Disclaimer

I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

30 November 2009

My Purse! The Lady Stole my Purse!


My mom was a little off all day today, especially because she missed seeing her Naturopath Doctor today.  She LOVES his doctor appointments and never has a bad night before going to see him.

However, last night I realized that I had double booked appointments.  I couldn't believe it. 

I keep forgetting that my mom isn't right and I told her how I screwed up the appointments.  The only doctor she wanted to see today was her ND.

I contacted the ND's office as soon as I could and asked to reschedule, today preferably.  The only time was 10:30am, I don't think I could make it unless we were out of the Neurologist by 10:10.  No way did I want to rush our Neurologist.

We missed the ND appointment.

My mom was upset.  She was looking forward to seeing her ND today.  The upset brought out Lewy.

This afternoon, she fell asleep in her chair, did some sleep walking, hid her purse and then woke up worrying about her purse.  She has worried about her purse for as long as I can remember... I'm nearing the 50 corner, so it's been a LONG time that she's worried about that damn purse.

Like many care givers, we spend hours looking for shit.  Tonight, my mom decided that it was important for me to help her find her "stolen" purse while I was in the middle of making dinner.  Oh, the timing was impeccable for causing me to lose my stride with preparing dinner.  It was one of those meals where you need to add things in a sequence, pretty quick before the simmer step of my recipe.

I assured her that no one came and stole her purse.

Later, while she ate dinner she said to me, "Susie, you don't understand these people.  They show up.  They are here when you are and they laugh at you.  You see that statue over there, it's laughing at you."

My mom gets a very strange look in her eyes when she is in hallucination mode.  I didn't give her any more helleborous, I decided to do hypnosis instead.

I gave her mind positve commands and told her that she will remember where her purse is in the morning.  that she will have a great night sleep and in the morning, she will remember where she placed it for safe keeping.

Well... let's see if this works.  I believe it will.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to set up cameras to see if I can capture "the lady" in action.

Success Principle Nine for the Care Giver: Action



All well and good that you are reading my articles about the Success Principles of Being a Care Giver, but unless you DO SOMETHING, you may as well do something else with your time.

Years ago I took Physics while in college and I learned about Kinetic Energy, it's the law that describes that anything in motion remains in motion.  While you are moving, you are able to work.  I like to call this "being on a roll."

The tough part is staying on the roll. 

Often there are interruptions to our routine which makes it nearly impossible to stay motivated.  I'd say this is the main reason I stop doing those things that help keep me moving.  Primarily it's exercise that I'm talking about here.  I've found through experience that moving and using my body is the best way to help myself.

Endorphins are released in the body when we exercise which helps you to feel calm.  Care Givers need all the calm energy that they can create.  You see, by moving, by keeping yourself in motion, you are creating the calm energy that you need to be a really awesome care giver.

From experience, I'm noticing that the more I exercise, the more calm I am.  I feel peace.  I am sleeping great at night.  Exercising MY body... who knew this would help my mom?

How do I work exercise in with Care Giving?

Wii Fit is the best invention, EVER for care givers.  It allows me to do a work out at home.  My mom watches and laughs her head off at times.  Even on her not so good days, once I use Wii Fit and the balance board, she laughs, bringing happier energy.  She feels better because of the peace we created through motion and laughter.  All Success Principles combined create the sweetest energy that makes Care Giving way easier and enjoyable.



Last week my mom and I were doing Wii Fit together. 

She had been using the treadmill but she kept dragging her feet.  I didn't see how that was helping to build any muscle in her legs, she was having trouble keeping up with me when we'd go shopping.  That's when I thought about the Wii Fit jogging feature.

My mom began running in place with her Mini-me a couple of weeks ago.  I run next to her, coaching her along the way.  Encouraging her, telling her that she's doing GREAT.... little bit further... etc.  She can only go half way and I finish the rest for her.  But, it does get her blood circulating and her heart rate up, both really important for her vascular health.



My mom sleeps better now that she's on an exercise regime.  Her mood is better too because she's got some endorphins flowing into her blood and brain.  She can walk longer distances now when we go out grocery shopping.  It's noticeable and she's only been on this plan for 2 weeks.

We had stopped the Wii game for several months and now that she's started using it again, she's having some fun.  Just last week she was doing ski jumps and sliding down a hill with skis - even though it was the mini-mi doing it on the TV screen, she got to laugh and felt like SHE was REALLY doing it.

The funniest moment we've had so far is last week we were jogging in place.  My mom was holding the Wii remote.  I was jogging along side her, coaching her.  I began to work up a sweat.  My mom's mini-mi was moving fast, I felt I needed to keep up.

I thought to myself, "Hey, wait a minute..."  I look down at my mom's feet.  They WERE NOT MOVING! She figured out that if she shook the remote, it would appear that she was running.  I caught her cheating with the exercise game.

We both laughed so hard when I busted her for cheating.  Especially when I had sweat coming down my face and she was cool.  My mom laughed so hard that she had to sit.

So... it's all about action.  Moving.  Doing something, anything, just get up and do it.  Even if you just do it for yourself, moving will keep you engaged with the world so when your Care Giving Project is over, it's easier for you to live the life of your dreams.

28 November 2009

A Good Morning for Jo


This morning my mom woke up at 3am thinking that it was 9am.  She is excited that my sister is coming to take her out today.  They may go out to lunch somewhere which is a big treat for my mom.  She knows what she can and can't eat, she hates the hallucinations so I don't have to worry about her cheating.

Helleborous Niger is our fixer, it helps her to keep the walls and furniture from moving as well as all the strangers that seem to appear on occassion.  I must write a longer post about Helleborous.

I woke at 3am and helped her back to bed.  I told her to sleep until 7 and I'd make her coffee.  6:45am... squeak, squeak, squeak.  I hear my mom walk on the squeaky floor above my bed.  I was still tired and not ready to get up.

I did wake and set my mom up with her pills as well as checked all her readings.  I put coffee on for her and told her to help herself, I was sleeping a little longer.

Long story short, I got to sleep until almost 9am!  It felt great.  The kittens, they tried to wake me earlier but I was too sleepy.

My husband got up early and made sure my mom was OK.  Her only hallucinations were moving walls and furniture, no people.  When I woke, I gave her 4 pellets of Helleborous Niger, the walls and furniture have returned to their "right" place.

Today, I get a break for a few hours.  I'm excited.  It will be a great day... it IS a great day.  After all, I got to sleep until 9am, that NEVER happens.

Yay!  

27 November 2009

How to Make Gluten Free Golumpkies (stuffed cabbage rolls)


Yesterday, my sister had a crockpot of golumpkies.  I never tried one.  I meant to take one home and forgot.  Since yesterday, I have been craving golumpkies.


My Bacci's recipe called for rice, but I didn't want to make it with rice because then my mom couldn't eat them... she loves 'em.


Here's what I came up with and they are really delicious.


