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.

26 April 2011

Could It Be

A happy memory shared
"Sue... did I do the right thing?  Should I have given Dad a feeding tube?"  My cousin cried into the phone.  Grief stricken over the loss of her dad, she blurted out, "I won't be able to hug him anymore!"

Her words struck my heart.  I felt her pain.  I wanted to reach through the phone and hug her.

"Of course you did the right thing.   It was his time.  You are a great daughter and should be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished.  Your dad loves you.  You know that you always make the right decision when you go with your first instinct.  You did the right thing."  I said as I offered encouragement and reassurance.

There was and is no cure for what Uncle Al had and the illness that is part of my mom's life.  To me, it's cruel to extend someone's life.  The body stops eating for a reason; it's shutting down.  The natural progression of life can not be stopped; death is part of life.  Feeding tubes add more pain and suffering, prolonging the inevitable... death.

My cousin made the right decision to let her dad go.  Showing incredible courage during Uncle Al's final days; she made him proud.

I find it incredible that we as human's are more humane to animals than we are to humans.  We can take our terminally ill animal to a vet and have it put down.  However, sick people are kept alive regardless of the pain and suffering that the patient is required to endure.  It takes a brave Health Care Proxy to be able to recognize the end and be willing to pull the proverbial plug.

My cousin gave me a glimpse in the window of what life will be like when Care Giving is over.  I wonder if I'll cry?  I wonder if I'll second guess my decisions leading up to my mom's passing?

Grief is a heavy emotion.  I remember how I felt when my father died in 1979.  My world collapsed around me and I cried; a lot.  I understand my cousins emptiness.  Father's fill a special place in a girls heart.

Death, is it final?

I like to believe that when a person passes their energy is transformed into its purest form; death is just the beginning of our new existence.

Memories keep the person alive.

A song on the radio or another subtle sign entice the living, "Could it be?"

22 April 2011

Are You Making It Count?

Life is a gift for all of us, we all start by breathing in the same air and die letting out our last gasp of Carbon Dioxide.  Lives molded by environment and families; some kids born into wealth, others born into poverty, while a bunch more are welcomed into Middle Class families.

All of us have a journey with the human spirit as our compass.  It's up to us to make the right choices and look beyond judgement of others.  In the end, the only one that we know really exists is ourselves; how do we know that life isn't just one big illusion?

There is one thing that I have learned from Uncle Al and that is...  Love is all that matters.   Family love being the best love of all.

Love is the driver of life; love creates life and death begins the renewal of love.

This past week, we buried Uncle Al and it made me start to think about my own life... Am I making it count?

Uncle Al had a full life, one where he made everything count.  Uncle Al had love in his heart and soul, it was what made him do all the things that he had done in life.

Are you making it count?  

Do you have love and forgiveness in your heart?  To forgive is to forget and to live... are you making it count?

17 April 2011

Observation: Pharmaceuticals vs. Natural Remedies

Mom, waiting to be discharged from the hospital
She was impatient.
My mom had a rough week which began over a week ago this past Friday.  She had become non-responsive and wouldn't wake up.  She was hospitalized for 3 days.

In the hospital, I was allowed to give my mom the natural remedies that she had been taking at home.  Blood Pressure 200+/80+ last Saturday, I gave my mom the herbal drink to lower her pressure.  Within one hour, the nurses checked her readings and her pressure dropped to 138/70.  Mom sprang back.

Pneumonia was getting the best of her and by Sunday, she was non-responsive again with very high blood pressure.  I couldn't get her to open her mouth in order to take the drink.  I made the decision to give her pharmaceuticals to lower her pressure.

Clonidine seemed to work great for a few days, helping her cognition while lowering her pressure.  The drug lowered her pressure too much; 113/53.  Mom has a tendency to jump up fast to see her hallucinations, not a very good mix with dizziness caused by low blood pressure.

Mom, she couldn't walk unassisted.

She needed help doing everything, even eating.

Mom couldn't communicate very well.

Agitation, fright and combative behaviors replaced my mom's happy disposition.

How was I going to care for my mom while she was in this condition?

I spoke to her doctors and on Friday this past week, I spent the entire day calling and visiting nursing homes.  I was desperate for a bed to open for her.  No way could I care for her while on pharmaceutical drugs; they made her worse.  The condition that she was in, she needed 24 hour care; care that I could not provide.

I came up empty.  I refuse to put her in a substandard home, the only homes with beds available.  I had to do something.

