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 April 2010

A Bright New Day Without Lewy!

It's a new day, cats were up at 5am which means, so was I.  They think they're going outside, but after yesterdays scare with the grey fox, I won't let them out unless I'm outside too.
I know the sounds that the fox makes, I know I have heard it's call. 

Last week, Shakti was behind the fence on the otherside of the creek.  She was directly infront of me.  She stood still like a statue, not turning to look at me.  I even had their stick that once had feathers, only the bell still in tact.  It's the toy that brings them out from wherever they are hiding.  This day, she was focused on a mound of dirt, an old woodchuck burrow.  I didn't see anything, just a very cautious Shakti.

Finally, she turned slowly, VERY SLOWLY she moved in my direction.  She hopped over the creek and ran to me.  I snatched her up in my arms, she immediately began to purr.

When I owned my home before my husband and I were married, I had a woodchuck problem.  I read up on the chucks and learned everything that I could about them so that I knew how to chase them off my property and out of my gardens.  One fact that I recall is that small animals like fox will take over abandoned woodchuck dens. 

Could the fox be living right behind our fence in the old woodchuck den? 

Before I let the cats outside today, I will check out the mound that appeared to hold Shakti's attention even over her favorite toy. 

Yesterday my mom visited our Naturopath Doctor.  She hallucinated in the doctor's office, "Ah, there are my friends over there, in the trees." she said as she looked out the window.  Dr. Barton looked, I looked... I always look, even when I know there's nothing to be seen. 

My mom told the doctor that she's getting married, that she'll be asking my dad to marry her again.  She was hallucinating, but when asked, "So, how are your hallucinations?" she'd answer, "I don't have hallucinations, just visitors."

It was very hard for both the doctor and me not to laugh out loud when my mom spoke... but we held it together and only laughed on the inside.

The doctor reviewed her blood work results and was concerned about her elevated BUN, a number that tells about the health of ones kidneys.  The Lisinopril that she had been taking is known to cause problems for kidneys.  I also learned that hallucinations can be triggered by kidney's that aren't doing their job. 

My mom is off all pharmaceutical drugs, she has been for at least a week.  I've been working to keep my mom's blood sugar and blood pressure in the normal range using food, herbs and spices.  Her days are better, she isn't hallucinating as much.  She does miss seeing my brother and my father, at times she enjoys her hallucinations.

Today my mom's blood pressure was great when she woke up.  It's lower than it's been in awhile, which is awesome.  The herb that Dr. Barton prescribed my mom seems to help to normalize her blood pressure.  Today, I have my mom back, my mom from the "good ole' days."  It's exciting to see her improve when every thing that I've read and have been told points to a rapid decline. 

Could she be getting better?

My mom is getting a break from us this weekend, she's going to Maine with my sister.  I think I squeeled when my sister called earlier in the week to tell me that she's taking Ma for the weekend.  My sisters will both enjoy the new Ma, the Ma who isn't hallucinating, the Ma that they can have a meaninful conversation.  I'm excited for my family to spend time with our mom, it's all I ever wanted, to give everyone a chance to enjoy our mom before she catches the bus to heaven.

It's a bright new day without Lewy... Yay!

29 April 2010

The Cats and the Fox

Our kittens are now young cats.  They've both got great personalities.  Shakti is a female cat who is very vocal.  She will scream at you when she wants your attention.  She also walks around the house meowing, especially after she wakes up from a cat nap.  It's almost as though she's looking for some reassurance that everything is OK and that she's safe.

A few weeks ago on a rainy Sunday morning, I let the cats out.  It was early, about 7am.  I heard a strange noise outside, some animal sound that wasn't familiar.  Next thing I knew, Sammy was at the glass sliding door anxious to come inside.  He meowed and meowed at me, so I went outside to find Shakti.  I brought the remnant of a cat toy with a little bell on it, a sound that can get the cats to come from out of nowhere. 

Sammy came outside with me, he was following my every step.  I heard a faint cat cry.  I looked up in the big tall pines that surround our backyard and to my horror, I saw Shakti clinging to the tree in a panic. 

I kept reminding myself of something that a friends father told me decades ago, "Have you ever seen a skeleton of a cat in a tree?  don't worry, the cat will come down."

All I could do was remain calm and see if I could convince the cat to shimmy backward down the tree.  Initially, she was climbing higher but when she heard my voice and saw me at the bottom of the tree, she shimmied backward and rested on a branch, a rotten branch that didn't look like it would stay on the tree much longer under the strain of the cats weight.

Shakti watched me try to figure out how to get her down.  Sammy climbed on the roof of my Garden Shed, pacing back and forth as though he was attempting to figure out a way to help Shakti out of the predicament that she had gotten herself into. 

I noticed my husband's big extension ladder next to the shed, it is pretty heavy, but I lifted it and carried it into the woods.  Using all of my strength, I lifted the ladder up to the tree. Shakti watched. 

The ground below the tree was water logged from all the rain.   It wasn't safe for me to climb the ladder in order to retrieve Shakti out of the tree.  I looked up at the cat and said, "Shakti, walk down the ladder, come on, you can do it."

Shakti looked at the ladder and reached out with a paw.  She stepped back, it was too steep for her.  I moved the ladder.  She came back, reached out with a paw and stepped back.  I was freaking out by this point so I ran inside to wake up my husband.  "Sweetie, Shakti is up a tree!  I need your help with the ladder."  My husband woke up, but he didn't get outside fast.  It seemed to take him hours to come outside, even though it was probably just 10 minutes that had passed.

I ran outside to stay with Shakti and see if I could keep her from climbing any higher into the tree.  I waited.  I got impatient.  The adrenaline rushing through my veins gave me the strength that I needed to move the heavy ladder so that it was at an angle where Shakti could walk down the ladder. 

"Come on Shakti, walk down the ladder... you can do it."  I said to the cat.

Next thing I knew, she was on the ladder!  She walked down the side of the ladder, using the rungs to keep herself from slidding off and hitting the ground.  I was able to pick her off the ladder once she was within my reach.  She immediately began to purr.  Sammy, he greeted us at the back gate... we all went inside.

I wondered what made her go up the tree, but didn't have an answer.

Today, I let the cats out at 6am because they were being total pests.  Savita, our older and wiser cat was outside for about 10 minutes before she came to the glass slidder door, both paws on the glass door, scratching frantically as though she was saying, 'Hurry up... open the door... let me in!  Hurry!!!"  I let her in.

Within a minute, Shakti was at the slidder, looking back toward the yard and then at the slidder, she too wanted to come in fast. 

Savita ran off to my mom's room.  Shakti, she stood in front of me and screamed a meow, a long steady meow that had purpose.  She looked over her shoulder and then back at me as she let out another long meow.

"What is it Shakti... is Sammy in trouble?"  I said to the cat.  She let out another very long meow.

I went down to the garage door and shook the cats little toy.   The sound of the bell tingalinging brings the cats running.  Instead I heard a strange sound.  I saw what looked like a person with grey hair poke up on the otherside of the fence.  Was I hallucinating like my mom? 

"Sammy!  Sammy Mammy!"  I called for the cat.  I heard the sound again followed by a scurry up the tree where I saw Sammy racing up a pine tree with a fox jumping to snatch him.  Sammy, he got away.  He saw me and scurried down the tree and hopped onto our fence. 

I ran toward the fence, dressed in my nightgown and robe with no shoes or socks on my feet.  Sammy saw me, jumped off the fence and ran toward me, then he vered off to the left, then to the right... what the hell was he doing?

Next thing I noticed was THE FOX IN THE YARD!  Our fenced in yard!  The fox had crawled under a large opening at the bottom of one section of the fence.  I was freaked out.  Sammy was hiding under a chair.  I couldn't grab him.  He ran up the back stairs with a puffed out tail.  I ran up behind him, hoping that I scared the fox with my yelp.  I grabbed the cat and went inside. 

I never saw the fox leave the yard.

I've done some searching about fox and learned that the grey fox is on a conservation list.  This means that it's not certain that they'll be around in the future.  I also learned that this is the only fox that can climb trees. 