What you'll need:  A pressure cooker or slow cooker.  Pressure cooker will cook it fast, slow cooker, well... it will cook it slowly.


Ingredients:


Stuffing


1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground buffalo or beef (lean)
4 medium carrots - grated
1 shallot finely diced
5 cloves of garlic finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh flat parsley finely chopped
3 Eggs - beaten
1 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
Fresh ground Himalayan or Sea Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste


Sauce


2 cans whole peeled tomatoes or  diced tomatoes (big cans or  Quart sized canning jar)
4 bay leaves
6 whole peppercorns




Savoy cabbage


Cook the cabbage 


In a pan of water, boil the cabbage so that the cabbage leaves soften, about 10 - 15 minutes.  If you cut the core out first, it will cook faster.  Drain cabbage and run under cool water.  Separate leaves so that they cool.

Mix the Stuffing ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, mix pork and buffalo (or beef or turkey or chicken hamburg) with all the stuffing ingredients.  If you use a Magic Bullet, you can blend all the spices and herbs together in the large container.

Roll the rolls

Take one cabbage leaf and about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup stuffing mixture (depends how big the leaves of the cabbage are)

Roll the cabbage leave over the meat and tuck in the cabbage along the sides, sort of like if you were wrapping an egg roll.

Gently place the rolls in the bottom of the pan or Crockpot casserole.  Layer the rolls, leaving a space along the sides of the pan.  You want to make sure that the tomatoes will fill around the edges of the cabbage rolls.

Roll the rolls until all the cabbage is gone or the meat.  If you have extra cabbage leaves, you can put them into the pan.

Sauce

Put the 2 large cans of tomatoes or (2 quart sized canning jars of tomatoes from your garden.)  Add the bay leaves and the peppercorn.


Put the lid on the pressure cooker.  Cook on high for 15 minutes.  Shut off the heat and let the pressure cooker unpressurize by itself.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Observation: Lewy and Holiday Stress

The entire week before Thanksgiving, my mom was out of sorts.  She had a lot of helleborous niger which chased the hallucinations away, even if it was only temporarily at times.  I know she enjoys the relief from the visions of strangers, little kids and extra animals that she often sees because of her Lewy Bodies.

When she has hallucinations, I always make sure to pay extra attention to what she eats, things that could be bothering her; we all know that things change like the wind with our patients, it happens in a split second.  I observe her so that I can understand the illness.   Mostly because I want to document everything so that one day if medical science doesn't catch up, my husband can at least read my notes and know how to care for me.

Learning about Lewy Bodies and living with it is like nothing else I've ever studied.  It's such an emotional roller coaster for the Care Giver.  I often wonder if it's because we put so much effort into our loved one and don't see much improvement.  I am beginning to understand more of why it is so important to change the focus of care giving to myself.  It's the same notion of being in a plane that's about to crash and the face mask drops, you put it on yourself first and then you can help others.

I won't lie, putting the mask on yourself first takes guts.  It's hard, especially for care givers.  The thing is, as care givers we can easily slide down pitty party hill if we move our focus to the people we care for.  That's when the old nasty stuff like resentment, ill will, depression and all the other horrible things that seem to happen to good people, enters our lives.

Our emotions, how we feel, the thoughts we have, all affect our wards.  Every thing.  It's almost like a Universal Consciousness thing going on between my mom and the world.  She has extrasensory perception, well it appears that way.  She reads my thoughts!  She reacts to my thoughts.  The thoughts, they become her reality and next thing I know, we are sliding on Shit Street and things are messy.

Not having a break from my mom in several weeks, I went to that Pitty Party Hill and dove down head first before I turned onto Shit Street ending with a face full of stinky crap.  It was unpleasant.  I cried.  I didn't want to, crying makes me have puffy eyes the following day (it was Thanksgiving Day - oiy!)  My mom, she was extra irritable and was being nasty just for the sake of being a bitch.  I hate it when that happens.

I think she stresses out over seeing people that she hasn't seen in awhile.  I'm noticing that whenever her routine is broken, she gets nervous and begins to hallucinate.  She's more sensitive to foods too, like tomatoes and peppers.  Her taste buds change because everything she eats is lousy tasting to her.  Hypnosis sort of works, it helps her to sleep at night but not completely through the night.

Once we arrived at my sisters house for dinner, my mom seemed to relax.  She saw my Aunt Jay, her best buddy.  My niece came over.  My mom got to be with the kids, she loved it.

We drove my Aunt Jay home, on the ride over to Jay's my mom got nervous because it was so dark outside.  She was stuttering and a bit lethargic looking.  She was talking words that made no sense.  Fortunately, I travel with a bottle of Helleborous so I gave her a few pellets.  She was much better around an hour later when we were home and she was in her bed.

Last night she slept great, not waking until 7am.  She woke up refreshed and happy.  No confusion.  No need for Helleborous Niger.

Holidays absolutely stress my mom out.  Keeping the stress minimal is the secret.  Now if I could only figure out how to keep the stress minimal.... any ideas?

26 November 2009

My Top Things to be Thankful for in 2009


My best friend and husband
My good health
My creativity
My mom is alive and doing well, considering...
My mother-in-law
My sisters, both of them
My brother, both of them, even Ed who's dead
My nephews and niece, especially our new little nephew
My cats - Savita, Salli Mae and Sammy Davis

I'm also thankful for my blog and all my readers ... past, present and future

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

25 November 2009

The Mother Instinct

I am writing about Success Principles but I also want to write how I am dealing with Lewy Bodies in real life.  How I apply these principles and then report the results.

So...

Today was a rough one for Jo and me.  Lewy was screaming to break out.  My mom got nasty.

She asked if I had heard from my sister that doesn't want to talk to me anymore.  Oh man, I love my sister.  I felt like I was going to bust out crying.  I miss her.  I blurted out "no, she wont' talk to me", exactly how I'd say it if I was a kid complaining to her about one of my siblings.

My mom, she didn't remember that my sister got mad at me and cut me out of her life.  All she knows is that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and my sister and I always talked at the holiday.

That was a bad trigger.  It just put me in a horrible mood.  I know that my mood affects my mom but that didn't stop my mood from barreling forward.  Things snow balled to the point where I felt like throwing my mom's dinner at her.  Mostly because EVERYTHING that I had made her today was not good to her.

Side Note:  My mother-in-law love everything and even told me that one of my creations was exceptionally good (white bean salad with cilantro.)

I was annoyed.   I haven't had a break in over a month.  I'm tired.

It's really difficult to prepare food that my mom can eat and helps her to avoid hallucinations.  I can't count how many times she's told me that my food sucks.  Oh, not a good thing to say to me, ever.  I wait for the MMMM sounds from folks who are blessed enough to eat my cooking.  My mom knows this and when she's in a bitchy mood, like she was today, she knows the button to push to try my patience.

The button worked for her today.  I found myself bawling my eyes out.   ME!  I was crying!  How the hell did that happen?  I was doing so well, writing my success principles for care givers, living them and all of a sudden, a curve ball.  LEWY!