Our next option was to put her back on the natural remedies and ween her off the pharmaceutical blood pressure medicine.  I began to do this on Friday night.

All day I checked Mom's blood pressure yesterday, it was staying steady at 160/60.  Mom ate very well, her appetite is returning now that she's back on her regular regime.  She's more steady on her feet and can walk by herself without falling over like a Weeble.

Mom slept through the night and was able to get up and use the toilet by herself; tucking herself back in bed.  Odd behaviors vanished as quickly as they came on when we stopped the pharma drug.

I made an observation with how pharmaceuticals and natural remedies stack up.  The natural remedies work better for my mom; they're more gentle on her system.  She appears to have better days using natural remedies with minimal agitation.

16 April 2011

Over and Out

Uncle Al and Brian
Revere Beach
Uncle Al's favorite stomping grounds... we brought him there often.
Uncle Al passed this morning, April 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM.  He hung on to life even though he knew that there is no cure for old age.  The cycle of life includes death, it's inevitable for all of us.  

Uncle Al passed today, I have felt his presence all day.  I feel peaceful when I see his face in my minds eye.  Looking at pictures, fond memories fill my heart.

I remember when I was a little girl, singing and jumping for joy when I saw Uncle Al walking between the houses, coming for a visit with Aunt Jeannette and Maryann, my best friend.  "Here comes Uncle Al, the kiddies pal!"  Over and over again I would sing this song.  It always made Uncle Al smile a big smile.

Uncle Al was a survivor, just like his sister, my mother.  

Uncle Al and my mom deep in conversation...
the last one that they had together a couple of years ago
Today marks the beginning of the changing of the guards.  The seniors in my life are beginning to exit.  Uncle Al is the first; he won the race through life.

My mom and Uncle Al were always racing for the finish line, neither wanted to be the last to die.

My mom?   I didn't tell her.  I couldn't tell her that her brother died today.

Personally, I feel that it would be irresponsible to tell her; not knowing if she would be able to process that she is the sole survivor of her family.

My mom and her family in 1932
Uncle Al is on the other side of my Grandmother

My mom... she's the end of the line.

My family, we are at the crux of the next generational shift.  I am moving closer toward my days as a senior and my nephews are becoming the new middle aged.

My Great Nephew... a natural, just like his Great Gram and Great Great Uncle Al

When did it happen?

I'm grateful to have had time with Uncle Al.  I was able to talk to him when he could still converse with me.  He died knowing all the things that I've been able to accomplish in my life.  Throughout my life, I was always seeking his approval; I came up empty.  Uncle Al had some lucid moments when we spent our time together and he gave me the greatest gift of all... his approval.

I will miss my Uncle Al, his cute little laugh and big smile.  I'll miss how he rubbed his hands together; something that my mom does too.  I'll miss going to Kelley's on Revere Beach and having fried clams with him.

Mom and Uncle Al are cosmic twins.  

Uncle Al and Mom
Revere Beach
...they spent lots of time there when they were young.
Uncle Al died today and my mom appears sad.  She's been sleeping all day, not wanting to do much of anything.  I think she knows on a deep level that she's the sole survivor.

 "NO!  My brother is climbing into the hole!"  She screamed the other night during one of her wild hallucinations.

Over and Out Uncle Al... enjoy the dance because you will always be in my heart.

14 April 2011

Uncle Al Is Getting On The Bus

Uncle Al looking dapper in his $1.97
Building 19 Sunglasses
March 2009
Uncle Al is dying as I write this post.  His breathing is 16 breaths per minute; dropping and raising as the life is slowly leaving his body.

Maryann and Dan have not left his side, talking to him, telling him it's OK to go.  His little Princess saw him yesterday, she held his hand as she said, "I love you Grampy."  Uncle Al, her Grampy... responded by squeezing her tiny little hand.

Winking at Maryann yesterday, we all believe that he heard what she was saying to him.  Father and daughter had there final time together in this lifetime; Uncle Al wasn't dying alone.

I'll miss Uncle Al.  I've missed him for awhile now, dementia took him from us, just like it's taking my mom.

Today, I got to say my Goodbye to Uncle Al ... Maryann held her phone to his ear and I talked to him.  It's a common belief that hearing is the last sense to go before we pass.

I'm grateful to have been able to talk to my Uncle Al one last time.

