I asked my FB friends and family for some of their favorite quotes and or sayings. I got a few and they were all very good, but this one from my husbands cousin was the one that hit me the most. I am not sure who said it as she did not add that but here it is…
“We do the best we can and when we know better we do better”
Ask why this one out of all I got – some were doosies for sure! As I am in year seven of caring for my mom, I say to myself quite often what if we did this or what if we did that, where would she be now in terms of her health. We tried over the years to help her with her diabetes management but mom is and always has been a very strong and independent woman! She wanted to handle this on her own and not get into our lives over the years and depend on anyone. Well this sort of backfired and we talk about this a lot around here. But as this saying goes we didn’t know what might come of it then, but now we know what happens to diabetics over the years – DEMENTIA and other health issues can enter the picture. Now I know every diabetic is different but this is my case.
Here is my case to you today! If you have a loved one with any kind of health issue – LEARN LEARN LEARN all you can about the issues and what you can do to help them along. If I would of learned more when she was early diagnosed we might not be here now, but then again I was also in the throws of a career that sucked up my life. So I know better now and have learned so much about diabetes and some of the irreversible complications that accompany it.
GASTROPARESIS ~ often caused by diabetes, makes food move through your stomach too slowly. Symptoms include nausea and always feeling full. I had never heard of this but after many trips to the hospital and odd ways her sugars were moving around I threw a fit and then they doctors finally discovered this. The Vagus nerve is the longest one in your body and hers has become damaged from the diabetes. With this, her digestive system is also compromised and this causes the food to not digest properly. Results: Blood glucose levels that are out of control. WHO FLIPPING KNEW! Well now I do and because of this I can do better for her.
Vascular Dementia ~ general term describing problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow to your brain. Impaired blood flow to the brain – DIABETES lows for sure!
Using knowledge and the adaptability to take that knowledge and use it for good is one of the unique challenges we face. My decision to do this has had a major impact on my life, and there are days I hate that I made the decision but overall I would not change what my decision was. I am alone in most of the decision making other than my husband. I am the type of person to go above and beyond to help someone even if it affects me in the long run.
I am so very grateful on many levels, but one is not having to deal with cancer with my mom. This disease touches so many and it is so horrible as we all know.
But…one of the debilitating horrors of this is our medical system and the bills that can be amassed just to stay alive. How can this be from a country that supposedly is the greatest country of all. Answer me this riddle I say! So here I am to let you know of a long time friend and her family’s horror of paying bills to keep a family member alive and with them for years to come. They posted this link today and I wanted to share it with you today.
If you feel it in your heart to just do $5 or $10 that would be most awesome because one day you might need someone to kick in that for you or a loved one. I am thankful that my mom has good insurance and she is covered for so much. Not everyone has this luxury and this is just plain wrong!!!
I watch so many come and go at these baseball games I work and feel grateful to have a job that I enjoy. The family of Dana doesn’t have this right now and really who can work these long hours to make any living while someone you love is going through the horror of cancer.
I also want to put out there today that any orders from this website that you purchase I will donate 20% to the fund myself. Click on the inventory for sale page and shop away because you will get something and Dana and her family will get something. This offer is good to the end of March 2018! Shop away everyone and thank you from my heart that you would be willing to do this awesome support.
Peace and Awesomeness to you and yours!
Maria, The Caffeinated Crocheter
Morning again and here we go with more baseball. Sixteen games and eight have been played already. The next couple weeks will thin out. In the meantime all days off have been mom dr here, appointment there! Whew I am still exhausted. Need time for me here soon! Our caregiver is awesome when we can get her here and I can shut my mind off for a bit.
Got a couple orders in so I am trying to get those done in between things too! Would love more orders as baseball ends and I have two weeks off. Really really want to sell my inventory-hit that page to check it out.
Have an appointment at the dementia clinic Monday but I wonder what good really will it do at this point. No change from a few months ago just the same “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember “. Do I take her or not? Dilemma for the day-would love feedback here.