I did cry.  But I also thought to myself that this is an opportunity to live real life with Lewy and our alternative methods that we document for the world to see.  I pulled myself together after I got a chance to cry.  It felt good so I said, fuck it and cried by myself.

 Pulling myself together I thought that I needed to "fix" things or neither of us would sleep tonight.  I also knew that I had triggered my mom's Mother Instinct.

My mom,  she snapped out of her dementia when she was "mothering" me.  When I allowed her to be my mom, to listen to me cry and give me her advice, her comforting words... it made her feel good.  I think it helped.  We'll know tomorrow if we all get to sleep through the night.

Tonight, my mom asked me about Lewy Bodies.  She asked me to explain it to her and what we are doing to help her.  I did.  I told her what I knew about the disease.  I was able to tell her about the alternative treatments that I believe will help her a lot.  I told her our goal is to give her more good days than bad.  She said to me, "Susie, I want to beat this Lewy and I think gandhi is going to help (she meant Ashwagandha.)

I laughed.

We talked a little more and I wanted to make sure that we had a good laugh together.  I recalled our Wii work out from yesterday.

Usually, we start off with the balance games and end up with walking with our Mini-Mi.  I walk next to her, coaching her, telling her that she's doing great.  She can make it half way and I usually take it to the end for her. 

Yesterday however, I noticed her mini-mi running like I'd run.  I mean to the point where I'm really running.  I look over and her feet were not moving!

I think to my self... what the...?

My mother was cheating!!! 

She figured out that she could shake the Wii remote and get the same affect as if she was really running in place.

When I busted her for cheating, she laughed, and laughed.  I laughed. 

Today, I told my sister about my mom and how she was cheating... she cracked up and said, "Well, she's doing really good, she figured out how to cheat the exercise game!"

Tonight, I confided in my mom, I found that the Mother Instinct is stronger than Lewy.  I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not, but at one point I felt 16 and my mom was my mom.  It was really great.  I even cried.  She gave me words of advice like she did oh so many years ago.  For a short moment tonight, I had my mom completely.  It was awesome.

My mom is  my Thanksgiving Miracle.

Health Tips for my Plumber


Every one needs a plumber at one time or another when you own a house.  We don't always need them but when we do, we need them NOW and it ends up costing you money.

Just as our household plumbing needs maintenance to keep working, so do our bodies.  If we put shit in our bodies, our pipes get clogged, inflammation occurs and we find ourselves sick with diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, dementia, MS and all other illnesses that make life less than enjoyable.

When Matty the Plumber came to the house over the summer, I got on the subject of Fenugreek and Cordyceps.  I was gungho on these remedies and couldn't believe the results they were having with my mom's blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure readings.  Matty happened to be here on a day when I was shouting our great results from the mountain top for all to hear.  Matty listened to me.  I sent him home with some Fenugreek and Cordyceps.

Today,  Matty returned to our house for a minor job.  He looks fabulous.  He's dropped some weight and looks like he's on the road to better health.  He's a volunteer fireman in his town so he absolutely needs to feel good all the time.  I'm very happy for him, his family and all the people he will save in the future.

Like me, Matty is a fan of Fenugreek and Cordyceps.  He's wearing cloths that haven't fit in a long time and he feels great about it.  He reminds me of myself when I first discovered the power in natures medicine cabinet. 

Today, I shared with him what I had learned about gluten and it's effects on my mom's mental state.  I told him how I stopped eating gluten too and my big fat belly is flattening out.  I have NEVER had a flat belly but I see one in my future.

How did I do it?  

Things/Food to Avoid

All gluten products - wheat and rye, barley and oats
Bread, Pasta, Preservatives
All Rice
Corn
Potatoes
Anything in a box
Preservatives of all kinds
Don't buy anything that is "sugar free" it breaks your insulin receptors

What do you eat?

Anything organic - fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices
Quinoa grain
Amaranth Grain
Raw nuts like pistachio, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts
Raw Blue Agave Nectar (sugar replacement - this is a low glycemic sugar, your blood sugar won't spike)
Use Soy Flour, Quinoa flour to make gluten free bread in a bread machine.  Here's the recipe I came up with that is A-MAZ-ING.


It's possible to cook fabulous meals with out gluten.  Instead of wheat flour, use soy flour or Quinoa flour.  Combine food where starch accompanies vegetables or Protein (meats and legumes) with vegetables.  Never mix starch and protein.

It is tough to go totally gluten free cold turkey.  I know, I tried and failed.  Here's how I did it and had success.  First, I went from the gluten breads to Lavash flat bread.  I made sandwich wraps.  Of course I became a master sandwich wrap maker.  Uncle Al calls them "the banana things" because he thinks they look like bananas when I serve the sandwich to him.

When I realized that gluten was making my belly extend, I stopped the Lavash wraps and went totally gluten free.  I bought gluten free products that were organic and were not filled with preservatives.  They were pretty good.  I began making my own gluten free baked goods.  Mmmmmm!  I stopped making gluten free bread because my mom has a problem with baked products so I decided to think about what I could use in place of a bread type wrap.

The Bread Solution 

Lettuce. Use lettuce like a wrap.  It's crunchy like chips and you really get to taste the "sandwich" filler.

We can be creative with food.  Initially I was perplexed about what to cook and how to cook.  But, I've since figured it out and now I'm having a recipe creating extravaganza in my brain.  Documenting the recipe creations as fast as I can so that I can share them with others, like you who read my blog.

So... we all need a plumber sometime, not just for our homes but our body's innards.  Put good stuff in and you will avoid clogs and lots of pain.

24 November 2009

Success Principle Eight of Being a Good Care Giver: I will Multiply my Value 100 Fold

You Can If You Think You Can




We can do anything that we set our minds and hearts to accomplish.


What can we do as Care Givers to multiply our value?  I'm not just referring to helping our loved ones, I'm talking about what are you doing now to multiply your personal value of you?  What are you doing today that will help you the day after your Care Giving Project is over?

Care givers can hide behind the very people they are caring for, it can become our excuse to do nothing for ourselves.  It's a pretty lame ass excuse if you ask me.  Heck, I was falling victim to it and found myself becoming more and more unhappy.  My mom, she just got more and more nuts.  It wasn't working and I had to do something to avoid a massive train wreck from occuring in my life. 

What did I do?  I got creative.  I looked in the mirror.  Instead of thinking of my Care Giving tasks as a thankless job, I began to experience the blessings that Care Giving brings.  I changed how I approached Care Giving.  I changed how I thought about my mom.  Seeing her for the funny person that she is, I began to relax and enjoy her.  After all, isn't the whole point of giving her more good days so that she could spend them with my family and me?

So, with this post, I hope to multiply my value to my readers 100 fold, to maybe shine a beacon of hope on those down days when you want to say F-It and walk away.  Deep down you know you could never do it, but we think about fleeing.  We can't help it.  Some days suck with Lewy... but the good news is, they don't have to. 

