This is the Beginning to My Summer!

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This is the Beginning to My Summer!

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EllyI have had such a busy life lately. I can't say that I am stressed or anything, just real busy! Elly is doing fine, "just fine".

I have finished work for the 2013-14 school year so I have been looking forward to the summer activities and home chores that usually fill my time off. I have already headed to the ocean for a treat with my ArizonaSon and DaughterinLove. They flew in for a wedding but came a few days early and wanted to make a trip to the beach. So, the good MIL that I am, I got a RV reservation and packed the trailer and headed to the beach after picking them up at the airport. They booked a whale watching trip and got to see about 10 whales around the boat. We returned refreshed and happy. I was able to get a wonderful caregiver for Elly to come in the mornings to wash her legs, moisturize, wrap and then evening unwrap, wash, and moisturize. Awesome Hubby took care of the dinner issues and was very successful. Elly was really up for a visit from her Arizona Great-Grands so her attitude was very good! I came back to a great situation.

I was also involved in making the main dish for a fundraising dinner at church on the weekend of my son's visit. Why does this always happen, multiple commitments on the same day, Sunday! I played Handbells (just joined) for my LivingRoom Son's Bell Choir Sunday morning, decided that I couldn't make it to the evening wedding, and so I headed to my church to clean the flat top grill and cook my Verenikes (like raviolis) and orchestrate the Fundraiser Meal. Fortunately, NurseySister had Elly come over for Sunday lunch with the Great-Grands so she was not ignored. We didn't get home until after 9 p.m. and were exhausted. Awesome Hubby was a very tired chief dishwasher and I was one tired out chef. It was a very, very successful fundraiser. We slept really well that night.

Elly continues to have short-term memory issues and we have all gotten used to her asking us the same question several times in 10 minutes. She was able to communicate with ArizonaSon and enjoyed asking him the same questions over and over. :) Maybe it was just all the excitement of their visit. It is interesting how visitors keep Elly's mind sharper. We have seen this happen many times and know that because we live with her, she hasn't gone further downhill as fast.

My concerns at this point are Elly's hygiene issues and how well organized I will be for the fall. First, Elly continues to want to help with dishes - setting the table and clearing the table. I ask/tell her to wash her hands before setting the table but she always has the excuse that she just washed them before she sat down in her chair (then touched the remotes, phone, coffee cup, nose, mouth). It is just a losing battle since we can't argue with her and win! When she clears the table, she puts her hands inside the tops of the glasses to carry them and then after setting them down, goes back to pick up the food or silverware (that wasn't used because we set full sets of tableware) with her contaminated hands. Ugh!

We do our best to beat her to something so that the cross contamination doesn't happen as often. Awesome Hubby is usually very vocal, telling her that the items are now dirty because of her hands. She pretty much ignores him.

The same problem comes up when Elly uses the dishwasher. She will remove the clean dishes with unclean hands - we see the hand prints on the glassware and silverware. She even chooses to run the dishwasher when we aren't around so she can empty it herself! Yesterday she ran the dishwasher with it half full. When I showed her that we needed to conserve water and only run the dishwasher when it was full, she responded, "Are you going to spank me?" She had an impish grin on her face and light-hearted voice. I am so tired of redirecting her and making her feel useless but don't want us to get an e-coli infection like she had last fall! I just tell her that her choices right now aren't quite right and that she should just check with me before she runs the dishwasher and I can rearrange dishes to make sure it is full. What else can we do?

We have noticed that when Elly is confronted with her need to be more clean--hands, wash dishes with soap, dishwasher issues, etc.--she will have stomach upset. She won't say anything but she will drink her Ginger Ale or Buttermilk to settle her stomach. A serious confrontation has resulted in up to two weeks of stomach distress for her. She goes through more toilet paper than the three of us do! In the spring, she ate soup for every lunch and most dinners for two weeks. I am just not sure how to confront her since she is very controlling and resistant to the reality we present. She always has been a direct kind of person so she doesn't "get" things that are alluded to or if you use a lot of words in your explanation to her.

Elly has been discharged from the Wound Clinic so we won't have weekly appointments on Wednesdays. This is a relief since I had to borrow NurseySister's car - making sure my nephews weren't taking it somewhere. Elly can't get up into our truck; that is another issue that we are trying to figure out - saving to purchase another car. The next appointment is at the beginning of July for her annual visit to the Primary Care Doctor. I am very fortunate that Elly doesn't need a lot of ongoing medical care at this point at 93.9 years of age! I continue to negotiate with the PCP for an annual check up so that her three Rx's can be refilled for another year.

Other exciting news: My LivingRoom Son got engaged in the last two weeks so we are looking to have an emptier Living Room and another DaughterinLove by January 2015! My job showed up on the Openings List the week after I left for the summer. My office manager called me and asked why and if I had transferred to another school. The Principal called and asked me if I had resigned--he didn't know what was going on! Then, Human Resources called and offered me my same job with more hours!!??!! My first question was, Did you talk with my Principal (boss) about this and ask him if he wants me in the office longer? We chuckled and I accepted the position which will afford me benefits - I have been working 17.5 hours a week for the past 19 years without any benefits! I was not looking for another position nor more hours. My school enrollment has not changed, yet probably will for the 2015-16 year when the new school opens, but now???  All I could say was Wow! Elly seems fine with the thought of me working longer - she asked if I would be working the six hours before lunch, LOL! I will miss the food/Fox News torture at lunch. :) I think she senses freedom from my cleanliness rules but loss of companionship!!!

I am already thinking about what the routine will look like beginning August 1st (I go back to work). I have thought of Meals on Wheels. I asked LittleSister if she could choose one day of the week to come and have lunch with Grandma. I expressed my concern to NurseySister who said she would take care of lunches during the week with her daughter! This is NurseySister who hasn't come over once a week to take blood pressures for Elly! She then heard my idea of using Meals on Wheels and said she hated it. Hmph! What a situation... So, I go to my knees in prayer since it is my Heavenly Father who orchestrated all this and I have been obedient and faithful. I can't wait to see what is in store for us next.

I spent some time weeding this morning, talking with Benjamin Edward, the homeless man, signed for the official certified letter for my "new" job and am catching up here in Caregiving.com. I am looking forward to Art Hop this evening with Awesome Hubby and worship practice tonight. We will be home by 8 p.m. in time to "do Elly's legs" and fall into bed! I am thankful for my life, my family, friends and everyone here who can speak into my situation with wonderful ideas and encouragement!

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jan

So much going on, Elly! Sounds like you are keeping all the china plates spinning and you're in a positive place about all the changes. What a great state of mind.\r\nI sure can sympathize with you on the sanitation thing with my mom. She used to assist a dermatologist with surgeries, in her \"better days\". Now I can't get her to wash her hands after using a public toilet, and using soap when she's \"helping\" to do the dishes is torture. What part of the brain holds the Sanitation Synapse? It's good not to feel alone!