Now, I won't let the cats out unless I'm in the yard with them.  I believe the sound that I had heard was the fox.  I found this YouTube video that does a great job of showing the fox and how its call sounds.  Thanks to the Wild Life Callers for putting this video together.

28 April 2010

Natural Remedies to Lower Blood Pressure - Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil

Our day has been uneventful.  I've been managing to help her keep her blood pressure and blood sugar in the normal range so that she doesn't hallucinate.

I've found that Garlic works great to lower blood pressure.  It seems to work pretty fast.  Today we went to the market and bought more garlic so that I can roast it for her.  She loves roasted garlic.

Roasted Garlic

1 head of garlic
Olive oil

Take the feathery outer layer off the garlic.  Cut the top of each garlic bud about 1/4 inch so that the bud is exposed.  Drizzle olive oil over the top and cover with foil.  Bake in a preheated 375 F degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Eat the garlic with a small fork.
Nettle and Ginger also lower blood pressure.  My mom drinks ginger tea with lunch.  I put 4-5 drops of the Nettle extract into her coffee.

Today my mom looked at the monkey, she ran ahead to the banana aisle to see it.  "Nope, no winking."  She said to me as I caught up with her. 

All through the store my mom was my mom.  We talked about food items, made decisions together... it was like the old days when she had her mind.  We had a great time.

She wanted a cup of coffee on the way out, so she got one.  Just after a few sips of the coffee and she said to me as I was in the check out, "Susie, there's an angel over there.  I need to go see it."  She moved closer to the door and just stared intenly while she drank her coffe.

Outside she told me that she saw my dad as we were leaving the store.  She was watching him but he didn't look at her. 

I didn't have her blood pressure monitor with me so I couldn't check her blood pressure to verify that it was on the high side.  I could tell by her hallucinations that it was elevated.

A little ginger tea with some nettle and her blood pressure was back to normal. 

Our afternoon has been quiet.  No dead people to explain to my mom... she was even able to tell me what was on Dr.Oz today, he gave natural remedies to heal athlete's foot.  She remembered the 3 things... lemon, garlic and vinegar.  My mom was so happy to remember, she danced in place, excited that she found the words.

27 April 2010

The Choice Is Ours

I feel like we've had a huge breakthrough with my mom's health.  Discovering how her blood pressure and her blood sugar affect her mental state of being has given me hope for a recovery for my mom.  I have hope that we can help my mom heal her heart damage, damage that was caused from her diet rich with simple carbs, a sedentary life and pharma drugs that were prescribed to counteract the poor choices that my mom had made throughout her life.

I've said it before, pharma drugs do have a place.  Pharmaceutical drugs allow folks who choose to ingest processed and packaged foods, to eat the so called food.  Pharmaceuticals are a bandage that help folks to keep ingesting the fake foods, cheap food that fill our supermarkets.  It appears that the Food Industry and the Pharmaceutical Industry are in the business of making us sick so that they can take our money, health and ability to choose.

What I've discovered through my mom is that it's all or nothing.  It takes a committment to change, to want to be healthy.  I've learned that we can not be healthy eating processed food, period, the end.  The body doesn't know how to handle synthetics.  Synthetic food brings on inflammation, leading to illnesses that require powerful synthetic pharmaceuticals to calm the disease.  The trouble with the pharmaceutical drugs is that they all come with side effects, side effects that can be managed with more drugs, expensive drugs.  I still find it hard to believe that it's legal for pharmaceutical companies to pitch their drugs on TV.  How is this different than a drug pusher on the streets?  Both make you sick, one is legal and one is not... why?

Something that I find illogical and always have is when a drug is prescribed and we are instructed not to eat certain real foods because of the drug interaction.  For example, high blood pressure medicines ... when folks take the pharmaceutical drug to lower blood pressure, grapefruit is not allowed. 

Grapefruit naturally lowers blood pressure.  I've seen how well it works with my mom's blood pressure.  Garlic too.  Garlic lowers blood pressure, it's incredible.

Real food is a choice, just as eating cheap food and taking the expensive drugs is a choice.  I have eaten the "cheap food."  I also was on my way to having similar illnesses that my mom has experienced in her 80 + years on this Earth.  The one ailment that she has that scared me totally off processed foods is her Alzheimer's diagnosis.  Living with her, seeing her frightened by hallucinations and all the angst that comes along with this dreaded disease, was all I needed to put the breaks on and re-evaluate my approach to a happy life.

Food is medicine, good medicine that will keep us happy through good health.

How come we are not instructed by doctors to eat real foods, nutritious foods?  The food may cost more money, but what's the difference... paying for expensive food or expensive drugs?  How come people skimp on their health?  How come people will pay a small fortune for a new electronic gadgets and drugs but they have trouble paying for food?  I just don't get the logic, I never have. 

How come real MD's who totally get Food as Medicine before drugs are not invited to speak at big name hospitals?  Could hospitals be in the business of making money too?  Are they all in kahoots?

Why is it that when one of their own, a REAL MD sees the hypocracy of the system then goes out and tries to educate folks, they're stopped?  I don't understand, really... the only explanation is money.  Makes me ask the question, does the health establishment wants us all sick because a sick population is great for the bottom line, they make more money. 

Ah, capitolism... should it really be a part of our healthcare?

Can someone explain to me why drugs are better than real food?  I need to understand why people choose to accept the side effects of the new pharma drugs that are designed to "treat" disease of the body, but cause more disease? 

Why is real food looked down upon when it's really the best medicine we can reach for when are bodies are ill?

Is it because we are lazy as a people or just gullible?  We don't want to have to make choices, even though we have so many choices, choices that overload us to the point where we are confused and say "Oh fuck it?"  Why do people follow the leader?  Why aren't more people taking responsibility for their own health? 

As you can see, I have a lot of questions around the topic of real nutritious food versus drugs.  Personally, I don't buy into the lies that are perpetuated through TV Ads, ads designed to manipulate us into "asking our doctor" about a drug.  Why is healthcare for profit OK?  Why are people blind to the manipulation of the ads that convince us that there's better living through chemistry?

I have learned that there's hope, that we can break free from the processed food and pharmaceutical grid.  It's our choice. 

Personally I feel great and am at a body weight that I haven't seen in decades.  Getting back to basics has helped me and my family to have better health.  We don't need the pharmaceutical drugs because we use natures medicine cabinet, plants!  No side effects, just good health.

I can almost guarantee you that once you stop eating processed foods and switch to all natural food, your health will improve.  You won't be able to eat the processed food once you stop, you won't like the taste and you will crave nature's foods.  Your skin will look better.  Actually, you'll start to look younger.  I've been observing this phenomenon with my mom... the more natural foods that I serve her, the younger she looks.  

It isn't as hard as you think to eat healthfully.  It's not that expensive either... grow your own food, it's rewarding on so many levels.  The choice is ours.

26 April 2010

Hallucinations Disappear when Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar are Normal

Today, my mom's blood pressure and blood sugar are in the normal range.  So far, she has not had any hallucinations or told me to "look!" at whatever it was that she was seeing.

For lunch I made string beans in olive oil with garlic and baked chicken thighs that had been seasoned with a little sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.  I gave my mom extra garlic.  Her blood pressure is good... her blood sugar is good... she has not had any "visitors."

It's almost hard to believe that just yesterday my mom was ready to take the bus to heaven so that she could be with my dad.  Today, she's back to the mom I had always remembered.  She's finding her words.

In addition to the string beans, garlic and chicken, I also made us a salad using Bragg's Healthy Vinegarette salad dressing.  My mom knows that Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar is good for lowering blood pressure so she drank the little bit of dressing on the bottom of her bowl.

My mom's blood pressure was good all afternoon.  She only saw my brother Ed sleeping in her recliner once.  Yesterday and the days leading up to it, she saw dead people everywhere!

Observation:  Hallucinations disappear when blood pressure and blood sugar are normal in my mom who has Lewy Bodies Dementia.

Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Insanity.  What is it?  How do you know when you have become insane?  How do we know who is ... insane?

Questions we may have asked ourselves about people we've met at work or in our daily travels.... "Are you nuts?" 

In my opinion, my mom has been nuts the last few days.  Her blood pressure and blood sugar are "twanging", either one or both are high and then low.  Her average blood pressure is high but not as high as it had been when she was taking Lisinopril.  Rescue Remedy works to calm her and me down during her hallucination episodes. 

Hallucinations are "friendly" when her blood pressure is high or her blood sugar is 125 or higher.  If both are high together, she hallucinates about stuff that scares her which leads to her blaming me for something that is out of my control.

My mom got angry with me on Saturday when we were all out in the yard, working around, cleaning up the debris that had fallen from the trees.  Her blood pressure was on the high side, 170/83.  I didn't check her blood sugar so I don't have a reading, but after my observations from yesterday, her blood sugar must have been high too.

Mom, she walked all day, looking and watching for my dad.  At one point she was heading out the front door to meet the "ship" that was taking every one, a "ship" where my dad was... my mom wanted to see my dad.  She wanted to go with him.

"Ma?  Where are you going?!"  I asked in shock, as I saw my mom walking out the front door.

"I'm going for a walk."  She said to me.

I was about to let her go out alone, it was a beautiful day, when she nearly fell down the front stairs.  She told me that she was feeling dizzy.  I convinced her not to go chasing my dad, that the "ship" probably already left.

My mom, she got mad.  She was mad that I was working in the yard earlier in the day.  My crazy mom believed that I chased my dad away by cleaning out my garden beds. 

Her blood pressure began to climb.

It was easy to convince my mom to listen to her Jason Mraz recordings on her MP3 player.  I had put 15 tracks of her favorite song, "A Beautiful Mess" on her player, every 2 songs, this song was set up to play.  My mom sings along to this song, she loves it.  I think the words remind her of her spirit friends, the ones she sees in the trees or over the fence in the woods; the ones on the bus that goes to heaven

"Here we are.  Here we are..."  the song echoes.  My mom, sings the words, she believes that the song sounds holy and sacred.  Other words say something about being crazy and having the best of both worlds.  The song's words touch my mom, they mean something to her... the song makes her teary eyed. 

One day, I'd love to tell Jason Mraz how much his song means to my mom and how it lowers her blood pressure, I'm sure it would make him proud of himself.  I appreciate Jason Mraz, an artist who has helped me and one who I will probably not have an opportunity to thank for his role in helping to calm my mom during her most intense dementia episodes.

All weekend, my mom's blood pressure was up and then down.  Her blood sugar would go up when she'd eat too much fruit, which appeared to fuel her visions.  Her Lewy Bodies are fighting with me, they seem to be hanging on, clinging to her neurons, refusing to leave my mom so that she can have her life back. 

It's a catch-22.  Elevated blood sugar, causes hallucinations.  Fenugreek, known to lower blood sugar and what I believe helped us to heal my mom's pancreas so that it produces it's own insulin, also raises blood pressure.  I can bring down her blood sugar with Fenugreek but then her blood pressure goes up.  I've seen her blood pressure go from 135/65 to 167/76 from 5 drops of Fenugreek Seed Extract (Herb Pharma brand.)  The positive?  Fenugreek lowered her blood sugar from 140 to 121 within 15 minutes.

Mission of the week.... keep my mom's blood sugar and blood pressure balanced using food. 

Last night, I prepared Asparagus as one of our vegetables for dinner.  I know that garlic is good to lower blood pressure so I took 8 cloves of finely chopped garlic and made the following recipe -

Asparagus and Garlic

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 bunch of Asparagus (steamed - my mom likes her asparagus soft or she won't eat it)
6-8 cloves of Garlic chopped fine
Parmesean Cheese

In a large skillet ( I use a cast iron pan) add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until it shimmers.  Add in the garlic and stir around for about a minute, DO NOT ALLOW THE GARLIC TO BROWN.  Add the asparagus and stir around to coat with the garlic and oil.  Plate some of the asparagus and top with a little parmesean cheese.

My mom's blood pressure went from 198/87 to 135/65.  Yay!  Garlic worked and my mom loves garlic. 

"Susie!  Don't sit in that chair, you are sitting on Eddie!" my mom yelled at me when I came in to her room to check her blood pressure and blood sugar again.  Her blood sugar was 218 after dinner, her blood pressure was fine.  Her hallucinations were friendly... it was my brother. 

More visions, this time it was not my dead brother... she believed that my brother who's alive was visiting but didn't come to see her.  She was mad again.  "Did you see Marty?  Why isn't Marty coming to see me?  He must be busy with work." 

My mom has thought my husband looks like one of my brothers from the first day that she had met him.  The thought was a bit creepy, dating a brother.  Fortunately, I don't see the resemblance of my brothers in my husbands face like my mom does.  Yesterday, my mom believed that my husband was my brother Marty.  She was mad that Marty just waved to her but didn't come to see her. 

I took her out with me to run some errands yesterday, all day.  In the morning we went grocery shopping.  The monkey in the bananas at Whole Foods winked at her.  She thought she saw my dad walking in the store.  I had to keep calling her back, she was off with my shopping cart, stalking the man who she believed was my father.

"Susie, Daddy!  He's here!!!!  I need to go see him." my mom exclaimed to me while I waited at the butcher counter so that I could get chicken thighs for dinner.  My thoughts raced, I had no idea what to make of this new epiphany which my mom was apparently having in her mind.  I did know that I needed to go along with the hallucination and get us out of the store as quickly as I could.

Outside, my mom saw the angels in the trees.  She believed that they were coming for her.  She was ready to go on the Bus to Heaven with my dad and all the people.  "I want to go with them." my mom said to me as we were driving home.  I told her that she can go whenever she is ready.  Yesterday, she was ready, but the bus never came for her.

My mom stepped out of reality yesterday.  I took her out in the afternoon while I ran more errands.  She stayed in the truck and listened to her mp3 player, Jason sang his song and my mom appeared to relax.

I was gone about 15 minutes.  To my mom she felt that I had been gone for an hour.  My mom was worked up in a frenzy when I had returned, she believed that patrons to the stores in the strip mall were theives.  She saw them coming out of the stores with boxes and bags, she was convinced that they were stealing the items.  She was afraid that they were going to steal the truck and her in it.  She didn't know how to shut the windows.  She didn't know how to pull the keys out of the ignition.  My mom was in a panic.  She yelled at me when I got back to the truck, I had taken too long. 

It was an insane weekend.  Lots of hallucinations.  Elevated blood sugar and blood pressure causing hallucinations that were making her laugh and at times scaring the shit out of her. 

I'm learning what to do, how to keep her blood sugar and blood pressure balanced.  Real food is the key.  Nothing processed or baked, even gluten free treats bring on hallucinations because the ingredients raise blood sugar.  The hallucinations caused from elevated blood sugar causes her blood pressure to rise.  It's a viscious cycle that I need to stop so that my mom's brain has a chance to heal itself.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

24 April 2010

Music to My Ears

Music.  Lots of music has been soothing my mom's mind, almost as though it's resetting a short circuit in her brain.

All day long for the last few days she has been listening to her mp3 player, her little red player that she bought at WalMart for 80 dollars. 

Just last week she couldn't figure out how to put the earphones in her ears and turn it on.  Now, she's using her player and has even learned how to move back to replay a song... her new favorite song by Jason Mraz, "It's a Beautiful Mess."

Driving in the truck, we MUST listen to Jason, especially her favorite song.  I play it over and over again for her.  I don't hate the song, not yet, maybe I won't grow to dislike it from hearing it so much ... I love hearing my mom sing along, out of tune to the passerby but music to my ears.

22 April 2010

High Blood Pressure, High Blood Sugar = Hallucinations

Things can change in a moment with a Lewy Bodies Dementia patient... one minute they can appear "normal" and the next minute they are confused, wondering how to get home. 