"Dan will take care of Maryann and your Princess, it's OK for you to go... I love you, Uncle Al.  Remember when I told you 2 years ago that it's OK to visit me when you pass?  It's still OK but you better not scare me when you do!  .... My dad and Ed are waiting for you to get on the bus, Uncle Al.  They'll bring you to your big party in Heaven where Aunt Jeannette is waiting for you.  It's OK.  I love you and we'll see you soon."  I reassured him.  I had to stop talking, I was on the verge of sobbing.

Uncle Al is leaving.

He could be gone right now.

I sit and wait for the call to arrive.

My mom is on her way home from her day program.  She has Lewy Bodies Dementia; I've decided not to tell her that her only living sibling has died.  I worry what it will do to her mental state of mind; she can't process information very well.  Mom hasn't asked for her brother in awhile.

Death, even though it's part of life, really does make the living mourn the loss.

I can't help but wonder... will my mom start seeing Uncle Al?  Will she see him get on Heaven's Bus?

This is my favorite picture of Uncle Al and my mom.
March 19, 2009

13 April 2011

Notes From Mom's Day Care

My Mom talking to me after work yesterday...
a few short days ago, she was out of it, pooping herself, not talking, not eating and not responding.  
I  believed that the end was near.

Several weeks ago, the nurses and aides at my mom's Day Care Program and I started a "Communication Book."

In it, we write notes back and forth.  I report on my mom's night; did she sleep, have a bowel movement (BM), cognition, moods, behaviors... it's our way of passing the torch from one Care Giver to the next.  It's been working out great.

We have less night bowel issues where my mom poo's on the floor.  I now KNOW if I need to be on alert at night; guiding her to the porcelain throne.  Clean up has been minimal, which I'm truly grateful.  Poo sucks and I will do anything to avoid cleaning it up off the floor or carpets.

The Communication Book works well.

Before my mom's hospital stay, the notes home would tell me when she had a BM, the size which we categorize as small, medium, large, extra large and MASSIVE.

Communicated in the notes was her level of  agitation, wandering behaviors or if she was having a fairly OK day.  Good days were becoming fewer and fewer.  She was losing her ability to communicate.  I began to worry that a bed in a home would not open soon enough.

My mom was hospitalized.  Touch and go for awhile, I wasn't sure what to do.  Pull the plug or put her in a home and let her suffer with this illness?  I was uncertain.  I knew in my heart that I couldn't take her home and care for her if she couldn't walk or talk to me.

A nursing home could have been in Mom's future yesterday but, Clonidine worked to lower her blood pressure and the side effects helped her cognition issues.  I thought I'd give her time to visit her "work" friends and say a proper good bye before moving to her new "job."  Our plan is to ease her in to the nursing home with a smooth transition; my attempt to make the move as pleasant as we can.  I feel in my heart that this is the right way to go with my mom's nursing home placement.

Yesterday, Mom was very talkative.  She was very pleasant.  She danced with me when she got home.

The notes from her Day Care were amazing.

Yesterday, my mom was able to do the following...

1.  Spell her entire name.  It's not an easy name with a first name with 9 letters and a last name that has 11 letters.  The Nurse's Aide was amazed; I could feel the enthusiasm in her choice of words.

2.  She remembered that she had 5 kids.  3 girls and 2 boys.  She remembered everyone's name but one.  She just couldn't remember.  My mom hasn't been able to remember ANYONE'S name for quite some time.

3.  She confiscated my light blue L.L. Bean hooded sweatshirt with $2 bucks in the pocket.  Wearing it made her so happy that I told her that she could wear it to work.  I told her the 2 bucks was there in case she needed it.  Boy, did that make her happy.

I didn't put her name on the jacket, it's mine, she was just using it.  I did write her name in the jacket when my mom got home, she insisted that I write her name on it so I did.

The Aide wrote home and told me that my mom insisted it was her jacket.  My mom told her about the $2 bucks in the pocket.  My mom came home with the jacket on; the aide didn't believe her and asked me to send it back if it wasn't her sweatshirt.  My little mom was RIGHT!

4.  Mom sang the entire alphabet yesterday!

It was awesome to read about my mom's accomplishments.  Last night, my mom laid in bed and told me that she has been trying hard to remember and yesterday, it all came back to her.  Mom went to bed happy.

Off today at 7AM, toileting... done.  Lunch... made.  Now, I wait for more notes from Mom's Day Care.