Care Givers, we hold the key to the good days. 

It's our attitude, actions, emotions, words, body language; all of these parts of being human are what hold the key to our loved ones having a good or bad day.  Start now by working on yourself.  Practice and incorporate these success principles that I'm writing about into every area of your life and life will become so much better for you and your loved one. 

You will find success in having peace.  Inner peace and calm.  You know, the stuff you can't buy.  Our prize will come, apply the principles of success, right now for YOU. 

I'm discovering that I feel more empowered as a care giver.  I'm planning my new career now for when this Care Giving Project is over.  I'm visualizing what I want my life to be.  I'm writing my movie script for my new life which is absolutely a work in progress.  It's exciting. 

Dreaming and dreaming big... is there anything else?

What we give out to the Universe, we receive.  Give love, get love.  Give money, get money.  Give value, get value.

It's really not difficult to have peace, you just have to give it!

Meet the Family

My husband and I are thrilled to have made the decision to bring home 2 new little kittens.  They are absolutely adding some young funny energy.  We both can't wait to fire up the video camera this winter and film them doing their cute little antics.  Who knows, maybe they'll help us to win the $100K prize on America's Funniest Videos? 

Savita, she's been our cat for quite some time now.  She wasn't very friendly and still isn't very friendly, especially to dog people.  It's funny to see her get a little attitude when we come home with dog smell on us.  She will hiss at the scent of dog on anyone who comes over.  Poor Marty, she is always trying to wack him with her sharp claws because he has dogs and cats!

However, over the years, since just about every one in my family has dogs, Savita is becoming less sensitive to the scent of other animals. 
We took a shot with adoption, could this be the right time to adopt new animals?  We thought about a puppy.  We love German Shepard's but we thought a kitten would be easier. 

Knowing how territorial Savita is with this house and anything that moves outside, we decided to get 2 kittens from the same litter.

Pictured is Savita's reaction when she was told that we were bringing home new babies for her to teach.  She does not look thrilled, at all.


Here's Savita when she was a baby.  A fiesty little she-devil but funny.  My mom loved Savita from the beginning, they bonded immediately.  Savita became my mom's cat because I travelled all the time for my job.  The cat is smart and often would wake me when my mom was having trouble on the otherside of the house where I couldn't hear her. 

I nearly brought her back to the vet when I first brought her home because she shit on the couch.  But, my mom had already bonded with her by this point, that's when I took the picture of My mom and her new little baby.  This picture was taken in June 2002.  My mom was noticing the little heart shaped white patch on her belly in this photo.


Savita was a darling little kitten that turned into a really good companion for my mom.  She still is my mom's buddy.  She brought sunshine into our lives and continues to do her job every day.  Savita means Sun (Sunshine.)

It's time for her to have some kittens to teach.  Just as Shadow, my mom's former cat taught little Savita.  Savita loved Shadow.  Shadow was a really great cat too.  He taught her about hawks that fly in the sky and not to go past a certain point in my old driveway because I lived on a busy street.  I just wasn't too nuts about how he drooled when you'd pat him.  It sort of reminded me of Homer Simpson the way the cat would drool.  We loved that cat, he was so cool.  Here he is with Savita when she was a kitten, when he was letting her know who was boss.



Savita and Shadow became friends.  Then one night Shadow got out, he had to go out.  We never let the cats out at night, especially in my old neighborhood because of the coyotes and fisher cats.  But, this one night, Shadow got out and never returned.  He must have been caught by a wild animal in the woods.  We never saw him again.  It was so sad.  But, Savita made my mom happy, it gave her someone to care for and nurture.

Now, I'd like to introduce you to our new additions.



We named her Salli Mae because she's so cute and reminds us of a Salli.


Here's Salli sleeping in Savita's bed.



And this handsome Cat is Sammy Davis Jr.  What a fine looking cat with a great attitude.




So far so good.  The kittens are settled in and making us all laugh.  Savita?  She's OK.  She's not trying to get at them to kill them.  I'm sure she will love these kittens like Shadow loved her.



23 November 2009

BREAKING NEWS... We Have New Babies!

The last day and a half has been pretty exciting.  I haven't had time to write a post to explain the fun that we are having.  We're still practicing Success Principle 7 - humor. 

It's fun to laugh.

We had this bright idea to adopt 2 little kittens from the local shelter.  One day last week I was thinking about all the death in this house.   I started to think, hmmmm... maybe if we had young blood in the house it would balance the energy.  Hmmmmmm. 

Having our own children?  No WAY!  We're 50, way too late... Thank God.

Well, we got 2 new kittens.  Oh, they are so cute.  They have balanced the energy in our house, it is exactly what we all needed, especially me.  Nothing like a soft cuddly little kitty.

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to them!

22 November 2009

Success Principle Seven of Being a Good Care Giver: Humor

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.


Laughter is the best medicine for all things that bring you down.  I've been known for my laughter..my unique laugh, when something hits my funny bone, laughter bellows from the deepest parts of my soul.  I feel the laugh coming, it comes on like a shot and there's no way to hold it in.

In school as a kid, my laugh always got me reprimands.  My laugh was contagious and made others laugh.

Laughing never worked in quiet places like church and the library.  But, I still laughed.  I can remember being a little kid about 7 and I had gone to church with my neighbor friend.  She went to public school, I went to Catholic school, where we went to church.  We sat in the front row (they call them Pews.) 

My friend Doreen Sweeney, she saw that they had stamped the words "Leave in Pew" on the cover of the miselet.  Doreen loved to make me laugh and saw that this would be a "funny time" to make me laugh.  She poked me to get my attention and then pointed to the words on the booklet as she held her fingers to her nose.

I let out such a laugh, it echoed in the church.  I couldn't stop laughing.  I peed my pants.  I left church early.

The next day, I went to school... my catholic school with the nuns and their big long black habits, the principle standing at the door, motioning me to come with her.

Uh oh!

Stupidly, the group of my teachers went to the same Mass and were seated behind me.  Boy, did I get in trouble for laughing in church.  One good thing, the nuns didn't scare me enough to stop me from laughing.

In college my laugh career continued, my laugh followed along, after all, it is part of who I am.  People who were funny sought to be around me, I was great for their humor egos.  I laugh.  I laugh and laugh.  I had lots of fun through out my life because I laugh. 

Once I went to a comedy show up in Maine and the comedian gave me his card, he loved my laugh and wanted me to follow him around to get his audience going.  I was honored but never went to another of his comedy shows.  Actually, I think it was the last one that I had seen!

I did marry a man who could be a comedian, but I'm grateful that he didn't take that path, it's a hard life.  Brian is very funny, he makes me laugh a lot.

People are funny.  Animals are funny, especially my cat.  Sometimes even my mother's Lewy moments are funny, like the morning she woke up thinking that she had died and was in heaven because we have so many bathrooms.  There's even humor in terminal illness... we just need to fire up our funny bones and let out some laughter.

