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Caring for Two

Read the blogs of those who care for two carees.

My Caregiver Business Card

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Recently I  wrote about creating my own, Caregiver Cards, a business cards for caregivers. I wanted the front contain my contact information and the back, Mom’s medication. The amount of medications Mom is on would not fit on the back of a standard business card, even if I went vertical or had the font size at a 4. So I kept the contact information and then on the back as you can see I added ... Read More »

When Your Caree Doesn’t Act Like your Caree

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Since her recent hospitalization and current stay in a skilled nursing facility (SNF), Mom has given us a lesson in Hallucinations 101. Some of her hallucinations include: Her pastor took her to a church auditorium, where children in white sang to her.  As she put it, “They were angelic. The nurses were walking like penguins. Aliens visited to take my younger brother (Jimmy) and they informed Mom before hand. Mom thought I was in the ... Read More »

Update of 4/10/14

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Thursday: On waking the air temperature was 35 and wind chill 27 F and light rain. Regular cares today. Temperature got up to 43 F. Friday: On waking the air temperature was 35 F and wind chill was 26 F it was snowing and foggy with temperature falling. Chiropractor, dialysis, pharmacy, and laundry today. Mom started cramping before dialysis today and took her meds for that. For some reason they upset her stomach today and ... Read More »

Mom: “The Woman Allergic to All Pain Meds”

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As a child, Mom, the oldest of seven, contracted rheumatic fever which locked one of her heart valves at 10% open. As a result, Mom had dual heart valve replacement surgery. She is allergic to pretty much every pain medication as well as their class of medication, including Dillaudid, Percocet, Microdantin, Ampicillin and Penicillin. As of her heart valve replacement about two years  agom the only medications they found she could take for pain was Tramadol and morphine. Before last week’s surgery, ... Read More »

Tramadol, Ultram, Morphine or a Stroke?

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Tramadol, Ultram, Morphine or a Stroke (TUMS)? Which one is causing my sweet, caring, thoughtful mom to act this way? Mom had her surgery just last Tuesday (April 1) and the person she is today is no April Fool’s Day Joke and is at time hard to stomach. After the surgery, the doctors started Mom on Tramadol and morphine for her pain control. After only a day we noticed that Mom was slurring her words, ... Read More »

The Queen and the Grape, Part III

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My brother Mark graciously offered to come up from San Francisco today to sit with Mom and be the texting pipeline to Trish (wife), Susie (Mom’s sister) and Jimmy (other brother) so that I could take the day and work on the kinks in my back, get some work done for work. I agreed and jumped at the offer. He knows I am persistent in getting text messages out to the collective  when I receive ... Read More »

The Queen and the Grape, Part II

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It takes the surgery center more than four hours to locate a room for Mom.  In a hospital with more than 300 beds, you would think they would have rooms open for patients coming out from surgery rather than having them wait in the surgical recovery center. Mom settles into a pretty nice corner room and a view of the hospital wing next door. But with a room comes the in-take, vitals every three hours, ... Read More »

The Queen and The Grape

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This story is not fiction and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent. April 1, 2014, April Fools Day. I wake up to three calls on my cell which came in between 2:03 a.m. and 2:21 a.m. That’s not normal. The first thing that went through my head is “Mom.”  Sure enough, I call to retrieve my voice mails. They are from a nurse at Sutter Roseville Medical Center; Mom was taken ... Read More »

Update of 4/2/14

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Thursday: After posting received the new dry skin lotion for Mom’s legs. Also received a call that Mom’s new wheelchair is approved and being ordered and we can pick up on Friday afternoon. My friend also received a call today that he will have someone new tomorrow as the person that left the mess has been removed from his account. They also informed him that his Wednesday person will also be a new person because ... Read More »

Update of the AM of 3/27/14

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Thursday: On waking up the air temp was 23 F with wind chill of 21 F and fog with frost on the windshield. Welcome to spring. Fasting lab work for Mom today (Lipid Profile). Met with my friend’s MCO care team and I may be getting more hours as I have been having to do some of the cleaning on the weekend that the agency that provides his weekday care has not been doing due ... Read More »

Mom’s Secret Decoder Ring

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It’s the only answer. Mom has to have a secret decoder ring somewhere. When I was younger, you could order a real working secret decoder ring on the back of comics and MAD Magazine .25 cents. No, you could not get the secrets codes to the United States weapons arsenal. Lately, Mom has been, for lack of a better way of putting it, keeping health related information from everyone. Think about it this way. She made ... Read More »