Time to get her moving so I can get to work. Thanks for checking in and have….
Peace and Awesomeness today!
Hello everyone – I am back after a long spring training game day stint. One day off here and then we have a four game series before another day off! LOVE BASEBALL – LOVE WORKING!
With no time to be writing lately I have had time to reflect internally about my life and my mom’s life. We have had some tough days here emotionally between the three of us in the house. BUT – today I got up and said we have to be positive for her and bring to the table positive thoughts and not what she has done wrong or bad! So moving forward this is my goal – ANOTHER DAY to say hey I need to fix things for her because she cannot. Sat at the table with her this morning and talked slow and positive with her and she was smiling and that made me happy! Believe me though there are days where she is stubborn, angry and just plain not a person to be around – I have to remember it is the dementia and that to make her happy I have to be happy myself – not only towards her but internally as well. I liken it to this: having a job you just hate to no end but you know you cannot quit the job because others depend on you for food, a roof over your head etc. Yep caring for a parent in your own home is just like that – I cannot quit because she is dependent on me now.
Here is something positive I have for the next few days at least – the big box of scarfs and hats round two arrived safely back to Michigan. Mom is making a very small difference in someone’s life and that makes her happy. It goes both ways I have found. Make me happy and make her happy. She just gets a kick out of making this stuff for those in need. I told her once she does not have to make every person in the world a scarf and she replied with yes I do! She has a big heart for sure!
I just want to share that this has been one of the hardest roads I have ever been on. The curves and sharp turns have hit us hard, but we have also been on some very long straight stretches that have enabled me to learn while things are good. I thought I had learned more that I could of with her diabetes but nope – the dementia learning curve hit us and off and running to the school of learning more again we went. This class is harder because of not knowing how the mind cannot remember is not a tangible item like diabetes is.
So take the day – make someone happy and see how it makes you feel too! Till next time after some more long baseball days. Oh and today she gets to watch a Tiger spring training game – she is so excited!
Peace and awesomeness to you
A few days ago I wrote on MY IMPACT and talked about how it begins with I, meaning ME MYSELF AND I! Over the last few years I have worked part time and crocheted (more on this below) to not only keep my sanity but pay my bills. The last year has been more vacant of work and kept me home with mom more hours of the day, more days of the week! This last week and moving forward for a month I will be out and about a lot more working baseball and assisting in the food concessions office at the stadium. I am having fun! Not only because it is baseball but I am out and away from the home and the daily grind of the country known as DEMENTIA. I still come home and have to deal with things – but the hubby is awesome in this area too! She asked me yesterday where I was working that day – and my response was….’you know mom, I am working so many different places right now, how about we just say I am heading out to work for the day!’
Was this right or wrong? I have been doing three different part time jobs right now and she cannot keep them straight and yes I admit I am tired of answering the same question day in and day out. I have read to deflect the questions and give an answer that will lead to a something else – was that what I did? She did let it go and we moved on so maybe? The decisions we have to make with a dementia patient are quick and fast and may not always be the right one.
To me this is caring for ME MYSELF AND I at the same time. So now let’s talk about ME!
Using my heart and brain at this job for the next month has felt and given me a renewal again. I am out with people, talking to them and interacting new faces and old friends. My crocheting time is suffering somewhat but I get to it now when I can. I have the heart blanket to finish- yep Valentines came and went and it wasn’t done. Darn! It is still for sale if anyone wants it. Lap size.
You can also see that American flag up top. I have made 7 or 8 of those and they are my biggest seller in afghans. I love making them as it gives me pride in my country regardless of what is happening politically. I donated one to a friends charity up in Colorado for a veterans weekend event and they got more for it than I charge – that was very heartwarming to me. I have changed it up a few times – the stripes were done in different stitches until I found the best one and I had someone ask for me to do it in antique white and more of a maroon to give it the look of old and vintage. That turned out awesome too! Who wants one of those now? See my sales page here on this website for anything I make and can make to order. There are plenty of small items I would like to sell off and make room for more inventory of the items I love to make. This is the ME MYSELF AND I part of this because not only am I making something for someone and that makes it special but it keeps me going in the drought of work when I have to be home more with mom. Nice days I can sit outside and work enjoying sunshine and cloudy cooler days I will stay inside with her and watch old movies.
