Saturday, February 27, 2010


I learned how to us an insulin pump last night. It was scary to stick a needle into mom, but her blood sugar has been so high that we had no choice. I got instructions from the hospice nurse, gave mom a shot after the nurse left...The next morning, I checked her blood sugar and it was high again. I was nervous about giving the shot so I decided to review what the nurse told my sister and I by looking at the booklet that came with the insulin. I was horrified that the nurse had failed to give us some very important information! She did not tell us that the insulin did not have to be refrigerated after the first use, to be sure to prime the pen and get rid of all the bubbles, to hold the needle and the button down and count to 5 slowly when doing the injection, and to be sure to look into the little window for a diamond or an arrow to know that all the insulin was in for that dosage. (We are using an insulin delivery device.) Maybe she was in a hurry but she gave us the instructions on a friday and had I not read the instructions I would have been doing it wrong all weekend at the least! The biggest danger was that the dosage is not regulated if you don't prime the pen and if you don't hold the needle in for the right amount of time. This is the 3rd disappointmant we had with this nurse so I complained and now we have another nurse. I am still working on trying to get the insulin has not been an easy task. I have been studying about diabetic diets and can honestly say the mom does not eat anything that is not diabetic approved. I have used whole wheat, lots of veggies, limited fruit, lean meat. I have "The Idiots Guide to Terrific Diabetic Meals" (Gee thanks, Larry) which I love to get recipes out of. All I can do is keep trying!! If you have any hints, please email them to me at because I am not sure how to respond to comments yet! I do love reading your comments though...thanks for all of them!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meet my sister Ann...

It just occurred to me that I talk about my sister Ann as if everyone knows her. I decided that it is time to introduce her! Ann is 13 months older than I am and we have always been close. Of course when we were younger, we had our little spats. Like the time she cut the Levi tag off the back of my jeans when I let her borrow could she!?? Or, the time I gave her some curtains..she bought rods and hung them...then I asked for them back when I needed them again...hey...seemed logical to my twenty something year old mind!!! Ann is a retired elementary school teacher and she loves kids! Her husband, Larry, is a retired fireman. They have two daughters, Kira and Joni. Ann and Larry have never lived anywhere but her in our hometown of Louisburg! It is so nice to have Ann nearby and as you can imagine, hardly a day goes by that she is not out here to see mom. I am loving the time I get to spend with her!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh What a Night....

This is a picture of "Miss Annie" with mom. Miss Annie is part of the family! She has been staying with mom for almost a year now. Mom loves her so much that we decided that we would keep her coming during the weekdays even though I am here. It is great to have her around and I think that keeping her has made mom's adjustment to me go smoother. I wish you could all meet Miss Annie. She is almost as old as mom, but healthy as can be. She has a Christ-like love for everyone she meets and never forgets a name or face. Everyone needs a Miss Annie to bring sunshine into their day!!!

I was trying to control what I write out of respect for my mom, but I decided that I know that whoever reads this will understand that what I say is not a reflection of her but rather of this horrible disease. As I watch mom, it is hard to grasp what it must be like to be living in her world. Her anxiety level is understandable very high. Who are these people? What are they saying to me? What is this fork for? Do I chew or swallow these pills? Where am I? I want to go home! Am I alone? What is that noise? Who are these people who call me mom? The list could go on and on.... So now I want to describe what a night for her is like........At about 7:00 she begins to want to go to bed. We try to procastinate. Last night we had her mixing up some sugar free pudding and she enjoyed licking the wisk. We were able to stretch bedtime out to about 8:00. Every two or three hours, she wakes up and says,"Where am I" or "Whose there?" or "Larry, Ann, Miss Annie". You go in and try to comfort her until she goes back to sleep. Most nights that I am with her, I usually just climb into the twin bed that is next to her hospital bed. The other night I finally got her calmed down and she went back to sleep and I heard her sing,"Row, row, row your boat..." in her sleep. I began to laugh. What sweet memories! We talked to the Hospice nurse and she is giving mom an anxiety pill to help her calm down more at night. The nurse said that one of the most important things we can do for mom is to help her get a full and relaxed night sleep. She seems to want to sleep all day long and I really hope that if we can help her relax at night, she will be abe to stay up during the day more.
I am so grateful for this time I have to spend with mom and I know that these memories I am "blogging" will be meaningful to me someday. Sometimes when I am watching her sleep I find myself singing a Garth Brooks song...."If tomorrow never comes...will she know how much I love her...have I tried in show her everyday.... " . Mom knows that my sister Ann and her sweet family, and my brother Larry have always been there for I just have to get her to remember me and know that I will always be here for her and that I will not leave ever again!!!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Alzheimers....I just don't understand....