Last night, after dinner, my mom was happy to watch her buddy John on Family Feud, believing that he talks to her, winks and waves.  She tells me everyday that she is playing to win a car.  She REALLY believes that she can win the car.  I really don't know what I'll say to her when she tells me that she won the car.  A car that doesn't exist.  But, that's a problem to solve when and if it ever presents itself.

I gave her a little bit of ice cream, a treat.  I didn't put Fenugreek on the ice cream, I was afraid to raise her blood pressure, fenugreek raises blood pressure.  Within 10 minutes, my mom turned from happy to totally freaked out by her hallucinations.

"Susie, come on, let's get out of here.  I want to go home."  My mom said to me as I went to her room to see if she wanted a cup of tea.

"But Ma, we are home.  This is our home."  I said to her.

"Oh, don't tell me that.  This isn't my home.  I want to go to Lloyd Street.  Eddie is on Lloyd Street.  I want to go across the street, to our house across the street."  My mom continued on confused and convinced that we had a different home.

I checked her blood pressure and it was high, 184/74.  Her blood sugar, I didn't check it, I assumed it was high because of the ice cream that she had eaten.  It was only a 1/2 cup portion, but it was enough to bring on total confusion and fright.

"Come on.  Come in here with me."  She walked into her bathroom, holding my hand, bringing me in with her.  "Shut the door, I don't want them to hear."  she continued.

"Ma!  I don't know what to do.  You are home.  This is our home, there's no where for me to take you.  Why don't you put on your night gown?" I said, trying to convince her, knowing that I was wasting my breath.

"No!  Don't tell me that, it's not, I want to go across the street.  I want to see the rest of the house." My mom was spiralling out of control with the help her her hallucinations.

I began to cry.  I didn't know what to do.  She was a basket case and I was quickly following in step with her insanity.  When I began to cry, my mom snapped back, she became my mom... "Susie, it's OK.  Don't cry."  She walked over to the bathroom window and looked out and said, "Yup, that's my backyard.  Maybe this is my house." she added.

I was able to show her the things in her room, all of her belongings, right where they belonged in the closet.  I walked her to our sunroom, the room where she sits all day, a room that is remenesce of her bedroom in our home that we had lived 10 years before moving to our current home.

It was a time for Rescue Remedy, both of us needed a couple of squirts on our tongue in order to help bring down the stress, stress that was causing blood pressures to rise and make my mom crazier than usual.

Fortuantely my husband came up stairs just in time to talk my mom off her ledge.  He let her know that this is our home and she's welcome.  His words seemed to make sense to my mom because she calmed down.  Things began to become familiar again and my mom was ready to go back to her room and get dressed for bed.  I gave her a teaspoon of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in a shot of water.

Her blood pressure had come down within an hour.  She took her night time supplements and her drink of Ashwagandha, my mom fell asleep and slept until 6:30 this morning.  She woke happy and cheery.  Blood pressure is normal and her blood sugar is also in a great range.

Today, she'll spend the day with my nephew.  I'll have a day off to go to the Mall and have one of those deep relaxing massages, an hour long massage.  I can hardly wait.  Today will be a great day... Yay!

It's also a special day ... 45 years ago, my mom gave birth to my "little" brother.  Happy Birthday Marty!!!!

21 April 2010

Good News for Ma

Our visit with my mom's Endocrinologist went great as we had expected.  He gave us my mom's blood test results, they are astonishing.

Her A1C has gone down from 5.4 to 5.1 since she stopped eating dairy products and cut out all wheat gluten.  Cholesterol (LDL) is down from 186 to 114.  Triglycerides are down and her good Cholesterol is up.

My mom's Blood Pressure reading in the office was 138/60.   I had given my mom a teaspoon of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar after breakfast when her pressure was reading a little high, 187/74.

I believe that if we can keep her blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers in the normal range consistently, day after day ... my mom's memory issues could improve.  It's a hunch.  I know that when my mom's numbers are normal she doesn't hallucinate, so I expect that the brain and body will heal itself if we keep her vitals in a good normal range.

Happy Day for Ma

Today is our 6 month visit to see my mom's Endocrinologist.  She loves visiting this doctor, mostly because she has her diabetes under full control through diet, exercise and supplements. 

 I do hope that we can get her blood pressure back down to a normal range.  Her top number has been about 150 and her bottom number is 70 or less.  Her pressure drops low and makes her dizzy when she gets up fast, so I worry about lowering her blood pressure too much. 

My mom told me this morning that my brother Ed visitied her this morning and slept in her chair.  She loves it when Ed or my father visits.

I almost have the email worked out so that I can send my mom a message from my dad.  She asks every day if I got the email note yet.  I tell her not yet but I know they're working on getting the connection between Earth and Heaven working on my computer. 

Today I hope to send her the letter that I had written for her - a letter from my dad.  Thank God my dad left a daily journal where he wrote all sorts of things that will help me to write and convince my mom that it's my dad writing to her.  I pray that this has a positive affect on her and helps her to relax when she can't see my dad... I can write her a note which will make her feel like dad is still around even after the hallucinations have gone.  

My mom is in good spirits today.  She believes that she saw God yesterday morning and this morning I think I convinced her that God was just showing himself to her like the Infant of Prague to let her know that she's going to be OK.

It's quite a trip that I'm on with my mom.  I'm seeing first hand how important it is to keep ones blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol under control.  I've noticed is that when these are out of wack, the body has bad reactions and every cell is eventually impacted negatively, bringing on more illness.

Today, it's a great day.  My mom, she woke up smiling and laughing.

20 April 2010

It's a Beautiful Mess

I was up early as usual.  Not because I love waking at 4am, it's just that we have a cat, Sammy Mammy, who loves to be up and out at the crack of dawn.   It's a bit of a twist, instead of my mom waking me, it's the cat. 

This morning, my mom woke up and came out to the sunroom where I sit and write, she appeared in a good mental state, she was cheery.  "Good morning!" she exclaimed.

I proceeded to follow our daily routine.  First I check her blood pressure and blood sugar, recording the readings in a notebook.  Next, she begins taking her supplements, thyroid supplement first and then all the others that she takes in the morning.  Finishing up with a bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of Choline (soy lecithin.)

Today, she sat and looked out the window from the easy chair in the sunroom.  Suddenly, she busted out crying! 

"Ma, what is wrong?" I said to her with concern in my voice.

She whisphered like she was in a church or some other sacred place, "I see God.  He's coming down from Heaven.  Wow.  What does it mean?  Am I dying?"  My mom cried.

"Susie, what does it mean?  Am I going to die?" She asked me with fear in her voice.

"We'll all die eventually Ma.  I'm sure what you saw is God telling you that you are doing great and that you will feel better and better every day.  Remember how the Infant of Prague floated above your bed when you were a little girl, after your dad had died?  Remember how you always told me that you believed the Christ child was protecting you throughout your life?  Well, now God is telling you that he's protecting you now and that you will live a healthy rest of your life."  I began to attempt to make sense of my mom's hallucination of God.  It appeared to do the trick, she remembers the vision she had as a child of the floating Infant Jesus.

We went out to the market to buy a few groceries for lunch and dinner.  My mom loves going to the market, shopping for food has always been her favorite activity.  We looked at the monkey in the banannas, it didn't blink, it didn't move... yay!  Our shopping trip was enjoyable.

On the drive home I had my mp3 player hooked up to my truck stereo with songs that I know are soothing for my mom.  Songs that we can sing a long, songs that make my mom dance in her seat.  Songs that I hope will help to lower her blood pressure and reduce her hallucinations.

Jason Mraz came on with his song, "It's a Beautiful Mess."  All of a sudden I look over and my mom is sobbing as she says, "This song, it's so beautiful.  It makes me cry.  I'm happy and I'm sad."

"Ma!  Are you OK?  Do you want me to shut off the song?" I asked.

"No.  I love this song.  Will you play it again?"  She asked.

All the way home I played this song over and over again.  When we got home she put on her mp3 player headphones and began singing around the house and back yard, asking me to replay the song, over and over... she's still listening to it, humming and singing out of tune.  What a beautiful sound, the out of tune singing of my dear demented mother.