Laughter helps my mom rest.  I do what I can to make her laugh as she's going to sleep.  For some reason she often finds my hypnosis suggestions funny.  They make her laugh so hard that sometimes she has to get up and use the toilet.  My new profession could very well be the laughing hypnotherapist for LBD.

Through out my life, I have laughed.  I honestly believe that I was born laughing. My parents told me often when I was a kid that I was "their sunshine."  Susie Sunshine... that would be me. 

People have told me that my laugh fills a room.  It's my calling card.  People who know me and havent' seen me in decades, will know me because of my laugh. 

Laughter makes you feel good.  Laugh on purpose.  Force yourself to laugh.  Exercise your laugh muscles.  If you are a frowner, go find someone who's funny to hang out with.  Read some funny bloggers.  There are lots of them out there.  I link to some of my favorites on my blog.  I'm always looking for people who can find humor in all things, even Lewy Bodies Dementia.

I'm not talking about laughing to make fun, I'm refering to the laughter that is love.  The burst of energy that comes from your heart and is vocalized through a thunderous sound, a clash of energy that explodes into the ethers, spreading good cheer.

Today, find something to laugh about.  Even the lunacy of hallucinations, look at it from the outside and just laugh.  It will make you feel better and once you laugh, the tension will be lifted and your love one will laugh too.

Bring peace and calm to your Lewy visitor and laugh!



21 November 2009

How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake in a Magic Bullet

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven 375 degrees.

Toast in a dry skillet (cast iron if you have one) 1/4 cup of hazelnuts.  Once they are heated, the skins should come off fairly easily in a kitchen towel.  Cool and chop to use as a topping for the finished cake.

Cake Ingredients

9 - 10 oz. 70% Organic Dark Chocolate
1 stick of unsalted organic butter
1/4 Cup Almond Meal
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
3 eggs

Melt the Chocolate
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave on low, stiring.  If you have a chocolate melt feature, it works great.  You can always melt it on top of the stove in a double pot.
  • Add the butter after the chocolate is hot and melted. 
  • Allow the butter to melt and blend with the chocolate.
Mix the Cake
  • In the blender attachment of the Magic Bullet add the almond meal and agave nectar. 
  • Put the lid on the blender and mix until blended, about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, blending each egg before adding the next egg. 
  • Add the cooled chocolate and butter mixture slowly to the blender.  You may need to use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate in the blender because it will get a little thick.
Setting up the cake pans

  • Pour each ramakin cup 3/4 full
  • If you don't have these cups, be creative with what you have.
While the cake is baking

  • Put into the small cup 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/8 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract and a 1/4 tsp agava nectar
  • Using the 4 blade attachment to the magic bullet, blend the cream mixture until it turns into whipped cream. 
There won't be a lot, you just want to put a dollup ontop of the cooked cake.

The cakes need about 20-25 minutes - it all depends on the size of the baking cups.  You could use tera cota flower pots, they'd make a really cute desert if you want to impress someone.

Once the cakes are cooked, insert a sharp knife around the edge.  Before you try to take the cake out, it should be cooled a bit, but still warm.

Put a dollup of whipped cream and sprinkle some nuts. 

This is one incredible desert that is gluten free and really not too sinful for the most avid dieter.

My Mom and Wii Fit


Wii Fit is a life saver for me.  It allows me to do 5 minutes of exercise through out the day while taking care of my mom.  She loves watching me use it. 



Today, I thought I'd video her using it - here she is, 80 year old Jo who was told by the  machine today that she's got the body of a 41 year old.   It boosted her spirits to be told that her body is 39 years younger, even if it was by a toy.

The stupid toy told me that my body is that of a 58 year old... now that rots, I'm only 49!

Success Principle Six of Being a Good Care Giver: Emotions

Life has ups and downs. Some days care giving for my mom can leave me feeling as though I've got more down days than up ones.  It was during a down time that I knew I needed to do something to save myself from my own destructive thoughts.

I've had times when I have been fearful of the road ahead.  Not knowing what the hell this Lewy Bodies Dementia would bring my way.  I suppose we are fortunate to be care givers for someone with LBD because Lewy has a way of making a Care Giver face fears head on. 

I'd say the biggest fear we all face is death.  It's going to happen to all of us.  Every day we are really one day closer to our death day.  Oh boy, that's enough to send the strongest minded person into a mini-depressed state of mind.

What is it that we fear as Care Givers?  In my opinion, I believe it's facing our own mortality.  Caring for a parent who has a terminal illness, one where there's no cure and the outcome is not good, has left me looking in the mirror.  I ask myself questions like, will it happen to me?  Will LBD affect one of my siblings or my husband?  Can we avoid the trouble now by changing our habits?

I really don't know the answers to these questions but I do know I'll give it a good shot.  I have changed my habits, life habits that were speeding up my aging, rushing me faster toward the end of my life with a similar fate as my mom.

I've seen the destruction of Lewy Bodies Dementia.  I know it is brought on by poor nutrition and blows to the head.  Poor diet.  Out of control blood sugars and blood pressure helps ensure one will lose their minds at some point in time if they survive heart disease.

Looking in the mirror I say to myself, "Self I say, what the hell are you doing?  Do you really want to have Brian looking under the bed for extra wild animals or a strange man that only exists in my mind?

NO WAY!

I have decided not to fail myself.  I have taken action.  I have taken control of ME.  I am grabbing fear and turning it into a positive, I will succeed as a care giver, even if the outcome for my mom is death.  There's no growing, there's nothing new, just decline... but we can succeed with Lewy by making changes to how I chose to react to the fear of the unknown.  Will it ever end?

Fear of failure is an opportunity to succeed

Focusing on my own self, I know that I am the only one that I can control.  I control everything about myself.  The way I chose to think, the dreams I have, all of these thoughts are mine and I control them. 

Overcoming obstacles and controling one’s emotions when care giving for someone with Lewy Bodies Dementia can be difficult. What I am discovering by practicing business success principles with care giving is that I'm able to control myself better. 

“When we direct our thoughts properly, we can control our emotions...”


W. Clement Stone


1902-, American Businessman, Author


There are people who come into our lives who are negative and can easily bring us down. These individuals are dangerous to our success as Care Givers.  They often are fearful themselves and unintentionally share their fear with you bringing on self-doubt. Conversely, the people we are caring for can easily bring us down too, the only difference with our loved one is that we are the one who created the negativity in the first place with our negative attitude or behavior.  Remember, LBD folks feel energy, you don't even have to speak.

Do all that you can to avoid being with negative thinkers, people who criticize your plan and your dream.  As Care Givers we all have dreams of helping our loved one pass over more comfortably.  I know it's true for me anyway, my personal goal and dream is to help my mom have more good days than bad ones, keeping the hallucinations at bay long enough for her to still enjoy the sparks of life that she still has left.