12 April 2011

Holding the Power of Life

My Mom...
the day after I nearly "pulled the plug"
I am my mom's Care Giver and I'm also her Health Care Proxy.  Everyone needs a proxy; if not, the healthcare professionals will take all measures to keep you alive, regardless of the pain and suffering it will cause the patient.  I find this practice barbaric.

My mom has a terminal illness, she won't get better.  In the hospital over the weekend, her cognition was fluctuating like I've never seen it in the past.  She wouldn't wake up on Sunday. She was losing her bowels.    She wouldn't eat and she wouldn't take her high blood pressure liquid medicine from our ND.

The natural remedy to lower her blood pressure was the only thing that was working.  Pharma drugs elevated her blood pressure with a crazy range, 200/50.

"I don't know what to do, Doctor."  I sobbed as we stood around my mom's bed.

"I don't either."  The doctor honestly replied.

"Should I do Comfort Measures Only?"  I asked.

The doctor, not sure if CMO was the right way to go, began thinking out loud.  She mentioned Clonidine and then we discussed this new drug for my mom.

"You know, she doesn't look like she's dying to me.  I've seen people rally from this sort of behavior.  Maybe if we can get her blood pressure down she'll come back."  The doctor compassionately spoke.

My mom, her eyes were locked on to mine as though she was peering into my soul.  Did she understand that I was making a life choice for her?  Do I pull the proverbial plug?  I didn't know what to do.  The doctor put doubt in my mind.

I questioned my decision, could it be too soon?

My mom, she gave me a Mona Lisa smile when I told the doctor to try the pharmaceutical; our last shot.

It worked!

My mom sprang back from the threshold of death's door.

Yesterday, she came home.  Alert, awake and talking up a storm; finding some of her words.  The Clonidine worked.  Her BP is normal.  She slept through the night and even used the toilet herself.

On the drive home from the hospital she started to laugh as she said, "I thought it was funny yesterday when you were crying, making the decision to pull the plug."

I have learned that holding the power of life in my hands is not to be taken lightly.  As someone's Health Care Proxy, you are the one who is the voice for the patient that can't speak for themselves.

Two days ago, I held my mom's life in my hands; it's like nothing I've ever experienced.  Left with a feeling of part executioner and part Dr. Kevorkian; I was forced to make a choice that regarded my mom's life.

Today, my mom is alive.  I held her life in my hands.  I made the decision to try one last thing before helping her leave and catch the bus to Heaven.

I'm happy.  I have some of my mom back.  This morning, she was alert and even knew who I was; miraculous!

09 April 2011

Antibiotics ... Caution!

"Ma!? Can you hear me?". I nervously asked my mom yesterday. She was out of it, sleeping constantly with lots of confusion. She was able to eat. I sent her to the Day Program.

She couldn't get out of the car without help. She slept.

The nurse at the program and I were in communication. If she didn't wake up for lunch, I planned on going to get her.

I did.

Four of us had to lift her into the truck. My plan was to take her home to sleep it off. She was not responding to me at all. I pulled the truck over and dug out my cell phone.

"Hi Brian? I don't know what to do. My mother is out of it. I won't be able to get her out of the truck and upstairs. I think I'm going to take her to the hospital." I said, as my mind went back in time, a time when my mom was in the ER nearly every weekend.

"Good idea. Call me if you need me. I love you." Brian said in a reassuring tone.

We made it to the hospital. My mom was wheeled into the ER, with me running behind her.

She was admitted.

Mom has pneumonia and a bowel infection. Antibiotics that she had been on to cure her UTI killed the good flora in the intestine allowing C.Diff to grow. I've never seen my mom this ill. Last night, she looked like death was near.

Today she looks a little better. Eyes are open and she's sort of talking. We just got her up and she walked to the bathroom with help.

I love this hospital and the care they are giving my mom. She is not freaking out like she was at the other hospital that she was in last September.

08 April 2011

Open Letter To Politicians Who Want to Cut Medicare and Medicaid

Hello?!  Is Anyone Listening?

Dear Politicians Who Want to Cut Medicare and Medicaid,

Romans had similar issues as we do in this country; unemployment, heavy military spending, occupation of foreign countries, morals out the window, politicians fighting and all the money with a small group of people. 

I can’t see how our country can go on doing the same thing as the Romans and avoid our own fall.

History is beginning to repeat itself and it freaks me out.

I am concerned for future generations.  We are leaving them a world of slavery where Corporations are worshiped and our identities are tied to “what we do” for a job.

Our military spending is outrageous.  Our occupation of other countries is sinful and makes me feel ashamed. 

