Once & Again

{January 28, 2012}   Thursday Update

We didn’t know what the doctor would look like, this was our first appointment.

He had a goatee and had died the ends orange. Mother was a little put out, but got used to it. I thought it was cool. I would die the ends of my hair purple if I thought I could get away with it.

The doctor apologized for being late. He took Mother’s chest x-rays and showed us that she does have signs of COPD. He showed us that her lungs are full of air and that they are enlarged. We hadn’t realized that when we looked at them ourselves.

He told us that he would like her to get a CT scan so that he would have a better idea of her lungs. An x-ray is just 2D and theCT is better because it shows depth. So he gave us a script and to see us again in 2 weeks.

We really like him. He took the time and answered our questions and than had us repeat what he said so that he would know that we had understood what he had said.

He took the time to be with us and listen to our concerns. I was so impressed.  I think we finally got a good doctor for Mother.

Monday, I will take her to see “One for the Money”. Then later in the week, we’ll go get that CT scan.


She texts me and tells me she wants to go early. That’s fine with me. My husband and I were talking and I was going to try to get her into a nail salon to get a manicure. Just for fun and to make her feel special.

Well she comes over and the two of us take off. We go to Walmart to pick up a couple of things.  I had told her of my plan to get her into a nail salon. So after Walmart, we went across the street to Publix where there is always a nail salon. Looking through the open door as we drove past, I see a man doing a lady’s nails. We decide to try another place. In the next shopping center over, is a Dollar Tree where I heard that there are large bags of pop rocks. Being a huge fan of pop rocks, I go inside to find some. We couldn’t find any.  by then It was time for the appointment.

We go inside, and being our first time at this place, Mother handed the receptionist the stack of paperwork she had gotten from the other day.  After making copies of the drivers license and insurance card, we sat till called.  We did not wait long to be called. Mother had her vitals taken. I had to “correct” the nurse who mistook the 6 for an 8 on the blood pressure machine.  Then we went to our room.

We watched a You-Tube video, watched some of the movie playing on the TV in the room, and was trying to see if we needed any extra cotton swabs for the house. We were past bored. Our stomachs were growling.  The room was becoming stifling and unbearable. Unable to sit any longer, I stood up and opened the door. I began to swing it back and forth to get a flow of air into the room. Each time I did so, the hinges shrieked in pain.  Mother suggested putting the K-Y jelly on the hinges, as there were two massive tubes on the counter. I didn’t think it would help any, But we did get the attention of the nurse who came to talk to us. She informed us that the doctor, who had been at the hospital 30 minutes away had gotten a flat tire.

So with the door open, we sat to wait till he showed up.

So the shopping day with Mother went well. I gave her all the info about COPD that I printed out. I explained it to her first.

She really believed that she had just a short time to live.  With the help of the info I found, I put some doubt into her mind about her misconceptions.

Last Friday, I went with her to pick up the chest x-rays that the doctor had her do. Now I am no radiologist, But her x-rays looked pretty darn good!  I could see the outline of her lungs and the esophagus, and collar bones, the things you’d expect in a chest x-ray. There was a slip of paper in the huge x-ray envelope. We read it . These are the (non-pronounceable) words on the paper.

biapical pleural parenchymal scarring

no acute infiltrates, pleural effusion or pneumothorax

no discrete lung nodule or pulmonary mass

hila unremarkable

osteopenia visualized in the spine

And the most important thing: That there might be a hint of COPD and that it needs to get checked out more!

We were screaming in the car! People gave us funny looks, we didn’t care.

So now, Mother is very happy about that.  After picking up the x-ray, we went to find her new doctor. See, the doctor who told her she had COPD based on that x-ray also told her she was quitting the practice.  (Which I think is the best course of action for that woman).  The doctor recommended this other doctor, and so we found him and set up an appointment.

Tomorrow is the day of that appointment. I will be going with her as well as into the exam room. Not to mean that Mother is not capable of holding her own. She is only 64, turning 64 later in the year. It is just that things overwhelm her and she doesn’t always remember what is said. She also needs a different point of view.  My step-dad, her husband, is not the type to do this kind of thing.

And besides, It is my responsibility to help my Mother when she needs it!

I am looking forward to tomorrow. I found out yesterday about doctors who text and email their patients. I will be asking the doctor if he participates in these forms of communication.

In the mean time I need to look up these words!

{January 19, 2012}   Shopping Day

Today is a shopping day with Mother. Sometimes they are enjoyable events, other times, not so enjoyable.  I am not sure about today. She had just found out that she has COPD. Now she thinks her life is over and she won’t be able to watch her grandchildren grow up. She can’t seem to stop crying.

So today, my goal is to ease her mind and cheer her up. I did some research yesterday about COPD because I know nothing. I found out quite a bit about it. Encouraging news! I printed out some things for her to look over. I made sure that I found positive things. Yes people die from COPD. People also die from car crashes. We are driving to the stores. People die from many things everyday. Sometimes odd things. This is why the show “1000 ways to die” is a popular show.

People live with COPD. There is no time frame for death. No one knows when their time is up. No, I will not say these things to her.

Another problem she has is the meds her (quack) doctor has her on.  She does not like the side effects. So she tells him no more and to ween her off. So, like a Good doctor, he not only ups her dosage but increases the amount of times a day she is supposed to take it! I think I am going to have to start going with her to these doctor appointments and actually sit in there to hear what goes on. She really can’t remember what is said because of the meds. The two meds are topamax and gabapentin.

In my research, which is not completed yet, I checked if these two drugs have interactions with each other. So far I have not found any interactions. Yet I do think they interact badly. At least in my Mother they do. So today i am going to find out what other meds she is taking, including non-prescription.