The critics in your life will resurrect your greatest fears. Fear is an internal defense mechanism that turns itself on when it is forced to cross into unknown waters. The fear of failure is the obstacle that hits us when we are nearing our success. Our thoughts start to race and we begin to doubt ourselves. We start to say to ourselves “What if …” as though some part of us is trying to defend fear and convince us to quit.

The best way to over come fear is to face it. If you have a phone call you’ve been putting off for quite some time, pick up the phone right now and make that call. Face whatever fear is causing you to procrastinate. The feeling of liberation after you have done a task that you really didn’t want to do is quite magnificent.

An aide to overcome anxieties of completing uncomfortable tasks is to breath while you allow yourself to relax. When we face our fears with calm, relaxed and calculated actions, we are more likely to move through the difficulty unscathed.

Breathing Exercise to Relax


While sitting straight up in a chair with your arms and legs uncrossed, or lying down with your arms and legs uncrossed, close your eyes and get comfortable.

Begin to slowly take deep breaths through your parted lips. Hold the breath as you visualize yourself in your movie. See yourself achieving your persoanl and care giving goals. Slowly breathe the air out as you feel yourself become more relaxed. Continue breathing like this for several minutes. Experience your relaxed state of consciousness. Feel the life inside you and believe in your greatness.

Each time you begin to feel overwhelmed with the events that are occurring in your life. Stop. Breath. Relax. Remember who you are. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you on your journey. Surround yourself with mentors, people that you wish to model your own life after. A Success Coach (also called Life Coach) is a type of mentor that many people turn to for support. These individuals help their clients to remain focused and give them the support and encouragement to keep going and not quit.

Together they work through the roadblock, creating solutions to counteract the problems that you appear to face.

Believe it or not, even a coach needs a coach to help stay on track. Human nature is what causes people to forget, we all need reminders.  I may not be telling some of you anything new. Please take these words as a reminder to remember what you know and continue to apply it to your life.

Through the effort of working on ourselves and becoming the best that we can be, we are ultimately helping to change the world into a happier place, one person at a time. It all begins with YOU!

“Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he


who forces his actions to control his thoughts.”


Og Mandino

20 November 2009

How's Care giving working for you?


It's been about a week now since I had the idea to approach Care Giving as I would any business venture. As a result, my life is much better.  I feel more relaxed and calm.  I'm happier.  Deep inside happier.  God, I haven't felt this good in a long time. 

I've been practicing what I've been writing for blog post to help the Care Giver.  It's helping me a lot.  My mom, she's doing better, WAY better.  She's had a couple of rough days but they are what her good days used to be like.  I am not bothered by the people and talking stuffed animals or rolladex thingies that are faces.  The lunacy, well, it's there but I don't care.  I am calm.  I love the strong being that I am.  Yay... I'm here!

In the past, I'd be a freakin' basket case trying to tell my mom that the people and things don't exist.  Now, fuck it.  I don't care.  Instead, I took the rolladex with the imaginary face and hid it in her closet.  Not like she's calling anyone.  The talking stuffed animal cat?  She seemed to like it so I made sure she could see it from her chair.  The puffy maroon lap blanket?  Oh, that turned into my dead brother Ed.  She loved his visit so I left it.

My mom, she's happy.  She was in her Oakey Doakey state of mind tonight.  When I was tucking her in, she turned so that I could rub her back.  My perfect opportunity to make some positive suggestions.  I forget what I said but she started laughing and told me that I'm funny.  Tonight, I expect a good sleep for all of us, especially my mom.

I'm realizing that by focusing on myself, the Care Giver... taking my mind off my mom, every one is happier.  Me, my mom, my husband, my mother in law... everyone, even the cat!  It's so simple.  We the care giver hold the power to change it all through our minds, our thoughts.  Really, it's that easy.

I'm only on the 5th lesson of Success for a Caregiver and already I'm seeing the magic unfold.  What amazes me is I know this stuff, inside and out.  I am helping myself as I write to my readers.  What a bonus!

We have the power within us to manifest and create anything that our hearts desire. 

My personal goal is to help my mom have way more good days than bad and any bad days are like her old good days.  So far, so good.

For me, it's working out wicked good... how's it working for you?

How to Make Roast Pork Wraps with Au Jus

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of this latest creation. 


Here's the recipe:

Herbs Provence (Seasoning for the roast)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons dried fennel seed
Directions
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together. Store in an air-tight container.

 
Roast Pork

Ingredients

  •  4-5 lb Fresh Pork Shoulder with the bone removed and the shoulder tied
  • 3 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • 6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Herbs Provence (see above)
Instructions



Rub the roast with the dijon mustard
Rub the roast with the chopped garlic
Rub on the Herbs Provence


Put the roast into a glass baking dish with a cover (or use foil to cover).  Bake on 350 degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 - 170.


Let the meat rest before slicing.


Save the pan drippings and put them into a covered container.  Place the container with the drippings into the fridge.


When the drippings are chilled, the pork fat will rise to the top.  Skim the fat and discard.


How to Make the Pork Au Jus

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small shallot diced finely
  • 8 oz. of organic chicken broth
  • Chilled pan drippings
Instructions

 In a small skillet, on medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers.  Add the diced shallots and let them cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Add the chilled pan drippings and stir around until it is liquid.  Add the chicken broth and turn up the heat to high.  Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.


Typically, the above recipe would be dinner.  With the left over pork, I make Roast Pork Wraps for lunch the following day.


How to Make Roast Pork Wraps


Ingredients for 1 wrap
  • 1 Lavash bread wrap
  • Organic Mayonnaise (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 Teaspoon Horseradish mustard
  • 10 leaves of fresh cilantro
  • thinly sliced roasted pork from the recipe above
  • fresh sliced Australian Cheddar Cheese
  • thinly sliced tomato - deseeded
  • Red leaf lettuce (one leaf)
  • thinly sliced red onion (about 2 thin slices separated)
On the lavash bread, make layers with the ingredients, starting with the meat across the top.  Add the mayo and horseradish mustard and mix together at the base of where the meat had been placed.  Add the cheese so that it is one layer, add tomato, onion, lettuce and then put about 10 or more leaves of fresh cilantro over the final layer.


Gently fold over the layers and roll the wrap into a tube shape.


Warm the Au Jus and use it as a dipping sauce.

Success Principle Five of Being a Good Care Giver: Time Management


Care giving and Time Management? 

I can hear the Care Givers moaning at the sight of these words.

I'm not crazy nor am I demented!  Seriously, I'm not nuts, Time Management when applied to Care Giving helps to relieve YOUR stress as a Care Giver.  It is helping me to be a better Care Giver because I'm scheduling ME time.

Why is managing one's time so important?  Time Management provides an opportunity to take care of things that are important to you while you are providing care to someone who depends on you.  We all benefit when we have a sense of accomplishment.  It's important to feel like you've finished something, it is great for ones soul. 

So, how does one apply Time Management to Care Giving?

First, make a plan that has dates which you have created for yourself and keep them.