I’m sickened that kids get hurt and when they come home they are forgotten.    Wounded soldiers, seniors and children are being left behind; all three have no value to the bottom line.

When Clinton was in office he taxed the wealthy and the rest of us had boom years.  Life was good; we were on the way to paying off our National debt.  We had hope.  Life was great for us.  We had a plan.

I was living the good life during the Clinton years.  Living the American Dream, I did my part to build our economy.   I worked, paid taxes and consumed stuff.

George Bush was elected and suddenly the best smoke and mirrors show ever occurred.  Our countries surplus budget went away, I was laid off, nearly lost my home and the beginning of our inflated and made up deficit came to light with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Our country began plummeting further and further into debt as more and more money was funneled to defense.  We are in troubled times, just like in Rome before the great fall.

The latest news about cutting Medicare and Medicaid, making it privatized, will cost seniors MORE money in premiums; premiums that only benefit special interests.   

I have one question … how did privatizing retirement plans work out for us citizens?  Why do we believe privatizing our Medicare Insurance that we paid into our entire lives will work out any better?  It’s just another way to keep the illusion going that we are broke!  We’re not broke folks, we just need to balance the wealth.

The middle class is sinking into poverty while the top 1% holds the keys to the chains that are binding us into corporate slavery.  The American Dream is quickly becoming a pipedream.  Every person in our country has become a corporate slave with little free time to spend with the people that matter to us. 

Caring for ill family is challenging, cutting Medicare and Medicaid will make the burden too much for anyone to handle on their own. 

I am speaking from experience.

Before my mom began receiving help and qualified for the Community Based Program, I was her lone care giver.   Sleep deprived, working round the clock, cleaning messes, calming fright from hallucinations, no time off … all the heavy lifting associated with caring for someone with dementia was on my shoulders. 

Families don’t help Care Givers; period and it can’t be expected.   It’s complicated because everyone has their own issues to solve.

It’s been my experience and the experience of so many other care givers that I have met along my journey; we are on our own.   Cutting Medicare and Medicaid would add an incredible burden on the shoulders of the Care Giver in every family. ..  i.e. ME!

There is an easy solution; tax the wealthiest of Americans!  It will bring down the National Debt, it was proven during the Clinton years.  Medicare and Medicaid will be safe.  Social Security will remain untouched.  Unemployment will go down… I’ll be free to get a job and be able to pay taxes.  My taxes will help pay for services like Police, Fire and Teachers. 

Reverse the Bush Era Tax cuts and our economy will get back on track and people will feel hopeful again. 

Right now, I feel like I’m ready to walk into a chamber and get gassed like some of my Polish relatives.

I’m sick that politicians want to cut benefits for seniors.  I don’t know what we’ll do with my mom; she’s broke.  She needs the benefits.  We can’t afford to private pay for a nursing home.  We can’t afford to private pay someone to come in and help my mom or for her day program.    I will be forced to continue caring for my mother in my home; her condition will make it an impossible feat.

Do Republicans who accused the Democrats of death panels, want to euthanize people that can’t afford to pay the costs of a home?   They may as well; the cuts will harm many people… for what purpose?  Tax cuts to the super rich?  How much money do the wealthy need anyway? 

The richest of American's, especially Corporations, need to pay their fair share of taxes. 

Am I even being heard?  

Does anyone care? 

Why do I feel like I’m standing alone, screaming on the edge of the ocean?  

06 April 2011

Like Living In A Horror Movie

America's Stonehenge
Salem, NH
Yesterday, I saw on the news that the Republican Politicians want to cut Medicare and Medicaid in order to fund tax cuts to the wealthy.  The news is shocking.

How can these few folks have any conscience?  How can these people who claim to be Christians cut the programs that help the disabled and seniors?  Where's the love and compassion that all of them have learned as Christians?

We all pay into the Medicare Tax, it's a social insurance pool, so that one day when we reach 65 we will begin to receive the benefits.  However, Republican politicians like Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin wants to cut Medicare and Medicaid in order for his Corporate cronies to continue to receive more tax cuts.

Blinded by the glitter of promise for salvation from the overlords, politicians chose to cut programs that help folks.  For some people, Medicare or Medicaid is all that they have; without the Federal aid of the insurance plan that the individual paid into for decades, they will die.