I still need to find a list of meds that are usually prescribed to people with COPD. Sometimes doctors need help. Everyone forgets things and needs reminders.

I really hate those two meds though. They do something to her brain and she is not the same person. I do not think that they are worth it. These meds also increase her chances of a brain aneurism, dementia,  and osteoporosis. To me, the risks outweigh the benefits.

{January 17, 2012}   Sleep

Sleep is such an important thing. Something I have been missing lately.

I sit here on my couch, staring at the blank screen in front of me. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I always have something to say.


But after a full busy day. Patiently waiting for this time, my special time, to come on here and put my words down.

The words swimming through my head all day.

I can’t remember them.

I can’t even keep my eyes open.

And so I bid you all adieu. Fair well and goodnight.

{January 16, 2012}   Back home again…

It wasn’t so bad this time being there. I guess because it had been over a month since we had last been together.

Hey, at least I figured out how to post on here from my phone.

It was a pretty hilarious afternoon.  My mother decided to get my oldest daughter to bake a cake. Well, I know my daughter can do it herself. She has make cakes before, as well as cookies and pancakes.  She’s getting pretty good. They are edible.

So I try to convince my mother to leave her alone. It fails. So finally the cakes (two round pans) are in the oven, the kitchen is cleaned, and she can sit and take a drink. (She needs one now.) When the daughter attempts to sit on the couch. I am not quite sure what happened. I am just glad that after five children and being a mother for the past sixteen years and  seven months, my reflexes are quicker than my brain.  I saw the huge ceramic lamp fall towards me than stop in mid air. My hand was holding it up. I didn’t even know it had moved! I’m just grateful there was not a lot of broken stuff to clean up.

Not yet anyway.

After our nerves settled down, with the help of some of the drink and General Tao’s Chicken, it was time to ice the cake.  The cake had been taken from the oven some thirty minutes previously. My oldest girl is lazy. For some reason she can not stand. So she is sitting on a low stool icing the cake.

Now let me add something here. When the daughter knocked over the lamp earlier there was a big commotion. My husband and step dad (Dad) were both outside grilling sausages on the grill and drinking beer around a small fire.  They thought my mother and I had finished the bottle.

Back to the daughter icing the cake. She can’t even sit up straight, she’s sloughed over the kitchen island. Which is why the cake slid off the counter and smashed onto the floor.  But just the plate beneath the cake broke. The cake itself was fine.  So I put the cake on a new plate and picked the shards off the cake. It was the only cake mix we had and it was Dad’s birthday today.

So I sliced it up and we all went outside to the menfolk. It was dark and I knocked over my husband’s beer. We all sang Happy Birthday. I asked my husband if he had heard any commotion again.  He said no because they were watching an armadillo crash through the undergrowth. They were both laughing saying it was either Big Foot or Chupacabra.  While we are talking he is scraping off the chocolate icing. He does not like chocolate. My mother is suspicious, but I convince her that it is just the icing he doesn’t like, that he has no knowledge of anything else (yet).  But one, she knows he does not like chocolate, and two, chocolate and beer are not a good mix anyway.

The women and children retire back inside the house. I hand out plates of cake to the children. They wouldn’t cake if there were tack in it! They all seem to enjoy the cake.  I, on the other hand, try a small bite and discover that if I eat any more I will surly get nauseous.  i do not feel like “tossing my cookies” or cake in this matter, and don’t eat any.

We leave for home about twenty minutes later. On the way home my husband tells me that Dad says he hasn’t heard Mother laugh that hard in a long time. So next time we come over, make sure to bring a bottle!

The Bottle

{January 15, 2012}   Sunday afternoon

On way to Mother’s house. There is no service out there so I best be quick! I won’t have cell service so I brought a bottle of France’s best brandy. Well that’s what the bottle says. There isn’t much left anyway…

{January 14, 2012}   4pm

So my 4th grade daughter gets off the bus. It’s a 3 day weekend and I think she’s happy. She LOOKED happy. I look to my left at my first grader and smile at her as we walk down the driveway to the house. Samantha, the 4th grader, is pushing me off the road. I’m about to say something funny to her about it because she did the same thing last weekend when we were walking in the mall. When she makes these horrible sounds, which she thinks is English, and the dogs all run away with their tails between their legs.
“What is the world…”
Again she makes these noises. Let me just say that I can not stand it when women blubber. It’s ridiculous. It accomplishes nothing but making you look foolish.
Allie, the first grader wants to explain. I stop her. How else is her older sister going to learn how to talk at a normal pitch if she gets no practice?
“Ok Samantha, Let’s go inside. When you calm down enough to talk, I would love to hear what the problem is. Ok?”
She nods.
So after about 10 minutes I sit on her bed with her and we talk. Samantha wanted to spend the night with Abby for the 3 day weekend. Well Abby has a clique, which includes her cousins. For some reason or another, these cousins have never gotten along with Samantha. I’m thinking jealousy, but who knows? Well one of the cousins, Jamie, is mean to Samantha talking about how told Abby she is going to Abby’s house, instead of asking. Abby, as she has always done, goes along with it mocking and tormenting Samantha.
According to Samantha.
But I know my daughter. I’m thinking, and my husband agrees, that when Sam get excited, she will tell us what she is to do, instead of asking if she can. I reminded her of past instances when she informed us of her weekend plans and we had to tell her no.

But really, even if she did say instead of ask, why be mean to her? What’s the point in that? These cousins have been relentless on Samantha since last year. Last year’s teacher and I did everything except pull her out of school.

The sad thing is that they ride the bus home together. They live about two miles south of us. They could be great friends, yet these girls would rather be bullies instead. ( Not saying that Samantha can’t be a mean little priss herself).

So, anyone else with similar issues?

{January 13, 2012}   Hello world!

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