Live each day as if it were your last, make it count. Don’t waste any time, once your time has been spent, there’s no getting it back. Make “time” work in your favor by sticking to your plan and taking on one task at a time.

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management... just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”


Louis E. Boone


American Author

A secret to achieving goals is to create projects out of your tasks. Instead of calling each task of Care Giving a job, which doesn’t appear to have an ending, look at each tasks as a complete project. By doing this, you will begin to feel that you are accomplishing something and not just doing a thankless job.

Finishing a project does wonders not only for your self-esteem, but it also gives you a tool to measure your future Care Giving projects and create time lines for completion.

You are also getting yourself into a good habit (Success Principle 1) for the time when your care giving duties have come to an end.  Practicing success principles, will help you open new doors when you are ready for the next phase of your life.

We always have so many things to do during any given day. A tried and true known fact is, those who make lists, prioritize the items on the list and then take action (Success Principle 9), complete more work in less time.

Creating a plan for yourself every day, you are able to see what needs to be done. This is also a good exercise in training your brain to focus. By focusing on your individual projects, breaking them down into manageable pieces, it will eventually lead you to your goal, you are reinforcing your dream(s.) 

Plans bring order. 

Caring for a loved one with Lewy Bodies Dementia requires calm, peace, order.  My mom, the woman who was not a very good house keeper, maybe because she had so many kids, now gets aggitated if I leave dishes in the sink over night. 

To avoid the upset, I have a Project Plan that I created to help me provide better care to my mom.  I plan time for my mom and I make sure I make time for me. 

Exercise is important to me, I know it helps me to manage my stress levels, which makes me a better Care Giver.

Writing is another piece of my Care Giving Project Plan.  It's my personal outlet for seeing what I could be doing right or wrong as a Care Giver.  Writing is therapy for me.  I thank all my readers for being my internet therapists, just reading my words helps me.  So, thank you readers!

Meditation is also important to me.  It allows me to find peace inside.  Even 5 minutes of a quiet meditation is enough to restore my calm during the roughest Lewy storm. 

Breath.  Take time to breath.  Deep breaths, slow deep breaths, makes one more relaxed and calm. 

Care Giving requires calm. 

It's not always easy to be calm or switch it on and off.  But as Care Givers, we can train ourselves to do it.  5 minutes a day is all it takes.  Schedule the time with yourself and then keep the date.  It will help you to help yourself to feel good.

19 November 2009

Success Principle Four of Being a Good Care Giver: Self-Esteem

I am the world's greatest miracle!


Lewy Bodies Dementia has a way of sucking a care giver's self-esteem right out from under our nose.

Even the most astute student of all things mind, body and spirit can become a victim to the loss of self-esteem, it has a way of sneaking up on us and before we know it, we are left with unkept hair, a new muffin top rolling over our favorite jeans, (the only ones that didn't seem to shrink - Thank God for spandex) and worst of all, a broken spirit.

How does this happen to really good people?  How does it happen to anyone?

From experience, I know that it's easy to put your own needs on the back burner while helping someone else.  Care givers are notorious for being good givers and lousy receivers.

We absolutely need a balance between give and take.  The Universal Law of Giving and Receiving makes sure that the law of balance is maintained.  Too much giving or too much receiving causes an imbalance, the flow of energy begins to stagnate and your life seems to take on a whole new meaning for the word suck.

The Law of Giving and Receiving is simple.  Give with no expectation of receiving in return.  Give from your heart, as care givers do every day.  Give love and you get love.  Give compassion and you get compassion.  Give money and you get money.  However, the catch is to just do it with out expecting anything in return.  What ends up happening is the flow begins, you give and you receive. 

Be open to the gifts, be grateful.  Be grateful for the sunny day or that the person in your care had a good rest.  I find when I'm grateful for my mom getting a good night sleep, I get one in return.  It's almost magical.

Low self-esteem comes on gradually, we don't even see it coming until we are a blubbering pool of tears, sobbing at our own self-made pity party. 

When I give out sadness the Universe does it's thing by rewarding me with more sadness.  After all, it appears to be what I want because that's what I'm GIVING (see how it works?)

I hate feeling this way, I know that I shouldn't.  I know that when I am feeling down, it's way harder to be an effective care giver, a good care giver. 

Looking at our glass as half empty we begin to resent people around us and in our families.  We perceive all sorts of false notions which feeds our ever sinking feeling, propelling us further down into our self made abys of despair.

Emotionally we find ourselves not able to handle the selfless act of care giving and we begin to feel worse.  We can't handle the pressure of care giving.  We find ourselves saying, "Hey, what about me?"  We blame every one around us for the so called "shitty hand" we were dealt.

“Yes, there are times when something is legitimately not our fault. Blaming others, however, keeps us in a stuck state and is ultimately rough on our own self-esteem.”


Eric Allenbaugh


American Author of ''Wake-Up Calls''
I could go on and on.  Only because I've lived this experience first hand.  I know that it's counter productive to all the good that I do when I switch my focus to things that I have no control.

The only person any of us can control is ourselves.  When we focus our attention on what we can do about ourselves, what we can do to bring ourselves happiness and then do it... the world begins to walk in step with us.  Even Lewy plays along better because our emotions are not frazzled.  Care giving for someone with Lewy Bodies Dementia requires calm emotions.

Personally, I've made a decision to stop the spiral downward.  The crying.  The sadness.  All of my sad emotions were adding fuel to create an existence that I did not want any part.

So, I changed.  I chose to be happy. 

It's easy to say, chose to be happy, chose to take care of yourself, but you can do it.

Change your mind.  Change how you approach a problem or a situation and everything in your life will change.

Exercising is a great way to boost your self esteem.  Stop eating processed foods.  Cut out white flour... baked goods, don't eat them. 

Feed your body with healthy greens, spices and herbs.

Find an activity that you can do for yourself, something that makes you feel good. 

For me, I love using Wii Fit.  The yoga is awesome.  I love running in place with my Mini-Mi.  My attitude is better, I can think more clearly and the little shit doesn't bother me, not as much anyway.

I've noticed that when I have a good attitude about life, my mom has better days and nights.  It ends the insanity, the sleepless nights, the looking under the bed for extra cats or in the closet for the "hidden" stair case that leads to nowhere special.

Taking time for oneself is more important than anything we can do because if we are sick or worse, dead, how can we continue on with our good work and example for future generations?

Feed your soul.  Read a book.  Write a blog.  Paint a picture.  Cook a fine meal.  Go for a walk.  Just do something for yourself at least once a day.  Even 5 minutes of you time will do wonders for your spirit and will move you one step closer to boosting your self-esteem.

Remember, you are your greatest miracle, you hold the power to transform your life all by changing your mind about how you think about your current situation.

Smile and the whole world smiles with you!



18 November 2009

How to Use Hypnosis with Lewy Bodies

The mind, the most suggestible organisms on the planet.  That's my opinion.

