an arch wherethro'

"I am a part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch wherethro' gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move."
Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Location: Arkansas, United States

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Greystone it is!

Met with the Greystone people yesterday. This has all worked out so quickly that it has taken on a trajectory of its own. I called Tuesday and they had two places. Gloria, the admissions advisor happens to live in Bald Knob and wanted to stop by and get some information. She did that yesterday and Keri was quiet and just listened. At one point, there were some tears on Keri's cheeks. Greystone offered her a spot and asked if she was ready to move in on Friday. I delayed until Monday because I wanted us to have more time together and this is moving too fast. I told the Careway people that we would be moving on Monday and  Kami asked to say a prayer for us and I was happy about that. MANY TEARS! Greystone said that we could bring some furniture to make it feel like home, and suggested a recliner. We've never had one but the Barnabas class sent us a card on Monday with a gift certificate for $500. We will shop for Keri a recliner. I called Alesa and she is going to look at it this afternoon. My Mom was supportive and offered to help with finances. Kami said that Greystone comes highly recommended. She shook her head when I mentioned The Crossing at Riverside. I am writing this as a private journal but if anyone stumbles on it, please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Confirmation!

When it came time to get Keri to bed, I had the confirmation I needed to know I was making the right decision. She was having a hard time using her left leg and was very unstable getting to the bathroom. When we got there, I was almost having to carry her. at one point we both fell. I was able to get her up but I had to carry her to the toilet. By this time, she was screaming. I was able to get her changed and I was able to get her back to the bed. She is calm now.

I Can't Stop Crying!


As I have said before, Keri is having such difficulty getting around that I needed to start looking for a place where she could be safe. Someplace where they would help with her diet, and brush her teeth, and other things that I can no longer do. I started on Sunday, looking at Cabot Health and Rehab ($175 per day). and Oakdale in Judsonia. I visited The Crossing at Riverside ($200 per day) here in Searcy today during lunch. They have a two month to two year waiting list, but we put our name down anyway. Another one in Cabot was also recommended so I called Greystone today. Much to my surprise, they think they have two beds and wanted me to send her medical records immediately. They are also going to come by my office tomorrow afternoon to visit with Keri and we will go from there. I had no idea it would move so fast. I'm just not ready, but I'm afraid to let this opportunity pass. I haven't asked the cost. The very thought makes me start to cry when I look at Keri, when I see photos on our wall, when I do anything as I think that our adventures together are limited. As hard as these last several months have been, we have been together. When we were traveling in Italy years ago our Bacci statement was "We were together, nothing else matters." What will I do without my love, my best friend, my constant companion. Greystone is 30 miles away. How can I spend all my time with her, and how can I spend my time without her?

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Most Beautiful Smile (4-9-2017)

When I woke Keri up this morning, she gave me the most beautiful smile; a smile I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life. You see, it has not been an easy weekend. Yesterday morning (Saturday) when I woke Keri up, she was twitching. I managed to get her to the bathroom and setting on the toilet. Then she had a grand mal seizure. I yelled for Ian to call 911 and the ambulance transported Keri to the ER. She was unresponsive following the seizure with just a blank focus. As the day progressed, she gradually recovered and they let me bring her home. I managed to get her in the house and into bed. Alesa and Dave came up and had a nice visit. Keri's responded gradually returned to normal but she is more unsteady. I gave her the sleep meds last night and she is still asleep at 10:15 am. I woke her up at 10:00 with my usual "Good morning Sunshine", and she responded with the most beautiful smile, and then went back to sleep. Thank you God for this priceless blessing!
Visited several nursing facilities today (Sunday). This will not be easy for any of us. Cabot Health and Rehab. looked like a great place. It has an aviary with finches in the mail room and Keri would love that. It was $175 per day and it appears that this is all private pay. I went to Oakdale Nursing Facility in Judsonia. I have heard good things about the care there but it was so depressing just walking in. There are many more to look at but I just couldn't today. I need to look quickly so I will be prepared if I need to make a sudden decision.

Stopped and picked up a Bulldog strawberry shortcake for us to share when I got home. Keri was delighted and proceeded to share in our usual manner. She assured me that it was great.

Grandmothers & OCD (3-20-2017)

My mother is truly an amazing woman. She has had mobility problems for more that 20 years, many of those years on a walker and in pain, yet she never gives up. She is not always easy to be around, however. I've learned to deal with her OCD and always try to do things as she wants, even if it is not the easiest or the best way to do something. It's really hard on Ian however. All of the adventure that comes with visiting your grandmother are missing. Mom doesn't want Ian to shot the gun, or go out at night to watch the stars. I doubt I'll ever get to see my grandkids but if I do, I hope I'll be a fun grandpa!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Anger/Frustration

Keri was in an angry mood this morning. She even looked at me and said, "I don't like you!" That mood seems to have continued.

Fitting comments at this point!

