Friday, October 10, 2008

Sisterly Email (plus)

Hello, All!

I haven't felt like writing any news lately. My knee is very sore and the dr. is allowing me to take Tylenol codeine since Aleve is not working so well. All activity has been focused on getting furniture out for painters and carpet layers and then back in to the living, dining, entry, hallway....

Yesterday I had the care conference at [mom's facility]. We talked about Mom's deteriorating condition and they asked permission from Mom and me so that they could start feeding her the pureed food [which she's been getting for a few months now]. She has begun leaning forward with head down unable to look up. She can't seem to even manage the large[-]handled silverware any more. And she is losing weight. They have even substituted a cup that will allow her to drink without the [need] to tip her head back since she can't use a straw. In addition, they are giving her liquid snacks during the day to drink similar to what we know as "Ensure"---protein shake-like drinks.

We saw the neurologist today---didn't really like him personally since he was from the old school (my age) and didn't want to discuss anything I suggested. He tested Mom's memory (which wasn't too good about who is president or the day of the week or items that he listed to have her repeat). He asked her to spell words and perform some subtraction and she did answer those correctly. He looked at her eyes, pushing her head and limbs every which way and declared that she does not have Parkinson's.... He claimed it is just deterioration of the brain circuitry.

Then I discovered today that they have been treating her for a urinary tract infection with Septra (sulpha) and she was red in the face with a swollen lower lip [because she is allergic to sulpha drugs--duh!]. [The facility] asked [her primary doctor] to change the prescription but he discontinued it saying she probably has had enough to kill whatever the infection was. However, the nurse at [the facility] also diagnosed thrush in her mouth ... caused by antibiotics so they will be treating that now. Her heel blister has healed beautifully!

I have seen quite a deterioration in the past month. I feel I must warn you that with her eating problems and lack of attention and speech difficulties she seems to failing fast. She asked about the bird feeder so we will take it back and wash her new windows with LimeAway so she can see out! I did bring up the fact that the facility should be doing this and they said they would get at it, but I am not holding my breath. I have bought her 3 new outfits to wear; I will continue to read to her until my surgery on the 21st.

[Elizabeth], since you are coming, maybe you can continue the reading to her, I hope, for that week plus maybe feeding her one meal a day? She is looking forward to seeing you.

[Del], I know you are planning a trip later but I won't tell her anything until the day before! Have a good trip to Gettysburg and Philadelphia? How's [Jesse] doing and when does he get to [Elizabeth and K]'s?

[Cat], is [Beast]'s dad settled in yet to a place in [your] area? That's a big change for him and no doubt your entire family is involved in helping! That's why we haven't heard from you, I guess.

[Katherine] (and [Alan]), Mom did see the pictures of your patio and kitchen. What is the next project? Just kidding!

Sorry to have written such a depressing letter. Between my knee and Mom's condition, I am not in very good humor these days!

Love, [Marie]

P.S.: Our car repair looks like it will run little over $3000.

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