To hear the song or read the lyrics, you can go here - http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/jasonmraz/abeautifulmess.html

19 April 2010

More Clear Days

It's pretty amazing to watch my mom day in and day out.  I notice everything, probably because I've been her Care Giver for such a long time.

Since she's been off Lisinopril and back on the Cardio HTN and Cordyceps, her blood pressure is coming down gradually.  It's averaging 150/70 the past couple of days, it sure is better than 200/90+!

I had been getting worried with her blood pressure rising the more Lisinopril that she took.  I had read about rebounding on OTC's and Pharma drugs; rebounding is when you take a pill and it stops working all of a sudden.  The drug does the opposite of what it's designed to do for the body.  An explanation of rebounding as I understand it, if you take over the counter (OTC) pain medications for headaches, they can all of a sudden bring on headaches to beat the band.  For my mom, the Lisinopril appeared to raise her blood pressure instead of lowering it.  Yikes!

My mom's hallucinations were becoming more prevalent and scary as her blood pressure rose.  I saw a connection between scary hallucinations and elevated blood pressure.  Hallucinations were so real to her that she began hallucinating that I did things that made her angry.  This change was not welcome...  I am capable of making my mom angry with out the help of a hallucination of me!

Since my mom's been off the Lisinopril for the last 3 days, her constant dripping nose has stopped.  We may not run out of facial tissue so quickly.  A side effect of Lisinopril is a runny nose.  My mom is thrilled to not have to blow her nose all the time or have it drip while she sleeps. 

Hair loss is a side affect that has bothered my mom the most.  I do hope her hair grows back.  Her hair was always lush and beautiful.; hair that my mom loved.  The drugs that she had been prescribed over the years has contributed to her hair loss, a loss that has affected her emotionally for decades.  

Today is a great day.   Her hallucinations are not scaring her.  My dad showed up last night in her dream and she was able to distinguish between the dream and reality this morning.  She told me how she had a dream of my dad.  This doesn't sound like a big deal but it is... just yesterday I had to pretend call Dream Master to chase the people out of her room.

Could my mom be getting better?  I don't know but we will do what we can to help her regain her lost cognition.  I am beginning to believe that if we can keep her blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol within the normal range, her body and brain will be able to heal.  She eats a nutritious diet with brain healthy foods. 

Some may think I'm out of my mind, but folks thought that people like Edison were nuts too... the best part of all is that we have more clear days and this is a step in the right direction.

17 April 2010

Love Letters from Heaven

It's been pretty crazy living in my mom's hallucinations about my dead father.  In her mind, she believes he's alive and has a job with God helping dead souls adjust to their new state of being - no Earthly body.

My mom also believes that I have a way to communicate with my father.  I told her that when I was initiated as a Swami, I got a special phone that allows me to call my dad and more importantly, Dream Master.  She believes in Dream Master, she believes everything that I say to her when I talk about the souls who have passed.

I did make up the Magic Eye to help explain why she can see the visions and I can't.  My mom believes my dad made her Magic Eye work so that she can see behind the mystery of death and dying, so that she's not afraid to go on the Heaven Bus when the time comes.

Now, my mom wants to talk to me every waking minute about my dad, my brother, her brother, her Ma and her Pa.  My mom wants to know everything about dying before she dies and she believes that I can teach her.

I did tell my mom that my dad wants her to eat more dark greens.  Now she is eating more dark leafy vegetables, food that is very good for her brain.

Yesterday my mom drove me a little nuts.  She was asking question after question, questions that I was afraid to answer.  Then I had a brilliant idea...

"Ma, I found out that you can email dad and he can email you!  I talked to Dream Master and when you are out with Donna this weekend, Brian and I will set it up so that you can write your questions to dad and when dad has a chance he'll answer."  I shared my idea with my mom and she lit up like a Christmas Tree as she said, "Really?  We can do that?  Eddie too?  I can email Eddie too?"

I've started a new blog just for the notes which I have called, "LOVE LETTERS FROM HEAVEN."

Stay tuned.

16 April 2010

High Blood Pressure and Hallucinations

"I could kill you!" My mom exclaimed.

"Huh?  What did I do?  I was downstairs in the bathroom... I was putting on my night gown.  What did I do?" I asked puzzled.

'Oh, if you don't know, then... "  my mom said to me with an angry look.  A look that made me realize that a hallucination of me caused her to be angry.


I am not even in the room and I am now getting myself into trouble.  Is this a bad joke that the Universe is playing on me?

There's got to be a cause for the sudden change ...

Why?  A question that I asked myself over and over again.  I reviewed in my mind everything that was different; things that were out of the everyday routine.  I have observed that when my mom's routine is changed, it creates a disturbance of some kind.  I've also noticed that when my mom's blood pressure is high and uncontrolled, she hallucinates a lot more.

Last week, my mom went with my sister.  Her blood pressure had become elevated over the course of the month since she began taking more Lisinopril; my mom hallucinated a lot more. 
My husband and I expected a disturbance of some kind when my mom came back home, we just had no idea what to expect.

My mom she came home elated that she had seen my dad and he had spoken with her.  She believed that my brother-in-law sleeping on the sofa in Maine was my dad.  She wanted my sister to call our Naturopath Doctor to look dad over because he had been dead for 30 years.  In my mom's mind, my dad had resurrected from the dead.

Back home, getting out of the truck she saw my husband who welcomed her home and asked her about her time in Maine.  "It was a glorious time, it was amazing." She said to him with such enthusiasm, she was drunk with the joys of her visions of my dad.

Things backfired.

I made the mistake of telling my mom that my dad would be back in a couple of days.  For the first couple of days when she had returned, she was still super happy.  She walked from window to window, looking and watching for my dad.  She walked around the back yard when she wasn't walking in the house.  Over and over she would tell me about the people dressed in black and how they were waiting for the bus that would take them to heaven. 

Wednesday afternoon, everything fell apart.  My mom got mad because she couldn't see my dad.  She was pouting and saying things like, "I'll never see him again."  She was on the verge of crying. 

I screwed up.  I gave her a time frame as to when she'd see my deceased dad.  When dad didn't show up, she turned on me.  She began to hallucinate about me.  She got mad because her hallucination of me didn't speak to her.  My mom, she was so mad she wanted to punch me when she saw me for real. 

I did fix the timing thing, I told my mom that time is different here on Earth than in Heaven.  My dad's 2 days could be 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years.

Blood Pressure Control Issue

Her blood pressure has been much higher and hard to control since she stopped using Cardio HTN, a natural supplement that we get from our Naturopath Doctor.  A supplement that works great to control her blood pressure in a normal range consistently.

The supplement has magnesium in it which caused my mom a serious issue around the time we all got a stomach bug.  She stopped taking the Cardio HTN and her kidney doctor had us up her dose of lisinipril from 10mg per day to 20 mg per day. 

My mom's blood pressure kept going up.  It was back in the 200/90 range which seemed to cause her to have more cognitive problems.  She seems to hallucinate more when her blood pressure is elevated.

I contacted our Naturopath and asked him about Lisinopril, if it could be causing my mom to hallucinate more.   It can. 

Later I researched Lisinopril and discovered that a lot of folks who were once able to take the drug will suddenly form an allergy.  My mom's nose runs none stop, she has a dry cough and she has been complaining about joint pain... all side effects of Lisinopril.

Our ND has my mom taking the Cardio HTN and her blood pressure is back to normal today.  She's even dancing around with her headphones on, singing and dancing to the music on her mini mp3 player. 

It sure is good to have Ma back.  Every day my mom shows me that the body is amazing, that it can heal itself with the right care.  Food is important, real food that is nutritious.  I'm grateful to have a dancing mom today.  High Blood pressure and hallucinations appear to go hand in hand with my mom's condition. 