Well not much today except some of what I love to do- it is time to be off for the day. Long days and many days in a row with spring training starting…we have 8 games in 10 days at the beginning of the season. Would love to hear from anyone on an order or two! I do love to deal!
Peace and Awesomeness today!
Maria – The Caffeinated Crocheter
There are many questions and rarely enough answers in our lives today! Do you feel this way too? My big question lately is what is MY IMPACT on those around me. This quote was presented to me recently from another blogger – Impact blog – Dec 22 2017 “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” -John F. Kennedy. Now I find this ironic in the spirit of politics today and the fact I was born the day he was killed in 1963. So what does this mean? Let me talk more on what I feel it means right now in my life’s situation.
My country right now is my mom – her life and her care. I live in a totally different country most days and trying to cross the border into her country means I have to think like her and react to the surroundings of her country. That country is DEMENTIA! Yep I have read and read up on this – back down from confrontation, let them think what they want. This law of the country sucks, but it is a law of this country. So again I present – what can I do for my country and what IMPACT am I having. I am learning daily that to let her do her thing is really the best law of the land for now. Heart and soul say one thing, mind says another.
One thing I say to myself and have mentioned to numerous friends and family is this….God isn’t finished with ME yet and my IMPACT on my country let alone her country. One person said to me. You might never know for sure what God has in mind for you, so just keep doing what you are doing. Good Point! I do know for sure that patience is what I need to learn and some days that lesson is far from being complete.
I re read Dan’s blog and say to myself, yep not getting paid to do this and it is very hard. So I need to work, but then mom pays more out in care than I make. Okay so what – that is the point of saving up for your retirement and care right. Someday it will be me in this situation and hopefully someone with have THEIR IMPACT to share with me.
Bigger picture – IMPACT. This word starts with I! Consequence of this – wanting to think of myself in this country I have to be in and the foreign thinking and unobvious circumstances brought before me. Fumbling through daily is okay, as I remind myself of this. Complaining brings on feelings of hatred and emotional dysfunction, so just let things go and move on. Better said than done but again IMPACT starts with I and it is normal to thing about I. Caregiver awareness is always about I! From WebMD: Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.
So to be a good caregiver and have an IMPACT on yourself and those around you – Choose I first. Take moments to have an IMPACT on your country. The road you take from your country to the country that needs you and back will be full of more joy and less breakdowns!
Peace and Awesomeness today!
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world” – Dr.Seuss. Caregivers are unsung heroes who show love and care, often at the expense of their own well-being. In this second part of my thoughts on caregiving, I wanted to talk about self-care, since I saw my […]
This has been a good read for me. There is a photo in this article that reminds me as soon as we hit Michigan again I have the calming of the lake to go down to and relax and meditate. I want to learn how to let go and mediate more myself. The quote by Dr. Seuss is one I must keep in mind.
This week with mom has been challenging again in GOOD and BAD ways!
This thing called dementia is one of the most exasperating and debilitating diseases I have ever encountered. I thought diabetes and Hep C was bad. I have said over the years to many of my friends and acquaintances when speaking of mom and my take. I can handle diabetes – give insulin give food! Simple as that with balance in lifestyle! Hep C – we are super duper careful with gloves and lots of bleach and Lysol! But this thing called dementia (she has been officially diagnosed with vascular dementia from the diabetes) is one thing I cannot grasp emotionally or mentally myself!
