IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2008
|YES, SHEILA, WE'RE REALLY HOME
15 April 2008
The dogs were ecstatic when we returned home. Sheila immediately ran into my office and then poked her head out as if she couldn't understand why I wasn't already sitting at my computer. When I went outside again to help Walt unload the car, she ran into the living room and when I came into the house, she had this big grin on her face as if to say "Well? Are we going to sleep now?"
But now the car is unloaded, I'm at my desk, Sheila is lying with her head on my foot and all seems to be right with her world. Russell is off at someone else's house, but will be "home" tomorrow sometime.
It was a lovely ride home, past lush green hills thick with mustard, and in spots mixed with carpets of purple lupin. I was sorry there was never a place to get a good photo. We kept my iPod on "shuffle" the whole way. From San Luis Obispo to Davis, we played about 90 songs and one episode of the old The Shadow radio program and perhaps the most jarring juxtaposition was going from K.D. Lange to an aria from the operetta Countess Maritza! But when you have an eclectic collection of music, it's really an experience using the "shuffle" feature!
We left Alice Nan's around 10 or so and went back to Maravilla (the Assisted Living place). We spoke with the gal at the office, who is aware of the camera and knows whom she has to contact, but was unable to reach Brianna before we left, so we have left the retrieval of the camera (if there is going to be a retrieval of the camera) to Alice Nan.
We met Walt's mother in the dining room and chatted with her for awhile.
When you're blind and you are in a busy dining room and don't have a clue where the servers are, this is how you signal for a coffee refill.
Alice Nan and I talked about her mother a lot last night, while Walt was still over there and she and I were home alone. Her world has shrunk so small in the last ten years. This is a woman who has traveled all over the world, who was very active in keeping up with politics and now her world has shrunk to a tiny two room apartment, and her biggest accomplishment in a day is walking to the bathroom (though she needs assistance once she gets there).
She moved into Maravilla at about the time she really become legally blind, and shortly after she began to have physical problems which moved her out of the regular section and into Assisted Living. She can't go out of her apartment without a caregiver, she can't see to use her walker other than from her recliner in front of the TV to the bathroom and back. She can't see anybody, so she isn't able to make friends and it seems that her only social contact are the caregivers (who all seem to be quite friendly, but who all have several clients under their care, so social interaction is very brief).
She has had skin problems for years and itches all the time. She is on oxygen almost 24/7. She gets nebulizer treatments four times a day, where medicated steam is pushed through a mask she wears for 15 minutes a treatment. It has helped keep her from lung problems. She has always been quite tremulous (her hands shake badly--Paul had the same condition), but now it's much, much worse. It's painful to watch her feed herself, though she also wants to be as independent as possible, so we don't help her unless she asks for help.
But it just seems such a sad way to end an active, productive life. The best thing is that she is where she is, so close to Alice Nan, who can pop over to visit or to have a meal or to make sure that everything is being taken care of, though I know it can't be easy being essentially the sole family caregiver (though Walt and his brother get down as often as they can).
* * *
It seems that in our absence, our television decided to die. Ashley left a note saying that as of Sunday, she could only get sound, but no picture. We have been having some picture problems with it for some time, and I don't think it's anything that Ashley might have done; I think its time has just come, so we may be at Costco tomorrow looking at new televisions. I guess it's time to bite the bullet and get an HD, though we do not have any place to put one of those ginormous televisions and would be just as happy with a new 36" screen like the one we have now. We recorded lots of stuff in our absence and won't be able to see any of it unless we get a new TV!
Now it's time to post this and get into the living room to catch up on sleep. Sheila can hardly wait!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Going for her first walk
MILES TO NOWHERE:
22 miles (back on the treadmill tomorrow!)
This is entry #2941