My mom has been through so much in her 84 years...why does she have to go through this? I wish I could understand. My sister and I have talked about how we feel like we are losing our mom memory at a time. She is not herself at all and about 95% of herself is gone. I give her a hug and know that although she feels like my mom, and smells like my mom, and laughs like my mom, and talks like my mom...only a small part of my mom is really there. I grasp onto any hope I can find that things will get better for her but deep inside I know that is not very likely. I have researched to try to find ways to bring joy into her life...some work... some don't. I did find a poem that I think describes it well....

Do not ask me to remember
Don't try to make me understand
Let me rest and know you're with me
kiss my cheek and hold my hand
I'm confused beyond your concept
I am sad and sick and lost
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost
Do not lose your patience with me
Do now scold or curse or cry
I can't help the way I'm acting
Can't be different though I try
Just remember that I need you
That the best of me is gone
Please don't fail to stand beside me
Love me 'till my life is done.

"Real Love"

This is a picture of Barry enjoying TV at mom's house. Mom cannot take any noise in the house so the television is rarely going. As you can imagine, that has been hard...especially during the Olympics! My brother provided us with headphones and that is working good. I laughed the other night because my niece...Joni..passed by our room and saw Barry in there laying across the bed with the earphones on watching the Olympics and she came into the dining room and said to me...." know that is real love!" Thanks Joni...for reminding me!!!!


I was so excited to learn that my friends and family could post a comment to my blog! Hailey explained that feature to me the other night. Tonight I finally got a moment to look at your comments. Thank you so much for your love and support! I love ya'll!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lots of great memories around this table!

We spend alot of time around this table. I think that is the way of the South! Anyone who has ever visited Cille has spent lots of time in this spot and most likely they have experienced her bringing out lots of food and trying to be sure that everyone at the table tries everything on the table! ...... Mom is really struggling with her memory. Someone asked her the other day if she knew my name and she patted me on the leg and said,"she knows her own name". Having your own mom forget who you are is painful...but I do think that she knows that she loves me and that I love her...and that is more important than her being able to call me by name!

A North Carolina Snow Fall at MOMS

This is a picture of mom's home after we had a snow a few days ago. It was a beautiful snowfall that melted fairly fast. I love that picture of Barry trying to shovel with a little blue plastic shovel. He did it though! If you look in the background of the picture of Barry, you will see my sister's RV. They moved it out here so that Barry could have a place to work. He sleeps out there some nights because mom has a hard time sleeping at night. I do ok if I don't get much sleep at night because I can nap during the day. Barry has to work. Barry has been the chief cook around here. It is so nice not having to worry about that part of the day and as most of you know...he is a great cook! Thanks Barry!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Barry's Aunt Elistine

Barry and I paid a visit to his aunt in The Manor in Louisburg. She is such a sweet lady. I won't tell you how old she is, but when she told me, I was amazed at how well she is doing. What really blew my mind was that she does not color her hair! That is the natural color! I wish I could say that about myself! She is so much fun and is just loving life even though her knees hurt so bad that she was laying in bed with layers of covers on them to get the pain down. She said that they bring snacks by every morning and night and told us to open that top drawer and pick something out. We opened it and it was full of all kinds of chips and other snacks. We have not had the chance to visit anyone else in Barry's family with all that has been going on with mom. I hope to do that when we get mom into a "routine"...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lucille May Romero...what a woman!!!

This picture was taken this past summer when we were all home for Kira's wedding. I had not seen it until today. Mom looks so good. This was taken in front of her home where Barry and I are living now.

Yesterday we were told that mom would be able to come home today and we were getting all geared up for that. Today the doctor informed us that her Hemoglobin count was low and that her INR level was high... so she needed to stay there one more day. Tomorrow will be the day. The hospital social worker called a meeting of my sister, Ann and brother Larry and I a couple of days ago. It was a tough meeting because they suggested to us that we call in Hospice. That makes things seem so final but they explained to us that it is the best way to get the services that mom will need. After they explained what Hospice can do, it made me feel so much better bringing her home. I just hope I can bring her lots of joy and happiness while at the same time, keeping her as safe and comfortable as possible. I know that with help of Annie, her best friend and my brothers and sisters, it will be fine! I love that sweet momma!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kira and Joni with "Cille".

When I was expecting our son Josh, mom was excited to have her first grandson, but she said she did not feel old enough to be a grandma. She decided that her grandchildren would call her Cille. Eleven grandchildren later, she is still "Cille" and they all love her dearly. Here are two of her grandaughters, Joni and Kira . (Daughters of my sister Ann and her husband Larry Peoples) They both have such a sweet bond with mom! Joni offered to spend the night with mom in the ICU on Friday night and I am sure that was a meaningful experience for both of them. Kira and her husband,Rusty, are expecting their first child in April. They came by to see mom on Saturday night and I could tell it was hard for Kira to leave. She stayed past visiting hours but she needed to be there. I just love those girls!!!