So what do I mean with my title today – Crochet Me a River! Well after episodes with her and my emotions getting the best of me over and over I crochet and cry! It is hard to see the stitches sometimes but by the time I’ve gone a round or two my heart and mind feel better for sure. Getting wrapped up in yarn – pun here 🙂 gives me the chance to unwind – pun here again 🙂 and stitch myself back together – one more pun :)!!! No really it is one of the ways I find to keep myself sane in the complex and varied life on one with dementia. Always the creator and crafter, making something whether it be for me, you or an order for someone special crocheting is my CRAFT, LIFE AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT!
The low down this week on mom – we had a surprise for her and I asked her if she wanted to know what was going to happen the next day or be surprised. She wanted to know and before I could give a clue she figured out her brother and sister in law were coming for a visit. Now how did she do that? Excitement was in the air for 24 hours as we anticipated the arrival of family for a couple days. She was in good spirits and happy to participate in the activities we were planning. But by the end of day one – maybe she was tired she just started crying and saying she was fat. I could not console her for anything. I just hugged and hugged and talked slow and low to her. My heart was hurting for sure as I cannot put in my brain why things like this just come to her. The next day after a day of shopping, we got home had some lunch and then she wanted to watch TV. Eventually the news was on and she loves to watch the local NBC news. We were flipping between that and Olympic news starting. Off to the store I went to get dinner supplies and when I returned the TV was on full blown loud and she was screaming for the guys to shut up and stop talking so she could hear. I put the TV on captioning so she could read it, I could think and get dinner ready. The next thing I know off to the other room and her TV she went. She couldn’t find the remote came back out screaming at me and then when I tried to calm her down and ask her to stay in here with the family and visit she physically attacked me. Now this is a FIRST for her, but it scared me and she was so strong. I never raised my voice or got angry – just tried to calm her. She finally sat on the couch crying and kept telling me to shut up and wouldn’t look at me. WOW- another indication that the dementia is taking over with her. I went back to making dinner with tears and a heavy heart.
Last night I got out the Banner Alzheimer’s Clinic book we got and read up more on the stages of dementia. Looks like I pretty much did what they say to do – calmly talk to the person, try to change the current situation to a new one. Needless to say being one of the first times this has happened I was really scared about what was happening. We finally ate dinner and then got out the WII and played a few games with her watching but not participating this time! The next day I asked her a bit about the situation and she does not really remember why or doing it – but she kept saying I’m sorry! Now this tore me up again. With this over and she off to her room to do her thing -OUT CAME THE CROCHET ONE MORE TIME – I am making a 3D unicorn for a friend that wants it for comfort and joy. Maybe I need it too! Here is a link Unicorn stages on Instagram and I’ll make one for you too – ask me how to buy one!
At least for the next two weeks she has the Olympics to watch and she loves the ice skating big time! I have quite a bit of part time work over the next few weeks and spring training is around the corner – YEA BASEBALL. Mom loves her Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks so we have something for her to take interest in again.
Life is hard with this – I have learned more on diabetes and dementia than I should have to, but it is necessary to know what is happening. Anyone have any good reading material on the subject please comment. I would love any feedback on anyone having this or similar events happen to them as well.
My life as I knew it has been gone for seven years now and I have to tell myself all the time – SO IS MOMS! Crochet Crochet Crochet to keep sane. My river continues to flow and some days the river is lazily flowing along and some days the river is raging
Today’s Featured Image is my DEAL OF THE DAY!
The dictionary’s respite care definition is “a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant” or “an interval of rest or relief”.
I will go with the 2nd ‘an interval of rest or relief’! I was able to leave town for almost four full days and spend it with my father and step mom. It was relaxing, different kind of days for me and overall a nice time with my family! I am being told all the time, ‘Maria you need respite time’! It isn’t always so easy to get away. Incredibly my timing was such that I got to work the first game of the Sun Cup for the Tucson Football Club at The Kino Complex not far from my dads. So I got rest, relaxation and a days work. How can one dispute this?
