Any time is a good time for cake…

Do you remember reading on this blog about Jack's fascination with YouTube cake-making videos? Well, he decided that I needed a princess cake for my birthday. We didn't have time to have it on my actual birthday which was fine. It was really nice to have it tonight.

Lorna and the kids got the body of the Princess Castle Cake done today. They brought it here to finish…

PrincessCake-01 copy

Jack helped…

PrincessCake-02 copy

Elanor helped…

PrincessCake-03 copy

Jack especially liked embellishing with jelly beans…

PrincessCake-04 copy

Isn't it pretty!

PrincessCake-05 copy

And it was very tasty!. It's all gluten-free. That doesn't make it calorie free but really, one piece of cake can't be so bad for you! That, and the piece I've put back for tomorrow. I can resist a lot of things, but not cake. I was glad Lorna and Chris took the bulk of it home with them – otherwise my pants might not fit on Monday.

PrincessCake-06 copy

Elanor ate an icing and sugar covered cone. She was finished before any of the rest of us.

PrincessCake-07 copy

Just when things were looking up…

On the plus side, my Mom is doing better. She’s more coherent. She likes Bellevue and her roommate. She’s also sounding happy about the possibility of moving to Sherman.

Now for the downside. On Tuesday evening we ended up taking my sister to the emergency room. She ended up (6 hours later) in ICU. As much as she wants it to be true that she can take care of herself, when mom isn’t there to help, bad things happen.

It’s not like I ignored her on the days I was back in Texas. I called, she said she was fine. She didn’t sound all that fine but she’s an adult and she doesn’t want me to be her keeper so I went with what she said. By the time Steve and I really figured out that she was no where near fine it was almost too late. At one point her blood pressure was 39/18. Honestly, I didn’t know you could be alive and have blood pressure that low.

She may be out of ICU in a day or two. Then she’ll probably be in a regular room. Her doctor intends for her to going to a nursing home. I’m not sure she’ll agree to that if she’s coherent and strong enough to walk out.

I don’t know how this is all going to work out. Mom is not going to be able to play the role in my sister’s life that she did before her surgery. I’ll do what everyone does in this sort of situation – the best I can. And I’ll hope that’s good enough.

Update from OKC…

image from https://pieceocakequilts.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/6efe8-6a011570df09d5970c0148c8009416970c-pi.jpg

I sincerely appreciate all the comments on yesterday’s post. Steve and I did some quick research. My neighbor, Joan, also suggested I call mom’s church and that was a good idea. They were able to put me in touch with a nurse that works with Catholic Charities here. Between that contact, the social workers at the hospital, and the wonderful physical therapist we were able to quickly narrow it down to Bellevue Nursing and Rehab center (http://www.bellevueokc.com/index.htm)

We visited and it’s a bustling place. Happy atmosphere, not depressing. It doesn’t smell! It’s been owned by the same family since the 50s and the staff turnover is not high. The rehab facilities look good. I won’t worry when we drive away.

Mom will be sharing a room and that’s a good thing. I hope she likes her roommate but if she doesn’t perhaps that will provide more motivation to get better.

Amazingly enough mom sort of wanted to talk about plans form the future so I brought up the notion of her and my sister moving to Sherman, where we live. She seems ready to sell the house. It would be really wonderful if that idea takes root in her mind! Things are better today than yesterday.

Sent from my iPad

Suggestions would be appreciated…

I just got a call and, while mom is doing better, she's going to need to go to a skilled nursing home. She's less mentally fuzzy but she is so tired she can't stay awake long enough for regular rehab. And she is in no postition to find her own skilled nursing home. That means I'm going to be doing the choosing.

She has Medicare and a Blue Cross policy so she should be good for at least 20 days. I'm going to Oklahoma City tomorrow morning to start looking at the possible choices. Any recommendations? What should I look for?

Here's Mom and Dad in better days…

Dad&mom-in-kitchen

Things are looking up!

At least things were much better when I left the hospital at 2:30 this afternoon. Mom is still confused and really tired, but she isn’t crazy (and I say that in the nicest possible way). Oh happy day!

