dad had to take Mom for her morning appointments.

Dad hadn’t done this yet. They forgot the “binder”. The “binder” is Mom’s transplant binder with all her information, medication, appointments and so on. So when they got to the hospital, Dad had to return to the apartment for binder! Then later Mom didn’t feel well and had to forgo most of her physio-therapy.

It was a bit of a set-back but after a rest, Mom was able to eat some of the homemade soup I had put together.We went for a short walk and after coming back Mom had another little bit of soup. Later, to relieve the boredom, we went the check out the local VV shoppe! (Value Village) And when we came back with our treasures, Mom had a bit more soup! Probably the most Mom has ate since the transplant!

Homemade Chicken Rice Soup (Gluten Free)

Leftover roast chicken (meat from the bones and chopped)

1 cup (or so) chopped celery

1 cup (or so) chopped carrots

1/2 cup (you got it, or so) chopped onions  (*These three ingredients are the base of most soups  and in chef speak, are called Mirepoux)

Water to cover.

Simmer or toss in a crockpot on high. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low on crockpot. Add:

whatever leftover vegetables are in fridge (mine had green beans)

1/2 cup raw rice or 1 cup cooked rice (yup, leftovers from my fridge.

Salt and pepper to taste, a bit of Mrs. Dash.

1 cup more water.

Leave to simmer in crockpot for another hour. Serve with gluten-free toast.

Shake

2 Mar

Mom’s medication list is three pages long! One of the anti-rejection drugs has a side effect of tremors. Mom is a little frustrated with this, understandably. She has difficulty speaking clearly and getting a spoon to her mouth with most of the food on it is nearly impossible. We are hoping this calms down fairly soon.

I really had to think to see the good side of this, as I have been doing for all the little things I’ve complained about! But I did find the good side. Mom and I ended up doing the paper’s crossword together as she wasn’t able to write the letters in and I wasn’t able to come even close to the right answers! (I am a suduko player!) So we had some fun doing this together. The circle-a-word was fun too!

It takes some effort to seeing a good side of the hard things, but it is worth it in the end. I was even able to do that today when I was given a ticket! I had forgotten to renew my driver’s license. So today I was pulled over. As the officer gave me the ticket I thanked him and told him that I was glad he had given me the ticket. He was a little puzzled so I explained that if I had been stopped in the city instead, my car would probably have been towed. As it was, I had to walk three blocks to the registry office and renew my license and of course, pay the fine. But just the fine, not a tow bill or impound bill on top of that. Thank God for the good side!

Jump!

29 Feb

Mom is short. Five feet is stretching it. She is also a tiny lady. Before surgery she was doing really well at 107 . This is the reason she received the liver that she as others were apparently ahead of  her on the list but the liver was too small for anyone else.   It was hard to sit in the ICU waiting room and hear about the others who were waiting. One man whose adult son had liver failure from a tylenol overdose, was very upset when he heard that Mom had gotten a transplant before his son. I did explain about the size difference, but I doubt that it made him feel any better. This was a parent with a child in a coma. Nothing I said would have helped. 

Being tiny also has some disadvantages.  She has to take a little jump to get back into her hospital bed.  She manages that fairly well now, but the first  times, everyone was trying to help her! The nurses have apologised because they weren`t able to lower the bed more! But we will take the little disadvantages. Thank God for the small things!