Barry was so sweet. Saturday night he made a crock pot of beef stew and had everyone over after their visit to the hospital. I stayed with mom while he fed everyone. I had a bowl when I got home and it hit the spot!

Finally here... with the best mom on earth!!!

We arrived in Louisburg on Sunday, January 31 at about 8:30 pm. We were so happy to get here! My sister Ann, her husband Larry and my brother Larry were here with mom when we got here. We had called them several times along the road and knew that mom was not feeling well but we were not prepared for how sick she really was. It is amazing how fast things can change at her age...I cannot tell you how scared I was that night! We called the ambulance the next morning and she is now in ICU at the local hospital. She has been in there for a week now. It turns out that she has pneumonia and as a result of that, her heart rate was over 200 and her blood sugar was over 400 by the time she went to the hospital. The pneumonia is getting better but she is still having trouble with the heart rate. They keep it under control most of the time... but a few times since she went in, it has raced out of control. They are trying to get it under control with medications since surgery for her is out of the question. I love that sweet lady! She is amazing! I love spending time with her! I read a book called "No Love is Ever Wasted" that my sister gave me. It has really helped me have some sweet moments with mom even when she was so sick that I was not sure she knew who I was. It was written by a couple that have worked with memory loss patients for years and as a result, their insight is priceless! Today mom was doing so much better. She is eating great and seems to be getting her strength back. I cannot wait for her to get strong enough to get back home!!!

I am also reading a book my brother gave me called " My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte. It is about a Harvard trained brain scientist who had a stroke. True Story. If you are looking for a good book club would be great. It was a NY Times bestseller.
Posted by Picasa

"Driving Miss Gail"

This picture of Barry reminds me of the movie, "Driving Miss Daisy" for some reason. We had two full days of driving to do when we left Colorado. I took this picture of the back of the car because we could not believe how loaded down it was. We lightened the load a bit by dropping off stuff in Provo and Colorado. We had the car packed so tight when we left Idaho that we honestly could not have fit a shoe box into the back! We saw some beautiful country as we drove. A snow storm hit the east coast a day before we arrived The good thing was that the snow plows were also ahead of us so we didn't have any problems.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Next stop...Colorado!

We left Provo and headed to Colorado to visit Cale, Hailey, Kira and Cole. It was such a quick visit...I tried to convince myself that we should stay an extra night...but we really needed to get on the road. They bought their home as a diamond in the rough. They have really transformed that place. I know they are getting tired of the on going projects, but it will be worth it! Kira and Cole are so cute. They are such good buddies...Kira just adores her little brother!

Let's stop in Provo!

On the way to North Carolina we decided to make a stop in Provo to see the newlyweds! They are doing great. We stopped by Zack and Amy's first. They had wanted us to be there for dinner, but we were too late so they fed Nick and Dana and their friend Jordan. They did save Barry and I a piece of Amy's Apple Pie and it was one of the best I have ever had...I gotta get that recipe! We went over the Nick and Dana's to spend the night. Dana had fried Plaintain Bananas...a recipe she had learned to make on her mission in Spain. They ate them alot on their honeymoon in Panama. I vaguely remember eating them as a little girl but that was the first time I have seen them cooked they way she did it. She sliced them, mashed them, then fried them. I hope I can make some for mom at some point. They were yummy! So I am happy to report that all is well with the newlyweds!!!

Going Away Party!

The night before we left, Carla had a little going away party for us. Good food, good friends!
We are going to miss our friends in Idaho! Max gave us a laugh for the road. He gave us two envelopes inside a single envelope. One envelope was labeled,"How much we are happy to see you go."..that envelope was empty. The other envelope said,"A nest egg to get you back." Inside that one was a one dollar bill. We laughed! Thanks for all the fun memories!

"I know when I get there, I'll be glad I went."

" I know when I get there, I'll be glad I went." I must have said that a few dozen times the week before I left. The weekend before we left, we had Ally, Luke and Ava come up for a sleepover. It was so fun to have them. They are amazing kids with amazing parents and we feel so blessed to have had them live so close to us for so long. They came over every Sunday for dinner and we loved it! With Josh'e new job, they will have moved out of the area before we get back to Idaho. In this economy, you gotta go where you can get a job! I shed quite a few tears that weekend and thought I was doing good at hiding it until Anne found me in the pantry not looking for food, but trying to regain my composure after a private little cry. I am so excited about their little family and the great adventures they will have. We will look forward to visiting them wherever they end up...and exploring new territory with those sweet kids!!!

That weekend, Ally taught me to make friendship bracelets! She was making them for her fund raiser for Haiti. She and her friends earned almost $400! Ally has such a tender heart! I love you!!!