Update 3/19/14

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Friday: On wakening up the air temperature was 29 F and wind chill was 13 F. Chiropractor, dialysis, and laundry today. I also received a call from Mom’s care manager that a neighbor of my friend is in the hospital and needed some things from her apartment. The neighbor asked if I would take her on as a short-term client as the company that provides her regular cares will not do anything when they are ... Read More »

Yet Another Update

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I have been off-line for a few days with a minor stomach bug and just yesterday felt up to taking mom to her cardiologist and pacemaker check-up appointments at Travis AFB, a 105-minute trip which includes picking her up. Last night I had a friendly neighborhood virus attack my PC which caused a complete “CRASH” and required a full MS Recovery and reload of all programs. Recently Mom has had some issues with her depression. The medications prescribed were doing ... Read More »

Two-Week Update of 3/13/14

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Friday: On wakening up the air temperature was -10 F and wind chill -16 F and snowing. Chiropractor, dialysis, and laundry today. Saturday: On wakening up the air temperature was +4 F and wind chill -11 F. Normal cares today after the special food giveaway that was rescheduled for today. Sunday: On wakening up the air temperature was -9 F and wind chill -24 F. Normal cares today. We made homemade beef stew. Monday: On ... Read More »

Smokey’s Gone

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Hey everyone. Yes, it’s been a while. And a long hard road. My Smokey died Jan 25th this year at the hospital. His body just couldn’t take anymore and his heart gave out. He wanted to fight so badly. I miss him so very much. Seems as though things are calming, but I am still in a mode of shock, anger, lonely, tearful. I won’t need to blog for two anymore. I still have his ... Read More »

Three Pounds Overnight Or Six Pounds in a Week

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Water everywhere and not a drop to drink is an appropriate title for this blog. I had coffee with my mother who suffers from heart issues (COPD), edema (excess fluid in the body) and several other medical issues. During our get-together she mentioned that during the past several days she added four pounds to her weight. Just before her double heart valve replacement surgery, Mom’s excess fluid pressed on the bottom of her lungs and ... Read More »

The Storm Before the Calm, I Hope

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If I’m getting this right, we are at the, “Storm Before the Calm, I Hope.” In the past few months, Robert’s coughing, wheezing and seizures have seem to be getting out of control. Not saying we can’t control it. Most of you know mine and Trish’s attitude toward control. There is nothing I can think of that between us over the seventeen years that we have been unable to control. Things may get out of ... Read More »

Update of 2/27/14

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Thursday: On wakening up the air temperature was +35 F and wind chill +28 F and raining. Weather expected to deteriorate to freezing rain then snow so we made the decision that we would stay in today and we did not even get out of our pajamas. Friday: On wakening up the air temperature was +6 F and wind chill -5 F. We have ice-covered roads today but chiropractor, dialysis, pharmacy and laundry happen today. ... Read More »

A Quick Medication Double Check

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I am a caregiver to my mother with COPD, heart and lung issues as well as depression. She currently takes 16 different medications. I also am a co-caregiver to my brother in-law, Robert, who has epilepsy and lives with us who takes nine medications. Finally I myself have been a caree for 21 years now and I deal with chronic nerve damage daily. I have also experienced an “adverse medical reaction” because a physician causing ... Read More »

Update of 2/19/14

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Saturday: On wakening up the are temp was -4 F and wind chill -18 F and snow. Regular cares and laundry today. (I left mom with our friend when I did laundry going back and checking on her when I transferred from washer to dryer to do BP etc.) Sunday: On wakening up the are temp was +5 F and wind chill -11 F. Regular cares today and I had a training to conduct at ... Read More »

Mom, Me and the Locksmith (Rated “G”)

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This is a true story about Mom, me and the locksmith and it is Rated “G”.  The names have not been changed to protect the not so innocent. “Enter the ‘Law and Order’ Opening Sound Here” Well, as most may know, I recently sprained both ankles and just yesterday morning was put into two orthopedic support boots. So it had been a long day with ten extra pounds of weight on my feet and needing ... Read More »

Man Down, Man Down

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Oh, just another beautiful day in the neighborhood, thanks Mr. Rogers. Last week, I had went to the facilities at midnight and in the process of leaving I passed out for maybe two to three seconds. Of course this allowed my body enough time to drop to the floor like a well-chiseled 195-lb. bag of flour during which my feet were shoved into the base (or stand) of the toilet. The toes on my left ... Read More »