Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Day Nine

My dad and my nephew on Dad's first night home from the hospital.

I think I’ve hit the wall. I didn’t make her walk to the kitchen table for breakfast. I didn’t feel up to the fight. I also didn’t “make” her take her potassium pill last night. Again – I didn’t feel up to the fight. I have to cut her pills up so she can swallow them. She has a lot of trouble swallowing. Can you imagine gagging on eight tiny pieces of bitter pill after you’ve already struggled to get your meal down? Dad and I have been conspiring about how to crush them up and put them in her meals. She won’t consider it – says she can taste the graininess. We’re thinking we will have to be very sneaky about it.

Took Dad for a blood test yesterday and had to come clean. I broke the rear view mirror off the Olds Saturday night. I was so nervous about telling them that I waited till yesterday morning. I figured that if I told them right when they could call the dealership and insurance, it wouldn’t be so painful. (Yes, I am still afraid of them yelling at me at age 41.) They were amazingly understanding. I think the surgery has been a great thing for my dad. I don’t like that he had to go through such a dramatic procedure, but he seems much more cognizant of the bigger picture AND my mother’s situation. He now knows how it feels not to be hungry. He knows how it feels to have people poking you in every available vein all the time. He’s more interested in healthy eating and getting exercise. He wants to maintain his quality of life. He never wants to be bedridden.

I’ve started knitting. When I was in grade school, I asked my Oma (German for Grandma) to teach me to knit. I tried and tried, but never caught on. I had her show me in junior high and high school. Nothing. I just couldn’t get it. Since then, I’ve asked my mom a few times and even my mother-in-law. When Harrison was born, I had a Martha Stewart Baby Magazine that had a beautiful “easy-to-make” knit blanket. I bought needles and yarn, pulled out the instructions and began. I managed to cast on one row and that’s about it. I carried the yarn all the way to Utah and it’s been sitting in my basement for over a year. For some reason, I threw three skeins of yarn into my suitcase and the needles – one still had that row of yarn cast onto it. I showed it to my mom and she taught me AGAIN how to knit. For some reason it really clicked this time. I understand how to do it and I want to do it. I thought I would ditch the baby blanket idea (for obvious reasons) and make a scarf. Mom told me that it would be a very wide scarf, though, so now it is going to be a baby doll blanket for Ella. My question, though, is how to do old ladies do it? Knitting really makes my knuckles sore. I must be doing it wrong.

I think we have found some pajamas for my mom. Land’s End. They have petite sizes. She is very picky. They have to be long sleeved, but cannot be too long. They have to be long pants, but not too long. She wants a crew neck, but it can’t be too wide. The package is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I hope they work. This may be the last straw for me. If I have one more pair of pajamas shot down by her specificities, I think I may explode. That would not be good. My mom has to control things she can control - the size of her dinner plate, the temperature of her water, the sleeve length of her pajamas. I just need to take more deep breaths.
This trip has taught me a lot. I have a better understanding of my mother’s situation. I truly think she is dying. She doesn’t think so, but I need to be prepared. My dad and I have talked about the future more than we’ve ever done before. I have been forced to think about all of these difficult things that I’ve never wanted to think about. Most of all, I appreciate what I have. I miss my “other” family very much. The kids are fine, but I’m not. I need them in my life. I need Chris.

1 comment:

Julia Griffey said...

Hi -
We read your posting about trying to give your mom her potassium pill with great interest. I am the marketing director of a manufacturing company that makes an effervescent potassium suppplement. We have been making this product for years - but we are in the process of launching a new 10 and 20 mEq flavorless liquid supplement that patients who currently take those awful pill can switch to. Patients can let the tablet dissolve in any liquid (coffee, juice, water, etc..) and they can't taste it. We also offer flavored Effer-K (orange, cherry, etc...) that is very drinkable. Anyway... the reason why I am writing you is because I would love to offer you samples of our product. We would have to send them to your mom's physician. I'd also love to use what you wrote in some of our marketing pieces. Your experience with the potassium pills is one we have heard about and the problem we hope to allevieate. Please feel free to check out our web site (it is still a work in progress: www.digital-diva.com/efferk)- it will eventually be located at www.efferk.com. Thank you for the consideration. It would be wonderful to help someone like your mother out with our product. Feel free to e-mail me: juliagriffey@hotmail.com or julie@nomax.com.