Hearing from my husband daily we found mom was more cooperative this weekend than she has been in many weeks. No arguing, no disputing him and actually trying to do stuff on her own somewhat. He said it was actually pleasant. This makes me wonder – with us both giving her orders, directions and overall telling her what to do, are we overwhelming her? It is something to ponder for sure. My stress level was high when I returned yesterday knowing I had to get back into my care routine and really enjoying myself so much for four days. The drive alone for 90 minutes was awesome! Singing old country songs at the top of my lungs, listening to Ted Radio Hour and how we don’t slow our brains down at times….yep I’m so guilty of this. Today I am much better because I actually slept in a bed after three nights on a couch and a silly crazy puppy that attacked me each morning.
Got some fun news for later in the week so my schedule for the week at home, and working part time completely changed. I am excited and going along with the fun coming up later in the week! Ted reminded me Valentine’s Day is next week so his delivery days are getting longer and starting earlier in the day!
Hooray for roses and Love next week!!!
I went antiquing with the parentals on Sunday and that is always so much fun! The last time I did that was in Michigan in September after cocktails with friends. Four floors of antiques later we left with goodies in our hands and a parking ticket on our car! Gotta love the afternoon drinking with friends and the day then just happens! So I am always on the look for Guardian Service cookware – alas none to be found. For those that do not know what it is – see the link below. I have lots of pieces but many I don’t have. Always fun to try and find new pieces.
Guardian Service Guardian Service is the amazing, aluminum alloy cookware that dates from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. This cookware is highly sought-after today with many people collecting it and using it on a daily basis.
Crocheting is keeping me busy too. I have three things going at once. The Heart Afghan , Arms of The Unicorn and no picture yet but a brown cotton wrap to put on your hair from the shower! Oh and of course my own afghan that I haven’t touched since last summer! I will need it soon maybe! Please check out my Stuff to Buy page. I am really hoping to get this stuff sold before the trip to Michigan. I need the room in the car – HA! If you see something and want another color – or if you choose $100 or more in products already made, let me know and I will be making some good deals for ya!
Remembering why I started this and that is mom and my crochet! Mom is my center right now and crochet is my balance! With this said ….
First, Care for Yourself
On an airplane, an oxygen mask descends in front of you. What do you do? As we all know, the first rule is to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. Caring for yourself is one of the most important—and one of the most often forgotten—things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit, too. From Family Caregiver Alliance-National Center on Caregiving!
Peace and Awesomeness tonight!
I started crocheting in 2014 as a way to earn some extra income while caring for mom. Working full time became extremely difficult so today I work multiple part time jobs and crochet.
I have always been a crafter and creator of something. The part I don’t know how to do for sure is sell my stuff. Someone asked me – what makes your stuff stand out? Hmm I have been thinking on this a lot and coming up with a great answer has been difficult. I can say its made with love – yea well I’m sure everyone makes their craft with love. I can say I do it because I need to make money – yea well everyone needs to make money. With this said what is left to say….I do it because it calms and relaxes me and gives me a feeling of doing something for someone else! The love and money are great too do not get me wrong. I have sold many items over the last few years, but I am one that always wants to make more, be challenged more and sell more. Not lying here – its a big truth!
Here is where I need you and this blog to help! I am on – Caffeinated Crocheter on FB as well as an Caffeinated Crocheter on Instagram and my sales page here on my blog Stuff to Buy. I am sharing, friends are sharing. I am buying promotions but I feel I am falling farther behind. Ideas and plans to get me more followers – TALK TO ME! See how I’m tying into other blogs here! I would really love some conversations here from other bloggers and even other crocheters! I have been told make this make that – I want to sell off my inventory and then begin the process of creating what I love best and has been selling best with me and my customers so far!
Ready Set – hit me with your best shots of comments!
Peace and Awesomeness today,
Talk to Me – I have used this mantra quite a few times lately. Now why do I do this – two fold and here we go!