I hear the Republican politicians accuse the Democratic politicians of "Death Panels."  Cutting Medicaid and Medicare benefits would cause people to be thrown out of nursing homes because they don't have the money to pay the expenses associated with their care.  The burden of care will land on the laps of relatives; unfair to everyone.

It's as though the Republicans are doing the old switch-a-roo; let's accuse the opposition of doing the very thing we have up our sleeves.  In my opinion, Republicans want the Death Panels because then they can take more of our money and give it to the richest of the rich.

Nursing home care is expensive.  If someone doesn't have money today, Medicaid will pay.  If the Republicans get their way, lots of people will be tossed out, left to fend for themselves.

My mom, she's about to enter a nursing home.  Caring for her has become too difficult as her condition worsens.  I can not imagine caring for my mother in my home without any help.

If the cuts come as we are being threatened, I will be forced to stay home and continue caring for my mother. I will not be able to get a job and pay in to the system with my income tax.  It's how the systems was designed to work; we pay taxes and in return we have services like Fire and Police Departments, Teachers, Libraries and help with Medical conditions.

My solution to our current fabricated deficit is easy, instead of cutting services like Medicaid and Medicare, tax the super rich.  How much money do they need?  Stop the wars, they serve no one but the wealthy.

Watching the news, seeing the ads on TV, hearing the chatter I am left in a state of disbelief.  How can this be happening in my country, the United States of America?  How?  Why?  I have more questions than answers.

Recently, I found my answers when I watched a documentary online; "Ethos the Movie."  It explains the facts behind the corruption that is so intrinsically woven into our countries fibers; shining a bright light on the truth that is frightening to see.  I have been deceived, we all have been and it sucks.

I highly recommend every person in this country, watch this film. It tells us why we are in this mess.  It is our call to action folks.

"Ethos the Movie," narrated by Woody Harellson, explains why we ARE NOT BROKE as a country, it's just that 400 of the wealthiest people, have all the money and won't stop until they have it all.

Gradually, we are losing our freedom to the thugs who possess all of the cash and have bought politicians using the blood of innocent victims.  Politicians, all of them have been poisoned and are drunk with power or fear; not sure which it is at this point.

What gives anyone the right to control us?  

Many people won't watch the film.  I wonder if it's because they would prefer not to know the truth.  Living in a fantasy suits them just fine; sitting like a duck, never seeing the bullet, unpreparedness causing great remorse when it's too late.

It's still not to late for us to take a stand; there are more of us than there are of them.  Mom in her demented state of mind has taught me a valuable lesson; no matter how insane we become, we always have the power of NO on our side.

We can say NO!

History is repeating itself.  My country reminds me of Rome just before the great fall of the Roman Empire.  Fat cat politicians, just like the ones we have here in America, sat on there thrones in ivory towers while the people suffered.  War, unemployment and broken moral compasses being some of the causes of the great decline of a once massive empire.

Greed for money and power consumed their thoughts; like a heroin addict desperate for their next fix.  The outcome was inevitable, Rome fell.  

Is the United States of America dying?  Can we save her?  Is it worth it?

I love my country.  I am heart broken over the lies and deception that keep us all prisoners even though we were led to believe that we are free.

I have made a decision... I'm saying NO MORE.  I am voicing my opinions to everyone who will hear me.  It's not too late if we unite; there is strength in numbers.

Write to your Congressmen, your State and Federal Senators.  Tell them what you think and voice your opinions.  Call with solutions.  Please, do something too.  Please for the sake of future generations and the children of today, write an email, call on the phone, write a letter... talk, talk to everyone.  Raise awareness.

Together we can change the course of history and write a new story for our country, America the Beautiful.

04 April 2011

It Takes Courage To Be A Leader

Me in Alaska
"Excuse me... let me show you the way."
It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

    This morning after my mom left for the day, I began to clean up the kitchen.  I felt my Dad’s energy very strong.  I welcomed him and immediately he was in my mind’s eye speaking to 8 year old me; explaining how important it is to be a leader in life.

    Dad often taught me that it takes courage to be a leader.  

    He believed in the infinite power within that we all possess; he taught me to cherish this incredible energy force that I possess and to build my life around it.  We all possess the power; it’s the sacred energy of life that makes us human and different than inanimate objects. 

    One day I remember him saying, “Susan, there will be other leaders out there in the form of bullies, there are bullies everywhere who want to steal your power.  They will try and take your toys or as you get older, they will try to take anything that you have in order to have power over you.  