14 April 2010

Daddy, He Came Down From Heaven

"Susie... you will not believe it!  Your father, he came down from heaven.  I saw him!  I talked to him.  It's so exciting.  I haven't seen him in 30 years.  He looks so good, like he looked when we were young." My mom excitedly told me when she called to tell me that they had come back from Maine.

"That's awesome Ma.  Do you want me to come and pick you up and take you home?"  I asked, expecting her to tell me to hurry up.

"No.  No.  I'm not ready to leave.  Your father is here!"  Believing that my dad was with her at my sister's she did not want to come home.

Confused as though I had dementia myself, my sister got on the phone.  I asked her what was going on, why didn't Ma want to come home?  Laughing, she told me that my mom believed that my brother in law was my dad.  

My mom, she was elated with the thought that my dad had come to see her and spoke to her.  He told her that he's protecting her, which made my mom super happy. 

I got her to come home with me when I told her that I called my dad on the special phone that I have because of who I am.  I'm grateful for my love of improv.  I proceeded to tell her that my dad told me that he would be gone for a couple of days so that he could help the new souls that were killed in the mine in Tennessee. 

"Oh. What about Eddie?  Is Eddie coming?  What else did your father say to you?  I wanted to ask him to send Eddie, that I want to see Eddie.  Is Eddie coming?"  My mom asked me like one would ask a psychic who is communicating with the deceased.

"Sure Ed's coming.  He has been filling in for Dad.  Ed works with dad and helps him to process the new souls who have died.  Dad and Ed are like the welcoming committee and teach folks how things work.  They teach them how to fly and communicate with us on Earth."  I explained to my mom with a mater of fact tone.

My mom came home with me, especially when I told her that my dad talked to me.  On the drive home she asked me what else my dad had said to me.

"Dad wants you to eat more dark greens.  He worries that you are not eating enough leafy vegetables."  I said to my mom, hoping that I could make a suggestion about nutritious foods, food that she often won't eat without a fight.

I know that dark greens bring her back to her normal, they keep her from having too many hallucinations.

My mom came back with the ability to talk to her hallucinations.  Yesterday she came to the kitchen to tell me to come to her room, "Eddie is here!  He's in my room.  Come, see him.  He is making me laugh!" My mom exclaimed.

I walked to my mom's room and she pointed to a recliner in her bedroom.  He's right there - "Ha ha ha ha... he is making a face, he is laughing... ha ha ha!"  My mom laughing, began to talk to my dead brother.

"Hi Ed.  Good to see you.  Will you sit with Ma and keep her company?  I need to make dinner." I said to the empty chair.  My mom was so happy that Eddie came, just as I told her that he would.  She sat in the other chair in her room and began talking to Ed.  Ed appeared to be talking to her, she was listening and then she'd answer; I believe that Ed was really there with her.

All day yesterday my mom went from window to window, looking out in the yard, hoping to catch a glimpse of my dad or my brother.  She saw people dressed in black robes, the miners who died last week, they were all in my yard, having a ceremony while they waited for the bus to come and take them to heaven.

Last night, she woke up once around 9:30pm, "The kids, they are in my room.  I worry that they are going to get hurt." My mom said to me.

"Well that's it, those kids have got to go!" I said to the empty room as I picked up the phone in her room that is not plugged into any outlet.  I dialed the phone.

"Hello Dream Master?  This is Sue."  I paused, acting as though I was listening to someone on the other end of the phone.  "Yes, she's doing well, thanks for asking... it's those kids, they're back.  I was wondering what you could do to stop them from coming, maybe you can talk to their mother?" I said and then paused to listen... "Oh thank you Dream Master, yes, I'm doing a lot of good deeds.... I believe that if I can do the good deeds then why not?  Thank you."  I spoke as though Dream Master was complimenting me on my hard work of good deeds.

"Ok Dream Master.  Thanks a million.  My mom doesn't want the kids to be in any trouble, she just wants them to stay away from her.  .... Ok, thanks, I'll tell her... Ma, Dream Master wants you to know that you will have a great night sleep and the kids are gone.  He's talking to the kids mother, he promised that the kids won't be back."  I talked with my mom as I was talking to Dream Master.

My mom, she laid in bed watching and listening to my phone call with Dream Master.  "Thanks Dear."  My mom said... "Good night Ma, I'll see you in the morning, sleep well, I love you!"  I replied as I shut the light and left the room.

10 April 2010

Everything Is Possible When We Believe!

This weekend is our 2nd wedding anniversary.... 2 years have passed since I was laid off unexpectedly.  I lost my income.  It was horrifying to have the floor drop below my feet, a floor that felt secure and safe, a security that I now realize was false.  

Fortunately, my husband and I were already engaged at the time and had been planning a July wedding, a modest celebration, nothing fancy... a Hawaiian Theme ... we wanted a Luau. 

In Massachusetts where we live, Mitt Romney our former Republican governor had put into law that everyone needed health insurance.  If you didn't have insurance you would be fined.  How was I going to afford health insurance?

I cried a lot.  My awesome husband had a great idea, "Let's get married now, we can have a shot gun wedding of the 21st Century, for Health Insurance!"  Super idea but I was in no shape to plan a wedding.  We picked the date, April 11 - 411, just like the number we dial for telephone information. 

With only a week to plan our wedding, my husband did all the leg work; I only needed to show up.  It wasn't anything big.  We married in our living room, wedding crashers and all.  The plan was to have the Justice of the Peace come to our house, marry us in the living room with only our mom's present.  However, my sister had a different idea, she was coming.  When my sister told my nephew, he said, "I'm going!"  Then when my brother in law found out that my sister and nephew were crashing my wedding, he wanted to come along too.

It all worked out.  The morning of my wedding my sister asked me if I had any flowers.  Of course I didn't.  She called her friend at Nunan's Florist and asked him if he could make up a bouquet and a few corsarges.   Very short notice.  He didn't have the flowers.  Somehow, he found flowers and made me a beautiful bouquet with matching corsarges for our moms.

Thanks to my wedding crashers, I have a beautiful video of my wedding day.  Every time I watch it it makes me cry happy tears.  Our wedding vows are words that touched my heart.  I married my best friend.

Two years we have been married.  It's almost hard to believe that much time has passed, it feels like yesterday that I promised to love my husband forever.  He's easy to love.

Over the last 2 years, we married, sold my house, moved, my mom lost her mind along the way, my mother in law didn't like me, now she does, Savita had 16 teeth removed, she's feeling much better, we got two new kittens, I lost 50 pounds, my mom lost 90, my mom has more good days than not so good days, mom sleeps through the night and this weekend...


God love my sister and her husband... they have taken my mom for 4 days.  FOUR days off from being a care giver.... wooo hooo!  The first thing on the plan was a lunch date to our favorite Mexican Restaurant where we had Margaritta's...  I slept for 12 hours; I can not handle alcohol.  Today I feel great.

I sent my mom off with a manual, "How to Take Care of Ma", listing instructions and warnings.  What to feed mom, what to avoid.  When to give her supplements, what to give her to keep her balanced and knowing the difference between day and night.

Well, my sister didn't read the instruction manual last night.  She totally forgot to give my mom the Ashwagandha, 8 drops in a shot glass that is 1/2 full of water.  My mom was up at 2, 3, 4, and 5.  Ashwagandha helps with insomnia.  Now,  we all know to never run out of Ashwagandha extract.

Today the birds are chirping, the sun is shining and we have the weekend to ourselves.   My mom, she'll see her family this weekend, her Maine family.  I'm really excited for her and all of them to get to spend some time with her.  Especially now that we've figured out how to give her more good days. 

My dream is coming true, my mom is happy and my family is having an opportunity to enjoy some time with Ma before her time on Earth runs out. 

Everything is possible when we believe!

08 April 2010

Financial Exploitation of Seniors is WRONG!

More and more I see how unsuspecting Seniors are being exploited financially.  It's maddening because it's usually a family member who does the exploiting. 

Based on my observations, the Senior loves the family member and won't say anything against the loved one... why?  I suspect it's because they are afraid or they believe that the person would not bring them harm. 

