Post nursing home day 10. Feelings.

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Today I feel: Angry, Sad, Grouchy, Glad, Happy, Joyful, Loving, Miserable, Torn, Alone, Loved, Tired, Alive......

Everyday a little more of the stress comes off my shoulders and I relax a little.

Everyday I am grateful that I made it through the last year and half and that while my husband and my kids are a little worn out, my family is in tact.

Everyday for the past 10 days I've found my consideration is getting better and I'm not forgetting as many things.

Everyday I have these amazing realizations and amazing moments...and everyday I have down moments.

I really do not feel any guilt at all...but I am sad by the situation.

I went by the home on Saturday with my 4 year old to drop off some things...it didn't last more then 5 minutes because she was demanding I take her home and started being so nasty to me...so I had to walk out.

Tonight the nurse called and said that she thought it might help if I talked to mom...I told her I didn't think so because she is pretty mad right now...and that lasted 3 minutes.

I understand it and even to some extent expect it...no different then when she was here really.

Still it's hard to deal with and I honestly don't know that it will ever go away with her...at least until she forgets who I am...if she forgets who I am.

Is it wrong of me to hope she does? To hope that maybe at some point she will just be a little old lady that doesn't remember anything?

My kids are coming out of themselves and spending so much more time down stairs with us and talking to us and wanting to be here with us now....I had no idea what Mom had really done to them.

So we are on a healing path.

Anyhow...I'm just rambling, but I suspect there a lot of people that understand it here. :)

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Another great place I found for seeds (although I have not done this yet, but will one day) is the Back Yard Diva, I think she is in Victoria BC...same area. backyarddiva.ca

:)
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Salt Spring Seeds in British Columbia has a wide selection of non GMO and heirloom seeds and ships within Canada. You can find similar suppliers in other countries if you Google.
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Shannon, I think that trying times require us to reach deep within ourselves to find and maintain the stamina, courage, strength and hopefully wisdom to "soldier on". In doing so, we become awakened to senses that may not have been stimulated in a more calm period of our lives.

One of my military friends told me the most insightful, wise people he knew were soliders who had seen combat.

So, yes, your statements were poetic, and perhaps you can attribute that to your caregiving experiences.


On the issues of GMO (sometimes a/k/a Frankenfoods), obviously you're familiar with the issues, and I assume as well with the Monsanto positions and agribusiness advocacy of these so-called foods.

I can't speak for sure but I remember reading on a gardening forum that it's not possible to buy GMO seeds because they're protected by IP laws, not that I'd want to buy them anyway.

Something to research when you have time is Monsanto's role in Iraq and how IP protection paves the way for giant agribusiness and pharmas to gain footholds in third world countries.

But even if you were to grow with GMO seeds, it is my understanding there are a lot of hybrid seeds that yield fruits or veggies that will not reproduce true to the original seed. It's also my understanding that heirloom seeds are better for this purpose. And heirloom foods are tasty - tomatoes taste like tomatoes.

So GMO seeds would also seem to guarantee that you'd have to buy new seeds every year as opposed to saving your seeds, as gardeners have done for decades and probably longer, reaching well back into the time when we as humans began cultivating our own crops.

If you want to go further into the corn issue, check all the labels of everything you buy and see how often high fructose corn syrup is used.

This is an interesting article on the attitude of certain lawmakers toward people who don't want to consume Frankenfoods:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob433.html

Although the article isn't as scholarly as it could be, the quote by Dr. David Just is insightful. And since the website encourages copying (w/o IP concerns), I copy it here for you to read of this contemptuous attitude:

"It is ignorance of the product, and it's a general skepticism of anything they eat that is too processed or treated in some way that they don't quite understand."

There are a lot of issues with biotechnology, cross-breeding, genetically modified and genetically engineered "foods", not all of which are familiar to me as I don't have the time now to research all the issues.

As to the lawmakers who think we're dummies for wanting safe food:

Remember in November when you vote.
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Keep those visits short and sweet, maybe centered around some small task like refilling a candy dish or bringing clothes. You did what you had to do, mom is no unhappier now that she was while making your whole family unhappy and being a negative influence on the kids, and tearing you down, wearing you out a little more every day. Maybe she will adjust well enough you could share a meal either there or even off-premises with her, but if not, so be it. Wishing you strength, and wishing you well. Maybe debrief with the kids sometime...they can understand sad, guilty, and wishing things were different. Their perspective might surprise you.
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GardenArtist: "Shannon, your post is so poetic, so evocative of the range of positive and negative emotions experienced by caregivers."

It's funny...I've never been one for poetic expression, but lately it's been more and more like that.

I think I finally understand Poetry...it's an expression of feelings and concepts that are hard to explain and for some reason it comes out better in poetry or poetic verse than in any other form. :) Thanks!!

ba8: Yes it all helps!! All of our experiences are unique to themselves and we all act and react differently, but it is so nice to know that this too shall pass. Thank you.

pam: I have laughed a little every time I read the last line of your post "I did not stay to see them lock horns, I got the heck out of there."