    Bullies use fear and they will try to take you away from yourself, but remember only you can give them your power.  To be a leader is to be able to maintain your power, the power of YOU.  Hold it close because it will save you from all harm.  

    Courage, it takes courage to be a leader and YOU are a leader, you have courage.”


    Dad was right; it took courage to be a leader throughout my life.   I've faced many bullies; Lewy Bodies Dementia being the biggest bully of all.  

    I have stood up to the bullies of life, fighting with my intelligence and uncovering the facts.  Courageously, I weathered some tough storms.  I thank my Dad for helping me to have the courage to realize that I have the confidence to do what needs to be done.


    I am confident in my abilities to manifest goodness in my life.  

    Caring for my mom, challenged my confidence in myself.  I was forced to look within and remember WHO I AM and what I am capable of achieving through the power of my intent. It was the only way I was able to be free from the negativity and sadness associated with Lewy Bodies Dementia.  

    Care Giving for another human takes courage, lots of courage mixed with confidence in oneself.  The greatest gift one can recognize is being able to stand before another adult human and help them with the most basic activities of daily living (ADL.)
    In my opinion, Care Giver’s are great leaders because we have compassion.  

    Care Givers are not afraid to face adversity, to stand up and use our voice and say NO for our loved ones.  It takes courage to have faith in ourselves too, to believe that we can even when most folks run in fear.   

    What makes me believe Politicians can learn from the Care Givers of this world? 

    Care Givers are not fearful but hope-filled.  We are compassionate.  Care Givers do what we need to do in order to make a positive change in another human’s life, all while we strive for our own inner peace.  

    "When God created money, he cried."  
    my Polish Grandmother - 1960's

    We  find peace within other humans that we interact with, not our jobs, money or the things money can buy.  Care Giving shows us that "stuff" doesn't matter, the most important element of life is other people and our ability to share life experiences.  

    Believing in the power of ME has helped me to overcome obstacles while providing the fortitude to keep on keeping on.  

    Dad taught me that true Leaders never quit, we change the plan in order to benefit those in our charge.   In my opinion, every Care Giver that I am honored to know and will meet in the future, have the qualities of a true leader.

    02 April 2011


    Mom, busy counting her "Bingo Money" change jar
    Yesterday, it snowed all morning so I made the decision to keep my mom home from "work."  She slept late, which was awesome for me; I got to drink an entire cup of coffee uninterrupted.

    Mom woke and was a bit anxious, she felt like she needed to be somewhere as she said, "I need to get to work!"

    I had the Frank Sinatra music channel tuned in on Pandora Radio, music seems to distract her, especially when it's a swinging tune that makes her dance.

    Anxiety was a little high for her yesterday, I had to think of something to keep her occupied. Like a shot, the thought came to me, "I'll get her change jar from the day when she had clearer thinking, before Lewy took over her brain."

    I set her up on the dinning room table with her change.

    BINGO!  It worked.

    She sat for an hour sorting the change.  It was difficult for her to sort the money, but she didn't seem to care.  My mom has always loved money; counting her change seemed to put her in a happy place.

    Mom began walking around the house dancing.  In this mini-video, she had no idea that I was sitting in the room, she loves the song so much, it made her get up and come closer to the TV so that she could listen and dance.  I love it when my mom dances, it means she's happy.

    Counting money was something that my mom always enjoyed before she lost her mind.  It is still something that brings her joy.  I'm grateful to have recently found her jar of change, it sure did help us get through the snow day.

    Set Mom up in the Den
    She counted her change and drank her tea for another hour.

    I've learned with Lewy Bodies Dementia, doing activities that remind her of her past seem to give her a sense of control in her life.  The perceived control that she had over her money made her more agreeable and pleasant all day.

    We had a GREAT DAY yesterday... even the cats behaved.
    Sammy chillin'
    Shakti being Shakti

    01 April 2011

    Mother Nature's April Fool's Day Joke - 2011

    2011 April 1
    Definitely not a funny joke, Mother Nature!
    Today, I woke up and looked out the window in disbelief.


    Accumulating snow.  My heart sank.  Visions of preparing my garden beds for seed, up in flames.  Father Winter is back for one last hu-rah.

    Do I send Ma to work?

    I watch the news and the weather report wasn't very encouraging.  I made the decision to keep my mom home.

    Today, Mom is home and the cats are stuck inside because the snow is getting deep.  The idea of having one of them up a tree on a day like today... I shudder to think of it.

    No thank you.... sorry cats, you are in for today.