I can't count how many times my aunt has called to tell me about my cousin asking for money, she gives her the money, she complains about my cousin who ignores her or is "cold" and when I tell her that what's going on is wrong, she says, "Oh, but she's a good kid."  Really?  How so?  She's not helping you to eat properly and she isn't buying your medications that you pay for in advance.  What is she doing with this money?  Is she a drinker?  Is she using drugs?  What is going on?  You are not safe.

My mom, she doesn't have any money... she's broke.  No wonder she doesn't have any visitors, she doesn't have anything that anyone wants.  I have been supporting my mom for 12 years and still supporting her.  In my mind, this is the way it's supposed to be.  Children are supposed to take care of their parents and Aunts and Uncles that were special.

How can anyone steal from a senior?  Especially a senior who loved them and gave them everything that they could ask for in life?  HOW?  WHY?

First, my Uncle was exploited by his adopted daughter... today he sits in a low end nursing home, alone.  He was set to live in a fine place once he couldn't care for himself any longer, but his child made sure to spend his money before he died.  Makes me happy that I forgot to have children.

Now, it's happening to my favorite Aunt.  She calls and tells me about my cousins and how she doesn't have any money.  She isn't eating and she's becoming sicker.  Are they trying to kill her?  On Easter Sunday I picked up my Aunt so that she could spend the day with my mom at my sister's.  She told me in the car that my cousin who lives in the house didn't have the money to pick up her prescription, her heart medication. She wasn't feeling too well.  She needs to take Toprol or her heart will stop.  WTF!?  My cousin gets my aunts pension check every month to pay the bills and pick up her medicine at the pharmacy.  I don't understand how folks can do this, especially people who are family.

I could call and report this to the states Elder Services so that there's an investigation, but unless my aunt wants to go along with it, I'd just be wasting time and money.   I ask my aunt every time I talk to her, do you want me to report this abuse?  They are stealing from you and it's hurting your health.

I'm frustrated.  I don't know what to do for my aunt.  I have asked her to come live with me numerous times but she loves her church and her friends; she refuses.  I even told her that I'd take her to church on Sunday.  I haven't been to church in decades, although she tried to get me back to the Catholic Church; decades of missed masses.  Now is her chance to get me back to church and she said NO!

People who hurt seniors and take advantage of them are criminals.  Seniors are child like.  They need someone to watch over them, they need a guardian who cares.  Some seniors do, most don't. 

In my opinion, our society is screwed up.  We are against abortion because it's a "right to life."  Ok... but why do we throw away the lives of seniors?  They have a life, isn't it just as beautiful as the life of an unborn fetus?  Do we throw away our elders because they don't have any useful purpose that benefits us?  Do we fight abortion so that these babies can be born, grow up and become warriors to fight and kill for no good reason?  What happened to the belief of "right to life?"  Why is it selective? Why doesn't EVERYONE have a right to life?

The masses believe everything that the idiot box tells them, with few using their minds to think for themselves.  Do people steal from seniors because there aren't any consequences... because they can?  Financial exploitation of Seniors is wrong and people who do it need to be stopped.  My question... how do we stop these predators?

06 April 2010

Fascinating... I Find This Fascinating!

While driving to the market today, my mom turned to me and said, "I think they gave me the power to turn my vision on and off."

"Huh? Who?" I replied, as I was jolted out of my thoughts and propelled back into my mom's world of hallucinations and illusion.

"The people, the ones that I see, the dead people and the angels... I'm looking forward to seeing if I can see them at the parking lot." My mom said to me matter of factly. Her hallucinations are real to her, they are angels and spirits... my dad, my brother and "high mucka-mucks."

All day she has walked from window to window, gazing out, looking and reporting to me what she had seen.

"I have an update!" She would proclaim and then proceeded to give me the latest news about her visions.

"Across the street, there's a rocket. The high mucka muck guy, he's dressed in a black robe and a big hat. He's coming out of the house across the street... there's also a rocket. They are waiting for the person to come, the one that they are taking back with them." My mom stated as though she was seeing through the psychic veil.

"Ma, who's coming for whom? Where are they going?" I asked in a way to help her to feel that she hasn't lost her mind, that she's just seeing a different dimension that I can not see. I've found that when I validate her hallucinations and say, "Wow, that's awesome. I can't see them, but I believe that you can," Relaxed, she finds herself intrigued by what she is seeing through her "magic eye", the eye that my dad "fixed" for her to see him.

"The people... the top guy is coming. He's checking everything out across the street. Come here!  Look, look at the rocket. I want to know if you can see it." My mom grabbed my hand and pulled me to the front window.  "Do you see it?  Do you see the rocket?" She continued with enthusiasm.

Across the street I saw the temporary electric pole put up to supply power to my neighbors temporary home. I mentioned to my mom that it is the temporary pole that will be coming down when the Electric Dept. gets around to it.

"Nope. It's a rocket! It's going to take off, they're leaving.  I have to see it leave!" My mom proclaimed.

She is excited to see the angels and the people from the otherside. She finds her hallucinations fascinating. She believes that she's learning about the otherside before she gets there because she has a very big job waiting for her in Heaven. Mom, she believes that she can't die, not yet...  "I have too much to learn about heaven!" Mom, she also believes that she has to live so that she can help others with the same conditions that she has been diagnosed.  She wants to help folks have more good days and help them to understand how Heaven works.

Mom isn't afraid of the hallucinations any longer, not even the big man with the dark robe and tall hat. I told her that I talked to the Dream Master and ordered bad hallucinations out of her head in exchange for extra good deeds that I can do here on Earth.   I am grateful for the Dream Master.

Today, the dark man was in the neighbors yard and I told her that he is here to patrol for the spirits who may be trying to break the Dream Master's laws. Looking at me with a smile she said, "Oh, now that is really nice. I find this so fascinating. I have so much to learn!"

My mom is giddy. She is excited because she feels that she's learning something about the other side, the place where she knows the Rocket Ship will carry her. 

With a sincere tone of gratitude, my mom's last words before falling asleep last night... "Thanks to you Susie, it's all making sense, thank you for teaching me, I am learning a lot about Heaven.  Good night dear." 

She's already decided that she's getting a top job on the otherside, akin to a High Priestess. God love my mom, I've always believed that her eternal line is from Royalty. 

"Fascinating, I find this fascinating!"  Words my mom repeated often today, words which seemed to reveal a new inner peace.

05 April 2010

Parallel Worlds

This morning I thought I'd do a search to answer a question, "Why is my mom hallucinating about dead relatives?  What does it mean?  Is she closer to death and can she see between both worlds? 

I found a really good article on Parallel Worlds, "Living on the Threshold: Alzheimer's and the Elderly."  The article made me think; I love anything that makes me think.

My mom, she could be seeing the dead relatives.  I wonder if there's a gauge of some kind that would help indicate how long we have with her on Earth? 

What I found interesting in this article is the story about the man who's father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the traditional drugs made him worse than ever.  He took his dad off the drugs and his father got better.  His story sounds like my story with my mother.

I highly recommend reading this article by Greenbriar on the website Parrallel Worlds.

Sue's Baked Artichokes

4 Large Globe Artichokes - trimmed
1 Lemon - juiced
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed
2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
1 stem of Basil with about 5-6 large leaves
2 Bay leaves
6 peppercorns
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2-3 cups of water
1 cup shredded Jalsberg Cheese with jalapeneo's

Trim the Artichokes.  Cut the pointed ends off the artichoke petals.  Cut the bottom stem so that the artichoke will sit flat in a pan.  Spread the petals and brush the lemon juice over the cut ends to stop browning.

In a pressure cooker, place the four prepared artichokes into the pan.  Add all ingredients except the cheese, the cheese is added in the next step.

Allow the pressure to come up in the pan and hiss for about 5 minutes.  Shut the heat off and let the pan depressurize - do not rush this step.

Turn the artichokes over and bring the pressure back up and hiss for 5 more minutes.  Shut the heat off and let the pan depressurize - again, don't rush this step.

Carefully place the artichokes right side up in a baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on each artichoke and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 - 10 minutes, long enough for the cheese to melt inside the artichokes.