One – I fear mom is losing the ability to stack her thoughts and piece by piece extract them and express to us. As she progresses and as I try to learn, but lately lose my patience with her (unfortunately but its part of this process), I find she just shuts down more and more. I try to say let’s talk and get her talking or if something happens like last night try to explain why I am upset and what can we do together to solve this issue. She just looks at me with blank eyes and says to me, “I don’t Know”! Now with memory issues as one of the large daily problems how am I to really know if she doesn’t know. The issue last night along with a couple others have to do with her well being and safety! She just doesn’t understand I fear that we are doing this to protect her from harm and ourselves as well. We sat down to dinner finally after a few minutes interruption with the issue at hand. We tried to calmly talk to her and she says she gets it – but is she saying this to appease our concern or does she really get it? This issue has gone on and on and not knowing if she does understand – do we take her to talk about it with an outside person or just accept she does not get it? Part of what we have an issue with is what she is doing can in the long run hurt one of us.
This brings me to the next part.
Two – a blog from what I understand can be a two way street. I would love feedback from my readers on issues with this and other dementia related issues you might be dealing with at home. I know I am not alone in this and this is why I started this blog as well. A release of my thoughts and hope to engage with others here. My husband and I have been to counseling ourselves to learn how to deal with her as a general rule, but this in my heart goes above and beyond what I am capable of emotionally with her. Family members are always the one to be hurt first and hardest.
One example without getting to specific here – bending over. She has been told by numerous doctors that she is in the 95% of a major fall. Now can you imagine someone at the age of 80 that is not in the best of health physically and mentally falling, let alone breaking something. Can you say REHAB? If my life was not busy enough already having to put her in rehab just makes me sick. So we tell her every single day – DO NOT BEND OVER! What does she do – bends over to pick up a shiny object or something that is on the floor. Forget tripping, just the bend over and unbalance alone she has come close to going all the way – but because of the grace of GOD, Ted or I happened to be in the right place at the right time each time so far. So at what point does DO NOT BEND OVER again and again not work?
With this all said and solutions never the same for each individual – comment here on my blog ~ TALK TO ME!
Peace and Awesomeness today!
A day or so ago I said stay tuned for good news. READY! Me too!
As I have mentioned in past blogs I work many part time jobs to support myself since caring for mom has become pretty much full time. Well Wednesday I got a call from a current part time job that they want me to work a few more hours and I got a small raise. How cool is that! Not a big raise but every few pennies count when you work part time. The cool part is I get to learn a new task and improve my computer skills again! Spring training is so incredibly close ya’ll! Phoenix Rising football club is also beginning preseason so I get a few hours with that too. Now I need to find something in this area in Traverse City so I can work there too. Not too many sports and entertainment ticketing opportunities there I have found. BOO!
Patience and faith is a good lesson that I for sure don’t practice when things are tough. I would love to hear comments on this life lesson from anyone – let’s begin a conversation! Selling my crochet has proved difficult in some ways, but I keep going at it because I love doing it. My goal is to sell what I have in stock – see Stuff to Sell and help me clean out my inventory. I really want to concentrate on afghans, and made to order from customers. Getting there is the tough part – again patience and faith! Help me here – comment on this and what you go though too!
Now that I have joined Instagram too, I am finding others that crochet and talking with a few about their picture formats and what they are doing to sell. One did mention Shopify, but my experience was not good on there. I also thought all summer about wanting to blog about my crocheting and my care for mom. Crochet is fun, creative for me and trendy now it seems. I also find it to be a good source of income now and then to help with small things – like a tank of gas or a date night with hubby when mom has care. By no means does it really pay my bills and unless I can sell it so fast or create it daily, it never will be. It is a good outlet for me creatively and that is what I love about it.
Off I go into my Saturday adventures – thank you for reading my blogs and would love to actually hear from all of you. Sharing and helping me grow my blog would make me most grateful as well. Here is a good idea – I have a few small pieces of crocheted stuff I would be willing to trade out for someone that shares my blog and pages the most. I won’t say what it is but if you want to win a nice prize from The Caffeinated Crocheter – share share share away! Love all that listen and read –
Peace and Awesomeness today!