Tag Archives: aging

Life Goes On – Health & Aging Parents

Hi folks, life does go on even in the midst of family medical issues and the blog goes on too… like a living thing, ever changing and growing. The theme of the blog is slowly changing as I strive to deal with a lot of things that life hands me and my family. I will be doing more personal sharing here, as life goes on and I try to deal. I am getting older (I am 51 years old) and as I look at the world around me I see life changing as I face the facts that not only am I aging, but my parents are aging too. Issues arise for those of us that are disabled as it is, then suddenly you realize that things can change very fast with age as well as those we love.

Growing Plum crazy at my house 1First lets start off with my personal latest. As some of you know, from a previous post, my plum tree went wild this year with a lot of plums and this time I had used some techniques to save the plums from insects, birds and squirrels. To make a long story short, I took a fall off from the ladder when I picked plums off the highest branches of the plum tree, I shouldn’t have done that without someone below me, but I did. *sigh* I had weeks of recovery and am still recovering to this day. Life goes on, right? Yup, I have some catch up to do here.

In the mean time…. many things have happened in the past year and a half and are continue multiplying to this very day.

A picture of my Mother, pre drastic weight loss and a few years back.
My Mother in better times, on prednisone in the picture, and a few years back.

My Mother, as most of you are aware, had become a Paraplegic as of February of  last year. So many changes have happened since. My family, my Mother and Father in particular have found themselves in a whole new lifestyle as a result. Being paralyzed from the diaphragm downward, there are many other things things that one doesn’t expect that go right along with the paralyzed persons new lifestyle, of course their caretakers lifestyle too shall be changed drastically. There are diapers, catheters, wipes, and if they are like my Mother, a struggle as they suddenly can be so much less active. My Mother, prior to the paralysis, was a very active person and it drives her crazy being idle.

1 from Michelle's Facebook post. Mom and Dad St. Pats Day 2013
The full picture that my sister took of Mom being a sport wearing St. Pats Day Sunglasses. And my father in the St Pats Day hat.

We were so happy when Mom finally got her electric chair, which took months and months for the insurance to find it needed, especially with her lack of arm strength due to her bad neck the electric wheel chair was needed. The electric wheel chair isn’t very intuitive and you must operate it about the opposite of where you want it to go, so it ended up that Dad has to operate it for her. Mom even managed to break a foot due to her trying to use it.

The electric wheel chair was uncomfortable as it came and so Dad purchased a cushion that cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Here they waited for the cushion and then, of course, they found that it was not a good purchase for Mom or the wheel chair. I believe the problem was it was tipping her forward… my facts become muddled over time, forgive me.

Mariah and Mother Valentines Day
Mom, made me laugh so hard! She kept trying to hide my cleavage with the peach shawl I made for her. lol Here we are hamming it up for the picture on Valentines Day.

However we were so fortunate that Mom, even as uncomfortable as the cushion can be, joined us for Valentines Day to Celebrate at our local Legion. We take turns going to Dad’s and my hubbies American Legion to celebrate. We do this less now with Mom’s health issues.

Further Health Issues with Aging and Paralysis:

My Mother is paralyzed from the waist down and I’ve been told that her diaphragm lacks the ability to help her produce a good cough now. As a result my Mother has had pneumonia quite a few times. Mom and Dad’s bed is raised up where their heads rest to avoid this, but there is only so much one can do.

My Mother at home in bed with teddy bear
My Mother (Nancy) at home while I was there helping out. She held the Teddy Bear and I HAD to grab my camera.

My Mother had a bed sore that wouldn’t go away, the specialist in wounds looked at her bed sore and described it as looking just like a gun shot wound. This wound finally had a solution with the use of stem cells! Finally, the wound that just wouldn’t go away with conventional methods, had met it’s match!  The stem cells were a miracle! This is indeed the way to go. And my parents now have a special device on their mattress that avoids bed soars by moving the pressure points on a regular basis.

Of course with catheters, and diapers there are other problems that arose, diaper rash and UTI’s. The first UTI (Urinary Track Infection) had us scared to death! We were sure she had a stroke, hubby and I traveled through a blizzard to go to the ER and be by my Mothers side… taking an hour and a half to get to what should have taken us only 45 minutes. Finally we learned that Mom’s talking and not making actual words or making any sense was because of the UTI. This happened a few times and we worried about possible damage to her brain.

Tears in my Eyes, this is very difficult to discuss:

I have blamed the UTI’s, The Active Woman now laying in bed most of the time (the wheel chair makes her uncomfortable) and I also blame her medications. Perhaps this would have happened without all of this, but I feel I need to blame something.

Here is the most difficult part, Mom suddenly called me late one night in a panic… “Mariah, there is a Man here… he’s a stranger, he is not your father! The man is living with us and I am scared!” “Please Mariah, come up here… I am fearing for my life!” Mom suddenly couldn’t recognize my father, I spoke to Dad… when I got off the phone I called one of my 4 brothers and asked him to go to the house. I cried, my old beater of a car was acting up and I had less than a 1/4 of a tank of gas and we had several days before hubby would have his disability check so that we could afford our gas.

I tell  you friends, it is hard to watch this happen to a parent… what is worse is now she is forgetting that she can’t walk and she tried to get out of bed, the other week, and she fell breaking her neck! Dad took her to the ER in terrible pain and they took x-rays, sending her home. The next day Mom ran a fever and Dad again took her to the ER in terrible pain. That day the doctor at the ER looked at the x-rays, from the previous day, and noted that Mom broke her neck. Luckily it was a hairline fracture and just a cervical collar was what she needed and heavier pain meds than she was already on.

Mom's Superhero's Not All Wear Capes
This is my Mother, a true Superhero, without a cape. 6 wonderful kids (me? well that is debatable) and we were all brought up well! My Mother is a true Superhero!

Mom has had a life full of activity until last year, I couldn’t keep up with her. Now in conversations, she says things that aren’t real and never have been. She does have her very lucid moments, she asked Dad the other day, when she got home. Then she described what she’s been going through as “very vivid dreams.”

Life goes on, though sometimes I feel that the world should stop turning and hold still for a while.

This has been the most difficult post ever. I have posted this in the hopes that someone out there may find that they are not alone, I know that I am not, thanks to all the terrific people out there in social media. Twitter is full of wonderful people folks, if you don’t belong to twitter or have a local support system, I highly recommend you seek out a support system for yourself. after and before from youinque fiberlash product pg

Folks, I want to add one more thing… I am trying to make ends meet so that I am never short of gas money to travel to see my parents again. And as a result of my loving my 3D Fiber Lashes I have joined Younique as an Independent Presenter, please feel free to check out the products that are on my Younique page. If you wish to have an online party, please let me know. 🙂

Love and hugs,

Mariah