I've come to this conclusion based on my experiences with my mom who has Lewy Bodies dementia and her receptivity to the hypnosis sessions that I give her at bed time.

What I have observed is that the nights I give my mom hypnosis in conjunction with Reiki, she sleeps through the night and her following day is happy.

Tonight my mom got a hypnosis session.

I told my mom that she is safe. 

Susie will take care of everything, let all worries go they are not important.

I then told her that Brian is taking care of Susie ...

Relax. 

Let go. 

Tomorrow will be a great day.  You will wake up feeling fully refreshed and rested. 

Relax.

You are safe and sound.

(I stroke her head and gently push her hair behind her ears, just as she did to me when I was little and what her mom did to her when she was a kid.)

Relax.

My mom lets out a few sighs, showing me that she's letting it all go.  She was relaxing.  She felt safe and sound.

Next...

A soft purrrr of a snore, my little Jo was off in dream land, hopefully dreaming of kittens or something really pleasant.

Success Principle Three of Being a Good Care Giver: Persistence

Care giving for someone with a terminal illness can often leave the care giver feeling like they want to run for the hills.

At one time or another, all of us have dreampt (or will dream) of different ways to escape, it's human nature.  We fantasize about a one way plane ticket or a drive to nowhere, just as long as it's far, far, away from the insanity that has become your life with the arrival of Lewy. 

I'm personally living with my mom who has Lewy Bodies Dementia, an illness that I see as one of the mind and spirit.

What I have learned through out life is that we can always run from our perils, but we can never hide.  It took me years before I realized that I create all the peril in my own mind. 

I hold the key to free myself from guilt, shame or any other really nasty vibe that can bring me down. 

Realizing this simple belief that I have always cherished and applying it to my duties as a care giver, my care giving got easier. 

Even the crazy days, the bad days that come with the Lewy Bodies Dementia, even those insane days are easier. 

I am chosing how I wish to react and feel.  Only I can shift how I think about care giving, no one can do it for me.

It's really all about love, everything that a care giver does, comes from the heart.  It's an honorable act being a care giver to someone who's only real outcome is a ride in a hurse or resting on a mantle in a fancy jar.

I'm finding that when I approach caregiving from an angle of, "how can I be a successful care giver?" my life feels lighter, I feel free even though nothing has really changed except one thing, my mind. 

I have freed myself of burdens through love and how I chose to perceive the blessing of being able to care for my mom.  I'm learning from her still, even now in her 80th year she is teaching me more about love than I ever thought possible.

The result, it's a happier life for me and everyone who lives with my mom.

It does take persistence though, the 3rd principle of becoming successful with anything. 

I am very persistent when it comes to my mom's illness and with believing in the power I hold with in myself. 

I believe that we can stop the progression of Lewy Bodies.  I have believed this from the beginning, even though everything that I read states the opposite, that there's no cure and the prognosis of a peaceful death for my mom are slim.

But... I refuse to believe it. 

I believe in miracles. 

I believe in the miracle that is me who has the ability to move mountains and solve any problem that is presented in my path. 

Persistence is the fertilizer for my soul to keep on keeping on.

“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.”



Dennis Waitley

1933-, American Author, Speaker, Trainer, Peak Performance Expert
Care givers that are persistent win.  

We win the big prize, the unspoken prize that only the care giver knows and understands.  It's a prize which we can't describe in words.  We gain so much as care givers.  Is it peace of mind, knowing that we did all that we could?

I don't know for sure, I haven't gotten to the end of my journey with my mom yet.  I do know that there's no better reward for me than when she wakes up from a great night sleep, ready for a good day.

I'm honored to have been given the opportunity to chose this path, it is not always easy but it can get easier. 

I have discovered that care giving for the love of it, especially for someone with Lewy Bodies Dementia can make the difference between a good day or a bad day. 

Good days and bad days really begins with us, the care giver.  Our emotions have a powerful affect that can be felt through space and time.  It's all about us as care givers and how we chose to approach our love for the person.

This week I began following a blogger who's writing makes me laugh.  I find laughter to be so important for good health, especially when care giving to a crazy person.

Yesterday, I read Josh's blog post and it was a video.  I rarely watch videos on blogs because I usually leave the sound turned off so that I don't wake anyone in the house, especially at 3am.  This video post, I needed to watch, I felt compelled to watch.

You see, Josh, the World's Strongest Librarian, has Tourette's and he's a librarian! 

His message is on point with the topic of my blog post today, persistence.  Never giving up on yourself.  The power to achieve anything, even respite in your own mind, is possible when you persist. 

Visit Josh's blog and watch his video, it's heart opening. 

Persistence allows people to accomplish and achieve greatness in their short lives on Earth. 





17 November 2009

Random Act of Kindness: Take Uncle Al Out


Today we went and picked up Uncle Al with the intention of taking him out for a ride to Revere Beach, his favorite place from his younger days. 

When I got to the nursing home his nurse told me that he wouldn't eat his lunch.  He was waiting for me to bring him lunch. 


So... we took a detour to Kelly's Roast Beef where Uncle Al got his favorite, fried clams.  He ate as though he hadn't eaten in decades.

My mom, she ordered a salad.  I totally forgot to look at the salad before she started to eat it.  It had croutons in it.  Shit!  She started to see people and things, she was demented.  Uncle Al was demented.

I found myself  driving through the streets of Revere today, my mom in the backseat and Uncle Al in front, both were talking as though someone was listening.  Neither heard the other person talking, I heard both conversations and both of them expected me to be listening to them.

Result?  I'm totally exhausted.  My head hurts.

My mom pointed out all the apartments that they lived in after their dad died and their mom was admitted to a mental institution.  I don't know if they really lived in all those places or if they thought each place that they pointed at was the place from their childhood?  I'll never know for sure.

We drove along the beach.  I had intended on getting both of them out to walk a little.  But, as soon as I mentioned walking my mom suddenly had a pain in her fanny.  When she stated where her pain was I couldn't help myself and said, "And her name is Susie?" 

We both laughed.  Uncle Al came to and wondered what he had missed.  Not for long though, as soon as he saw the ocean all thoughts about why we were laughing vanished.

We drove up the coast, back to Uncle Al's nursing home.  We took the scenic route through Nahant to get to Danvers.  Anyone who knows where Nahant is, you definitely can't get to Danvers via Nahant... Nahant is a peninsula, one of the coolest communities that I had ever lived.

Uncle Al and my mom enjoyed the ride today.  The sun was bright and the temperature wasn't all that cold for a November day in New England. 

I gave my mom 4 pellets of Helleborous Niger when we got home and a cup of nettle tea with a little fenugreek.  I believe we nipped the hallucinations in the bud, I hope we did.  We'll know tonight when the house is quiet and the floors start squeaking if my mom needs more helleborous.

In the meantime, today my random act of kidness was toward my Uncle Al.  Even though I have so much to do for myself, I put it all aside and gave my time to Uncle Al. 

He enjoyed himself and is looking forward to Thanksgiving Dinner with his family.