Monday, June 13, 2011

My Grandma Pearl and our trip to CO!

WARNING! This is a LOOONG post!

As most of you know from my previous post, we took a little trip to Colorado. We went to stay with my Aunt Deana, which is where I lived after I graduated from high school. It's been a long time since we were able to go and actually visit, so I was super excited! We got there Saturday evening, and Aunt D had made us homemade chicken noodle soup- AWESOME!

Sunday, Jaran started tearing apart the basement bathroom and took all the tile out of the shower and the floor. Then he had to scrape all the stuff that the tile was laid with. He is such a hard worker that he was done by the afternoon! That night we went to my cousin Shasta and her husband Pound's house for a BBQ for memorial day. It was really nice to finally see their house (GO BRONCOS!) and to visit. My cousin Lance and his kids were also there. His son, Hunter, is one of Ansleigh's favorite people... not sure how she remembered, but last summer during Ames camp she was his little tag-a-long. Hunter is 12... and he's awesome with the kids!

Monday Jaran took Aunt D to pick out tile and new fixtures... which took quite some time, but they got some awesome tile! I'm an idiot and didn't take pictures. They got back and Jaran started right away, and finished the floor before the day was through. That night Lance and his family came over for an impromptu BBQ for the real Memorial day. I wish I'd taken more pictures... but like I said, I'm an idiot!
Tuesday Jaran worked on the shower, and finished it quite quickly... then we decided we'd take a break for the rest of the day... which meant we tried to keep the kids from driving us crazy.

Wednesday we needed to let the paint dry... so we split up... Jaran took the boys to go pick up some stuff for Bob while Ans and I went with Aunt D and Grandma Pearl to a Dr. appt. I'll tell more about that later.

Thursday was time for grouting the shower and floor, and I helped Jaran wipe down the tile. After that, we met up with an old friend of mine, Stacy, and her fiance` and ate some food at Red Robin- Jaran was in heaven! Then we took the kids to the park a bit. When we got home, we watched a movie with Aunt D and then went to bed.

Friday was painting, and we got two of the spair rooms done, and then I tried to help Aunt D locate some stuff in her storage... no luck!

Saturday we did a second coat on the two bedrooms and then got washed up to go to my cousin Shanda's grad party. It was fun to spend time with family again, and I got to see Uncle Rick and Aunt Janna, who I hadn't seen for quite a while. The kids had a blast, and my cousin Brooke was kind enough to watch the kids for the next two days so we could finish painting and not worry about them getting into things, as we were moving on to the main room where there are no doors to keep them out!

The next two days we finished the main room and got the fixtures for the shower. It was a good time, and I felt like we actually accomplished quite a bit. I know you're all thinking- well it doesn't really sound like a lot... and here's where the time consuming part comes in:

Grandma Pearl
My Gma has Alzheimer's disease. It's something that she's been living with for over 10 years, which is a pretty big feat. We started noticing some memory loss in 2000, and maybe even before that. She has lived with Aunt Deana, my Dad, Aunt Brenda, and then a nursing-type home that specializes in the memory loss patients. When Aunt Deana realized she wasn't getting taken care of quite right, she removed her and started taking care of her full time. Two years ago she had a fall and broke her hip. The Dr. told Aunt D that she was basically taking her home to pass away, but stubborn old Pearl decided that she wasn't ready yet!

Daily schedule with GMA:
Wake her up and give her some yogurt with her pills mixed in.
Get her breakfast ready, and make sure that the laundry is done from the day before.
Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg with cheese, 2/3 cup blueberries, 1 packet hot oatmeal, 1 banana. Mix it up in the AWESOME blender until it's "porridge" and you're ready. This sometimes takes a long time, as grandma sometimes doesn't sleep at night! After breakfast, it's time to take her to the potty and get her cleaned and changed. This part of the day usually take a minimum of an hour, sometimes 2, and I don't know how Aunt Deana does it alone. I was there to help, and I felt like I was so exhausted by the end of the day. She has no control over anything... so sometimes you have to wait with her forever until she does her duty. She's still very modest, although she can't put a full sentence together that makes any sense... so she's constantly trying to pull on her clothes and things to keep herself covered. Finally, it's time to take her into the living room to "her chair" where we put her feet up and cover her up with her blanket. By then, it's about lunch time... and that's usually homemade soup Aunt D makes her. after lunch is about the only time Aunt D has to do anything. Then it's dinner around six or so, which is chicken breast, potatos and gravy and peas... all super smooth and mixed up in the mixer... or she will chew forEVER! Then after that you have about an hour to finish laundry and get her bed ready, get her pudding and pills, and then it's another trip to the bathroom to change her pants, get her pj's on and then get her to bed and tuck her in. My Aunt Deana is such a great lady and takes such good care of my Grandma Pearl... who still has her sense of humor, and is constantly giggling! Every now and then you catch a glimmer of the old Pearl in there, and it's awesome. The first few days was hard for me, and I was constantly tearing up. My grandma used to take care of me, now I was taking care of her. I suppose that's the way it's supposed to go, but as I was singing to her one night trying to get her to go to sleep... I was reminded of how she used to do that to me, and it was hard to continue with my song. She no longer knows who any of us are, but she still smiles at us and if you say- "I love you" she'll say it right back. And here I am crying again. I was thinking about how blessed I've been to be so close to my Grandma's, and how precious my memories are with them, and how glad I am that we were able to go visit and help Aunt Deana. I didn't do that much, I fed most of her meals to her, and sat with her so Aunt Deana could go with Jaran or go pick Jason up and go to a quick dinner, but it was the smallest thing. I hope that I can go back later and give Aunt Deana a couple days off to go and do something for herself! She deserves it! Well, enough ranting... I know this was long, and I apologize, but I felt I needed to say it! Take Care!

1 comment:

Cassie said...

That's awesome you got to go and spend so much time there. I am amazed at all that Aunt Deana does!