LOL...really I get that and can imagine I'll be doing it a lot more then I like to. I think that in my case for sure that I trigger my mom and she triggers me...so it can get pretty intense pretty quickly. Thanks for the post...and while I know non of this is fun...sometimes we just need to step back and laugh about it...non of this is normal behavior for a normally functioning person, and it's intense...but when I look at some of it I do laugh.

Ashlynne: Yes it is!! Thanks for sharing...it is always good to know and realize these things are often normal for the situation. :).

On the subject of our food. I would highly recommend that we all stop eating wheat, soy and corn products that are not organic...and I know that it's really difficult because these three items are in so many or our foods!

These three products are by enlarge GMO's on the mass market and have been for many years, which for me explains so much.

The health issues we have been seeing on the rise, such as the dementia's that are not related to other diseases and or genetic disposition, diabetes Type 2, obesity and fibra mialgia (I totally spelled that wrong!!) and Autistic spectrum disorders to name a few.

So often I read that when people get off of these items, they loose weight and these diseases are eliminated completely or are tamed down significantly.

One book that address's this concerning the Dementia's and such is Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis. I have not read it yet, but I've read a couple of other books and diet systems that do address much of this...still my understanding is that Dr Davis really puts it all together in one book.

I know for a fact that when I stop eating grains, wheat in particular and corn, I loose the weight, my asthma becomes non existent, my joints and muscles don't cause me pain, I have energy and my sugars become normal...I don't have to take any meds for any of them.

The trick of course is to do it.

Doing clean's to get rid of the toxic levels of chemicals and heavy metals in our body help too....also of course if you can grow your own food that is even better, but you have to be so careful not to use the GMO seeds.

I'm so upset with the food industry and what they are doing to us, and while we might live longer...quality of life isn't always great with these diseases present and I believe by in large preventable.

Anyhow...that's my complaint for the moment...:) Thanks All.
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Shannon, if it's any consolation, my mother, who has been in a NH for 18 months, has only just stopped being demanding, mean and nasty only because her parkinsons/dementia/strokes have reduced her to a shell.

Yes, I totally agree that the cause of so many illnesses is the chemicals in and on our food. I live out in the country now on close to 2 acres and the surrounding fields - one year corn, one year soy beans - are sprayed with lord knows what, as they are everywhere. Around the perimeter of the property there's a 1' strip of dead orange grass from the spray.

Starting to grow my own in raised beds as far away from the perimeter as possible and hope to keep chickens come spring so at least I know what we're eating. We have to buy some stuff from the store but the more I read and research the pickier I'm getting.
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I took mom to rehab today from the hospital. Of course it is located in part of a nursing home. It's exactly the place she asked for, attached to a hospital where she once volunteered. BUT she got upset when we got there. "This is a NURSING HOME" she said. Staff assured her it was the rehab floor. The rooms are semi-private and large and sunny. "I don't like it at all!!" she said. I reminded her that this is the place she picked. She threw her purse against the wall and started yelling, which scared the heck out of her roommate. Then she demanded her walker, which she can't have yet. I told her no. More yelling "I only have this little corner !!!" I apologized to the head nurse, who affirmed mom has to stay in bed for now. "She is non-compliant" I explained. The nurse obviously already put in a hard week and a hard day. I did not stay to see them lock horns, I got the heck out of there.
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I hope that everyone reads these posts that are considering bringing one or both of their parents to live with them. Or, even worse, that they are moving in with the parent.

Even with parents that comply with AL and NH, there is still a lot to do, especially with Medicare, Insurance and cleaning out the house.
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Shannon, if it helps any, my mom has been in a nh fot almost a year and I'm constantly annoyed, involved, on the phone, waiting for a callback, participating in care conferences..... the list is endless. Worried about is it the right time to call her. Worried I'm calling the nurses too often, because mom tells staff that everything is finr but then tells my sil, who visits the most, alll of the problems she has. Many of which are imagined. She's not getting a particular mefication anymore, someone said she needs hearing aids, there was a big flood, the place has been sold so staff is going on strike. My adult children tell me that I'm calmer now that she's settled (last summer she had a stroke, in acute rehab, subacute, al,and memory care all within 6 weeks. I was twitching the whole time). It's less stressful, but not a picnic. Hugs to you, it'll get easier. Post back! You're a joy to have here.
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Shannon, your post is so poetic, so evocative of the range of positive and negative emotions experienced by caregivers.

I do believe that environmental factors are factors in dementia; there are just too many chemicals around us and in the food we eat and despite alleged testing, we really don't know the long term effects of some of them.

I think the problem is the power that agribusiness has. I recently read an article on a gardening forum that addressed someone in a public position who said organic gardeners are dummies.

Our society has taken such a turn toward reliance on so many chemicals that now permeate our atmosphere.

On the other hand, people are living to be older and experiencing illnesses that our grandparents and great grandparents probably never even had.
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