My mom and my sister, Christy, live together. They both love mugs. It must be genetic because I myself have quite a collection. This is one of mom’s oldest mugs and I really, really, really want to make off with it. But I won’t. It was part of a set but it’s the only one left. I remember it from my youth. There are no markings on it but I do believe it’s one of those classic Nordic designs that have come back again. It would make a good appliqué pattern!

image from https://pieceocakequilts.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/ebd22-6a011570df09d5970c0147e1d45f7d970b-pi.jpg

My father-in-law got the real Alzheimer’s diagnosis today. One person in my family universe starts to find their mind, another is loosing theirs. It’s funny to think that this mug will be around longer than my mom and I will always think of her when I see it (because surely she will will it to me:-))

That’s what I hope happens with my quilts. They make me so very happy as I make them, I love sharing them, and someday they will be what makes people remember me. Is that why you quilt?

Sent from my iPad

Not black and white…

image from https://pieceocakequilts.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/f15a3-6a011570df09d5970c0148c7ca7722970c-pi.jpg

Well. I spent the last 7 nights in the hospital with mom. Not tonight. It’s not that she’s all the way better. In fact, last night was maybe the most difficult night to date. Mom is not herself, she may be making sense to her, but not to anyone else. And there was some screaming for help – which, as awful as it was, also offered a tiny bit of comic relief. I had not seen that many nurses run to her room to date.

Mom’s doctor and many of the nurses are hopeful. They have taken off all the monitors and removed the catheter which ought to calm her down. She’s eating. She’s tolerating physical therapy. They are altering her meds and the doctor thinks that as her sodium levels get to normal she’ll be back to herself. If they are hopeful, I will be too.

My sister, who has spent time herself in a hospital bed in the last few years, says now is the time to let her be on her own with the professionals, at least overnight. Steve agreed, and I have to say I agree as well. As I did what I could last night I realized that she might honestly do better with caring professionals. So I am sleeping at the house tonight instead of in the hospital recliner and I have to say it is a major relief.

I had time to take a walk this afternoon. Mom and my sister live 1/2 mile from Penn Square (http://www.simon.com/mall/?id=811), a really nice shopping mall in OKC. So I walked outside and inside! I spent my $20 birthday money on this wonderful silk scarf that I found on sale (Celia, if you are reading this it was 50% off, be proud that I hunted for it :-).

Mom’s condition is not black or white – it’s not that she’s great or she’s not. It’s more shades of gray. Her back is healing well, her systems are functioning, her mind is likely to return to normal. But right now things are rocky. I’m going to focus on the positive and look to tomorrow to being a better day.

Sent from my iPad

Update from OKC…

My mom is recovering from her back surgery, but it's slow. She is 78 and the surgery took 8 hours (3 more than they thought it would). At 78 a person recovers from that sort of thing much more slowly. She has been incoherent, a lot. She has had fluid retention in her lungs – maybe pneumonia, maybe not. She had hoped for the best case scenario (2 days and then home) but she's gotten many days in the hospital that will be followed by rehab. Amazingly enough, her back is the least of her problems.
For my part, it has meant many hours in the hospital. For the first few days I was there 22 hours a day. Luckily Steve has been able to join us so I have the overnight 12 hours, he has the early part of the day and my sister has the afternoon. I don't function well without sleep. Some nights it's good and mom and I get to sleep and other nights nobody sleeps. but with Steve here I can catch up in the daytime. (This is why having babies is better when you are young!)
No pretty pictures with this post. I now have an even greater appreciation for nurses and nurse assistants who do their best and are short staffed. I know that if it is at all possible you really do have to stay with a loved one in the hospital at all times. That's just the way it is.
Mom may get to go to rehab but it will be Thursday or Friday. I'm not even going to linger on the thought that it could happen Wednesday. I may get to go home for at least a while then and I will rejoice in the familiar surroundings that I usually take for granted.
My laptop has decided to act up this week and needs to be sent in for repair – but it did it at the best time! My AppleCare Protection runs out January 30 so it's still covered. Amazing luck! I am now working solely on my iPad,and I love it even more. See – even at the most trying of times good things can happen.