Owen’s wife Esther had graduate degrees after studying at Columbia and University of Havana in Cuba.  Following her cognitive decline, Mr. Darnell had no choice but to place his wife in a nursing home, much to the chagrin of relatives.  Unless you’ve dealt with a silent killer like Alzheimer’s, most folks just don’t understand how devastating and debilitating certain forms of dementia can be. Mr. Darnell’s tribute allows us to see the disease from the other side…

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 not 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 ’til my life is done.
– Owen Darnell

104 Swaid Building

 We have recently completed our accreditation site visit, which required me to clean up my office. I really cleaned and did not just stuff things away. I guess I'm getting ready for my eventual retirement when that times comes. I'm going to try to keep it in some sort of order, but I've said that before and it never worked. I decided that I had better take some photos of it while it is still clean. I really do have one of the largest offices on campus. I'm sure it has to do with other factors because they certainly wouldn't have given me this office just because. Who knows what I will do with all of this stuff when I retire. I have already been giving away some of my books. I will probably part with all of them when I leave, except for the ones I have chapters in. I love all my wall stuff but have absolutely no place for all of that at the house.

Beautiful Saturday!

On Saturday afternoon, Keri and I went to the Walmart in Beebe to get some bedpads, which the Walmart here in Searcy was unable to tell me when they would get any in. After that, I decided to stop by a bar-b-que place and have lunch in the park. Keri is getting so bad that even this was not an easy task. We did have a great lunch on a beautiful day. I treasure any good moment that we are able to have. They are getting fewer and fewer. I truly am overwhelmed. Keri is eating less and less, and it is a major battle to get her medicine down her. She slept little last night, and after the confrontation with the meds, continued to scream through toothbrushing, exiting the house, and getting into the car. Ms. McGahee came over and Keri stopped screaming and smiled at her. I've been crying most of the morning, realizing that our lives are about to change drastically.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Progression!

I certainly wish I could post more, since I'm using this as a diary. I think Blogger and BlogSpot have really let me down. I'm sure there are many newer and better equipped blog sites, but I have used this blog for the past 17 years. There could be a blessing however, since I can't post all the day-to-day frustrations.

We are fast reaching the point that I worry about Keri's safety at home. I now must pull her everywhere. She resists, and I need to pull. There have been several times that she has slipped out of my grip and gone to the floor. She also almost refuses to take her medicine. She has to take it four times a day and she ends up screaming the three times I need to do it. I tasted the meds once and they are so bitter. It makes the pudding I mix it with just as bitter. I guess I really don't blame her, but it still has me in tears by the time it is over. She has also stopped eating here at the house. The people at Care-way say that she is still eating there, so she is at least getting some nourishment.

When I went to Care-way to pick her up, everyone looked at me strangely when I went in. Martha said Keri wasn't feeling well. There were several people gathered around her chair, and it was obvious that she had been crying. Barbara (the nurse) also added that she had been screaming. I really needed to go back to the office, but it was obvious that I needed to take her home. After the bathroom, I put her to bed and she fell right to sleep. We may not get any sleep tonight, but at least she is not screaming now.

I called Steve Hicks this afternoon. He was at Harding with me, although several years younger. He helped with the trust, and he also serves as an "elder care lawyer." Martha said I needed to talk to one. We may be at the point where I can no longer care for her at home. I have been mourning a lot more lately. I can't seem to quit crying.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Follow Me Boys!

 
This was the movie on AETN tonight. It seems somehow appropriate after my Wood Badge weekend. The commentator said it was full of sentimentality as though that was some sort of bad thing. it was just what I needed tonight. The world needs more Scouting, but I couldn't even keep Troop 96 running. Every effort I made just resulted in more problems.

This became another "screaming" night for Keri. I'm afraid all she does now is scream and doze. Where is the "quality of life" in this last part of her life? Keri is finally quite and I am crying like a baby at the last part of Follow Me Boys.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Life Update

As I have mentioned before, Blogger and its parent company Google have not updated this app for the iPad and the iPhone. Those are the devices I have always depended on to update this blog. Because of that, I have gotten very far behind with all of my updates. I had hoped to use that as my diary and as a way to note the slow progression of Keri's condition. I can use my MAC but the times I have to write are never, I repeat, NEVER during the day when I have my MAC.

A great deal has happened since my last update in January. Of course, I am assuming no one else is reading this so I will summarize events here.

S8-18-17, my Wood Badge course is now over and we all survived. I feel that the Council showed very little support and that we successfully presented the course on our own, more or less. The professional staff advisor forgot to put my dates on the Council calendar when presented to him (March 31, 2016) and we ran the risk of not having access to the Reynolds Center. He didn't attend the Course Directors Conference, which is "required". He was away at National Camping School during our first several days. He failed to keep me posted about registrants and didn't have the t-shirt order form available for the last staff weekend. Overall, he just didn't demonstrate that he was much interested in the course. In addition, one of the DEs "announced" that the course had been cancelled right when we were desperate for numbers. There were other points, but this shows why I felt deserted. Keri also had to go with me and began to "scream" during our first weekend. New medication, two emergency room visits ($700 each for my responsibility), and a volunteer (Tonia Breeding) helped during the second weekend allowed me to do what I needed to do. I think it ended up being a great course. Ian did my staff flag and my gifts which were lazered with the staffs name and job along with the course crest and number. I'll try to post photos later.

Keri has continued to progress. I need to help her with all movement and end up feeding her a great deal of the time. She is also very anxious and now has to be on medication all the time to keep her from "screaming". We have discovered that if we miss a single dose, she begins to scream and it takes several days to get it all back under control. This new drug causes her to be sleepy all the time and nap most of the day. Yesterday morning, she woke up smiling. She was truly happy. It lasted for just a few minutes, but I'll treasure it always.