Serves 4.

04 April 2010

Is There Love In Heaven?

"Susie... come here!" My mom exclaimed to me yesterday.  "Daddy (giggling), he's here, he's in the woods on the otherside of the fence.  There's a big gathering, like the one at the supermarket parking lot, Daddy, he's there, he's directing everyone, there's a bunch of people... it looks like a wedding.  Everyone is in white."  My mom was thrilled to see my dad and walked around the house and backyard all day to get a view of the sacred event that my dad was performing.

My mom, she walked all day long, she was buzzed with joy and couldn't believe her eyes.  She asked all of us if we saw my dad.  "Did you see him?"  I overheard my mom asking my mother in law while they were in the backyard. 

My mom was full of joy, she was seeing my dad, her husband who died 30 + years ago.  Could my dad be helping me from wherever he went when he passed from this planet?  It was as though my dad was keeping an eye on my mom so that I could steam clean the house with minimal interuptions.

Yesterday was a day full of hallucinations and a little paranoia for my mom.  She has worried about her purse as long as I can remember; because of Lewy Bodies Dementia, my mom is super paranoid where her purse is concerened. 

Three times yesterday she "lost" her purse.  In my mom's mind, someone stole it... one of the people in my dad's congregation stole her purse... in her mind, that's what was going on.  I let her look for it for about an hour.  When I noticed her becoming aggitated and convinced that her hallucination had stolen her purse, I stopped what I was doing to find it for her. 

The third time searching for the purse, I threatened her that I would take her purse away from her and lock it up, giving it to her only when we were going out.  She relaxed and that was the last time I had to look for the "stolen" purse. 

At one point during the afternoon, my mom thought my dad was performing a wedding.  She came in to the kitchen and said, "I think your father is over on the otherside of the fence. ... He's probably remarried again."  My mom was so upset, she appeared rejected and forlorn with the thought that my dad married another woman in Heaven.

Fortunately, I'm a good story teller and can talk my mom off any ledge.  I proceeded to tell my mom how Heaven and Earth work.

"Ma, we can only be married on Earth.  We are born and live on Earth so that we can enjoy Earthly pleasures, like getting married, having kids, drinking fine wine, eating really great food and experiencing the other joys of life.  Dad can't get married, it's not what we do when we go to Heaven.  When we die, we transform into an angel, because dad always taught me that energy can't be destroyed, it just changes, transforms into another energy form."  I began to explain to my mom who was intently listening.  I asked my mom, "Does this make sense?"

My mom shook her head in agreement; I continued on with my explanation that would help her to relax and know that my dad is waiting for her. 

"You see Ma, when we die we all have jobs to help people on Earth to know love.  People can't see us when we die because our energy is so pure and good, it's love energy... I've heard it is the feeling of love that you have when you see your new baby's face for the first time.  Do you remember how that feeling was for you Ma?"  I asked my mom to make sure that she was following my story.

Again she nodded her head, her eyes wide with interest, she wanted me to continue as she asked, "Why did I see the woman getting married?" 

I continued, "... So, dad, he's got a job working with God in Heaven.  His job is to help all those souls that you saw in the woods with Dad yesterday.  It is Easter, the holy weekend, dad was performing a ceremony, the people wear white because it's a symbol of purity.  You saw the Holy Ceremony, not a wedding, folks don't get married in Heaven." 

My mom looking at me said, "Why don't people know about this, how come you know about Heaven and how it works?

Not missing a beat I said to my mom, "Ma!  You know who I am... you know how much I've studied this topic for so many decades, right?  Of course I now how it works.  Everything is great.  Dad is waiting for you.  He is hanging around you now because he loves you so much."

"Oh!  What about love?  When we die, don't we have love?  Isn't there Love in Heaven"  My mom asked me with an inquisitive expression on her face, waiting for me to ease her worry about my dad finding another woman in Heaven.

"There's love Ma, it's a love that is pure, real love.  The love you and dad had for eachother, it is eternal, it's a love that carries us from one lifetime to another.  It's the reason we come to Earth and live, so that we can find our true love.  The folks we love that have died, they do everything that they can to give us signs to help us find love, the real love.   Love is the glue that keeps us together from one lifetime to another, yes Ma, there is Love in Heaven and dad, he loves you." 

02 April 2010

Sammy the Cat: Walks with Ma

I'm resting my hands from typing.  In place of a written post, here's a video glimpse into one of my mom's daily routines, a 20 minute stroll on the treadmill.

Sammy the Cat Walks with Ma

Royalty Free Music Compliments of Partners in Rhyme:

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01 April 2010

Eating Outside the Box

Care Giving is not for the weak of heart... it's a difficult endeavor to embark on because someone's life depends on you. 

Becoming a Care Giver usually just happens over time, it's a job that we take on gradually, dealing with different little situations all day until one day, we find ourselves living with a sick individual who depends on us for everything.  Care Givers, we are the foundation for our loved ones to stand when their world is collapsing where nothing makes sense.

Confusion.  Fright.  Loss.

I couldn't imagine what it must have been like for my mom when she lost her mind so suddenly.  She became confused and frightened.  She stopped speaking.  She pouted most of her days and would often look with wide eyes at different areas of the room where her mind created hallucinations that scared the crap out of her.  My mom, she was lost in her own mind, trapped, she attempted to make sense of all that was around her. 

Sleepwalking and hallucinations became a regular nightly occurance, which quickly wore me out.  Exhausted, it became nearly impossible to be a care giver to my mom, let alone a good one.  There wasn't much help coming my way and I found myself spiralling into a mode of self-pity. 

My world sucked.

No wonder no one stands up and says, 'Hey, I'll be a care giver!  Ya, sign me up for that job... no pay, no sleep, no vacations, no time off... basically, no life... wooo hooo... where do I sign!?"  I learned cold realities about family, things that I just didn't want to believe.  I cried a lot.  My mom became more insane.

I just had to do something to help myself, I hated feeling how I was feeling and knew that rest would help me to think more clearly and find a solution.  I gained control of myself and realized that the only one that I can control is myself.  I can control how I think, how I feel and how I react... I can not control anyone else, when I would go down this path, things turned from bad to worse.

The internet became my ally.  I researched diffrent solutions to help my mom find her mind.  In my opinion, we found a solution, one where my mom has more good days than not so good days. 

The first step one should take is to find a Naturopath Doctor.  We did and he helped us to understand the natural remedies that my mom would begin to ingest.  Our ND works with my mom's traditional doctors and prescribes natural remedies in place of  typical pharmaceutical medications.  My mom, she has lots of trouble with side effects when she takes pharmaceuticals but with natural remedies, no side effects and way more happy days.

Care giving the natural way works.  It's difficult because not many folks use natural remedies, the current healthcare system in our country doesn't support plant medicine.  I have a hunch it's because there isn't any money to be made from medicine that you can grow yourself.  Things probably won't change until the day when healthcare for profit is finally classified as a bad idea for good health.  The decision will have to come from the people the system supports.  It's a battle, a crazy battle that makes no sense to me or my mom. 

Care giving the natural way is tough because there isn't a real support system in place for those of us who chose not to buy in to the current ways of healthcare.  Natural healthcare providers and supplements are not covered by insurance in Massachusetts, makes me wonder if it's because of all the big named hospitals who have lobbyist working overtime to discredit natural remedies.  The argument?  The supplements are not pure like pharma meds.  From my personal experience and observations, natural remedies work better at keeping me and my family healthy... pharma meds?  They made my mom very sick which made my care giving duties nearly impossible.  My mom... she was on her way to a nursing home but thanks to the natural way, she's happy and most days are great days.

Until the system changes, it's up to each individual to take responsibility for themselves.  Food is the best medicine, real food.  Preparing real food, is fun, delicious and very good for your health, try it, you have everything to gain, except weight.  Once we tossed all the boxed foods and began eating outside the box... our lives changed, we are healthier with more energy and a keen sense of well-being. 

Today... my world rocks because I am eating outside the box.