March 24th, 2006

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Mom update

It's amazing how a few weeks of close observation can improve a person! My mother is doing so much better. She isn't as confused as she was, now that she's back on all of her meds. She is eating well, and I make her eat three meals plus snacks and monitor her blood sugar well. The Physical Terrorist gave her exercises to do twice a day, working up to 25 reps. Mostly arm and leg work, and very easy. She's been working so hard on it, and so two days ago, we actually got her on my recumbent bike and she went a mile! She did it again today. Then, surprise, surprise, she is having a much easier time getting up from sitting (doesn't depend on her arms and leaning forward so much), and her gait is very much improved. Her blood sugar is somewhat stabalized, as is her blood pressure. That at least reduced the risks of further strokes, and more degeneration of the dementia.

We're about to go stockpile blood for her surgery. I really do think that after her surgery and month in rehab, she'll be good to move back into her apartment in the senior community, with a home health nurse coming in to check on her 2-3 times a week. As long as she stays on meds, eats well, and I keep an eye on her, she might be able to regain some of her independence instead of moving into an assisted living place.

I'm so happy for her.
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Oh where, oh where has my lizard gone?

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I've found out in two weeks they will be getting a large shipment in of painted hermit crabs, so that is when we'll go pick them out for the boys' birthday. I've got the cages all ready for them and hidden in a closet.

I know, this is of no interest to you - but is more of a record for myself :)
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Seeing double double

We went to Carter Blood Care to stockpile the blood for mom's surgery. She was due to give one unit of whole blood today, and then another next Friday. Since I was already THERE, I decided to donate myself. I don't get in to donate as often as I would like, so I stepped it up today and got myself ok'd for a 'double double red' donation. For those not familiar, they hook you up to a machine that draws out the whole blood, seperates it into its components, and then gives you back your plasma, platelets, a saline solution and an anticoagulant. It takes a bit longer than a normal draw (about 25 minutes of the machine running versus a 5 minute draw for whole blood), but is well worth it. You can give two units of pure red platelets at one time.

The catch? You can only donate once every four months.

I got a tingly, metallic feel in my mouth, so they had me suck on Tums for the rest of the procedure, but otherwise, things went great.

We also stopped in the shoe store next door which does diabetic shoes on Medicare. We ordered some shoes for mom with custom diabetic inserts, and Medicare will cover most of it. Yay. My mom now thinks I am the queen of free stuff and working the system.

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Now that I've told you how GOOD I was today, let me ruin it for you :)

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Yesterday, I bought materials for a two-foot-high fence in the backyard (unfortunately, it's white, but beggars can't be choosers). The fence will be a bit over 60' long, and close off an area of the backyard for the kids, and another for the dogs. This gives us a constant poop-free area for play, gardening, visiting with friends, or just enjoying life. I left it, along with a bag of grass seed for the backyard, out in the car until I could be sure I had all I needed. I paced it out last night and decided I needed one more section of fence. I still have no clue how I'm going to handle a gate, since they didn't have any that height or that worked with this fencing. (Maybe a baby gate? Tacky, but serves a purpose until we figure it out).

Anyway, today on the way to pick up the kids (just an hour or so after giving a LOT of blood) I stopped in Lowe's to get the other section of fence. While there, I saw these wonderful yellow blooming bushes called 'Sweet Broom'. They are somewhat small now (in a one gallon), but are supposed to be evergreen, tolerate poor dry soil, full sun, and grow to about 7' x 5'. I also passed by the trees and saw a nice tall (about 9 feet) 'Fan-Tex Ash'. It's basically an Ash tree that thrives in hot, dry areas, makes a great shade tree, nice yellow fall foilage and grows to about 50' tall.

I grabbed the kids (only 3 minutes late!) and took it all home. Now, you would THINK having just given lots of blood and being given instructions to take it easy, not exercise, no heavy lifting, etc. that I would just rest and handle everything tomorrow. NO! Not me! I grabbed a shovel, started digging holes and planted a tree and two shrubs.

Hey - at least I left the fence for this weekend!!! :)

Now, I'm all showered, working again, and looking out at my wonderful (small) tree. I love gardening!!!!!

Can someone strap me to the chair now so I don't do anything else?